timepiececlock: (Rashaka is my name)
I listened to Richard Dawkin's audiobook of The God Delusion the last few days. It's only 5 discs, so I breezed through it. I found that while I generally agreed with most of his opinions and refutations, he has a sanctimonious voice that turned me off. I also get that this was part of his point, but it still sometimes distanced me from his POV.

I don't have any hard hitting comments to make, and except for a few bits of trivia, nothing in it was particularly new. Since I've always been an atheist, I wasn't the target audience and didn't need to be converted. I took it more as a set of examples for how to counter pro-theistic arguments.

One thing that did hit me with a surprise left hook was the chapter about religion and the fear of Hell being imposed on children. In my personal case, I come from a non-church-going mildly Christian father and an agnostic mother. Together, they produced one non-church-going mildly Christian child, and me. I was listening to the book in the car, and when I got home I went into the garden and deliberately thanked my mother for never--in all of my remembered childhood--telling me that I was in danger of going to Hell. I never had the fear of Hell put into me by family, not even a little, and I've come out of that a morally grounded and conscientious person who regularly does community service. So that worked out just fine. Thanks Mom, Dad!
timepiececlock: (Fakir)
I started the audiobook for the new Star Trek movie. I am about 7 tracks into the first disc and I am vastly amused by a few things:

1. "in an unremarkable corner of one galactic arm" ... Hitchhiker's Guide! I know it's not a direct quote, but something about this line just screamed out to me as a shout out to the opening lines of HHGttG.

2. uhh.... based on this, Alan Dean Foster isn't a great writer. I mean, he's okay, but he could be better. Cliches in dialogue, double use of the same word in the same sentence, characters who repeat the obvious way too often and too obviously, etc. Actually, this feels very much like an adaptation book. Which aren't usually that good anyway, even if the movie was good. But, anyway, it could be better. I roll my eyes a bit at the military dialogue, and keep listening. "The readings are off the charts, sir!"...."I've never seen anything like it before!" *blah blah* Also apparently addicted to unnecessary -ly adverbs. Ex: "he replied appropriately" and, my favorite: using the phrase "very pregnant" in a completely serious and not-at-all ironic or joking way. Because there are completely serious degrees of being pregnant.
---2b. I swear, disc 1 track 8, appx 1:10, I heard what had to be a type-o. or a sentence fragment? I don't know, but there was a missing conjunction, one required for that sentence to make grammatical sense. I'm a little amused that either Quinto read this literally to the text and skipped it, and that no one noticed how odd it sounded when read aloud, or that he made a mistake in his reading and no one noticed in the production.

3. Zachary Quinto makes an entertaining narrator. I like that he doesn't just change his voice for various characters, but--so far at least--actually adjusts his tone to reflect and cadence whether he's talking about Vulcan characters or human characters.

4. On the other hand, I can't stop giggling whenever I hear him doing a female voice or a Romulan voice, because I picture the actor in a booth, making weird faces to go along with that. Batting his eyes for the female voices, or for the Romulan voices, hunching his shoulders like Jon Stewart doing a George Bush impression.

I'll update again as I get further along.

eta: Oh my god, dude, alliteration is a special tool, not to be abused. With great alliterative power comes real responsibility! I am marking you down from "okay" to "not that good". You have 6 more discs to change my mind.
timepiececlock: (Default)
Are there book clubs on LJ?

Not just book fandom communities, but comms based around the book club idea--where everyone reads the same book and then has discussion?

I'd love to find one. Especially a club that has particular themes or genres. But I don't know how to search for something that specific in the LJ search engine.
timepiececlock: (Ahiru & Fakir text)
Oh. My. Gosh.

Steven Brust wrote a Firefly/Serenity fanfic media tie-in novel that is available legally for free on the internet.


Steven Brust! I love Stephen Brust!

This feeling is like...like waking up to find out Steven Brust wrote Firefly fanfic! There is so much delight in my heart!
timepiececlock: (Bite me. -Toph)
It ended on a bit of a slow pace, like Stardust. But it had some interesting villains, and the storyline was quite imaginative. I can see why it won an award; Gaiman is a talented writer who creates beloved, emotionally moving characters in a lushly designed world. I liked the setting the best, with all the talents that the graveyard bestows upon its inhabitants, and how Bod comes to use those talents over the course of the plot.

Nevertheless, I have two complaints.

