xparrot: Chopper reading (books)
Star Wars 7 - the first Star Wars movie with a numbering that will make sense to everyone!

Star Wars is one of my first and core fandoms, it's got a bunch of tropes that I honestly don't know if I loved them all along and Star Wars was the first place I saw them, or I love them because I imprinted on Star Wars. (I'm talking about the original trilogy here of course, the movies I still have mostly memorized - if not to the extent I had as a kid, in which my sibs and I once recited the entirety of Empire Strikes Back during a long car ride.)

As for the latest outing - I've been wary about it, but I still had to go opening night. And...

Spoilers! )
xparrot: (WALL-E)
Saw The Martian last night. Absolutely loved it, the best time I've had in a movie theater in a while. Okay, I'm on board with anything that has astronauts and scientists as Big Damn Heroes, but it's a great film all around.

More review, minor spoilers ) Flawless entertainment, four stars, would recommend to everyone!

Was in a particularly good mood for it because on [livejournal.com profile] naye's recommendation we've been watching the anime Space Brothers, which feels like it could be in the same universe (except there's no Japanese astronaut on Mars, but maybe Mutta was on an earlier mission!) I also recommend that to anyone interested in space exploration, or who'd like a story about someone in their thirties going ahead and pursuing their crazy childhood dreams - it's a slice-of-life anime about a salaryman who loses his job and enters the astronaut application and training program, following his younger brother who stayed committed to their childhood ambitions and is already a successful astronaut. (I admit, the running theme of being an older sibling surpassed by their younger sibs as adults plays very close to my heart, and it's not someone there's a lot of fiction about. And Mutta and Hibito have one of the most normal and healthy sibling relationships I've seen in anime or most other fiction, they're close but not dependent, competitive but loving even if they're both bad at staying in touch.)

The show is set in the near future and the space and technology details are meticulously researched; they consulted with NASA and it even featured the first voice acting ever done in space (a Japanese astronaut recorded a few lines on the ISS for the show.) It has that particular sort of pacing that most eps feel, if not slow then sedate, sweet and low on drama, and yet just enough happens that it's hard to stop watching - you get so wrapped up in the characters' lives that you want to know what happens next. And occasionally it will get unexpectedly intense. We've been burning through episodes and I'm going to be sad when it's over (onto JoJo's next, I suppose~)
xparrot: Chopper reading (Default)
The worst part of the new Veronica Mars movie is getting the damn theme song stuck in your head for like 24 hours. Other than that, really enjoyed it! I'm new to the show - [livejournal.com profile] gnine showed it to us last year to prepare for the movie, and we didn't actually watch s3 as she said (repeatedly) that it was not worth it. And I didn't have any trouble getting the movie despite that. It felt a lot like the first season, decent mystery, good character beats, great lines, some h/c. Not enough Weevil (or Weevil and Logan) but otherwise a good time! And they definitely knew the audience they were playing to, without feeling entirely gratuitously fan-service-y .

(Not that there is anything wrong with gratuitous fan-service, such is what made the new Gintama movie one of the best based-on-an-anime movies I've ever seen...!)

Then there was the latest ep of WTNV, which judging by Tumblr and AO3, I think I speak for the whole fandom when I say AHHHHH KHOSHEKH STREX HOW COULD YOU?!!!?? Okay, you're an evil megacorp but still, here is a line, and it happens to lie before hurting an innocent spine-ridged venomous floating kitty cat. The show is often at its best when Cecil shows genuine feeling, and for all his building frustration with Strex we've maybe never heard him this angry before. I still am not sure where the Strex storyline is going (given the nature and style of WTNV I will not be surprised if the majority of it is resolved off-the-air and in passing) but the slow way they're building the tension - mostly background mentions but increasingly more often brought to the forefront - has been really effective so far. (All the more impressive because objectively speaking, Strex/Desert Bluffs is arguably no worse than Night Vale itself - that is, Strex is absolutely horrifying; but Night Vale might have an even higher mortality rate! But Night Vale and Cecil are the devil we know and have come to love, while as Kevin is just terrifying and wrong, and we want to see Strex go down as much as Cecil does...)

