fialleril: [all the movies should be about mothers and daughters] (Brave)
So I saw Brave for the second time yesterday, and it is still the greatest. I won't really spoil it here, for those who haven't seen it, but I will say this (at risk of being called a fandom heretic):

I've enjoyed some Pixar movies before, but I've usually found them predictable and, while enjoyable despite that, not nearly up to the hype they usually get. Brave is the first Pixar movie I have ever really liked, as in liked enough to purchase and watch again and again and show to all of my friends. It's just a gorgeous story, not only visually rich but also incredibly nuanced plotwise. It's a coming of age story that makes sense to me, that treats all of its major players with respect and care and depth.

I am darkly amused by the fact that the only Pixar movie I've ever found truly innovative and deeply moving is the same movie that most Hollywood critics are saying isn't up to Pixar's usual standards. Darkly amused, but not surprised. It's not up to snuff because it's about mothers and daughters instead of fathers and sons, because ladies and their relationships with each other are just not universal stories, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

Personally, I think all the stories should be about mothers and daughters. ALL OF THEM. All the Pixar stories, too. Give me more movies like Brave, and I might actually start to understand what all the Pixar hype is about.
fialleril: [Palo is everyone's favorite artist] (Palo)
Mostly thoughts on BBC's The Hollow Crown as it's aired so far (so Richard II and Henry IV Parts 1 and 2), but also a Hamlet fic rec.

spoilers for The Hollow Crown, though mostly minor ones )

On a non-spoilery note, here is a fic you should read immediately, if you have not already done so!

Rosemary for Remembrance by Gehayi. It's Hamlet! In space! With Ophelia as the protagonist and an asexual woman of color, solving mysteries and saving the day (in space)! And female!Claudius, and secret plots, and aliens, and people saving the day by being clever. It is one of my favorite pieces of fiction, period.
fialleril: [someday perhaps I will write that AU about warrior!Sif and fosteredJotunPrince!Loki] (Sif/Loki)
Hello internet, I'm back! Another long absence, but not as long, at least? I am trying! And now that it's summer, I should have some actual time and energy to dedicate to this journal, which I am looking forward to.

In any case, [livejournal.com profile] vampirynka asked me if I had seen The Avengers, and if so, what are my thoughts on it and specifically on Loki? And a couple people on Facebook have indicated an interest, as well.

Yes, I have (alas!) seen Avengers. Twice, actually, due to a series of ridiculous circumstances which I will not get into here. As a movie it...wasn't bad, I guess. (LOL, a ringing endorsement to be sure!) As a follow up to Thor, it was bloody awful.

I am not going to do anything like a traditional review. Instead, I will give you a list of things that could have been done differently, resulting in a superior movie. Because I am feeling snarky and contentious. (The list is by no means exhaustive, and I'm only talking changes to the film that leave the basic plot intact. A complete plot overhaul might be the best option, but I shan't attempt that here.)

Cut for spoilers. Trigger warnings for discussion of self-hate, othering, dismissive joking about adoption - all things the movie probably should have warned for too. )
fialleril: [someday perhaps I will write that AU about warrior!Sif and fosteredJotunPrince!Loki] (Sif/Loki)
Welp I finally saw that Thor movie. And I'mma talk to you about it, but first, there are some things you should probably know about me. 'Cause if you're expecting a balanced account of this movie, well I'm sorry, but you're going to be disappointed. Be warned: you are gonna hear a lot about Norse mythology, as well as the Marvel characters. I'm sorry; I just can't help myself.

So the first thing you should probably know is that I love mythological Loki the most. I know I've mentioned this before, but you don't even understand, internet. If I had to narrow all of the most foundational narratives in my life down to two - two narratives that have been with me for as long as I can remember, that I keep coming back to always, that have pretty much shaped who I am as a person - they would be these two characters/narratives: Persephone, and Loki. I met Loki as a kid, long before I knew words like genderqueer or ambiguity or even trickster, but he caught my imagination instantly. He knew all about the power of stories, and he had a quick tongue and a sense of fun and adventure and he could get out of anything. Loki's defining characteristic is this: when presented with an either/or choice and told that he has to choose, Loki says no. Both hero and villain, both Jotun and one of the Aesir, both man and woman, both mother and father, both human and horse and fly and seal and whatever the hell else Loki wants to be. For a kid who saw herself as fundamentally non-gendered, but who was constantly being pressured to be female (and to be female in a certain way), Loki's ambiguous, gender-fluid narrative was ridiculously powerful. Still is.

