Skyfall

Nov. 17th, 2012 11:06 pm
starfire11: (Default)
We watched "Skyfall" today. I really liked it. It had a lot of great acting in it and some rather amusing scenes.

Daniel Craig was great, as usual. His interactions with Judi Dench (who was awesome, as usual, death scene aside), were cute. I liked the aspect of the story where M and Bond had some moments. They weren't as intense as the reviews I read made them sound, but they were fun. His interactions with Javier Bardem were also great. There's a moment where they meet and... well... So basically Silver (Bardem) sits down while Bond is handcuffed while seated on a chair and talks creepily. Then he stands, talks some more, and sits oddly close to Bond. Oddly close.

So then he reaches out and starts kinda touching Bond on the face and starts unbuttoning his shirt.

So at first I'm laughing at the billions of fanfictions that were born in the moment this scene began, and now I'm wondering what's going on with this scene. For starters, I never heard of any Bond rape scenes (which was the first possibility that popped into my head). Secondly, it doesn't click with what I know of Bond cannon. Of course, what I know of Bond cannon could fill a teaspoon, really, so who knows?

Then I'm wondering "hmm... a rape scene is a little much at this point. What is the purpose of this scene, other than to satisfy yaoi fans and homosexual men who are in love with Daniel Craig"? I don't really mind them playing to their audience, but I already have an issue with a couple of the movie's choices, cinematic-ally, so I really want the rest of the movie to be good. I don't want this scene to be a waste.

So my first thought after that is this: "If this isn't a rape scene... maybe he's going to look at Bond's scar? If Silver is looking at Bond as a sort of younger version of himself, he could look at him as a son or younger brother, or even himself in the past, and thus with a tenderness. Or it could be just empathy: feeling for another broken soul. It's like looking at a broken doll and trying to find all the cracks." Which actually followed. Silver looked at Bond's scar first.

Okay.

And then he proceeded to touch the other side of Bond's collarbone. And his face. And... a rather sensual leg touch.

And then Bond, rather than do what I expected, which was the "Woah dude, no homo!" (I really hate that stupid meme) like sexuality fearful manly men are oft to do in movies and comics... actually either played along or was rather honest.

The conversation went something like this:

Silver: "You aren't familiar with what to do in these type of situations, are you, first timer?"
Bond: "What makes you think this is my first time?" -insert grin-

And Silver laughed and they talked some more. And it was hot and adorable and hilarious and it brought a whole new level to my admiration for the growth of the franchise.

Also, of course: more fanfics were born.

I didn't know Ralph Fiennes was in this. He was quite fine. It was also amusing to think "oh look, Voldemort and James Bond are sparring".

I also didn't know Albert Finney was in it. He was in the last two "Bourne" movies, as well as "Amazing Grace" and so on. He played Kincaid near the end of the movie, and was awesome!

Ben Whishaw, who played Q, was also adorable. When he and Bond first met... billions of fanfics were born. When they met the second time... these happened again.

The world may never recover from all the fanfics resulting from this movie.

Some things I really loved about the movie, cinematic-wise, include the intro, the fight scenes (of course), and the story. The intro was a little less amazing than I was led to believe, but combined with the quite enjoyable song, it was good. I didn't completely figure out the storyline from it (like I was led to believe one could), but there wasn't much I didn't see that I couldn't have figured out from the trailer. For instance, the graveyards. And while I still like the "Casino Royale" intro better (the song was better and it was prettier), I still think that it was also still an enjoyable idea.

The story was enjoyable. It kind of dragged a little at times and felt random, but it was filled with moments of really good humor, a number of Bond cannon references even "I" could recognize, and some interesting character interactions.

Overall, I would probably like "Casino Royale" better as a film... but I think that "Skyfall" was more fun. Yes, the second one does not bear mentioning.

Other than that I've been steadily avoiding work. I'm trying to get up to date with SourceFed, read lots and lots of things and update my NaNoWriMo rather unsuccessfully...

Well anyway. Off to stuff!
starfire11: (Default)
So the hurricane is pretty freaky. I'm really starting to creep myself out and I am going to blame it on five nights of going to sleep after 2 AM.

The good news is that I got a lot of reading done for class and I'm halfway done with the homework 4 assignment for computer science. I also took the trash out of my purse, cleaned off some dust from my desk and got rid of some more trash hanging around my area and fixed my bookshelf. I've also started packing stuff up to take home when I go back later.

The bad news is that I need to do more reading for another class, think up a thesis and find some sources for that class, finish the other half of homework 4 and work on project 3. I also need to edit my workshopped papers, write 1-3 more articles for the newspaper... and possibly other things I'm not remembering at the moment. I also have a lot more organization to do and I need to eat dinner.

I know I keep writing this, but ".hack//Sign's" soundtrack is SO PRETTY!!! AHH!!! I LOVE IT SO MUCH!

I rewatched the older "Clone Wars" cartoon that George Lucas produced to fill in some of the space between movies 2 and 3. I'm not entirely certain how much I would have understood the beginning of movie 3 if I hadn't watch the show. It takes you up to at least a short time before the opening of the movie. It introduces General Grevious, why he's having some sort of breathing problem, how Chancellor Palpatine was kidnapped... and why there's a space battle going on.

So when I originally watched this, I completely missed the old movie reference. Obi Wan and Anakin go walking through a sewer Anakin found, and Obi Wan, disliking the situation, comments wryly "What a magnificent smell you've discovered" (or whatever word stands in for 'amazing')... and, well... that was in movie 4, when Han is sarcastic towards Leia after they jump down into the sewer. I may know diddly squat about the "Star Wars" universe outside of the generic plot of these movies, but by golly, that made me feel slightly happy about myself.

I watched the recent "Once Upon a Time" episode yesterday. I was actually a bit disappointed.

On the one hand, I'm very happy that Hook's original "play possum" routine didn't work. That would have just been... eeeeh.

Also, I adore the fact that this is one guy and four women, and it's not a) a harem, and b) a "we're not afraid of you because of numbers."

Yes, they have a numerical advantage over him. But there's also the fact that at least 3/4 of them could easily hold their own against him. And Aurora probably has some tricks up her sleeve. We don't know much about her. We don't know how she and Phillip met or fell in love. We don't know what she does in her spare time or what. She could probably talk him into unconsciousness if she wanted to, at the least. She also has her dagger. I really see Hook taking advantage of her as the "least dangerous" piece, and she either knees him or stabs him or bites him or something.

They also finished the Daniel storyline with Regina. I was holding out for him coming back, but I guess the writers really want an excuse to not redeem her character or something in the end...? Whatever. That end of things is solved. For so long as they have other material to play with, anyway. And they undoubtedly have a lot.

They showed a rather realistic look at horse care in relation to soldiers. While, arguable, a knight (depending on his wealth/status) would probably have had a squire to do such tasks for them, Charming's character is improved by the fact that he takes care of his own horse, and so passes this on to Henry and, well... I like that. Horses need to be cared for. "Lord of the Rings"  and a bit of Native American folklore aside, they don't just APPEAR when you need them. This scene also added to Henry's character development. I love how we're in season 2 and only NOW do we start getting character exploration in one of primary cast members. But whatever. At least it's happening.

We're starting to realize that Henry is just like the average kid: he wants to go off and have adventures. He doesn't consider the consequences. He doesn't consider the responsibilities. Let's face it: he just got a BIG ego boost from "being right all along, and the ENTIRE town knows it". While this is good for him in the way that "everyone thinks I'm crazy" is bad for him... it's also not necessarily a good thing. Kids shouldn't be put down just cause. But there are reasons that certain things children do are brushed aside and children are chided for things. Some are bad, but some of them are really good reasons.

I like the fact that we're finally getting into Whale's backstory. He was the only real enigma (other than James' adopted father) left in the story among the primary cast. Other characters are new or could always use further explanation. And honestly, with all the world creation they needed earlier, I don't mind that they're only getting to some of Emma's backstory NOW. Plus, if they'd gone over it back in season 1 and only NOW is she talking with her real parents about it... it would have been silly. Supernaturalesque, even.

I like seeing the Hatter of Yesteryear. We see how he met Regina. We see how he used to be, and where Regina's impression of him grew from. I am now VERY curious about how and where Jefferson met his wife, what happened to her, and how she changed him to a loving father from a stock rogue character.

I didn't like what they were doing with the travel between the hat scenario. I thought someone had to go through AND go back. I didn't think it was a one-way thing. If he brought Frankenstein... who did he take in on the first try?

I thought the first Frankenstein revival scene was a bit eh. I kept thinking "why can't they see what's happening? Nothing's happening."

