Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's all in the cards

It's all about choice. Internet, video games, movies, television, strip clubs, amusement parks, and especially Las Vegas are all designed to dull our senses into a complacent stupor while it bleeds our wallets dry. The concept of online firing methods in Reitman's recent film Up in the Air addresses an issue that many of us will have to face in the near future. With online avatars replacing business meetings as a way of cost cutting in the work place, we're slowly becoming detached from human contact bit by bit.

The launch of the iPad is another techno miracle for the A.D.D. generation who demand portable entertainment at their finger tips. Optometrists must be secretly celebrating because their patient list is about to implode as millions of near blind children and teenagers fill their waiting rooms.

Still bored? Need some human interaction?

Sometimes cheap is the better way to go. Rotating a card night every few weeks with a fun group of friends can save quite a few relationships. There's nothing like a card night into the wee hours of the morning that lets us indulge in table talk, gossip, heckling, swearing, drinking, binging, and general tomfoolery.

Bridge, commonly played in Poirot and even Big Love has yet to catch fire with the younger generation. Poker, Euchre, and gin rummy are some of the most popular card games in the east coast of Canada and the States probably for reasons of simplicity. Euchre, a sort of Coles notes version of Bridge, maintains partnerships but avoids a 'dummy' scenario by keeping everyone in the game. I imagine the day will come when Mahjong becomes the trendy game for the university set, similar to the cliché of getting a tattoo in Chinese or Hindi on your shoulder.

Want to learn? A few links attached.

Poker (Texas hold'em, Amaha High, Seven Card Stud...)
Cheat (aka Bullshit, I doubt It)
President (aka A**hole, Scum, Arsehole, poor man, Emperors, Janitor...) "big 2" version (aka Choi Dai Di) Asians play a modified version that blends poker hands into the game rules (this version levels the playing ground, Skill is of greater importance)

Friday, January 29, 2010


I love my gadgets so much that I have not one loyalty bone in my body. Whether it's Dell, Apple, Asus, Wacom, HP, Sony, Iomega, Lacie ... I don't really care... so long as it's useful, convenient, and offers something new that the competition doesn't.

That brings me to the iPad, the newest hot item that would compliment my ipod, iphone, and imac... or so I thought. The new iPad offers all the utilities that are in high demand (apps galore) being hybrid of an iTouch and laptop, but it has one design issue that stops me in my tracks.

It's an ergonomic nightmare.

For those of us who already spend too much time at our computers. I CANNOT even consider an item which requires me to hold a screen for more than 30 minutes. Imagine your neck pain to peer down at the item, your tennis elbow, and God forbid your carpel tunnel syndrome.

Some people may think I'm exaggerating but I'm not. I spend approximately twelve hours plus working, so the idea of have to actually hold a screen that has no structural tilt function (I assume there will be an extra stand/case for extra charge) and a keyboard inside the screen is far from tempting. Come this spring (or whenever the true release date is) I may be one of the few who will not be in line, scrambling to part with my $500+ that will only burn a hole through my pocket. I'll keep my ASUS laptop thank you very much.

It's probably geared to the under 25 generation with cash/credit to burn, but can everyone afford it? Most people would prefer a gamer friendly laptop that doubles as a word processing machine for university.

It could prove to be a useful item for schools, a true gem if you can cram all the textbook material into one simple reading tablet. The excuses for non existent homework will soon be "My little sister spilled coffee on my tablet", "My battery died", "I must've gotten a virus", and so forth. But will it be a staple at the local coffee shop? We'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winter is coming...


Many of the most delectable roles have been cast for the pilot of HBO's adaptation of George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones. Although the series is not scheduled to run until 2011, the pilot is quickly nearing the end of production. Many of the biggest roles will be portrayed by relatively unknown young stars. The roles of Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Sansa Stark and Daenerys Targaryen are all younger than sixteen, demanding a great deal of maturity and emotional depth. Fortunately they will have a great deal of experienced cast members to draw advice from, what an opportunity!

It should be interesting who they'll lure for some of the juiciest characters yet to come, the sly and brilliant Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish, Jon Snow's loyal friend Samwell Tarly, and the ruthless, cold father of the triple threat Tywin Lannister. With the demise of the Tudors as it finishes it's fourth season this year and the release of The Hobbit in 2011, Game of Thrones is primed for a spectacular debut.

