Monday, August 20, 2012

Kernel's Library: The Lighter Side of Count Dracula

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova Book 00028: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
- The Historian

First Publication:
- 14 June 2005 by Little Brown

- The Historian has been heavily marketed by its publisher, Time Warner, and much hype was given to it prior to its release. Moreover, Kostova was paid an advance of $2 million.
- Columbia Pictures and Red Wagon Productions has optioned this novel for a movie adaptaion.

- University of Michigan's Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress
- New York Times bestseller
- 2006 Book Sense "Book of the Year" in the Adult Fiction
- 2007 Dublin Impac Award Nominee
- Quill Award (Debut Author of the Year, 2005)
- International Horror Guild Nominee (Novel, 2005)
- 500 Great Books for Teens
- Telegraph's "100 Best Books Since 1982"
- Wyvernfriend's "2007 Impac Award Nominees"

Spine-tingling tales are quite not easy to make, but they are easy to read. I appreciate the writers who have the talent to make readers shiver that has nothing to do with the cold. These writers are the ones that could stir our nightmares and fears. One of these writers is Elizabeth Kostova, the author of The Historian, which is the reason of my one-time week-long sleepless nights.

The Historian is a tale of a young woman who searches around Europe for her missing father, who took on the challenge of locating the grave of Vlad the Impaler (the bloodthirsty feudal lord who inspired Bram Stoker's "Dracula"). She must use all her resources to achieve her goals and even a slew of bloodsuckers would not stop her.

Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor," and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of -- a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed -- and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler's dark reign-and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages.

Parsing obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions -- and evading the unknown adversaries who will go to any lengths to conceal and protect Vlad's ancient powers -- one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil. Elizabeth Kostova's debut novel is an adventure of monumental proportions, a relentless tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present, with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful-and utterly unforgettable.

Chatters -- shiver me timbers!

Grade: A+

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

7 New Character Posters and a Trailer of Comedy Seven Psychopaths

Seven Psychopaths

Academy Award-winning writer and director Martin McDonagh (director of short movie Six Shooter and writer of In Bruges) is back on the director seat, despite preferring writing over directing, this time to tickle our laughing bones. Seven Psychopaths, his latest comedy masterpiece, is expected to be released internationally on October 12, 2012.

The cast includes seven well-regarded stars like Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits, Olga Kurylenko, and Gabourey Sidibe. Director McDonagh also wrote and co-produced Seven Psychopaths, which already speaks for the movie's sure hit. You can head over to Daily Mail for some drunken set pictures.

Or you could continue reading to discover which kind of psychopath are you:

And here's all seven of them in the Seven Psychopaths' official movie poster and banner:

You could also watch the movie trailer of Seven Psychopaths:

The story revolves round a struggling writer named Marty, played by Colin Farrell, as he tries to finish writing his latest screenplay entitled Seven Psychopaths. His unemployed actor and part time dog thief of a bestfriend named Billy (Sam Rockwell) wanted to help him by injecting a little focus and inspiration on his career.

Billy employed the help of another henchman called Hans (Christopher Walken), who is a religious man -- but with a very violent past -- to steal the beloved dog owned by a psychotic gangster widely known among many as Charlie (Woody Harrelson). Enraged Charlie vows to kill anyone who is involved with the theft. This is certainly where Marty is going to get all the focus and inspiration he needs, if only he survived to tell the tale.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2 New Resident Evil: Retribution Posters Featuring Alice and Ada Wong

Resident Evil: Retribution

The Ultimate Battle Begins as Resident Evil: Retribution is almost in our hands for the taking -- or for watching, rather. Marking the last month of waiting before its release, Resident Evil 5 is up to grab the attention of the international scene with these two newly released posters intended for Digital and IMAX 3D viewers. Will this be the last movie in the series?

One of these two posters features the highly anticipated introduction to a new character named Ada Wong, played by Li Bingbing. This anticipation is brought about by the fact that Ada Wong is one of the most favorite female characters in the game series, together with Jill, who was played by Sienna Guillory in Apocalypse.