Also... no one ever brings up the fact that MAYBE it depends on WHOSE heart you stick into the person. Are hearts ALL the same once you pull them out of people? A murderer's heart is no different than a fairy's heart? They have to have some connection to the creature in question, so some spiritual connection must exist. I'm not expecting an "evil" person's heart to look markedly different from a "good" person's heart... but I have to wonder if any thoughts or feelings can be left over from certain individuals. Perhaps a heart from a monster would make another person monstrous. Perhaps the heart of a sickly person would make another sickly. I don't know. Heck, I'm fine with them all being the same beyond 'this is mine, this is theirs', so long as SOMEONE explained it.

The episode was also kind of boring. They took a character everyone was curious about... and gave away the big reveal in the trailer for the episode. After that, the episode would have to deal with "so how decent is this latest spin-off of Mary Shelley's novel?"

And it was okay, at best. Not great. Okay.

I am VERY curious about Whale's history though. Who was his brother? What's his family like? Is he married, like the original Frankenstein was.... or at least was after he brought The Monster to life.

I really... really... really... REALLY want to know who Henry's dad is. Like seriously. I'm 80% sure it's Bae. Seriously. They have not finished off that storyline. IT IS CANDY!!! There is NO reason they wouldn't use it... other than that it's what everyone's expecting...

I do not consider learning about Emma's ability to steal cars as a decent bone throw to OUAT's audience. Unless it relates to Henry's dad.

A friend did bring up an important thought, though. Emma keeps bringing up the fact that she's a human lie detector. I'm not entirely certain how foolproof she is, but she seems pretty good at it so far. While I REALLY think she's going to turn out to be the Swan Princess (Emma SWAN, in a world where so many character names have meaning, just what Regina would do with that opportunity...), I also have to wonder... what does this ability have to do with her fairy tale story? I cannot recall a male or female character who could detect lies as a superpower. The devil comes to mind, but I don't think Emma is going to be the devil. Just a thought.

Pinocchio is also taken. As are Jiminy Cricket and the Blue Fairy. The three characters related to lie-telling outside of the devil that come to mind.

Out of the Disney princesses (stuck under the official term), the only ones left unused are: Pocahontas, Rapunzel, Jasmine, Ariel, and Tiana. Emma does not fit three of the ethnic categories here, and she doesn't fit ANY of the storylines in any way. Nor do any of these characters have anything to do with lying, as far as I can recall.

There's also Meg, Lilo, Esmerelda, Kida, Jane...

Oh my god. COULD EMMA BE JANE???

So Jane wears this big-ass yellow dress for 90% of "Tarzan". She's the outsider coming in. She falls in love with a "wild man".

Emma has a bright yellow Beetle that she drives around. Outside of crime shows, cars are almost never accidental, especially something THIS flashy.

Emma has also repeatedly commented that Henry's father is someone she doesn't ever want to talk about because he was something terrible. Crazy, a coward, stupid, whatever, WE DON'T KNOW!

And if he's Bae... he's the outsider coming in, too. Bae comes from the Enchanted Forest, and enters Emma's world at a young age. He has to adjust to COMPLETELY different rules. Sure, Pinocchio did great... but could Bae?

Tarzan and Bae share backstories: the "wild" man going into the "civilized" world (Medieval peasant going into the 21st century).

...

Oh. God.

So with that, I'm going to go eat dinner.

... Wow. That was a bomb shell.

Woo.

Ta.

House of M

Oct. 24th, 2012 12:52 am
starfire11: (Default)
So I finished "House of M", at long last!

I like that I now recognize most everyone on the main cast, and even some of the secondary characters. I've at least seen a couple of the "villains" turned "good guys" elsewhere, and I can piece together bits of their backstories from what I know of elsewhere.

There were some gorgeous bits of dialogue in that story, and some amazing stories. True, there was plenty of bad stuff and, well, the ending...

But that's that. I finished it. I get the whole picture. I have read ALL of it.

On to "The Darkness"! Because "Deadpool" is almost unreadable for me (it's incredibly boring, especially the really old stuff) and, well... if I get into "New Avengers", I won't be able to put it down until the end of "Runaways", and well... that'll just leave me with the choice between "The Darkness" (which is quite awful for the most part, for many reasons) and "Deadpool"... and I want to end on a high note.

So I basically did all of this because I really, really, really didn't want to work on my comp sci project. I still really don't. I'm really angry at myself for not starting this back when all of this stuff was still in familiar in my head. Now I'm staring at a blank screen and I can't remember where to look for a file I supposedly created in the program.

I also went through the "Highlander" soundtracks today and got rid of over half the songs. Part of it was generic music I have in boatloads elsewhere, better done; another part was simply bad; another was uninteresting... and another was just "what? This is... I don't even..." And the rest was pretty enough that it stayed. It really was not much at all. Out of 41 tracks, I kept 16. Wow.

Hopefully I'll actually listen to these.

Funny story today. So I have to get a paper workshopped during class discussion, which means I print out 18 copies of my story and bring into class today, and we discuss it next class. Everyone has to do this twice during the semester. Most people wait until the last minute to make the copies, so most people are late. I've been known to deride people who "should get around to it earlier".

So today I was maybe one or two minutes late to class (I didn't check the clock), and my entrance was very noted. Although I made up by apparently knowing the material better than most of the people there, as well as having done all the assignments for class.

Also, I wasn't late because I was getting the copies.

I was aware that I was pushing time a little when I went to pick them up from the copy center, but I didn't check the time after I left lunch. I somehow walked twice as slow as I usually did from lunch to class, and so was rather surprised to find that class had started.

So now there's a mistaken impression that I'm a hypocrite.

And I am, but still... not for this, really. My tardiness was due to a rather lackadaisical attitude gleaned from a lunch enlivened by a good discussion with a friend, the completed copying of my story, and the hopes of finishing my day catching up work. Not because I waited until the last second to get my copying taken care of.

I don't know.

I'm also more concerned about the ridiculous pretensions of my classmates. They are so bloody quick to label "masculine" and "feminine" and have this idea that there's a singular standard we all have for these categories, and that we should all be shocked when someone steps outside them without blatantly declaring "LOOK AT ME, I'M OUTSIDE THE NORM", which basically related to being non-heterosexual. No one has yet to write about a transgender character, or even a bisexual or asexual character. No one has written about a disfigured character, a mentally challenged character, a midget, a crossdresser... the most we've gotten is a few homosexual couples, who actually haven't been the center of their stories for the most part.

They're so close-minded and I agree with my professor, who has not accused anyone of anything (being very charitable) - the phrases people are throwing around step into the territory of using such things as an excuse for not looking at a work critically. For example: "that's just a woman's writing!" "That's just a man's writing!" "That's how men think!" "That's how women think!" It is an excuse. And at least three people used it today.

I was very good (to an extent, I guess, although no one actually heard or took note of my other comments). I kept my comments pretty neutral in an attempt to stay on topic while sparking some actually intelligent discussion. It was difficult when someone next to me, launching off of one of my own comments, made a blatant falsehood about writing, ignoring at least one and possibly three or more historical periods of writing for her analysis. I wanted to ask "Are you actually an English major? This is just an elective credit for you, right? Cause you can't be an English major. Or even a college student. You just can't."

Another student made a blatantly false claim about "gendered" writing, which I was very nice about correcting. Honestly. It's the most neutral thing I have ever said. Okay, so I hinted at the wrongness. But I wasn't really mean about it. But she honestly always sounds like she's arguing with someone whenever she talks, even when she's complimenting someone. She has an odd strident tone to her voice All. The. Time. I do not get it at all. She also grimaces whenever she laughs, as if she's being sardonic. It's really creepy. So I don't feel all that bad about this, especially since she's leveled a number of ridiculous claims this semester. And I just... I can't get over what she said. It was so... so BAD. So ridiculous stupid and close-minded and INSULTING. Not just to me, but to basically everyone. I don't just mean in the room, but world-wide. It was insulting, in the first part, to men as individuals, and insulting to women as writers.

Since I don't want to just rewrite the whole rant I did earlier, I'll just repost it here.

"Yeah it was pretty mild. I think that was because the speakers talked for less time. For instance, when unnamed persons declared that a certain genderless character was "female because she's peppy", she talked for quite some time, while today she talked for maybe half that time. I just... when the comment relating to what authors write about where "women write about these things" just isn't true. To be true, it would have to completely IGNORE at LEAST the entire Romantic period, along with (most likely) the Gothic and Victorian periods. My issue there was principally "uh, you're an English major right? Cause if you are, you can't be a good one." The first time the "feminine" aspect of the writing was brought up was completely wrong in every way. I have seen countless examples of writing from male authors in the same narrative style. It's a stylistic choice that has a very low chance of being related to one's gender, and it also appears cross-genre. For the "I always need to label gender" girl, there was no explanation for WHY the writing was "feminine". This type of discussion has been repeatedly used in class as if we all agree on what is "masculine" and what is "feminine", as if there is one standard that everyone agrees by, which is by no means true. She repeatedly acts like we should be SHOCKED that no one else was upset by this mislabeling or absent labeling of gender. It's just... UGH. And people DON'T talk about it. I was actually very reluctant to bring it up because a) I could go on for hours about in numerous fields, b) I'm obnoxious in that class as it is, and c) we were supposed to be talking about the book itself, and if I had continued in this vein, it would have further escaped from the book. And this happens A LOT. I am just TIRED OF IT."

