glitter_n_gore: (eric draven)
I've been rewatching the first season of Penny Dreadful in preparation for this blog series, and wow, how did I not know Josh Hartnett's "Ethan Chandler" (actually Larry Talbot) was a werewolf from the word Go? Sometimes I'm slow on the uptake. In this case though, I know why I didn't figure it out right away: all the other characters in Penny Dreadful are pulled from classic Gothic literature. The Wolf-Man, however, entered the horror lexicon through cinema.


GIF of full moon rising over the desert as Ethan turns to see it, looking very worried.
Source.


The closest thing we have to a werewolf book is Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and that character is represented elsewhere in the series. So Ethan might technically be the Wolf-Man, and yes his real name is the same as Lon Chaney, Jr.’s character in the Universal film, and good for you if you figured that out before I did. But I've only seen the original Wolf-Man one time, and Josh Hartnett's take on the character is remarkably different from the classic monster in many ways.

There’s blood on my teeth... )
glitter_n_gore: (will graham)
Greetings! We are in our second week of Pride Month and I’m talking about Remus Lupin--more specifically, the question of whether the character is bisexual.

Since Lupin is the only one of the werewolves on my list who is not explicitly confirmed in the text as bi, I took a poll. Here's what it looked like:


Screenshot of Twitter poll with question “Is Remus Lupin Bisexual?” and results
Yes = 63%
No = 13%
Not Sure = 13%
Whatever JK Says = 11%


I asked more informally on my regular blog as well. As you can see, results were mixed. More so than I had anticipated. This is why I wanted to start here. More often than not, LGBT fans do a lot of guesswork to figure out if there are any non-straight, non-cisgender people in the fictional universe we're being shown. Unless it's a world that's helmed by a writer/director/producer who's actively trying to create more diversity in that particular area, it’s down to the audience to interpret what we’re given.

Read more. . . )
glitter_n_gore: (supernatural pride)
Pride Month has arrived once again, and I actually picked a theme this year: Werewolves.


Left to right: Ethan Chandler, Ruby, and Remus Lupin
in Bisexual Pride colors


I know this might seem confusing or random at first, so let me explain.

Read more... )
glitter_n_gore: (stoker)
Every so often, you come across a piece of storytelling that creeps into your heart and splits it open with chilly intimacy. I knew very little about I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House before watching it on Netflix, apart from it having the same director as The Blackcoat's Daughter, which came highly recommended. I'm not even sure what compelled me to watch it last week; only I was in bed earlier than usual and wanted something spooky and atmospheric to lull me to sleep.



That did not happen. Oh, it was spooky and atmospheric all right, but I did not sleep soundly. I even had to put the nightlight on. What's most fascinating however is when I started tagging the usual crowd (the Horror fan corner of Twitter, mostly) to gush about it, the first responses ranged from, "Eh, pretty boring," to "I don't remember I fell asleep." Not all of them, and at least one said it got better on the second viewing. Still, this seems to be a movie that you either can't be bothered with; or that understands you so completely it feels almost rude to talk about it above hushed tones.

Read more... )
glitter_n_gore: (emma)
I finally saw it! This weekend! And that was kind of perfect because it was my mom’s birthday, and this is her very favorite Disney movie. One of the first questions I had when I found out this adaptation was happening was: Will it be a musical? The answer is a resounding YES, and I cannot express how gleefully happy this made me.


GIF of Belle and The Beast dancing.
Source.


However, because the 1991 animated feature is one of my favorite movie musicals of all time, I have a slightly different set of criteria when it comes to reviewing it. Usually my priorities fall this way:


  1. Characters.

  2. Setting / atmosphere.

  3. Plot.


In a musical though? Everything falls somewhere after one question: Can they sing?

Tale as old as time... )
glitter_n_gore: (emma)
Dear Self,

I hereby give you permission to stop reading non-fiction books. No, really. It is okay. Your TBR pile needs pruning anyhow. Because let's be honest - you will not finish any non-fiction book you start. No matter how pure and noble your intentions. Loved that movie based on a true story first immortalized in a 500-page science-y memoir thing? Just watch the movie again. Let people know the memoir thing exists and where to find it. (Libraries are magical places!) But darling. Don't bother reading it. You will get twenty pages in and get bored. Every time. It doesn't matter how interesting / important the subject matter is to you, or how well-written the words, or solidly structured the pacing. You will not finish it. Just put it back on the shelf and move on to something you'll actually read.