Then there's the question of what happened to Khoshekh. During the confrontation, the first sound is pretty clearly Khoshekh's growl that we've heard before, but then there are what sound like normal cat meows and it's hard to tell whether that's Khoshekh or the Strex-pet. Did removing Khoshekh from his fixed position also remove some of his more unusual attributes, render him more like a normal feline? And was this deliberate, Strex, bringing the bizarre and the unique down to a baseline, perfect normal, as they will try to do with all of Night Vale...

Naturally I had to write up some of these thoughts into an episode tag (me and half the fandom!) Mine is: Displacement, in which Carlos comes to Cecil, and to some realizations.
xparrot: Chopper reading (dw donna omg)
I have a long sordid history with the Fast & the Furious franchise. I have zero interest in cars (love of Top Gear notwithstanding) and am picky about action movies - not that I have good taste with them, but I get bored with straight action; I need to like the characters. They don't have to be good or well-written characters, just ones that appeal to my fangirl heart. (Also obliviously outrageous slashiness doesn't hurt.)

which the Fast & Furious series delivers on, and unexpectedly more besides )

Fast & Furious 6 upped the ante again. The movie itself is fun, unabashedly and spectacularly ridiculous (Justin Lin clearly believes physics are for the weak and have no place in cinema!) And not only is the multi-racial family of awesome back, but they have two more female characters on board, kicking ass and taking names and defying stereotypes without breaking a sweat. That's maybe the best part - these movies never feel like they're trying to be politically correct or making any kind of statement beyond "cars are cool!" What they do, they do more effortlessly than a driver drifting around a corner at a hundred miles an hour. They prove that if you have fun characters doing badass stunts, their race or gender doesn't matter; the audience is still going to be cheering them on. (Which apparently paid off at the box office - here's hoping Hollywood will take the hint in future franchises!)
xparrot: Chopper reading (books)
Ranting is good for the soul! Extensive babbling about plot holes to follow; warnings for anti-squee.

Spoilers, naturally )
xparrot: Chopper reading (Default)
In order of viewing:

Having just rewatched the Ouran High School Host Club anime for the *mumbleth* time, I then went and reread the manga, and oh man if only they would animate the second half of the story! because it's just like the first half only ten times as good. One of my favorite shoujo, that series - the art slides some in the later volumes, but it makes up for it in story and character and comedy and just, all of it. I was initially unsure about reading the manga, because I love the anime but it ends with certain plot threads incomplete and unsettling and I wasn't sure any of them could be tied off in ways that wouldn't break my heart at least a little - and then the manga goes and deals with all of them SO SO SATISFYINGLY! The romance is silly and ridiculous, and the friendship and family stuff is adorable and affecting, and just, awww that is what I want my comedy to be like. (Also there is one chapter that made me cry both times I read it, and it's not even really that sad - there's no death or anything like that; but it just - it's the part where Kaoru tries to break away from Hikaru, so Hikaru can be happy and then in the end - Hikaru pulls big brother rank and dyes his hair and says that they're twins no matter what and so they can grow up and grow apart without ever breaking apart - and just - oh oh oh my heart...) ...And yeah, Kyouya is still my favorite because, megane-type, and that's the whole joke - the brilliant thing about Ouran is that even knowing that they are parody, that they are the ultimate classic stereotypes of moe chars - those types still work.

Then, one of my fellow wranglers forced me to watch recommended the j-drama SPEC (aka Keizoku 2: SPEC though apparently Keizoku 1 is mostly unrelated) and OMG CRAAAAAACK. Even for a j-drama. SPEC is basically Japan doing X-files-meets-Heroes. With vuvuzelas. And starring a woman who I swear is what you'd get if Nodame (from Nodame Cantabile) and Sherlock (from Sherlock) had a daughter. And then died in a tragic plane-crash so she was raised by Fox Mulder. Touma is VERY VERY VERY SPECIAL, is what I am saying. (And kind of spectacular for it; can't recall offhand any other female characters with her particular blend of weird socially maladjusted borderline-unbalanced obsessive genius.) It's also fascinating for being maybe the only show I've ever seen (Japanese, American, UK, whatever) starring twenty-something male and female leads in which the sexuality of BOTH leads is 100% up in the air. They could be straight, gay, bi, or ace - there are hints for several things but no actual confirmation in the show itself. And Touma and her partner Sebumi have this intense but bizarre bond that is entirely up for interpretive grabs.

