Camelot >>>>>> Merlin

Comments spoil.
Four days of sore throat and I have finally lost my voice. I am hoping this is a turning point. =/

Also not fun: what sounds like four hundred people beating drums and lighting firecrackers up the block in some kind of demonic frenzy. I don't know what they're celebrating, but where I live I doubt it is gay marriage and I want them to SHUT UP.

Off to gargle with salt.
Is it me, or does Catelyn Stark look remarkably like President Roslin?

(And by what logic is everyone pronouncing "Catelyn" with a short A?)

And hey...What exactly is the criterion for a show appearing on BBC America, anyway?

Moffat, why do you play with me so? I want to be miffed at you, I have such issues with you, but I'm having so much fun now you've given me a Doctor who is actually being what the Doctor is supposed to be, plus a side of people who will regularly call his bullshit. *love hearts flying from eyes* ("I'm a monk." BAHAHAHAHAHA!) Now give me a non-Earthian companion again and I will have truly come home. Or a Vastra and Jenny spinoff show. I ask for so little. (Oh, and maybe a complete absence of Daleks and Cybermen forevermore?)

Still not buying badass Rory. But liking badass Rory well enough. Sensible? Who knows, does it matter? I've only ever bought badass Nine and badass Donna Noble on this show anyway.

Playing "doesn't s/he look just like" with Mom yet again, it's been decided that Yoon Hee Suk is a ringer for Roger from "What's Happening" when he wears glasses (it's the grin) and is kinda adorable as an immature putz (ok mom does not agree there, she is a meanie) and we are ashamed we did not recognize him as the evil magistrate from "Gumiho." (Mom finds him cuter in Chosun garb. She is not without reason. I actually just find him cuter when he is evil.)

Wish the upcoming Teen Wolf did not look so horrible.

I have too much to do. The proper response to this should not be doing nothing. But dangit it is the Sabbath. Ha! Battle cry of the conveniently religious...

blah blah

May. 31st, 2011 01:02 pm
I am offended by my horoscope. It is... spanking me.

“If you are more motivated to partake in inessential activities than you are in serious endeavors, then don’t expect to get anything important done.”

Harrumph well I never. Just because I decided to watch a marathon of bad dragon-based DVDs this weekend...

Here is a fun link. (See how I skillfully segued that one in there.) I have not seen the majority of these -- I think a couple of them are a stretch. "Mulan" doesn't really count as a "dragon movie," does it? More of a "movie with a side of small dragon." (I suppose that's not fair, the article is more a catalog of dragon appearances.) Fascinatingly, I found the article after I had my marathon (Dragonslayer, Dragonheart, and Reign of Fire if you must know. And Chicken Run. Look, there’s a big flying object in it. Funnily enough, How to Train was not part of this extravaganza of couch potatoness. I'll remedy that later.) Reign of Fire improves tremendously after a long absence. Dragonslayer does not, but it is cute (Just try and deny it, Peter MacNicol. I saw you. It is documented) and has some surprisingly hardcore moments. We were definitely less wimpy in our children's programming the 80s. Dragonheart suffers the most; it seems I was able to overlook a lot of things about it in 1996 at the dollar theater. It's like the Monty Python "Constitutional Peasant" sketch taking itself seriously. For verisimilitude they'd all have to be slaughtered by a warlord in the sequel.

Interesting thematic overlap between Reign of Fire and Chicken Run: meddling Yankees.

Off to watch my friend's baby girl graduate! ^________^
GoT: I'm somewhat glad about the upcoming purgings, if only because it means we'll be out of King's Landing soon (surely there are fewer whorehouses outside of King's Landing???) and I won't have to watch anymore protracted graphic sex in front of unwary family members.(Sorry, Mom!) (I was going to say "surprise graphic sex" but considering the network I'm watching I have no right to be surprised, really.) That said, I really, deeply liked, in a literary sense, the calm juxtaposition of the situation with what Baelish was threatening, veiled very thinly, to do to Ned Stark. Kinda embarrassed that the juxtaposition didn't hit me until the next day. "He knows it's an act, that you put on an act for everyone, but he thinks he's the one man manly enough to convince you that your act is real." Brrr. Also hot. Oh god, I'm ashamed. Ok, not really.

PoTC, a lukewarm review, but there is some warm in the luke I swear )

Also — seriously, WHY do people leave the theater before the credits are done? Don't you guys remember World's End at ALL? (Maybe a better question would be — WHEN will these filmmaker guys stop putting important plot-related scenes after nine hours of credits? Although it is not possible to have a film offend as deeply at this as World's End did. This was just a teaser — the scene at the end of World's End was a crucial wrapup of the entire plot in what was meant to be the last film of the trilogy.)

