Back in five days!
Back in five days!
I'm going to try this again. It's been a while since I wrote anything, so let's see how this goes. Just like riding a bike, right?
Today I watched the pilot for NBC's new show Smash. Am now massively resisting the urge to compose this entire post in screaming bold caps because I once jumped the gun with the inexplicably popular narrative clusterfuck that is Glee. I don't want to do that again. The disappointment backlash hurts only slightly less actually than watching an episode itself.
So I may be overly optimistic, but I feel that Smash is going to be something better. Yes, I can see the web of relationships potentially expanding into an endless skein of clusterfucks and horribly planned out relationships, but this show won't have the "they're just high school kids, they don't know what they want" excuse to hide behind. Since both shows both have something to do with musicals, comparison is inevitable, but I feel that while Glee is always going to drum up a larger audience, story-wise Smash will come out on top.
It's got so much potential, and I'm not just talking about the things we see on the screen but the themes and ideas that round this show out. It already discusses the industry's standards of beauty, the very idea of Marilyn herself and what she stands for. I want more.
And I'm not just endorsing this show because Jack Davenport is in it and I basically love him. To me, he'll always be the hapless Steve Taylor cast adrift in the whirwind of mysteries that is woman, but watching him rock the role of the jaded asshole director is like suddenly discovering an entirely new level of sexy. (And here I thought I was gonna be mature about this review, but oh well. He really is. I'm going to watch that scene again and swoon around)
I'm not gonna lie -- even though Dev seems to be the perfect guy (that scene with her parents is so sweet) for Karen I am kind of rooting for Derek to be endgame. Their chemistry is pretty insane already. I suspect that she is going to throw him off balance every single chance she gets, and he needs that.
( Smash 1.01 )
Man, I am hoping for great things with this show. I watched the preview thing at the end of the episode with breathless excitement that I reserve for Homestuck or comic books. Despite everything, I really want to love this show. Don't let me down, NBC!
AAAAAAAAAAA THIS BEAUTIFUL SHOW IS COMING INTO MY LIFE TOMORROW (or Tuesday, I guess, since things usually take a day to reach the internet) AND I AM SO EXCITED.
If the caps abuse didn't make it obvious enough.
I've been looking through the promotion stills and oh my giddy aunt everything is gorgeous. I'm excited to see Sean Bean play Eddard Stark and break my heart and Lena Heady kick ass as Cersei the Queen Bitch. And I can already tell that Peter Dinklage is totally going to own the role of Tyrion Lannister. He's just got that kind of weary irony impression. The landscapes are gorgeous and colors look AMAZING. It's all slightly desaturated -- to enhance the impression of "Starkness" I suppose -- and I am a huge fan of the desaturation tinge. I use it in nearly all my color grade shots. And I am ready to wet myself at all the glorious period costumery that will occur.
I've read that the script will actually keep closely to the storyline, and this makes me happy and sad at the same time, because if you've read the book, there is Major Character Death and it's got me pulling a longer face than all the generations of Starks combined.
Rereading the books now aw yeah.
( MC: throw doodle )
Sort of hate not having a buttload of entries to keep me busy, but omg it is kind of exciting to be able to watch events unfold in the proper time frame for once. This is like catching up to Doctor Who, only I don't have to wait months and months before witnessing miracles.
( goddamn clouds )
In other news, had my first Actual color grading project last week! Went well, I suppose, though in my usual self-deprecating manner, I will add that I don't think that the director really had a specific look in mind for the spot, and it was a pro bono thing so I probably won't get paid much (BIG surprise there). Gained experience, yes, but until I am the director of an internationally acclaimed, award-winning animated film, all achievements are dust in my own eyes, bluh bluh bluuhhh.
Yeah, I'm feeling pretty good.
