Maleficent

Jun. 2nd, 2014 11:38 am
lizbee: (Random: Mira Furlan (camera))
I saw Maleficent last night! It was the final task of a busy and stressful weekend, and the fact that I'm referring to a movie I enjoyed quite a lot as a "task" is a sign of just how much I had to do. And still have yet to do, but I took today off on the grounds of NOPE, and it's the best decision I have ever made. I'm going to do some Continuum chores (CONVENTION STARTS FRIDAY AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAApleaseI'msotired), clean my room (resembling my current mental state) and generally square things away so I can approach the week with a clear head.

(I cited insomnia as my reason for staying home, which is true, but now I'm starting to feel like the death cold that has moved throughout the house has finally hit me. Could I be concrud patient zero this year? I hope not!)

Anyway, Maleficent. I realised yesterday afternoon that I had strong Sleeping Beauty feelings. )
lizbee: Artwork depicting Black Widow (slim, white, redhaired) in an action pose. (Comics: Black Widow is amazing)
I paid $50 to see an advance screening, which netted me:

- Cap-themed 3D glasses (also available: Winter Soldier, Falcon and Black Widow themed glasses -- alas, the bags were given out at random);
- a limited edition Captain America poster which I haven't unrolled yet;
- a small Guardians of the Galaxy poster;
- a Cap bobblehead, or maybe one of those vinyl figurines that look like bobbleheads but without the bobble;
- a large popcorn;
- oh, and a movie ticket.

Note that there was free popcorn, but no free drinks. CUNNING. Also thrown in was being shouted at by security guards to turn off our phones for piracy resents. [profile] suburbannoir was stopped and made to pull her phone out of her bag and switch it off in front of them, which was strange, since no one else got that treatment, and it created a bit of a bottleneck. Later, coming back from the bathrooms, I had some trouble explaining that my (switched off) phone was in my bag in the cinema, and not on my person at that moment.

There was also a veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery long wait for the movie to start. FINALLY -- followed by a warning that security guards EQUIPPED WITH NIGHT VISION GOGGLES (entire cinema laughed) would be watching us.

Trailers: Uhhhhm, there's apparently another Spiderman movie? Is that a thing? And an interesting bit of sci-fi called Edge of Tomorrow, which totally would have intrigued me if it hadn't starred Tom Cruise. LUCKILY, then I found out it's a whitewashed adaptation of a Japanese novel -- well, partially whitewashed; the heroine is an American woman in the book. It's been translated into English, so stay tuned.

Amusing bit: a trailer for a chick flick starring Cameron Diaz and Jaime Lannister was followed by a suggestion that ladies could make it the centrepiece of girls' night out. The majority-female audience for the superhero movie laughed quite loudly.

Finally, the movie. Spoilers. )
lizbee: Speech bubble from NextWave: "Zomg. Boom." (Comics: ZOMG BOOM)
I frequently have ideas for vids, and some of them I squirrel away in case I ever find myself with lots of free time, and also source, and also skill and patience.

Every now and then I hit on something which needs to exist, but I don't know enough of the source(s), and I'm not dedicated enough to familiarise myself with the material and then sit down and make the vid. But I really, really want to watch it.

Which is to say, this song exists. It's catchy as hell, and kind of on the nose for a multifandom superhero vid, but in that way that, if done right, would really, really work. For some reason I am picturing the Marvel movieverse, but also DC, and especially Robins and Batgirls. For your consideration and inspiration.

(Also, the female vocalist is Bill Oddie's daughter, so now I need to go and have a moment with my Goodies DVDs.)
lizbee: Artwork depicting Black Widow (slim, white, redhaired) in an action pose. (Comics: Black Widow is amazing)
Without getting into spoilers, I thoroughly enjoyed Iron Man 3, which may not mean much since I also liked Iron Man 2 the first time I saw it. I predict that Tumblr will have lots of feels, some of them hair-related (stay past the credits as usual), and some of them outrage that a plot development confidently being predicted on the basis of three seconds in the trailer doesn't go as expected.

One small spoiler for the cast, one hint at a spoiler for the plot. )

In conclusion, this was great, where is my Black Widow movie?
lizbee: (Avatar: Chibi Zuko and Mai)
Having recovered somewhat from the overwhelming badness of Among Others, I moved onto attempting Mira Grant's Deadline. I say "attempting", because it's the second book in a trilogy I had otherwise decided not to read, and while I had to give it a go, I promised myself I could stop if I really hated it.

