grassangel: (cute)
There are people grumbly on the internet about the movie of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. (I have not read the book.)

Mostly because there’s a new modern storyline to parallel the historical one. And a random Hugh Jackman badly singing Mandarin. (I can get people not liking that. It was random and awkward.)

But platonic life partners? Lady composer? Maybe the fact that movies are ‘less intellectual’ and it was decided that viewers who didn’t read the book needed a modern parallel in order to empathise with the characters? (And there were people complaining it was too hard to distinguish the two time periods. Really?)

So I liked it. Though fair warning given for sad endings, people dying, historical sexism and domestic abuse, and those warnings should tell you it is not the happiest of movies.
grassangel: (black&white)
So I saw Iron Man 3, and I had gotten up my hopes ridiculously high last night about Wanda and Pietro and the Runaways and the Pride. Hopes which weren't filled and I'm sorry to the people sitting behind me and my friends if my babbling about Runaways got on your nerves, but tough - you should like it anyway. (I had gotten my hopes up because the Pride is obviously a threat that SHIELD is monitoring and Malibu is in LA. I think? I get Florida and California mixed up and I was surprised that New York state borders Canada, so don't look at me for American geography lessons. Knowing Washington state and Washington DC are separate is about as complex as I get.)

Anyway, spoilers underneath.

There was... )

I'm just rambling on in a fragmented manner now. )
BTW, I figure that about 1/6th of the people in the cinema I was in stayed for the credits and that seemed to be equally spread between male and female.
grassangel: (Ishida)
So, watched The Hobbit yesterday. I went with my parents - my dad is the harder scifi/fantasy geek, whereas my mum just likes to go see interesting/exciting movies - and so I managed to go 'no, the high frame rate version is supposed to be the best, we should see that one'. So technical things first.

I don't get why people were so concerned with the high frame rate. Everything was amazingly smooth and, aside from a few moments where characters movements looked a little jerky and too-fast which I put down to encoding errors, everything was gorgeous and glorious. I'm not likely to go see it again in 2D and at the regular frame rate, but the difference in detail captured between the LotR trilogy and this first Hobbit movie is astounding. It's pretty much like you're in Bag End itself and I've been to the behind the scenes LotR exhibit and the level of detail is better than that even. Somehow.
Out of Bag End however, the HD just tends to make me think that I'm fairly sure the path where Bilbo catches up with the dwarves is a place I've actually walked along myself, the Shire river looked like any river/stream on any New Zealand farm and that, oh, they filmed that sequence up there in the North Island.

Unlike most people, especially Sherlock fans, I was actually somewhat concerned about Martin Freeman's casting as he just didn't fit into how Bilbo looks in my head. And he still doesn't, but within the first five minutes I could see why he was chosen outside of his talents at acting the woebegone 'normal' guy. Because there is a resemblance to Frodo in his Bilbo. (And a little to Merry and Pippin, whom Frodo and Bilbo are related to distantly if I remember correctly.) That and the delivery of that 'Home' quote, which everyone has seemingly gif-ed, while rather overly British was delivered beautifully.

The music was gorgeous as always and I am expecting an Oscar for sound design/score somewhere along the way. I am looking forward to what the music, which I call 'Going on an Adventure', that is heard as Bilbo runs out of the Shire is actually called. The combining of the Misty Mountains melody with the LotR scenery theme was really well done, even though I think it was almost a little overused.
And now, spoilery comments! )

I did end up with a few favourite dwarves... mostly the ones I recognise from other stuff. Which means Thorin, Bofur and Kili. Although the youngest whose name I can't remember does get an honourable mention, as does Fili, because all the young dwarves are adorable.
Award for "Actor who I don't like in the other things you've done, but you do pretty good here" goes to Richard Armitage because I hate Lucas North but do rather like Thorin.

And while the tease for Smaug was very nice, The Hobbit isn't a movie that left me keening for next year. Which is good in my opinion. It gives you time to fall back into the book, to re-read the appendices and figure out the timelines and family trees. (And to reacquaint myself with Dwarfish runes.)

