Images from C2E2 2016

Here are just a few images taken during my time at C2E2. I attended for all three days so my feet felt sufficiently murdered by the end of it all. That being said, C2E2, like last year, was a lot of fun.

This year, I cosplayed as Agent Carter (pretty please get renewed!) and ran into a few other Peggys including one Mr. Carter (as you’ll see below).

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My top five things in Pop Culture that don’t exist (but should!)

So it’s the end of the year and the internet is just brimming with various “Best Of” lists. While there were many things that intrigued, entertained, amused and most certainly enraged me over the past year, I couldn’t help but think of a few things in pop-culture that I would love to see manifest itself into existence.

1. Only Lovers Left Alive: A Graphic Novel

Only Lovers Left Alive

Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton in Only Lovers Left Alive

Jim Jarmusch’s film Only Lovers Left Alive, focuses on two vampiric lovers named Adam and Eve who, when the film starts, are living on opposite ends of the earth before reuniting in Detroit. While many would argue that the vampire genre has been just a bit over-saturated the last few years, Only Lovers Left Alive is a story that manages to genuinely carry some hefty emotional weight alongside some witty sardonic humor. The story itself isn’t about teenage lust. It’s about two old souls trying to thrive in an ever changing world. Adam (Tom Hiddleston) is a cynical musician who has grown weary with humanity while his lover Eve (Tilda Swinton) can’t help but find joy in almost everything the world has to offer.

In response, an abundance of fans have taken to creating a wide variety of fan-fiction centered around the immortal lives of the two. Granted, many of these stories may just be an excuse to fantasize about Tom Hiddleston, but generally speaking, one of the more positive aspects about the vampire genre is that so much more story can be told due to the extensive lifespan of the characters. Having extended multiple stories on people who have lived extraordinarily long lives doesn’t seem far fetched when your main characters can live forever with a variety of historical backgrounds.

If these types of things were decided by me, of course Jarmusch would write the story and another original soundtrack featuring SQURL and Yosef Van Wissem would be recorded to accompany it (but I guess I’m just being greedy). As far as artwork is concerned, I can clearly see the beautiful work of Phil Noto (Marvel Now’s Black Widow) lending itself quite elegantly in telling stories of the lives of Adam and Eve.


2. Any type of film starring Fran Kranz, Gabriel Mann and Tom Lenk as brothers

Fran Kranz, Tom Lenk and Gabriel Mann are three highly entertaining, charismatic and under-appreciated actors who also happen to REALLY look like they are related to one another.

Fran Kranz, Gabriel Mann and Tom Lenk

Fran Kranz, Gabriel Mann and Tom Lenk

Fran Kranz might be most known for his roles on Joss Whedon’s now cancelled Dollhouse as well as the horror hit Cabin in the Woods. Tom Lenk, another Whedon alum, was featured heavily in Season 6 and 7 of Buffy the Vampire as part of an evil geek trio as well as a small role in Cabin in the Woods (though he and Kranz never shared a scene). Gabriel Mann is most likely known for his turn as the extravagant and eccentric tech mogul Nolan Ross on ABC’s Revenge. Of course each actor has a slew of other work you might recognize them from but the point is that as far as my mind goes, they need to co-exist, in lead roles, as siblings.

Plot you ask? Well I’m open. How about a 70’s period piece about three brothers attending Woodstock? Or maybe a roadtrip across America? 1920’s Chicago prohibition comedy? I’m up for almost anything really, as long as the comedic charm of each of these gentlemen is represented.

3. Fray The Vampire Slayer: A Netflix Original Series

Joss Whedon's Fray

Joss Whedon’s Fray

So Joss Whedon is done with Avengers: Age of Ultron and it sounds like he will not be the one in the directors chair for the Infinity Wars. So what should he do now? Fray the vampire slayer, that’s what!

Fray, Whedon’s 2001 graphic novel, focused on Melaka Fray, a young vampire slayer activated in the 23rd century. Fray fights her way through various demons and alien-like creatures through a futuristic city landscape making for an action packed story certainly not void of the Whedon brand of humor his fans have come to know and expect.

