prodigy: Erik from "Horrors of Literature," illustrated by M.S. Corley. (pity comes too late)
This film was more or less the opposite of Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead. Hot Fuzz is an action-comedy satirizing cop action movies where the plot's influenced by the characters' awareness of action movie tropes. It's incredibly sharp and pointed and packed wall to wall with visual and cinematographic references to a lot of different action movies, as well as in-text dialogue ones. You can tell the director's watched a lot of action movies. It's also an excellent and compelling action movie in and of itself, as well as being fucking hilarious. In making Hot Fuzz, Edgar Wright didn't waste any screentime or camera angles; it's just intelligent enough to be good meta and it's just stupid enough to be fun. As far as self-aware send-ups go, it's a damn good self-aware send-up.

The Cabin in the Woods was not Hot Fuzz. The Cabin in the Woods was like an attempt at a horror movie satire by someone who doesn't actually watch a lot of horror movies. Which I wouldn't be surprised if it was. It was bland. It was at turns kind of funny, faintly vexing, boring, and baffling. It wasn't terrible. It wasn't great. It was indecisive, mostly toothless, sometimes exploitative under the guise of irony. Basically, if you got a somewhat clever but overconfident 14-year-old to write a meta horror movie for their NaNoWriMo, you would get The Cabin in the Woods.

But I guess it's watchable. Spoilers. )

On second thought, pretty much everything I have to say about it is negative, aside from a few things being funny. I still can't say that I hated it, though. It just didn't inspire that kind of strong emotion. It's lukewarm, faintly annoying, a bit soothingly predictable. It's not worth hating, but I'm not sure it's worth nine dollars, either. I am disappointed, though, I was really hoping this would be the Joss Whedon vehicle that convinced me he was back on his feet at all.
prodigy: Oregon Trail screencap recaptioned "FUUUUUCK!!" (shitcaulks)
Liveblogging this time.

There is only one god and his name is Spoilers. And there is only one thing we say to Spoilers. )
prodigy: Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones. (she's liable to grow up mean)
Brienne! Brienne Brienne Brienne! Game of Brienne! What Is Brienne May Never Die!

You have to understand, of my four favorite ASoIaF characters, one of them is in my icon, one of them is in two of my other icons having a bad day, and one of them is in one of my other icons having a really bad day. And one of them is the Maid of Tarth.

But rises again, harder and spoiler. )
prodigy: Richard Madden as Robb Stark from Game of Thrones. (young wolf)
Second verse, same as the first.

Did you pay the spoiler price or the spoiler price? )

I'm not sure all that much happened in this episode either to advance the plot, but it felt like it went faster than the last one, I think because they didn't try to cover all the plotlines (a notable absence of Robb, for one). I liked it, but I hope this goes more places next week.
prodigy: Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones conked out on the ground. (f. m. l.)
The past few weeks have been a bunch of time spent on planes and, consequently, laid up with a bacterial infection.  I had plenty of time to read.  Here are the reviews I'm too lazy to write.

these turned out longer than anticipated )

This post used to be titled "Media Summary" because I'm pretty sure I've watched more than one movie too, but I've forgotten what they were.  Oh well.  Oh yeah, I saw The Hunger Games movie and Titanic 3-D.  THG was a pretty faithful adaptation of the book.  The soundtrack is really good.  Titanic 3-D is the movie Titanic, but in 3-D.
prodigy: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones, scruffy, bleeding, and grinning. (no men like me)
I love the episode title "The North Remembers," it's a fine one for the opener of Clash of Kings. Err, I mean, Game of Thrones Season 2. I mean it, though, titling in general can be a frustrating endeavor but I can't help but think that coming up with Game of Thrones episode titles must be fun.

Where to begin? Oh, we have HBO now! And the S1 box set, so I can do a longer meta post about the adaptation of A Game of Thrones to S1 of GoT if I get up the gumption and the motivation. And I have a fever, which I also had while watching the season premiere, so my memory might be... febrile.

To review, spoilers for Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire.