I MADE IT FIVE CHAPTERS, GUYS, YOU SHOULD BE PROUD OF ME.

To sum up: the Newsflesh trilogy is set in a sci-fi zombie apocalypse dominated by pop culture references that are already outdated now. (Strike one.) The protagonist in the second book has his dead twin sister living in his head, but that doesn't save him from being deeply annoying. (Strike two.) And then someone (thankfully) warned me that the trilogy's OTP are siblings. (Strike three.)

It wasn't HOLY SHIT, THIS IS BAD! on the scale of Among Others, but the little bit I read killed any desire to read any of Grant's other work ever.

Quick, potentially triggery rant about fannish attitudes to incest and also RL abuse. )

I'm now trying to read Ray of Light by Brad R. Torgersen, one of the nominated novelettes. I say "trying" because, while it's technically good and all, so far it suffers from All The Female Characters Are Symbols And Archetypes Syndrome, and also a bad case of PrecociousInnocentChildItis. I'm beginning to wonder if this year's nominations are actually an elaborate attempt at trolling.

Something I did like! I'm on a couple of YA panels at Continuum -- I also came third in the short story competition! -- so I've been catching up on some YA sci-fi. (I have to say, the contrast with the adult-oriented Hugo nominated novels is striking. And I'm still convinced that the really interesting stuff is being written for teens.) Really enjoyed Feed by M T Anderson, even though it is full of things I usually avoid -- cyberpunk, douchebag male protagonist who learns an important lesson from a borderline manic pixie dream girl, etc. Mostly because it is so well written that it turns the cliches inside out and into interesting origami shapes, and is also short enough that it doesn't overstay its welcome. I'm not saying that I was crying on the train as I finished it, but ... yeah, I was totally crying on the train.

As long as I'm kicking lots of popular genre works, here are four more unpopular opinions:

- The actress who played Sif in Thor was really embarrassingly bad...
- ...and Darcy is kind of not that interesting to me
- Korra/Asami is possibly the most boring f/f pairing on the entire planet, and I'm sure I have good reasons for believing this that aren't just "They get in the way of Korra/Lin"
- it kind of skeeves me out that so much of the Korra/Tahno fan art on my dash puts Korra in a stereotypically feminine nurturing role

OH YEAH, and I'm also on a Continuum panel about vidding! So I should probably maybe go watch some vids? Said panel is at 11pm Friday night, btw, so if you come -- it's gold coin entry on Friday! -- maybe bring me some Red Bull, because I turn into a pumpkin at 9.30.
lizbee: (Random: The Pigeon is overstimulated)
I observed Australia Day by seeing a British movie, then watching the episode of Babylon 5 with the racist Australian, and finally reading a teen novel set in Port Adelaide during the 1928 wharfies' strike.  So that was patriotic. 

Setting out, [profile] suburbannoir and I found ourselves with the choice of going out to a suburban multiplex, or heading closer to the city to the trendy independent cinema.  We chose the 'burbs on account of how the food court options were superior, but then it turned out that the multiplex's best-value (for us) popcorn deal came with a free Muppet, so obviously we made the right choice.  (And we have the Fozzie to prove it!)

Hoyts may ahve misjudged the audience somewhat -- we were the youngest people in the cinema by about 15 years, but all the pre-trailer ads were aimed at school-leavers.  The trailers themselves were terrible -- we got:
- Clive Owen versus his moustache
- Liam Neeson versus WOLVES
- something about a CIA agent who's shocked and amazed that his bosses are doing something a bit sketchy
- something about two CIA agents competing for Reese Witherspoon, and breaking various international laws in the process.  I'm not sure, but I think this last one was meant to be a comedy.

After all that, Tinker Tailor was pretty amazing.  I'm really glad I saw it at the cinema, not because it was full of amazing special effects that needed to be seen on a big screen, but because it was really intricate and demanded my full attention, and if I'd been watching at home I'd have been reaching for my phone or looking up the cast on Wikipedia or making a quilt, or doing something other than concentrating.  And that would have been a shame.