Why Netflix? Well, Whedon hasn’t exactly had a lot of success with traditional network television. From Buffy to Firefly to Dollhouse, Whedon and Fox haven’t always seen eye to eye and Netflix has certainly shown itself as a fierce competitor with its cutting edge programming like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Hemlock Grove. A sci-fi action horror show would fit right in and Netflix seems like the type of network that would likely give Whedon the space to direct his vision as he sees it.

4. Tilda Swinton as Doctor Who with Caleb Landry Jones as her companion

TildaSwinton & Caleb Landry Jones

Tilda Swinton & Caleb Landry Jones

Okay, okay…I know this is a touchy subject for some who feel that The Doctor has and always should exist in the male form. I can very much understand the discomfort one feels when something they immensely enjoy gets a big stinky re-design. However, in this particular case, I personally would love to see this change happen. It doesn’t even have to be for an entire season. Perhaps a 3 episode arc? TV movie? Christmas Special? I’ll take this idea in any form.

Why? I just really love Tilda Swinton. I think she should be in everything. Caleb Landry Jones? Not many people have heard of him but I also think he should be in everything. If you want to get familiar with Mr. Jones, check out the sci-fi flick Antiviral as well as the vampire horror drama Byzantium. Just a thought for you to ponder BBC (because I’m sure networks LOVE having fans tell them what to do).

5. A film written, starring and directed by both Jenny Slate & Lake Bell (in some combination)

Jenny Slate & Lake Bell

Jenny Slate & Lake Bell

After seeing Jenny Slate’s Obvious Child as well as Lake Bell’s In A World, life would be a much better place if these two immensely talented and witty ladies shared the big screen together. I almost don’t care what the film is about but I’m thinking with Bell in the director’s chair and both ladies writing the script, it’s sure to be a film that’s both funny, charming and genuine.

So please, someone fund this project or at least lock these two in a room together with a couple bottles of scotch and let’s see what happens.

Some honorable mentions:

  • Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a hero
  • Erin Morganstern’s The Night Circus gets green-lit for a film adaptation
  • Gail Carriger’s The Parasol Protectorate gets a television series or movie starring Lizzy Caplan as Alexia Tarrabotti
  • 50% more films pass the Bechdel Test (this shouldn’t be that hard…really)

Anything you’d like to see happen in the world of pop culture in 2015? Post it in the comments!

Book Review: Fever – The Chemical Garden Trilogy

WARNING: Contains SPOILERS of Wither: Part one of the Chemical Garden Trilogy

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Last summer I was on a kick of Young Adult dystopian fiction and it looks like this summer is shaping up no different. It was during that time I read all the Hunger Games books, followed by Lauren Oliver’s Delirium and of course the story that brings me to this review Lauren DeStefano‘s first book from The Chemical Garden Trilogy, Wither.

Some people choose to scoff at the work of Young Adult literature claiming that it’s lacks the substance of adult novels. I choose to disagree. The problem with the adult mentality is that for many, it becomes more and more difficult to suspend ones disbelief as we get older. We get so caught up in the technical details of a plot in becomes almost impossible to fully immerse and enjoy the experience we are being given. Nay to this I say!

The Chemical Garden Trilogy, takes place in a world where those meddlesome adults have altered with humanity’s DNA so much that females now have the lifespan of 20 while men get to live to a whopping 25.  As the adult world continues to attempt to reverse their fatal mistake an emotional divide exists between those who think science should continue and those who think that science has done more than enough damage suggesting that we should just accept our fate. Our heroine Rhine and her twin brother Rowen are left to fend for themselves after their parent’s deaths. Unfortunately for Rhine, young girls are often kidnapping victims who are forced to live out the remainder of their short lives in prostitution or as the wives of rich men often in the hopes their children will bring about some new cure.

