Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Buffy Reboot? I've got a boot for you......

"Now that's everything, huh? No weapons... No friends...No hope. Take all that away... and what's left?"


In the days since I first heard the news about a big screen Buffy remake sans creator Joss Whedon I have been mentally stopping by all of the stages of grief:

Denial: This has to be a joke right? No one in their right mind would take this on.
Anger: Who honestly thinks this is a good idea? What a giant bunch of morons.
Bargaining: I'll write letters beg the studio. Beg Joss. I'll do anything!
Depression: Self explanatory. Please pass the tissues.

Oh yes. And bitter. I have also been very bitter. I don't think I'll ever get to the acceptance part and now that I've read on that Kristy Swanson (a.k.a. the first big screen Buffy) is totally ok with the project I am right back to the anger stage.

Of course she is ok with a Buffy reboot!! She was never a part of what made Buffy so great in the first place. I'm not gonna lie. I own her version on DVD. I was a big fan in Jr. High when all of my friends I and couldn't wait for opportunities to say "That one doesn't have a mirror at home," and to tell people to "Get out of my facial." This was of course YEARS before I knew any better and before myself and the rest of the world got to see what Buffy was really all about. When Joss Whedon got to put his true creation out into the world for the benefit of all who witnessed it. Joss' Buffy was not just a few fun quotes. It changed my life.

Nothing before or since has so perfectly illustrated the heartbreak of first love, the anguish of loss, the beauty of true friendship, or the courage needed to put up a fight even when all hope is gone. Each and every episode was smart, fun, heart crushing and chilling. Don't even get me started on the empowerment of women stuff. This man's writing made me feel like I could do anything! The fact that anyone would even try or, worse, not put his level of effort toward achieving this at all, leaves me feeling sick. Why fix what isn't broken? Oh right. To milk the still lactating cash cow that is the Vampire craze.

My biggest fear is that this new generation of vampire lovers will flock to the theater in droves, looking for their new Edward Cullen and never know the magic of what Buffy the Vampire Slayer is really all about.

To some small relief, I'm not the only one unhappy about this. Stars of the show have used Twitter to speak out against this horrible, born in a barn, milking machine Warner Bros. is preparing to unleash on the world. A few examples:

Eliza Dushku a.k.a. Faith Lehane - "Joss made the 'Buffster' & w/out him... I just don't trust the girl. Or the world."
Juliet Landau a.k.a. Drusilla - "Buffy movie reboot without Joss. So uncool. :( "
Julie Benz a.k.a. Darla - "never have truer words been tweeted!!!! RT @jennyandteets I will only say this once. Without Joss, there is no Buffy!"

I cannot follow Joss' always classy footsteps on this one. (see his letter here) I hope my friends and followers are with me and will not be in line for tickets opening weekend. As a matter of fact, I hope the studio receives so much backlash and ill will that the piece of crap never sees the light of day. News reports say there's still no script. One can only hope it stays that way.

Of course Joss Whedon himself said it best (when does he not?) "I don’t love the idea of my creation in other hands."

Neither do we Joss. Neither do we.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

As I start this, it is3:23am. I am completely wired from the 40oz Diet Coke I had at the theater and the movie's score has been purchased and loaded onto my iPod. Here we go.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen the movie yet: Cave Inimicum!!! (Defensive spell to keep enemies away. Thank you Harry Potter Lexicon).

From the moment I heard the first chimes of the theme my inner fangirl began to squeeeeee like crazy. I was instantly ridiculously excited.

The movie opens with our three heroes readying themselves for the unknown challenges ahead of them. At home, Ron waits. Before leaving, Hermione heartbreakingly eliminates all traces of herself from her house and from her parents' memories. Harry has packed his things and the Dursleys have left the building. He opens the door to the cupboard under the stairs one last time and I am reminded of how far we've come since he last resided there. Except that as small as he was then, he is still just a kid. They all are. The very thought of that weighed very heavily on me throughout the rest of the film.

