(no subject)

Apr. 18th, 2015 05:43 pm
skygiants: Honey from Ouran with his hands to his HORRIFIED CHEEKS (ZOMG!)
[personal profile] skygiants
[personal profile] shati has seen much more Bollywood than I have, so sometimes I make her come over and show me Bollywood movies. Last Sunday, we watched Fanaa.

The first hour of Fanaa is about how beautiful blind dancer Zooni goes on her first trip to Delhi without her parents, and learns how to make her own decisions, and grows as a person, and falls in love with her tour guide Rehan.



Conflict: Rehan is a playboy who skips work and doesn't believe in love! Zooni's having a hard time getting in touch with her parents to ask them what they think about this relationship! Her best friend disapproves of Rehan, probably because she recognizes the inherent sleaze factor of his unfortunately mullet-esque hairstyle!



Right in the middle of Rehan and Zooni's second romantic musical number, Shati says, "I want you to note that this is the point where I got bored with the movie the first time I watched it and turned it off."

FIVE MINUTES LATER: MAJOR SPOILERS INVOLVE MURDER, EXPLOSIONS, AND EXTREMELY DRASTIC GENRE SHIFTS )

I'll be in the corner.

Apr. 16th, 2015 02:18 pm
meganbmoore: (girl k: training)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
Until 15 minutes ago, I had no clue how high my levels of WANT for Star Wars: The Force Awakens were.



(Confession: At this particular moment, what I want most is for the movie to reassure me that Ahsoka and the Rebels cast are ok and, you know, mostly just Not Dead.)

(no subject)

Apr. 15th, 2015 09:43 pm
meganbmoore: (wbds: ji/gwang taek: fightsex)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
1. I know a lot of people dislike Cassandra Clare, and why, but this rant about slutshaming women who have sex, write sex scenes, and enjoy reading sex scenes, and the idea that things meant to entertain teenaged girls is the lowest common denominator has some pretty good bits.

2. Related: What (Straight)Women Want ( no relation to sexist Mel Gibson movies) according to years and years of reading fiction.

3. Via [personal profile] retsuko , a list of anime and manga recs for people who aren't fans of anime and manga that doesn't make my eyes glaze over with boredom.  Most of what I haven't read or watched, I have no interest in reading or watching, and there are other things I'd have on there, but, IMO, it's better than most.

4. I shouldn't start a new kdrama before finishing Ja Myung Go and the telenovelas I've been watching, but I checked out a new sageuk Hwajung out of curiosity. The plot is about Jeongmyung, a Joseon princess who is exiled after her half-brother, Gwanghae, usurps the crown, grows up as a boy, and returns years later as a boy. The first episode focuses mostly of the political and personal circumstances that lead to Gwanghae's coup. (Though really, it's another prince's coup. Played by the same actor who played Mishil's scheming brother in Queen Seon Duk.) Different things I've seen have promoted either Gwanghae or Jeongmyung as the main character. I opt to believe that it's Jeongmyung, with a greater focus on Gwanghae in early episodes because Jeongmyung is a little girl in them, and because Cha Seung Won is a much bigger star than Lee Yoon Hee. I'm actually really looking forward to seeing Lee Yeon He in a leading role, as I've only seen her as the younger versions of sageuk women before.

Trailer:





I have pretty much no historical reference for the one.  I know some bits about Gwanghae, but that's it.

5. Is anyone else planning to watch CW's The Messengers? I'm not really sold on the trailer, but I do like JD Pardo, and it has potential. (If nothing else, CW will probably treat him better than Revolution did.)

Trailer:



6. Speaking of CW, I enjoyed this week's iZombie a lot, but suspect I would have been more excited about it if (A) I had ever watch a single scene of Merlin (though I did quite like the actor) or (B) had ever understood why anyone would like Dick "prove you're a man by raping an unconscious girl" Casablancas.  (He never even had "love to hate" or "at least he's amusing" status for me, but I know a lot of people enjoyed him.)

Meanwhile, petition to get protective details for Clive and Ravi. (Liv should be fine.)

