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Oz: The Great and Powerful!

ImageVenturing back to an old story that has earned its place among the classics requires careful consideration of the attributes that facilitated its praise. This not only includes the strengths and weaknesses of the previous work, but the environment, narration, and character development. Honestly comparing Disney’s envisioned prequel to the Wizard of Oz is difficult due to the trends in movie production, but to state that Oz, unlike the Wizard of Oz, felt more like a Michael Bay eye-candy fest than anything else (substitute explosions for flowers and other vivid and beautiful effects).

 If I were to summarize my complaint of the film, it would be that it traded story, character development and substance for very vivid and sometimes cartoonish special effects. The colors were so brilliant that most of the scenes felt liked a Windows desktop image, and though the film intends to create a sense of fantasy, the green screening effects instantly killed any sense of disbelief I had. The classic didn’t suffer from that problem as the backgrounds were actual sets, and thus actually looked more believable. And even thought the classic didn’t have the greatest and most in-depth story, it at least didn’t stuff 30 minutes of visual effects into the movie at different intervals just for the sake of attempting to show how fantastical Oz is.

Another complaint is that the Film suffered from lopsided acting. James Franco delivered, bring life into a womanizing carnival magician. Whereas, Mila Kunis’ performance was spotty at best. While she may look attractive, her voice is perhaps too well associated with her Family Guy persona (Meg), and for some that could cause an issue of immersion. In addition, the crying scene, in fact any scene where she attempted to show emotional scorning seemed very weak. The cry scene was one of most awkward cry scenes I’ve seen in a while.

Perhaps her acting would’ve been better if only the characters were given time to develop and thus become relatable to the audience. First five minutes of Mila Kunis’s appearance she goes from timid to overly attached girlfriend to only become heartbroken moments later. Literally, Oz lays down some heavy flirting, which she laps up like sweet milk from a saucer. Her sisters does a little magic trick to convince her that Oz is a player and that puts her into revenge mode? What the hell is that? How do you transition from “OMG! We just met and I’m like totally in love with you” to “I’m gonna rip your heart out and shit in the cavity”? You do it with rushed writing. Rushed writing that condenses a character arch into a two scene progression because other scenes are reserved for special effect fluff.

 

I’m sorry. I might come off as cynical, but this is only a tolerable movie. It most certainly doesn’t even come close to paling thing original. It doesn’t even deserve to be described as overshadowed, as it is an example of revisiting a classic with good intentions, but with poor writing and a drastic lack of substance.

Let me know what you think.

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Deadman’s Tome Podcast Ep. 4

Deadman’s Tome Podcast four is now available, and Mr. Deadman talks about everything from the new writing contest to the Evil Dead remake. Also, because of the erotic theme of the previous issue, please enjoy the provocative images.

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Best of the Demonic

The Best of the DemonicDTcoverbestofdemonic compiles an assortment of editor picks as a way to celebrate our two years of publication. Loaded with ten gruesome, horrific tales that will pull you to the edge of your seat, this greatest hits anthology will deliver back-to-back a complimentary sample of what Deadman’s Tome is all about.
Fans of our thriving ezine, you already know that this purchase will be totally worth it. Those passing by, you don’t need to hold on to your doubt. As a growing monthly electronic magazine, the quality of our releases has increased phenomenally, and this anthology is a sort of snapshot of what we become.

If you crave horror, if you enjoy a good chill running down your spine, then look no further. Deadman’s Tome delivers.

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Warm Bodies Review

Warm_Bodies_6It’s a rare occurrence that a zombie comedy manages to stagger into theaters. It’s even rarer for the zombie comedy to be of the romantic type, and even much more of an oddity for the film to take the perspective of a zombie.

Warm Bodies is a romantic zom-com from the perspective of a zombie. With that said, there are several liberties that occur to make the perspective possible and entertaining. If you are a stickler on zombie mythology and like it only when zombies walk at a slow pace and remain essentially brain-dead, then this is not for you. Secondly, if you are the type that actively defends modern zombie mythology then you should also take note on all the liberties George Ramiro took even in his first film. Afterall, zombie mythology is no more factual than vampires, and vampire mythology is saturated with fictitious hyperbole stemmed from non-sense folktales.

Warm Bodies follows a very typical romantic comedy story arch. Woman is saved, and brought into the man’s home where she is essentially a stranger in a new land. The man fails to keep her hidden, and his friends and family do not like her, but his perseverance eventually wins them over. Then the reversal occurs to where the man is now taken into the woman’s world… A very typical pattern observed in over dozens of romantic stories from Greek myths to Modern film. The story is so predictable that anyone familiar with romantic comedies will know how the next scene will play out. Is this bad? Yes, and no.

