sholio: Starlord with raccoon on shoulder (Avengers-GotG-Starlord with raccoon)
So the fact that I now have a GotG icon probably tells you all you need to know about how I reacted to the movie. I did not go in expecting to love it. I actually was lukewarm on the first one (which, by the way, I am totally buying so I can rewatch it now, because Netflix does not have it streaming, the jerks).

I DID NOT EXPECT TO LOVE THIS MOVIE. AT ALL.

I LOVED THIS MOVIE A WHOLE LOT.

I also think the trailer for this movie (the first teaser trailer, the Fox on the Run one) might be one of the best trailers I've ever seen, because it a) took me from "meh" to really wanting to see this movie, and b) did not actually spoil ANYTHING! I went into this completely unspoiled -- in fact, far less spoiled than I thought I was after seeing the trailer -- and I'm really glad. If watching things nonspoiled is your thing, I think you will enjoy having that experience.

Which means you will not want to click on the cut tag, because ALL THE SPOILERS are here.

All the spoilers )
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
This is really more a post to mention that I watched Zootopia on the flight home from England, and absolutely adored it. I think it might be my favorite of the various Disney/Pixar/computer-animated movies since Finding Nemo. A buddy-movie about an adult male and female character without a romance in sight, multiple female characters doing stuff and interacting with each other (including some very atypical female characters, like the polar bear drill sergeant, and a main female protagonist who didn't feel stereotyped or sexualized), loads of sight gags and jokes that are genuinely funny (THE DMV OMGGGGG), a plot that hit a lot of unique beats and (to me at least) didn't feel as formulaic as the Pixar-style movies sometimes can ... it was basically just a really fun, distracting movie that hit loads of my character-related happy buttons. Definitely one to be rewatched.

coulda used more h/c though, given the premise

Edit: Movie spoilers in comments!
sholio: Peggy Carter smiling (Avengers-Peggy smile)
YOU GUYS. If you like spy/heist stuff and women being awesome (and who doesn't), I highly recommend Spy!

It's an action-comedy about a CIA support-staff office person going out on her first field assignment. As well as being funny (and sweet and charming), it's also a good action movie, with spy gadgets and exotic locales and cool cars and characters dangling out of helicopters .... all the basic spy tropes. Basically imagine Agent Carter except with Rose instead of Peggy in the lead role. And it's also ... whatever the polar opposite of grimdark is, this movie is that, although without being saccharine or cloying. The characters may be quirky and often violent weirdos, but they're all decent people (well, okay, with certain exceptions, but even the ones who aren't are charming in their own way). And although the guys are also great, the majority of the movie is women -- the main character, her best friend, her boss, and her main nemesis are all female. She gets no respect from either her fellow spies or the bad guys because she's overweight and middle-aged and female, but of course she shows them, because it's that kind of a movie.

This movie made me so happy. I just want to turn around and watch it again from the beginning. I'm definitely buying it, and I don't remember the last time I watched a movie that made me feel like running out and buying it immediately (well, at least not a movie that isn't from one of the franchises that I'm addicted to).

Content notices, for those who might be bothered by the following: there is a certain amount of grossout and sexual humor, and some considerably-more-graphic-than-I-was-expecting-for-a-comedy violence (it's R-rated), and also a character whose schtick is mainly sexual harassment played for laughs. On the other hand, for a comedy about a fish-out-of-water character, there were surprisingly few embarrassment-squicky scenes -- the movie isn't completely lacking in that kind of thing, but I was expecting a lot more than it had.

Basically I loved this movie and just want to turn around and watch it again immediately. I am also craving a Spy 2 and I hope they make one someday; I would love to see these dorks save the world again.

If you've seen it, come talk to me about it! :D
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
And so, I'm 39. When I was about 14, I remember making one of my characters 39 because I wanted him to be old and world-weary, but not too old to relate to. Hi, 14-year-old me, from just this side of unrelatably old! XD

Thank you for the birthday wishes, emails and gifts, everybody. ♥ It was a mellow day in which I didn't get anything done, but in a good way - had lunch with friends, chatted with my family on the phone, and saw a movie (Ant-Man). Which, since this is ostensibly a blog for talking about pop culture and media, I will discuss under the cut.