7. Rarely written fic is due in 2 weeks. I have 0 words, but a vague idea? I need panic induced adrenaline to set in.

(no subject)

Apr. 15th, 2015 07:53 am
skygiants: Cha Song Joo, from Capital Scandal, demonstrating all the fucks she gives (u mad)
[personal profile] skygiants
So I just read Here There Be Dragons, which is the one where a young J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams become the guardians of a fantasy universe, place a descendent of King Arthur on the throne, fight an evil overlord, and save the day!!!

...technically all that is a spoiler, especially the parts about how the protagonists are the young Inklings, which is a BIG LAST CHAPTER REVEAL, but, like, why would you read this book if you didn't want to know if C.S. Lewis turns temporarily evil in the middle? There is no reason.

C.S. Lewis does turn temporarily evil in the middle, for the record, although 'evil' in this case seems to translate to 'he was briefly impetuous and made a ill-thought-out but well-meant decision that one time.' EVIL!!! I actually got confused and thought C.S. Lewis was instead the pompous and sarcastic one who made friends with a talking badger with a quaint accent and food obsession a la Redwall, which seemed to make more thematic sense in terms of the context of his later writings, but no, that was Charles Williams, which confuses me because as far as I know he never wrote about talking badgers at all. (But I've actually never read anything by Charles Williams, which may be why I had trouble identifying him accurately. Should I?)

I mean, I'm pretty sure the reason that the Inklings are the protagonists of this book at all is because James A. Owen was like "I want to write the kind of fantasy that basically puts Middle Earth and Narnia in a blender, but ... how can I do it without people calling me derivative ...? OH OK OK I GOT IT, I'll set it up so that Tolkien and Lewis were both being derivative of me!" Brilliant! Now no one could possibly object to the talking badger, or the virtuous dwarves and elves and the evil goblins and trolls, or the ominous shadow-people, or chain of magical islands at the end of the world or the Rings of Power OR ANYTHING. My complaints have neatly been circumvented. His plan is sheer elegance in its simplicity.

Things I can (and will) complain about:
- a big chunk of the plot focuses on Tolkien not having adequately studied all the languages he was supposed to when he was a student, which, HAHAHAHAHAHA
- Magwitch is an evil Dickens character! MAGWITCH. As in, the hidden benefactor in Great Expectations, where half the point is to recognize his inner virtue despite his misfortunes ...?
- H.G. Wells is also a magical guardian, working to help put the rightful king on the throne! I'm not sure James A. Owen knows that H.G. Wells was an ardent Socialist, but if he does know, he SUPER doesn't care
- OK I admit I did laugh though when they're like "J.M. Barrie was a magical guardian but he basically just fucked off to hang around with the Llewelyn Davies family twenty years ago and never came back. DAMMIT BARRIE!"
- there is one female character in the book! She is of course the center of a love triangle between the long-lost king and Briefly Evil C.S. Lewis.
- there is (I think?) one character who is not white in the book! Guess who's also the one character who's killed off for real during the final battle?
- ...though I guess also a whole bunch of fauns who have worked closely with the main cast get literally eaten by wendigos in the middle of the book and no one really seems to care
- also, why wendigos, when literally everything else is taken straight out of Tolkien or Lewis or Arthuriana or Welsh mythology and there is basically no reference to the Americas at all? WHY NOT I GUESS
- at the end we get a list of other famous authors who have also taken on the role of Guardian Of This Fantasy Land. "Much of the cultural and scientific history of the entire human race!" says the narration, meaning of course LITERALLY NOBODY outside of Europe and North America. Mary Shelley is the only woman listed.

I don't think I'll be reading any of the sequels, but I did read a summary of the next one on Wikipedia! In summary form, it's HILARIOUS. "There, they are attacked by the descendants of the failed Roanoke exploration, led by Richard Burton. Escaping him, the protagonists reach Neverland, where Daedalus reveals to them that the Underneath is divided into nine districts (as in Dante's Inferno), and asks them to become children themselves to better understand Hugh the Iron and William the Pig, the sons of Jason and the original Lost Boys." Okay! Sure! I'm not sure how Hugh the Iron and William the Pig can be the sons of Jason (I'm assuming the Argonaut) and ALL the Lost Boys, it seems biologically improbable to say the least, but I can roll with it.