"Genetics plays a part in numerous aspects of our behavior, which plays with society's views of who we are and how we should act, and then that goes to how we're taught and everything is mashed together. It does not declare that "this gender shall write with long exposition, while this gender shall write with short exposition". It does not declare that "men shall not think before they act, while women do". That's not how it works. People write in certain ways for numerous reasons, not just because their "gender" made them write that way: 1) they learned to write that way, 2) they learned not to write in a certain way, 3) they enjoy writing in a certain way, 4) it is easier for them to write in a certain way, 5) they have a purpose in writing in a specific way, 6) what they want to do can only be accomplished by writing in a specific fashion, 7) the company they worked for demands that they write this way, 8)8) the editor fixed it to be this way, 9) the audience wants it written this way, 10) they don't know a better way to write, and so on and so forth. Cutting it down to "women write this way because this is how ALL women write" is just... no. No. It's like looking at a set of statistics and saying "this is the only way to read these". Arguing the implications of statistics is a big part of learning about these types of things. Was there anything wrong with the sample group? Was there anything wrong with the questions asked? Who asked the questions? How where the questions asked? Even when looking at language studies, every single study has to be taken with a grain of salt. You could be studying Korean women in a specific neighborhood in an attempt to learn about the language. But maybe they get influenced by the Italian kids from down the road. Maybe they have slang from school. Maybe some of them imitate pop idols. Maybe some of them have speech impediments. Maybe some of them have shared ancestry, and use lingo from other cultures. Maybe some of them moved to the area later in their lives, and so use speech from other areas. I just... too many people in this class seem to have the idea that "this is male, this is female" and that's that. And I can't stand it..."

So yeah. There we go. The fire has kind of died because I'm listening to some very relaxing music right now.

I do have some homework I can take care of outside of the comp sci thing, so this night won't be ENTIRELY wasted.

Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
You don't believe me? Hah. Hah hah hah I say.

For starters, there is literally nothing else I'm proud to have marathoned.

Now THAT is a compliment.

Things I've marathoned include: all six "Star Wars" movies, all three extended special edition "Lord of the Rings" movies (mutiple times; yes, I had no life), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (such a wasted summer), basically every "Star Trek" series (except the first one and the cartoon, which are just really difficult to watch and not high on my priority list), old "Doctor Who" episodes (I can assure you that watching anything before... Doctor 3 is a marathon, even if it's a single episode - I was sitting through an "episode" from the second doctor, looked at the time on the DVD, and realized that I'd already seen over two hours of episode - they didn't give a crap about cliffhangers back then - they invented "Lost" LONG before the concept ever became a TV show of its own)... um... yeah. That's my resume for the stuff, really. I don't have the time or patience to marathon anymore.

I am so ambivalent towards "LOTR" now that it's REALLY sad. It was such a big part of my early life that I just... I do not know. I'm putting it down to overload towards the franchise, but really...

I would gladly reread "The Hobbit", if I had time. And I do not get tired of Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn in gifs, pictures, or videos. I would still cosplay as a Ringwraith any day. I love that costume so much! If I had enough money, I'd get metal gloves for it. I still want to visit Oxford principally because Tolkien lived and worked there.

My mother gave me the blu-ray edition of the entire extended series and I was just so... nonplussed about it. I had to FAKE happiness. Yes, I'm a spoiled brat.

I didn't ask for something else instead! Hey, I still like it! I just... I was so AMBIVALENT towards it... it was terrifying.

I honestly cannot stand the "Star Wars" movies anymore. I just can't. I would probably, given the opportunity, rewatch the cartoon TV series (not the 3-D one), since that was fun and good and short, and I've actually had a hankering to do so. For starters, I have seen the last three movies WAY too many times. The four things I watched the most out of Dad's old laser disc collection were "Doctor Who: The Five Doctors" (aka "the three doctors, old footage, and a stand-in for the dead guy who did better than Hartnell ever did"), and the three original "Star Wars" movies.

Yeah, they make me smile. But I just... there are so many things I notice that are WRONG about them that just HURT and I just... I'm so TIRED of them...

Would I gladly cosplay as Darth Vader, a Jedi, or a storm trooper? HELLZ YEAH! Do I REALLY want to go to Disney World to try out the revamped "Star Wars" ride? HELLZ YEAH! Am I still planning to read as many of the books as I can someday? HELLZ YEAH!

With LOTR, there are a number of problems ranging from things I cannot forgive Jackson and the producers and writing staff and so on for leaving out and/or changing. That's part of the reason I'm ambivalent towards the three-way-split for "The Hobbit". Hopefully they will have time to do EVERYTHING that way (although Jackson also wants to throw in some stuff from The Appendices, so... I don't know how that'll work, but I hope it's good!)... and to do it right, although right now the only two things that are impressing me from the trailers are that a) we're learning more about what's going on behind the scenes during the story (namely, where Gandalf disappears off to, which I never about, other than that he mysteriously disappears), and b) Kili is hot, and will hopefully get tons of screentime. Just sayin. Other than that... I am not very impressed. And considering the fact that one of the few things Hollywood can get right anymore is a decent trailer, that's really saying something.

I think I would rewatch Buffy. I liked the show. It had some issues but it was cute and fun and had some good actors in it and a lot of humor.

I would not rewatch all the "Star Treks". I just wouldn't. "Next Generation" is rather painful. "DS9" had some great episodes. "Voyager" I would rewatch. I would not rewatch "Enterprise". Not all of it. If I ever get around to finished the original series, I'm never rewatching it.

There are so few things I just all-out enjoy anymore in fiction that seeing something like "Code Geass: R2" is... well, it's mind-blowing. Yeah, of COURSE there are problems with it. BIG-ASS problems.

But it was enjoyable. The ending was... astonishing. Not because I was surprised but because I just... wow. It just... wow... The way they chose the soundtrack, the narrative, the decisions, the EVERYTHING...

I can't listen to the soundtrack for that scene. It is a GORGEOUS soundtrack and I have it but I just... I start it and after a bit I have to turn it off because it's just TOO PAINFUL (in a good way).

It had a good amount of humor. The art was... well it was a fight between good/fanservice and stylistic that I feel like I could get around. It was good enough. The music was...

...

Can we just have a moment to take in the soundtrack? It's not ".hack//Sign" by any means, but... d-aaaaamn...

You want to know the last book I enjoyed? "Bridge of Birds". That was earlier in, what, August? I've read several books since then. The ending to "Sailor V 2" was good. But just the ending, really. "Ayiti" was good writing, but it's not something I'll return to maybe ever. "Oliver Twist" was funny and enjoyable, but I'll never reread it. It dragged at a number of points.

I cannot remember what I read before that, that I was genuinely happy with. I haven't read any new Steven Brust books since the summer of 2011, so that's clearly a far marker for that.

Yes, "David Copperfield" is improving on me. I still hate it intensely for its ridiculous length and repetition. WE GET IT ALREADY!

Although the fact that there is just this amazing bit of slash that I just keep fangirling over and laughing my ass off at is just... wow... Someone out there needs to write a DavidxUriah fic. Someone. Not me, cause it would be terrible, but someone who is a very good writer.

All right, I need to sleep. Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
I am so deeply looking forward to seeing an animated Sailor Moon made in the 21st century. Many people do not understand my obsession with this. Heck, I don't even understand my obsession with this. This show was always my sister's thing. I liked Pokemon. And then I stopped caring about either and fell in love with Rurouni Kenshin and actually read some decent fiction for the first time in my life and realized how freaking stupid I was as a child when it came to choosing well-written stories.

Maybe it's that "it could have been so great - it had all the proper elements" nostalgia people have of old TV shows and movies they watched when they were little.

SM could have been amazing if Takeuchi had been given tons of assistants and some more time. And access to the Internet. And if this stupid anime had not been marketed to little kids.

Oh, sorry. I was nine years old when I first saw and then fell in love with Gladiator (silly a decision as that might have been). The Ridley Scott movie. I've also probably seen a grand total of three episodes of the Pokemon anime, all of which I hated. I thought the movies were fun. I never learned the card game. I've seen a grand total of four shoujo anime/manga: Sailor Moon, Trinity Blood, Alice 19th, and Tsubasa. And I only grew up with Sailor Moon. I only read the others in high school. I couldn't stand the bright pink happy crap when I was little. Here's the order of manga I read when I was little: Sailor Moon, Pokemon (which was ridiculous, even back then, and made no sense), and then Rurouni Kenshin.

