Thursday, 24 May 2012

Me and Abraham Lincoln

A few months ago, I finally gave in and bought a copy of Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.
I'd been hearing good things about this book since it first came out, and loved the premise behind Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the first of the mash up genre and by the same author, Seth Grahame Smith, so I figured that it would be alright. It has vampires, and its a twist on alternate history, so I thought it would be right up my alley.

And I'm not writing this because its not, or because I hate it. I'm writing this because I've had to stop reading it. Because of recent events in my life, that book is just not something I can dedicate my time to right now. I"m a little over half way through the book and its started to get more violent and I can't stomach it.
So I guess for all the vampire loving uber violent folk it'll be right up your alley, but I can't give a real review of this book right now. Hopefully no one was waiting for my review, and I'm hoping I'll be able write a full review at some point, but for now I'll just give my initial impressions.

I don't know anything about Abraham Lincoln other then that he was a U.S President. I've seen images of him, the iconic ones of him in the big hat with the beard that most people are aware of. So I went into this book knowing little to nothing about the details of the subject matter.
Do I think that matters? No, not really. I don't think these sorts of books are written for people who don't know anything about the real story, and most of the reviews I'd read are from people who know Lincoln's story rather well.
What I will say is that the format that the author decided to write the book in, at some points, tended to drag. The concept behind how the book came to pass is very creative and well thought out, but because of the format it was slow at times and didn't always keep my interest.
And when I had to stop was where it started to get more violent, and I suppose where the book picked up. Its sad that it was the point that I had to put it down.

If you're in to these sorts of books, I suggest picking up The Secret Diary of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer by Lucy Weston. The concept of the book and how it was put together was brilliant, and Ms Weston's is a character herself and following her online makes it that more interesting.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Movie Review: Dark Shadows

   It shouldn't come as a huge surprise that I'd want to see Dark Shadows.
Tim Burton and vampires? I'm in!

I walked into the movie having a slight idea what I was getting into, knowing a little bit about the soap opera from the 70's that the movie was based on.

So, let me give you the set up:
Dark Shadows centers around Barnabas Collins, a man who pissed off the wrong woman in the 17th century and was cursed to become a vampire and locked in a coffin for 200 years. In 1972 the coffin is discovered by accident and opened, and Collins returns to his ancestral home to find the world a very different place and his descendants in need of his help.

I thought this movie would be funny from the way it was advertised. The trailer spins this movie like its a comedy, and I can assure you that it is not. It is very much a drama, and does not have any of the camp that the original tv show had (it least that's how I remember the show).
The casting is good, Johnny Deep does well with what he's got and the amazing Eva Green really turns it out as the 'pissed off wrong woman', who is in fact a witch and the one who created the vampire curse.
Visually its an attractive movie, typical for Burton and will be appealing to his long term fans. The script was done by Seth Grahame Smith, the writer behind some of the most popular monster mash-ups Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (which I am currently trying to read), and I found it a bit dull and dragged in some spots. I'm not sure if this was Smith's first movie script, but it needed some pizazz that just wasn't there.
Overall the movie itself is a bit dull and drags in some spots. The visual effects are really well done, and the 'big fight scene' between Depp and Green was amazing, but it was only one of several glowing parts of a movie that feels like its missing something.

So, all you Burton fans out there, you'll probably see it anyways, so let me know what you think. Everyone else, if you're interested in this as a drama, not a comedy, its worthwhile watching.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Dark

     I won't get into personal details, but I very recently suffered a great loss. It's part of the reason why I haven't posted much of anything in a while, but I sat down today in front of the blank screen and I realized something.

My entire life writing has been a point of refuge. When things have got too much for me to deal with, I retreated into my fictional world, or I'd simply put my thoughts to paper. Why hadn't I been doing that until now?
When something bad happens, sometimes its hard to put it on paper. Because actually seeing it written down like that is almost too much to bare. And, as many writers will tell you, there comes a time when you realize how truly inadequate words are when you reach the point at which you have something really important and meaningful to say. So my place of refuge has become a little empty and lost because I simply do not have any words right now.
And that's why I decided to write this blog post, to try to express, even though they are edited for internet, some of those thoughts. Even though I may not find the words, perhaps saying anything will clear my head enough that I can start finding the right words, and at some point they'll stop feeling cliche, or silly, or totally inadequate. I'm a writer and this is how I express myself, and I think this will be the way I am able to recover from all this madness.

Even though its going to be a process and something that will never truly end. Grief does strange things to a person's mind, and for creative types the world begins to spin in the most insane ways, bringing things to the forefront that you thought you were not capable of thinking. Even the fictional world you have created starts to take a darker turn - so, in a way, the darkness that already surrounds me is just getting darker. I'm excited to see how that comes out in my writing, because so many things for me have come from the dark, not just fear but my characters...the list could go on for days. I've come to the conclusion that I am made up of darkness, a product of it. I can't imagine that there aren't a lot of others who feel the same way.
Some people the darkness in their life takes over their existence and makes them into something monstrous, something intolerable to other human beings. I think my darkness has become an integrated part of my person that even though it scares me, its my home. Its where I feel like I belong.