Deep? OK, it's not even fair to expect that.
Enjoyable? More or less.
Worth admission? Yes, sort of, especially without the bloody 3D. I'm not sure I would have said "yes" last week when I saw it, though, especially since admission for me is thirteen [expletive] bucks, $14.50 for advance Internet purchase. But those spooky mermaids deserve a big-screen viewing.
Worth the bedbug risk? No.
Worth repeat viewing? No.

Okay, so that's my film viewage for this month. Heh — I saw Hanna nearly five weeks ago and am only just now getting around to typing up my notes. Yes, I took notes, I take notes, I am a note taker, don't judge me. ~___^


May. 28th, 2011 08:52 pm

Let the record show that I liked this film immensely. However, I began mentally dissecting it not during the commute home, but during the film itself, which indicates I had some fairly serious issues with it.

Now then.

You've seen this film before. This is not a bad thing, but yes -- this is not groundbreaking. What is nice is a sort of non-Hollywood sensibility (at least, at first) that pervades the production. Actors taking their roles very seriously, disappearing into them, and being very, very good -- emotion being conveyed by those actors as opposed to swells of background music... and so on. Obviously, it passes Bechdel. And we have Saorise Ronan, who is...everything that they used to keep telling me Dakota Fanning was, except this time around, I believe it. But yeah, if you are at all familiar with this genre, you know exactly what will happen, what will be revealed, and how it will all end. There are some lovely riffs on things in the interim, though, and that's what this film hinges on -- in fact, it's not letting these riffs do enough or be significant enough that messes up the film for me.

Analysis with mild spoilers )

Anyway, awesome acting across the board saves the script.

Deep? Ultimately no.
Enjoyable? Yes.
Worth admission? Definitely.
Worth the bedbug risk? Yes.
Worth repeat viewing? For quality, I'd say yes. It would be diminished by knowing exactly what was going to happen. As I said, you know the plot of this thing, but there are some really nice riffs in the interim, and it's lovely to listen to Saorise Ronan speaking languages. And of course everybody doesn't die, but on a repeat viewing you'd know exactly who does.


May. 28th, 2011 07:40 pm
So there was "Hesher." And I wanted to love it, and for a long time I did -- and then it became an extravaganza of fridging and slut-shaming, like, ridiculous, gratuitous, and not remotely sensible slut-shaming, like slut-shaming that hinged on quasi-pedophilia being legitimate to even make a lick of sense, and so I had to break up with it before the closing credits were done. But while the love lasted, it was indeed love.

There is no actual pedophilia in this film by any stretch. However. [spoilers] )


Deep? Yes, kind of!
Enjoyable? Mostly. Funny, when it meant to be, and heartstring-tugging without being maudlin on all the right notes. The grossness of the title character was a very distant second to the very real pain that all the characters were going through (and acting the hell out of). Had the only fart joke I've ever laughed aloud at since preadolescence, which is saying something, and yes I am embarrassed, and also shut up.
Worth admission? I wanted it to be. =/ Maybe if I had walked out of the very last fifteen minutes...
Worth the bedbug risk? Ultimately no.
Repeat viewing? Nah.



May. 28th, 2011 07:19 pm
Thank you ever so.

Thank you for being cute.

And unserious.


And for taking your shirt off...

... while leaving Natalie Portman's butt completely covered - nay, dare I say it, completely offscreen for the entire production.

And for being actually kind of layered and nuanced with your Loki Lie-Smith.

Read more... )

Anyway. Cute movie.
Deep? No.
Canonical? Don't ask me silly questions. ;-)
Fun? Yes.
Worth the 3D? No, the 3D was profoundly annoying, although I can see how it might have been great had I not hated my glasses for making everything dark and pinching my face and being suspiciously fingerprinted. Yuk.
Worth the bedbug risk? Yeah, pretty much.
Worth admission? Yes, worth the non-3D admission. I am offended by what I paid for3D just because the 2D was sold out. Since when does 2D sell out first? Grrrr
Repeat viewing? Nah.

(When will people learn not to walk out of this sort of film during the credits? OBVIOUSLY there was an extra scene after the credits providing answers to the fate of one character and hints at the next [possible] film.)

Jeeze, where to begin?

I had confessions and blatherations to blather and confess, and then I realized that my either my professionalism or my somewhat haphazardly preserved but very much cherished separation between this name and life, and my actual, nonvirtual name and life, might be jeopardized.