Compare which of these two Resident Evil: Retribution posters suits you better:

And here's a lot more posters previously released around the world:

 Resident Evil: Retribution premiers on September 14, 2012 and was directed, written and produced by the series' third time director Paul W. S. Anderson, husband of the movies' main actress, Milla Jovovich. Many characters, who were thought to be dead, will return including Michelle Rodriguez playing the character Rain Ocampo and Colin Salmon playing James "One" Shade -- or were they clones? It's for you to find out.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Red is Taylor Swift's Newest Album, Plus Her 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' Single

Taylor Swift

Updated: The regular and deluxe editions of Red is now available for download over iTunes.

Yes, that's right. Taylor Swift is expected to release her latest album on October 22, 2012 and it's Red. The singer/song-writer has revealed the title and cover art of the said album, along with some juicy details, during a live web chat on August 13 held on Youtube and Google Plus. She worked with various producers for this album -- but mostly with Nathan Chapman -- after solely writing her third. This is contrusing her statement that she would co-write her fourth album with people "from all different places in music."

Some of the artists that she has collaborated with include Dan Wilson, Butch Walker, Lori McKenna, Ed Sheeran and Mark Foster of Foster the People. On September 22, Taylor is scheduled to perform together with numerous artists at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas. Below, you could listen to a preview of the first single from the album titled We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, which was first released during the said live chat and is now available over iTunes and Google Play Store.

Ogle over this boat-swaying and healthily delicious cover of Taylor Swift's upcoming Red album:

And here is the lyric video of We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, her latest single from the album Red:

Updated: Here is the official music video of We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together:

Sing along with Taylor Swift - We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together lyrics

I remember when we broke up the first time
Saying this is it, I've had enough, 'coz like
We haven't seen each other in a month
When you, said you, needed space, what?
Then you come around again and say
Baby, I miss you and I swear I'm gonna change
Trust me, remember how that lasted for a day
I say, I hate you, we break up, you call me, I love you

Oooh we called it off again last night
But Oooh, this time I'm telling you, I'm telling you
We are never ever ever getting back together
We are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends talk
And my friends talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together

Like ever...

I'm really gonna miss you picking fights
And me, falling for a screaming that I'm right
And you, will hide away and find your peace of mind
With some indie record that's much cooler than mine

Oooh you called me up again tonight
But Oooh, this time I'm telling you, I'm telling you
We are never ever ever getting back together
We are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends talk
And my friends talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together

I used to think, that we, were forever ever ever
And I used to say never say never
Huh, he calls me up and he's like, I still love you
And i'm like, I mean, I mean this is exhausting, you know
We are never getting back together, like ever

We are never ever ever getting back together
We are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends talk
And my friends talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together

Not getting back together, we
Oh, getting back together

You go talk to your friends talk
And my friends talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together

Here is the cover of the single:

And here is Taylor Swift interviewed over ABC about her new album and single:

Personally, I believe this album will stray away from country genre after obviously listing some alternative and pop artists that she has collaborated with for this album. At least we have something new from Taylor Swift. I still liked her second album best and the rest are still good and hopefully this upcoming one will change it all. And judging from the cover of the album, we may be able to expect more daring and mature songs from Taylor, and I would most definitely love her more for that.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Set Photos and TV Spot

Wimpy Kid

Now Showing: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. The third installment of Diary of a Wimpy Kid is in for more teenage angst as the actors behind every characters are growing older and older. Zachary Gordon's Greg Heffley is obviously older that the one described in the original book series written and illustrated by Jeff Kenney.

It was kind of obvious why then the people behind these movies urged on to combine the third and fourth book to become the third movie in the series. They cannot stop the actors from growing and they are hoping to cast same set of actors only to finish the now 7 published books in the series. It would be a shame to the continuity and to the fans if we are to find new actors to play our beloved characters, right?