(no subject)

Apr. 12th, 2015 12:07 pm
skygiants: Sokka from Avatar: the Last Airbender vehemently facepalming (facepalm)
[personal profile] skygiants
So now I've read Yesterday's Magic, the sequel to Tomorrow's Magic, aka the Post-Apocalyptic Adventures of Emo Teen Merlin.

My favorite things about this book:
- the plot kicks off when Heather is given an EVIL ENCHANTED LISA FRANK LUNCHBOX. Literally, it is a plastic lunchbox covered in pink sparkly unicorns, and they're like 'ooooh, ancient technology! so pretty!' and then it teleports Heather into the clutches of evil. This is the most appropriate thing I have ever read

My least favorite things about this book:
- it starts off with fifteen-year-old Heather and several-centuries-old Emo Teen Merlin getting engaged! Yay! Celebrations ... for all ...?
- then there's the sequence with Evil God Kali that is right out of the worst bits of an Indiana Jones movie
- versus the sequence with Baba Yaga where Baba Yaga's just like 'yeah yo I guess I used to be powerful and amoral but now I just like taking care of my adopted kids and chattering a lot, anyway I'm gonna stay out of this Merlin vs. Morgan war because it's WAY out of MY league!'
- versus the sequence with Raven and Bear and various other figures whom it took me ages to recognize because if I am not mistaken they appear to be in the wrong part of the Americas ....????
- basically I'm just putting a moratorium on Pamela F. Service writing about other people's spiritual traditions and cultures. PLEASE STOP.

Things about this book about which I can only laugh:
- Heather now has magical telepathic powers to communicate with people around the world. She's always had these powers. Just because they were never mentioned in a previous book doesn't mean she hasn't always had these powers, jeez, guys, way to be prescriptivist

icons: The Twelve Kingdoms

Apr. 11th, 2015 08:21 am
meganbmoore: (shoukei)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 90 x The Twelve Kingdoms (eps 12-22)

12k2-12 12k2-69 12k2-83


here )




movie: Song of the Sea

Apr. 10th, 2015 07:55 pm
meganbmoore: (secret of kells: lookee)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
Song of the Sea is a wonderful Irish animated film about Irish folklore and mythology with extremely stylized traditional animation and a great soundtrack. It's by the makers of The Scret of Kells, which is also a wonderful Irish animated film about Irish folklore and mythology with extremely stylized traditional animation and a great soundtrack, and also has some of the same vocal cast. But the two are actually very different.

Centered around selkie legends and the goddess Macha, Song of the Sea is about Ben, a boy who lives on an island in a lighthound with his father, Conor, who has yet to recover from losing Ben's mother, and his sister, Saoirse, who doesn't speak yet, even though she's six. Unknown to Ben and Saoirse, their mother was a selkie, and Saoirse is one too, two facts Conor and his mother try desperately to deny, eventually sending the children to live with their grandmother on the mainland. When the children run away to return to the lighthouse, they find themselves in the middle of a much bigger picture involving the sidhe, and encounter a variety of figures from Irish mythology.

It's very sincere and very honest about itself and its characters, and is made with an incredible amount of love of mythology.

This official (I think) music video is a bit spoilery, but it's also amazing:

meganbmoore: (Default)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
I did not enjoy the special Evil Asians Episode (Whee! OTT orientalism! Whee!) aspect of this week's iZombie nor did I enjoy the slutshaming, either the undercover jokes slutshaming, or the "having sex with 1 man and making me jealous" slutshaming.

spoilers )

Jane the Virgin is as delightful as ever, and for all it's soap opera elements, it's sometimes very realistic and sometimes pretty deep about it's depiction of people making relationships work and the problems in them. The Villanueva women and Rogelio are always the highlight of the show (one of the best moments this week was Rogelio being all TeamDude is ok and all, but TeamJane is the only true choice), but I'm also really enjoying what they're doing with Petra lately, though I hope they don't decide to have her go after Rafael.

spoilers )

Madison Concourse room

Apr. 7th, 2015 09:18 am
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
I've got a reservation for a room at the Madison Concourse for Wiscon that I won't be using, anyone interested in taking? It's from 5/22-5/25, $127/night, should be two queen beds.