When we last left Rhine in Wither she had escaped the mansion she was forced to live in and her new-found husband, Linden, whom she was forced to marry. Though she formed bonds with her two sister wives, the house staff and even the unaware and endearing Linden, her goal remained to return to her home and her brother. She also feared the seemingly dark intentions of Linden’s father, Housemaster Vaughn.

Where Wither immersed us in one of the best case scenerio’s of what happens to these young kidnapping victims Fever introduces us to some less pleasent scenarios. Rhine is soon exposed to the world of prostitution along with a colorful mix of characters who must learn to live to make do with what remains of their short lives. This scenario may be the element that may have some parents and libraries questioning if this should really be in the young adult section. However, DeStefano is quite skilled at giving the reader just enough detail without it being gratuitous to the point of unnecessary. Fever is truly a captivating read and while the situations explored in it are grim, Rhine herself is a heroine we cannot stop rooting for. Through her downfalls and triumphs we hang on to the hope that she will reach her desired outcome and hope on top of that hope that maybe she will not fall victim to the death sentence that lies in her genetics.

The Chemical Garden Trilogy is surely a standout amongst the sea of female-centric young adult novels. DeStefano creates a rich backdrop only made more enriching by it’s complex and diverse characters. With Fever she slowly unfolds the world that surrounds Rhine making the reader wonder what new elements of this bleak future Rhine, along with all who exist during this unfortunate time, will have to endure. This series gives plenty of substance and layers for those who are quick to dismiss the young adult literary world as oversimplified.

The ending leaves an intriguing door open to where the final part of this trilogy, titled Sever, will take us and I look forward to the ever expanding world of the Chemical Garden that DeStefano has planted.

4 out of 5 ducks for Fever

Till next time folks,

KK

Highlights of 2011: A list of things that entertained, frightened or inspired me

So it’s that time of year when a plethora of lists are thrust upon us. Movies, Books, Music and Television of 2011 are organized and scrutinized and placed in various Best and Worst of the year lists. Well,  since this is the first New Years that this blog has been active I decided I wanted in on the list making fun.  However, I wanted my list to be more of a cornucopia of this years offerings not limiting myself to one topic.  So I present to you a few items in pop culture that grabbed and held my attention this year.

Number 1:

American Horror Story – Ah Ryan Murphy , you and your ridiculously handsome co-writer Brad Falchuk have entertained, moved,  and intrigued me with your previous work.  Nip/Tuck was a show that I madly fell in love with at the beginning but as it lost it’s characters’ focus it ended up being like one of those relationships where when it ends it feels like it should because going on any longer would just lead to confusion, frustration and possibly rage. Your other offering, Glee, started off as the show I was so sure that I would hate but unexpectedly fell in love with it’s quick wit, charismatic cast and beautiful performances.  Unfortunately,  the show went from being being a must see to one of those things that you feel you should stick through because  you were so madly in love in the beginning and it would be great to have that feeling back.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a good show,  it just feels like it’s lost it’s way a bit.

However, Murphy and Falchuk have brought a new disturbing and terrifying love to my life with American Horror Story. This show follows the Harmon Family (played by Dylan McDermitt, Connie Britton and daughter Violet played brilliantly by Tarissa Varmiga) as they attempt to move on emotionally and physically from Mr. Harmon’s recent infidelity as well as  Mrs. Harmon’s miscarriage.  However, rebuilding love and trust is not easy to do when you decide to move into a haunted house occupied by some very intensely complicated and corporeal ghosts that don’t let a little thing like death stand in their way.  There is some amazing acting going on in this show, most notably Jessica Lange in her first regular tv role in which she plays  the creepiest character on the show, living or dead, the Harmons’ neighbor Constance.  This show has one of the most eclectic cast of characters around including a man in a rubber suit, a frankenstein-like child, Elizabeth Short a.k.a. The Black Dahlia, a house maid whose appearance changes from seductress to eerie depending on whose looking and a plethora of other victims including  many of the houses’ previous owners.