Additional trailer related thoughts: Star Trek - the only thing I'm interested in is why Cumberbatch's character has knotwork on his sleeves, Man of Steel - I am utterly uninterested in this and why did Dragonball Z have such a crap movie adaptation, because I'd rather have Son Goku that Clark Kent.
grassangel: (happy)
Spoilers for Brave, obviously )

Oh, and go see Brave as the emotional plot line is more mature than you think, the animation and music are gorgeous, there are hilarious moments and yay! Two wonderful female main characters as well.

ETA: There's entries under the TBA section of future Disney films for Into the Woods and The Graveyard Book. Eeeee! (Okay, so the Mary Poppins spin-off, Oz prequel, Maleficent, the unannounced Marvel character and Doctor Strange movies are also exciting to hear about, but nowhere near as much as the above two are.)
grassangel: (reading)
So… I’m reading this series mostly because it had an entry on the Incompatible Sexuality page on TVTropes which convinced me. And because I knew [ profile] shadowsinfire had copies, so I knew I had access to it. Also, she likes them and kept rambling on about them at me and so that plus the TVTropes entry made me read them.
But this post has still been a long time coming…

Anyway, Inda.
I did have a whole bunch of bookmarks in the book, but then an opportune time came for me to return it before I got to write this. But most of them were mostly squee type stuff, so you probably aren’t missing out on much. Even if they were important, they generally fell under the following points.

There are pointy things following. )

And now… The Fox, which took far longer to read, because I did that abominable thing where I skip ahead and then have to forget about most of it before I read through it solid. That and during my skimming ahead, all that I saw was boring pirate ship sequences. And that all the interesting bits were all short and didn’t contribute much to the overall plot except to placefill as “this is what happened to these characters in these seven months”.
Aside from all that though, I kind of liked it more than Inda, mostly because the timelines made sense and there were cases where you were actually told how long had passed rather than just guessing at times. (No, there really was a line which went along the lines of “And seven months passed” which I was SO grateful to see.)

General things of interest that were the exciting and/or interesting bits: the coup resulting in Evered ascending to the throne, pretty much any scene with Hadand, Fox's epic burn and escape rescue thing, Tdor and Evered being mopey over Inda, the plot to help Evered survive his brother and Uncle and Tau and Jeje being awesome.
Things that were interesting but were a little boring at the same time: the Dag conspiracy, the Venn political conspiracy-ings, Ramis and Tau’s politicking.

I have bookmarks, a lot of them. Let me go through them all. Some are reiterations of the points above. )

grassangel: (team tardis)
Whoo! My bi-yearly icon change around. I still need a few more I think. Something slashy, switch around the Pokemon one, another cute thing and maybe either something shiny and sciency.

ANYWAY. The episode.

Which had gloriously Neil Gaiman-y music even. )

Things that I am glad for from this episode. )

As a consequence of the TARDIS being put into a human, I now kind of ship... well, what I said in the title. Also, my hair can do crazy. We all know what that means. )

Tangentally, if I were to have a ride in the TARDIS... )

The unrelated bits at the end:
I keep hearing dubstep in TV programs. This is somewhat disconcerting, as it's a very NOT mainstream kind of genre. Except it kind of is, but not... it's somewhere between popular and obscure and bits of it float through and those floating through bits mystify me. Especially because they're original bits of dubstep, not dubstep mixes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory songs or the lines the turrets say or Nyancat.

There should be a "I Want You Gone" and a "The Humans are Dead" mashup. I keep listening to the former and partway through singing "Binary solo! Zero zero one." during an instrumental bit.
grassangel: (shut up - I'm reading)
So, just over half a year ago, I saw the movie of MSK at the behest of, and with, one of my friends. It was okay, except I ended up hating the mother and thought the end was justifiable, even though it’s pretty much the complete opposite of what it is in the book.

The book itself… I could’ve done without the first half. It was rather slow and the movie pretty much followed the book exactly except there is more stuff from the minor/secondary characters in the book. )

After about two and a half years sitting on the coffee table, I finally finished Thud!.
I seem to have this problem with Discworld books – I start them and get to halfway and then… just leave them for a week, a couple of years. )

Now… to finish Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox, The Fox, Unseen Academicals, I Shall Wear Midnight and Second Glance. Not in that order, but those are all the ones that I’ve started that I have to hand. Two of which are being lent to me.
grassangel: (Yuuko)
I saw it.