(no subject)

Apr. 6th, 2015 08:29 pm
skygiants: Audrey Hepburn peering around a corner disguised in giant sunglasses, from Charade (sneaky like hepburnninja)
[personal profile] skygiants
Despite the title, I had high hopes for Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives: Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense. The point of the anthology is to feature women who wrote suspense about women, with a focus on authors who were well-known between the 1940s and 1970s, but have currently faded from the public imagination. This is a good goal and I laud it, so well done, Sarah Weinman!

Unfortunately, I was not as excited by Sarah Weinman's introductions -- they're all either really unnecessarily spoilery, really unnecessarily dramatic, or just flat-out misguided -- while not shedding enough of a light on the authors behind them to make me feel like it was worth getting spoiled for. So that was frustrating! The stories themselves are also kind of a mixed bag. On the other hand, there are definitely a few gems, and some authors I will certainly be bookmarking for further investigation.

OK, so by story, we have:

1. "The Heroine," Patricia Highsmith

Sarah Weinman makes a big deal about how writing about women instead of gentlemanly sociopaths is THE ROAD NOT TAKEN for Patricia Highsmith, which is probably true, but this predictable entry into the 'whoops, the governess might kill us all!' genre is not an example of much of a loss.

2. "A Nice Place to Stay," Nedra Tyre

A woman who's never had a home finds jail isn't so bad? This is one of those where the twist felt much more SHOCKING!!! than believable.

3. "Louisa, Please Come Home," Shirley Jackson

I mean, Shirley Jackson can hella write. So this story from the POV of a clever runaway teenager is probably not the best Shirley Jackson ever, but that doesn't make it not a fun story.

4. "Lavender Lady," Barbara Callahan

I found this one maybe funnier than I was supposed to because it is basically just songfic?? I am sorry, I am incapable of taking any story that has mediocre lyrics sprinkled at regular intervals through the text to ILLUMINATE THE CHARACTER'S TRAGEDY very ... seriously ....

5. "Sugar and Spice," Vera Caspary

Although the premise of this was frustrating in the way stories about women motivated by jealous of each other often frustrating -- plain-but-rich cousin and poor-but-beautiful cousin hate each other and are constantly competing, usually over men, until one of them MURDERS a guy!!! BUT WHICH? -- it was actually one of my favorites in the collection anyway, because Nancy the plain-but-rich cousin is incredibly charismatic and interesting (she has no artistic talent, but she's brilliant at critique! she's a patron of the arts! she cheerfully calls herself a vipress!) The format is also kind of great, in that it's a double frame story; the narrator is Mike Jordan, who is not really involved in the murder at all but has been sort of alternately hanging out with different cousins for most of his life and therefore observed all the drama, but he's telling the story to the actual narrator, who is a completely random woman who is totally uninvolved and just has a phone that Mike wants to borrow! And then at the end, once he's finished telling her this whole long dramatic story, she's like, "OK, yes, murder whatever, what I'm taking away here is that NANCY IS GREAT, MARRY HER IMMEDIATELY." I am with you, random narrator woman. You and I, we understand each other. Anyway, I will definitely be looking for more of Vera Caspary's work.

6. "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree," Helen Nielsen

Any story that starts out with a woman asking her husband not to put her on a pedestal because it's NOT A GOOD PLACE TO BE is probably a story that I'm going to like, and this is not an exception. Basically a critique of the virgin/whore dichotomy disguised as a murder story. Another author I will be looking up!

7. "Everybody Needs a Mink," Dorothy B. Hughes

I'm not sure ... how this is a suspense story ...? Like, a lower-middle-class housewife goes to a store and a nice old man mysteriously buys her a mink, and her family are all "that's weird!" and then that's it, the story is basically over. OK! That's nice!

8. "The Purple Shroud," Joyce Harrington

This one is set among ARTSY HIPPIES and feels ... very seventies. A douchebag husband gets murdered and it's fine.