For the latest news check out the blog... Winter is Coming

As for George R. R. Martin's second half of his long awaited follow-up to Feast for Crows, I anticipate it will hot off the press near the pilot's release. What a coincidence...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A curious case

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, David Fincher's blockbuster hit last year was a makeup artists' marvel. The eery images of an old man born with the mind of a child is unfortunately not fully fiction. In fact, not at all. What wasn't widely publicized is perhaps one of the most devastating, extremely rare genetic conditions that occurs in one per eight million live births.

Progeria (also known as "Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome" is a disorder that increases the process of aging, (similar to the Werner syndrome) reducing the lifespan to about thirteen years. Characteristics are limited growth in body, hair loss, and disproportionate small size of jaw, face and nose, giving the appearance of the elderly. Unfortunately no treatments have been proven effective, however many scientists believe it may reveal clues about the process of aging and development.

The impressive demonstration of intelligence, charisma, kindness, and zest for life that emanates from every being with this disease is remarkable to say the least. I was an eight grader when a girl one year younger than me died of a rare disease. She knew what little time she had but was determined to live life like any other child her age. No one was aware of it, with exception of her family and close friends. She took no pity from anyone, including herself. Exceptional.

Is it when we know our days our numbered that our very best shines from within us? Despite mankind's obsession for the Holy Grail of immortality, would it truly improve our lives? Unlikely. Would we really want the most powerful people in the world to lord over us for all eternity? Most of the greatest novels, music, artwork, and scientific advances have been created and motivated by the natural cycle of life. One could argue that a longer life could inspire greater things and perhaps it can, but it will be awfully crowded.

I've never believed Thomas Jefferson's quote "All men are created equal." The only way that all men are created equal is that none of us can escape our unavoidable end.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mr. Big strikes again

Aren't they rich enough? I'm talking about the most shallow, ridiculous, idiotic, fairy tale franchise... Sex and the City. After a pathetic ending to an HBO series that was suppose to "empower women", they decided to flush it down the toilet a second time by making a poor excuse for a movie that was nothing more than a fashion show. Now there's a SEQUEL? Before you know it we'll all be subjected to the Maxim magazine equivalent, an Entourage movie.

Why do men hate Sex and the City so much? Maybe it's the self obsessed, neurotic, superficial "heroine" Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) that entices you to stab your eyes out, or the fact that it convinces women to have the most insane expectations of men and especially themselves. Every time I overhear a thirteen year old girl gushing over the series I can feel my blood boil. Before it was prince charming, now it's Mr. Big.

I've always been a big fan of HBO, not only because they are adapting Game of Thrones to reality, but their proven track record of taking HUGE risks. Sex and the City and Entourage started off pretty well... entertaining, full of sex, funny and addressing some taboo subjects. And then it all went downhill from there. I guess you can't blame the female population, after all, most Hollywood films (Transformers, Fast and Furious) are catered to men with the brain of a horny fifteen year old. But do women truly admire a materialistic, self absorbed woman who dumps the nice guy (Aidan) for the millionaire jackass who left her at the altar? Seriously?

Entourage filled with arrogant, narcissistic, delusional characters will eventually sputter out of gas (thankfully), but for some reason Sex and the City keeps on going. What comes next? Sex and the City the next generation? Samantha sleeps with Mr. Big and Carrie's kid?

I'm probably angering a lot of female fans but frankly... I'm all for the Paper bag Princess ending, she sets off into the sunset to live her own life.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Laugh Factory

I stand corrected, I didn't research properly. Dave Chappelle must find a half hour of comedy small fish. Here's his five hour marathon at the Los Angeles Laugh Factory.

I'm not certain why exactly Dane Cook and Chappelle want to compete for the record of uninterrupted laughter.... but sure... why the hell not? So long as they get bathroom breaks because no need for a repeat of an idiot dying because they kept it all in.

Here's a link (not much of it though). Laugh Factory, or another segment. Hoping they give him a movie offer some time.

Another link to his appearance on the Actor's Studio, shortly after his shocking departure from his highly anticipated third season on his show.

Other great interviews? Surprisingly I rarely find the "A" caliber movie stars to be very interesting, but here are a few.

5. Kevin Spacey (best impersonations)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Secret Societies

With the recent popularity of books like Angels and Demons revolving around the mythical secret societies such as the "Illuminati", it was only a matter of time that a VIP version for Facebook and Myspace to appear. For many, nothing is more savoury than receiving an invitation into a particular organization behind closed doors, and the online world is no different.