Somewhere, there is a very unhappy Dream wondering what the hell is happening to his realm. There also needs to be more crossover fic with HOLiC as well as stuff exploring thaumaturgical architecture/architectural thaumaturgy and the Khloidanikos (from the Doctrine of Labyrinths series).

It was not that confusing. I survived and manage to help map out a timeline for Tsubasa. Inception is... comparable, but doesn't involve nearly as many stable time loops or paradoxical almost incestuous relationships. Um... it may have also helped I went expecting it to be "IT WAS ALL A DREAM" and thus it was a bit less than what I had expected.

This is probably spoilery )

Also a very odd movie if you can, or have ever, lucid dreamed. You find yourself mentally shouting at the screen about denying the situation and just willing a change.
The sensation of exiting a dream is also more like falling [into a black hole and becoming infinitesimaly dense], not falling prompts the exiting of a dream.
grassangel: (Default)
I have not done one of these in a while... mostly because I haven't been taking a lot of books out from the library and have been mostly borrowing books from friends. (Almost finished with My Sister's Keeper and almost halfway through Inda!)
But anyway, I read this a while ago with the intention of finding what all the fuss is about and to write a blog about it.

Now, I have to explain why I picked up this book. It is not a book I would usually pick up, since the blurb babbles on about this Margo being this weird crazy person, and I’m kind of happy living the life of Margo Roth Spiegelman with my friends.
However, I somehow stumbled across “Black Santas” a song based on a character’s house and the fact that John Green is a) one of these vloggers who is apparently quite famous and b) is part of the NY YA coterie. Now, I quite like Holly Black and Scott Westerfeld, I find Maureen Johnson’s twitter amusing, I’ve tried reading Justine Larbalestier’s books but haven’t liked them much and… I can’t remember any other names. But I thought hey, I’ll give this book a shot, since the song is fun and he keeps good company.

It was… odd. I rather like the first part, where Q and Margo do crazy things in the middle of the night. (I don't ramble on for too long.) )

So yes. I don’t particularly like the MacGuffin plot device that is Margo Roth Spiegelman. I don’t like the girl she portrays, I don’t like her attitude and I particularly don’t like the themes that she carries.

This book did make me fucking miss everyone from Athena though, if only because everyone else was kind of awesome.

So yeah, my opinion on this is that generally if you have strong opinions about who you are and where you're going and are kind of used to the unusual, you probably won't find it as enjoyable as someone who likes the normal and doesn't quite have an idea who they are. (Meaning INSTANT YA bestseller! *gumble grumble*)
grassangel: (my other ship let me show you it)
I am talking of course, about the rather frightening level of subtext displayed between Maria and Sarah Jane in the first/second season of The Sarah Jane Adventures.
If you know the story of how I got into slash (namely I realised that there was something going on between Touya and Yukito (but with their English names) in Cardcaptor Sakura when I was eleven) then you should assume that I have no problem with such a thing as slash in children’s programming. I’m all for subversive messages that promote liberal thinking, especially if they’re a bit of a parental bonus.

There is just something creepy with the way that Maria is apparently the person Sarah Jane trusts the most... (a minor diversion about the role of Maria and Rani) )

... which gets derailed by me talking about shipping. )

Shipping isn’t probably what you wanted to hear about the Sarah Jane Adventures though, right? So I'll talk about the show itself. )

BECAUSE I actually managed to watch all of the episodes released thus far, you get some nice episode commentaries. )

So yes. My general opinion is that this is FUN. )
grassangel: (GwenIanto)
My parents and I had the most TERRIBLE luck when Children of Earth ran on TV2. It was on a 10:30 at night on a Wednesday, which is a bit too late if one intends to wake up at 6 the next morning, so we taped most of them.

First episode we completely missed, either to the fact I mis-read the day or that they changed the day at the last minute.
Then for the next two episodes, the video recorder chopped off the last five minutes because it ran past the time it said on the digital schedule thing.
For the fourth episode, my dad had left the TV on mute, so there was no sound. (Luckily, the episode had been subbed for the hearing impaired.)
And for the final one, we decided to stay up late, but if we hadn’t, the timer would have worked WONDERFULLY as I had figured out how to alter the digital schedule thing.