Because when we've got this much exposition to cram in, the important thing is that we dedicate time to this prostitute character we made up for the show. )

Overall I thought the ep was all right, but not a lot happened in it. It was a "Meanwhile, In..." episode reminding us where we left off.
prodigy: Tulio and Miguel from The Road to El Dorado. (mighty and powerful gods)
Me: I am ze ubermensch.
[personal profile] relia : Oh ja?
Me: I broke into our house! Thus averting $80 of locksmith fees.
[personal profile] relia : Just don't put that as your google status.
Me: Nein, if other people want to break into our house they will have to do the legwork like I did, I am not divulging my new trade secrets.
[personal profile] relia : I'm locking all the windows when I get home XD
Me: If it's any reassurance, the window was a REAL bitch to get into. I definitely had to risk some stepladder-related injury to accomplish it, and basically climbed and dove right in through the guest bedroom. Not an optimal robbery method. Also, it was broad daylight and everyone could see me.
They could also see me going around with the ladder to all the other windows trying each one to see if it was locked, which I'm fairly sure prompted some speculation. But the point is, all's well!
I've never been so annoyed that our house is not at ground level. But on the bright side, it is quite a burglary deterrent.
You know how there's a weird neighbor on every block?
I am pretty sure it's me. I am the weird neighbor.
prodigy: Dorian Gray from "Horrors of Literature," illustrated by M.S. Corley. (swan king)
TWD is sort of hitting that 2-season limit I have with a lot of TV series, which is why I get bored and walk away around that time: the waterskier-approaching-the-shark point when it's starting to look like all the plot they have left to generate centers around people having stupid arguments and a terrible chain of communication. This is often my issue with television in general and the television drama genre in specific -- they're almost always about literally the stupidest and most socially maladjusted group of people you could possibly get in whatever setting (office, noble house, post-apocalyptic travel band, whatever). They're generally about as incompetent and unreasonable as a band of people could possibly be without actually all dying. Anything that can go wrong does go wrong. It's really boring. But I'm not really a TV person anyway, so.

They really need to get back on the road one way or another. The zombie post-apocalyptic genre is pretty ridiculous and implausible just in concept, and one of its big unspoken genre suspensions of disbelief is that humans could or would stay in a state of anarchy for an extended period of time, so part of this involves an empty Mad Max world they can wander around encountering new things like they're in a video game. You kind of need that, because without it there's not enough plot and the threadbare science and sociology of the setup shows through a little too much. The first season had the benefit of things like the CDC episode and other straight-up science fiction that took advantage of the world's potential for fun and creepiness; getting held up too long at Hershel's farm is turning this into a tedious HBO drama.

That being said, the last two episodes weren't bad or anything, just that they depended on Rick having the decisionmaking skills of a small goldfish, Carl's apparent demonic possession, and their walker watch system making basically no sense. I'm really not sure why Daryl isn't in charge at this point. Well, yes, I am sure, in that Daryl doesn't exist in the comics, but on a pragmatic level I really have no idea why Daryl isn't in charge, can you think of one good reason?

Eh, TV writing.
prodigy: Oregon Trail screencap recaptioned "FUUUUUCK!!" (shitcaulks)
The Walking Dead 2.08-2.09 Nebraska; Triggerfinger:

Glenn Learns A Lesson
Changes for Hershel
Happy Birthday, Rick!


Oh! I forgot to mention, it turns out Rel and I had the same idea for the same holiday, which was to make a Sherlock-themed fanmix on for Valentine's Day. However, the mixes we made were slightly different.

If you don't want to click a link to my Tumblr post which will provide you the full experience, the two fanmixes are:

Happiness Is A Warm Gun: A Moriarty/Moran 8-Track Mix. 8 (+1 extra) tracks for the pairing of BBC Sherlock's Jim Moriarty/Sebastian Moran, which is a. sexy, b. romantic, c. and not just because I contributed Nick Cave covering Leonard Cohen. It's an awesome mix and you should go listen right now, I mean it. It also has some smokin'-if-semi-NSFW album art which you should go look at if nothing else. By Rel, natch. Also contains Elvis Costello and Placebo.