Are the days of golfing at country clubs for networking numbered? Step aside, the next generation is establishing the new order where online avatars and social networking sites for the super wealthy to mingle are a must. According to Forbes, a few blue blooded sites have emerged as the diamonds in the rough. aSmallWorld, Diamond Lounge,, and Quintessentially, all differ in levels of exclusivity. Gaining access to the fabulously wealthy by a simple click of the button has become an obsession for many persistent outsiders without the obvious "credentials" for an invitation.

Gawker has reported that a new hurdle has been introduced on aSmallWorld to streamline their ballooning member count after being unceremoniously booted out of the club and put out to pasture.

"aBigWorld is a subsidary of aSmallWorld. aSmallWorld is a network for people that already have strong direct and indirect connections to one another. To make it useful, members can invite anyone they like. Everyone is then invited to aBigWorld. As a member in aBigWorld you have access to the same features as aSmallWorld. aSmallWorld does not aim to have as many members as possible, but rather to visualize existing networks that are present in the real world.

In each of the cities listed at the bottom of this page, aSmallWorld has people (connectors) that invite members to aSmallWorld. But apart from that, aBigWorld members that have 10 connections in aSmallWorld, will be transferred."

A facebook for a few... New York Times

The surge in notoriety does come with drawbacks however, and I'm highly skeptical that the new trend will ever truly compete with legendary secret societies such as the Freemasons, Skull and Bones, The Bilderberg Group, or even the oldest London gentleman's club White's.

One successful French businessman who had turned down a number of invitations summed it up correctly, if you've already heard of the group, how exclusive can it be?

(White's Gentleman's Club at 37-38 St James)

Other clubs for the privileged...

A Private Club, for the New Yorkers in the know, the Asian's golden club, Europe's own

bankersavenue, another Wallstreet sequel

When you pause and think about all of this, aren't all these sites a WELCOME mat for the elite hackers and con artists of the world? Just a thought...

Chicken scratch

The graceful penmanship in Sleepy Hollow (above)

Many people complain that you can never read a doctor's note... well their writing is a cut above the crude lettering of many adults in their early twenties. Twitter, texting, and email have made the days of handwritten letters a begone era. Escaping from the grey chill of the outdoors I indulged in my annual Tim Burton collection and watched an Angela Lansbury inspired performance by Johnny Depp. A beautifully designed film that must have employed a very gifted artist with a light flourish of the wrist.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


We all need a laugh. More than ever. And that couldn't be more apparent then when the city of Portland discovered that Dave Chappelle came to town. I've been hunting for info for when he would resurface again (his site is still not up yet) for quite some time. Where has he been? Not that he's not entitled to get out of the toxic machine and spend time with family (I'm one of the crazy few that believe his decision to leave his show was a wise one), it's only that great comedians like him are rare.

Blocked from the NBC's site like all other non-Americans, I finally found a video of his FREE show in Portland Oregon. Don't get too excited...word broke out of the "secret" comedy show and the venue was soon bursting at the seams. Expecting a mere 200 or so people, his singular amp system was not strong enough to satisfy the huge crowd that was pressing down on him. Eventually it had to be cancelled. What a disappointment. If only a few hundred people came and released it on youtube like his visit to London a few years ago, then we'd all be a great deal happier. I feel like he's Waldo. Popping in to support his friend, Dave Chappelle gave a surprise 30-minute set at Caroline's on Broadway just a month ago (December 2,2009 to be exact)! Painful... wish someone had at least recorded it... er.. iphone app anyone?

The best sign is that he's at the thirty minute mark, an indication that he's prepping a possible tour? Here's hoping.

I have to hand it to all great stand up comedians, it's a cruel road to build up an entire set. If you're wondering what I'm talking about check out Comedian (2002). Even if you don't like Seinfeld, I found his documentary to be a fascinating lesson of how hard it is to create an hour routine. Following two comedians at completely different stages of their career, Orny Adams a young comedian trying to break into the business, and Seinfeld's return after the wrap of his nine year smash hit sitcom. Also included are interviews with Jay Leno, George Shapiro, Bill Cosby, Ray Romano, Chris Rock and many more.

Canada's greatest export: Russell Peters.
I recently borrowed my friends copy of Russell Peters fantastic stand-up set: Red, White, and Brown. Definitely worth watching... here's a taste.

Great comedians to watch.. (links to youtube in orange)

George Carlin, Richard Pryor (The absolute Pro),Bill Hicks, Ellen Degeneres, Bill Cosby, Jack Benny, Dave Chappelle, Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Johnny Carson (clip with Letterman), Danny Bhoy, Kathy Griffin, Chris Rock, Rodney Dangerfield, Woody Allen, Steve Martin, Lenny Bruce, Kids in the Hall, and of course Ricky Gervais.

