Monday, February 22, 2010

Lulu, Don't Gip Me Now!

I've recently gotten paid on Lulu.com for three books and downloads that were sold in January... But I didn't get paid for the other nine books that were sold between July and January. Needless to say, I'm confused, a little miffed, and looking into it.

Now, I'd like to make it clear that I'm not publishing books for the money. I love to write and all I really care about is getting my stuff read. But getting a little pay for all the hours I put into said books would be nice. Especially when it's promised to me.

I never had anything bad to say about Lulu.com until now because they let you publish for free and give you all the freedom in the world to design your own book covers! (With the exception that it doesn't violate copyrights, of course.) I mean, I had an authorgasm when I first opened the package from Lulu and saw for the very first time my writing and art in published form. I'd dreamt about that for years. So, I love Lulu for giving me that experience and the fact that they do offer ways of promoting your stuff (though I currently don't have the dough for that.)

Apparently I'm not the only Lulu member who didn't get my revenue for November and December, though. So, hopefully Lulu will get its act together and do something about it because if they're getting all the money for my work, I don't care how cool they are, that's unfair.

Hopefully I'll be able to post a solution to this problem soon.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Phantom of the WTF?

I've seen many, many different adaptations of Gaston Leroux's classic novel, The Phantom of the Opera. I've seen the silent one, the one with Claude Rains, the 80's one with Freddy Kreuger (Robert Englund) and, of course, the 2004 Andrew Lloyd Webber movie. But the 1998 version, by far, was the best to save for last.

In my article on Associated Content, Movie Review: The Phantom of the Opera (1998), I addressed as much of the weirdness of the movie as I possibly could. Though, In all the 99 minutes of the strange-fest, I'm pretty sure I left a lot out. For instance, I forgot to mention that this movie failed to have the masquerade scene with the Phantom dressed as the Red Death. (One of my favorite scenes that was only successful in the silent version with Lon Chaney...)

All in all, as unusually entertaining as it is, this version of The Phantom of the Opera was a massacre of the story. They tried to add the eroticism of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, but they also tried to cling on to the horror aspect by making the Phantom a psycho murderer... who isn't ugly in the least bit. (One of these days I'm going to write a very well worded article about my passionate dislike for "sexed" up villains who are supposed to be hideous...) Either way, they failed in all serious attempts, but succeeded in being downright hilarious.
"Nibble a little... That's right... right there... Gee, I hope Christine doesn't find out I gave her RAIDS."

Why bother to remake a classic story if you're going to change everything from it anyway? You might as well change the title to avoid confusion. Most of the world has been introduced to the Phantom story via the musical, and to see their beloved "sexy" Phantom looking more like Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII and trying to have sex with sewer rats is not something they want to see. I sure as heck didn't want to see it.

How are you supposed to sympathize for a Phantom who clearly shows a boob fetish, molests rats, and rips people's tongues out with his perfectly aligned white teeth? What are we supposed to say to him, "Oh, I'm sorry you were raised by telepathic rats." Bah.

And, even though I'm glad they included the classic scene of him playing his pipe organ, it really had no significance to their verison of the story. In the script, there was no mention of him being a musical genius. There was only vague mention of how he liked to hear Christine sing. There's a difference. I could go on and on and on about this movie in comparison to the not-so-great novel and the fact that this one actually makes me appreciate other movie versions... but I'm not. I have a feeling I'll be writing more about the Phantom in the future.

In any case... Here's the irresistable trailer:





Friday, February 5, 2010

Superbowl Ads: Better than the Game

Well... It's better than the game if you're like me and don't know enough about sports to enjoy them. In any case, if there's one thing more famous than the superbowl itself, it's the uber-ads that are shown in between the kick offs and touch downs.

In the spirit of the Superbowl XLIV 2010, Hulu.com has posted some of the best ads from last years game. You can go to Hulu to watch the Superbowl commercials yourself, as you're bound to find at least one that you like. They range from Pepsi ads, Dorito ads, to Tires and Movie Trailers.

I've taken some of my personal favorites from YouTube for you to see. Enjoy!


NBC: LMAO
This ones a little disturbing, but taking things literally can be funny.



PEPSI MAX: I'm Good
People getting hurt. Need I say more?



DENNY'S: Thugs
Somehow there's realism in this.



HULU: Alec in Hollywood
Another one that probably has truth in it... O_O