Or not. I don't know. I'll work at being vague. :-)

Being on the other side of the past two days is making the story of the past two days a whole lot shorter than it was when I was upset, and riled up, and writing and tweaking and augmenting this post in my head for hours and hours. I mean, it's been busted out on the Huffington Post now. It's no longer just another angry little thing that I encountered online without meaning to, needing to, or wanting to, that utterly ruined my day. Large numbers of people are in righteous indignation about it now. It feels like... like a fuzzy blanket. ^__________^

(I really don't want to know about the people who are in agreement -- so far I've managed to avoid the comment trolls.)

And now I'm calm. Which is weird, because by Monday afternoon, I was unable to conduct any daily business with my coworkers because my voice was not working; I was not really typing effectively due to my hands shaking; I was unable to make sounds come out of my mouth; and I was making sweeping silent decisions to eschew humankind forevermore and not to have kids ever, because this world does not deserve my kids!** and I am going to shave my head, who cares!!***, and internally wailing how the bloody FUCK did I wind up working in the fashion industry what kind of SENSE does that make I NEVER wanted to be here, Oh god I just want to go to bed, and finally letting my thoughts slide headlong into "Well I'm GLAD the world is ending on Saturday because you people don't want me anyway! What do I care! So there!" (No, no, I swear I haven't actually been an emo teenager for quite a while...)

I'm making light of it now, but it did hurt, and it keeps on hurting, and I really don't understand why it keeps happening, why it is so important to certain people that it must absolutely keep on happening, that it must never ever be allowed to stop hurting -- and it seems to be part and parcel of my online life for some reason.

Seriously, this same damn topic was thrown at me within, I think, a week of my first getting online in 1996, back when we had webrings and Geocities and AOL was still pay-by-the-hour and would kick your butt off if you were idle for twenty minutes together. (Sent to me by someone well-meaning! A friend! "Read this horrible thing that will make you feel terrible! Isn't it terrible? I am outraged, are you outraged?" No, I'm not outraged, I don't have the luxury of outrage like you do at the moment, because I'm miserable and depressed because this is ABOUT ME.) This was more or less my introduction to online life. "Hello Tsu! Black women are the ugliest women alive! Everyone thinks so! L8rs!"

Shall I just linkspam? (Heh -- is that a bit ironic given the previous paragraph? Okay, I'll warn for the horrible parts and they can be read at discretion.)

This was my first alert: Action Alert-Contact Psychology Today Re Their Racist Attack On Black Women. FULL TEXT OF THE HORRIBLE REPRINTED HEREIN, BUT SKIPPABLE.

[Note -- I cannot possibly endorse all comments/comment threads. I cannot possibly read all comment threads.]

(The article in question.)


So that was yesterday. And there were one or two other links, today, which made me feel a tad less despairing. Sorta. And then there was the fact that the offending article itself was taken down. Swiftly! That made me feel significantly better.

And you know, I'd been kind of terrified of what the responses to this would be -- not that they would be bad responses, but that they would be dismissible responses. "You are all over-testosteroned mutants!" "No, we are not (in poetic lanugage)!" (Which, come to think of it, was pretty much the response back in 1996. It did not make me feel better then either.) (Although we weren't actually mutants back then, so I guess that was cool.)

I want people to point out how he is being Humpty Dumpty with language.

("Objectively"? What? What? Even if his study sample had been a decently scientific one, with a range of deviation that was meaningful in some way, and had taken into acount cultural or media influences, perhaps involved infant studies, which do exist and are available -- pardon, beating my head against wall for a moment --

-- would the presence, within his survey, of a statistically significant percentage of people who disagree with the rest not automatically give the lie to the word "objective"? Does the existence of variant opinion not by its very nature signify "subjectivity"? Essentially, what he is saying here is that everyone who is not black is correct, is reporting with pristine Vulcan logic, and speaks cold, unemational, absolute truth, but everyone who is black is deluded and engaging in wishful thinking. And thereby invalidates their opinion. So in the survey of a certain number of people, a survey which exists to determine the attitudes of these people, a survey that is COMPLETELY ABOUT ESOTERICA, all who disagree with the majority are no longer proper "people" in the same way as the "real people" who agree with the predetermined conclusion are. All the people who profess the "wrong" opinion... what, don't actually believe themselves? Their words go up in a puff? They cease existing by paradox??? WHAT THE... OH MY GOD. And this after his big old Ann C**lter-supporting article on "We don't hate enough" asserting left right and center that it is normal for people to prefer other people who look like themselves, that we are designed by evolution to prefer our own group, suddenly this preference doesn't count and is a delusion and oh you know what I can't type this anymore, I have made myself tired.)

I want people to point out that his science, his sampling, and his semantics are piss poor and that he is bad at what he does.