Ant-Man )

ETA: Some spoilers for Civil War )
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Still reading Diana Wynne Jones books, and thinking about one of the more interesting recurring themes in her books, namely: young teenage girls (in the 12-14 age range) falling in love with adult men. What's particularly interesting about this is that it never comes off in a skeevy way, at least not to me -- the girls have full agency in all cases, and there is usually some kind of magical shenanigan at work so that they're much closer in age at whatever point that a relationship actually happens. (The only book that doesn't really do the latter is Fire and Hemlock, which is all about a relationship of this nature, but it also deals with the inherent issues in a respectful way -- though this is one I haven't gotten to on my reread yet, so I'm going off decade-old memories.) I'm wondering if the reason it doesn't skeeve me (as it usually does in books by male authors) is because of how it's handled, or because there isn't the same kind of back-of-the-brain worry that this is the author playing out their creepy sexual fantasies in book form. In Jones's case you get the feeling that her teen protagonists are given credit for knowing their own minds about what they want, even if they also know they're not supposed to want it. If that makes any sense.

On a completely different topic, we're rewatching the original Lord of the Rings trilogy (slowly, since this is one of Orion's busy times with classes having just started at the university, so we're only one movie into it so far) and this is giving me a desire to watch fanvids for it ... but this is one of those cases where most of the vid links are older ones and the vids have vanished from the Internet. Does anyone have recs for any good ones? They don't have to be recent as long as they're still downloadable. I'm most interested in ensemble vids, though I'm willing to take a look at anything you think is good.

.... :D!

Nov. 6th, 2013 08:38 pm
sholio: Snow-covered trees (Winter-snowy trees)
There is going to be a movie of Winter's Tale out next year! I had no idea. I adored that book when I was a teenager; it was one of my favorite books ever. I haven't read it in many years because of a fear that it had been visited by the Suck Fairy; I last reread it in college and remember being much less enamored than I was as a teen, which made me think that it might not stand up well over the years. But I am absolutely delighted at the idea of a movie.

(I guess this will do away with imagining Matt Bomer as Peter Lake, though. I've thought ever since I started watching White Collar that a Winter's Tale AU with Neal and Kate as Peter and Beverly would be amazing.)

Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3g69QlW2Ts. Although the trailer does give away most of the plot, including the big spec-fic twist in the middle of the book. (Thanks, trailer-making people.) You only need to watch about the first 20-30 seconds to see why I think this would make a perfect Neal Caffrey AU, though. :D

ETA: Just FYI, the discussion in the DW comments is FULL of spoilers for the book, right down to the ending. Also, many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] aqwt101 for pointing out that Matt Bomer, my fantasy-cast for Peter Lake, actually IS in the movie ... playing Peter Lake's father - set pictures here. I find this hilarious and awesome.
sholio: Berries in the sun (Autumn-berries in sunlight)
Here is a really interesting link on Pacific Rim that I found via [personal profile] frith_in_thorns's Tumblr and decided to post here, with commentary, rather than just reblogging, because I wanted to SAY THINGS.

The link:
http://frith-in-thorns.tumblr.com/post/60389583284/peardita-starseedjenny-a-couple-days-ago-i

Shortest version: The author hypothesizes that Pacific Rim appeals to the millennial generation because it addresses concerns that resonate with them.

And this really made me go "hmmm" because -- well, first of all, obviously this isn't going to be true (or untrue) of EVERYONE. But I kept feeling there was something about the appeal of Pacific Rim that I just didn't get -- I mean, I get the character love and that it's a fun movie, but for me it was just kind of a middle-of-the-road summer action movie. I didn't feel the off-the-charts squee that so many people seem to have gotten from it. It's not like I've never been left behind by the fannish juggernaut before, but in this case I kept feeling like I should have liked it, it should have hit my buttons, but it just didn't.

And when I think about it, most (though not all!) of the people I know who really latched onto the movie are somewhere around the millennial ageset, while I'm back there on the trailing edge of Gen X.

It seems like a plausible theory to me -- and again, not trying to generalize to all people in all age groups -- because 10-15 years ago, I was ALL OVER shounen team fighting anime, like Ranma and Dragonball and Bleach and Gundam Wing. These days, they've lost a lot of appeal for me; whatever used to make me wallow in them isn't quite there anymore. I still enjoy an occasional dip into nostalgia, and I'm certainly not going to rule out the possibility of a new team fighting anime coming along and sweeping me off into the deep squee end, but it's just not really what I'm into these days. (The one anime that I've really enjoyed in the last few years, Fullmetal Alchemist, was mostly appealing to me for its glorious worldbuilding and plots, as well as the older characters rather than the teenagers.)

