Archive for November, 2008

Twilight (the Movie)

So last night i went to see Twilight, as it turns out, eleven PM on a Tuesday is a good time to go see a movie.

To me Twilight was deliciously comical and overall, a bit dragged down and slow. I actually enjoyed James, Laurent and Victoria’s screen time more than i enjoyed Edward’s screen time. True, he was incredibly cute in some scenes and in others he was not at all. Bella was great, the actress was awesome, but something was off in the character, i have no idea what it was, but it was odd. The best roles were the minor ones, by far.

Alice rocked the screen, and her happy demeanor was contagious. Emmet was amazing and definitely merited more screen time, Carlisle was creepy but likable, Rosalie was one adorable bitch, Jasper was lost, and Esme was almost non existent and should have had a little more interaction.

The best character overall had to be Charlie. His humor, hopelessly lost attitude and caring silent father role was played to perfection, he was also the source of a good number of laughs.

The Edward/Jacob dimension was played into and was wonderfully portrayed.

The best part aside from the humor was the fight. The worst part had to have been the slow and dragging attitude and the non-dramatic sparkling Edward, who was not at all like diamonds.

Go see it, and take something to snack on for the first half and then the last ten minutes, trust me, you’ll need it.

It’s Coming (The Fatal Blow nobody saw Coming)

After It’s Coming, the Heroes Universe went crashing down. This will be followed by a two part Eclipse that already promises to leave the Heroes plot line dragging itself in shame deeper into the sewers.

I understand the idea and metaphor behind The Eclipse, it’s much like The Second Coming. The eclipse, a moment where all is dark and abilities are gone, a eclipse, a momentary distraction that makes one forget that were about to start an all out war in the Heroes Universe. I get it. But right now, after a lagging three episodes, i think it would be best if we just went at it and started fighting. I think that the writers have a wall, much like Laurall K Hamilton’s wall with Post-Its with the will happens ideas for the NicEssus series and much like my own Biology Notebook that rather than housing notes about my class, houses plot ideas, character ideas, should writes and half assed- poems that I wrote in the middle of lecture. And on of those was led on by the Arthur Petrelli steals powers idea that must have been the origin of the Eclipse episode idea.

What would happen if they ALL lost their abilities? I can tell you: a shitful of Company issued Guns, Angela having something to say about their fortune; Mohinder’s eyes wide open at the large number of new test subjects and Sylar going over to the dark side again, possibly killing some characters that would make the Heroes Universe much simpler and gaining a new sense of direction. Possibly, I really have no idea, but I think that after this episode, we will either have to cheer in the brilliance of the writers, or go crawl in bed with Supernatural seasons 1-3 and watch that instead, after renouncing Heroes forever. Oh and at the end, they will ALL have their powers back, this i predict.

Anyway. About It’s Coming.

Sylar is an empath, who knew?

I did not, but I guessed after I heard somewhere that something “shocking” was going to be revealed about Sylar’s powers, since in The Second Coming, we got one answer, I could only imagine they were going to make something up, especially after the much impromptu and not very well though out Elle/Sylar thing. So I guessed, and I was right. Sad but true.

So right now, the two part Eclipse ordeal, to which I am looking forward, to see if Heroes is redeemable, is looming and then the war can start up again.

On good thing about this episode though, is how at the end, the characters were shown gathering, each to their leader, one by one, letting us know where the line was drawn. Except for Hiro, who thinks’ he’s ten and going crazy in Japan with Ando freaking out. Seriously writers, could we not think of another way of distracting Hiro? Anyway,

It’s Coming!!

Heroes Dives

The last time i posted something about Heroes was way back at Eris Quod Sum, just before November started. Since, I have been amused, exited, terrified and lately, disappointed by Heroes.

In Villains, a go into the past and fill in hole in the plot episode, we explore the lives of Meredith, Flint, Angela, Arthur, Linderman, Elle, Sylar and Nathan. This episode had its ups and its down and almost, almost, served as a kind of comic relief between the first appearance of a major Villain (Arthur Petrelli, with his power theft ability) and the continuation where lines have been drawn and Villains face off against Heroes. The entire affair having a beautifully deranged biblical edge to it as Arthur Petrelli (to whom I fondly refer too as Papa Petrelli) leads the Villains and his wife Angela Petrelli (my favorite character, fondly known by me as Mama Petrelli) leads the surviving Heroes.