And do you know, the universe has been giving me what I want!
Follow the links on this piece.
So we all agree... what next?
Oh hey, look, a piece in the same mag.

SO -- what am I doing by even taking about this putz and spreading this story?

Look -- I'm not strong, I'm not self-actualized, I've not yet reached any glorified plateau of awareness where I can be like the Zen Ones who just say "Ignore! It doesn't matter! Discussion gives it undeserved life!" I am reticent and nervous and extremely easily saddened and discouraged -- I am not strong, I am not an Amazon, and to be quite goddamned honest, I resent the fake and fabricated obligation to be so. The only thing internalization has ever done for me is make me physically sick. On the other hand, the discussions I've seen taking place, women sharing common pain and triumphant stories and bolstering each other has made me feel better.

Ignoring it gives it life too, but it is a stinking poisonous life devoid of truth, that whispers "It's not happening," and "that was long ago" and "the worst is over" and "you are hysterical," and even more quietly, underneath all the rotten layers, "actually, they are right about you."

So, yeah, a little better. I'm almost back up to emotional status quo now. ^______^

(There's a little bit more, but I ain't gonna lie -- it needs to be locked.)

**Depending on how well you know me, you'll realize what an extreme statement that is.


May. 17th, 2011 06:18 pm
I accomplished something important today.

I'm not sure why that just hit me.

(more later, I have to go home and do laundry. :-D)
In making the chili-chocolate pie I made Mom for Mom's day (this sounds like the beginning of a tongue twister) I may have overdone it on the chocolate.

It also seems to have spontaneously resolved itself into layers while baking. There is a veritable soft chocolaty core going on here. Basically, what we have here is a nine-inch-diameter candy bar. (Well, half of one, at this point.) With a touch of molasses and kalua.

I cannot bring myself to regret this even slightly.

Source Code

May. 9th, 2011 07:01 pm
Source Code -- it’s impossible to not compare this one to Inception just in terms of proximity**. (Obviously for one to be released so quickly after the other, the two projects had to be in development at the same time, more or less, and so it’s fairly childish to accuse the one of “copying” the other -- especially since as a sci-fi trope this is older than Methuselah). Up front, I’ll just let you know that for reasons that are tiny in number but loom large in my brain, I prefer Source Code. (If I must spoil, I’ll Rot’13.)

Both deal with alternative times/spaces/worlds located only in the mind, and the ramifications of one’s behavior in those worlds on what is real.

There’s dead women at the heart of each. Sort of. There’s a thin tightrope stretched over those Fridges, shall we say.

There is a healthy dose of your typical “I have to tell my father”/Oh if only my son knew” business. Um...yeah.

In a nutshell, Inception ultimately registered with me as sweet (and triumphant), whereas Source Code registered with me as bittersweet (and triumphant), and because of that, I feel that I walked away from Source Code not only with more going on inside me emotionwise but more to ponder. One could take that sentence and dismiss Source Code as a tearjerker, which is not entirely misguided, and I would allow it had Inception not attempted just as much jerkage with footage of cute slo-mo children with curly hair.

Don’t get me wrong. I walked out of Inception feeling quite joyful, and perfectly OK with how I’d spent my cash.

It’s just that in contrast I walked out of Source Code feeling that it had actually given me what it promised me.

Hands down, Inception was the more ambitious, both in concocting a rationale and rules for the sci in its fi and in its cinematography. Source Code does not do this, which is probably a good thing in terms of the film aging well. I listened to the character explaining his technology and had a distinct impression of the way the progression of real-world knowledge renders science fiction, well, adorable eventually, in a “World of Tomorrow” at Disneyland sort of way. Source Code handles this by being very swift -- having an impatient character technobabble very quickly and with great impatience, using the word “quantum” a lot, telling the POV character “oh, you just wouldn’t understand anyway huff-puff-blowhardblowhard OH WE DON’T HAVE TIME CLOCK TICKING DOWN YOU UNSCHOOLED BARBARIC NEOPHYTE, OMG” -- but in so doing, scientifically soundly or not, he lays down the rules of this game concisely and in short order. (And -- for the most part -- the rules don’t change, it’s just that Mr. POV refuses to believe in them.) So it's very clear that the "rules" are not the important part of this story (and I think that's a good thing). They're not pretending to be real rules, they're simply establishing a framework in which we are going to ask and debate some questions by seeing them acted out.