For the sake of keeping this review from becoming as long as the book itself, my most essential notes:

• The beaten and grotesquely positioned woman hanging suspended in the air above the table full of Death Eaters at Malfoy Manor made me squirm. When Nagini pops up to snack on her after she's been Avada Kedavra'd I was so startled I spilled Skittles all over the floor.
• At the Dursley's, they do enough only slightly awkward exposition to make up for some of what had been left out of the previous two films (Bill & Fleur, Remus & Tonks). If I had my way each movie would have followed each book to a T and spared no detail. Though, if that were the case we'd probably all still be sitting in the theater watching Order of the Phoenix.
• The banter and exchange of barbs throughout the making of the many Harrys was perfection. I nearly died laughing at Daniel Radcliffe in a white lacey bra.
• The death of Hedwig. *sob* I feel a bit robbed that my reaction to her loss was more heartbroken than Harry's seemed to be.
• Harry and Ginny. Sigh. When she asked him to zip up her dress and thanked him with a kiss I wanted to do my little girl clap SO bad! These two just have not had enough time together to satisfy me. And the looks on all of their faces when they were interrupted: priceless!
• The girl with the headphones in the cafe where they are found by the Snatchers made me wonder how much I miss when I am lost in iPod land. Kidding aside, it was sad watching Hermione remember the last time she had used the Obliviate charm.
• Grimmauld Place is scary! Between the Dumbledore ghost charm, Kreacher and the overall shabbiness, I was officially wigged out the whole time they were there. Hermione’s, "We're alone," declaration upon arrival only made it that much more foreboding.
• The actors playing the body-napped Ministry of Magic employees were phenomenal. I was both amused and terrified watching their portrayal of the kids under the effects of the polyjuice potion.
• Just the sound of the cat plates mewing in Umbridge's office made my skin crawl. I really hate that woman.
• I had completely forgotten about Ron being "splinched" when the trio apparated out of the Ministry and the entire sequence had me in a bit of a panic. Bless Hermione’s rock star heart though, she begins to cast the spells to protect them all even with Ron's blood still on her hands.
• Their journey from place to place, always alone, always to desolate locations, was just as bleak and wearing on screen as it was on the page. The feelings of isolation and frustration, due to the locket and to their situation, were beautifully portrayed.
• I loved Harry's attempt to cheer a grief-stricken Hermione with a dance (and I loved that song. Anyone know what it is? Anyone? Bueller?) I also love that it only worked for a minute or two. Her feelings of love and longing for Ron were as exquisite as they were painful.
• Harry in the cemetery looking over the grave of his parents was seriously heart crushing. As was the tearful exchange of "Merry Christmas" greetings between him and Hermione. Not gonna lie, there were quite a few tears.
• I'm aware that this is not a horror movie but the whole time they were in the icky house with Nagini wearing the Bathilda suit it really felt like one. I was biting my nails, peaking between my fingers and I swear to Albus I came this close to screaming several times. Truly terrifying!
• Side note: the in-theater whistles as Harry stripped river side were a real treat. Way to set the mood kids.
• Harry and Hermione's mega make out scene was a tad disturbing. But also really HOT! Which I also find to be disturbing.
• Ron's efforts to make his way back into Hermione’s good graces were darling! And hilarious! And I think may have caused me to develop a major crush on Rupert Grint.
• Not like this is a huge newsflash but Bellatrix Lestrange is a super evil mega-bitch. The screams she solicited from Hermione (whoa Emma!) were excruciating to listen to. I wanted to sob and scream and cover my ears.
• After being away for so much of the last 4 films, and knowing what would happen in this one, I felt extremely grateful and triumphant to see Doby get his moment to shine, his last heroic stand. They did his character real justice with the rescue and his final words. That said it felt a bit awkward to have Harry state that he would dig his grave without magic. Couldn't they have just left it at showing him do it?
• Damn that grave robbing Voldemort right to hell! I had been wondering where they would cut it and how this one would end and I could not have been more impressed. I think fans of the books, fans of the movies and fans  of both (like me) will have to agree.

Now, is it July yet?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Few Vampire Diaries Questions to Ponder

Confession #1: I watch and re-watch a LOT of Vampire Diaries. I am actually quite glad that my DVDs, DVR and lap top media player do not have a counter. Could be very embarrassing.

