catslash: (Nicola - ew gross)
( Aug. 5th, 2010 02:06 am)
And I break a month of silence for an important question:

Who else has, since seeing Inception, had the dream where you know you're dreaming and make yourself wake up repeatedly, only to discover that there are layers and you haven't really woken up yet?

Because I know I am not the only one.

(For added fun: I was plotting to try screaming, which I can never manage to do in dreams, on the theory that if it somehow worked in real life someone would come wake me up! Also, I thought briefly abut the Sandman story where Dream traps a dude in a nightmare he can't wake up from. Good times.)
catslash: (Hamlet is damn interesting)
( May. 26th, 2010 05:18 pm)
As mentioned yesterday, I'm taking a summer course on the films of Stanley Kubrick, which is structured to give us enough time to watch an entire movie in one class period. Which is pretty awesome. Especially since I realized upon looking at the list of movies we'll be seeing that I hadn't seen any of his films before. That's a lot of pop culture I've missed out on! So I've been enjoying this class a lot so far.

(Also, the room is airconditioned. I miss it already.)

So far we've watched and discussed 2001 and A Clockwork Orange, and today we screened Barry Lyndon. Juuust barely. That is a long-ass movie and we needed like every second of classtime to get the whole thing in - it ended exactly when class ended.

[ profile] karaokegal asked that I post my thoughts on Barry Lyndon after watching, so!

The short version is, it was my favorite so far. The long version is long and has spoilers, so I'm cutting since it's lesser known than most of his other movies so there might actually be plot points people aren't familiar with. )

There is a fuckton of other stuff I could talk about in this movie, and no doubt a full fuckton of other stuff I didn't even catch, but basically it is awesome and everyone should see it. The end.
catslash: (Tek and Papi)
( Apr. 25th, 2010 04:53 pm)
Guys guys. All that stuff you've heard about How to Train Your Dragon being awesome? Totally true. Like, it's not just a good animated movie, or a fun kids' movie. It's an awesome movie. I just got back from it a little while ago and I already want to see it again, Scottish Vikings and all. (Because like the entire cast is Scottish, that's why.) Oh, and David Tennant is apparently in it, which I didn't know until the end credits because obvs he is not using his Doctor accent, so keep an ear out for that too.

Now I am off to rewatch yesterday's Doctor Who, because watching something when you've missed a night's sleep does not make for the best comprehension or retention. (Although, the bit with the four-second thing? Yeah, I was wide awake.)
catslash: (Default)
( Mar. 24th, 2010 11:45 pm)
So I'm watching Romero's latest, Survival of the Dead (which, apparently, is a big deal, because it hasn't been officially released yet?), and I just want to say that Patrick O'Flynn has got to be the most deliciously stereotypical Irish name I have ever heard. Like, I thought I'd heard some good ones before, but Patrick O'Flynn beats them all.

I'm gonna go back to watching zombies eat people as Romero makes whatever statement he's feeling the need to make this time, but I just thought I'd mention that. (And if anyone is curious, there is in fact a direct link to Diary of the Dead. Which, since that was supposed to be unrelated to Romero's previous movies, might be of interest.)

ETA: Seamus Muldoon's a pretty close second, though. You know what? Instead of harping on this, I'm gonna tell a quick story from my ex-job. When we took orders, we'd get the customer's name to write on the slip. One day, I had a woman named Siobhan (which, for those unfamiliar, is pronounced Sha-von). After she said her name, I hesitated; it's a name I was familiar with, and I was trying to remember the exact spelling. Understandably, she assumed that I had no clue, and said not to worry about it and just write down whatever.

You guys should have seen her face when I proceeded to spell it correctly. Apparently, it had never happened before. I made her freaking day, and that in turn made mine. After all, my own name is a rare variation on a very common name, which people always spell incorrectly even after I have just spelled it out for them. I'm used to people getting it wrong at this point, and would die if someone ever picked the right spelling without my prompting.

I relate this story because I'm most of the way through a bottle of wine I feel it is much more interesting than pointing out the ways in which George A Romero is not winning any points with me by naming his characters as stereotypically as he possibly can.
catslash: (Nicola - ew gross)
( Feb. 7th, 2010 09:17 pm)
I got new glasses last week, but they were supertight, esp. on my temples, so I had to take them in to get adjusted before I could wear them.