Eleven new set photos from Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days follow after the jump:

And here's a new TV spot, showcasing brotherly love:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is now showing in the theaters near you. So far the movie was hailed as better than the second one, but still far behind the first movie in the series. It's too early yet to tell, because your undying support to the book and movie series alike are surely in for the counting! Watch the movie if you haven't yet.

Breaking Dawn Part 2 Photos and Some Changes on Its Ending

Breaking Dawn

Updated: Added a sizzling close-up picture of Bella.

A few months before the release of the most awaited conclusion to The Twilight Saga, Entertainment Weekly has once again released a number of photos from the set of Breaking Dawn, Part 2. You might recall that earlier this year we also had a glimpse of the movie through numerous set photos released by said magazine. The hype on the upcoming movie release is starting to boil up and many fans are expected to spread the word.

Accompanying this new set of photos is a shocking revelation about the ending of the movie. The ending has been changed and Stephenie Meyer is part of that creative process. As long as Meyer is behind this decision I do believe that we have nothing to fret about. The good thing is we have something new to look forward to, something we haven't known yet from the novels.

Feast your eyes on these lovely photos from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2:

And check out the now producer Stephenie Meyer as she strolled around the meadow set of the movie.

And as for the ending here is what sources has to share to us:

Even devoted readers of Meyer's books are in for a pretty big shock in the final third of the film, when the plot strays from the last novel in a sequence dreamed up by Meyer and longtime screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg one night over dinner. "When I first read the script, I got to that part and was like, 'What?'" Pattinson says. "And then I had to go back a page." Still, even those averse to change will be more than satisfied, and probably thrilled, by how the series ends. The actors certainly are. Says Pattinson, "It does it a serious justice."

Updated: A close-up picture of Bella.

Despite the scandal that Kristen Stewart has taken part with, the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 will surely be unaffected if not improved. For me those negative publicity will surely boost the marketing of the movies. In fact, interest on Stewart has more or less doubled after that incident. Who knows what might happen in between now and on movie's release date on November 16, 2012.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Script Releases #3 Full Track Listing and Lots of Promotions

The Script

We were not given yet of the official music video for The Script's Hall of Fame single, but The Script is trying to appease us with a different yet samely satisfying treat as the band revealed on their official website the track listing of their upcoming album #3. It was especially for the deluxe edition of the album, which is composed of a whooping 18 tracks.

The band is surely busy for the marketing of the album as just recently they released a lot of trending topics that received a lot of fan support and reactions. Despite being busy with their rehearsals for their upcoming international tour, it didn't stop them from being in touch with their fans.

Read on for the track listing for The Script's #3 deluxe edition:

1 Good Ol' Days
2 Six Degrees of Separation
3 Hall of Fame ( feat.
4 If You Could See Me Now
5 Glowing
6 Give the Love Around
7 Broken Arrow
8 Kaleidoscope
9 No Words
10 Millionaires
11 Moon Boots
12 Hurricanes
13 Hall of Fame (Original Version)
14 Breakeven (Live At The Aviva Stadium, Dublin)
15 The Man Who Can't Be Moved (Live At The Aviva Stadium, Dublin)
16 Talk You Down (Live At The Aviva Stadium, Dublin)
17 For the First Time (Live At The Aviva Stadium, Dublin)
18 VideoMaking of #3

And if you haven't seen the official cover art of the album, you can check it out below:
The Script #3 Album Cover
Join some of the marketing stunts The Script is doing with the help of their devoted fans:


Simply take a photo of your self while raising your three fingers signifying the number three. Be as creative as you can get, because others are raising four fingers, intertwining 2 middle fingers that gives an illusion of number three. Upload this picture on your twitter account and put a little description on it with the hashtag #3FingersUp. If you are lucky enough you will be included in the collage that's posted on the band's webpage. And you will get to hear the Hall of Fame single as a bonus.