I'm very confused about why the Black Moon Clan thought they would survive screwing with the future as much as they want. They're more likely to just destroy past Earth and then the current one will have never existed, in which case they'll have never been born. In which case they'll have made a paradox. In which case the solar system would probably just explode.

I wonder if the possibility of forming a paradox creates heroes to stop such things from occuring. Like... the senshi in our solar system are around to stop the Black Moon Clan from destroying the planet and by extension, the Solar System. I need to stop doing these so late.

So there's a moment where Esmeraude says "I couldn't stay far away from the person I love for long," and then we get a close-up of Dimande, and he turns his face away, towards the camera, and gets a random eye glint with a "flash" sound... for no apparent reason, and then turns back to Esmeraude and orders them away. WTF???

Why do I like them still? Oh, to see what changes they'll make partially. It's sure to be interesting, whatever they choose.

So anyway... I wonder if I've said this before... but it's possible that they could make some important plot changes with a revamp. Sailor Moon is a relatively old manga getting a pretty late revamp. Heck, Fullmetal Alchemist wasn't even complete when it got its second animated series. SM is looking at at an anime being created based on itself fifteen years after its manga AND anime run were completed. I don't know of many animated adaptations like that outside of old fairy tales like what Disney does or what some people do with mythology. Some books recieve such treatment, but that doesn't seem to work with anime. I'm guessing this is one of the first looks at cult anime or something. Cult that isn't recent, anyway.

InuYasha would be close, but its anime finished two years after it was over, and the manga only finished in 2008.

So anyway. One of the changes they could make would be... getting rid of Pluto or replacing her with something else. They could. There are a number of different ways. They're all a little odd in some way, but they're doable.

But there's no reason to get rid of Pluto. The story is already there. And she's not the only senshi who doesn't represent a PLANET. The TITLE CHARACTER being a prime example of this, as well as the Amazon Quartet (who represent, like Pluto, asteroids), and the Starlights, who represent stars. There is already precedence for senshi representing things that are not planets. Pluto could just be keeping Sailor Moon company. Plus, having a sentinel THAT far out in our solar system kind of makes sense to me. That's a distant line of defense so we have a good warning system. So they chose to give her some rock past Neptune because all the planets were taken and Proxima Centauri was too far away... big D. She could draw power from the cultural connection of Pluto on Earth, the solar system's only inhabited planet outside of the Earth's moon (as far as I'm aware). It's been done.

I also really hate the TV show. It oversexualized and insulted women a thousand times worse than the manga ever did.

Japan. I don't think "promise ring" means what you think it means. And it's really, really, really creeping me out Japan. And I watched Gurren Lagann for fun.

Honestly, it made Usagi far more of a lovesick girl whose life was ruined for most of an arc because he turned her down. I suppose it gave Mamoru more of an "involved" role in the story, other than Chibi-Usa's dad and then almost-sex-toy, but seriously?

Also, Esmeraude was in love with Prince Dimande in the manga, but honestly? We never got THIS type of "insight" in her character. She's stalkerish. And the Ayakashi sisters were given LOVE stories and they just wanted to "beautify" the world? Only one of them was connected with a man in the manga, or ROMANCE, for that matter, and that was the last one! And that was a brief kiss on the shoulder that shocked her! None of them were defined by that - they were defined by their power, their idealism (screwed-up crazy idealism is idealism) and their willingness to follow orders and take revenge for their siblings. So they all had crazy fashion sense that I would just LOVE to see gone and replaced with, I don't know, some useful jumpsuit, light body armor thing that a certain group of SENSHI should have, too.

Oh, I forgot, all people of the future are like cyborgs.

THIS SHOW!

You know, I think it's also one of those "see it to the end" things, like with Naruto and Bleach and One Piece. Because that's all it's turning into at this point.

Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
I keep hearing this (mainly from my Mom and my sister, but I keep hearing it anyway). I've also read it around the Internets, so. I've also been given odd looks when I disagree. Or seem to imply that "The Dark Knight Rises" was bad.

So.

Did I mention that I really don't get the Mormon commercial campaign? I understand that there's a lot of bad stereotypes directed at them (join the club; "Jew" became an insult at my school for no other reason than that it was the first thing people could think of, and I spent four years asking people why "being like a Jew" was an insult, BEFORE I told them that I was one; also, see just about every religion and sexuality that isn't hetero, and every ethnicity). I understand that they've had to flee from people. I understand that most people don't know a lot about them. I've known, for certain, one Mormon in my life, and we only sat at the same lunch table - I spoke to her once outside of the cafeteria and I didn't like her all that much. She was a nice conversationalist some of the time, anyway. We had a number of discussions at my school (typically at lunch, when there was nothing else to talk about) about the differences between our different religions. We were... at least mildly diverse. We had a couple Catholics, at least one Mormon, a couple Jews, some atheists, some Presbyterians, some Protestants, some Muslims, some Anglicans, some "I don't really care what your religion is, I just want to talk about homework and TV and how much the preps really annoy us". So.

So I see these as a couple things. 1) It's supposed to teach people about what Mormons are like. They're not like the Quakers or the Hutterites or those "weird" enclosed sects you see on TV all the time. They could be some person you pass on the street. All right. DOWN WITH STEREOTYPES! THEY'RE CRUEL AND COMPLETELY UNTRUE!

2) It's supposed to convince people that being a Mormon is a great idea. I've seen only two of these commercials. One featured a business owner and another featured a scientist. It's nice to know that there are great people in our society, who might also be Mormon. But just because a great person is of a specific religious denomination does not mean that I would convert to that religious denomination. Most of my favorite actors are Christians or Atheists, as are most of my favorite singers, writers, and artists. That doesn't mean I'm converting. It's like people converting to scientology cause it's "the cool thing" in Hollywood.

If it's a conversion thing, even a passive conversion thing, then they must be assuming that they'll simple attract people to look up the religion and its tenets and such. So maybe they would be convinced to convert. Because, like so many commercials, this commercial thing has a large distance between "object being advertised" and "advertisement". Like those insurance commercials where you see them having a taste test. And it's supposed to have something to do with insurance. And there's not even an explanation about the insurance company or what it does. There's just a taste test.

Watch every insurance commercial you see closely. You would be... surprised. Also food commercials. "With a name like Smucker's, it's gotta be good." What? What about the Smucker's name makes it good? When I think about the word, I imagine someone doing fish lips and making the "smooch" sound, which, altogether (and separately) is really disgusting. Or it looks like a bastardized version of "Schmuck", which is not a nice term for someone. Then there's "mucking around", which is not a nice thing to say about someone's habits. Here's another test: go look at some well-known product names, and just think about them for a moment. H&R Block, McDonald's (which has an interesting history if you check it out), Burger King, Einstein Bagel's, and individual food items. Not like "banana" and "tomato", but like products. Candies and cereals and insta-meals and so on. Mascots, too. Especially when they involve animals. I just LOVE shows where all the animals talk. Especially when the group involves carnivores. Not omnivores. Carnivores. Yes, let's teach kids that all animals are friendly! Then when they grow up and realize that they're eating chickens and pigs and cows and sheep and such they can be filled with horror and go vegetarian or else keep on with what they've been doing and know that they're hypocritical, at least a smidgeon. Also, pray they never see a carnivore in action! Or learn how most of their foods were made (not just the generic meats; I mean like... the history of Jello, or just about any food involving chemicals and such).

So anyway, I wanted to write about DKR vs. The Avengers IMO.

Oh my. Kristi Yamaguchi???? When was the last time I heard about her? And they used her in a MITT ROMNEY AD? Seriously?

Ugh. So. Much. Anger. Especially since they just... why? Why do people DO that? Stick an Olympian talking about how awesome it is to be an Olympian in an ad highlighting how Mitt Romney "saved" the Olympics way back when. Yes, Mitt Romney. I bet you even built the podiums and cleaned up the garbage AND trained all of the athletes. Sure.

So I just stuck ye olde Doctor Who in so I can watch something and not get TOO distracted while I ramble.

Besides, I don't like watching it that much anyway. Dude. Barbara just knocked Ian over. And managed to break one glass thing. Out of four. Well... knocking Ian aside might have been one too many amazing things to ask from 60s television. Wow, I'm glad things changed. Ye old Doctor annoys me. I'm going to assume that his aged form made him at least partially senile. Ooh, bad scene change. It's like 90% screaming in the old series. Have I mentioned that At-Risk children annoy me?