This would not be a particularly notable event, except that when I handed them over for the adjustment, the woman's response was pretty funny. She took one look at them and was like, "Um, yes. These are dumb." She didn't use those exact words, but that was her tone. Apparently my glasses are mutant.

The new glasses in and of themselves are notable, since my last new pair was in 2003. Aaaaand one of the lenses has little cracks on the side, so they ordered a new lens to replace it, so I'll have to go back in again to get the new one fitted in. But it's just as well, since they're still a little bit tight behind the ears (which she suspected they would be, but it's one of those things where it just doesn't show up till after you've worn them for a few hours), so I'd have to go in for more adjustment anyway.

I mean. I know going to new glasses from ones that have been broken in for years is going to be a change, but jeez.

Also: I saw A Single Man today, which - don't. Just . . . just don't. It's so - okay. The opening credits spool over shots of Colin Firth (I think, you don't really see his face so it might be a double) flailing about underwater naked in a Graceful and Artistic Manner. And these shots show up a couple more times in the movie when his character (dealing with the loss of his lover in an accident a few months prior) is feeling overwhelmed, because GET IT, it's like he's DROWNING. IN GRIEF. Get it? GET IT? DO YOU? DO YOU GET IT!?!?!?!

I feel this is all you need to know to understand what kind of movie this is.

Plus, the ending - I don't feel like doing a spoiler cut, so I'll just say that the ending is bald-faced bullshit in terms of both storytelling and Unfortunate Implications and leave it at that. Seriously. Fuck this movie. Only see this movie if Colin Firth being awesome is relevant to your interests, because he is. And when the movie backs off for two goddamn seconds and lets him and the rest of the cast just be awesome, it is possible to forget for a little while that you are watching arty pretentious garbage.
catslash: (not mad)
( Dec. 17th, 2009 11:50 pm)
Yesterday was my last day of the semester! I talked to my WWI&II prof about possibly minoring in History (I keep taking history classes, so I may as well, right?), for which I need an advisor in the History department, and he said he'd be happy to. :D


Today I played a bunch of demos from Big Fish Games. Now I am having a movie marathon. So far I've watched:

* Good Hair, a documentary about black women in America and their hair, and how natural black hair is considered undesirable and the industry for chemicals, items, weaves, etc, to achieve "white-looking" hair is RIDICULOUS and okay we discussed this a bit in my Soc class and it was really interesting. Plus Chris Rock is the - I don't even know what you call the guy who runs the documentary. The host? The narrator? The David Attenborough?

* Hellboy, which was watchable enough as long as the movie was focused on the characters and boring whenever shit started blowing up. (You can tell where my priorities lie. I used to watch Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers for the plots, too.) Also, because I did just take that class on the World Wars, I found the Nazi origin story and presence of Rasputin to be hilarious.


* The Invisible Child, which presents us with a nanny who is hired by a family in which the mother believes that there is a third child when there are really only two. The youngest child believes in this second sister, but the oldest and the dad know better and conspire to enable the delusion. It's a really interesting character study for a while as the nanny goes from weirded out to worried to actually accepting of the situation, and then it just takes this creepy-ass left turn. When the nanny is at the height of her concern over the situation, she contacts CFS. Then, as she gets sucked in and CFS finally gets around to checking up on things, she joins the father and oldest child in actively stonewalling and persuading them that the entire thing was a wacky misunderstanding. Which is all well and good, and could be a really intriguing study of Stockholm Syndrome and how people become convinced that an unsafe situation is perfectly okay - except that the movie tells us that this is all a GOOD thing. Preservation of the family at all costs! Oh, and the oldest kid is totally okay with having spent literally half her life pretending Maggie exists and it didn't damage her at all, and the youngest is gonna be okay because - check this out - Invisible Maggie conveniently takes ill and dies. Which is a logical presentation of the idea that the mother has stopped needing the delusion, but the movie insists that Maggie's "death" has tied up all loose ends and everyone is totally cool and won't need years of intensive therapy at all!

. . . yeah, it's a Lifetime movie. Surprise.

Next up: Jennifer's Body.