On the other hand, I latched HARD onto Iron Man 3 this summer, and I think a big part of that is because I felt a lot of resonance with what the characters were going through in the movie -- Tony especially, but also Pepper: the whole theme of learning to live with damage and deal with the cumulative mistakes of the past and just keep moving forward. It's a movie about learning to be a decent grownup, rather than a movie about growing up. One is not a better narrative than the other, but I think the first one is the narrative I relate to more strongly at this point in my life.

And again, it's not an either-or thing; I'm not saying I feel like I've outgrown coming-of-age stories, or that someone who's 15 or 18 or 21 couldn't relate just as hard to the aspects of IM3 that appealed to me. It did make me think, though, about the fact that sometimes you just have to hit a particular story at the right point in your life. A recent example comes from my reread last year of Bujold's Vorkosigan novels, and the way that my opinions on the books flip-flopped from the first time I read them. Back when I discovered the series, I was in my early 20s and going through a lot of mental health issues, and I went for Mark, as a character, in a really big way. Mirror Dance, with Mark's struggle for self-identity, was my favorite book in the series. In contrast, I remembered thinking Memory was dull and slow-moving and basically a huge disappointment compared to the early Miles books and the Mark books.

Fast-forward 15 years, and while I did still enjoy Mirror Dance (and still love Mark), I was absolutely blown away by Memory -- a book I'd remembered as slow and boring was actually brilliant and insightful and amazing! I just hadn't been at a position in my life where I was able to appreciate Miles's struggle to deal with the changes in his own self-image as he left youth behind.

Again, I want to emphasize that I don't think this is necessarily a function of age, or at least not age alone. People move through their lives at different speeds and in different ways; they find different aspects of books and movies and TV shows that move them. For all I know, 15 years from now I will have hit a mental place that will take me right back into appreciating team anime and other coming of age stories, if maybe for different reasons than I did the first time.

I also think you can go overboard analyzing this stuff. Sometimes what clicks with you is just what clicks with you.

But it's really interesting to me to think about it from that perspective. Maybe I would have absolutely adored Pacific Rim if I'd seen it 10 years ago (or if I saw it 10 years from now), but I'm just not in whatever headspace I need to be in for it to have really deep resonance for me the way it obviously does for a lot of people right now.

ETA: I want to emphasize (because it seems that some people are reading the post this way) that I'm not trying to imply you can't like the movie if you're over 25, or that there's something wrong with you if you do. Actually, quite a few people I know who are in my agegroup (mid-30s) and older really enjoyed the movie. I'm also not saying that I agree 100% with the Tumblr post I linked to. But I do think it's worth considering that there might be generational differences in how people react to and interpret this movie. (Well, any movie really, but I don't think it's completely outrageous to suggest that this might be one of the first big-budget movies -- but by no means the last -- that specifically addresses Millennial concerns & thought patterns in a way that is targeted at them, as opposed to "this is what we think kids ought to like".)
sholio: (Catch-22)
Side note 'cause I forgot to mention it before: [livejournal.com profile] i_write_a_lot asked me to post a link to a community they started, [livejournal.com profile] weeklybookrec, on which they post weekly book recs. It's just starting up.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] jana_denardo did an interview with me (under my non-fannish name), in which I talk about writing and related things. That's here!

But mostly this is a post about Pacific Rim. Which ... I wasn't going to post about, because I seem to diverge very heavily from the fannish mainstream on this one. But then I got to thinking that I do actually have things to say, so ... if you're riding high on a squee wave, you might not want to read this! I really don't mind being argued with (hey, maybe you can change my mind!) but I don't want to harsh anyone's squee. And this is not a happy, fun-filled post. I want you to have all the joy with your fannish squee, so please don't read if it'd make you sad.

ALL the spoilers for Pacific Rim )
sholio: Diana from White Collar (WhiteCollar-Diana)
Saw Pacific Rim this afternoon, and while I'm a lot less enthusiastic about the movie than most of my flist (sorry flist), a little while back [personal profile] frith_in_thorns had suggested a White Collar-Pacific Rim fusion with Neal & Diana as Jaeger pilots, and ... all evening my brain has been busily writing the story. Which I SWEAR I AM NOT ACTUALLY WRITING, because a) it's Frith's idea, and b) it would be really long and I DON'T HAVE TIME.