I cannot recommend this one wholeheartedly - if you don't know Asian drama, you might want to try something else first to warm up, else you might risk spraining your brain; and if you do know it...I am totally not joking about the vuvuzelas. (Also warning that Touma and Sebumi are kind of a manzai couple so can come across as mutually abusive if you don't know your classic tsukkomi & boke play...) That being said, it's definitely an experience! And there's a movie that just came out (that maybe will finish the story?) - very interested in seeing it!

(Also there is Ninomae! +<3333PSYCHOHEARTS)

And last, what everyone's been waiting for - YES I saw Avengers, YES I loved it, YES Joss Whedon should only do superhero movies from now on, YES every word out of Tony Stark's mouth is comic gold, YES the Black Widow is awesome, and YES I love Loki way too much. A few miscellaneous possibly spoilery observations below the cut - I don't have anything in particular to say that hasn't been said before. bit of spoilers! all squee all the time! )
xparrot: Chopper reading (Default)
The longer I go without posting, the harder it is to remember all the things I've watched and listened to that I wanted to post about, and thus the more I hesitate to make a post at all. So, in the interests of clearing my journal palate, a list in no particular order, chronological, importance, or otherwise:

  • Watched Thor a few days ago to prepare for the upcoming Avengers movie and rather enjoyed it. Which isn't to say it's good; it's rather a terrible movie and my friends who hated it are quite justified. I liked it anyway! Thor was a big ol' sweetheart (even if regrettably clothed for too much of the movie), Loki was scarcely a respectable trickster but made up for it by being the most woobie woobie who ever woobied (he made s1 SV!Lex look hard-hearted and unsympathetic), the romance was so laughably pastede-on-yay that it hardly even could irritate (why didn't they give him like a month on earth and develop the relationship in a montage? It would've taken all of two minutes and been 100% more believable), and I personally thought Asgard was beautifully designed, very Final Fantasy-esque architecture-what's-architecture-we-have-computers!

  • Watched the 2 seasons of Lost Girl - hey you guys, you should totally be watching this! It's not a great show but it's fun and cute and most importantly it has Kenzi, who is made of amazing and hilarity and awesome outfits. It reminds me of early Angel: tS in tone and theme except that it's in Toronto instead of LA and Angel is a brooding young succubus instead of a brooding old vampire and doesn't brood as much as she'd like because she has Kenzi, who makes brooding difficult. And there is adorable f-f friendship and f/f romance (and m/f; Bo is bi, but really so, not just kisses-guys-for-love-and-girls-for-titillation.) And m-f friendship as well, and werewolves and sirens and all other manner of wacky fae, and Canadian actor bingo, and an outrageous bodyswap ep. And did I mention Kenzi?

  • Watched the new Sherlock as it came out but tragically missed that fandom train. I have reasons but I'm honestly not sure if they're why my squee-tickets never arrived, or if it's the lack of squee which makes me critical. Either way, I am sad not to be joining the fun. Le sigh!

  • Not fanning on Sherlock has not kept me from fanning on the actors, mind, because Martin Freeman is kind of fantastic and I can't wait to see him in The Hobbit, and Benedict Cumberbatch is Benedict Cumberbatch.

  • Especially because Benedict Cumberbatch is also Martin! I spent rather more time than I expected or preferred on planes and in airports this holiday season (thank you, global warming, for your thoughtful gift of ice, snow, and more ice and snow) which allowed me to listen to all of Cabin Pressure, which is more hysterical than a radio comedy about a charter airline has any right to be. Also more cute and lovable. Plus, Douglas! (Who originated Javert and I really want to know if that's the recording of Les Mis I'm familiar with. Certainly he has the voice for it! Roger Allam and Anthony Head having a relaxed&authoritative pilot-off is a gift to all fangirls...)

