Dhampir

Dhampir by Barb & J.C. Hendee. It’s a cross between the Blade series and Lord of the Rings. Magiere, her half-elf companion Leesil, and his mysterious dog are con-artists who pretend to rid small villages of supposed-vampire infestations. But when they decide to settle down and go straight, they just happen to pick a village with actual vampire residents. Here, Magiere discovers her true destiny, whether she likes it or not.. that she’s a true vampire slayer.. a Dhampir. Half-vampire herself, she is a living person, but has all the strengths of the “Noble Dead” (vampires). This is an action-packed vampire-slayer book with heart. The Hendee’s do a great job of exploring the main characters, even the “Noble Dead” themselves. I highly recommend this book to any fan of the vampire genre.


Galaxy Quest

 

Galaxy Quest is my favorite all-time tv/movie spoof.. they overtly poke fun at Star Trek & it’s fans. The shows are nearly identical in nature. All of the (human) characters were well developed & hilarious. My favorites are Guy Fleegman/Sam Rockwell (Crewman #6) and Fred Kwan/Tony Shalhoub. I still have to laugh outloud when guy screams, a delayed-reaction after transporting. And Fred’s reaction is priceless, like a kid in a candy store.
The main storyline is that these once-popular actors of a hit show called “Galaxy Quest” are now out-of-work actors since their show got cancelled.  An alien race sees reruns of the show and thinks it’s real and asks the former crew for help fighting their enemy. The aliens even made their ship to be exactly like the one on the show. The actors are too ashamed to tell them that the show isn’t real (instead of historical archives), so they go along with it, trying to assume their tv show roles.. and comedy ensues. But there really is an evil nemisis trying to destroy this naive race. The actors even have to enlist the help of some over-the-top, extreme fans of the show (some trekker’s dream, i’m sure.. for the show to actually be real) to save the day, since they know more about the technical aspects of the ship from the cancelled show than the actors do. I love the line when Jason Nesmith/Tim Allen calls up one of the kid geeks and tells him that it’s all real. The kid yells, “I knew it!”. Yeah, these kids are grounded in reality.

Supergirl

Thinking about going as Supergirl for Halloween made me, of course, think about the movie.. It had so much potential. But the plot and villain (being just a witch) ruined it. The whole plot is that she’s trying to get back this little ball that she lost from her planet that supposedly they have to get back. If it was that important, they wouldn’t have been just playing around with it. I mean, Zaltar gets sent to this hell-like place just because he lost it. And Kara/Supergirl/Linda wants to return to a planet where they’d punish people like that? And the witch (Selena) automatically knows that this ball has powers and figures out how to use the thing right away.. even though it’s not even from her planet. Right. And poor Ethan doesn’t have much part in this film except to be a helpless, bumbling, victim.. which somehow still comes across as attractive. I like how they alluded to Clark Kent as Supergirl’s cousin, though why didn’t she just call herself “Kara Kent”. Kara is a common earth name too. And i doubt anyone would recognize her real name and say, “Hey, that girl’s an alien!” But no, they had to go with “Linda Lee,” when there’s already WAY too many “L” names.. ie: Lois Lane, Lana Lang, and Lucy Lane(Lois’ sister).. which sound too much alike anyway. At least she thought to change her hair color/style to look different from her Supergirl persona, unlike Superman who just uses the clever disguise of his glasses.
It’s also sad that it bombed so bad that they never even made a sequel.. which would guarantee to be better than the first. How could they do any worse? It already should qualify as a “B” movie.
But, though I’m almost ashamed to admit, I do own the movie. The special edition no less. Guess i’m just a sucker for super hero movies.

I, Robot

 

Law 1: A robot can never harm a human.
Law 2: A robot must obey all human orders unless it conflicts with the first law.
Law 3: A robot must protect itself unless it conflicts with the first two laws.

When I, Robot came out, I heard a lot of criticism, mainly because it wasn’t close to Asimov’s original book. But I was actually really impressed by how good this movie was. (It helps when you have low expectations, I know.) This may be my favorite Will Smith movie, next to “Independence Day.” Not only was it suspenseful and action-packed, but had a great plot with surprising twists as well. My only complaint was that they didn’t delve more into Sonny’s persona, the robot who was self-aware. This was a great character, part of the main theme of the movie. But Detective Spooner (Will Smith) was explored very well, and he brought a great comedic element to the movie. 