This weekend: Oh, yeah, I signed up for Yuletide, didn't I?
catslash: (Default)
( Dec. 13th, 2009 07:57 pm)
So, I suppose it would be remiss of me not to share some thoughts on a movie I've been dreading for almost a decade.

Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. SPOILERS LIEK WO. )
catslash: (Default)
( Nov. 15th, 2009 06:31 pm)
2012: Surprisingly good. I mean, overblown, overlong, and prey to that disaster movie tendency to introduce waaaaaay too many complications at the climax, as if the END OF THE WORLD isn't dramatic enough by itself, but: great acting (Chiwetel Ejiofor! Look at you, with your major part in a giant blockbuster just a few years after Serenity! I will learn how to pronounce your name soon, I promise), a few surprising story choices, and the fucking SPECIAL EFFECTS, YOU GUYS. They were phenomenal. All that destruction was just beautifully and very convincingly rendered, without ever the slightest sense of Movie Fakeness.

I expected mindless silly fun, and was quite surprised by how much I got pulled into the movie. There are a few sequences that manage to be intensely suspenseful even though you know they're not gonna kill the lead characters off an hour into the movie, and I came to like some of the characters very much. There's plenty wrong with it - I'm really glad I'm not a scientist, because I strongly suspect that a lot of the science was bullshit, as per usual in these kinds of movies - but if you're undecided because it's not your kind of movie, go see it. It's not my kind of movie, either, but it surprised me by being a lot better and a little more substantial than I thought it would be. And go see it in the theater. It's a very visual movie, as you might expect, and I just can't believe that it could be half as breathtaking on your TV at home.

(Just make sure your bladder is completely empty before it starts and don't drink any diuretics before or during the show, because JEEEEESUS. I thought I was going to DIE.)

Now I'm just gonna go over here and stare at my Doctor Who download while it takes its sweet goddamn time. I always forget how long these take on the day they come out.
New show I am in love with: The Thick of It.

It's a 2005 British comedy/satire about politics, following the Minister of Social Affairs and all the completely insane shit that goes on in his department. It first came onto my radar after Children of Earth, when people were suddenly interested in sharing things Peter Capaldi has done.

Then there was a movie, In the Loop, based on the show, and it somehow managed to make its little way up to Portland for a week or two. I was able to get out and see it, and it was brilliant. It was funny as hell, reasonably easy to follow despite that fact that I know fuckall about the structuring of British government, and did I mention funny as hell? I was thrilled that I'd gotten to see it, and reminded myself to check out the show.

The show is better.

I know this is kind of an awkward entry so far, without much information about what makes these things awesome, but it's kind of hard to get into it. What's so funny about a wall that's falling apart, or a politician owning an extra apartment? I can't explain it. You just have to see it for yourself. The other half of the appeal is the dialogue, which is partially improvised and as a result sounds really natural. And they had a swearing consultant, so you may rest assured that the swearing is authentic and truly quality. I just don't think the vast majority of it would be especially funny written out. It's a very "you have to be there" kind of show.

And yes, Peter Capaldi is fantastic in it. His character, Malcolm Tucker, is the polar opposite of John Frobisher. He's vicious and aggressive and swears constantly (the subject line? Malcolm) and will cut any throat he has to cut to keep things running smoothly. He is a magnificent fucking bastard, and I think the only thing that could stop him dead in sheer despair would be meeting meek little John Frobisher slinking around wearing Malcolm's face. And even then he'd find some way to turn this to his advantage that would make Frobisher positively long for more poisonous orders from PM Horatio Green.

Tragically, The Thick of It is not available on DVD in the States, though In the Loop will be released eventually, I'm sure. I mean, hell, if a limited release movie makes it to fucking Maine, it's done pretty well for itself. For the record, I am absolutely not planning to make TToI available in any way in the next week or two. Just making that clear.
catslash: (Default)
( Mar. 11th, 2009 07:09 pm)
Yeah, so, I gave up. My computer is with a local shop for investigation and possible repair. I should hear back in a couple days about what needs to be done.

This means that the earliest I could possibly get it back, between my work schedule and their hours of operation, is Monday, and that seems pretty unlikely. I'll have some access on campus, but don't expect to see me around over the weekend.