*~~Jim and Sherlock Sitting In A Tree!! <3~~*: A Romantic Mix from Jim Moriarty to Sherlock Holmes on the Happy Occasion of St. Valentine's. 14 tracks for Valentine's day!!! Also contains Britney and the Divinyls!!! xoxoxo ... By me.  Album art by misunderstood artist [personal profile] corialis .
prodigy: Oregon Trail screencap recaptioned "Chimney Rock can suck my cock!" (chimney rock can suck my cock!)
I'm watching The Walking Dead's midseason premiere right now, though it could be that by the time I post this I'm not watching it any more. TWD is pretty much the only show I am fairly sure I can watch season-beginning to season-end without getting sick of weekly TV; I get TV'd out pretty fast, but nothing short of some serious shark-jumping (it happens) could quell my TWD addiction. It's quality. I love me some flawed post-apocalyptic survival drama, it's a nice break from all the Downtons and HBO Original Series of the world where the plot continges on the characters' selective muteness. You know I love Downton and Rome, but come on.

ETA: Wow, TWD, you give my heart my favorite chills.

Snagged a meme from [personal profile] metonymy:

Second, [personal profile] brilligspoons did a meme whereby she posted about seven topics someone gave her and then people commented asking for more topics, like unto the questions meme of old. I'm a sucker for this sort of thing and also trying to post more here instead of on tumblr, thus: rambling.

apples, wanderlust, boots, games, piano, tattoos, snow )

Hit me up for topics if you like.
prodigy: Dorian Gray from "Horrors of Literature," illustrated by M.S. Corley. (swan king)
I really wanted to like this movie. It left me lukewarm. Not entirely cold, just sort of lukewarm -- I wouldn't warn anyone not to see it, but I would give the proviso that I wish I'd gotten beforehand, which is that it's unsatisfying and raw and sophomoric altogether, both as a horror film and as a movie. In the end, it seemed like a lot of good material roughly pushed together into a slow, confusing, pointless mess of gothic-horror-standard set and sound design. The Woman in Black didn't offend my senses or anything, but it didn't electrify them either, which is what I'm looking for out of a good horror film: in a horror or suspense film I want to be dragged out of my own cynicism, I want to be forced to stop thinking about the number of scare chords on the soundtrack. Unfortunately, The Woman in Black was not that film.

The whole thing suffered from a number of weak points, but I think three stood out as the biggest: (1) the passivity and nonsensical behavior of the protagonist, who spent the entire film puttering about; (2) the confusingness and bad exposition in the plot that left me wondering more about unclarity than suspense; (3) the thematic incoherence and feeling of general pointlessness pervading the storyline. The plot itself was a fairly standard wronged-woman-becomes-vengeful-ghost monstrous-feminine unheimlich haunting number, which was good and bad, so it took some effort to make that confusing. Then again, it also took some effort to fill a house with such an egregious quantity of creepy dolls.

I'm also choosing to believe that Daniel Radcliffe is the Doogie Howser of Victorian solicitors because that is the only way this movie makes sense. He's actually a pretty talented young actor, though, and Ciarán Hinds was a treasure in the movie and every scene with his character was much better than those without. I hope the movie's good for both of their careers. Ah, Ciarán, why couldn't you have been the star?

In the end, the movie would've been eminently fixable with the attention of a good screenwriter, but I think that was the problem: it didn't have one. The production designer needed to trot on back to Tim Burton. It takes more than some canned creepy-doll, creepy-child, and creepy-woman imagery to make a fresh horror film.
prodigy: Stylized red illustration of a key and a bell along with the four card suits. (oh marvelous things)
Crossposted to [community profile] poetry. In honor of Black History Month in the United States:

Let America Be America Again
by Langston Hughes, pub. 1936

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.) )
prodigy: Gif of the "let's all go to the lobby" pre-movie cartoon. (LET'S ALL GO TO THE LOBBY)
If I kept better track of the books I read, I'd do this for books too, but I read too many and in peculiar sequences. And my TV and movie standards are much lower, which helps me pass for a facsimile of a fun and easygoing person under casual scrutiny.