Here's the thing: there's an art to expanding your reading horizons. It does not mean you *must* force yourself to read things that just don't hold your attention. You're allowed to sigh, close it, and say, "Well, there's nothing wrong with it, but it's not for me," and then MOVE. ON. You can love reading without loving every single thing you attempt to read. You already know this. You just need to apply it to things that are "good books" as deemed by all the people who you normally turn to for recommendations and reviews, rather than crap books you don't think are worthy of your time anyway. Books don't have to be "bad" to be returned unread.

It is really all right to walk away. Stop guilt-reading. Stop pulling things off the shelf you feel like you *should* read even though you know on some level you'll just renew it four times and never open past the introduction. Stop acting like you're being graded - you're not. The books aren't going anywhere. You can always have another try later if you want. In the meantime, just go for that new paperback ghost story by one of your favorite authors you know you'll devour in three days.

Life is short, kiddo. Don't waste it reading decent books you just can't make yourself finish. Read everything else instead.

Love,

Me.
glitter_n_gore: (freddie lounds)
In the Year of Our Lord 1987, two cult favorite vampire movies came out within a couple months of each other. One, you've probably heard of: The Lost Boys. It stars Corey Feldman and Corey Haim, Jason Patric, and Keifer Sutherland. It's funny, action-packed, kind of disgusting, and endlessly quotable. It's a summertime staple for me and probably will be until the end of time. The other was Near Dark. It's darker, weirder, leans more on horror than comedy, stars half the cast of Aliens, and is violent and scary in a way that modern vampires can't touch.

It is my very favorite vampire movie. Why? Bill Paxton.

The cinematic universe lost another icon this week. And I lost another hero. Although in this case the word "hero" doesn't exactly convey what I want it to. Paxton was a terrific actor who I still don't know as well as I want to, who always entertained me when I happened to stumble across him. The fact that this happened more often than not in horror movies, sci-fi thrillers, and superhero franchises is not lost on me. Mostly, I remember him as the deliciously sadistic Severen. If you still haven't seen Near Dark yet--go do that right now. I'll wait.



Read more... )
glitter_n_gore: (stoker)
aka The Cloverfield Prequel No One Wanted or Asked For. And it somehow turned out even better than the original.



Read more... )
glitter_n_gore: (heather mason)
Because apparently this is my new yearly ritual for Women In Horror Month! If you missed my ten-year retrospective from last year, follow this tag. My barometers (that I almost never stick to rigidly, but it helps me focus) are: grossed $25 million or higher domestically by the end of the previous year, and starring a female protagonist. I also include an “honorable mention” of the next movie down on the box office gross. My source for the numbers is BoxOfficeMojo.com.

If a movie is in (parentheses) it means I haven’t seen it yet and/or can’t tell from the marketing or trailer if the protagonist is a woman.

For this year, I’m including sci-fi thrillers as well as straight-up horror movies because it was a pretty cool year for genre films in general, especially with female protagonists, and I want to talk about alllll of them! Also, instead of doing capsule reviews like I did before, I’m going to focus on a different movie in each post. We’ll see how many I can get through before the end of the month. Let’s DO THIS!!

Ghostbusters - $128.4 million
The Conjuring 2 - $102.5
Arrival - $90.8 million
(Don’t Breathe) - $89.2 million
(The Purge: Election Year) - $79 million
10 Cloverfield Lane - $72.1 million
Lights Out - $67.3 million
(The Shallows) - $55.1 million
(Passengers) - $45.3 million
(Nerve) - $38.6 million
(The Boy) - $35.9 million
(Ouija: Origin of Evil) - $35 million
(When the Bough Breaks) - $29.8 million
The Forest - $26.6 million
The Witch - $25.1 million
Honorable mention: (Blair Witch) - $20.1 million

So, remember back during the summer when everyone was convinced that the Ghostbusters remake was going to be some kind of colossal failure? And after it came out, there were all these think pieces trying to explain why no one was watching it and how reviews were lukewarm and it was okay but not that great? Well, I dunno what your personal experience was with this movie, but GUESS WHAT? It’s not only topping the list, it’s topping it at more than $25 million ahead of the next-highest place on the list. BOO-YAH! Emphasis on the “BOO!”


Abbie and Holtzmann doing their happy high-five dance


The other thing I saw mentioned--and this was the case in my theater too--was the number of little girls in the audience who were super excited to be there. The upcoming generation now has something I never had growing up: an all-female team of superheroes to look up to. And that is rad as Hell. Making a version of Ghostbusters with all women means something to me, and to the kids seeing this movie as their first exposure to the franchise. It's not just about the brand, or the Hollywood remake machine, or the nostalgic craze for the 80s and 90s that's permeating All The Things right now. This is a movie with a team of women, all in their thirties and forties, all unmarried and childless, who are struggling financially but uniquely intelligent and driven to do some good in the world, none of whom have any romantic entanglements whatsoever, who are never ogled by either the camera or any of the other characters at any time, who come to their big, climactic battle scene dressed in loose-fitting tan jumpsuits, sensible shoes, and their hair tied back.