In other news, a couple items of dorktasticness:

* In Spanish class on Tuesday, discussion of iPods turned to discussion of downloads, and my professor said, "I've only downloaded one thing. Anyone else heard of Doctor Horrible's blog?" I believe my approximate response was "EEE." And then we had a brief geek bonding moment.

* Then later, in my Performance Genre class, we were discussing A Doll's House, and the professor was talking about Nora's limited options after the end of the play. He asked, "Where could she go?"

I thought for a minute, and then I decided: The Doctor showed up and grabbed her as a companion, obviously.

Now I almost kind of want to write this. Nora would be an awesome companion, and the timing would be perfect. The Doctor could help her find who she is, and he needs someone after Donna and the terrible writing unfortunate circumstances surrounding her departure. IT WOULD BE GREAT.

* I just saw Taken again. Why did I do this, when I already knew it kinda sucked and would get on my nerves? Um. I forget. It probably had something to do with Milliways, as do many things these days. But hey, it was kinda more fun this time around, and I noticed at least one difference between it and the British release I downloaded last year. It would just an editing thing, but it happened to involve leaving out the single most cringeworthy shot. I appreciated this very much.

Anyway, I'm running down on the time I bought at the internet café, so I must flee. I'll keep you guys updated as best I can.
catslash: (Default)
( Mar. 6th, 2009 11:14 pm)
omg. Watchmen, you guys. Was so pretty.

I only have a couple of thoughts, but obvs they go under spoiler cuts. )

* And a bit that doesn't need to be under a cut - I ♥ Jeffrey Dean Morgan. We all knew that.

(Also, seriously, so pretty. Regardless of what you think of the story, you have to admit it was all fucking gorgeous.)

Then after the movie I stopped off at a bar for a quick beer and ended up listening to part of a live musical set that included two Tenacious D covers. Geek night: complete success.
catslash: (Default)
( Feb. 17th, 2009 02:38 pm)
Yeah, that meme that's going around. I got mine from [ profile] sotto_voice.

Association Meme: Comment to this post and I will give you 5 subjects/things I associate you with. Then post this in your LJ and elaborate on the subjects given.

Really long works of literature )

Obscure musicals )

Red Sox woo! )

Food service industry )

Maaaaaaaine )
catslash: (Default)
( Jan. 25th, 2009 06:08 pm)
I saw Gran Torino with my mom today. Reasons why it was awesome are as follows:

* Every single movie on the planet would be vastly improved by Clint Eastwood wandering around, grunting disapprovingly at things. Yes. All of them. Yes, that one too. Yes, especially that one.

* It plays along with your expectations of a Clint Eastwood movie until suddenly it doesn't. The movie turns itself right on its head and becomes a wonderful clash of traditional Movie Machismo with the present day real world, and presents the consequences of escalating the violence.

* It is really damn funny in spots, and surprisingly educational in regards to the Hmong people.

However, if you had a grandfather or father who was intensely strict, grim, old-fashioned, and sweet in a very gruff sort of way where you needed to hear what he meant rather than what he said, and he spoilers! ), bring Kleenex. Bring lots of Kleenex. Hell, bring some anyway.

Also! Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes and such on my birthday. Which was Friday, and no I didn't mention it, so if you're thinking, "Crap, I should have said something!", don't. It's okay. *g* You guys are all awesome.
catslash: (fried gold - credit londonpie (??))
( Jan. 5th, 2009 05:45 pm)
"Now lemme ask you this, son: what are you doing with a cellular telephone?"

Isn't it amazing how badly a movie can be dated within a decade? Scream could never work now. While the killer was busy taunting you on the landline, you could just call the police on your cell.

Also, why do the two movies that freaked me out longterm (yes, teenage me was too much of a wimp to handle Scream, shut up) revolve around telephones? I'm not sure what I want to hear less when I answer a call (or which one is more of a cliche now, for that matter):

"What's your favorite scary movie?"


"Seven days."