You know, I never was much of a film person and I'm definitely not a TV person. I'm still not much of a film person -- inasmuch as I wouldn't pass up any form of entertainment or possible art, I wouldn't pass up a film, but it's not high on my list of preferred forms of art or narrative. And never mind the television, if I watch more than 2-3 hours of that a week I start getting depressed and confused like a large shark in an aquarium tank filled with electrical interference.

I once had a friend insinuate that children who grew up without TV were doomed to being socially awkward and out of touch with culture. She was cool. I was 13. I was briefly worried. Now with some perspective I'm happy to report that this was probably one of the dumbest things that came out of anyone's mouth at the time, though some people who are insecure about how much time they spend watching TV are doomed to being out of touch with tact, apparently. But partly due to the company I keep -- and mostly due to having a comparative surfeit of time on my hands -- I have 34 entries and counting under my "TV" tag.

Also, Doctor Who played in 2011, and I wouldn't want to be socially awkward and out of touch with culture! (And there was Game of Thrones which I would've watched if I had to watch it on someone else's smartphone.)

Restricting this to a retrospective of TV/movies in 2011 with an exception or two, I am assigning letter grades for some perspective, as it occurs to me sometimes I say I like a movie and what I really mean was it was about a C on the report card but inoffensive and I was bored. Also one-sentence rundowns where they apply.

2011 was a decent year for TV. )

2011 was a shit year for movies. )

Because best is not the same as favorite:

Favorite TV: Game of Thrones, The Hour, The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Sherlock, Downton Abbey.

Favorite Movies: Fright Night was the only one I particularly imprinted on. Sigh. O tempores, o movies.
prodigy: Thomas and O'Brien from Downton Abbey, scheming. (the ladies who lunch)
So it turned out Barnes & Noble was having a buy-2-get-1-free sale when I was trying to hunt down S1 of Sherlock. It's absurdly easy to get me to spend more money under the pretense of spending less money, so I picked up The Hour and Downton Abbey while I was at it, thereby creating a shopping bag overflowing with even more white people than National Public Radio. Anyway, I'd been meaning to watch DA so I could feel like an internet cool kid again, so we did.

Okay, so I didn't really know what Downton was about before I picked it up and couldn't get a straight answer out of anyone. I think this was because no one wanted to say "it's an expensive, high-quality Edwardian soap opera." Because it is an expensive, high-quality Edwardian soap opera. The best expensive, high-quality Edwardian soap opera. I mean, seriously, if they put this much effort into actual soap operas I would never get anything done during the day again. I would watch Passions more often were it overflowing with scenery porn, period costume, and good actors.

Anyway, I have thoughts on Downton, but more importantly I have feelings on Downton so I am going to talk about those instead. )

While we're at it, can we talk about my creepy and animal attraction to Thomas Barrow? I even waited to post until I could find an icon of him gossiping with O'Brien like Regina George. Never mind he's the token Depraved Homosexual that's in every single period drama these days. I realize I am attracted to practically everything, but though I cannot deny the charms of Matthew Crawley's inexplicably beautiful face or John Bates's egregiously stoic high-melodrama manliness, I can't stop staring at Thomas's evil red-lipped vampiric-Rudolph-Valentino-looking face. I can't help it. It helps that I also love O'Brien and I was thrilled every time the Gossip Girls met to scheme and bitch about things. Thomas, I would maintain the delusion that I could somehow provide you enough emotional support to mend your wicked ways until it ruined both our lives. Just for you. Just for you and your red lips. You're right, they don't appreciate you at Downton.

Cripes, this show makes me sound like a goddamn Avengers fan or something. That's probably a high compliment, though -- it says something for the je ne sais quoi entertainment value of a show if it causes me to turn off my Dave Strider personality, that doesn't happen a lot. I'm glad Hugh Bonneville was in this and caused me to watch it despite no particular understanding of why anyone liked it.
prodigy: Sherlock Holmes tinkers with his chemistry set. (i used to live alone before I knew you)
More DVD commentary meme, also [personal profile] nextian but this time her proper request. It's the wee small hours of the morning! You could (A) attempt sleep (B) work on something productive like an actual fic or (C) procrastinate.