I think I may possibly prefer color grading to online editing. The pressure in color grading is an entirely different sort -- still hell on the nerves, but all you have to worry about is color (in online, you worry about color, keying, supers placement, blemish clean-up, fancy special effects, and stitching everything together in a lovely package so that the clients will shut up and let you go home for a decent few hours' sleep), so I ended up not throwing up (which is apparently tradition for all first time colorists). That, and you get to play around more.
So, cool. Cool cool cool.
So I am probably wasted right now but not half as wasted as my friend (despite having had more to drink than her). My head is just spinning around like the girl from The Exorcist (was that the movie with the 180 degree turn? I don't even remember. I am not the authority on horror movies). I should go to sleep but I want to read my adventure trashy romance novel because December 21st is next week and that will be the end of my 100 Book Challenge. Tomorrow is a Saturday I can sleep in yay.
Actually, I don't think I'm wasted. Wasted is talking gibberish for normal people, but I talk gibberish every day. There should be a deeper standard of Wastedness for people like me, and thus far I have not reached it.
Oh office parties. You don't really make me feel grown up.
Back from the animation film festival! Didn't win, but I can safely say without any bitter cattiness that a lot of the animated shorts there wouldn't have passed muster at UP. A lot of them were just animated jokes without much in the way of social or cultural significance, which is something the UP panel always looks for.
Still, there were a lot of amazing submissions to the festival. The winners were all hugely deserving of their awards and these past few days have served me as a kind of spur to do them all one better the next time around.
So the pilot episode for the animated Young Justice finally came out! I watched it last night, and pretty much stayed up until four AM just watching and pausing and looking at the pretty.
Because oh my giddy aunt am I in love with every single member of this team.
I know this is supposed to be a kid's show, but I swear they are marketing this thing especially for me. Pretty boys, pretty boys everywhere! Everyone is so ridiculously good-looking that I wonder if I should feel pervy because they're all pretty much underage.
Not only are they all so very excellently drawn, but the personalities the voice actors bring to the table are amazing. The animation is smooth and consistent, though I find it a bit odd that Kid Flash is usually drawn running at a normal speed. I'm guessing that's got more to do with story problems than with animation, though.
While I'm not too keen on a straight-haired Wonder Woman (not that it matters because she's probably not going to show up much anyway -- and that is a major reduction of points right there), the character designs are pretty much flawless. The costumes are still classic Young Justice for the main three, but they've got nice modern touches, like Kon's spiffy new boots and that awesome little computer on Robin's wrist.
( Young Justice 1.01-1.02 )
Lastly, the worst thing I can say about this show -- and this really is something I hate with every fiber of my being -- is that I'm going to have to wait until next year for another episode. Outrageous!
Right, now that that's over, back to The Walking Dead. God this show has me nail-biting on the edge of my seat every. Goddamn. Minute.
I have three reviews (I feel so iffy about calling them that. They're not nearly as professional as reviews ought to be, because most of the time it's just ranting. Maybe I'll just call them opinions) half-written out.
They've been put on hold for some reason but I'm not entirely sure what's stopping me from finishing them and putting them up here. One's for the second episode of Misfits and the other is about the ninth episode of Community, both of which are shows that you ought to be watching.
I could go and finish them up (I will, eventually. Things just keep getting in the way, like taking the dog to the vet, or my external hard drive frizzing up on me oh god it still hurts my heart). Or I could go and maybe type up another thousand words for NaNo (haha, as if it happens just like that), but instead I decided that I'd like to write about this absolutely wonderful movie I've just watched, while the love is still fresh.
It's called Bunny and the Bull, and it's brilliant to look at and laugh at. I label it to be Highly Recommended, for what it's worth.
I warn you, this may get a little long because the story is amazing and hard not to get into with great detail.
You don't need to read the review. What I think about the movie doesn't matter -- the screencaps do. A picture is worth a thousand words, and all that jazz. I just think that you ought to click on the cut to look at the pictures. This, ladies and gentlemen, is production design at its finest (and possibly scroogiest).