While Warm Bodies suffers from its predictable narration, it offers something different to the mix that still remains on the fringe. Zombies seem to only have one place in film, and that’s to die, even though their already dead. Because zombie traditional have very little screen time, and are rather brainless and one-dimensional, the film has to take several liberties to render a zombie from a reanimated corpse that just simply lumbers and rots, to a reanimated corpse that lumbers, sort of thinks, and tries to interact with the environment. I really do detest that fact that some people take zombie mythology all too seriously. To the very core, Warm Bodies is a comedy, a romantic comedy, and the zombie element is used in a way to make it possible for story telling. It would be impossible for a one-dimensional rotter to do anything other than die. Besides, we’re talking about fictitious creatures that are dead bodies that can lumber and mumble without a brain, heart, lungs, and blood flow.

The strengths for Warm Bodies are R’s quirky and funny narration, the interaction between R and his zombie friends, and the interaction between R and Julie. R’s narration provides witty commentary on how life could be as a zombie on an anecdotal basis, while the interaction bears the question if and how zombies would interact with one another over time. Then, of course, most of the film revolves around the interaction of R and Julie which is very similar to any romantic tale involving lovers from different and conflicting worlds. Julie, being a live and a survivor, was raised and trained to hate and kill zombies, and ironically, zombies apparently have just as much disdain for the living.

Like in any traditional romance involving mortal enemies, once Julie is introduced to R’s family and friends, a feud between the zombies and the even older zombies (bonies) begins, which serve as common enemy that forces the two conflicting sides (zombies and living) to unite. While a common goal is often a necessary component to have rival factions unite, the unification and alliance felt forced by the director and writers.

In summation, Warm Bodies is a light-hearted at life as a zombie spun for a romantic comedy that offers a little of both, but the clichéd and easily predictable narration hinders the experience, while making the absurd perspective easy to swallow for others. The movie is fun, as it is meant to be. Is it an oscar winner? No, of course not. Is it the best zom-com? No, but how many take the perspective of a reanimated corpse? Not a lot of competition there.

Final recommendation: Theaters if you like zom-com. Rent it if you don’t. It’s a fun and enjoyable flick, as it intended.

*For those zombie nerds that actively plan for a zombie apocalypse, if you can’t find empathy for zombies and aren’t flexible on how zombies are depicted (the make-up is really good), then don’t watch it. You’ll end up hating it as it deviates from typical zombie “mythology”.

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2013 Vampire Themed Writing Contest

Walls of cold, hardened flesh bound to bone, a core without the faintest glow of radiance for warmth, and a vast, ever-expansive darkness that permeates the internal decay. Yet, the corpse somehow manages to move. But it doesn’t move like that of a man, however. As if blessed by some unfathomable hellish fiend, it moves with more life than it ever had as a mortal. As if a secret dark oath was taken in exchange for a demonic reanimation, but with any oath their comes a price.

Deadman’s Tome announces a vampire themed writing contest that starts NOW and ends in August. Feel free to submit your dark, morbid, horrific vampire-themed tales for chance to win and be published in the yearly electronic magazine. We don’t want any mushy, teen-drama tales. Any and all submissions of those type will be burned. I’m serious.

What’s the prize? I don’t like this part because I feel that one shouldn’t write because of a prize, but because the craft is enjoyable. However, this is a contest, and every contest has a prize. First place will receive a $100 Amazon gift card, along with a signed copy of The Cradle of Ruin. Second place will receive $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the Cradle of Ruin. Third place will receive a signed copy of the Cradle of Ruin.

Read the SUBMISSIONS page for more details.

Winners and select runner-ups will be featured in the yearly Deadman’s Tome publication.

Send all submissions to Legato10@swbell.net

 

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Horror Erotica Contest Edition

2012 Horror Erotica Writing Contest Edition
2012 Horror Erotica Writing Contest Edition

Journey into a world of dark, carnal horrors, a realm where  sadistic torture is intertwined with pleasure. Brace yourself, for each story  will take you further into a land of extreme perversion.  Otherworldly horrors such as the provocative succubi  will tempt poor unsuspecting saps so that they can feast upon their soul. Narcissistic Masters will  inflict a lashing onto their slaves in the name of obedience. Heavenly beings  that mirror that of ancient Greece will suffer the product of an incestuous  lust. I feel compelled to warn you again, dear reader. The stories do not only  increase with provocative images, they increase with deep and maddening tales  of the consequence of falling for temptation.

 

Download the .PDF: DT2012

Check out the Kindle Version: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JAHIH0/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

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Moving In

The creator and editor-in-chief of Deadman’s Tome regrets to inform you that the old Deadman’s Tome site (www.deadmanstome.com) will be shutting down due to financial reasons. Though funds are tight, the passion for the ideals and principles that allowed the site to exist is immense. Deadman’s Tome, instead of fading into the dark internet abyss, will transition to a new home.

With that said, we welcome you, members of the Deadman’s Tome family, authors, poets, friends, fans, and, of course, curious readers, to our new home.