For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a movie I can point to full of role models that I don't need to defend or justify in any way. The fact that this is rare enough to comment on is a bit sad--as is my understanding that there are still way too many people who were left out here representation-wise. What I'm trying to say is we female geeks have been taking whatever scraps the world sees fit to throw at us for decades. Still, given how often I've gotten my hopes up and been disappointed in the past, I'm clinging to this movie like a lifeline. Despite its flaws. I didn't know how much I needed it until we were driving home and I was still beaming like a fool. Every time I’ve watched it since then, I love it just a little bit more.
glitter_n_gore: (freddie lounds)
My fellow Millennials. There are dark times ahead. I guess you can tell by now I've been rewatching / rereading Harry Potter. It is alarming how true some of this story is ringing right now. Our collective Auntie Jo is not perfect, but she raised us right. She gave me something to talk about with the other college freshmen who had never been away from home before. She gave me a sense of identity and belonging even if I didn't wind up in the "Heroes" House. (Ravenclaw Represent!) She reminded me that your true friends are the ones who show up when you ask for help, and they will be there all the way to the end.

There's a lot of pressure around to be all things to all people right now. We all have limits. Remember, the kids who joined Dumbledore's Army didn't all show up to the Department of Mysteries. But the ones who did made a difference. No one person has to do everything. But any one person can do something, and they all matter. We all matter.

So be like Neville. Stand up to your friends when they fall short, and stand up in their places when they fail.

Be like Luna. Befriend the one person brave enough to tell the truth, and let them know you believe them.

Be like Hermione. Know all the rules and regulations backwards, so you can call out the authorities when you see them shifting the goal posts on you. And then break them when they become inescapably corrupt.

Be like Seamus. Swallow your pride and own your mistakes, and face the person you wronged to let them know you messed up.

Be like Fred and George. Give people something to laugh about when everything seems dark and hopeless.

Be like Harry. Trust your memory and your eyes, and stick to that truth even when people try to convince you it's wrong.

I have a couple of senators to write to in the morning. I trust my city and state to do the right thing. I don't have it in me to do another march. Not for a while anyway. I hate phones and I don't trust myself not to stammer over my own tongue when I'm upset--not without practice. But dammit, I can write.

Here's what else I'm gonna try to do, and I'm sticking a new tag to it: Weekly Morale Booster. We all need a reminder of what's worth saving in this bizarre Twilight Zone universe we're suddenly living in. I'll do what I can to keep that going.
glitter_n_gore: (underworld)

Behold! My Belated Official First Post of 2017!!



I, uh, watched a lot of movies last year. SO for my first official post of 2017, I’m doing a MASSIVE breakdown of the stuff I actually caught in theaters. Also, as you may have noticed, I have moved to DreamWidth! I’m still working on getting all the photos ported over here, so anything that links to Glitter n Gore is going to the LJ account until I get it fixed. Bear with me; I’ll make it work eventually. Meanwhile--movies! Let’s talk about those.

Cross-posted to [personal profile] rhoda_rants.

Capsule reviews below! )

What were some of YOUR favorite movie experiences from 2016?
glitter_n_gore: (leia)
Fellow geeks, it has been a good year for us. This is the sixteenth movie I made an effort to see in theaters in 2016. (I'm going to list the rest of them in a Year End Review post in a couple weeks; watch this space.) However, this year was rough in just about every single other way. I'm not going to talk politics on this blog. Not because I don't have an opinion or don't think it's important, but because I am still struggling to find the right words. If you know me, you don't need me to explain why living in America right now feels like wading through quicksand. But then, when I saw this recut trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I wept:



After wandering through the 'net chatter elsewhere, I've discovered this wasn't an uncommon reaction. So now, after finally seeing the movie, let's talk about why we all needed Rogue One.

I am one with the Force, and the Force is with me. )
glitter_n_gore: (mia)
Good lord, I let two whole weeks of October go by without posting anything Halloween-y! Shame on me. Let’s fix that.

As some of you know, one of my yearly traditions is the 31 Days of Halloween Movie Marathon. The challenge is to watch 31 horror movies--one for every day of the month--up to Halloween. Ideally, they should be movies one hasn’t seen before, but that gap gets harder to fill every year. Plus, I just want to see some of my old favorites again. This year, however, I am a few days off schedule. Partly because of planning and the number of hours in a given day. But mostly because I made the ill-timed decision to start a new television show. You may have heard of it. It’s called Supernatural.