The Johnny Carson interview up above is interesting because it features Letterman interviewed after losing out to Leno for NBC, but the start of his own show as well.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Golden smile

I love watching awards shows (occasionally). Not for the glitz or the glamour, but to observe the forced whitened veneers smiling bewitchingly to one another, the painfully unfunny jokes, and the subtle signs of drama that's whispered in between commercial breaks as deals are made and broken.

This years' Globe awards were not a disappointment. Avatar. Avatar. Avatar.

Avatar was the big winner and it was clearly apparent that a great deal of the people in that room were not at all thrilled. Most people are disappointed when they lose, it's understandable... but this year there seemed to be a bit of venom laced with the champagne.

This is the first year that I've seen virtually every nominated film and I have to say it was a year of very entertaining films, but very few that will stand the test of time. Perhaps only James Cameron's insanely ambitious technical wizardry for Avatar, Sam Rockwell's overlooked and convincing performance in Moon, and The Hangover's hilarious screenplay will be what I remember ten years from now.

To win, timing is of the utmost importance.

I imagine directors like David Fincher, P.T. Anderson, Ridley Scott, Cronenberg, Jane Campion and many other talented directors want to pull out their hair this season. If there ever was a year to have a film released it was last year. Seven, There will be blood, Gladiator, A History of Violence, The Piano.. could have EASILY won them their much deserved statuette. It's a bit tragic because I would love to see Quentin Tarantino win, but not for Inglorious Bastards... for Pulp Fiction. Kathyrn Bigelow was very likely robbed (surprisingly, Cameron was pretty subdued and looked honestly stunned with his win) but then again... many other directors have been overlooked in the past. Hurt Locker isn't even in the same league with the likes of Rear Window or Full Metal Jacket, so if she doesn't win in March, she's in the best of company.

Oscar Predictions? It's a common joke that the Academy Awards are won by votes from the wives of the voters...

Best Guess who will win... (not necessarily who should win)

Best Picture: Avatar The academy needs this. They need to remember why they make films... MONEY. You can't ignore the public, but then again they often do. Maybe Moon? Wouldn't that be nice... a fantastic film not even on their radar.
Best Director: They think they'll piss off Cameron by voting for Bigelow (but he'll actually be happy if she wins) and many others would prefer Jason Reitman to win... but my bet is James Cameron. I'm really not sure if they are ready for a female to win. If there was a year a female should've won it was the year Campion was nominated for the Piano. Hopefully the campaigning trail will tip the scales but frankly I don't know if anyone can take down this juggernaut.
Best Screenplay: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner I'd rather it go to The Hangover or 500 days of Summer.. but I doubt it. Reitman's movie is primed for awards.
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock Helen Mirren already has one.. so does Meryl Streep and heck, if Julia Roberts can win one for playing herself than surely Sandra Bullock will take this one home. I'd love it if Carey Mulligan took this one.
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges Christopher Plummer would be a nice dark horse to win... then again Sam Rockwell should be nominated...
Best Supporting: Mo'nique and Christopher Waltz The only two categories where the voters take a chance, voting on the unknown and most deserved.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

On the back burner

There's nothing more irritating than a pompous government.

Right now our version of George W. Bush is in power and on track to win a majority government. "Prorogue" a term I've never heard a government use before, is the action that our Prime Minister is taking by shutting down Parliament until March 3rd. Governor General Michaelle Jean (why do we pay her?) granted his request, and many Conservative backers are giving their full support.

With a government currently on a self-medicated paid three month holiday, many Canadians are simmering in anger as we helplessly watch a horrifyingly popular Prime Minister steam roll over the opposition. Facebook sites like "Canadians United Against Stephen Harper" have started, in stark contrast to Harper's own facebook page where you can only post positive feedback. Unwanted criticism will leave you banned from posting, unsurprising since he refused to attend the Beijing Olympics and now has to be relegated to kissing the dragon's feet. Why would he listen to the "little people"?

As a voter, I've always been a swing vote, having no blind loyalty for any party and preferring to vote for a particular leader based on his/her merits, but this is too much. "Get Back to Work" rallies have spawned in more than 30 cities along with what could be the most effective Facebook page "Anti-Harper Vote Swap Canada" which promotes voters to "swap" their loyalties to the side most likely to beat the opposition. Only thing to do? Vote. The sad truth is that if the government decided to suspend the Canadian hockey team THEN there would be an outraged outcry from all corners.