Did I mention that teleportation also annoys me when it's not carefully thought out, insofar as it is possible? Not so much that it's POSSIBLE to move someone from point A to point B without bumping into the space between and reforming right at the end... but having it... work out sensibly. What's stopping them from landing inside a tree or a wall, especially when they're not familiar with the terrain?

What I've also learned from this show is that when a character does anything but stand, it's a very bad idea.

So I wrote a longish rant about DKR a few days ago. I'm not going to completely rewrite it so I guess I'll put in the Cliff Notes version for a decent comparison.

For starters, I did not "hate" DKR. As a favorite writer of mine wrote, "hate is not the opposite of love". The opposite of love is, well, not love. Just like the opposite of hate is "not hate". To be simple, anyway. I suppose a "lack of hate" also works.

I just don't love it, is all.

So, Cliff Notes. I'm just listing stuff when it comes to mind, not in order of importance.

1) The soundtrack was unremarkable. From what I heard, it was a recycling from the first two movies. Which is fine. I really like the soundtrack for those (Hanz Zimmer :D). But it wasn't remarkable enough for me to want to get my own copy. Have I mentioned that part of the reason I saw POTC 3 in theaters like six times was the soundtrack? (Only part of the reason, I assure you). I love soundtracks and, well... good music in general. So yeah. DKR. Not so much.

2) The acting was, IMO, unremarkable. I know everyone's saying Anne Hathaway just shone in this movie and that Tom hardy was great and, well... Yeah, okay. To each its time.

For starters, this movie featured Michael Kane, Morgan Freeman, and Gary Oldman. All three were playing characters I liked, and they were good at being those characters. But all three characters had small parts and relatively little screen time. Heck, Alfred disappears maybe halfway through the film. Gary Oldman did a good job as an older Gordan. But none of them were truly remarkable in any way. They were great in the previous movies, too. But they added to the tapestry in 2, and just seemed to die out in this one. In one they were amazing.

Christian Bale was... okay. He did fine for what he had to do. The script was odd and the plot was... He did fine for what he had.

Tom Hardy was... well, I'm glad he's not just playing a pretty boy. He's very nice looking and he could easily get typecast into that role, like Heath Ledger. I am all for experimentation. I love it! I hate it when actors and actresses get stuck in one role (-cough, Hugh Jackman-). I also like Anne Hathaway's decision in this. A new kind of role for her! That's great! So Hardy was... fine. I kept getting side-tracked by the fact that I couldn't understand every 2 out of five words he said and that I was trying to understand how his mask matched up with the Bane power set, since he wasn't really doing the whole steroids, powerjuice set-up that most Bane storylines involve. Also, the script. The really, really lame script. And the fact that I really got annoyed with the ridiculous anarchy plot. Hathaway was an interesting add for the Catwoman legend. Best live-action Catwoman? Sure. Given that her only competition that I know of is Halle Barry, since I haven't seen the original movies or the TV show and we're not counting animated Catwomans. She wins. Lack of competition always helps.

I think that she was great, and would have been much better if it weren't for the script and plot. She did great with what she had, and her acting helped save the movie. In fact, it helped, a little, for me to ignore the stiletto heels she was wearing. Yes, they make nice weapons to threaten people with. Shoes that spit out daggers can be very useful in a desperate situation. Stiletto heels for a cat burglar, or any superhero or someone who runs? No. Not so much. More dangerous to the one wearing them. Running in heels is an art on a normal day and you can't maintain and your feet won't forgive you for at least a couple days. Ever notice how a lot of male supers don't have heeled shoes? Yes, I know not high-heels. But boots with heels, too.

Did either of them win the movie over for me? No. Not together and not separately.

[Doctor Who] You have the damn bracelets stupid people. Teleport out! Or did you forget to take them or something? Ugh... bad TV... Snerk... they're lifting giant "ice rods". Yeah. Sure. Cause ice that big would be that light. Uh, no. (Yes, I know it's not ice and most likely Styrofoam).

[Back to DKR] Joseph Gordon-Levitt was okay. I think his star is really rising :D Inception was a great big step up from "Angels in The Outfield", and now he's doing this. Also a sort of acting experimentation. Very nice. Still... there were problems. Also, he's adorable.

I think the extras in the prison did a great job. The guy from Grimm who had no speaking parts did great, too. The mayor was good for his two minutes of screentime.

The dude who took Gordon's old job? Eh. He was just annoying and a little too over-excited.

So acting job. Not so much.

[Doctor Who] YOU HAVE THE KEY, TELEPORT OUT! OMG!

[Back to DKR] One of the principal things you should like in a movie is the acting. Sure, you should like the overall movie, but it's a movie. With people acting in it, typically. If the acting weren't important, you wouldn't have actors in it. Probably. Maybe. I THINK THAT LIKING THE ACTING IS SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT IN ANYTHING INVOLVING ACTING.

[Doctor Who] Oh really. They DIDN'T take the things. Wow. That was stupid. Oh no, they needed more plot threatening. Woot.

It's like this entire episode is one movie cliche after another. WTF.

[Back to DKR] 3) Plot. Anarchy... for the sake of anarchy... um... Kay? The story fit with the source material used so I liked that. I just... yeah, it fit the comics, but the sex scene just came off kind of randomly to me. I don't know if it's a thing or not, but I still kind of think that this "random in the moment sex", especially between characters who don't know each other well is kind of a Hollywood fiction. If they were married or had been dating for a while, okay. Fine. I get that. But this? I knew what was going to happen as soon as Tate... showed up... for no reason that I could fathom... And between wondering why Bruce had NO concern for this, being, well, Batman, who's only slightly better than the Question on conspiracy theories (admittedly, he was probably a little distracted at the time), I sighed. Aloud. "Great. A random sex scene. Lovely." I don't know about you, but I've always considered watching sex scenes on the big screen to be awkward. I'm kind of grateful that we only saw before and after. Although after was also kinda awkward, too. Beyond that, I mean... anarchy. It always comes back to that. I understand using anarchy for plot. Some of the time. I don't know if it was properly used here. I don't really think so.

4) Action sequences. Well... there weren't many. Bane was pretty badass, I suppose. Although Batman was kind of lame. I remember liking two, maybe. Both were Catwoman action sequences and were pretty short. One was good because of the way it made use of a ridiculous article of clothing. A staple of DC superhero stories is random fighting sequences. There weren't enough for my taste. And those that were there weren't as fun as normal Batman sequences, especially in comparison with the other two movies. I actually didn't even consider this element because there was nothing that really caught my eye beyond those two sequences where Catwoman uses the shoes and where she helps the kid thief.

[Doctor Who]Ah. More people thinking that a criminal court case involves a "let's solve the crime", which will prove innocence. Yeah no. Just no. Oh really. Really 60s sexism? A woman opens the door and automatically expects that someone is there to see her husband, and not maybe herself or whoever's on hand? Jeez. Beating of a woman. Ooh. This show, this show this show. Psychometic examination? Not DNA testing? MY FRIENDS, I GIVE YOU OLD TELEVISION! I take it that people know so little about what this show considers "law jargon" that they don't use dramatic music when certain people say things because people aren't expect to be smart enough to understand it.

[Back to DKR] 5) A very poor show of diversity. Two of the principal cast members are female. Seven are male. Two were Asian. Perhaps 85% of the extras were male. Perhaps 65% of those were white. It's one of those damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't scenarios, so I understand at least some of the decisions. The only principal cast members (other than Catwoman) that they could replace were characters the audience wasn't meant to like. You make them female or nonwhite and people say "so only non-white and/or women are evil; great", instead of "so only white men can do anything of importance". I understand it. Doesn't mean I like it. Did this make me hate the movie? No. Didn't make me like it. Did I also mention that it's a "boy's orphanage", not just a generic orphanage? Sure, it's sticking to the comics. Maybe. I don't really know. But seriously?

6) There's a moment where Batman goes out to gather clues. And he ends up randomly at the top of a bridge. I know that comics are full of moments where heroes end up at random points somewhere for no reason, especially Batman, who just finds weird places to stand. A lot. So he ends up at the top of a bridge.

I was left thinking of a moment from Code Ment where Lelouch says "HOW THE HECK DID I END UP HERE???"

7) When Robin takes the the bus full of kids to the bridge and the cop blows it up and they tell the kids to get back on the bus... well. They flash back to this scene at least three times between other takes. I'm not entirely certain they even change the children in the picture. I know that it's annoying to get little kids to do anything, but seriously? I kept thinking "and meanwhile, Robin is shouting "OMG KIDS, JUST GET ON THE DAMN BUS ALREADY!"

8) Humor is a big winning point for me. There was a little of it, but not even close to enough to make a difference.

The things I liked about it.