Via Giphy


I wasn’t expecting much. I figured it would be entertaining in a dumb, snarkable kind of way. But here’s something I recently realized: somewhere between deciding to actually watch this properly, then getting hooked to the point of wanting to continue watching more episodes because it’s a lot smarter and more self-aware than I expected, and getting gut-punched by Season 2 in general, and by Episode 17, “Heart,” in particular (it’s about werewolves)--I have become a FAN of Supernatural. Because you know, I was kind of holding it at arm’s length before, mostly because of all the Problematic Issues people have warned me about. However, I was intrigued because so many of my favorite people seem to love it despite those issues, so I wanted to know what was so special about it.

The most basic of plot summaries: Supernatural is a road-trip across the continental US in a midnight-black 1967 Chevy Impala, stopping at all your favorite horror tropes along the way. It’s got werewolves, vampires, demons, ghosts, zombies, cursed objects, urban legends, abandoned places like asylums and cabins in the woods--it’s very much a horror kitchen sink. Our central protagonists are the brothers Winchester, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), Hunters who seek out supernatural beasties and lay waste to them where they can. Their mother was killed by a yellow-eyed demon when Sam was exactly six months old; one side-effect of this was Sam being gifted with psychic abilities, the full implications of which haven’t been explored yet (at least not where I am in the show now--NO SPOILERS). Papa Winchester raised the boys like a drill sergeant, putting weapons and arcane folklore into their hands from a very young age. So the Winchesters have issues. But they are very good at killing monsters.

Saving People. Killing Things. Family Business. )
glitter_n_gore: (gerard)
Let's.

Blogger’s Note: This is a revision/amalgamation of two previous blog posts I made elseweb, entitled “#GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend” and “The Trouble With Agent 13” respectively. Expanded my thoughts on both after rewatching Civil War, and reading Ed Brubaker’s The Winter Soldier. For *ahem* “research.”

It’s been eight years since the first official MCU movie came out--Iron Man in 2008.

Do you guys realize how long ago that was? Obama was in the process of moving into the White House. Heath Ledger had just died, and the dark, gritty, realistic Christopher Nolan-verse Batman movies were the exception, not the norm. David Tennant was still playing The Doctor. Okay, eight years isn’t really an astronomically long time. BUT the MCU has churned out thirteen two-hour-plus episodes of their staggeringly successful franchise on a regular basis since it started. And we are still waiting for one--Just one!--canonically LGBT character.

HI THERE!

It is Bisexual Awareness Week, and if you didn’t know this, I am not straight. I’m bisexual more or less, although a more apt description is “panromantic demisexual” (words which aren’t recognized even by my spellchecker, but I encourage you to Google them), and I’ll answer to both.

What you probably do know is I watch lots of superhero movies and read fewer but still lots of comic books. That doesn’t really set me apart. And I’d like to see more awesome action movies with characters that reflect my POV/orientation just a little bit. Which . . . also doesn’t set me apart, because I think everyone wants that. Who *wouldn’t* want to be a superhero, at least in a power fantasy kind of way? However, when you’re not a straight, white dude between the ages of 18 and 35, it’s a little trickier to split the difference.

I’m here to talk about Bucky Barnes.

“Read )
glitter_n_gore: (jean gray)
Earlier this year, there was a special theatrical release of the animated adaptation of the classic Alan Moore graphic novel. It’s a short, controversial volume that includes the closest thing we’ve ever gotten to a Joker origin story. It also codified some of the nastier tropes associated with comics--sexualized violence, fridging, all those awful things we’re trying to get away from by bringing in more diverse writers and content creators instead of leaving the industry as a Boys Club. This is the story in which Barbara Gordon, formerly Batgirl in this particular timeline, gets brutalized and paralyzed from the waist down--all in service of the Joker trying to prove a point. And the way the Joker does this is utterly revolting.

So I’m aware that my feminist street cred will likely plummet when I tell you: it is my favorite graphic novel of all time. And this movie is the most perfect version of it we’ll ever see. Let’s talk about why.



There were these two guys in a lunatic asylum. . . )
glitter_n_gore: (freddie lounds)
Happy September, folks!

I haven’t blogged in a little while. That’s mostly on me, being elseweb and not taking the time to review things as quickly as I mean to. It can happen. Also, I had some *ahem* Computer Issues that needed solving. Those of you who have been on the receiving end of my rants, you know what happened. The rest of you: I have a Mac now, and everything is OK again. That is all you need to know.