Title: A Study in Amber
Fandom: Echo Bazaar
Characters: Jack Hinks (Player Character), Rubbery Murders NPCs, (Affectionate Devil), etc.
Rating: PG
Summary: My blind friend in the Observatory has theorized that it is the dark that drives us in the Neath to do terrible things.
Wordcount: 8062
Notes: A story based off "The Rubbery Murders" storyline in the browser game Echo Bazaar, done in partial homage/pastiche to Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

My blind friend in the Observatory has theorized that it is the dark that drives us in the Neath to do terrible things. )
prodigy: Titus Pullo looking really sad. (sorry about that)

Spoilers, naturally.

Feelings )

Thoughts )
prodigy: Charles Vess illustration of a harpist and a woman leaning over him. (had i known but yesterday)
Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: "Get rid of your discontent." Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . ." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

I am not a person who ascribes to the notion of an educational canon, but if ever something belonged in the civics and government canon of the United States, it would be Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from a Birmingham Jail -- and if ever someone deserved an American state holiday dedicated to remembering them, it would be him.

RIP Dr. King, and may people read and hear your words, not just the ones that make them feel comfortable, and continue to think and believe.
prodigy: Sherlock intently half-smiles at John. (you see the things they never see)
Going to try for spoiler-free on this one. Overall -- that's more like it! I'm relieved it was solid. I'm really relieved it was solid. This was the ep of S2 I really hoped was going to be good, considering it was The Hound of the Baskervilles, and all in all it was a pretty decent adaptation of the theme of that story to a modern-day context; I guess it's turning out that I prefer the Gatiss episodes to the other writers, considering "The Great Game" was my last-season favorite. The pacing was just plain better than most Sherlock episodes and it unfolded something like a regular mystery rather than a Moffat Plot Twist Carnival, and didn't keep introducing new elements willy-nilly, which was good.

The character writing for Sherlock was considerably better than "Scandal" and gave BC an opportunity to give him a pretty wide variety of reactions and mannerisms -- it added to his watchability on whole. That said, uh, I realize a lot of people are jumping on Sherlock's actions this ep for being inappropriate, and it's not like they aren't, but I can't be the only one who thought John was rolled-a-natural-1-on-Diplomacy levels of mean?

Overall I agree with [personal profile] relia that the ep could've done better being a 120-minute movie than a 88-minute episode, so it reached about 70% of its potential as it is, but it's better than 30% or 10%. Sherlock really is the uneven series that can't decide whether it's written like a long-running show or a miniseries.
prodigy: Sherlock Holmes tinkers with his chemistry set. (i used to live alone before I knew you)
Hard book to adapt. Better than I expected. Could've been improved with more dialogue, more left on the cutting room floor, and more thematic focus. Sets a little too stylish, mood creepy and disturbing enough. Mark Strong not the man I would've picked for his role, but wound up being my favorite. Benedict Cumberbatch adorable, blowing his boss. Everything else is probably a spoiler.
prodigy: Booster Gold and Blue Beetle making fun of Batman. (hi batman!)
I was trying to stop the Apocalypse from happening and I was on a roadtrip through the American Southwest at the time. One of the steps in the quest involved waking an ancient, Aztec-era sleeping god that took the form of an enormous lizard a la a dragon, and I kept deciphering old maps that took me to locations in the desert that had strange formations but none quite seemed to be what I was looking for.

Then I had an epiphany and realized that they were ALL the locations of the sleeping god, which was actually the size of nearly the entire desert. )

The reason I am posting this dream is because I somehow know it was caused by watching the Supernatural episode 5.08 - "Changing Channels," which is at once the best episode of Supernatural, one of the best episodes of anything, and tragically not what the rest of Supernatural is about.  I am doing everything I can to... slightly lessen... the spread of.  .... genital herpes.  And that's a good thing.


prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (Default)
the late, or rather, later Henrik Egerman

September 2016

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