Tag Archives: Vampires

Being Human on Two Continents

8 Feb

I find that my appreciation of TV shows depends a lot on how they’re marketed to me. If I expect something from a TV show, it takes a bit of effort in order to get past that expectation and appreciate it for what it is.

That being said, I think it’s important that people know what they’re getting into when they start a new TV show, so here’s your prep:

Being Human is not a comedy.


The BBC/British version was sometimes described as a comedy, at least according to Wikipedia and some of the TV ads I’ve seen.  (I think it probably started when some ad exec heard the premise: “A werewolf, ghost and vampire in a flat together? That sounds like the start of a joke. Must be a comedy!”)

It’s really not though. It’s a supernatural drama with the occasional humorous moment. As the seasons go on, the show’s been focussing more and more on the dramatic aspect of interaction between George (werewolf), Mitchell (vampire) and Annie (ghost) and their various acquaintances…so much drama that there’s hardly any comedy anymore.

It is well written, and, if you like watching supernatural dramas, it’s interesting without being a soap opera, which I definitely appreciate. It’s a drama with just enough traces of comedy to make watching it enjoyable.

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The SyFy/American version, on the other hand, makes no claim to be a comedy. It’s pure drama through and through. Somehow, (at least so far) it’s managed to stay away from the soap opera tendency of other supernatural shows, like Vampire Diaries or True Blood or The Gates, but it’s not nearly as witty as its counterpart..

The people are prettier in the US version, because apparently Hollywood’s influence in inescapable. In the UK version, while the main characters are nice to look at, everyone else is remarkable only in how normal and sometimes fugly they look.

Character names have changed, even though most of the plot points have stayed the same. Mitchell’s Aidan, Annie is Sally and George is Josh. It shouldn’t matter, but the name changes mess up my connective brain just enough that it’s like I’m watching a whole new show…but that’s probably just me.

The only change I don’t like is that Sally’s outfit isn’t nearly as cool as Annie’s was. (Yeah, I’m going to talk about clothes now. I’m a girl. Deal with it.) Annie was wearing layers, and she managed to vary the way she wore them so that it seemed like she was changing her clothes. But she wasn’t! It’s brilliant. I think it took me seven episodes to notice that although her outfit had changed every week, it really was just the same five pieces worn in different ways. Sally’s only got three layers, and no way to change her look, which makes me sad; I think the creativity of Annie’s outfit is one of the best parts of the Brit show.

2011: A Year of Geek Movies

8 Jan

There are a ridiculous amount of geeky movies coming out this year.

With superheroes, fairy tales, robots, gods, aliens, vampires, gnomes, zombies, genetically engineered apes, smurfs, pirates, spies, witches, wizards, pandas…the movie selection this year is a smörgåsbord of geek topics.

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Season of the Witch: Jan 7th

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The Green Hornet: Jan 14th

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Gnomeo and Juliet: Feb 11

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I am Number Four: Feb 18th

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All Star Superman: Feb 22nd

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The Adjustment Bureau: March 4th

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Mars Needs Moms: March 11th

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Battle: Los Angeles: March 11th

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Beastly: March 18th

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Paul: March 18th

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Dylan Dog: Dead of Night: March (tentatively)

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Sucker Punch: March 25

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Super: April 1st

Starring Rainn Wilson as The Crimson Bolt, a powerless superhero who wields a wrench, it looks like it’s going to be Kick Ass level of good.

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Source Code: April 1st

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Your Highness: April 8th

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Thor: May 6th

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Priest: May 13th

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: May 20th

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Kung Fu Panda 2: May 27th

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X-Men First Class: June 3rd

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Green Lantern: Emerald Knights: June 7th

Straight to DVD animated movie about Kyle Rayner and a time-travelling Hal Jordan as they team up with the JLA and Green Arrow to fight Sinestro and Parallax.

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Super 8: June 10th

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Rise of the Apes: June 24th

Planet of the Apes prequel which shows how the apes came to rule to world, starring James Franco.

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Green Lantern: June 17th

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Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon: July 1st

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: July 15th

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Captain America: The First Avenger: July 22nd

If you don’t know what this is going to be about, shame on you.

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Cowboys and Aliens: July 29th

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The Smurfs: August 3rd

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Conan the Barbarian: August 19th

Conan”s adventures on his quest to avenge the death of his father and the slaughter of his village.

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Fright Night: August 19th

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Johnny English Reborn: September 16th

Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) tries to stop a band of assassins from killing the Chinese Premier

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Now: September 30th

A society where aging stops at 25 and the rich are immortal while the rest struggle to survive. Starring Justin Timberlake, who’s falsely accused of murder, on the run with his hostage Amanda Seyfried.

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Real Steel: October 7th

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The Thing: October 14th

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Puss in Boots: November 4th

Origins of the swashbuckling cat from the Shrek movies.

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Immortals: November 11th

3D movie where Theseus (Henry Cavill) must fight to save his people and the Greek gods from the mad King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke).

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Arthur Christmas: November 23rd

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Sherlock Holmes 2: December 16th

After how awesome the first one was, we all knew the sequel was inevitable.