  • Have started watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - only a couple eps in and still getting used to Miki playing Roy Mustang, but looking forward to seeing more!

  • Finished posting my Ben 10 fic; still have to post the epilogue of Tiger Hunt, if only I can write the last scene...

  • Still haven't moved over to Dreamwidth though I keep meaning to - have been trying to get all my fic off my journal and onto AO3 before I do, and still need to replace some stories with links, but as of now I believe all my fic is on AO3, from my very first stuff to present day!
xparrot: Chopper reading (Default)
So at [livejournal.com profile] naye and [livejournal.com profile] shayera's insistence the bro and I watched the One Piece Strong World movie, which was totally awesome and fun and proves that Odacchi should've written all the movies, because no one else has a handle on his chars like he does. (I really do have a bizarre....respect? for the Gintama animators, who actually stopped making the show until they had more manga to adopt. My theory is that absolutely no one understands exactly how Gintama manages to be as popular as it is, so they don't dare monkey with Sorachi-sensei's inexplicably magical formula.)(With One Piece, on the other hand, everyone knows why it's as popular as it is, but it's impossible to replicate because about 80% of the formula is that Oda Eichirou is a storytelling god.)

So that inspired me to finally catch up with OP (I'm two years behind the manga at this point - though not entirely unspoiled, which is part of why I'm so behind) but I decided if I was going to do that I might as well just go ahead and reread the whole manga, all 600+ chapters. Thanks to plane flights and airport waits and my Kindle (I <3 my Kindle) I'm now up to the Drum Island arc, and yep, I stand by previous assertions, this is maybe the best damn manga ever written. brief squee, no spoilers )

In other manga news, read 20th Century Boys a couple weeks ago - quite enjoyed that one, too; I do like a good apocalypse tale, and I very much appreciate Urasawa Naoki's clean, strong art. The plot's not quite as tight as Monster but it's just as hard to put down - Urasawa's storytelling style seems to be to crank the suspense up to 11 in the first chapter and then keep it there for the next 20-whatever volumes. Curious about the live-action movie trilogy now - don't expect it makes much sense, with the amount they had to condense, but would like to see the imagery and casting. Wonder if it's been subtitled...

Speaking of movies, [livejournal.com profile] gnine and I, being together in San Francisco this weekend for a wedding, caught Fast Five, no real spoilers )

In San Fran we also visited [livejournal.com profile] spacealien_vamp who provided us with wonderful personalized manga recs, and also shared with us a bit of Scarecrow & Mrs. King (babyfaced John Sheridan Bruce Boxleightner, aww!) and the latest ep of Who.

Lots of spoilers here for New Who 6x02; warning for low squee count )
xparrot: Donna: OMG! (omg (donna))
Yuletide is posted! I lucked out with two fics, both wonderful fun friendshipping - for Sapphire & Steel there's Quiet and Peace (an Epilogue in Dialogue), a lovely post-series tale - Steel being a comfort for Sapphire in his own special Steel way, and bonus Silver FTW! And then for Red Dwarf there's Upgrade, which is perfect, with dialogue and plot that had me literally LOLing, and then it winds up sweet in just the terribly wrong Dwarfish way of being sweet.

Holidays with the family have been nice, and now that I have given my gifts I will have to post them (have gotten into amigurumi - I've known how to crochet for years, but it never quite occurred to me to make cute stuffed toys before...)

And Sherlock Holmes was exactly what I wanted it to be, e.g. awesome and fun and funny and slashy as hell (or unbelievably old-school smarmalicious! pick your poison!) and I hope it inspires a legion of ficcers, because I've secretly been into Holmes/&Watson for years and it would be great to have company. Also, sekrit message to Ritchie, Downey, Law et al: with the sequel? Please to be including Reichenbach Falls! <3

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