It’s the year 2035, Spooner, who hates/doesn’t trust robots, is assigned to a case where a robot is implicated in the murder/suicide of the scientist who created these robots. Robots are not supposed to be able to break any of the Three Laws of Robotics, mentioned above. But Spooner’s worst fears come true as the rollout of a new upgrade of robots number a ratio of 1 robot to every 3 humans.  And as it becomes apparent early on, these robots may not always follow the 3 “Laws.”

Build your own NS-5 robot at:

http://www.irobotnow.com/index.php

Hellboy

 

When I first saw commercials for Hellboy I jumped to the wrong conclusion (I had never heard of the comic and assumed it was all just demonic). But when friends told me how great it was & that it actually had a good message, I decided to give it a try.
First of all, Ron Perlman was amazing as Hellboy. He was suave, funny, and endearing.. all while looking like a demon.. quite a feat in itself! The supporting cast was great too.
The best part of this movie was the deeper message that was a part of the story. Most comic book movies have their own special message, but some just have themes… Batman: revenge, Spider-man: “With great power, comes great responsibility,” X-Men: prejudism/equality, Daredevil: justice, etc… but Hellboy’s seems to run deeper. Maybe it’s just because what we seem to hear nowadays is just “You are just a product of your environment” and that “You can blame parents for how you turn out.” (Give me a break.) Whereas, Hellboy preaches that you are the choices you make. And you can’t blame anyone else for the person you turn out to be. Hellboy faces the ultimate good versus evil. What he knows is right/good versus what he was born for/his so-called “destiny.”
I love going to see movies when I have little-to-no expectations & being pleasantly surprised.
Bring on Hellboy 2!

Blade: Trinity

 

I saw Bade: Trinity over Christmas weekend… because, you know, tis the season to kill vampires.. or something like that. No, it’s not a festive movie. But it was a great one!
In fact, I enjoyed it most of the 3 blade movies so far. The element of humor really added to the movie. Without the character Hannibal, played by Ryan Reynolds, I probably would’ve gotten a little bored.. or at least tired of just the fighting and chase scenes. Dominic Purcell played Dracula, aka “Drake,” who was resurrected to kill Blade. As creepy as he gets at times, he’s still too pretty to be scary. And for someone who is born “pure vampire”, evil.. he has an odd sense of some honor code that I don’t really understand. Parker Posey played the same character she does in every movie she’s in, except this time with fangs. And Jessica Biel, as Wstler’s daughter, was she in this movie? She talked even less then Blade did. She did a majority of the fighting scenes, but basically didn’t need to do any acting. Glad she buffed up at least.
Enough criticizing though. It was a great movie. I definitely recommend it. Small on plot (what action movie isn’t?), but high on action and humor.

Bob Mayer

Bob Mayer is, currently, one of my favorite authors. He writes under a few pen names. But my favorite series of his is Area 51. I started reading this, as well as the Atlantis series, and realized that the writing style was very similar. Then, low-and-behold, while searching online for another book in a series, I found out that the author is one-and-the-same! You can definitely tell he has a background in the military, when reading his books. But they aren’t just full of violence and military technical terms. He has developed some great story lines and characters.
The Area 51 series takes off from the Area 51 theory of the Roswell crash and developes a complex story that unravels book by book. In the 7th book in the series, The Truth, he explains the origin of humanity and the aliens’ role in history. He even wrote two more books, so far, on a couple of characters and their roles throughout history, Nosferatu and Legend, that further compound on the same storyline. I definitely disagree and dislike his take on Biblical characters throughout his version of history. But I treat them as pure fiction, obviously. And they are extremely good reads.
If you’re not as into aliens and scifi, the Atlantis series are more military/action based books.
“Area 51” series pen name: Robert Doherty
“Atlantis” series pen name: Greg Donegan
And check out his website: http://www.bobmayer.org/fiction.html for even more novels and info.

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