1) When Batman says "so that's what it feels like" when Catwoman vanishes on him. That was funny. It made up for his really. Really. Really. Slow head-turn to look at the noise or light or whatever he looks at. And then turns back really. Really. Really slowly.

2) This actually ties into something I'm sort of angry about. I think that it would have been really awesome to see Gary Oldman take out those assassin. I know it wasn't necessary and still made him look badass the way they did it. And it was a fun moment. But I would have liked to see it anyway.

3) Despite the fact that I predicted just about everything and the fact that I really should have figured it out, they still surprised me with Talia's identity. That was nice.

It really isn't a matter of the bad things outweighing the good. It's a matter of there not being enough incredible things and no "good feeling"... and then the problems just shone out. I don't know. I thought it was a good movie, really. I just wouldn't watch it again.

Now for the Avengers. I've seen the movie twice in theaters and enjoyed it both times.

I guess I should do this in the same order.

Cons:

1) I don't remember the soundtrack. I'd have to give it a listen to see if it was good.

2) Despite their best efforts, there was a LITTLE bit of cheese. But hey, it really wasn't much. They had Loki and the whole bowing thing, which was kind of lame. His opening speech was certainly... energetic. But kind of odd. The mind control thing was also kind of odd.

3) There were a few big "convenient" plot points. Putting in a self-destruct bit into the device? Banner just showing up where they were in New York? From wherever the heck he was? Also, while I think that Banner saying "I'm always angry" was very dramatic and badass", I was a little confused and it was WAY too convenient. I'm not familiar with the Hulk in the comics, so I don't know if he ever gains control, at least briefly, in some way. Obviously he didn't have COMPLETE control (and we don't see him change back until I guess the extra scene THAT I STILL HAVEN'T SEEN). But this was just... odd. He does occasionally help people in Hulk form in the comics. He did it twice in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. She-Hulk seems to have full control. I think. Again, I'm not familiar with the comics.

Contrary to what people say, Heimdall could have probably spotted Loki while he was busy throwing all his power around (throwing power around messes a lot with stealth spells, unless the power IS a stealth spell; it's also harder to be stealthy when people are looking for you) on Earth. And honestly, who's to say Odin didn't have such power? The Bifrost had to be created at some time, and had to run on something. Who's to say this "dark matter" or whatever didn't power or it predated it, and the Bifrost was just a new invention that made travel easier? So I think that the only problem with Thor's appearance was the SLIGHT convenience. But if he was trying his best before to remain hidden, well... then I get him only showing up when Loki got to Earth.

Oh, yes. They only care about the woman. First, "it's a woman!" They didn't have to say "it's a man!" for the first dude. And they didn't make any comments about his age or anything. GOD THIS SHOW!

4) Sacrificial lamb/lion. I can't think about which he was supposed to be. THEY KILLED PEDRO!

5) The diversity distribution... was still eh. I didn't notice AS much as I did in DKR because I wasn't BORED watched Avengers, while I had a number of moments watching DKR where I thought "what should I look at now? Well, that bottom corner looks mildly interesting. Let's see what happens there." When you're bored by the main action, you're more likely to notice EVERYTHING ELSE. Yes, I did notice the diversity distribution. Two of the primary cast members are female. Eight are male. Of that, one is Russian, one is black, two are aliens... and the rest are all white guys (and the one girl). Most of the SHIELD personnel looked male. The city-goers seemed more diversified, and I don't remember the police very well (although I'm pretty sure those were mostly male, too). The Chitari (or however you spell it)... didn't have obvious either/or. Also, the scientists Loki had looked mostly (or entirely) male. It did bother me, but the movie was still good, so...

I would have liked other female heroes to be used. Spiderwoman has been on the Avengers, as has She-Hulk, Miss Marvel (or whatever her name is... Carol Danvers?)... But as far as I'm aware, Black Widow's is one of the only original female Avengers. So whatever. Most of the other female heroes in the Marvelverse seem to be spread between the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Evil (can't they just change it sometime, I mean seriously?).

Pros.

1) The acting was fun.

RDJ was, well... he was fun as Tony Stark. Sure, he gets a funny script, but he was hilarious in pulling it all off. Even an amazing script can be wrecked by poor actors. And in this case, we had a great script and great actors.

Samuel L. Jackson was great. VERY great.

Chris Evans was great. Chris Hemsworth was great. Jeremy Renner was great. Mark Ruffalo was AMAZING and simple adorable. Tom Hiddleston was great. Scarlet Johannsen was great. Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson) was hilarious.

2) Lots of jokes and humor. "Ant! Boot!" "He's adopted." "This usually works." And so on. Lots of fun stuff.

3) The dynamic between the characters was just... it was amazing. I was very concerned that throwing that many big name actors into a soup, especially for a comic-book-based adaptation was doomed to failure, but, well... they did amazing. Adorable and funny and just... amazing.

4) The fights were great. Funny, nice to watch... simply enjoyable. And there were lots of them. The only one I really had issue with was the ThorxCaptain AmericaxIron Man end of the fight. It was kind of odd. I think it had something to do with where they were standing and how Iron Man and Captain America were just fine.

5) Script was awesome for the most part.

6) Chris Hemsworth. Chris Evans. Tom Hiddleston. On screen. A lot.

7) The story was just fun.

8) It matched up to the source material I'm familiar with. My first real run at an Avengers comic was the New Avengers, where there's a prison break-out and it attracts a bunch of disparate heroes to the scene, where they have a fight, and it's awesome. Afterward, Captain America gathers those heroes together so that it's just like the good ol' days. They have to learn to deal with each other and work together, and that's not easy. There's plenty of humor along the way. Admittedly, the make-up of the New Avengers was Captain America, Wolverine, Spider-man, Spiderwoman, that dude whose name escapes me... and I think someone else. Maybe Miss Marvel? I don't remember. For the most part, the Avengers seem to always be made up of Captain America, a Hulk-related character, and others. There's no storyline I know of that Whedon was blatantly copying. What's a theme in all comics, Marvel AND DC, when you have any team up? Typically, at least one villain (and it can be from one hero's specific Rogue's Gallery, doesn't have to be shared, although heroes are more frequently sharing villains today, probably because the majority of villains out there are just ridiculous), and then they all band together to deal with the world-ending problem.

In conclusion. Avengers awesome. DKR... not so much.

Avengers had good actors with a great script and an okay plot, and they shone together. DKR had good actors with a clunky script and a weird plot. And they kind of struggled with each other.

Avengers was funnier by a large margin.

Watching the characters interact with each other was very enjoyable to watch in Avengers. In Dark Knight it was somewhat painful at times and, well... kind of boring.

There was more fighting and more INTERESTING fighting in Avengers.

So... yeah. I enjoyed Avengers more. I don't agree that DKR was better. I would defintely buy Avengers for myself and rewatch it more times. It's not the best thing since sliced bread, but honestly it was a great movie.

And so I'm done. Now it's time for sleep. No more ye olde Doctor Who! Woot!
starfire11: (Default)
Two things I'd like to rant on here: 1) 'compliments' and the perception of sex and gender in relation to action as exemplified by gothic literature, and b) failed predictions in science fiction.

I think I'll go over the former while it's on my mind.

So "Dracula", while being one of the most boring novels I've ever read, has a number of GREAT quotations on the perception of gender differences at the time. Am I surprised? No, I have had a great deal of instruction on the Gothic era in European literature and culture, throughout high school and my two years in college. Frankenstein happens to be one of my favorite novels. Why? Because it's an early form of angst. That's my theory, anyway.

Here's the most recent example I've read: "she was born with a man's brain, and a woman's heart". Ahhhh, compliments! We love them!

Now, I'm just imagining walking into the 1800s and being told this myself, and punching this person in the face. Put in current context, this is quite insulting (for the same reasons that, put in its actual cultural context, it's still insulting).

This requires me to take this apart properly to understand fully what is being said (insofar as I've been taught). To be "born with a man's brain" at the time meant that this was a person who had intelligence. Only men were intelligent. Women were not, it was believed, genetically capable of being intelligent. So clearly, if a woman were to demonstrate some measure of intelligence, they were born with a MAN'S brain, and not a woman's.

No, I'm not angry that Mina Harker is being told that she was born with a wrong body part (because male and female brains are hardwired differently 9_9). This is insulting because it demonstrates a common cultural view: women were not intelligent. Only men are.

This "woman's heart" idea is that women possess feelings and emotions that men do not. They are more emotional. They are "sweet" and "gentle" and "kind" creatures while men are, well... "manly" creatures (whatever that's supposed to mean, depending on the century - for the most part in Europe, it seems to mean heterosexual, strong of body, and more ready to do violence than not).

And then there's this: Mina is told not to participate in the hunt for Dracula because she is so precious that she must be protected while all the strong men go off to do this thing.