1. Unspoilery: Neil Gaimon uses the same stock villain in several of his books! I swear I could not tell the difference between the Jack[s] and the two pair of witty murders from Neverwhere. Spider falls into the same mold (for the first half of Anansi Brothers, at least), and some of the electronic gods had the same feel as well. But it was most noticeable with The Graveyard Book and Neverwhere. I am getting tired of this character, Gaiman. Please use that fantastic imagination of yours to think of something new next time, because this crush you have on well-spoken assassins is getting boring. (I did love the goblins, though!)

2. Spoilery: As my journal exists in the warm pudding of fandom, I accept that I'm probably the only person around here who has something negative to say about Neil Gaiman's book. )

But, other than that, I liked it!

*In retrospect, she was a raging liberal who 'poisoned' my childish mind with her leftist anti-establishment thinking. I adore my memory of her. My parents liked her too.
timepiececlock: (Bite me. -Toph)
I remember reading reactions from the comics fans on my flist when the cover for Marvel's new potential series Divas was leaked. It seemed pretty offensive, but I was prepared to dismiss it as used-to-it-whatever stuff from media entertainment, but today I saw a quote that prompted me to make login accounts with a bunch of different websites just so I could shout back at the stupidity. And I'm not even a comics reader! But the sad thing is, I'm so close to being one. I even considered it after watching the Wolverine movie. And yet, every time I almost jump in, something sends me running in the opposite direction. Like this.

"If you're [a] Marvel reader and truly feel we're sexist, then why are you reading our books? Now, perhaps you're not a Marvel reader, then if that's the case, I'm not quite sure what you're criticizing if you don't read our books?" - Joe Quesada

I could go on about Quesada’s dispiritingly poor use of hypothetical "logic" to make his point, or I could talk about the sexism *in* the argument he advocates. Or wait, I could do both! Read more... )

Yeah, nothing sexist there. ^eyeroll^ You can read the full statement here, scroll down near the bottom. It actually gets worse with context.

The thing is, here, I am the perfect candidate for Marvel to build their female audience up. I'm a nerd girl with long fangirl history. I love geek stuff. I watch the movies. I read the books. I watch anime and read manga. I go to conventions. I talk and talk and talk about the geeky media that I love. I harp on continuity and I applaud characterization. I will spend money. I'll by junk just because it has a character's face on it. I'm a freaking dream to these companies. Why aren't they courting me? Courting us?

I was discussing with [livejournal.com profile] irrel why both of us like manga (well, I like anime, and I sort of like manga in conjunction with that) but neither of us can really get into American comics or comic-based cartoons. And what we both agreed on was that we just don't feel welcome. Just looking at the art, it screams "FOR BOYS FOR BOYS FOR BOYS." At least with manga, even with all the sexism I complain about, I still can tell that manga exists for both male and female audiences. It has both male and female creators. It sells, and sells well, to male and female readers. There's gender divisions in the material, but there's still manga writers and artists who cross those divisions. Women who write shonen series like FMA and Ranma. Even if the communication is rough, I feel that at least they know female readers exist.

I have had a limited amount of exposure to American comics. It's all what seeps in through pop culture and shows like I Love The 80s. I know the big characters, the ones on t-shirts or in the movies, and the ones from occasional viewings of tv cartoons. That's where I come from when I say that I look at Marvel and DC comics in the bookstores and all I see is "Not for you! Not for you!"

So instead, I watch anime, and sometimes, if I buy anything in a drawn format, I buy manga. There's a few titles I'm very loyal to. Some of them are overtly for girls (Furuba) and some of them aren't (Blade of the Immortal), but both types invite me in rather than pushing me out.

This is just a question, but... are the American comics industry even bothering to ask themselves why girls and women are latching onto Asian comics, cartoons, and fetishist stuff? Is that discussion happening?

Because I can see the reality of it in comic stores and book stores. And I can promise you that it's not the submissive-clumsy female leads or the influence of a sexist culture that's attracting me, because I can find that in American entertainment media just as easily. It's something more. And if the comics industry in America could convince me that I'd find that something in American comics, and if the art wasn't quite so off-putting with the asses and the boobs, I'd probably try picking up a comic book. But I'm not feeling the love from Marvel and DC, not really. And that's their loss.

