Sunday, March 31, 2013

Netflix Goes Gore-ific With Upcoming Series "Hemlock Grove"

Blown Away was Red Dot Diva's initial reactions when she saw the latest sneak peek from "Hemlock Grove". The clip was released on IGN's website and then shown at a panel at Wondercon this weekend.

It was a werewolf transformation like she has never seen before.

Gruesome, bloody and yet, oh so beautiful. In fact, it was a painfully realistic transformation - if werewolves do exist in the real world.

"Hemlock Grove" is a new supernatural-murder-mystery set in a Pennsylvannia steel mill town, starring Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard, Landon Liboiron, Penelope Mitchell and Dougray Scott. The 13-episode series is produced by gore-meister Eli Roth and premieres on April 19, 2013, only on Netflix.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Movie Review: "Warm Bodies" - Not So Brain Dead

Normally, getting Red Dot Diva to watch a rom-com is one of the worst mental tortures a person could ever inflict on her.

Just the thought of sharing lovey-dovey scenes in a dark room with a hundred people or so makes her break out in a cold sweat.

The movie "Warm Bodies", however, was different.

It wasn't just a rom-com. It was a zom-com. And it wasn't just a zom-com. It was a zom-com with tall, lanky English actor Nicholas Hoult in a leading role as emo zombie boy, R.

If you found Nicholas familiar, he was the unforgettable "About A Boy" kid who has now grown up to be a compellingly good actor. Yes, he was also the young Hank McCoy aka Beast in "X-Men: First Class". Which already makes "Warm Bodies" cooler than most rom coms.

With obvious references to the other popular teen inter-species/ horror-creature *coughTwicoughlight* "forbidden" love story as well as the classic Shakespearean tale of "Romeo and Juliet", lead actress Theresa Palmer even bore an uncanny resemblance to K-Stew. But blonder, cuter and with more expression and much better acting. As Juliet, the daughter of a military leader of the surviving humans (by the ever-snarling John Malkovich), she is the human love interest and 'the cure' for R.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Veronica Mars Movie Kickstarter Campaign - What Happens When Fans Unite

It has been .. wow!... 6 years since cult TV series "Veronica Mars" (VM) was pulled from the defunct station UPN.

The last episode did manage to tie up some loose ends but it also left its faithful viewers with an unsatisfying cliffhanger.

Hardcore fans will know that there was a Season 4 unaired pilot that featured Kristen Bell, the effervescent star of "Veronica Mars" working in the FBI. But that has never stopped "The Marshmellows" (i.e. VM fans to the uninitiated) from clamouring for a follow-up movie.

And finally, after many years, their dream has come true!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A.J. Low - the Writers of "Sherlock Sam" - on Food, Books and Mysteries

A locally published children's illustrated detective fiction book series has captured the hearts and imagination of many young readers recently.

The adventures of precocious 10-year-old "Sherlock Sam" and his trusty sidekick robot, Watson, were penned by "A.J. Low". 

Instead of just one person, the moniker "A.J. Low" belongs to two personalities - an adorable husband and wife team whose real names are Adan Jimenez and Felicia Low. Both USA-born Adan and homegirl Felicia have quite a few years of experience working in bookstores, and "Sherlock Sam" is one of the creative results of their shared love for books and geek-pop-culture. 

Together with illustrator drewscape and homegrown publisher Epigram Books, the team has made "Sherlock Sam" a jaunty, often tongue-in-cheek tale of mystery-solving - Singapore-style.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sci-Fi Expo 2013 in Dallas: Where Fans Got To Meet Comic and Sci-Fi Faves

The city of Dallas, Texas gets its fair share of pop-culture and comic book geekery too. There are a few conventions held in the big city, and one called Sci-Fi Expo took place on February 9-10, 2013 at the Irving Convention Centre.

From what Red Dot Diva heard, over 12,000 fans attended the convention over the weekend.  And the organizers OfficialPix have taken delight in seeing a growing number of attendees from year to year.

A Twitter and Facebook pal and resident Texan, Natasha Stroud was one of those fans. Here's her report on that awesome weekend:

Sunday, March 3, 2013

BBC1's "Death In Paradise" Brings On The Guilty Pleasures

Unlike many other British whodunits that are set in darker, drearier locations like the streets of London, BBC1's "Death In Paradise" is a TV series (created by Robert Thorogood) about a team of police solving crimes in sunny, fictional French Caribbean island of Saint-Marie, just off Guadeloupe.

The show recently ended its second series (that's what they call a "season" in the UK) and has been renewed for a third one. When Series 2 premiered in early January 2013, the growing and appreciative fan-base of "Death In Paradise"  contributed to a whopping 8 million viewers!

Having a paradise isle like Saint-Marie as a base for murders is something Red Dot Diva can really identify with. After all, take away all the swanky or scifi-like architecture, and Red Dot Island is nothing more than one hot little swamp island, not without her own tales of bloody crimes too.

Add in a dash of that crisp British accent, red herrings and puzzles to the tropical setting, and "Death In Paradise" becomes quite an entertaining guilty pleasure. Even if it does fall prey to paradise island-Caribbean stereotypes and formulaic old-skool whodunit story lines with crime-solving so lack of real forensic evidence that one actually misses Horatio Caine's sunglasses. (YEAHHHHH!!!) Also, those *aha!* (cue lightbulb cartoon bubble) moments unfold in a terribly clich├ęd manner as well. 

Still, it wouldn't kill for Red Dot Diva to admit that the light-hearted series had continued to pull her in - week after week.