HOWEVER.

Here’s something that will need addressing one way or another whether you have a decent machine and accompanying software or not: backing up your stuff. Never ever EVER forget to back up your stuff. Rather, don’t go, “Meh, I’ll just do it later,” and then NOT back up your stuff if you get to thinking it’ll just, y’know, be there when you decide you can be bothered to back it up. Don’t do that.

A short list of the stuff I lost in between drop-kicking my old Asus out a window* and acquiring my shiny new Macbook Air:

--> The last chapter of the WiP (“Cave Draconem,” those of you who beta’d for it), about 2000 words and change
--> The first chapter of a new WiP I had just finished typing up from my notebook, more than 2000 words (but the notebook survived)
--> At least a dozen unfinished blog posts
--> Four chapters worth of in-progress fanfiction
--> Screen captures from the following movies: Captain America: The First Avenger, The Witch, Crimson Peak, Twixt, and possibly more that I just haven’t remembered yet
--> ALL of the wallpapers, icons, and other graphix I hadn’t uploaded anywhere yet

*I did not actually do this. The Asus is still in my briefcase wondering what it did wrong. Bless its heart.

My backup system consists of: a handful of flash drives that I really ought to organize better than I do (one’s mainly for work, the blogs I write for the library, but that’s the only “organization” I have on there); projects consisting of multiple parts (inspiration photos, playlists, query letter, synopses & sample chapters in addition to the actual full-length manuscript) which I export as ZIP files and email to myself and/or my beta reader(s); printed versions of whatever manuscript I’m submitting at the time, the most recent version, depending on whether I have the budget for that sort of thing when I start sending it.

It’s an imperfect system, as most of them are. But it’s what I’m used to and it works well enough most of the time.

TL;DR - back up your stuff. As often and in as many ways as possible.
glitter_n_gore: (jean gray)
Just got back! I'll try to avoid spoilers. Short version: Loved it! My face hurts from laughing so hard, and I'm sure I missed quite a bit of dialogue for the same reason, so I'm down for seeing it again. Only next time, I'll spring for 3D. There aren't many movies that make me want to spring for 3D. This is one of them.



Less short version here! )
glitter_n_gore: (mia)
So I'm going to see Ghostbusters this weekend. And honestly? While I was somewhere between "Meh" and "Please don't suck" when I first heard of this reboot, the more I hear about it, the more excited I get. I hope I'm not getting my hopes up too much. There are way too many people out there who made up their minds as to whether an all-female Ghostbusters reboot even warranted existing before a single promotional photo hit the 'net. I'm glad my little blog here isn't widespread enough to garner attention beyond the people whose tastes are somewhat similar to mine anyway. Because that's kinda why I write these things: to share my opinion on the thing, and give you an idea of whether it's worth your time as well.

In order to do that, I'm doing a mini-retrospective on the 1984 movie, and then coming back with a review of the new one on Sunday.


"Aim for the flat-top!"


This is what happens when you cross the streams. )

Cross-posted on [livejournal.com profile] rhoda_rants.
glitter_n_gore: (underworld)
As anyone who's known me for a reasonable period of time knows: If there are vampires in it, I have seen it. If I haven't seen it, I at least know it exists, and it is on my list. So it was only a matter of time before Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy came into my life. I've only read the first two so far, but I love them.


Book Cover via Goodreads


As the title suggests, we're in a boarding school for vampires. Not just any vampires, but an elite group of teens separated into the Moroi (full-blooded vamps with magical powers associated with different elements), and the Dhampir (half-human vamps with supernatural strength who act as bodyguards). There's a third group, called Strigoi, who are evil blood-thirsty monsters who no longer resemble the people they once were--basically your more traditional vampires.

In the first book, the main character, Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutsch) and her best friend Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry) have run away from the school. They're tracked down after about a year, but in the meantime a few changes have taken place: Lissa is no longer the popular Queen Bee type at the school, despite being next in line for the throne. A new Dhampir training specialist, Dimitri, has been assigned to whip Rose into shape and keep an eye on her, in case she gets any ideas about running away again. Also, dead animals have begun to turn up at the school--usually just in time for Lissa to find and mysteriously heal them.

Read more. . . )
glitter_n_gore: (jean gray)
Let's see if I can do this without spoilers.

SHORT VERSION: Good times! Fight scenes! Character development! Lots of characters--like, LOTS! Man, this franchise is getting crowded. Didn't feel as overstuffed as it could have though. Everyone has their role, and that's good. Oh, and for the record, I'm Team Captain America. Seeing the movie didn't change that.



Less short version. . . )

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