Except this episode failed. Rather then giving us only relevant information, the writers/creators gave us the beginning of another bad romance (they apparently did not get it when West/Claire, Maya/Mohinder and Hiro/Princess bombed that they cannot write romances) this time between Elle and Sylar, who would make and amazingly psychotic couple much like Arthur and Angela, if they were still evil. Elle is not lost and confused int eh world and so is Sylar, so pairing them would be a natural occurrence, except that they’re both lamenting life rather than kicking ass.

Meredith and Flint were a funny pair, that amused me and managed to keep the sideline (a sports metaphor, did i get it right?) busy. And one quote from them made it into my favorites “You know what Daddy used to say: ‘God gave you a big sister instead of a brain.”

Flint i still think is an idiot, and i’m not really interested in him, other than that “sweet sweet power of his”(quoting Sylar)

The main interest of the episode however, were Arthur and Angela. Arthur with his ability (no idea who he stole it from) would keep forcing his thoughts on his wife, explaining why Matt’s power took a while to work on her in Season 2. She being absent minded and lost, much like Sandra after the Haitian, was healed by Linderman in an ususal display of humanity, which makes me think that me may not be that good a villain, since he seems to be a bit of a Hero. Then Angela poisons Arthur, and believes him to be idea, but he, using his telepathic abilities convinced the doctor to pronounce him dead. As it turns out, it wasn’t Linderman who wanted Nathan dead at the beginning of season one, it was Arthur.

All of this occurred, of course, in Hiro’s mind, who took the magic potion that the African cooked up for Matt, then for him.

In th end, Arthur kills Usutu (the African) and attacks Hiro.

This episode was OK. Not my favorite. It wasn’t a complete failure, but it was close enough. Other than the humor and the Arthur Angela back story, We could have done without it.

Breaking Dawn Review

Breaking Dawn is the final installment in the very popular Twilight Saga, authored by Stephenie Meyer, published in August of 2008. The novel finalizes the story of Bella Swan, a human, and her relationship with Jacob Black, a shape shifter, and Edward Cullen a vampire, who in the novel finalizes her transformation into a vampire after marrying her. The novel has gained much popularity, especially among younger teenaged girls, despite its intended older audience, and has lead to a movie which will be released on November 21st, causing many critics to call her “the American J.K. Rowling”

Twilight is one of the many series being written in the Urban Fantasy genre that has begun to grow in the United States, especially in the last ten years. It is, however, in this setting, that the Twilight Saga and Breaking Dawn specifically, shows its immature style. Breaking Dawn commits a form of literary treason to the genre in which it’s housed and the medium which it used to rise to popularity.

Urban fantasy is characterized by certain markers that set the fantastical in the contemporary. The vast majority of lead characters are female, educated and have a strong connection to the supernatural, and carry out both professional lives as well as secret ones. Isabella “Bella” Swan fits the profile, being able to defy the vampires’ supernatural abilities and despite her “outsider” perspective, manages to hold on to a popular and comfortable lifestyle. Bella is a high school student, whereas other protagonists in the genre are adult women, this immediately gives a different sense to the overall novel and style of writing.

The general attitude of Urban Fantasy is one that glorifies the odd or the awkward, serving as a form of social criticism by having powerful characters that are usually ignored by other fantasy and literature in general. Paganism, homosexuality, bisexuality, BDSM, ethnic minorities and social outcasts are heavily present in Urban Fantasy, all emphasizing a lack in need to be embraced by all of society. Rather than intergrading, they form mixed groups that understand that they are outside the norm and outside the good intentions of the people who are generally mainstream Christian humans, while still endowing those characters with very real human problems, such as unwanted pregnancies, questions of morality and very often, unrequited love and troublesome relationships.

In Breaking Dawn, Meyer fails to understand that attitude. Edward and Bella are allowed by their creator (Meyer) to live together outside the norm, and outside of human affairs, only after they adapt to them. Where in Urban Fantasy, marriage is not a priority and not a virtue in general, in Breaking Dawn, the vampires act in a purely human fashion, living upper middle class lives in a formalized one man one woman marriage setting. Meyer constantly emphasizes that Bella is an “ordinary girl” who just happens to be in love with a vampire, ignoring the outcasts. Save for the Native Americans, who she glorifies by giving them pure supernatural worth and ignoring their human aspects. Again, her characters are completely normal humans whose only problems are supernatural.