Ring of fire

For the past few years, insurmountable circumstances have devastated some of the most poorest countries. Foreign aid cannot come quick enough as the injured population struggles to survive with limited supplies and resources. The magnitude of the recent earthquake in Haiti has caught many by surprise, since the fault line of the Caribbean and North American plates (Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault) is not as well publicized as the seismic area of the Pacific Rim.

According to Jian Lin a WHOI senior scientist, it was three factors that magnified the tragic result.

1. It was centered just ten miles southwest of the capital city, Port au Prince.
2. The quake was shallow, only ten or fifteen kilometers below the land's surface.
3. Many of the homes and buildings were not designed to withstand such force.

Earthquakes, unlike many of the other natural disasters are still unpredictable and preparation or evacuation beforehand is not an option. To make matter worse, tremors are only the tip of the iceberg, it's the landslides, tsunamis, falling debris, diseases from contamination, and fires that follow the initial upheaval that you need to worry about. And yet having lived in a few of the known hot spots, I found many locals to be rather ho-hum about the possibility, especially if they have never experienced a tremor in their life time.

Vancouver, one of the few Canadian cities sitting on the Cascadia Subduction Zone on the "Ring of Fire", has been criticized for their poor prevention planning and that is unlikely to change in the near future. With the exception of the temporary cash flow injected into the city for the upcoming Olympics, the city is more concerned with the real estate market than anything else. Condos crop up in the city with ferocious speed, quickly built to meet the buyers' demand for a stake in one of the "most beautiful cities in the world". One wonders, how well are those buildings made in such a hurry?

As the aftershocks subside, the darkest side of our survival instinct will float to the surface as it always does (and crazy... Pat Robertson), but hopefully the brightest side of our humanity will compel us to help others in need.

In the last decade alone, the world has experienced unprecedented catastrophic disasters...

Sumatra, Indonesia earthquake 7.9 June 4, 2000
Baku, earthquake 7.0 November 25, 2000

Denali, Alaska earthquake 7.9 November 3, 2002

Indian Ocean earthquake 9.1-9.3 December 26, 2004

Java, Indonesia 7.7 July 17, 2006

Sichuan, China 7.9 May 12, 2008

Vanuatu Island of Santo 7.7 -7.8 October 7, 2009

Port-au-Prince, Haiti 7.0 January 12, 2010

Would like to donate? Here's a link of approved charities by CBC
Ways to help in Canada

Friday, January 15, 2010

Classics remade

Ah, there's nothing sweeter than a well told story. I recently finished Fifth Business, a book that's been on my "to read" list for quite some time. It's a bit of a departure from my normal reading fare but it wasn't disappointing. I usually cringe when a person shares their thoughtful advice to "just watch the movie and save time".

I shiver at the thought of students relying on cinema rather than great writing, but the trend is only gaining speed. With Twitter, texting and email, the English language has been relegated to kung-pow chicken. There aren't many films out there that have adapted great modern classics well, maybe only a handful in the century of cinema (Sense and Sensibility, High Fidelity...). Now the public must endure the horrific spew of video game concepts churned into action-porn puff pieces aimed at the twelve year old mind set (Prince of Persia???!).

Thankfully, one particular book slated on director Ridley Scott's "films to make list" is Aldous Huxley's powerful classic A BRAVE NEW WORLD, one of my all time favourites. I'm crossing my fingers that everything comes together for this film and that he truly does the writing justice, because his long overdue golden Oscar would be a nice paper weight for his office decor.

Who will be John Cooper? It better not be Russell Crowe or Leonardo Dicaprio... hopefully a lesser known actor.

Upcoming classics to hit the big screen

Fahrenheit 451
Another fantastic novel that is on the cooker pot set for 2012. Early rumours stated that Tom Hanks would take center stage as Guy Montag.

Don Quixote
On many reading lists this ranks number 1 as the all time book you need to read before you die. It's certainly a HEAVY one to crack down, and obviously a tale that Terry Gilliam is aching to finally finish (rumour has it he is still determined to film the novel).
Want to see some true agony, flashes of wrath from God? Try Lost in La Mancha, a documentary of Gilliam's painful trials of a dream lost.

Jane Eyre
Nothing beats a bit of Victorian sexual repression. Charlotte's Bronte's brooding Mr. Rochester manipulates the mousy heroine governess Jane.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Finite luck

How often do you enter contests for a prize?
I read that Samuel L. Jackson complained he never won a contest draw, and in contrast Scarlett Johansson is so blessed with lady luck she drew her own name in a draw that she was promoting (she was nice enough to redraw again). In some extremes, a Japanese game show had a man who could only consume and eat what he won from contests (he nearly starved to death but luckily won a bag of rice).