American Horror Story

I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll stop here though I must say brace yourself for the opening  scene of the episode “Piggy, Piggy”.  I had to take a small break as it was one of the most intensely terrifying realistic scenes I have ever seen on television and left me with some very disturbing thoughts. Still, I came back and look forward to every new episode.  I realize there is a good chance this show might lose it’s way as Murphy and Falchuk’s other shows have in the past but for now I am in television love.

(Updated 12/22/2011) Looks like creator Ryan Murphy has announced that Season 2 will feature a new location and new story and that the Harmon’s story is complete. However, there is a chance that the actors may return playing new characters. Personally, while I am sad to see the Harmons’ go, I think this is a great way for the show to continue without getting stale. I always thought that Heroes would have worked as a one season show and perhaps many others would have benefited from a similar structure as this. Regardless, I’m intrigued by the new direction and look forward to the possibilities for Season 2.  I, for one, would personally enjoy a hotel setting which would allow for a wide variety of stories and guest stars as various hotel  guests and ghosts. I also think that perhaps if the show stands the test of time things will loop back-around in a such a way as to possibly explain or hint at why these ghosts can exist in they way that they do.  However, Ryan Murphy is quite good at surprises so who knows. Read more here: http://collider.com/american-horror-story-season-2-preview-news/133741/

Number 2

Lady Gaga’s Marry The Night Video – Everyone did not love the Born This Way  album. In fact a lot of people hated it. Many fans claimed they felt betrayed and confused by Mother Monster. Non-Gaga fans went on their usual rants about how she never had any talent and how “clearly” she is really a man. The internet in all it’s glory was a buzz with negativity claiming that the only reason her album sold as many copies as it did was because she priced it at .99 cents on Amazon which from what I understand was done by Amazon’s will and not that of Gaga. Though I do not passionately love every track on this record it gave me a new found respect for her and what she is trying to do. I don’t want to make it sound like people did not love this work. Many did, but for some reason the internet can often come off as a pretty negative place when it comes to the public’s opinions. Just read You Tube comments for 30 minutes  (on non cute kitten videos) and you’ll feel it too if you don’t already.

As a pop singer there is almost a formula for success that she has chosen not to follow. Writing songs and filming videos that do not easily fit into a mold of what a successful pop star should be.  For almost every new effort there was someone claiming she stole it from someone else. Since I am not privy to her creative process I can’t say for certain at how she arrives at her results only that I, for the most part, enjoy them. Her most recent work is the video for Marry The Night, a 13 minute epic biographical  super stylized retelling of one of the “darkest periods of her life”.  The title song doesn’t make an appearance until more than half way through this video in which Gaga gives us a emotional yet altered retelling of a hospital stay followed by an dramatic cheerio bathing breakdown as she is let go from her first record label Def Jam. This is all intermingled with Gaga dancing solo ballerina style followed by her returning to achieve her goals at a dance studio despite being told she should quit.  The most beautiful shots here happen when Gaga hangs out of, inside and all over a classic muscle car while flames explode around her as she begins to belt out her never-give-up anthem. In the end, the video is about not giving up and working for what you want.

Marry The Night

The hard work aspect is something I can stand behind as it feels like more and more our culture is obsessed with achieving fame with the smallest amount of effort possible. Marry The Night shows that great levels of success can come but that expecting it to be handed to you should not be the goal. Fame and glory may not happen for everyone but for those who have earned it through hard work, dedication and a little suffering, it can mean so much more.

Number 3

Young Adult – When I saw this movie I had no idea I was seeing it as my attending was due to an evite from The Music Box Theater in Chicago.  It stated that there would be a screening of film opening around Christmas, that said film was Rated R and that talent from the film would be in attendance. Since this offering was free it seemed like a good enough way to spend a Saturday evening with the hubby.  So we waited in a fairly long line with people who also had no theory as to what we were seeing though the hubby had really hoped for “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”.