. . . DON'T ANY OF YOU BE GETTING ANY IDEAS NOW. I practically needed therapy after I saw The Ring. It's embarrassing in retrospect how long THAT movie fucked me up. My scare threshold has always been pretty pathetic (it's just recently that I've stopped being jumpy for weeks after seeing a scary movie), but The Ring messed with me like no other movie ever has. I'll admit to some curiosity as to how scary I'd find it now, but I'm not curious enough to find out. Maybe once it's also a decade and change old and completely dated in some then-unforeseen way.
catslash: (fried gold - credit londonpie (??))
( Oct. 11th, 2008 11:35 pm)
I just finished watching a movie called Taken, which is out in the UK right now but apparently not scheduled to open in the States until next year. I watched it partly because it has Liam Neeson. I still have a soft spot for him from back in the days when I thought Qui-Gon Jinn was the best thing ever. I think I still have my Qui-Gon doll somewhere. (You know, in retrospect, the fact that I kept going for the fatherly characters and ignoring the ostensibly hot younger male characters should have been A HUGE FUCKING CLUE. But I digress.) Also, yes, Liam was in the Les Mis movie from 1998, part of which I watched this morning. I will probably get back to it. And then bitch about it. So I was in kind of a Liam-y mood.

But most of the reason? This trailer. This is an awesome trailer. I don't usually pay much attention to the quality of trailers themselves, but this one got me.

In reality, the movie kinda sucks. It's offensive on about twenty different levels and there is no actual logic to the plot and while I did watch the whole thing through (because "JEAN VALJEAN FUCKS EVERYONE'S SHIT UP" actually works eerily well as a plot summary: just pretend the kidnapped girl is Cosette. It's set in Paris! And he runs from the police!), I can't bring myself to recommend it.

I recommend the hell out of that trailer, though. Just pretend it's a story all by itself. I just watched it again, and now I'm all pissed at the movie for not living up to it. AND I'm pissed at it for not being based on a book that I bet would have been awesome, so I could at least have read that.
catslash: (fried gold - credit londonpie (??))
( Jul. 27th, 2008 07:44 pm)
Went to see The Dark Knight again. I have a few random thoughts upon being able to sort things out a bit better.

First, though, for like the one of you who will get it: I walked past a guy in a t-shirt that said "BANE" on the front in giant letters. I managed not to laugh and go, "It's organic!" until after I'd passed him.

TDK spoilers. )

Also, this movie makes me jumpy. I heard some random beep in a pub bathroom not long after I left the theater and I about jumped out of my skin. Because CLEARLY there was a bomb. In the ladies' room at Bull Feeney's. Yup.
catslash: (hells yes Tata)
( Jul. 18th, 2008 09:38 pm)
Guess who DIDN'T get the Watchmen trailer. FAIL. FAIL NICKELODEON CINEMA. FAAAAAAIL. Man, I would've waited to pay matinee prices on Sunday if I'd known they didn't have it.

. . . on the other hand, I will probably be paying matinee prices on Sunday anyway, because the movie was fantastic. So I wasn't really annoyed for too long.

Spoilers. )

I think I am going to have to see it again, because I know I only picked up about half of it due to waiting anxiously to see what would happen next. I'm glad it's likely to be hanging around in theaters for a while.

Oh, and I'm gonna go check out the Watchmen trailer now. Sigh.
catslash: (JDM with Sara)
( Jul. 18th, 2008 09:29 am)
So! Who's more excited for the Watchmen trailer than for The Dark Knight itself? Yeah, I know I could watch it online, but it wouldn't be the same. Smaller, for one thing, and no surround sound. I do want to see the movie, but MAN I'm stoked for that trailer.
catslash: (fucking fucks!)
( Jul. 3rd, 2008 11:53 pm)
To help jog a bit of inspiration for some of my crossover challenges. (I'm a like a fiend, guys, I've gotten nine ficlets written since yesterday) I'm watching The Boondock Saints for the first time in - it has to be four years. And it's a really weird experience.

You know how this movie is one of those flicks that makes a certain percentage of its viewers go bugfuck insane and take it completely and obsessively to heart? Hi! That was me. I never went so far as to, like, get tattoos, but I do have a navy peacoat that I asked for for my twentieth birthday just because of BDS. (This coat is the best thing that came out of that particular obsession. It's the best winter jacket I've ever had, no contest. It needs replacing this year, and I'm gonna do it. I never want to be without one again.)