Of course, one reason why it demanded so much attention is that I have trouble telling middle-aged white men apart.  That's an exaggeration for comedic effect: I'm not very good with faces in general, but generally I can tell women apart by their hair and clothes.  Put me in a situation where you have lots of people of the same race and roughly similar ages, dressing alike -- men in suits, basically -- and I'm a bit lost.  Until I was actually in the cinema, I believed that all the Tinker Tailor ads on bus shelters around the city featured Bill Nighy, not Gary Oldman.  And I know and like Bill Nighy's face!  (I'd know and like Gary Oldman's face, too, if it didn't keep changing!)  (And [profile] suburbannoir pointed out that if Bill Nighy had been in it, the entire film would have exploded from an excess of concentrated Britishness.)

In short, for me the cast went:  Smiley aka Gary Oldman In Glasses, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch + Benedict Cumberbatch's cheekbones and floppy ginger hair, Colin Firth, Caesar from Rome, the Dream Lord, that guy who isn't Jared Harris Mark Strong, and someone who I intially thought was Billie Piper in drag, but he turned out to be Tom Hardy. 

The women were a million times easier, since there were fewer of them and they all looked completely different from each other:  Belinda the Blonde, Beautiful Russian Lady, Random Kathy Bates, Lady Edith Crawley. 

Lots of unheralded flashbacks ("Which glasses are Gary Oldman wearing in this scene?  Oh, those.  Flashback, then."), which I think is why people found it hard to follow?  It all made sense, you just had to pay attention.  (Of course, one Amazon reviewer didn't realise it wasn't set in the present day, so.)  The climax was very low-key, but I had somehow expected that.  One for the DVD shelf -- even if the movie itself had been rubbish, the costume design made it a keeper.
lizbee: (Avatar: FEMINIST RAGE!)
DAY 25. How much did you like the movie? Or how much do you want to see it?

Why yes, I have skipped a few days here. I watched the movie a week ago, and I wanted to express my thoughts before Mark Watches gets to it. And since right now I'm not good for anything more complicated than playing around in the Gimp this evening, that's ... exactly what I did.

Now, a few times the House o'Squid made vague plans in the direction of watching The Last Airbender, all of which fell through on account of how I live with people who have both taste and self-preservation instincts. (There was also some debate about whether watching it was an endorsement of its racist casting, and whether the world even needed to give it more airtime. We never actually reached a conclusion, but generally I'm inclined to think that one should be able to consume a work without automatically endorsing its fail, and also I have a secret crush on Dev Patel which meant that the file was just sitting on my hard drive, taunting me.)

In the end, I bribed [personal profile] weaverandom with chocolate and she watched it with me. (I couldn't watch it alone!) And it was as bad as everyone said, and then worse again.

Punch a fish in the face? DON'T MIND IF I DO! )
lizbee: Cartoon of Harry based on photos c.PoA movie on an orange-gold background with words, "Slightly Chosen, sortakinda". (Books: the Chosen One)
Saw it last night with [personal profile] baggers and [personal profile] indeed. This was especially nifty has [personal profile] baggers had only read the first third of the book, so once the tent was up, she was in totally new territory.

We did make two mistakes, and since I booked the tickets, I'm responsible for both:

1. We saw it at Northlands, suburbialand, in the early evening on a Saturday night...
2. ...in the smaller, cheaper cinema with no leg room, inadequate air conditioning, a worryingly sticky floor and a peculiar smell.

So we were uncomfortable and surrounded by children and teenagers. Including five teenage girls behind us who talked loudly through the whole thing and very badly needed a smack.

The actual movie:

'We're older now, the light is dim, and you are only just beginning' )
lizbee: (Random: Miss Piggy is weirdly hot)
Reading Karen Healey's Guardian of the Dead made me aware of how little New Zealand literature I've read. With all due respect to my hockey-loving, snow-knowing-about friends, it's a bit embarrassing to realise your bookshelf holds more Canadians than citizens of your country's closest cultural neighbour. Now, this is me, so instead of seeking out Proper Grown-up Literature, I went for the YA/middle grade shelves, and made the obvious choice: Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera. It's a small book, and I read it quickly, and it left me both a bit teary, and slightly disappointed. So I sought out the movie, which I had never seen before. (For no particular reason, other than that I go through phases of living under a cultural rock, and in 2002 I was probably busy reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the sixteenth time, or something equally awesome awesome.)

If the book left me a bit teary, the movie had me in floods of tears, curled up in my armchair while the cat batted anxiously at my face and wondered if this meant I wasn't going to give him a second dinner. (I wasn't.) The movie is both smaller and larger than the book, and -- in stark contrast to the novel -- is entirely the story of its heroine.