With the dreary gloom of the economy high on our heads, articles and ads promoting how to increase your likelihood to win freebies have been as popular as ever. I have won... maybe twice in my lifetime and prizes of paltry value. Nonetheless I was happy as could be, even if it wasn't something I really wanted (which I gave away). The sheer excitement of winning was such a splendid adrenaline rush that I still do occasionally enter draws in the hopes that I will win something for doing absolutely nothing.

There are those that are born with the Midas touch, like Mrs. Reynolds they have the astounding habit of stumbling into good fortune wherever they turn.

It always irks me to hear of a wealthy entrant winning a car, trip or even a house when they don't need it, but it's far worse when I discover the person never put the cash to good use. I was aghast when I read that there are many lotto winners who are now living near the poverty line. Where in the heck did all that green go? Article below...

From what many of the lucky winners have said, winning brands you as the ultimate mark for hucksters, con artists and long lost relatives you never knew you had. Fortunately Australia has learned the harsh lesson, and since the 1960 kidnapping of Graeme Thorne, winners remain anonymous. In Canada we are not slapped with the gruesome 50% tax afterwards that some winners try to evade (now that IS foolish), then again our prizes are significantly smaller.

As Vegas, Dubai, and Monaco suffer from their decadence you can be sure of one thing, it's human nature to always wish for the genie in the lamp because the mirage of greener pastures will always remain.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vampire bites

With the current obsession of the teenage phenomenom series Twilight, it comes as no surprise that Hollywood is hunting for the next sensation. While Hollywood transitions into the world of angels, some filmmakers are continuing to push the vampire genre into new heights.

I recently saw the unintentionally funny "Daybreakers". A film that sadly fell apart despite the solid cast and expensive production value. I wasn't too sure if it was the cornball dialogue, the unfortunate stigma of the name "Edward" as a vampire, or the disjointed set pieces that never quite gelled. Perhaps it needed another script edit, or a lighter hand with the musical score; what I know for certain is that the teenagers' laughter surrounding me rarely abated.

A far cry from the matrix style approach of Daybreakers, Park Chan-wook's (Oldboy) film release of "Thirst" is a gruesome twisted dark comedy of a priest who becomes a vampire. The winner of the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, the story is loosely based on the novel Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola. Like many of his films it's not for the faint hearted, plunging the viewer into the icy waters of the undead... but it's certainly worth the risk.

A few notable blood thirsty films in no particular order...

1. Bram Stroker's Dracula (1992)
A delectable film by Francis Ford Coppola, with stunningly beautiful costumes designed by Eiko Ishioka... it almost feels like you're watching an old Italian Opera.
Another blog on the legend of the true Female Dracula in history, Erzebet Bathory here

2. Interview with a Vampire (1994)
Whether you like Tom Cruise or not, Brad Pitt makes his mark with his brooding portrayal of Louis De Pointe Du Lac's journey into the immoral and immortal world of the undead.

3. Nosferatu (1922)
The ultimate classic by F.W. Murnau, featuring Count Orlok in a haunting interpretation of Bram Stroker's novel.

4. Blood: The Last Vampire (2000)
The super slick samurai style anime of a mysterious female vampire hunter set in 1966 is short, sweet, and satisfying. Directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo.

5. Cronos (1993)
A promising beginning by the now acclaimed Guillermo del Toro, this film centers around the struggle to possess the "cronos" device invented by an alchemist in 1535 that promises eternal life.

6. The Lost Boys (1987)
Young Kiefer Sutherland stars in a contemporary (well in the 80s) tale of a brother who hires two young vampire hunters to save his brother.

7. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Robert Rodriguez at his best with a punchy action adventure of thieves who must survive the night in a vampire infested strip joint. (Featuring a younger George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Quentin Tarantino, Salma Hayek, and Juliette Lewis).

8. Blade (1998)
Wesley Snipes' hit that spawned two more spin offs of a half-vampire superhero devoted to protecting humanity.

9. 30 Days of Night
Sort of reminds me of Pitch Black. Based off of the three issue comic book by Steve Niles and illustrated by Ben Templesmith it takes place in the perfect horror setting, a fictional town called Barrow, Alaska where the sun rarely shines.

10. Let the Right One In (2008)
A Swedish film that quietly tells the tale of a young boy who befriends a vampire.