Most Urban Fantasy is highly sexualized, violent and criticizes the contemporary social system though their actions and their settings. One example is that of Anita Blake, who often points out flaws in society, such as prejudice toward minorities and though the novel presents several Asian, Black, Gay and Hispanic characters interacting in a American setting, while recognizing their heritage and even including their mythology into the general storytelling. Meyer attempts to do this by including Native American characters into her novels, however, their mythology is incredibly European, and largely ignores the Native’s own religions. Other urban Fantasy writers acknowledge the existence of other cultures and other perspectives though the actions of foreign vampires and other supernatural creatures, but Meyer’s foreign vampires act in a purely American style, ignoring the possibility of a rich cultural mesh.

The relationship between Bella, Edward and Jacob is largely based on sexual attraction. Bella’s obsession with Edward is described from a sexual perspective, Meyer does this in a manner that is very childish and immature, and using language that is heavily censored, breaking with the style in which sexuality is open and understood. The few sexual encounters that occur are omitted, yet the nature of the attraction is understood to be solely sexual based. The complex relationship between Bella and Jacob, which is described in a romantic way, is in the end cast aside as Bella marries Edward, with whom, other than an intense sexual attraction, she had nothing in common.

The main point in favor of the vampires in Meyer’s works is their behavior. While in other such works the vampires have a terribly childish and act in a very human manner, while stressing their inhumanness. Meyer’s vampires act as if they have thousands of years worth of knowledge and act in a way that both stresses the arrogance of having such knowledge, and the wisdom to use it. In other novels across the genre, despite the inhuman characteristics of vampires, they act very human. Rather than backing off when a fight is lost, or knowing when to act, the vampires act solely on emotion and in a very unintelligent way. Meyer’s vampires break this mold for the better. When faced with a large group of opponents offering peace, they wisely choose to back away, and reassess the situation. Meyer’s vampires also display a higher level of intelligence, having foresight and using their long lives to calculate and predict actions that will lead them to the better. It makes the reader actually believe that the vampires have existed before the conception of the novel.

The Novel’s popularity among the mainstream is largely due to its style and the break in tradition when writing into the Urban Fantasy genre. The confusion between lust and love appeals to a younger audience while the traditionally older audience of urban fantasy is left disappointed by the amateurish writing and the lack of complexity. Overall, Breaking Dawn fails to live up to the standards of the genre, while clearly paving the way to a more mainstream style, appealing to a younger and more specific audience. Unlike most works in the genre, Breaking Dawn serves no purpose other than to amuse, and fails to bring expansion to the genre. Meyer, in the terms of Urban Fantasy, has nothing of importance to give back.

I’m Back

So, NaNoWriMo can be considered a complete failure. 

I managed about three thousand words, and i have about 14 days to write 50 thousand words, which i believe that there is no way i can catch up. 

I’ve had several novel ideas, but they’ve ended up as short stories ideas that will more than likely die soon, having never been written. My original novel idea, i think is dead, unless it manages to sit around in my head and develops on its own. 

Which reminds me, i am writing a novel, this one is th erecycled spirit of an idea i had about three months ago, and that i think i have repackaged. So i will start writing soon, except now its outside the NaNo setting and in normal winter writing form. 

This novel does not deal with the supernatural, strangely enough, but it is a romance. This time i’m dipping my fingers in post apocalyptic dystopian science fiction. And, I also mean to finish writing Blue Willow, and then the Leo story i started. I also mean to write a vampire hunter novel, maybe set in another world, bridging Urban Fantasy and Traditional Fantasy.  

Anyway. 

I have to write a mega post on Weeds, Heroes, Skins and Supernatural. But that will be later. After i eat.

OBAMA WINS!!

Two hours ago my cell phone started ringing like crazy. This was about a minute after Obama was projected as the winner. All of the calls were happy ones, except for one” Arizona Prop 102, passed.

I celebrated nonetheless.

America has finaly elected a African-American to the White House, and after the worst eight years in our recent history, hope is finally back on the table. Not only did Obama win, but the Democratic Party has taken majority both in the House and in the Senate. which means that all of  the bills that were vetoed by our current president, now stand a chance after Obama’s inaguration, and hopefully, we will have a president that will actually do something about the Iraq problem and somehtign about our economic status.

Prop 102 passed. as i’ve said, meaning that the Arizona Constitution now defines marriage as being only between one man and one woman. That needs to change, and in 2010, we will try to change that.

so, all in all

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NaNoWriMo

November, i believe will be a time of great inactivity for my blog, because i will be writing a novel.

Or it might be a place of extreme occupation as i avoid writing a novel.

Whichever. I have to catch up, its barely day three and i’m already four thousand words behind schedule.