Confession #2: Every time I watch I write things down. (Note to self: find a pencil. Writing with an upside down ball point pen while lying in bed is impossible).

For those of you familiar with my “Stefan’s Diaries” review, this may be a tiny bit of an overlap. For those of you new to my question extravaganza WELCOME! I just cannot resist bringing up a few things I feel may have been long forgotten, only because each week our beloved show raises so many new questions I feel the old ones get tossed aside.

I have spent the last few weeks compiling my notes and since it’s hiatus time, when better to shed some light? Here goes:

1. Who let Katherine out of the tomb? In 1x14 Pearl tells Damon that it was a church guard who let her out because of his obsession with her. But in 2x4 Katherine tells Stefan it was George Lockwood who facilitated the whole thing in exchange for the moonstone. Did George give the guard extra incentive? The entire exchange made it seem like it was a secret between 2, not 3.

2. As for Katherine’s feelings for Damon: She was quite clear in 2x1 when she told him that Stefan would always be her guy. But I must admit this girl’s “game” is not what it should be for someone who’s been playing it for 500 years. She is all about the snarky one liners (wonder how Damon learned that) but when it comes right down to the facts, she must care about the guy. She did have a magical daylight ring made for him. And in 2x4 she does try her best to warn him about getting involved with werewolves. (Though this sentiment could have been made only to preserve Mason, her tone did not indicate such. I do not believe this is the first or the last time she will underestimate Damon‘s will).

3. So much of the Mystic Falls story revolves around the “Founding” families. More than once, the Salvatore family is included in this town’s unique history. Mr. Salvatore himself was both a purveyor and a victim of the vampire hysteria of 1864. His own grave was the hiding place for Emily Bennett’s famous grimoire that has since become the Go To Guide for all things AWESOME! Taking all of this into account, why is it that when speaking of the Founder’s Ball, Stefan tells Elena in 1x4 that “the Salvatores don’t get invited anymore?” Wasn’t Zach still on the council? Providing them with vervain? Wouldn’t asking them to leave him out ring a suspicious bell? As for Zach: Where on Earth did he come from?

4. Did Katherine only find out about Elena and her Doppelganger status because of her stalkerish obsession with Stefan? Had Stefan never come back to Mystic Falls, how long would it have taken her to find the spell ingredient she was looking for? If she kept an eye out on her own genetic line why did she wait so long to trigger a Lockwood werewolf and start the whole process of acquiring the rest of the ingredients? Surely it would have been a whole lot easier to do without the Salvatore brothers around to protect what they love.

5. In episode 1x19, Uncle John seems surprised to find that Jeremy has been brushing up on Mystic Falls' history via an old Gilbert journal. He then alludes to the fact that there are many others. How is it that this one of many was left unsupervised? The one that detailed the height of the hysteria and hinted at the location of the grimoire. Is this out of convenience or out of purpose? And, if the original John Gilbert left out the details of Papa Salvatore’s sons’ vampire sympathies, as he was instructed to do, how did Uncle John know to send Isobel to Damon? Is he lying about having direct contact with Katherine? Was sending Isobel to Damon Katherine’s idea? If so, why? And as a vampire hater, why would Uncle John do anything Katherine told him to do?

6. Speaking of Isobel - did Katherine look her up, hoping she would be the Doppelganger she was waiting for? If/when she found that not to be the case, why help her out? Why have the daylight necklace made for her? Does Uncle John know something (as Stefan & Elena believed) that would help Katherine? Is Isobel Katherine’s only link to this pertinent information? If this is the case, why did Katherine try and kill Uncle John? Does she have the information she needs and now must dispose of the source so that no one else may obtain it?

7. Bonnie reveals to Elena in 1x21 that the grimoire holds the details of the Gilbert Device which was spelled by Emily. Katherine was obviously aware of the device, as she was the one who sent Isobel to get it. Was this only because the tomb vampires had escaped their eternal hell? Did all of the tomb vamps return to Mystic Falls for the attempted take down of the Founding families or are there still a few out there? Had the device resulted in the deaths of the Salvatore brothers, would Katherine have been upset? Or was the purpose to rid the world of everyone who knew she had faked her death? When the brothers did not parish in the Gilbert basement why not attempt to take them down herself? And why chastise Mason for trying to take them out? Would she have been mad had he succeeded?