ETA: I have read one Western comic series--I read several volumes of Elfquest in middle school because my local library had it on the shelf. Loved it. Whatever the "something" was, they had it.
timepiececlock: (Between the Bars)
I started the audiobook for Wicked Lovely, an urban fantasy YA romance by Melissa Marr, but I gave up after a few hours of listening.

My reasons were varied, but the strongest reason was the reason anyone should give up a book: it just wasn't that interesting to me. I found the title character okay but not inspiring, and the supporting characters too simplistic or too unrealistically perfect. The concept would have been a lot more thrilling as a horror novel than as the only-slightly-dangerous romance it was leading up to be. Which is too bad, because the faeries as an idea are interesting and not a little creepy...if only the writing had committed more to the creepy factor and less to turning them into Baywatch meets Desperate Housewives, if all the characters in Baywatch and Desperate Housewives stopped living their fantastic dramas because one hottie reached through the television set, picked a female viewer, and declared her his queen for the sole purpose of getting away from his mother. Not because the girl was interesting, alluring, or had anything in her personality or even total personhood that he was attracted to.

Anyway, it had promise, but I got bored. That's not even touching on the sexual/gender politics of the book, which from what I read were not bad yet but had the potential to be VERY bad. Ashling, or whatever the main character's name is (it's a stupid name), seemed a young woman with a strong sense of self-preservation and willpower. She also spends much of her time terrified, but in an understandable way given the circumstances she faces everyday and how she's been raised to fear the faerie world. I'd be freaked out all the time too. But right from the first few chapters I could feel the book setting her up for a romance that I knew was going to exploit the worst of the set-up: connect the supposedly "strong willed"---but in reality just plain "terrified"---young woman to the supernaturally alluring, relentlessly aggressive male pursuer. Blegh. I don't need to read that.
timepiececlock: (Bite me. -Toph)
Watched Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix tonight. Still my favorite of the movies. It made me want to reread The Halfblood Prince before the 6th movie comes out this year.

As I watched this time I idly kept an eye open for shipwatch. I saw the one look Ginny gave in the Room of Requirement (oh, the dramione smut fics I've read set in that room!), but that's all really. I think it's too bad they didn't have a bit more of her in this movie, even scenes of her looking at him fondly or them being friendly in the background. I fear that the sixth movie will make the same mistake as the book, and drop the romance on us like a pink brick from sparkly heavens above instead of building to it. I hope it's not like that; it'd be nice if they improved on one of the books most annoying subplots.

While watching OotP, however, I had the same experience as I had reading the book: I shipped Harry and Luna. I can't help it! It's like she popped into their universe just at the right time to be a love interest! Someone who rapidly becomes drawn into the group but is odd enough that she stands out from Harry's normal circle. That's what a love interest character often is: someone who fits in with your best friends well enough but isn't the same as your best friends. And whether the book intended it or not, Cho and Luna were the only two non-Trio females that Harry spent any significant time with in this book/film. One can't help but make parallels. Lots of parallels. Presumably Harry hung out with Ginny plenty as well since he's so close to their family, but we never see it. No screentime! These inconsistencies just make me gnash my teeth.

It's the same problem I have with Avatar and K/Z pairing, only for HP it's worse. Because with K/Z I could always understand that as clear as it is why they're shippable, there were also enough plot reasons to reasonably interfere with anything in-series, and Zuko did have an on-off girlfriend, so I understood why they weren't for other viewers. For Luna and Harry, in the course of the fifth and sixth books, none of that is evident. There's no betrayals or warring nations or anything to say they can't hook up, and they clearly got along (if anything, even moreso in the movie...I loved her barefoot in the forest). The same could be said of Ginny, except that Harry and Ginny have very little screentime together in the until halfway through book 6, whereas Harry and Luna actually seem to interact. And then when I see how his romance with Ginny was eventually written...it feels so arbitrary.

I still want to grab JKR by the shoulders, shake her hard, and say "Look, you can't play with your audience this way! Relationships are not like murder mysteries. The point isn't to be surprised at the twist ending, the point is for everything to fit together and the relationship to feelgenuine to those characters involved."