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The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn: December 28th

3D motion-capture film based on the comics: Tintin’s first encounter with Captain Haddock and their adventures trying to find his ancestor’s hidden treasure.

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Tekken: Sometime in 2011

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These are trailers for the ones I’m actually likely to go see. For even more, see this io9 post.

Talkin’ Monsters During Family Dinners

25 Oct

My sister and I don’t have much in common. Her entire wardrobe consists of American Eagle and Urban Outfitters, my wardrobe is black, black, and more black (not Hot Topic-style, more Alexander Wang/Ann Demeulemeester-style). She can spend hours watching Scottish Fold videos on Youtube, I can spend hours watching dance videos on Youtube. She has waist-length black hair, I have short, blonde hair.

Most people don’t even recognize us as siblings. She’s friendly and reserved, I sometimes come off as that unapproachable bitch with the potty mouth at the bar. But despite our obvious differences, there is one thing we can see eye-to-eye on, and it’s not the universal subject of females–no, we don’t bond over Robert Pattinson or Joseph Gordon-Levitt. We awaken our sisterly bonds through anime.

It was my dad’s birthday celebration last night, and we went through the normal ritual–go to dinner at the Chinese restaurant we grew up with, go home and eat a cake from Micasa. I don’t really get along with my mom, my dad and I talk about sci-fi movies and superheroes all day (drives my mom crazy), my grandpa’s half-deaf (he’s 92) and my sister is still in college, working part-time at a local boba shop. We endured the entire 7-minute car ride to the restaurant listening to my mom yell at my dad for talking on his cell phone sans earpiece. It’s no secret to me that my sister watches Detective Conan too. She’s not into the violent / horror / sometimes-pervy anime I usually watch (did I ever say that I was a role model????) but she said something that surprised me during dinner.

Me: I’ve been watching Darker Than Black lately, have you seen that?
Sister: No, what’s that about?
Me: It’s a sci-fi series but it’s kind of violent so I’m not sure if you’ll want to watch it.
Sister: …The first episode of Blood+ was so bloody, I didn’t know what was going on, but it’s actually a really good series.
Me: Is it anything like Blood The Last Vampire?
Sister: I haven’t seen it but there are some references throughout.
Me: Hm. Well the movie has a lot of blood.
Sister: How bad is Darker Than Black?
Me: Well it’s not that violent but there’s one guy who uses his blood to kill people. Basically, whatever his blood touches, he just snaps his fingers and it explodes. This dude got destroyed by it.
Sister: Oh. That’s not so bad. In the beginning of Blood+ the girl slices everyone. I was confused. But I kept watching.
Me: Hmmm if there aren’t that many episodes I’ll check it out I’ve heard good things about it.
Sister: You should watch High School of the Dead, too, it’s pretty good.

STOP RIGHT THERE. HOW is it that my sister beat me in finishing HSotD? (Her: It’s only 12 episodes, you should watch it. But it ended really weird…) This obviously erupted into a conversation about zombies during our family dinner–then vampires. Then immediately after the cake was consumed, my sister showed me a clip from Blood+. We could have gone all night but I had to rush off and play Goldeneye on the N64 (I got my ass handed to me on a glittering platter, by the way).

Vampires and zombies. Yes–the topics of 20-some Asian girls during family dinners. Vampires, witches, demons, knights and dinosaurs–more monsters we’ve yet to cover in one of our conversations to come, but all of which are in the new Darkstalkers manga that was released October 18.

It’s obvious that when anyone thinks “Darkstalkers” we all think “Morrigan“. How can we not? I honestly have no recollection of Darkstalkers except for that succubus relation, from those times at Skate Depot playing Marvel v. Capcom.

ZOMG. MARVEL V. CAPCOM 3 MORRIGAN VS. IRON MAN. Notice the clever caption in the top  right corner. Image via gamerant.com

I’m interested to see how the story is developed in this manga, as we know that oftentimes, too many monsters becomes too ridiculous (and believe me, I usually embrace ridiculous)–for some reason, Twilight came to mind. I haven’t even seen the movies but I don’t care about emo vampires or teenage werewolves. I’m on a completely different team from Jacob and Edward.

Below is an excerpt from the official press release from Udon Entertainment regarding the Darkstalkers/Red Earth manga:

“Written and drawn by Itou Mami(ROBOT, Pilgrim Jäger) Maleficarum is video game manga at its best. This standalone volume includes five short stories from across the monstrous Darkstalkers universe, as well as a four-chapter tale featuring the swords & sorcery world of Red Earth. You’ll see succubus Morrigan fight the wolfman Talbain, the devilish Jedah confront vampire lord Demitri, the heroic lion-man Leo questing to cure his cursed body, and several more fantastic tales. Also included are gag strips and artist commentary.”

Maleficarum / Darkstalkers/Red Earth manga. Image via udonentertainment.com

One volume? Anyone of us can finish that in a weekend or less. I know absolutely nothing about Red Earth, so I’m ready to get schooled (in the name of research, duh). And gag strips / artist commentary? Yes, please! Monsters are something Megawoman and I might never tire of rambling about, but now that I’ve discovered a new buddy to chat monsters with, I think I can proudly add my sister to my zombie-vampire-survival team.

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