But yeah. So, this is me, nineteen, twenty years old, just loving the shit out of this movie. I completely bought into its mythos. I mean, you know how it is.

And now I'm twenty-five, I have more experience in watching movies and being told stories, I don't take things with quite the same measure of painfully earnest sincerity, and oh my god this movie is so camp. It is RIDIC. (And Troy Duffy has serious issues about women. Jesus.) I still love it, just - on a completely different level. There are so many things wrong with it, and it makes NO sense, but it's awesome anyway, in part because you can tell how everyone involved was totally committed to it. Even when it got ridiculous.

The Boondock Saints: Not quite the way of life I once thought it was, but still a damn good time.
catslash: (Hamlet - credit cionaudha)
( Jun. 13th, 2008 01:11 am)
Random and sundry movie thoughts!

Last night I watched Much Ado About Nothing for the first time in at least a couple years. It's one of my favorite movies for many reasons. I could write an essay on its various awesomenesses, both genuine and cracktastic. (Keanu Reeves doing Shakespeare, you guys. Come ON. It is amazing.) And then I could write another essay on how it showcases the fact that Kenneth Branagh, as a director, is about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the face. Seriously. I was inspired to rewatch it thanks to House (which also has me rewatching The Black Donnellys, as I am one of about four people in the country who associate Olivia Wilde with that rather than with The OC), and DAMN. Either Robert Sean Leonard has really, REALLY improved as a screen actor as opposed to a stage actor, or he's just really good at taking direction, because there are very few moments in his performance that are not completely hilarious. It's clear that Branagh directed everyone to just really play up and exaggerate everything - which, to be fair, fits well with the production and the simple, broadly written story - but the more experienced actors carry it off pretty well, where RSL and Kate Beckinsale, who are both like twelve . . . well. Not so much. I mean, they are also stuck with the two most boring characters in the play and don't have much to work with, especially Beckinsale. (ESPECIALLY Beckinsale. Hero is the most featureless character EVER. I'm not sure anyone could make her interesting.) But damn.

Which is all my rambling way of saying - man, RSL is not good in this movie. He's not bad (and if you start thinking he is, Keanu Reeves is RIGHT THERE to demonstrate what bad actually IS), he's just clearly more accustomed to stage acting and hasn't yet figured out how to play big without drastically overdoing it. My overall impression of him pre-House was of an earnest actor who was just trying too hard. I was profoundly relieved to see how much better he'd gotten in the decade since Much Ado, and even got an extra laugh out of a scene where Wilson is slightly overselling a rather saccharine lie just because of the realization that it was Wilson overacting, not RSL. He really is very good now. And I can think of a few stage actors who could take a hint about the need to modify one's performances for the camera, JOHN BARROWMAN.

. . . yeah, so this was just going to be a quick sharing of how Much Ado contains one of my all-time favorite Questionable Acting Choices, courtesy of Robert Sean Leonard himself. Not that I can EVER just write a quick post when I want to.

Claudio and Don Pedro have just been informed that their accusation against Hero, Claudio's fianceé, of being a big whore, is totally incorrect. They were set up to see a chick who looked kind of like Hero having sex with another guy the night before the wedding. At this point in the play, they are also under the impression that the shock of the accusation killed Hero. (It didn't, because this is one of Shakespeare's comedies.)

Naturally, Claudio is deeply perturbed by the news that he helped bring about Hero's death for no good reason. Unfortunately, RSL opts to portray Claudio's grief and horror by . . . staring blankly, and then getting an ice cream headache. I'm not kidding. He winces and grabs his head and everything. I wish I could share a clip, because the description does not do it justice. It is one of my favorite (cracky) parts of the movie. He can be as awesome as he wants on House, but I will never stop associating him with this scene. The ice cream headache, and then the kneeling in front of Hero's father and dramatically imploring forgiveness - I will always think of this first. It's not fair, but it is what it is.

And now, going in a SLIGHTLY different direction, I just watched The Signal. It's a horror movie about people being driven to homicidal insanity by a signal being broadcast over TV and phones and radio and whathaveyou. It was pretty good, but I suspect I was sympathizing with the wrong character. It just came out in February, so cut for spoilers. )

I forget how much fun movies are. I need to start watching more of them again.


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