So the presentation began with the introduction of actor/comedian Patton Oswalt, writer Diablo Cody and Director Jason Reitman who jokingly said we were seeing Happy Feet 2. They made a few more comments without actually stating the title and began to play the film in which we see a lazy sweatpants wearing Charlize Theron in bed slowly awakening accompanied by her puffy white purse dog. She proceeds to find herself in a very depressed and angered state once she receives a photo announcement that her high school boyfriend, Buddy, and his wife have now given birth to a baby girl.  She then unleashes a rant to a friend about about how suburban life seems like a living nightmare and then quickly decides that she can, will and must rekindle her relationship with Buddy despite his having a family which she refers to as “baggage”.

Young Adult

This movie isn’t typically the kind of movie plot that entices me enough to go to the theater so I was happy to have the opportunity to see it this way. Theron gives a sharp, spot on performance  as Mavis Gary, while Patton Oswalt who plays Mike, the guy she barely knew existed in high school, is both sincerely moving and hysterically funny. I liked this film because even though Theron’s character Mavis is pretty unlikable I can understand some of her feelings. That sensation of everyone around you having kids and moving to the suburbs while her (and I) have chosen a childless city life. That uncomfortable feeling that creeps up in certain social situations because you have nothing to add to the baby rearing conversations that can often leave a grown woman feeling like a teenager in a room full of adults. Though unlike her I don’t consider suburbia hell and children baggage, it’s just not the lifestyle for me. One aspect I love about this movie is that the ending feels more realistic than most walk off into the sunset movies (though there’s a place in my heart for those too). It’s not sad and not necessarily happy. It’s just more realistic.

Number 4

The Hunger Games Trailer  –For two minutes and thirty-seven seconds I was completely and utterly captivated by the first REAL trailer of Suzanne Collins’ teenage dystopian tale The Hunger Games. For those who are generally put off by the young adult genre fearing for swooning sparkling vampires (which I gluttonly gobble up, sue me) rest assured there are none in sight. The Hunger Games centers around the young Katniss Everdeen (and everyone bitches about the name Renesme) who lives in a world where North America has been divided up into 12 districts known as Panam which is controlled by the drippingly evil President Snow. The seat of the totalitarian government known as The Capital is one of the few areas that is visibly prosperous made obvious by their overly opulent and dramatic sense of fashion, lifestyle and little concern for anyone who is not them. The other Districts are divided by their main operations such as Mining, Masonry, Electronics, etc where people struggle to get by and rarely, if ever, get more than the minimal requirements for daily survival. However, there is one way to prosper not only for yourself but your family as well. All you gotta do is fight to the death in the elaborately lethal Capital designed arena and kill 23 other teenage boys and girl including someone from your own District and you and your family will be living swanky. Don’t like that idea? Too bad. Every year for the past 74 years one boy and one girl from the ages of 13 – 18 are chosen via lottery. There really is no way to politely decline taking part if your name is selected unless you are fortunate enough to have someone step in for you, which is how our heroine Katniss earns her place in the 74th annual Hunger Games.

The initial plot may remind some of you of the Japanese film Battle Royale which also featured teenage school children in a vicious and bloody battle to the death. That pretty much, in my opinion, is where the similarities begin and end. The universe, the characters, the science fiction and all of the little details that make up The Hunger Games create a story that is all it’s own.  This trailer gives fans of the books as well as potential ones, just enough of a taste without becoming an overdose which many trailers as of late have fallen victim too (I’m looking at you Dream House. ) We get an idea of the simple small town life Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) lives in along with her relationships with those around her as she reassuringly tells her younger sister Prim that she should not worry as since it’s her first year being entered she will not likely be picked. The shakiness in her voice tells us that she may be trying just as hard to convince herself. As bad luck would have it Prim’s name is pulled out of the jar by the excessively chipper Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks). In seconds Katniss rushes forward shouting, “I volunteer! I volunteer as Tribute!” with such intensity and sincerity I now have a better understanding as to why Lawrence was chosen for this role. We are shown glimpses of Katniss and her District mate Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) arriving at the Capital being primped for public display as well as being physically trained for battle. The final moments of the trailer end with an ominous voice counting down as the Tributes are finally released into the deadly arena.