The rest is spoilers. And pictures! )
lizbee: (Random: OMG!)
If anyone else is in the mood to have dreams crushed and funny bones tickled, the first trailer for the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes is up.

It looks outrageously bad. I, for one, am so outraged that I downloaded it and put it on my iPod, so I can watch it and be outraged three times a day. (If anyone else wishes to do the same, they can grab it here.) I plan to further demonstrate my outrage by seeing it multiple times. Sorry, but it looks almost as funny as the Twilight movie, and I loved that one.

...Then, of course, I shall change my name and go into hiding, as [personal profile] cesario will inevitably come after me:

Liz: ARE YOU IN THE MOOD FOR A HOT MESS?
Branwyn: Are you a cam girl now?
Liz: NO
Liz: MUCH MORE HILARIOUS
Branwyn: ...
Branwyn: ...
Branwyn: .........................................................................................
Branwyn: That was a little joke that you cooked up with your friends, right? That's [personal profile] piecesofalice, dressed up as Robert Downey?
Liz: And [profile] suburbannoir as Jude Law, yes.
Liz: I think we recreated Victorian London quite nicely in our flat, and Harvey did a bang-up job as Lestrade.
Branwyn: what even WAS that shit?
Liz: HILARIOUS.
Liz: I, um, may have a small crush on Robert Downey Jr. I blame Iron Man.
The Limpflig: Yeah, you and the rest of the internet.
lizbee: (Default)
Now that I'm not about to rush off to work.

Spoooooooooooiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllllllllllllllllers! )
lizbee: (Default)
I got home late from Watchmen.  The downstairs neighbours have been playing '90s alt-rock all night.  I had to get up at five, for an early shift at work.

SEND ENERGY DRINKS!

This is relevant to the post that follows:

Photobucket



Anyway, yes, Watchmen.  I liked it, lots.  I'm not a purist regarding any film adaptation, except possibly ... no, I can't think of anything.  I thought the cast and effects were great, I had no sense of time passing, and I just loved it.  However.  Spoilers. )
lizbee: (Default)
1.  There is no tea in the house.  This is because I told myself again and again to buy tea after we saw The X-Files last night, and of course, I forgot.  So my morning caffeine has come in the form of coffee, instant.  I am not overly pleased.

2.  Yesterday I saved work from BURNINATING IN FIRE. Sort of.  The manager was on lunch, and I looked up and said, "Do you smell something burning?"

"Oh yeah," said the new guy, "it's sort of plasticky."  We frantically checked all the computers and powerpoints, but nothing was out of order.  Then he said, "I noticed a couple of hours ago that the bin outside was on fire..."

So I strolled over and had a look, and OH BOY WAS THE BIN OUTSIDE ON FIRE.  As I watched, a lady emptied her bottle of water over it and walked on, with no noticable effect.  I wandered back to the counter, picked up the phone and called triple-zero.

Fifteen minutes later, a fire truck turned up, sirens blazing, and six handsome firemen jumped out, brandishing an enormous hose (what?) and put out the fire.  By the time they were finished, the plastic bin within the metal shell had fully melted.  It was quite awesome.

Then I had a quick talk with the new guy about how fires should be put out when they're small, before they get big and stink out the whole store.

3.  I quite liked The X-Files, despite the fact it had a PLOT OF FAIL.  Yes, those caps were necessary.  So much fail!  And yet, so much win, especially in the bits where it forgot it was a Serious Movie.

4.  Recently, our company has started importing customer orders via a third company.  Which is to say, instead of directly ordering from our UK or US wholesalers, we place the order, and Company C takes it from there.

Unfortunately, Company C has some competency issues, which lead to the following conversation:

"Hi, this is Liz from [company], I just wanted to chase up some outstanding orders.  [Here are the ISBNs.]"

"Oh yeah.  It took us a while to figure those orders out.  It turns out the books are from England."

"...Right.  Now, there's also this order: [ISBN]."

"Yes, we did receive that book, but we lost it.  Do you want us to order another copy?"

*KEYBOARD SMASH*

5.  The problem with reading breast cancer memoirs is that, for weeks after, instead of thinking, "Hmm.  My boob hurts.  I really need to get a properly-fitted bra", I think, "Hmm.  My boob hurts.  I hope I get a book deal before I die."  It's a bit fail.  Also, Lopsided by Meredith Norton was ultimately unsatisfying, for reasons I shall go into in more detail in my Vox.

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