lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
 40 years ago today I... was still in summer camp. I didn't get to see Star Wars until I came home, in August, and my dad took me.

Reportedly, I - the original hyperactive child - slid to the front of my seat at the opening crawl, and did. Not. Move until the very end.

Did that movie change me? I don't know. Did it direct the rest of my life, in many ways?

Yeah. Yeah, it did.

 
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Finally got around to watching Black Snake Moan, after missing it (as usual) in the theaters.

That was... an interesting movie. Not going to say I loved it, because it's not (I think) the kind of movie you love.

But it is the kind of movie you think about, after. Quiet and on your own kind of thinking.
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
I always start with good intentions and then by November totally forget to update my lists. Maybe 2016 will have more follow-through...

Movies Watched (new to me)

The Hundred Foot Journey  (Young Indian boy becomes a master chef and finds love, In France.  A veritable fairy tale in its events, but quite entertaining for those of us who like such things).



Books Read/Currently Reading

THE VODOO KILLINGS - Kristi Charish (ARC)
UNTITLED - Client Manuscript
MAGIC & MANNERS - C.E. Murphy (ARC)
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
13. John Wick (despite my distaste for "woman dies for manpain" and "kill the dog for manpain" and oversaturated sets, I was curious. Verdict: pretty much everything I hate in movies, with only a bit of good acting to save it.)
12. Avengers: Age of Ultron
11. Pacific Rim (yeah, I know, I didn't see many movies in the theater the past few years...)
10. Hunger Games (yes, finally. Shut up)
9. Divergent
8. Jack the Giant-Killer (glad I didn't spend money seeing this in the theater, but good to watch while sorting tax paperwork...)
7. Duma
6. Mirror, Mirror (after a while I just had it on for the pretty, I freely admit)
5. Over the Hedge (I'd never actually watched it through to the end, before)
4. Now You See Me
3. The Other Woman
2. Nanny McPhee
1. Grand Budapest Hotel
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Books:

6. DEJA DEAD, Kathy Reichs
5. UNTITLED, client manuscript
4. THE CLOCKWORK CROWN, Beth Cato (ARC)
3. UNTITLED, client manuscript
2. TAINTED WATERS, Leah Cutter (beta-read)
1. FOXGLOVE SUMMER, Ben Aaronovitch


Movies:

11. Pacific Rim (yeah, I know, I didn't see many movies in the theater the past few years...)
10. Hunger Games (yes, finally. Shut up)
9. Divergent
8. Jack the Giant-Killer (glad I didn't spend money seeing this in the theater, but good to watch while sorting tax paperwork...)
7. Duma
6. Mirror, Mirror (after a while I just had it on for the pretty, I freely admit)
5. Over the Hedge (I'd never actually watched it through to the end, before)
4. Now You See Me
3. The Other Woman
2. Nanny McPhee
1. Grand Budapest Hotel
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
10. Hunger Games (yes, finally. Shut up)
9. Divergent
8. Jack the Giant-Killer (glad I didn't spend money seeing this in the theater, but good to watch while sorting tax paperwork...)
7. Duma
6. Mirror, Mirror (after a while I just had it on for the pretty, I freely admit)
5. Over the Hedge (I'd never actually watched it through to the end, before)
4. Now You See Me
3. The Other Woman
2. Nanny McPhee
1. Grand Budapest Hotel
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Books:

4. THE CLOCKWORK CROWN, Beth Cato (ARC)
3. UNTITLED, client manuscript
2. TAINTED WATERS, Leah Cutter (beta-read)
1. FOXGLOVE SUMMER, Ben Aaronovitch


Movies:

9. Divergent
8. Jack the Giant-Killer (glad I didn't spend money seeing this in the theater, but good to watch while sorting tax paperwork...)
7. Duma
6. Mirror, Mirror (after a while I just had it on for the pretty, I freely admit)
5. Over the Hedge (I'd never actually watched it through to the end, before)
4. Now You See Me
3. The Other Woman
2. Nanny McPhee
1. Grand Budapest Hotel
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
7. Duma
6. Mirror, Mirror (after a while I just had it on for the pretty, I freely admit)
5. Over the Hedge (I'd never actually watched it through to the end, before)
4. Now You See Me
3. The Other Woman
2. Nanny McPhee
1. Grand Budapest Hotel
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
6. Mirror, Mirror (after a while I just had it on for the pretty, I freely admit)
5. Over the Hedge (I'd never actually watched it through to the end, before)
4. Now You See Me
3. The Other Woman
2. Nanny McPhee
1. Grand Budapest Hotel
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Getting HBO as part of my cable package was potentially deadly.


4. Now You See Me
3. The Other Woman
2. Nanny McPhee
1. Grand Budapest Hotel
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
I feel like, in addition to books read, I should be keeping track of movies actually watched, since I'm trying to play catch-up... Although I'll probably be horrible about updating this.




2. Nanny McPhee
1. Grand Budapest Hotel
lagilman: coffee or die (lol)
Finally watching "The Grand Budapest Hotel." Yep, everything I was warned about. In fact, if they'd thought about how to make a movie Just For Me, if might have been this.