But if I did write it, it would go like this [MAJOR SPOILERS FOR PACIFIC RIM] )
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Apropos of nothing, I realized this afternoon that there is a feature I would LOVE to see on AO3: a "crosspost" line in the fic upload window, where you can put in a link to the fic posted elsewhere (on LJ, ff.net or whatnot). Wouldn't that be neat? Is it just me that wants it? Because you can follow people from AO3 to other blogging and posting services, but it's handy to have a simple way to do it, especially when their handles are different in different places.

Anyway, I've been lurking in Avengers/Iron Man fandom the last week or so. No spoilers, but just general rambling about Tumblr fandom )

Iron Man 3

May. 4th, 2013 04:10 pm
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
Phew, so, yesterday I did an art show (it went well; there was a good turnout and I shared a table with the ever-awesome [livejournal.com profile] ellenmillion) and then somehow got talked into going to the 9:45 showing of Iron Man 3 with some friends. At one point I was wondering what the hell I had been thinking, because I was exhausted and hungry and my feet hurt, and mostly I just wanted to go home and decompress. I figured there was about a 50-50 chance that as soon as I got settled in a dark theatre seat, I'd fall asleep. But ... IRON MAN!

Long, spoilery, a bit of RL ick at the beginning )

ETA: Another thing I hadn't realized until I ran across someone on Tumblr talking about it: More very spoilery spoilers! )
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
Iron Man 3 opens this weekend. :D :D :D

I almost never go see movies in the theatre anymore (I seem to average about 1 a year) but this is definitely not a case where I want to wait for DVD. :D

Hobbitses!

Jan. 9th, 2013 01:13 am
sholio: Ice-covered berries (Winter-icy berries)
We just got back from the late-night show of some movie with hobbits in it, which you may have heard of. *g*

Reaction is quite mixed, just so you know! )
sholio: (Catch-22)
100 Things: 100 favorite scenes from anything (books, movies, TV, fanfic, etc)

Scene #7: The director's cut ending of "Blade Runner"

Since I'm doing endings ... :D

I first saw Blade Runner in the late '80s (or so), and I remember liking it okay, but being really meh on the ending. Even though I was pretty young at the time, and generally preferred happy endings, I didn't like that one. It felt slapped on and insincere. Which, apparently, it was.

Several years later, when the director's cut came out, I watched it and was completely blown away with love for the new ending.

Spoilers for both endings of Blade Runner )
sholio: cup of cocoa with a swirl of whipped cream on top (Autumn-cocoa)
I haven't been around LJ/DW much lately, aside from posting a bit of fic here and there. No specific reason -- just that it's spring, and I've been outside a lot. I did a bit of (local) traveling, put in my garden, worked on a number of projects around the house and yard (such as building the chickens' summer quarters, and then shoring up my predator defenses when we had a casualty). And I've also been writing a lot. Or perhaps I should say trying to write -- there is a lot of staring at the blank cursor, or starting on projects that never go anywhere. Par for the course with me, though ... I wrote a short WC fic for "Whump-a-palooza" (which won't be posted for awhile; I'm signed up to post on June 10th), and have thus far completely failed to do anything on my Big Bang. Should probably get on that.

I adored the Avengers movie (and my love for it only grows the more I think about it) but it hasn't engaged me fannishly, at least not fanfic-fannishly. I will occasionally read a fic if someone on my flist recommends it and it looks interesting, but often I lose interest halfway through. There are a few reasons for this, I think, the main one being that fanfic, for me, is the "something more" that I go looking for when I've run out of canon, and with Marvel, there is SO. MUCH. CANON. If I want to read about, say, Tony Stark or Thor having adventures, all I have to do is head down to the comic store and pick up some back issues, or prowl around scans_daily for a while. It's true that it's not quite the same take on the characters as the movie, but neither is fanfic -- it's all different voices anyway, and the thing about Marvel comics, as well as the vast quantity of it, is that the comics are full of the sort of randomosity that in most canons is only available from fanfic, with dozens of different characterizations and everything from ridiculous crack to h/c to gloomy emo stories in which the characters all die.