The Hunger Games

When I first heard of the casting of this film I was not sold on Larwrence landing the lead role. I had no prior experiences of her past work. The only image I had of her in my mind was of her buxomy bombshell red carpet appearance at the 2011 Academy Awards. However,  Hollywood as taught me that many kinds of transformations are possible and after seeing this trailer I cannot wait to see how Lawrence portrays Katniss further down the road. With three books and possibly four movies (the 3rd probably being divided into two) Lawrence and the rest of the cast including Stanly Tucci, Woody Harrelson and Donald Sutherland will have plenty of material to work with. Here’s hoping my 2012 highlights list includes the full length movie. I think the odds are likely in their favor.

Number 5

Wither: The Chemical Garden Trilogy

So my final entry is another young adult dystopian fiction story however at this point in time I’m not aware of any film version in development. Wither is another vampire free series that takes place in a world where due to years and years of genetic research and manipulation the human life span has now been reduced to a mere 25 years for males and 2o for females. As geneticists continue to try and undo the damage, the world  has drastically changed since young women are often sold into prostitution, used for medical research or as in the case of our heroine Rhine Ellery, forced to become a bride. Torn away from the only family she has left, her twin brother, she is thrust into a world of luxury as one of three brides for the wealthy Lindon.  Rhine soon realizes that Lindon may not be the one worth fearing and in his own way, may be a victim himself.

I found this book interesting because during those teenage years it’s often difficult to have the foresight to see into the future of ones own life. One summer to a teenager can have the emotional weight of a  lifetime.  However, to live a young life knowing that there is no future other than a handful of years that are likely to be filled with fear, forced sex and possibly forced pregnancy is a mind altering concept.  Author Lauren DeStefano writes a rich world where some of the bad guys aren’t all bad while others may be worse than you think. While scientifically the outcome may seem a bit far fetched,  I did enjoy the the various ways the characters chose to rebel, deal or ignore the hand dealt to them due to the sins of the previous generation. I also enjoyed that multiple political views are addressed as many believe that since man’s meddling with science  created the dystopian world it would be wise to let nature take it’s course, even if that means the human population dying out.

Wither: The Chemical Garden Trilogy

The second part of this trilogy titled Fever, is due for release on February 21, 2012.  I only hope that if a film version does come into fruition that those involved acknowledge the grittier aspects of this story. Whether or not you are looking for a moral message (which many assume all young adult novels must have)  or just an interesting science fiction story Wither rarely feels too heavy handed in it’s approach.

Well, that’s it folks.  That’s my short list.  There are many other things that interested me this past year but I thought I would just share a handful with you. This will likely be my last post till for 2011 so let me take this moment to wish you and yours a very pleasant New Year.

Also, feel free to mention some of your faves from 2011 in the comments!

Till next year folks,

KK

I Heart Book Trailers

I was going to title this entry “Book Trailers are the new Movie Trailers” but then I remembered that every-time someone labels “something is the new something” I kind of want to punch nearby objects. It’s such an irritating phrase.

Moving on.

So as I mentioned in my last post I have recently moved into a new apartment. With this new apartment comes a brand spankin’ new extended train ride to work. While a longer commute may not be exciting to most, I am happy to find that I now have more time to read. I’m one of those people that when I am home I like to multitask. When it comes to books I find myself getting a bit twitchy since that is really the only thing I can do at that moment.  You ever try reading a book and scrubbing the bathtub? Seriously. If you did I want to know.

So reading on my way to and from work is kind of perfect for me. I figure I am doing two things at once. I’m getting myself to my place of employment while at the same time am enjoying the books that have been sitting on my shelf for months.