What this means, among many other things, is that I can and will love all versions of Loki I come across, regardless of mythological accuracy or actual portrayal of ambiguity. There are more than enough narratives out there that portray him as flatly evil, but whatever, I just reinsert the ambiguity myself.

So pretty much what I'm saying is that this review is gonna be all about Loki. Also possibly about how Odin is the worst ever. Seriously. I once held a contest for myself to see whether Zeus or Odin was the greatest tool of all time ever, and it was a close thing, but Odin won.

So, you know, just clearing up expectations. By this point you know whether you want to read this or not.

Probably some spoilers under here. Also lots of feelings. )
fialleril: [cut her hair and went to war] (Mulan)
So I am back in Kansas for the holidays. You know, by the way. And today my sister and I went with one of her friends to see Tangled.

I went in with a lot of really mixed expectations, in spite of the good things I'd heard from folks on the f-list. From the trailers I got the impression that I would really like Rapunzel - I have a tendency to like characters who have been isolated and not really socialized and are a bit naive and generally good hearted, and on top of that Rapunzel is also a lady who wants to go out into the world and claim her own agency and make her own life, which yes, there cannot be too much of that ever, really.

But on the other hand there was Flynn, who came across particularly strongly in the trailers as a Scoundrel With A Heart Of Gold, which is a character type I am...pretty much completely done with. I mean, I just do not care how golden some jerk dude's heart is, I have seen it a few too many times, I am over it. I am also somewhat leery of/done with the evil controlling mother trope. So. I really didn't know what to expect of this movie or my reactions to it.

Overall, I think the pros outweighed the cons. Rapunzel was basically as awesome as I hoped she might be, which went a long way towards making me love the movie in spite of some of my other reservations. And Flynn was not quite as Scoundrel With A Heart Of Gold ugh as I feared. (He still very much was a Scoundrel With A Heart Of Gold, but it really wasn't his story, which helped some. And he toned himself down fairly quickly into the movie, which also helped.)

Some more specific spoilers for the end of the movie under here )
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (team fail)
Wow, I'd almost forgotten I still needed to watch these two episodes. Megamind is more interesting anyway. But since "Hunt for Ziro" goes off line tomorrow, I guess I'll get in gear and watch some TCW.

And this episodes does promised a cracky interspecies romance. We all know how I like those.

Just in case there is someone left on the internet who hasn't seen these episodes and might want to, here is a cut. )
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (emphasis on the super)
Specifically: Megamind and surprisingly decent Greek mythology based teen lit.

First up, Megamind. A movie I have been anticipating for months! I finally got a chance to see it today, and oh goodness, what was that? A movie that actually lived up to my own personal hype? That was actually as enjoyable as I imagined it might be? WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE WORLD?!

This will mostly be squeeage but here is a spoiler cut just in case! )





And now here's where it gets crazy. You guys remember this amazing discovery of mine? Teen lit about dweeby teenage Greek gods?

So. Uh. I maybe might have bought that book. You know, on a whim. Like you do.

And I maybe might kind of like it.

Here, let me defend. )
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (Ashla)
Because "Assassin" goes offline tomorrow, we gonna do this tonight. So, below the cut are some spoilerific reviews/snark sessions about the Clone Wars episodes "Assassin" and "Evil Plans." With bonus spoilers for "Hunt for Ziro"!

(Spoiler: Already I think that second title is ridiculously lulzy. Whether this is a good or a bad thing remains to be seen.)

Here there be spoilers. )
fialleril: [no weapon is easier to get or control than children] (Ahsoka)
Another Clone Wars post. You know the drill. Spoilers, random commentary, maybe some snark, if I'm on form tonight. We'll see.

Also, fair warning for links to the zombie encyclopedia!