Perfection.

gbh
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
I may be too analytical a person to really enjoy the Captain America movies - unlike the crazed logic of, say, the Iron Man movies, I always have this running counter in the back of my head saying “no but wait, wait…”

Fortunately, they’re entertaining enough that the rest of my brain is saying “shaddup and pass the popcorn.” And Anthony Mackie almost manages to steal the show, which is no small achievement.

And speaking as a writer, the level of multi-pronged and scheduled storytelling that had to happen to work this in with Agents of SHIELD… color me very impressed so far.

Only one post-viewing spoiler comment coming….


.
.
.
.
.
.
.
The next iteration of SHIELD will be hidden under a subsidiary arm of Stark Industries: Secure Tactical Force Unlimited

more commonly referred to as…

STFU.

*g*
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Friday's steady sheeting of rain, thanks to TS Andrea, left me pretty much housebound (anyone who didn't have to go out in that mess, didn't.) So by around 3pm I may possibly have been going a bit stir-crazy.

Thankfully, Saturday morning dawned clear and bright, and I hauled myself down to meet up with the usual local suspects at the Inwood farmer's market.

inwooders
(Abbymonster is reaching for teen years, she's legally bound not to smile for photos)

This week's market haul: another loaf of that dutch apple sourdough, butter lettuce, baby spinach, and mmmmm sorrel. I love finding sorrel at the market, because it adds an amazing snap to salad.  I was sorely tempted by the strawberries - farm market strawberries aren't picture-pretty, but they smell/taste amazing) but I figured there was no way I'd eat them all before they went overripe, and freezing them ruins the moment, somehow.

And then I was good and hauled home (rather than lazing about in the park, as the sun was tempting me to do) and got back to work.  Or, well, an attack-nap and rewatching season 1 of Supernatural, and some solid work into the evening.

Sunday I'd like to say I spent all day working but that... would be a lie.  I did spend several hours early in the morning working, and then I hied myself off with a friend to see MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (the Joss Whedon Iteration).

What follows is my own personal review, of which the shortest version is :  Much Ado: Practically Perfect.

Want more? )

I then took a break to wander the Lincoln Center Crafts Fair before meeting with my folks for a lecture by Barry Lewis at the New York Historical Society.  The title was nominally Greenwich Village in the 1930's, but it..expanded.  Barry may say he's not a social historian, but there's no way to discuss architecture without society, and this lecture covered a lot more ground than expected (leading into a discussion of the Village (and all of NYC) of the 50's and 60's as well).  It also raised some issues that probably need their own post...

And now I am home, refreshed and exhausted, and my desk summons me once again.  By Wednesday I will either have All The Deadlines under control, or... I won't.

lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Well, that was nearly 2/3 of a good Trek movie....

I wanted to love it. I really did. But... no. Even by Trek science-out-the-window and understanding-of-bureaucratic-logistics standards, the plot fell apart if you looked twice, there was overuse of fanservice in the wrong places (IMO), and oh god the logic-fails a decent copyeditor would have flagged in a heartbeat.

I would have loved to have seen it set a few years later, when we had a reason to believe in the bonds between the crew, getting rid of the entire opening set-up which had Logic Fail all over the place and open with the actual story, and maybe please possibly some acknowledgement that one person can't run that much of a conspiracy all by themselves, especially in a peacetime bureaucracy.... I know. I ask too much.

The cast gave it their best shot, tho. They were all solidly believable in their roles, and hey, I was there to see My Man Bones, anyway.

(and Cumberbatch utterly steals every scene he strides into. If nothing else I have renewed respect for Martin Freeman and Rupert Graves, who don't let him do that on a regular basis in Sherlock.)
lagilman: coffee or die (no holiday music)
Probably won't make Draft on "Promises to Keep" today, since I have a breakfast meeting and then afternoon plans to see The Hobbit  (yes, I know, but it's THE HOBBIT. I have to give the first segment a chance, right?).  However, Draft status seems imminent this weekend....

"Alfred knew he sounded like an idiot. He felt like one, too. 'You’re insane. Never mind about taking me home. I’ll call my wife and deal with the fallout the way I should have two days ago.'&rdquo

And so, we slip into mid-December. I've been waiting for four things that are still on my Pending List (3 different callbacks and 1 set of contract papers from a small press), but the reality is that odds are nothing will actually happen before January. End-of-year is like Friday... you know if it doesn't happen NOW, it's not going to happen for a while. All you can do is sulk be patient.

Plus, my traditional plan is to shut down shop on the 21st and not pick up the workload again until 2 January. The last ten days of the year are for Recovery.

However, there are still Things On The To-Do List for 2012:

1. finish the draft of "Promises to keep"
2. revise the first Kickstarter "bonus" story and prep for e-release
3. start renovations on the website (relaunch in 2013)
4. Another chunk of work on Unsold Project #1
5. work on the story that's due in January. Oh, wait - TWO stories that are due in January.
6.get contracts out to new clients

also: make a lot of cookies, go to a few parties, and mail out those last few presents and books....  