On the one hand, this ups Mina's chances of survival, so hurray for that.

On the other... seriously? You people are ridiculous in your use of resources. Give her a cross or a bunch of garlic or, heck, teach her to shoot and give her a gun! Jeez.

The book, like most classic literature, rankles me. Every mention they make of "men not being able to confide in a woman, where such feeling is proper to confide in" or on the differences between men and women and so on that I've harped on before and I just WANT THIS BOOK TO BE OVER WITH. UGH.

Ironically, put in today's cultural context, I would still find this insulting (yes, I am aware that a woman back then would probably find this flattering - I mean to say that if I were time-jumped to back then and told this, I would understand the meaning and find it insulting) for similar reasons.

If someone told me I had a man's mind, I would think that they were telling me I was stupid in one way or another, depending on who gave me the comment and when (or still that men were superior). If someone told me I had a woman's heart, I might think they were telling me that I was weak. Or I could feel complimented, while also being annoyed because the compliment giver is relying on the stereotype that only women have empathy. All of this understanding relies on gender/sex stereotypes in our culture. And sexist humor.

Moving on from that: failed science fiction predictions.

A friend brought this up by putting up a meme of a screenshot from the dolorian (or however you spell it) in "Back to the Future". I forget which movie, but it's a picture of when they were looking at what year the car was being sent to. Apparently it was sent to June 25th, 2012. When we apparently have hoverboards. Hello toy companies? The last big thing we had was roller tenneshoes. Are you just waiting to release the hoverboards?

So that's wrong. It's not alone, though.

Then there's the original "Lost in Space" TV show, which was made in the 70s, and was supposed to take place in 1996. Accordingly, we had moon colonies, cryo stasis, androids (that, admittedly, looked like screwed up garbage cans) and flying saucer space ships. I KNEW NASA was hiding something!

The 1999 "Bicentennial Man" starring Robin Williams as an android begins in 2005. Admittedly, the Information Age took off WAY beyond what anyone expected, I feel like people in the 90s were a bit over-expectant when it came to what we could accomplish in the early 2000s. I understand the way our world has changed drastically in a little over a decade... but honestly, we don't have anything approaching an android slave army.

If I find some more examples, I'll put them here. I've actually stayed away from some of the really old science fiction. Most of what I've read (and watched) takes place in a future so far ahead that years are kept in a completely different format, so as to make it nigh impossible to know how many years stand between now and then.

Most the bad continuity comes from the advancement of technology overtaking "future tech". Miniaturization, the advancement of knowledge of physics and electricity, the advancement of medical science, changing fashion, increased understanding of our planet and environmental science... it all catches up, and looking at the way people in the past viewed the way the future looked is... humorous, among other things, and a little sad, in others. But without them, we wouldn't be where we are today, so we should still be grateful.

A good example would be the original command deck of the Enterprise. What's the console? A black board with a bunch of glowing rainbow buttons. What's the instruction during a scene? Probably press random buttons in the relatively correct area to make it look like you know what you're doing.

Anyway, things have changed. Things have happened that no one predicted. In ways people didn't predict. And so it goes.

Ambivalence

Jun. 6th, 2012 12:36 am
starfire11: (Default)
I'm going to start using feelings as titles. Cause I can.

So my cat, at about 11:40 PM, decided that it would be a GRAND idea to, I suppose, grab the cable for the phone on my mother's nightstand and tug on it, causing the phone to fall from its cradle and knock the cable remote control and Mom's Sobe bottle onto the floor. A Sobe bottle which then lost its top and spilled onto the floor.

I blame myself for this. I don't know for certain (since this requires my absence to confirm), but I think that the cat only stays awake this late when he can sense that someone in the house is still awake. Since I'm the only one awake this late when I'm here (admittedly I don't know how late Mom stays up - apparently she has insomnia too), typically with a light on, he still thinks that it's time to be up and about, and, well... he's got all that energy to use up since he doesn't do all that much during the day (and really fails at playing with things, even though it REALLY shouldn't be hard to chase a toy on a string). So he runs around and knocks stuff over.

So he basically wouldn't be awake if it weren't for me.

So I volunteered to clean up the spill. I ran downstairs and got the paper towels. I threw them away when I was done. I pushed the nightstand back in place. I dried the remote and the phone. I put everything back.

So now I'm in my room, with the door open. So I have no light on. I'm now quite certain that I'm very good at typing without looking at the keys because all I can see is a big thing of white buttons. I was pretty certain before, but this just confirms it. Typos I'm too lazy to go back for to the contrary.

I apparently liked Game of Thrones (the novel) a lot more than I thought I would. Or else I just REALLY REALLY REALLY want to read Intruder... cause I have zero interest in reading Throne of Fire, The Left Hand of Darkness, or Green Rider. Or to finish The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, even though I've only got a couple chapters left.

The last is something I'm not surprised about. I really don't care enough to read that series. That's why I got the audiobook, so I wouldn't ruin my eyesight and waste time sitting for it. I could put it on with WoW in the background, or something else like the Internets.

I've been reading "The Left Hand of Darkness" instead of continuing "Intruder", because the former has to go back to the library. I can just take "Intruder" back to school. I really don't like "The Left Hand of Darkness". I know that it's Ursula K. Le Guin, but, well... I guess I need to reread "The Earthsea Cycle" or something because she didn't deal with gender and sexuality as much in those books. I know that this is SORT of the point (since it's a thought experiment), but uh... I think this should be rewritten. Or something. Or I guess this had a time and I wish it were written now? It's not just the outdated technological terms. It's the way the protagonist views the world. I completely understand that this could actually be legitimate for the world of today. It very well could. And the things it makes you think about are, well, the whole darn point... but I still think some of it is outdated. For example:

"women don't make war"

Some of the similes and comparisons and descriptions are just... well, anyway.

I find it amusing that I'm critiquing "The Left Hand of Darkness" for being outdated and insulting to women, when "Game of Thrones" was actually far, far worse. Like... a LOT worse. I don't think it's intentional on the author's part to be that cruel to women (otherwise he wouldn't write strong wom... you know, I need to think about that). I think it's just a "genre trait". No, I don't agree that it's NECESSARY for the genre. I think it's just a relatively common factor in the genre.

It would probably help if I cared about the story. But I really don't. At least it's short, anyway. I hope "Green Rider" is worthwhile. It's certainly lengthy enough.

And honestly, I do like "The Kane Chronicles". I think it's an interesting series, and who am I to pass up something this involved with Egyptian mythology? It's like someone gave me a birthday present I never got until way, way after the fact.

Now that I think about it, it's amusing that I started to read the series right after I read Sherrilyn Kenyon's latest Dark-Hunter book, which concerns a son of Set. Very amusing.

I beat Diablo this morning. Well, last night, but it was really this morning. Insomnia and such. First try, too. I was afraid I'd have to retry, but I pulled through.

Hate the ending. It's okay, but I still hate it. If you saw it, you would understand.

So I was bored and I was rereading through some stuff in my notebook, and I found a passage I wrote that critiqued "Inheritance". It made me laugh a lot as I remembered what I was reading.

Honestly, I don't feel bad critiquing stuff like that. Besides the fact that I'm an English major and it's KIND of expected of me, I want to be a published author. I don't think it will happen, but I'd like it to. Or I'd at least like to write a story that I am personally proud of, even if I'm the only one who reads and/or likes it. Learning about what makes a good story and what doesn't is very important, and when I critique stuff the way I do, it's a learning process. I actually learned a lot from the failures of the "Inheritance" series, so I guess I have to be thankful to Paolini. He's made me a better author through his extremely bad writing. But hey, he's got all the money (presumably) and fame, and they even turned his book into a movie (even if it was REALLY bad) and merchandized the crap out of it, so I guess I should just quit while I'm ahead.

Anyway, gonna go play some more Diablo 3. Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
I never thought about this before.

Yes, I am aware that there are a great number of things I have never thought of before. A decent thesis for my Lit Analysis theoretical essay is one of them.

So two versions of the Snow White myth are coming out on film in the near future: "Mirror, Mirror" and "Snow White & the Huntsman." <<<Look! See that there! I totally used punctuation like my professors want me to.

Anyway, these two version are coming out. And like everyone has commented, of the many, many available folk tales, fairy tales, and myths out there, Hollywood had to pick the same one twice? Seriously? You know what I would love to see? A film version of "The Girl With the Silver Hands." Or "East of the Sun and West of the Moon." I'm pretty sure that film versions of at least the first story don't exist. I could be wrong on that note. I don't know about the second. But nothing comes to mind. They could do a Hercules movie. Yeah, they had that series back in the 90s or so, but that's not all that recent. And then they had the Disney version. Why not try a live-action if they're so stuck on it? They could do a version of the "The Story of the Youth Who Went to Learn What Fear Was". That would be cool to see. Although we have the Disney version (which I loved), a live-action, re-imagined "Sleeping Beauty" would be really cool. Maybe in Disney's Rapunzel style, with a powered-up Aurora/Beauty/whatever her name is. Maybe have it in space, like that really neat artist at Katsucon thought. They could do a re-imagined "Hansel and Gretel" or, heck, even a "Jack and Jill" story would be cool. They could do a "Twelve Princesses" movie, if only to one-up the Barbie version.