I almost ended up paying $50 for a Blu-Ray disc of CoE that I might not have been able to watch as well, except I nicely asked the lady behind the counter, and there was a regular version, so luck was with me then, fortunately.
So… it’s kind of pointless for me to do an episode by episode thing, seeing as I still haven’t gotten around to watching the DVD and what I did see was compromised in someway.
Thusly, in vaugely chronological order:

Warning, spoilers. But you know, mostly vague ones that are comments really and not too specific. )

All in all, I'm kind of glad that the current season of Doctor Who means that maybe Children of Earth never happened... )

Hilarious ETA )

The entry on The Sarah Jane Adventures should be up in a couple of days? Hopefully.

Re: Avatar

Mar. 31st, 2010 10:55 am
grassangel: (Torchwood)
So, I saw this a while ago. Not so long a while ago that I saw it when it was recently released but enough that I am very thankful to have typed down points of interest to me.

Firstly, the 3D was kind of really awesome.
It was awesome because it made a movie that was mostly constructed using polygons on a computer so much more immersive. Secondly, it allows the film makers/directors/etc COMPLETE control over what people focus on. Because you know how you always want to oogle a secondary character or someone’s tattoo while completely ignoring the main dialogue? Well, now you won’t be distracted in such a manner!
Unfortunately, this also means you’ve got to bear with the twenty second long kisses.

And that’s where the praise ends for 3D. Because I love world building and while 3D did make Pandora ‘pop’, it looks equally good in 2D. Because yes, I did take off the 3D glasses for a couple of minutes to see exactly what they did to achieve the 3D effect. (And to see how good it would look in 2D.)
It was pretty much how they’ve always done 3D, offsetting images. Except this time they were ‘layered’ and blurred; like how you learn to draw mountain ranges by draw the mountains in front in sharp relief before making them smudgier and smudgier.
It also REALLY made my eyes hurt (new glasses eyehurt) during the 3D previews as my eyes got used to it. To be fair, the first trailer was ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and probably not the best choice to start newbie eyes off with.
The cinema I saw the movie at also had anti-theft tags on their glasses. Which was kind of stupid, as the lenses (i.e. the things you’d want if you were to steal ‘em) were simply held in by plastic clips. They also didn’t fit nicely over my glasses, and I had to perch those plastic clips on the top rim of my glasses to make them comfy.

ANYWAY, onto actually talking about the movie… )
grassangel: (GwenIanto)
Which it isn’t, really. Graphic novel just sounds better than ‘the collected strips from the official magazine’. Which is what this is.
It’s a crack up really, even if I have heard/recognise the name of one of the contributing artists (D’Israeli). Except there are no proper title pages for the chapters, so I don’t know which chapter they drew.

The reason why it’s a crack up is because… Rift War is a very weird little story. )

Whereas ‘Jetsam’ was kind of fantastic in comparison. )

So er… ‘Jetsam’ is awesome and would take someone only ten minutes at the most to read in a bookstore or at the library.
The rest, Rift War… well, if you do have 30 minutes up your sleeve and don’t mind being confused as to whether that person is Owen or Jack, you could read the rest as well.

Now… I wonder if they’ve done any compilations of the fiction in the magazines aside from Consequences….
grassangel: (reading)
Once upon a time, I read the book before this, Evil Genius. I liked it, and was vaugely sad that there appeared to be no plans for a sequel.
Fast forward a couple of years and, as I’m browsing in a book store, I spot The Genius Wars, which aside from being by the same person also had ‘genius’ in the title and a similar cover to Evil Genius. I then pick this up and discover that HOLY CRAP, it’s the THIRD book in the series. As in… she’s not just written a sequel BUT A SEQUEL TO THAT.
Cue me reserving at the library.

I have now obviously finished it and I’m reading the third currently. (And hee, it only comes out in the US this year, in October. A year after its release over here and in Australia. Yay~)
it was a bit disconcerting reading this though, as I had mostly forgotten what had happened in Evil Genius aside from the fact that the main character was an awesome anti-hero and the story in general was good and contained chases and explosions and mind-fuckery.