Now that I’ve made some headway into the books that I currently own I’ve been spending a bit of time searching for some new ones. Amazon’s recommendations have been somewhat helpful but I find myself irritated with reading most of the user reviews that spoil way too much or just ramble on about the long shipping times. What I did start to notice were the videos that were embedded on more and more of Amazon’s pages.  After coming across a few, I found myself searching for books just to watch more trailers. Even if the book didn’t sound all that interesting. I was curious how the music was going to be put together with the visuals. Were they going to use actors or just text and imagery?  I’m definitely one of those people that can spend a good hour or so on Apple Trailers. After spending a good amount of time watching movie trailers you can’t help but feel you’ve jumped in and out of every human emotion there is in an extremely efficient manner.

So I thought I’d take some time and share some trailers of books I’ve read and books I hope to read soon. Some of these book trailers are absolutely amazing independent little gems while others…not so much. However, there’s something really cool about these, even the obviously horrendous low budget ones.

So let us begin…
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies:Dawn of the Dreadfuls
This one was featured in last weeks Entertainment Weekly. It’s also pretty damn awesome. I believe this book (which is a Prequel) is set to become a film itself but still there is something different about watching these trailers as they feel more like a labor of love and people having a bit more fun then those who have to deal with the pressure of selling a multi-million dollar Hollywood blockbuster movie with A-list actors. This book trailer does have one of the higher budgets though. For me, the best line here is “They might be dead, god dammit, but their still Englishmen”. Haven’t read it yet though it currently sits on my shelf.

Up next:
The Hunger Games
It is probably common knowledge to many that this is well on it’s way to becoming a Major Motion Picture starring Jennifer Lawrence and a slew of other really random actors. However, this book trailer avoids the cinematic scope that say “Dawn of the Dreadfuls” went for. Using mostly text, music and a several quotes from readers I still find it pretty effective. I’ve read the whole trilogy and really did enjoy it. The author was pretty stellar at making each chapter feel like an episode of a television series with each ending on a cliffhanger.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Abraham Lincoln fights the undead. It’s awesome. At least the trailer is. I haven’t read the book yet and am almost afraid it won’t feel as fun as this trailer which I suppose could be the potential downside of this whole book trailer business. Considering this wasn’t a big budget production (though probably one of the larger ones among book trailers) the action, acting,costumes and effects are really not bad at all.

Matched
This is another Young Adult dystopian novel that centers around a teenager who questions the system she lives in. However, as opposed to the obvious miserable world of The Hunger Games, this world is seemingly perfect. I’ve read this book and enjoyed it but it’s not gonna wow everyone. Unfortunately I wasn’t too impressed with this trailer. While the Hunger Games trailer uses simplicity more effectively, this one kind of falls flat. The voice over comes off as dull and images used to represent the main characters doesn’t quite satisfy. However, much like casting for the film version of any book fans will spend a lot of time disputing on the chosen actor of their much beloved characters. These trailers are kind of the same deal however they won’t result in a 2 hour movie.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Creatures
Another one in the string of rewritten classic literature by Quirk Classics is the updated version of Jane Austin’s Sense and Sensibility including ,of course, Sea Creatures. Now as funny as this trailer was I’m not sold on this as much as the zombie Jane Austin book but that’s mostly because zombie’s really do make things more interesting. Sea Creatures…well…that remains to be seen. The acting and costumes were pretty well done and while the CG of the creature wasn’t that spectacular it still had a quality that made the whole moment pretty enjoyable.

Wither: Part 1 of The Chemical Garden Trilogy
Yes, another teenage dystopian novel. After the Hunger Games I went on a sort of binge with these. This one centers around a young girl who lives in a world where men live to age 25 and women live to 20 due to humanity’s attempt at perfecting genetics. I really enjoyed the feel of this book. My only comment is must all these girls have such awkward names? I realize this is the future and that name preferences will change but our lead character here is named Rhine. In the Hunger Games we have Katniss and in Matched we have Cassia. Oh well. Not really a complaint but I couldn’t help but give a few eye rolls. The best part of this trailer is the music over the text. It’s got that elegant creepy quality to it which makes up for the somewhat dull voice-over.