And there's also a weird sort of "crossing the streams" effect, where I'm not into fanfic for comics because for so many years comics existed in a totally non-fanfic space for me. I don't know if I can explain it any better than that -- it's just that I never have related to comics fannishly in quite the same way that I do to TV, anime and (sometimes) books. I've been reading about these characters and wanting to make comics professionally since long before I had the slightest glimmering that such a thing as fanfic existed, and later, I got involved with writing/drawing independent comics and going to conventions and basically hanging out and discussing comics with people who were not fanfic people at all. I'm not opposed to comics fanfic, of course -- I will read the occasional fic that drifts across my radar, and I can imagine writing it for Yuletide or whatnot -- but in general it's a non-fanfic sort of fandom for me.

(Though I reserve the right to change my tune if I get seriously fanfic-fannish about a comic at some point in the future. *g*)

On the other hand, this means I'm reading comics again! Which is rather fun.

Also, my brain is still full of Carnivale. I'm amazed at how much I came to love that series once it was over and could settle into my brain. Again, not really a fandom sort of thing (partly because there is no fandom for it, and partly because the show itself is so weird, macabre and highly changeable that I don't really want to be part of a fandom for it) but my brain is still all CARNIVALE CARNIVALE CARNIVALE a lot of the time, and I've rewatched certain parts of the show more than I want to admit. As difficult as some of it was to get through (and I can't recommend it without giant caveats, particularly in how it treats some of its female characters), I'm very glad I pushed through, because the awesome bits were worth it (and made all the more awesome by how depressing, bleak and miserable a lot of the rest of it was).

Anyway, because I haven't been online much lately, I'm feeling all online-chatty at the moment and I want to write more about ... well, something. I have all of these half-finished posts in my head about writing (especially revising), and about Carnivale, not to mention that I'm only up to #4 on my "100 posts" and also, [livejournal.com profile] saphirablue had the lovely idea of "Squee Week" (seven posts to share the happy!), which I would really like to participate in. Perhaps I will get to at least one of these later today.

AVENGERS!

May. 10th, 2012 01:35 am
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
I have finally seen this superhero movie some of you may have heard of, so I can read everybody's posts now! \o/

A few random disjointed reactions, since we went to the late showing, so it's now 1 a.m. and random disjointedness is all that my brain has to offer.

Avengers spoilers )
sholio: Peter from White Collar looking up (WhiteCollar-Peter look up)
I so shouldn't be starting a discussion now, because I'm taking off tomorrow to visit family and I'll have very limited Internet (and frequently no Internet at all), and yet I just watched Big Eden and I'm full of THOUGHTS (and warm fuzzies and squee) and I want to see if any of my flist has seen it because I want to talk about it!

And yes, I totally watched it because Tim DeKay was in it. XD But it was such a sweet, heartwarming movie ... by no means the greatest movie I've ever seen, especially since romance is not really my thing in general, but "small town in the north woods full of weirdos" is SUCH an easy sell for me, and the characters were adorable and I loved them. ♥ (Even when they were being idiots and breaking my heart a little bit.) It just pushed a lot of my buttons for characters coming together and forming weird little families and loving each other.

In particular, not surprisingly, I want to talk about Dean, Tim DeKay's character. Which I can't do without spoilers, so ... Spoilers for the movie )

This entry is also posted at http://friendshipper.dreamwidth.org/378367.html with comment count unavailable comments.
sholio: Peter from White Collar looking up (WhiteCollar-Peter look up)
I so shouldn't be starting a discussion now, because I'm taking off tomorrow to visit family and I'll have very limited Internet (and frequently no Internet at all), and yet I just watched Big Eden and I'm full of THOUGHTS (and warm fuzzies and squee) and I want to see if any of my flist has seen it because I want to talk about it!

And yes, I totally watched it because Tim DeKay was in it. XD But it was such a sweet, heartwarming movie ... by no means the greatest movie I've ever seen, especially since romance is not really my thing in general, but "small town in the north woods full of weirdos" is SUCH an easy sell for me, and the characters were adorable and I loved them. ♥ (Even when they were being idiots and breaking my heart a little bit.) It just pushed a lot of my buttons for characters coming together and forming weird little families and loving each other.

In particular, not surprisingly, I want to talk about Dean, Tim DeKay's character. Which I can't do without spoilers, so ... Spoilers for the movie )

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