Anyway, it's an old complaint. It seems I still can't watch OotP without having the uncomfortable feeling that maybe something's wrong if the ship that seems so evident to me in the character-plot positioning, the themes, the camera's eye POV, and the acting isn't the relationship that's supposed to be the hero's true romantic love. Half my brain watches in amazement and says "Seriously? SERIOUSLY?" even still. Ah, well! Perhaps the HBP movie will fix it for me and sell the H/G relationship as something sweet.
timepiececlock: (Origin of Love)
All the horrible drama recently of professionals behaving badly on the internet as a part of Race/Cultural Appropriation Failure '09 has oddly reminded me of the novel Magic Street by Orson Scott Card.

I read it a few years ago and always had it in the back of my mind to ask people on Livejournal for their opinions on the book, both as a novel overall (story, characters, readability) and for its handling of a POC community and cast by an author who isn't a POC. Magic Street is urban fantasy, not classic sci-fi, but it definitely falls under the discussion umbrella of recent months.

I know many people have felt (strongly) that it isn't safe to discuss race in sci-fi/fantasy literature on the internet, that online fandom is just as hurtful an enviornment as face to face discussions can be, sometimes more harmful because of the pervasiveness of information by people who abuse it online. But I'm still interested in hearing people's thoughts about the book, and I don't want to give up on the internet as a place to talk about race in literature, because I've learned more about literary race and gender analysis from fandom than I ever learned in an English class. And I'm still learning.

So... I'm keeping this post public to start, with the opening caveat that I will f-lock or close it entirely if I feel it has become a negative or unwelcoming environment. However, my LiveJournal contact list is much smaller than someone like the eloquent [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink (whose insightful book & tv reviews I admire), so I expect that I'll get a couple of replies and that will be the extent of it. That's assuming anyone who reads my journal has even read the book; it's not one of the works Card is famous for.

So... Magic Street!

An urban Shakespearean fantasy set in a middle class Southern California community with its main cast of POC, by a white author. Did you like the book? (for the record, I did. I am such a geek for urban fantasy that borrows from A Midsummer Night's Dream) What do you think worked well or worked poorly? If you disliked the book, were your complaints about generic stuff such as plot and prose, or did you have positive or negative reactions to portrayal of black characters? Is this a good example or a bad example of an author writing about characters of a different race or background? Why?
timepiececlock: (Ahiru & Fakir text)
(nabbed from [livejournal.com profile] doyle_sb4)

The BBC allegedly believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here:

How do your reading habits stack up? [bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish]

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

I'm still not clear where this list originates from...I've got 24% )
timepiececlock: (Bite me. -Toph)
I'm 130 pages into LW&C, which is about halfway. It's on my bathroom shelf-- about every other time I go in there to sit down, I read a few pages. I can say with total candor that this is the only graphic novel I've owned, borrowed, or read that was demoted to toilet reading status.

I bought volume 1 at Comic Con 2008, and still haven't finished it. I heard so much about it--that it was exciting storytelling, that it was more original and a million times better than Blade of the Immortal. Lots of hype.

Guys, I've read fourteen volumes of Blade of the Immortal (a unrelentingly bloody and misogynistic ronin story in its own sphere) which makes it one of less than 8 manga titles I've read more than ten volumes for. I can't even get up the interest to finish one volume of LW&C. It's so unbelievably boring. I get that it's old and should be read by a different standard, but if I can watch 70s episodes of Lupin III and not be bored, then being old doesn't excuse crappy writing. Every three pages the exact same thing happens over again. I can't tell you how irritating it is to have a god-mode character this extreme. He never gets injured, nor does his child. His plans always work and he's always thought things out far ahead of his enemies--who are uniformly weak, cowardly, stupid, or unskilled in his presence despite being fearless tyrants to everyone else. Even the art is just alright---nothing to write home about.

I can't even get up the energy to be mad at the manga for sucking, because I'm just too disinterested. Maybe it gets better three volumes from now. But if it hasn't gotten my attention after 130 pages, that's just too bad.
timepiececlock: (Bite me. -Toph)
The Ender's Game movie is off the table. In an interesting twist, it appears the film was stifled by author Orson Scott Card because none of the scripts or directors optioned in the last few years have satisfied him.

According to Card he “was not interested in a ‘tough-hero action film’ and refuses to condescend to green-screen Hollywood. Card imagines a ‘film where the human relationships are absolutely essential — an honest presentation of the story.’”