I got this covered.  More coffee, please?
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
That the Avengers movie is made entirely of crack because, having punched my geek card and seen it a second time, I want to see it again. Like, tomorrow. The last time a movie did that to me was, um, Raiders of the Lost Ark. And before that, Star Wars.
lagilman: coffee or die (happyplace)
Because, like others, having seen Avengers, all I can say is "really fun movie really well done and let's go see it again, shall we?"



OK, there's more that can be said* but right now: that was a really fun movie well-done.


And i will be terribly disappointed, come the DVD release, if there are no outtakes. Mmmjustsaying.




*discussion of Banner's manifestation-of-anger psyche; the use of names rather than codenames to humanize the characters; Joss HAS to kill someone it's in his contract; Pepper rocks; three strong female characters each completely different from the others; patented Whedon fight-with-banter and ensemble usage; Banner-Stark sandwich; etc etc we need booze to do this properly
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)

The title of this entry is sort of an exact quote from “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.”  I say sort of because we were laughing so hard after, the exact wording went out of my head.

(moderate spoiler: he was talking about a horse)

Is this movie as much fun as the first one?  No, but I think only because we know what they’re up to now, so it’s not a surprise.  That said, I paid NYC prices to see this movie (plus extra to get the surround-sound, high-res screen experience), and thought every penny worth it.  Once again the humor arises naturally out of the characters’ reactions to stress and interaction, the stress is a natural reaction to events, and the reinterpretation of events worked both historically and story-wise, for me.

The plot is both complicated and easy to follow, the action is breathtaking [and appropriately over-the-top], and the emotional notes are properly painful. Moriarty is interestingly developed and brutally cold, his henchman/loyal assistant was quite interesting, and my only real complaint was that I thought Mycroft was played a little too much for humor, without also playing up his brilliance.  The scene with Mary (*covers eyes, shrieks in sympathy*) played up the eccentric side, but not so much the competence that’s essential to the character.

The important part, the relationship between Watson and Holmes, was dead-on, and developed further.  You once again believe that they are friends and working partners – although the “dull-witted Watson” trope is trotted out, it’s also demolished on a regular basis by Holmes’ own actions.

Does the relationship have a gleefully emotional and slightly slashy vibe?  Oh yes.  But there’re also a few lovely moments where Mary is let in, acknowledged, and even treasured by Holmes, which adds to the complicated richness of it all.

Oh, and Mary Watson rocks.  That is all.

[this is a movie that gives fair play to its female characters - they are equally strong, smart, thoughtful, and proactive as the men.  And they take shit only when THEY choose to.  For that alone, see the movie.  Take notes on how it's done - without 'weakening' the male characters at all.]


Originally posted at Practical Meerkat: A Blog.  You can comment here or there. 
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
A review would indicate that I am being critical l [in the 'evaluative' sense] of the movie. This? Is not a movie you bring your brain to. In fact, it's best to hire a brainsitter and leave it at home entirely with a set of PBS videos, or something.

----------------

The reviews were in, and they were, well, bad. Or, mostly bad, with a few flashes of "well I liked it." And so, with some doubt but no hesitations, last night a stalwart bunch of us, fortified with beer, went to see the 10pm showing of COWBOYS AND ALIENS.

It is, indeed, a rather bad movie. The dialogue flattens the occasional spark of wit with a layer of dull and predictable exchanges, and every time you think that they have the chance to do something original with the plot, they turn it down in favor of a cliche. The scenes with the Native Americans veered dangerously close to patronizing (saved, IMO, only by the fact that the Indian chief whomps the hell out of Dollarhyde's (Ford's) ego, and in the end the two men are co-leaders of their crew, not White Man Trumps). The number of women in this film can be counted on one hand, and still have a finger left to be rude.* And the science of all this just... yeah. Nevermind.

And WTF with the hummingbird? And the boat? And....

However..... It is also a surprisingly fun movie. There are some lovely sparks of What Could Have Been in the dialogue. The cinematography was gorgeous. Harrison Ford rocks the cranky old man role (with flashes of the Han Solo grin). Daniel Craig manages his man-of-mystery-to-himself role equally well, and has one of the finer backsides** in Hollywood today. And the supporting cast does the best they can with what they're given.

Oh, and pretty horses. And actors who can ride. This? Cannot be underestimated in a Western, however genrebending.

In short, this is not a movie that asks you to take it seriously. It is not masquerading as having a Higher/Deeper meaning (I'm looking at you, Avatar.) It invites you to butter your popcorn, kick back, and have a bit of fun. And - of the 10 people in our group - 6 did (and 1 was on the fence).


Sadly, the same cannot be said of the previews for BATTLESHIP. I'm not sure "stunned and slightly derisive laughter" was quite what they filmmakers were hoping for as audience reaction.


*ok, this (and the treatment of Indians) is part of the Western genre. I still say they could have managed it better.
**hey, I never said I wasn't occasionally shallow. And they put him in close-fitting pants and leather chaps. Was I supposed to NOT look?



originally posted at Practical Meerkat: A Blog

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lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Laura Anne Gilman

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