9. "The Stranger in the Car," Elisabeth Sanxay Holding

Elisabeth Sanxay Holding came through for me again; I thought this was one of the best stories in the collection. A nice middle-class man attempts to cope with his teenage daughter's potential date-rape-and-blackmail situation, which soon escalates into a potential murder situation, and fails utterly. In the end his wife comes home and is like "oh, honey, you should have just told me straightaway and let me take care of it instead of worrying your sweet little head about it!"

10. "The Splintered Monday," Charlotte Armstrong

This one was fun! A cranky old lady feels like she's being tiptoed around by her hypochondriac sister's family after said sister's death, and, in the process of insisting that she is a GROWN ADULT and does NOT NEED TO BE CODDLED, good lord, people, accidentally reveals that one of them is a murderer, OOPS.

11. "Lost Generation," Dorothy Salisbury Davis

This story was very good -- it's about racism and vigilante justice gone wrong in a small town -- but there were almost zero women in it so I'm not a hundred percent sure why it's in this collection of stories by women and about women, specifically.

12. "The People Across the Canyon," Margaret Millar

And this one was actually sci-fi, I think? I'M CONFUSED. A little girl gets obsessed with the new neighbors and her parents get annoyed and then maybe someone gets sucked into a mirror dimension, I don't know.

13. "Mortmain," Miriam Allen Deford

We've already hit 'secretly murderous governess' on the domestic suspense bingo board, so now it's time for 'secretly murderous nurse!' Deford pulls it off pretty well, though, and the ending did genuinely give me the creeps.

14. "A Case of Maximum Need," Celia Fremlin

THIS STORY MAYBE STRETCHES THE BOUNDS OF PLAUSIBILITY A LITTLE. I've been trying not to spoil the suspense stories too much, but ... I'm just going to go ahead and spoil this one, because WTF? )

TeeVee

Apr. 6th, 2015 03:52 pm
meganbmoore: (miss fisher: red)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
1. It seems to early for TV shows to be wrapping up, but I guess it is April. I think I'm down to Madam Secretary, iZombie and Jane the Virgin, and iZombie is the only one of those with more than a few episodes left. Well, there's Secrets and Lies, but it also only has a few episodes to go, and I mostly hate!watch it.

2. Hulu only just posted the final episode of Eye Candy. I never didn't hate the serial killer plotline, and the final episode failed to change that or make him remotely interesting to me, but I did like Lindy and her friends, and I hope season 2 is more about Lindy trying to save all the abused and missing women in the world through hacking, and about her sister.

3. I watched the The Librarians movies (I only ever saw the first back when it first aired on TV) and they were entertaining enough for what they are. Flynn is much more enjoyable as the weird uncle who shows up while you're minding your own business and saving the world, and tells you that there's an even bigger world destroying crisis that you have to drop your crisis for and you and your friends bond over being proud of yourselves for not killing him because he never ever ever shuts up with his trivia.

4. I also watched the pilot of Olympus, but thought it was awful. Hercules and Xena had better fight scenes and effects 20 years ago, and for so much going on in one episode (it actually felt like scenes were cut. I wonder if it was originally meant to be a longer pilot, but got cut back) nothing was developed enough to actually be interesting or make you want more. I might watch more just to see if itgets better since there isn't much else on right now, but it was rather dire. (And please keep in mind how many things there are that are considered awful/too cheesy by most, but that I love.)

Also, the hero is an idiot, and not in a loveable and endearing way, but in a "gets people killed/imprisoned/enslaved and doesn't even realize how badly he screwed up" way.

5. Anime has wrapped up too. I'm a couple episodes behind on Akatsuki no Yona, Shirobako and Kamisama Kiss, but they all wrapped up. Fairy Tail is neverending and Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works is back, but that's it for me with anime right now. I should check out the new season, but nothing has jumped out at me yet.

6. Murder She Wrote is the main reason I'm behind on anime (the other reason is Rarely Written, even though I have nothing yet for brainstorming). I've been watching it on Netflix and have just reached the 4th season, and am surprised by how into it I am. My mother was a big fan so I remember watching ti a lot growing up, but didn't remember many details. At the rate I'm going, I'll have all 250+ episodes watched before Wiscon.

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