You know what? I'm kind of okay with that. I'd love to see Ender's Game in film medium, but I don't mind waiting longer to get the right kind of film. The book is too important to my memory of adolescence for me to be satisfied with seeing it turned into The Matrix 4. Ender Wiggin isn't Neo, or John Connor, or Malcolm Reynolds, or Frodo Baggins. And he's certainly not Will Smith's Men In Black character.

If they do make a film at some point, I hope they don't cut out the Peter and Valentine subplot, which to my critical mind is the first thing that would hit the editing room floor, regardless of its thematic and emotional importance to the novel. I'd hate to see it go, though, because Valentine and Peter are the two most important people in Ender's world, and Valentine is one of only two female characters who have recurring importance. The other is Petra, who has a much smaller role and is essentially The Girl of the kids at the battle school. I'd hate for her to be only female left if scriptwriters decided that two teens trying to take over the internet wasn't an interesting B plot.
timepiececlock: (Ahiru & Fakir text)
I kind of want to make an LJ community for fans of the book Soon I Will Be Invincible, which I read on Sunday evening in a motel room on my way to Denver and adored. I have a long, babbling, review that will be posted as soon as I can figure how to not have it be 7 paragraphs long, positive AND negative criticism.

Would anyone be interested?

I only know that I want to read fanfiction, or something, or possibly doodle the characters, and I want to talk to others about how awesome the female superheroes and other female characters are, even the character who resembles Penny from Dr. Horrible. Or, rather, the kind of character that I wish Joss Whedon'd had the foresight or cleverness to let Penny become instead of refrigerating her right off the bat. I also want to talk to people about the really strange timeline inconsistancies that I can't figure out are deliberate mockery of comic book canon discontinuity, or just sloppy inattentiveness that an editor let slide through. I want to babble about shipping, because I finished the book with two possible OTPs, a couple entertaining not-quite-OTPs, and at least one "unconventional" pairing that I actually thought the book was going to commit to at one point in my reading.

If you're not interested, or don't know the source material: go read Soon I Will Be Invincible, and THEN come back and tell me if you're interested. The book is a pretty swift 300 pages that you can read in a few hours. Except you might want to read it again.*

DONE! [livejournal.com profile] be_invincible! ....

*I hate that there's not ten sequels out there already, waiting for me to purchase.
timepiececlock: (Between the Bars)
If you're feeling down or annoyed or irritated with all the Twilight business, or if you're feeling like you want to read a book about a hot female lead and vampires and werewolves and magic, don't read Stephanie Meyers.

Read Patricia Brigg's trilogy about Mercy Thompson.

Whether you ultimately love it or not, I can guarantee it has the following:

1. Strong, independent-thinking female protagonist who owns her own business and is the opposite of a wet blanket

2. a hot love triangle

3. endearing supporting characters that grow and change over the trilogy

4. some cool-ass magic stuff

5. a murder-mystery plotline

6. werewolves and vampires and shape-shifters and faeries oh my!
timepiececlock: (Origin of Love)
This afternoon I read an interesting and thoughtful literary criticism essay analyzing the Lancre witches of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series from a feminist angle. On the linked page you can scroll down a little and it's available in PDF format:

Terry Pratchett, writer of humorous, satirical fantasy, is very popular in Britain. His Discworld series, which encompasses over 30 novels, has witches as protagonists in one of the major sub-series, currently covering eight novels. His first “witch” novel, Equal Rites, in which he pits organized, misogynist wizards against disorganized witches, led him to being accused of feminist writing. This work investigates this claim by first outlining the development of the historical witch stereotype or discourse and how that relates to the modern, feminist views of witches. Then Pratchett’s treatment of his major witch characters is examined and analyzed in terms of feminist and poststructuralist literary theory. It appears that, while giving the impression of supporting feminism and the feminist views of witches, Pratchett’s witches actually reinforce the patriarchal view of women.

The essay was written in 2006 and therefore encompasses most of the Discworld canon, though it focuses only on the Lancre witches, with no word for characters in the other series, such as Susan, Angua, Cheery, Polly/Oliver, or Sybil. It's significantly spoilery for most of the witch books, but in a general way "things end well, naturally" sort of way that I don't think would particularly ruin the books for you. Nevertheless, you might want to skim the parts for the books you haven't read yet, if you feel strongly about it. I had to skim past the stuff for A Hatful of Sky because that's the only witch novel I haven't read yet.