I know this much. I have seen at least two versions of the "Swan Princess" story: the WB version and the Barbie version. I'm familiar with two versions of "Red Riding Hood" (the old WB cartoon and the recent movie I never saw). I've seen two versions of "Thumbelina": the WB version and the Barbie version I never saw. I've also read about four different versions. I've seen at least four versions of "A Christmas Carol": the recent 3-D Disney movie, the Jetsons and Flintstones version, and the Barbie version (which I never finished). I've also seen the play and half of an old live action version. And yet I have never actually read the book. Jeez. I have read Charles Dickens before though... can't say I actually look forward to the experience.

My point is mixed. Firstly, that retrying the same old story is rather normal behavior for us.

But also that it's rather hard to get right. The first Thumbelina version I saw with the nice singing and the fun songs and the... rather numerous sexual innuendos and such was good. The Barbie version just looked plain stupid. Then again, it's Barbie. Where do you start with finding problems with Barbie? The WB Swan Princess was beautiful. If... rather insulting, as a woman. I loved the music, anyway. The Barbie version? Uhhh...

I think that we should stop deriding the industry wholesale. After all, they are trying. And some of the re-imaginings are interesting, like Disney's "The Princess and the Frog" or their "Rapunzel", which I rather liked.

And clearly, out of the pile of failures that is the industry's attempt to re-imagine these things, along with the extremely low success rate, it is rather hard to do this right. It's hard to make something good. It's easy to make something bad.

No, that's not the thought that I never thought of before. If I had never thought of that before, I would have tried publishing the drivel I wrote back in 6th grade.

It is hard to make a right decision. To get a decent story. To make something beautiful. I guess I should respect their decision to do something like this at all. Snow White & The Huntsman... while featuring Kristen Stewart and with a questionable plot with random battles in recent Robin Hood fashion apparently... may have potential. The effects look neat. Mirror, Mirror could be funny.

I guess I should take comfort in that fact. That it's hard. But it's worth the try.

In the meantime, back to Supernatural.
starfire11: (Default)
1) There is a Peter Jackson "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" reference near the end: Cale (young protagonist) and Korso (greedy anti-hero) are fighting over a ring, which holds the power to turn the planet-making ship on - it holds a lot of power. They both fall over the edge (ish) and Korso ends up falling all the way.

"But wait. Titan A.E. was made in 2000. Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King wasn't released until 2003..."

Wait a minute. ROTK CAME OUT A BARE THREE YEARS AFTER TITAN A.E.????

...

Were Peter Jackson and Fox in collusion? Did PJ remake the scene as an homage to the film? Was it for his kids, who loved the film? Who knows?

Did at least one person on the staff  of TAE read LOTR at some point in their lifetime? Probably.

Also, ROTK came out almost nine years ago. Wow.

2) Drew Barrymore... has a significant role in my life.

...

Okay, that was a little harder to swallow than "ROTK came out nine years ago".

There were two animated female characters I wanted to be when I was little. One was AndrAIa from "ReBoot". The other was Akima, from "Titan A.E." I wanted to be them because a) they both had awesome hair, b) they were both badass, c) they were both skinny d) they were both beautiful, e) they were both really smart (basically goes with the badassery) and f) they went out with Matrix and Cale (respectively).

3) I actually remember realizing this a couple years ago... possibly the last time I watched it: so the Titan uses Drej energy to start the planet-making process, yeah? Life or death situation, restoration of the human race, yadda yadda yadda... Assuming, as it is implied, that there are no more Drej out there, waiting for us, we just committed genocide to create Earth 2.0.

Go us.

4) I was eight years old when I saw Cale's butt on the big screen. Or nine. Go fig. This was also possibly when I discovered angst and that I'm a sadist. Unless "Ronin Warriors" had already started by then.

5) This was possibly the first time I heard Ron Perlman talking. This would lead to years of wondering where I had heard this guy's voice once I finally watched the "Hellboy" movies.

6) The idea of a space-faring culture using paper for photographs is a questionable concept. Still possible, but questionable, at least to me.

7) A planet-making technology would be absolutely phenomenal. But does that give us the right to destroy nebulae, which is what we also did along with the genocide to make Earth 2.0.? The human race is on a roll!

8) The music in the background of the Drej attacks still reminds me of "Babylon 5" music. I looked up the music makers and they're not the same. Odd.

9) Yes, the irony of the enemy alien's name has hit me at long last. The way it is pronounced is "Dredge", like 'the dredges of space'.

10) Another BB5 reference: the Dredge are blue-purple-white, the Membari are blue-purple-white. Both seek to destroy human existence. Both are far superior technologically in comparison to us, especially in the use of energy weapons. Dredge ships look like Star Fighters. Coincidence? I think not! Since "Babylon 5", the main series, ended in 1998 and this came out two years later, I have the subtle impression that someone had a serious case of the nostalgia feels for that show. Sans multiple strong female characters. This movie is ten times more of a sausage fest than BB5 ever was.

11) Preed (the irony of this name is also hitting me) and Cale's first meeting/exploration of the ship reminds me of "A Ship Named Francis", one of the Honorverse short stories: the protagonist is a new recruit aboard an outcast ship of the Grayson navy, where basically everyone is insane in one way or another. He makes friends with the ship's chief medical officer, who's basically an alcoholic in order to just ignore most of the ridiculous shenanigans aboard the vessel.

I believe Preed was the first to introduce me to the "Aboard to Crazy Train" concept. Even though I didn't know it at the time. I'm also quite certain he was the first to make me fall in love with this character type.

12) The art in this movie was phenomenal. The graphics... amazing.

13) The second meeting between older Cale and Korso was possibly one of my favorite scenes in movie history for a long, long time. And it kinda still is. Saving 95% of "The Last Unicorn". Sorry, but more beautiful movie prose you won't find most anywhere (STAYING CLOSE TO THE THING YOU ADAPT THE MOVIE FROM SURE IS AN AMAZING IDEA, SCYFY CHANNEL, M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN, PETER JACKSON, ETC).

Well, I won't be too rude. You made a decent adaptation of LOTR, Peter Jackson. I salute you. Especially for giving me Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn in my childhood.

But I won't forgive you for no Scouring of the Shire, Tom Bombadil or Barrow Downs. Case closed.

14) I feel like Cale should have broken his legs with his fall from the ship. He also gets hit on the wrong arm. I'm very confused. And where did he get that bandage (yes, they have clothes, but he has no sleeves, isn't wearing white, and I don't see a ripped section in Korso's shirt - must make note to check next time)? Also, how do he and Korso survive being in open space? Besides the lack of oxygen, there's the cold and the pressure. Space is not just an airless room, which is how they're treating it. Also, Korso treating Cale like a son/buddy? Truly adorable.

All right. A lot of realizations here. Ta, then.
starfire11: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]I don't know if they'd be surprised...but I have heard some people express surprise to hear I like certain books we've read in school like "Lost Names", which was a very good book. Better than "Of Mice and Men" which everyone seems to like for some reason....although I think that's more the issue of it's miniscule length than the actual goodness of the material inside. I didn't like "Grapes of Wrath" much either, although it was an okay book. Depressing, I had to do much annotating or whatever with it (which ruined the experience because I was looking for bits instead of considering the whole novel and now I have no idea what I think of the actual story except a general depressed feeling).

I love the story of the Odyssey. Love it. Read children's versions of it since second grade (and yes, they're the children's versions with pictures and dialogue and jokes and REALLY squished story but they're still the same story line, mostly....). So I am familiar with the story. BUT I HATE THE ACTUAL BOOK. AND THE ILLIAD. RAH.

"Things Fall Apart" is an okay read. Don't want to read it again. Siddartha was a very good book. Sad, though. I don't really like sad books.

Well...all my friends agree with my feelings on Eragon so there's really no point in saying they'd be surprised...

Cold Mountain<<<<HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE. I don't know why everyone else likes it.

The main problem with this is I read a lot of books that none of my friends do. I'm one of the more avid readers of my grade, and the others read different genres. One of the few big readers I know focuses on classics (:P), westerns, and sci-fi that I've never seen, another reads realistic fiction, another reads manga I've never heard of. In Korean.

"City of Ember"? I guess...poor book. Boring. Predictable.

Bleh.

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