First off, and it really does require its own mention, the production design is insanely good. The first few minutes alone are kind of my own dream opening sequence, with warm light bathing the artifacts of Stephen Turnbull's life in a golden wash of Old Timey-ness. It's got animation (there's this brilliant horse-race animation made of paper cutouts, which I drooled all over), stop-motion animation, split-screen montages, and chroma galore. This film was probably a post-production VFX wet dream.
As for the storyline, well, if this call comes straight from the mind Paul King, the man behind The Mighty Boosh. How could it not be hilarious and surreal and strangely sad all at the same time? There are no musical numbers, though. Sad.
( Bunny and the Bull )
I wonder if this is a thing with me. Amelie, my Favorite Movie Of All Time (that is how I describe it. You can hear the caps when I do, no lie), is about a painfully shy girl who lives more in her fantasies than in real life. The Bull and the Bunny -- another film about a near recluse who lives more in his mind than in the world. My thesis? Kind of the same, only it's everyone else in the world who's not living in it. In the end, the protagonists always learn to open up the windows and step outside.
God, I hope that's not a sign.
Fringe was just AMAZING tonight. I fully absolve J.J. Abrams for the entire Lost debacle--it's in the past--because Fringe is honestly one of the most hair-raising and suspenseful shows I've ever watched (well, not last week's episode. That one was kind of a dud). More than any other show, this is the one I am itching to sit down to and watch next week.
Spoilers from this point onwards, so if you haven't seen this episode yet or are planning to pick up the show, run far away, Scar, and never come back. The plot twists are seriously worth being surprised for.
This week's episode was set in the alternate universe. I'd like to take a moment to discuss the show's format; this season splits the show between Olivia's home universe where Peter and the rest of the gang don't realize they took home the wrong Olivia and the parallel universe in which the real one has been stuck, and it seriously works.
During the episodes in the regular universe, it is positively frustrating to watch how easily Other!Olivia has insinuated herself into their lives with hardly a ripple. You want to reach into the screen and shake Peter for not realizing she isn't the same woman he fell in love with (on that note, oh god the delayed fulfillment of this romance is killing me! It's not as bad as it is on Bones, but it's getting there. You just know this Other!Olivia is going to screw things up between them)
And during the episodes set in the alternate universe, you get Olivia struggling to remember who she really is while kicking ass with the parallel world's Fringe division. It's exciting to explore this alternate universe because they're so much more technologically advanced and backward at the same time. I am also going to miss the alternate universe's Fringe division team. I've missed Charlie and his gung ho manly sweetness, and I am positively in love with Nick, and not just because he's probably the prettiest boy in this show (sorry Joshua Jackson, I love you but your lazy eye and Dawson's history cancels you out, and also you are sleeping with Other!Olivia. Bad.). Both of them are not around in Olivia's universe, which is a complete and utter shame. Also, Astrid is kind of a robot here, and that's awesome.
( Fringe 3.07 : The Abducted )
So, started reading this and for a while I was afraid this was going to be a Serious Series. That's not usually a bad thing, but when you're building a series around characters like Hogun, Fandral and especially Volstagg, seriousity means you're missing out on a very great thing.
And when you begin an issue with the crime scene of a massacred town and grotesquely piled bodies? Um, you start to wonder: am I going to feel massively guilty for laughing at something soon? Is there to be a Giggle Loop?
Answer? Yes. Giggle Loop it is. Starting with Fandral doing what he does best (and sporting a wicked set of abs while he's at it, look!), Volstagg doing what he does best (causing despair to all who serve him in his repast), and ending with, for the very first time that I've seen him, Hogun the Hatless. Also doing that which he does best. Which is tavern brawling.
These three are possibly the reason why I've read so much Thor. Yes, the man is all noble and badass and (quite importantly, because I am shallow) gorgeous, but I perk up whenever these three guys show up in his life.
We next learn that Fenris is on the loose, and also that he's something of an asshat. I mean, other people would just call to say if they were in town, or write a letter of some sort. It's a very particular brand of people whose notes require a body count.