So it was a little confusing when it kept referring to events in the previous book )
grassangel: (GwenIanto)
I tend not to do write ups for the Jaz Parks series, mostly because they are delicious literary junk food for me* and because I read through 1-4 in the space of a month or so and you probably didn’t want to read about me spazzing about how I loved the action and the romance was smushy, but not overly so and the characters had a laugh at themselves too.

But this is the latest book, just released, so I feel as if I should give some points of note (that aren’t commentary).
Some points of note... )

...a few annoyances... )

and some commentary )

grassangel: (Torchwood)
I could swear that the title of this book is also the name of a song that I had. Except it’s not.
Anyway, it’s from the first shiny new batch of novelisations set after season two. (I don’t think they’re going to do post-CoE, mostly because… these look to be tiring enough, what would it be like with an even more reduced cast?) And… I think I already see a pattern. Jack is Jack and tries to solve everything on his own, because he doesn’t want his precious people™ to die. Gwen is ~helpful~, or at least tries to be. And Ianto is left being the person everything happens to. No. Seriously. In Almost Perfect he was the one body-swapped and in all the other ones, it appears as if he’s the one who falls sick/is in a coma/picked on because he’s still, somehow, the teaboy.
I’d almost forgive this if, you know, everyone got vaguely decent attention and characterisation paid to them, like the other novelisations did. The authors loved Owen and sometimes Jack and the stories would be based around them and would be so much better for it.
Except this book and Almost Perfect try to concentrate on all three of them at once and T3 ends up having all the charisma and interest of a slug. The story itself is affected too, which is the really horrible bit. They kind of bumble along in a Simpsons’-like manner, the beginning only marginally related to the end.

Anyway, going back to the pattern. Ianto, of course, gets treated according to this pattern. Well, perhaps not quite as woobieish as falling sick, but Gwen does volunteer him to sing and put himself in the line of danger. Because, as everyone knows, all Welsh are good singers. *can only name two off the top of her head, which is not any great number* Although, earlier, he does admit to having done some singing before.
BUT Gwen does that weird trying to be helpful but just ends up being awkward and I never thought I’d see that characterisation of her outside of fanfic.
I’ve already mentioned the horrible characterisation, haven’t I?
I do have to admit though, all the sequences where Ianto does sing makes me smile and snigger. I know the not eating dairy (or having red wine or coffee) and the Italian terms because of all my friends who are musically inclined and sing.

But there are funny things... )

...and OT3 moments... )

...and luckily the bad characterisation doesn't affect Rhys and Gwen's relationship... )

...but it does to the one-shot character, for a certain value of 'bad characterisation'. )

Also of issue is the end. )

But the book adverts in the back for upcoming novelisations and info books is fun. One of the Victorian members has been unfrozen and everyone has to follow the 1901 edition of the Torchwood handbook. I’m hoping this means Gwen in a dress.
There’s also a short story collection ‘Consequences’ which looks really interesting. It’s not so much about Torchwood, but, as you may guess, the consequences of their actions. I so, so, so want to read/get that.
grassangel: (reading)
Yes, the fact that it’s the first book in a series is important. Otherwise, if you read through and finish it like I did without knowing that fact, you may feel inclined to be annoyed at the book for having too much back story, character building and world building and not enough plot.
Because that is what a good six sevenths of this book is, world and character building. Okay, the AU colonial America setting (with magic!) is shiny and definitely interesting and the characters aren’t half cool either but I wouldn’t have been fretting over whether plot was going to show up in the next couple of pages if the ‘book one’ had been plastered a bit more over the book. (It only appears on the spine and the title page, not on the cover or blurb.)
If it weren’t for the fact the writing was very comfortable to read (and feels like home) and that the magic system was very interesting, I may have chucked the book once I had gotten halfway through. Which would’ve been only a couple of hours after I picked it up, because reading it was very fun and the pages flew past. (Although some of the flying was in anticipation of plot…)

And so, I’ve done my whinging about there wasn’t enough plot and the pacing wasn’t what I was expecting and I can talk a bit more about what it’s about. So, possible spoilers ahead, especially for those who want to read this.

Not that there's much of them... )

That shouldcover it. No, seriously, most of the book is world building and if I did go any further, it'd be boring and way too spoilery.
It was a fun read, except keep in mind it’s the first book in a series and the pacing won’t disappoint you too much.

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