Tonight's episodes are "Corruption" and "The Academy."

Here there be spoilers )
fialleril: [another armed occupation is not freedom] (Cham Syndulla)
Doing it now because it's probably the only day I'll have time.

Anyway, beneath the cut are some supposedly snarky commentaries on the episodes "Supply Lines" (aka "The Return of Cham Syndulla and Jar Jar Binks!") and "Sphere of Influence" (of which I honestly have no idea what the plot is yet!).

Here there be spoilers. )
fialleril: [we do what we're told] (clone)
Yeah, I don't know either. I have to do something to keep myself from combusting with excitement.

So there was some new Clone Wars on Friday! I watch it online, though, so it is new today!

And here are some thoughts of mine! )
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (Holmes and Watson)
Some kind soul on the intarwebs posted the Sherlock pilot, which is basically an earlier version of the first episode, "A Study in Pink." And I watched it. And, as it turns out, I have Thoughts!

And because I am bored, I shall inflict them on you, the unsuspecting (?) friends list public.

But because there are spoilers, here is a cut! )
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (Holmes and Watson)
Over the weekend I went and visited [livejournal.com profile] veriond at her new digs in Springfield, MO. She has a pretty nice place there, though still in the setting up process.

Anyway, the point of this post is: while in Springfield, we watched the BBC's new Sherlock miniseries.

I think I'm probably the last person on my f-list to have seen this, but just in case I'm not, here is a cut for spoilers!

This is the cut in question! )

So! The overall outcome of my consideration of these things has been to make me realize that the DESIRE OF MY HEART is to see a genderbent Sherlock Holmes. To the extent that I have even started casting it in my head! I know that I would love to see Freema Agyeman as Holmes. (I'm calling her Sheila. Yes, [livejournal.com profile] kittyjimjams, SHEILA. I will not be swayed! Although Sorcha is, I confess, also a good choice.) I think Genevieve O'Reilly would make a pretty good Watson. Further ideas, f-list?
fialleril: [when the time comes to let it go, to let it go] (to live in this world)
Yes, it's another Barrie!post. Just when you thought I was done! But I did promise a series of reviews of Barrie's plays.

What Every Woman Knows is one of those pieces that no one knows quite what to make of. The debate about whether it is a feminist work or an anti-feminist one apparently still rages to this day, which should tell you almost everything about it, really. I think I ultimately come down a little closer to the feminist side of the argument, because the play does value women's voices and experience, but it's by no means an uncomplicated or problem-free portrayal.

cut for spoilers to a hundred year old play )
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (Default)
Because I am apparently determined to be a one-woman fandom for hundred-year-old plays no one has cared about since long before the advent of the internet. Whatever. I can accept that.

This is the first of what will probably be several posts about various Barrie!plays. "But Fia," you say, "no one cares! Who even reads Barrie on your f-list?" To which I reply, "Quite possibly no one, but the revolution must start somewhere!"

Okay, enough of that. In all seriousness, let's talk about Mary Rose. As much as I love Peter Pan, I think that Mary Rose is really Barrie's best work. Like most of his plays, it's by turns clever, amusing, cute, snarky, sentimental, and small-scale tragic. It's also deliciously creepy.

I admit I was not expecting that. True, there's unnerving undertones in some of Barrie's other work, especially Peter Pan, but they're always just that: undertones. I made the mistake (or perhaps not) of starting Mary Rose as my read-before-bed story the other night, and let me tell you, I was not about to go to sleep until I'd finished it and found out what happened. It's not frightening, though, just delightfully eerie. And Barrie's almost-novelized stage directions have the effect of actually bringing the play to life in your imagination as you read it, which is not something I've experienced when reading drama before. The eeriness was tangible.

Here's the basic plot: There's an island. (Pay attention, [livejournal.com profile] starfoozle, I think you'll like this one.) It's in the Outer Hebrides - a small, beautiful, contained-within-itself sort of place that the locals call "The Island That Likes To Be Visited." Mary Rose visited that island once when she was eleven, and simply disappeared. Twenty days later, she suddenly reappeared there again, thinking only a few hours had passed.