My thoughts and reactions, longish, no major spoilers )

The consistent and deliberate attention Pratchett gives to the dream or concept of sexual and racial equality in a professional world is worth acknowledging, even if his methods are not purity and rightness beyond all criticism. Having put out more than 30 novels set in the same "world", he's going to make missteps, and having now read everything up to Going Postal (33/35), I can see how his characters and writing have developed and matured. Ironically, Equal Rites (3/35), a novel more overtly about sexism than any other except Monstrous Regiment, is one of his weakest books, and includes concepts about women, men, and magic that he rewrites, ignores, or retcons in later canon.

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] discworld. I would love to hear others' thoughts about this. Please, if you do comment, keep an open mind and respectful tone.
timepiececlock: (Origin of Love)
I feel kind of guilty about being excited for this promo for a new show.

I had some real dissatisfaction issues with the book Wizards First Rule, and I never ended up reading the sequels despite their enormous popularity as a fantasy series. Mostly my problems revolved around the fact that the protagonist, Richard, was about as exciting as a block of wood. He was so boring and lacking of any kind of personality, that...well, you know how a lot of fans like to read books where they can imagine themselves in the hero's place? We all do, right? But it should always be a flight of fancy, because the character ought to have a distinctive personality and presence of their own. Would I like to imagine myself kicking as as The Slayer? SURE! But I don't want to be Buffy herself. Because Buffy has a distinct "self" that I know is not like mine at all. Richard's character doesn't meet that requirement, at least not in the first book. He's about as developed as a paper doll. He walks, he talks, he supposedly falls in love, but he's like a Bot so none of it leaves a lasting impression. Luke Skywalker, fanboy manifest, had more personality than this farmboy does. Not to mention one of the major elements of the climax revolves specifically around this lack of personality...like it becomes a plot point that he's empty. But not in a cool or clever way, in a kind of "Uh...really?" way.

But aside from the lame protagonist, I did enjoy certain parts of the book. I thought the Confessor thing was very interesting because I had never seen a "power" like that before, though I had mixed and leery feelings about what it seemed to me to be saying about gender, sexuality, attraction, and power dynamics. I can easily see that being made better or being made more offensive by a tv-show...really depends on how you write it.

But back to the tv show's trailer! It looks cool. I'm geeking out a bit. I think a tv-show could take a flawed book and make it more interesting. Even though the quest story behind it is pretty generic (farmboy is given magic sword and goes out to find destiny and fight the dark lord Sauronwhoever), I did read a lot of generic fantasy in middle and high school so I can't exactly say that's a problem for me.

There are fantasy book series that I think would make more interesting tv shows, however... Wi'tchfire would be one. Or the story used in the movie Jumper, with the teleporters. And I would just about keel over from happiness if someone made Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrel into a miniseries. And, of course...Discworld. What I wouldn't give for a tv-show version of Terry Pratchett books. Especially since series like Lost and Heroes have laid the groundwork for ensemble shows with multiple storylines from different characters and paths.
timepiececlock: (Ahiru & Fakir text)
I'd build my own IMAX theater. And if I had my very own IMAX theater, you know what would be the first thing I'd watch?


Curiously, even though it was done back in 1996, it was shot entirely in 65mm film, which means its sized for potential IMAX viewing.

Can you just imagine it? Kenneth Branagh on a bajillion-foot high screen, obsessively screaming "I LOVED OPHELIA! Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum!"

I think that would be just about the most awesome Shakespeare viewing experience possible with modern cinema. And if it was my own personal IMAX, there would be intermissions for bathroom breaks and snack-restockage.
timepiececlock: (Origin of Love)
UK's Channel 4 meticulously recreated the set of The Shining for a behind-the-scenes one minute tracking shot. It's a lush and deeply geeky ad for The Stanley Kubrik Season.


- I'm probably going to see REPO!: The Genetic Opera on video. I wouldn't even be interested at all except that it has Anthony Stewart Head starring as (if I read this right) a murderous organ-collector called "Repo Man" and he sings.

- I'm thinking that The Day The Earth Stood Still is going to be very, very cool. I love Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connely, and I love a space invasion yarn.

- Bolt looks cute, but I might wait for video. Plucky dogs just aren't my cup of tea these days.

- I'm intrigued by Miracle at St. Anna, which looks absolutely fascinating. I love murder mysteries that turn into historical mysteries.