Finally…
The Meowmorphosis
Quirk Classics has really got a leg up in the trailer department. I’m really curious if the books themselves live up to the hype. As far as trailers go this one get’s a thumbs up. It’s humorously scary and cute. Well, more so for cat people. If you hate cats then you will probably take a pass on the whole idea. The music mixed with the font embedded on various surfaces is definitely a good dramatic combo. The special effect at the end is obvious but still doesn’t really detract.

There are many more out there that have nothing to do with teenage dystopias or monsters but I  thought I’d focus on things I’ve read or are on my soon to read list.

If there are any that you’d like to share please feel free to post links in the comment section.

You can find a much wider variety of book trailers at the Book Trailers website.

Till next time folks…

Amber Benson Signing at Challenger’s Comics in Chicago

Hello All,

Since this blog doesn’t seem to have one particular direction I thought it would be fun to post a few pics I took this past weekend at Challengers Comics of the Amber Benson book signing. If you don’t know who Amber Benson is first slap yourself. Good. Now that that’s taken care of, I can continue to tell you that Amber is most widely known for her role as Tara Maclay on television’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer. She is also the co-author of several Buffy The Vampire Slayer comics and has recently released the third book in the Calliope Reapers Jones series.

Miss Benson seemed very upbeat and personable as fans lined up to have various Buffy related and unBuffy related items to be signed. She was pleasant and easy to talk to has she obliged to take photos with fans side by side and did not, like some, choose to separate herself behind a table. She was even sweet as pie when a fan leaned over to kiss her hand which shows she is not easily frightened.

So without further ado…

Amber Benson and Kimberly Koppen at Challenger's Comics in Chicago

Amber Benson and Kimberly Koppen at Challenger’s Comics in Chicago

Amber Benson and Kimberly Koppen

Amber Benson and Kimberly Koppen at Challenger’s Comics in Chicago

Review: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

Stephanie Meyer’s companion piece to the third installment of the Twilight Saga:Eclipse probably creates one of three reactions.

1.) OMG! I can’t wait to read this!

2.)Meyer is just trying to make money wherever she can.

3.) What is this?

( I suppose there could be the 4th Twilight is lame!!! reaction but let’s be nice on the internet, as unheard of as that is.)

I personally have enjoyed the Twilight series. This is something I am often mocked and ridiculed for. Friends shake their head at me in confusion and often crack jokes. I also am neither a teenage girl nor am I mother of one. It’s simply a fun story that allows me to leave my own head-space and enjoy some happy  fantastical bliss filled with attractively described characters that for the most part get a happy ending.

Unless you’re Bree Tanner.

If you sought out this review, you are probably very familiar with the Twilight Saga. If you’ve read all the books then you already know how this one ends. Being a fan of road trips I often cheesily say, it isn’t the destination but the journey. This book is kind of like that since we already know the destination. A journey. A fairly short journey yes, but certainly one worth taking if you enjoy immersing yourself in Meyer’s sparkling vampire world.

It is no secret that our main character, Bree, does not get a happy ending. However, through her eyes we see the other side of those involved in the climatic battle at the end of Eclipse. We see not only her story but a the story of the newborn army that threatens Bella Swan and the Cullens.

Without giving too much away we learn that things are not black and white. It simply isn’t good vs. evil. There is heart and complexities in these newborns. From the sweet playful nature of Diego (Bree’s first real vampire friend), to the odd personalty (and power) of Freaky Fred to our title character Bree we cannot simply look at the characters like we did the  “bad vamps” from the first book  (or movie).

However, fans looking for the lust and longing of Bella and Edward may walk away unsatisfied. While they are involved in the climax of the story to a small degree they are not what this story is about. This story helps to give reader of the saga perspective and insight and my only wish is that Meyer would expand her vampire world with more tales. Until that day The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner will have to satiate the thirst of the Twi-hards.

Unless, Midnight Sun anyone?

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner can be read for a limited time at www.breetanner.com. $1 is donated to the Red Cross for every physical copy sold.