(Mr. POV also kinda gets called on his racism. 0_0 Kinda)

Source Code... is just a much smaller film. Despite the fact that at stake is the nuclear death and contamination of all of Chicago (whereas what’s at stake in Inception is an extremely mercenary business practice, with the justification “they are bad people” tossed off and meant to be accepted because... because), Source Code versus Inception still feels like comparing a traditional English “cozy” mystery with something world-spanning, location-leaping, cast-of-hundreds-having, by Robert Ludlum. There is violence, there is action, there is planning, and there is punching and leaping from moving objects (with fire!), but because the scenario cycles over and over again with the same few people, the same significant objects, the same clues that must be fitted and refitted to make the correct sense, I dunno, it’s more or less inevitable that the characters become more multifaceted. Annnnnnnd, I can’t say more than that without spoiling big time. Bummer.

I think the main thing, though, is that (for!me!) Inception had a fatal (for!me!) flaw that completely removed all menace from the story for!me! That is to say: Removing the ability of the characters to die in Inception basically changed the game from “will Hero get this objective he wants, or will he never get it; will that be the sacrifice” to “will Hero get his objective now, or will he have to wait a little bit, equaling not much of a sacrifice at all, really?” I did not feel as if the main character had much at stake, much menace, in a physical sense or an emotional sense. (If I had felt, as many [with reason] did, that the ending was ambiguous, then my opinion might change. Clarification -- I felt that what ambiguity there was didn’t matter.)

OK, I’ve gone as far as I can without Rot’13-ing. Use this translator:

In contrast, Source Code convinced me that everything was at stake for this one character, including [uvf evtug gb qvr] and furthermore, everything was at stake for [crbcyr jub jrer, yrg’f snpr vg, abg rira erny. Znlor lrnef bs GAT’f Ubybqrpx cer-pbaqvgvbarq zr sbe gung, V qhaab. Zbevnegllllllll....

Jurer Vaprcgvba -- V’z FBEEL, ohg V unir gb FNL vg -- cergraqrq gb envfr zrgnculvfvpny dhrfgvbaf nobhg gur nsgreyvsr, ernyvgl, naq gur angher bs pbafpvbhfarff, Fbhepr Pbqr npghnyyl qvq envfr gubfr dhrfgvbaf.] It’s actually amazing to me how (for!me!) all that could hinge on just one simple factor, the ability to die. But there we are. It hinges. There is a hinge. Sorry, there I am. Me! Myself!

I think Source Code might have been better sci-fi, made more of a statement, and possibly would have gotten closer to being a flawless work (It isn’t. By any means.) if the film had just gone and [raqrq ng gur serrmr senzr]. It would have been... gutsier? But I would have been much more incapacitated with the crying in the streets But choosing to do things the way they ultimately did provide a measure of redemption for a couple characters, including one I didn’t think ought to have been demonized in the first place. So that was nice. Cold Science does not get short shrift in favor of the nebulous Power of Heart, shall we say. The way they handled things, however, does lend more credence to the "rules" mentioned up top, which makes them too much of the focus of the story, too much of the source of ultimately trivial debate, as opposed to the larger and more universal questions that were already dealt with, so to speak.

Er, what else? The reveals are all heartbreaking even if you did guess them in the first 15 minutes, which I did, sort of (they attempt twistiness). It works for the story.

No clever ending, this isn’t a real review. I liked it. I don’t want my money back. :-D And I didn’t rewrite the script in my head all the way home, which is saying something.

**And, well, because everybody and their Grandpappy Jim has already done it.
(And I kind of wish they wouldn’t, even if I’m engaging in the same shenanigans here.)
tsubaki_ny: (camellia (tsubakinohana))
I desperately want to write a version of Tristan and Isolde now. This might be the first time I’ve been inspired to anything new, as opposed to updates and rewrites, in more than a decade. Whoa. Disoriented now. In a nice way.

DW -- hey!

Apr. 14th, 2011 10:20 am
My entries made it over! Still waiting for the comments to migrate. Progress! ^___^
This is an amazing program! This is a very good most excellent program that even backs up embedded pics! And quizzes!

Not embedded videos, though. And tagging, while it does show up, isn't functional. And I had to finagle with a few settings to enable it to back up my earliest entries (from before the site switched to Unicode, no I am not able to adequately explain what that means, but you have to go to and change from whatever language/alphabet/syllabary/etc your journal began in. Mine was "Western European.") BUT, a full text-search feature! And your archive can be re-synched at will!!

Nothing I tried on my work Mac worked, likely because it is not actually mine *sheepish* -- but this works brilliantly on PC. On my slow-backsided PC from 2006 with dodgy DSL, even!


Apr. 11th, 2011 11:36 am
My Dreamwidth transfers have taken FOUR DAYS.

But! Only 6 left in the queue before me now. Please please please oh mysterious shiny blue threads that hold up the digital world, please continue to hold until my entries are backed up. Thanky.



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