Who is on your Hall of Fame? The band was inspired to write the song Hall of Fame because of the people that inspire them. Now, they wanted to know who are the people who inpire their fans. Take a video of your self and state your answer to this query on the link above and then upload it to the website. It's that easy. You could be featured on the homepage and who knows how many people will watch and discover the person who inspires you.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Kernel's Library: And the Most Unfortunate of All...

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket Book 00027: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning

First Publication:
- 30 September 1999 by HarperCollins

- The author's real name is Daniel Handler
- The last name Baudelaire is a reference to Charles Baudelaire, a French poet.
- Mr. Poe's surname, Poe, and the names of his children, Edgar and Albert, are obvious allusions to Edgar Allan Poe
- The first three books were made into an Academy-award winning movie directed by Brad Silberling.

- Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards
- Colorado Children’s Book Award
- ALSC Notable Recording
- AudioFile Earphones Award
- YALSA Audio Book and Alternative Media Recordings
- Nevada Young Readers Award
- Nene Award (Hawaii)

I've got to tell you something important: Count Olaf is a villain! That's right and he was first spotted in the first book of The Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning. So I might as well tell you not to anger him -- or maybe hiding is quite better. Don't think that he is alone with his schemes for he has many cronies to assist his every evil plan.

And to prove my point further, here is a letter from the author:

"Dear Reader,

"I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

"In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,"

Lemony Snicket

This unfortunate story will unfortunately hook you to the very end. I was brought back to my childish yearnings and at times got frustrated on the anti-climax plot, which was really a tease. So don't ever dream of buying this book for you will, unfortunately, be spending a lot of money for the next books of the series.

Grade: B+

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

100 Best-Ever Teen Novels According to NPR Survey

Top 100 Books

NPR has released the result of their survey on 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels based on the response given by 75,000 people who voted their favorite YA books. There is an increase on the number of respondents that reached upto 15,000 compared to last year's survey on Science Fiction genre.

Accordingly, NPR also noted that "it’s almost a cliche at this point to say that teen fiction isn’t just for teens anymore." This is actually right, because even older readers couldn't get their hands off books for teens. Unsurprisingly, the all-time favorite series of books made it to the top. Can you guess what it is?

Here are the initial list of books that made it to the top 10 of 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels:

Do you agree with the result of the survey or do you think that there are still far better books than the ones included. If so, don't forget to add up your vote on next year's another set of survey.

Head over to NPR to read the full list of 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

American Idol Phillip Phillips Releases Home Music Video

Phillip Phillips

Updated: The song was featured in Trouble with the Curve movie trailer below. The single was featured as the official theme song of the Women gymnastics team of USA for 2012 Olympics and has reached Platinum Record!

The Eleventh Season of American Idol was a record breaker for the show's entire history with the most number of voters for the last two contestants on the finale. The battle for the title was left between two talented contestants, both I watched for so dearly -- Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez. And the male proved to be the victor.

On the finale, Phillip Phillips performed an original composition for his winning single. It was a very personal piece of music entitled Home. Now after a few weeks from the said event, Phillip Phillips released the music video for the said single, which is a montage of the journey he has to take to achieve the crown he now enjoys.

Check out the Home music video by Phillip Phillips:

And if you missed it, here also is the official cover art for Phillip Phillips' Home single:

This music video highly reflects the song's theme, which is very personal for Phillip Phillips. He has struggled a lot in life and on American Idol per se, including the pains he has to go through before his kidney surgery. Encouraging and strengthening at most times, this is a song of braving and journeying through the unknown. But once you believe in your self and the support anyone who believes gives you you will be able to survive that journey.

Personally, this is a very touching song for me. There's no instance that tears wouldn't drop on the very few notes of the song. It then grows to a very enlightening and inspiring song that wipes away the tears on my face with a smile. Despite being alone and lonely, one must not lose hope that someone out there, another creature is there to help you and accompany you -- may it be physical presence or in spirit.

Updated: Listen to the song also as it was featured in Trouble with the Curve movie:

So don't lose hope and look on the brighter side of things. Feel the empowering effect of this perspective that will eventually help you prevail and achieve the happiness you deserve.