Weird, Wrinkled and Wordy

June 19, 2009

For the Love of Vampires

Filed under: Movies,Television,vampires,Vancouver,Writing — Valorie Hoye @ 9:26 am

I have a thing for vampires.

spikeIt started at a young age…I had a poster of “The Count” from Sesame Street on my bedroom wall.  When I learned my numbers, my first vampire love was forgotten.  In my early teens I saw the Frank Langella version of  Dracula and first understood why people found vampires sexy.  But it was reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula in university that truly captivated me.  I started reading the literary classic late one Friday afternoon, and stayed up all night and well into the next morning to finish it.  I was too afraid to put it down and too intrigued to stop reading.

I was a big fan of the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” TV series, both identifying with the strong heroine, and of course, developing a giant crush on Spike, the blond punk vamp who initially tries to be bad but somehow ends up doing good despite himself, before finally resigning himself to fight on the right side.  Most recently, the series “True Blood” and the terrific novels by Charlaine Harris they are based, have captured my interest.

The Vampire tradition is so rich that continues to inspire the most creative people working in film, TV and literature.  It gets re-invented with each generation.

What’s all this rambling a precursor for?  My new venture.

http://www.meetup.com/BeforeDawn

Vancouver Vampire Aficionados now have a group to call their own.

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April 7, 2009

We’re in Control Now

Filed under: Movies,science fiction,Television — Valorie Hoye @ 9:05 am

You can definitely tell it is my generation that is now moving into positions of power in the entertainment industry.

supernaturalJust watched the most recent episode of Supernatural, called “The Monster at the End of This Book.”   Of course, that was the title of one of my favourite books from childhood, a Sesame Street book in which the very loveable and very blue Grover desperately tries to stop the reader from turning the pages because he is so afraid of what waits for him at the end, only to find out it is himself.  The Winchester boys may be a tad younger than myself, but clearly the creative team was reading the same books I did.  It was a clever nod for a show that does “clever” particularly well.   This show is firing on all cylinders and now with BSG gone, it is likely to be my fave as it winds down to a big finish at the end of Season Five.

And of course, one of the true masterpieces of literature from my childhood was Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.  Spike Jonze is making it into a live action movie due out this October, and the trailer is now online, as well as some promotional pictures that tell me the people who made this cherish the source as much as I did.

Can’t wait to see where it goes from here…

July 10, 2008

“True Blood” ought to be delicious

Filed under: science fiction,Television,vampires — Valorie Hoye @ 2:33 pm

I’ve been a fan of the vampire genre since I first cracked open Bram Stoker’s masterpiece, Dracula, in university. Actually, I may have to go back further than that since The Count was my favourite character on Sesame Street. The vampire genre has been with us for a long time and has been tackled from many different angles with many different variations. But no one writes great vampire lit like Charlaine Harris.

I’ll take every chance I get to rave about her Southern Vampire novels and now HBO is making that task so much more fun.

HBO has launched the advertising campaign for True Blood, a television series based on Harris’ work. Anna Paquin will star as Sookie Stackhouse, a beautiful waitress with a unique gift and poor taste in men. Set in a time when Undead Americans have come out of the closet thanks to the development of a synthetic blood substitute, the novels mix adventure, romance and humour into an intoxicating brew. Need another reason to check it out? The show is run by Alan Ball, the man who brought us Six Feet Under.

The viral marketing campaign for new show, which begins September 7th, has taken off, with a variety of websites now running ads for TruBlood, the vampires’ new drink of choice. Gotta love a tag line like “Friends don’t let friends drink friends.”

February 26, 2008

The Perils of Terminator Time Travel

Filed under: Television — Valorie Hoye @ 4:30 pm

Sarah Connor ChroniclesOne of the ideas I liked best about the first Terminator movie is that Sarah Connor was up against the inevitable, yet she fought anyway. We feared the seemingly unstoppable machine would find her and kill her, and even if she didn’t die, her world would be destroyed in a nuclear conflagration and her son would lead humanity in a brutal and likely futile struggle to overthrow the machines. That’s nihilism. But that doesn’t work for TV.

So, in the new series, the writers threw out the past. They brought allies for Sarah and John back in time to stand with them. They jumped the principals ahead seven years to cover the unfortunate cancer death of Sarah prior to T3. They gave the heroes better odds.

And unfortunately, by ridding themselves of the sense of impending doom that permeated the first two movies (must admit to never seeing the third) they’ve left themselves with a TV show that just doesn’t feel right. There is plenty of action, but even when the butt-kicking isn’t being dished out by the unnaturally cool Cameron (Summer Glau), it seems lifeless. If Sarah Connor now has time to cook pancakes and insist on eating meals at the table, I’m just not as interested. No matter what “Terminator of the Week” shows up, they’ll deal with it. And John will still have time to do his homework before bed.

July 5, 2007

A Worthwhile Who

Filed under: Dr. Who,science fiction,Television — Valorie Hoye @ 1:46 pm

I’m a Doctor Who fan from way back. I was in high school in the 80s when the nearest PBS station south of the border started airing Tom Baker episodes. I loved the character. My mom didn’t like to knit and I was hopeless at it, so those were the only reasons I didn’t end up with my very own overly long multi-coloured scarf to match the ones worn by all my drama club friends.

But until this past weekend, I hadn’t bothered with the new incarnation of Doctor Who, even though the show is a prominent feature of CBC’s prime time schedule. I have caught a few minutes here or there, but never got a good feel for the show. Then a few months ago I happened on the scene from the last part of the last episode of Season Two, when Rose got stuck in a parallel universe and the Doctor (David Tennant) struggled to say goodbye to another companion. That one got me.

This past weekend I saw “The Runaway Bride,” last year’s Christmas Special episode, starring comedienne Catherine Tate as a bride who dematerializes during her walk down the aisle towards her intended groom, only to materialize onboard the TARDIS. I loved the episode. I thought she made a wonderful foil for the Doctor, and I found Tennant equally convincing as both the jovial and goofy Gallifreyan and the grave and dangerous Time Lord, both sides of which are integral to the character. Not surprisingly, Tennant has an impressive theatrical resume, having spent time in the famed RSC. Seems that’s almost a requirement to convincingly do sci-fi on TV, as many of my favourite Star Trek actors have proven.

As die-hard fans already know, yesterday the BBC announced Catherine Tate will reprise her role as Donna and join the series full-time as the Doctor’s newest companion for Season Four.

So I guess I will be programming a new show into my DVDR pretty soon.

On another note: Sorry for the infrequent updates these last few months, both here and at The 13th Colony. I’m off on a well-deserved vacation for a week but shall get back to serious blogging when I return.

Donna and the Doctor

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