The preview indicates that Fandral does his lady magic with Scientist Helen. I can't say I'm surprised. Is the next issue really called "My Own Private Ragnarok" though? Because if you've seen that movie -- well, as much as I love the Warriors Three together, I've never really wanted to think of them in that way together. Great movie, though.
So, in conclusion? Could have been funnier, but I'm grabbing the next issue when it comes along, story be damned. It's the camaraderie I'm after. I'm not even entirely certain what's these scientists from Midgard were doing there in the first place. Mostly because I glazed over whatever it was they were saying because I just kept waiting for the three to pop back in.
In fact, if I were to be completely honest, I could have done away with the whole Fenris plot completely. Show me a series where all these three Asgardians do is travel around the modern world in style (and by style, I mean on their goat-drawn sleigh. Very chic. Pashmina, possibly.) and make fun of Volstagg's girth as he eats people out of house and home, and I will be there with a wallet full of my hard-earned cash.
Here comes the review you've been waiting for! Comic book day! Featuring Red Robin #17, Batgirl #15, and other things! (Though only one at a time! Yes, this is an exercise in tl;dr, but I dislike excessive exercising and am liable to word sprains)
Hang on, you haven't been waiting for it? Well that's...What are you doing here, then?
All right, all right, if that's the case. Proceed.
Small warning, though. As I've taken it upon myself to start writing about the things I love again, you will soon (if not immediately) find that one of those many things is comic books (...grammar?). Yes, the superhero kind, among others. New comic books come out every week, so I will read them and if I feel strongly enough about what bizarre hijinks these caped crazies get up to, they'll end up here in the form of word farts.
Smell if you dare.
Red Robin #17
So, Tim goes to Hong Kong to look up some leads regarding the whole Lynx (the lovely lady on the cover with him) affair. Meets up with Cassandra Cain, ex-Batgirl and one of my favorite characters of all time for, like, five pages. Clearly this is not a comic book written with me in mind (when is it ever?), because if it were, Cass and Tim would team up and take bad guys down together and hang out and be awesome friends (or more), instead of just Tim watching Cass beat people up, giving her a costume, and flying straight back home to Gotham City.
Which is exactly what happened, and also is why I'm highly disappointed in DC. This was obviously just something DC threw to pacify the angry legions of Cass fans, and not even for very long. They had better have plans for her in this whole Batman Inc. thing coming up, because this is not over.
( no it's not over )
Sidebar, Minesweeper is ruining my life.
I regret to interrupt our regularly (HAHA) scheduled programming, but this is something that I have been waiting for for years, and letting it pass me by would be an insult to all those angry rants and aborted hopes.
So here it is, in all its undiluted glory.
Tomorrow, Red Robin #17 comes out. In this issue's story, Tim goes to Hong Kong for some reason I don't particularly give a crap about because --
CASS IS BACK CASS IS BACK CASS IS BACK LOOK AT HER!
She's got a little bit of the Scandal Savage look going on, but that's perfectly fine. At least her ripoff costume's way cooler than Tim's ripoff costume. I don't particularly appreciate the ninja look for political reasons (not all Asians are ninjas, okay? And if I remember it right, Cass is half-Vietnamese. Aoi dai?), but it does look badass.
( Little bit of Batgirl history for those who, y'know, have lives outside of comic books )
CASS I HAVE MISSED YOU SO MUCH TT______TT
You know what you're going to get tomorrow once I put my grubby hands on a copy of this baby.
Sidebar, I watched Glee (2.06) today. I didn't feel like clawing my eyes out (SHOCK AND AWE). Do I take this as a sign that things are turning for the better or is this merely lulling me into a false sense of security?
When I was younger, I absolutely loved Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles. It had snarky female king dragons, one particularly badass Princess, and crazy hijinks galore. Add to that the fact that the humorous covers were done by the amazing Peter de Seve, and you had a series that was well nigh unbeatable against the undefended mind of mini Mikki.