8. What exactly happened to Emily Bennett? Was she playing both sides throughout the events of 1864 or was Katherine aware of/insistent upon all she did to help the Founders entrap the vamps? Somehow her grimoire ended up in Giuseppe Salvatore’s coffin who died at the hands of Stefan‘s bloodlust just hours after the fire in the church. Did she die shortly thereafter? Did those she help with taking down the town’s vampires kill her and take her book by force? Where were the children Damon swore to protect?

9. What is up with that damn crystal? Did Katherine know it could be used to release the vampires from their tomb? If so, was this a concern she was willing to brush off for the time being so that she could escape Klaus and all his bitches? (see Gilbert device above). I’m assuming Damon hid it in the Lockwood mansion during Katherine’s final vervain infused tryst with Stefan. He obviously didn’t know then what its power was or he would not have been so willing to die thinking Katherine had gone down in flames. Yet present day Katherine seems upset that Damon knew she wasn’t dead. Was that something she hadn’t wanted Emily to share with him?

Confession #3: I don’t only take notes on the serious stuff:
1. Did Noah dispatch of the regular Pizza deliver guy in 1x12 or did he actually apply for a job?
2. Will Carol Lockwood ever have another party in her home after the Masquerade? Dead girls in one room and a ton of broken furniture and holey walls in another would point me toward no.
3. Anyone else notice the Mayor’s name change? In 1x4 Carol calls him Charles. In every instance after he is referred to as Richard. Also, love that Dick is a nickname for Richard and everyone thinks that the Mayor is a Dick.

Paul Wesley E! News People Magazine Bit

So I know everyone was DYING to see Paul on E! News last night and I did my best to help out. Sorry the quality is SO awful! Bad Paul is better than no Paul right? Hope you enjoy either way!

Link to You Tube video of Paul & Ian on E! News:

Pics taken from the broadcast:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

TVD Question of the Week #2

Happy TVD day friends!

Today's question is an oldie but a goodie coming from Bad Moon Rising. And I know it's not nice to speak ill of the dead but I just have to know.......... How did Mason get so damn dirty? Did his wolfy self find something dead to roll around in? One of Stefan's discarded bunnies perhaps? All I know is that I have seen homeless street dogs cleaner than Mason is after only one night romping through the woods. Any guesses?

Stefan Points Out Why He's Hot!

My earlier pic-spam of Stefan's pointing was such a hit that I decided to use it to create my first ever vid/slideshow. Great big thanks to Julie (@JLMadridFederer on Twitter) for the inspiration and song choice and to Ceci (@ceci_lu on Twitter) for the helpful instruction. Hope my fellow Team Stefan friends enjoy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pointing out the Best of Stefan Salvatore

Ok. I know I am not the only one crazy about and totally obsessed with Stefan Salvatore's new love of pointing. So this is for you my friends. A gallery of Stefan's finer points:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

TVD Question OF The Week #1

Happy TVD day everyone!!

Today's question is..... Is Jenna ever NOT drinking? Or preparing to drink? (Alaric opening a bottle while nursing  her self inflicted knife wounds). We all know she is not the best at keeping track of her underage charges and is clueless at best when it comes to the goings on in her own home. Perhaps this is why.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stefan's Diaries: My thoughts on how the fans could have done it better

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!: If you have not yet read Stefan’s Diaries but plan to, bookmark this page and come back when you’re done to read and comment. If you, like me, have already finished or don’t plan on reading it at all, continue on!:

Completely devoured the new Vampire Diaries book last night. This latest called “Stefan’s Diaries,Vol. 1 Origins” is not a continuation of the original series but based entirely on the CW show (which was based on the original series). Don’t get dizzy. It makes complete sense. What’s funny about it (to me) is that no actual author is listed. It simply states “Based on the novels by L.J. Smith and the TV series developed by Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec.” Huh. Who knows. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed it and didn’t put it down once except to tweet how much I was loving it. That said, I do think my fellow, serious TVD watchers and I could have done a few things better. Here’s why:

  1. Several times throughout the book, Honoria Fell is mentioned by name. Except that she’s called Honoria FELLS. Each instance of this made me growl under my breath. Even fans who haven’t read the original book series would notice this mistake due to the handful of Fell characters already named on the show.
  2. In Stefan’s Diaries we finally learn the origins of Pearl and Anna and are able to confirm that they are in fact real mother and daughter. They came from Charleston, South Carolina and were human as of the end of the Revolutionary War (1783) when a tuberculosis epidemic hit and Katherine saved them from certain death. However, in episode 1x16 of the show Pearl tells Damon that she’s got 400 years on him. You do the math. Does quite add up does it?
  3. Founders Ball: several inconsistencies here but first is the order of events. Chapter 22 of the book goes into detail about all events surrounding the party starting with Stefan & Katherine skipping out without a dance and never seeing Damon and ending with their entire night spent together once arriving home. Yet in episodes 1x4, 1x6 and 2x4, it is made apparent that Damon was at the ball and watched Stefan & Katherine dance. Also made clear in episodes 1x6 and 2x4 is Damon spending time with Katherine once arriving home. My other question about this event is whether the ball in 1864 was the first one its kind as the show says it is or was already an annual event as the book states.
  4. How exactly does this compulsion thing work? On page 202 of the book, before Stefan dies or begins any part of his transformation he begins to recall feeling “woozy” each time Katherine had stared into his eyes to ask something of him and he immediately believes all his feelings for her were her idea and hers alone. This doesn’t really gel with what has been explained so far on the show including episode 2x2 where Caroline doesn’t get her compelled memories back until after she’s fully turned.
  5. There were a few other small differences between page & screen. Things like Katherine’s clothing and exact wording of conversations. The problem for me is that I can see and hear in my head these bits from the show as I read and when they don’t match up it feels like watching a badly dubbed foreign film. Also rubbing me wrong is the book’s complete dismissal of the few tomb vamps that the Salvatore brothers recognize in present day Mystic Falls: Henry, Frederick, Harper & Beth-Anne.
What kept me awake hours after reading were the millions of questions swimming in my head. Questions frustratingly still unanswered and questions newly formed. Do I dare hope future book and show installments holds the answers?:

  1. What exactly happened to Emily Bennett? Was she playing both sides throughout the events of 1864 or was Katherine aware of/insistent upon all she did to help the Founders entrap the vamps? Somehow her grimoire ended up in Giuseppe Salvatore’s coffin who, according to the book, was buried a week after the death of his sons and the fire at the church. Did she die shortly thereafter? Did those she help with taking down the town’s vampires kill her and take her book by force? Where were the children Damon swore to protect?
  2. What is up with that damn crystal? Did Katherine know it could be used to release the vampires from their tomb? If so, was this a concern she was willing to brush off for the time being so that she could escape what ever force was hot on her trail? I’m assuming Damon hid it in the Lockwood mansion during Katherine’s final vervain infused tryst with Stefan. He obviously didn’t know then what its power was or he would not have been so willing to die thinking Katherine had gone down in flames. Yet present day Katherine seems upset that Damon knew she wasn’t dead. Was that something she hadn’t wanted Emily to share with him?
  3. Due to the confusion surrounding the magic of compulsion (see #4 above) it is still impossible to know for sure if Stefan’s love for Katherine was ever real. I think each and every reader (and watcher of the show, as this is a recently visited question there too) is left to make the decision for themselves. Do we really want the answer or is this one better left in the grey?
And while I’ve gone on and on about what was done wrong with this book, there were enough things done right to make me jump up and down with impatience and excitement, waiting for the next installment. It brought joy to my cribbage loving heart to read that it was a game played by Stefan with his father and Katherine. And, as a tried and true member of Team Stefan I could not help but smile throughout as his voice was so true to character it felt like Paul Wesley himself was reading the book aloud to me.

So friends. What did you think? Do you agree or disagree? Do you have the answers to my questions? Do you have new questions of your own? Please go crazy in the comments. I can’t wait to read your thoughts