- Mirrors looks gross, scary, and cool. I've always thought mirrors were a creepy device for horror stories. Be warned: the trailer gives away pretty much the entire plot of the movie, including what looks like several deaths.

- Igor looks light-hearted, funny, and adorable. It looks Discworld-worthy in the fine tradition of the Igors.

- The trailer for Tropic Thunder definitely caught my eye. Hilariousness! Is that Robert Downey Junior? Seriously? That's fantastic. I especially like the "What do you mean 'you people'?" / "What do you mean, 'you people'?" crack at the end of the trailer between the fake black guy and the real black guy.

- Traitor: my love for Don Cheadle knows no bounds. This looks controversial and intense. I also like the look of the rest of the cast: Guy Pearce, Jeff Daniels. Don Cheadle + Guy Pierce on the same screen? HAPPINESS.

- There's three featurettes available for HP & The Half-Blood Prince, sneak peeks on youtube. Unfortunately, Quiddich is back. I remember when I read book 6 that I thought that the movie would be good to cut out the quiddich part entirely, since at this point it's almost a distraction from the main plot. It's fanservice.

- The Mummy 3 just looks like plain ole' kickass FUN.

- Bill Maher's Religious looks interesting, but I'm skeptical. I don't know much
about Bill Maher since I've rarely watched him on tv, but I would hope that the issue is handled with respect and humor, rather than skewered.

- Man, that's a lot of hair they wore back then. The Duchess looks like epic historical romance. I don't know if it actually looks good, though.

- Inkheart looks like badass fantasy bibliophile fun, and makes me want to start listening to the audiobook version I have lying around somewhere.
timepiececlock: (Ahiru & Fakir text)
All the little angels rise up, rise up,
all the little angels rise up high!
How do they rise up, rise up, rise up,
How do they rise up, rise up high?

They rise heads up, heads up, heads up, they rise heads up, heads up high!

See the little angels rise up, rise up,
see the little angels rise up high!
See how they rise up, rise up, rise up,
see how they rise up, rise up high?

They rise knees up, knees up, knees up, they rise knees up, knees up high!

All the little angels rise up, rise up,
All the little angels rise up high!
How do they rise up, rise up, rise up,
How do they rise up, rise up high?

They rise feet up, feet up, feet up, they rise feet up, feet up high!

See the little angels rise up, rise up,
see the little angels rise up high!
See how they rise up, rise up, rise up,
see how they rise up, rise up high?

They rise arse up, arse up, arse up, they rise arse up, arse up high!

All the little angels rise up, rise up,
All the little angels rise up high!
How do they rise up, rise up, rise up,
How do they rise up, rise up high?

They rise hands up, hands up, hands up, they rise hands up, hands up high!

All the little angels rise up, rise up,
All the little angels rise up high!

So I finished the book.

I liked it, quite a lot. I read it all today. I started a little last night but I read the last 300 pages today. I couldn't put it down, quite literally. It's moved to be one of my favorites of the Discworld series. I have to read them all before I judge which is "best", but it's certainly in the top tier.

It's also much, much darker than his other books. About 1/5th the normal amount of comedic relief or even general humor. and a lot of it relies on you being familiar with the City Watch books. I wouldn't give this to someone who hasn't read at least one other City Watch book in the series. It'd be...wasted on them. So much of the reader's emotional involvement in the story is dependent on knowing Vimes's character and knowing how he's progressed developed over the many books since Guards! Guards!. He's gone through a significant character arc and in many ways Nightwatch is a resolution to the changes his character has endured, and the changes the city watch itself has endured since Carrot's arrival and subsequent influence. This also gives a lot of background for minor characters that I'd almost consider "spoilery" for the other books (I'm thinking Vetinari and Sybill, mostly), though it's hard to say what constitutes a spoiler in a series that spans years (or decades) and jumps so easily over time gaps and locations.

The cynical side of me can't help but think the book is so popular among DW fans because it is so much more dramatic (and bloody) than previous DW books have been. Because the threat is stronger, you care more about the plot and the fate of characters. However, even if that is true-- so what? It's a bloody good book. And when you've read 30 books that are 60/40 humor to drama, it's an exciting change to read one that's 20/80 humor to drama instead. Also, as I mentioned, there's a lot of character development resolution here, so that's probably another reason it's such a beloved choice among fans.

spoilery content )

So in conclusion...YAY! Also, ::TEAR::.


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