It's been ages since I picked up any of her books, so when I came across Thirteenth Child and read the synopsis, I figured I was in for yet another rollicking good time (yes! Rollicking! Action and adventure aplenty!)
So what if it's probably been a decade since I last read her? I am quite a bit older, but I haven't grown up that much (some might even replace "much" with "at all," but I feel like that's not necessarily a good thing).
So Eff is our resident thirteenth child, right? Yes, that's right, thirteen kids.
Because apparently people in this world procreate like rabbits, but given the time period (American frontier days in some alternate universe) I suppose that was like insurance. The more kids you have, the bigger your chances that some of them will survive to adulthood and end up wiping the drool from your wizened fruit of a mouth.
It's apparently awful bad luck to be born the thirteenth child, but she's one half of a set of twins and her brother is the fourteenth child -- double the sevens, double the luck. Double-seventh kids are supposed to be chock full of magic and good fortune. Lucky him.
They ought to balance things out nicely, but poor ickle Eff is still set upon by all the neighborhood bullies and nasty relatives for being the harbinger of bad luck. Her family eventually moves to the wilds of the Frontier, where the only thing keeping the saber cats and wooly mammoths from rampaging through the town is the magical barrier.
Stuff then happens. Sort of.
( Thirteenth Child )
So I was definitely glad when I found out that this appears to be the first in a series. I don't want to give up on Eff just yet, so here's hoping Wrede doesn't let me down again!
So this is the premiere I've been waiting for all year.
Last week, the first episode of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead aired -- in the States, anyway. Over here, we had to rely on our friendly neighborhood Internet pirates to save us from being left behind, which is the worst thing that can happen to you on a zombie apocalypse so this metaphor is relevant.
Also relevant, the guy who plays our fearless leader Rick Grimes was the "To me you are beautiful" guy in Love Actually. Yes, that is relevant. Secret British accents are relevant.
Anyway if you ask anyone who's seen the first episode, you'll soon find out that Episode One was been phenomenal. I might have even squeezed out a tear or two, and was thrilled to see scenes from the graphic novel so excellently brought to life.
There was, admittedly, one minor hitch, and that was the scene where Rick fires a bullet into a zombie at the police station. The scene later on when he finds the mutilated zombie and kills her out of mercy would have been so much more powerful if he hadn't killed the station zombie.
It also would have introduced the new morality of the world he now has to live in: mercy isn't an option when every bullet counts.
Still, I suppose that's two mercy killings, so that's double the character development?
At any rate, there are a number of television series have failed to rise above their pilot episodes (I'm giving you the stink eye, Glee) and doom their audience to an endless cycle of deception and disappointment. Can The Walking Dead keep up the momentum it's gained with its single gore-ridden, tear-stained, ass-kicking debut?
This week's episode answers with a resounding "holy shit yes arrrggghhhhh next week nowww."
( The Walking Dead 1.02: Guts )
It looks like the series is settling down for a nice long stay, because this week's episode deliberately swerved away from Kirkman's story, drawing the tearful reunion out even longer, and gave the audience a new and hair-raising adventure before the real trouble is even expected to start.
Goes without saying that next week's installment of The Walking Dead could not come soon enough.
This may be premature and overly optimistic, but I don't even think Frank Darabont is going to give purists anything to complain about, and that's saying something.
I'll admit I didn't try as hard as I ought to have, but things kept getting in the way, like thesis, graduation, job hunting, and all those other annoying little things that keep people busy like that. You know how it goes.
This journal, however, is an attempt to stave off my laziness and bring me back to something I've always loved doing. I may not be very good at it, and I probably use far too many parenthetical phrases to ever even fully consider becoming proper professional (I love my parenthetical phrases and never want to leave them), but I love writing about things I love, and the glorious thing about the Internet is that no one can stop me (though that, I suppose, is a double-edged sword because no one can stop other people who have no business with words whatsoever, but that is a necessary evil).
So, in a nutshell: This new journal will soon be awash with my personal brand geekery and delusions of criticism.
In or out? :D