The story goes on into her later life and even beyond that, but I don't want to give anything away, because it really is gloriously eerie and genuinely suspenseful. I'll only say this: in the early drafts of the play, the island was actually intended to be Peter Pan's island of Never Land. Although this was changed, and the story took a rather darker turn, it's still evident that Mary Rose is something like a female Peter Pan. The difference is that this is a play for adults, and we see the child-who-doesn't-grow-up theme from the point of view of the child's family and friends who don't understand, and for whom she is lost.

I could say a good deal more about this, and about how asexuality plays into the story, but I think I'll save that for my Peter Pan post.
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (Alice and the Hatter)
Happy belated birthday to [livejournal.com profile] leia_naberrie! I'm sorry I missed it! Hope you had a wonderful birthday!

So this week is the Taste of Chicago, a giant tourist trap of a street fair which is both the world's largest food festival and an opportunity for free concerts. Also, a lot of fun. And delicious.

I pretty much spent the weekend there: got some tickets ahead of time so they were cheaper. Here's how it works. Hundreds of different Chicago restaurants and eateries have stalls set up along Jackson and Columbus, and you can either buy a (price-jacked) full portion of various offerings for money, or a "taste" portion for 2-4 tickets. Honestly the taste portion is the better option, but each booth only has two taste options, and usually four or five things on the cash menu.

Anyway, I got to try all sorts of delicious food: two different vegetable tempuras, Hibiscus tea sorbet, sauteed goat with jollof rice, beignets (a heart attack waiting to happen - a tasty, tasty heart attack), and mango rice pudding with dried cranberries (the best!).

I'm planning to go see Rob Thomas in concert on Friday, for which my boss Jordan makes fun of me, but whatever. It's free!

In other news, I watched Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for the first time last night, and I can only say this:

Christopher Lee as a dentist is TERRIFYING.

concerning dragons

Saturday, May 29th, 2010 07:05 pm
fialleril: [the wisdom of the Bodhisattva] (to love all living things)
Went and saw How to Train Your Dragon today. Because I saw it in my new favorite cheap second run theater ($4 baby!), I didn't get to see it in 3D, which may have hampered the experience somewhat, but I'm okay with that.

I thought that much of the movie was very formulaic, and, for that reason, actually boring at several points. Every single interaction that Hiccup had with his father made me want to bang my head against a wall, because I have seen those scenes in every coming-of-age story ever made since the dawn of time, and can we please just skip over them this time since everyone knows how they're going to go down, and let's move on to the interesting parts instead!

Unfortunately these formulaic parts of the story made up about half of the movie. (And, full honesty here, since they are not formulas that do a whole lot for me, I was less inclined to forgive them!) BUT. There were three things that really saved this movie for me.

They are under a cut for spoilers galore! )
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (Sheldon)
I had a rather marvelous self-date today. (The best kind of date!) Actually I am still on it, since I'm eating at the Corner Bakery as I type. Not, you know, that anyone cares!

Anyway! I found this fabulous late run theater in Logan Square that charges $4 for a movie, which is something I can actually afford! And so I finally took myself to see Alice in Wonderland. It was quite enjoyable!

In case there are folks who might still be spoiled for this movie, here is a cut! )

And on another note, I've now made it to season 2 of The Big Bang Theory. Apparently I like it? I mean, there is this icon! Also, I find myself weirdly invested in certain aspects of this show, for reasons that will surprise no one. (Ha ha I am so transparent about these things!)

further thoughts, mostly on the subject of Sheldon )

Clone Wars finale

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 12:46 am
fialleril: [no weapon is easier to get or control than children] (Ahsoka)
And since I'm on a role tonight, why not! Here are some thoughts on the Clone Wars season finale, plus bonus thoughts on the Season 3 trailer!

cut for spoilers )

Also, this:



Take a hint, George?
fialleril: [the things they carried] (Chopper)
I'm going on a retreat for the ISP staff Monday-Wednesday, so here is your weekly dose of Clone Wars snark a day early! Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] selonbrody for providing the goods.

And yes, this post is going to be largely about child soldiers. But maybe not entirely in the way you expect.

here there be spoilers for Death Trap )

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