Tags: rly?srsly?

Medieval Lady

I... cannot even reproduce those accents here...

So, various other DVDs watched by El Presidente Intrepid Roommate and myself over the past.... um... however long an amount of time? I dunno?... anyway. Various DVDs, they have contained the trailer for Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole, which is basically a giant computer-animated fantasy movie with Australian* samurai-Celtic-LoTR-looking-whatever-warrior owls** It is based off a series of best-selling (I think? I mean, there are many and many of them) children's books, and looked extremely cool. Intrepid Roommate has been looking for it for a while, based on the impressive trailer and the general prettiness, and she finally found it today at Target, when she was in to buy more fun socks.

And so we watched it.

It was... very pretty, with a somewhat odd tendency to have bullet-time slo-mo-action sequence bits and Dramatic Wing-Flapping Action. As Intrepid Roommate pointed out, it was also REALLY OBVIOUS that this was a movie that had been put together from several books in a series. You know that phenomenon where a movie does something or shows something and you're just kind of, "Wait, what? When did that happen?" Yeah. That. Like.... the hero's brother gets Corrupted By the Evulz, and it seems like there was not nearly enough time for that sort of thing (although, dang, the evil owl queen was impressively evil). Not to mention the climactic battle where a large part of what's going on hinges upon a very large forest fire that just kind of... appears, out of nowhere. Seriously. There is suddenly a giant section of the scenery which is engulfed in plot-relevant flames, FOR NO REASON. And nobody seems to find it odd that there is this massive forest fire.

And then at the end, there is a dramatic reunion of the plucky main character owl with his parents, who are thrilled to see him, and happy to be reunited, and everything is all smiles and happiness and heroism.... and there is NO mention, not a hint of an expression, about the fact that, you know, their eldest son went over to the side of Evulz and has most likely ended up dying a horrible firey death in the inexplicable forest fire. And I was kind of watching that and thinking, "You know, possibly, Evil Owl Boy had a point when he said that the bad guys were the only ones who ever actually cared about him and respected him...."

*Are there that many types of owls in Australia? And, if so, are any of them poisonous?
**And also ninja bats.
kidding, Ryuuki

Five notes make a post...

1) Dear Student: If you're going to send around a gleeful e-mail stating that somebody has made a secret film of the upcoming exam and posted it on the Internet, you might want to double-check and make sure your professors are not on the recipient list.

2) Dear Other Student: Your passionate-- nay, strident-- declaration that you are giving 110% to this class and cannot get less than an acceptable grade would be much more convincing if you bothered to do things like spell "Belgium" properly.

3) Dear Fellow Faculty: You know, if you figure out that a student has pranked their classmates by sending them a link to humorous music videos and claiming that it's a link to a secret film of the upcoming exam, would it really be too much trouble to tell your colleagues who are teaching the class with you that that's what happened?

4) Dear Student-who-always-complains-about-their-grade-five-minutes-after-the-assigment-is-handed-back: First of all, knock it off. Second, the reason for your grade is that you were wrong, and explaining that you were trying to argue something that a) you did not in fact argue and b) is not in any way supported by the text is not going to help.

5) Dear Class: Guys, the class software lets me track who is and is not doing the readings. And one of these semesters, I'm going to remember to both put that in the syllabus and assign a point value to it. For now, wanna take bets on what's likely to be on the exam?

Sincerely, etc.
Medieval Lady

"Sub-plot! Sub-plot!"

You know how, sometimes, you will adore 90% of a book, and there's this one thing that makes your brain start plotting ways to fix it? It can be something minor, or something not-quite-major, or even something major-- although, really, it's much harder to love 90% of a book if there's something major that really infuriates you.


I read a review of the latest by Sarah Morgan, who is a British author writing for Mills & Boon (which is Brit-speak for Harlequin, basically)-- since she writes for the "Presents" line, she's working under fairly specific page constraints. I mention this because part of what bugged the reviewer (and me) seemed like it was caused by space constraints-- if she'd had, say, another fifty pages, there would have been time to fix the problem. I've actually read one of her earlier books, and there were some things I really loved-- the fact that the heroine runs away from the hero and spends a year living comfortably and happily and gains about 15 pounds and a boatload of self-confidence, the fact that the heroine (rather than meebling and moping about her appearance and weight) has a moment of "Waaaaaait a minute-- you're not telling me to not buy this dress but to get the horrible sack-like thing over there because you think I'm ugly.... you're doing it because you think I'm sexy-- and is completely correct, because her now-voluptuous figure is pushing all the hero's buttons and he is kind of freaking out, and the fact that once the heroine has figured this out, she goes after the hero's attempt to put her into a nice, neat contained "this is my wife and wives are not supposed to be sex goddesses" box with a very large hammer (and also lingerie). So I was pretty excited about reading the new one, in spite of the very silly title (the sad thing? It's a silly title partly because the editors of M&B/Harlequin are trying so hard to get away from the standard "The Greco-Roman Tycoon's Amnesiac Pregnant Mistress's Regatta Dilemma" or whatever model). "Doukakis' Apprentice"... yeah. It main thing that makes it silly is that "Doukakis" sounds like you're either talking about the politician or the actress, and both sound weird in this context-- and "Apprentice" is just.... weird, and wrong, in the sense that there is no apprenticing to anybody at any point, and I don't think that the word even comes up ANYWHERE IN THE BOOK. Seriously; this is a book that would have been better if they'd gone for the stereotypical standard (which, frankly, at least tells you something about the book, which is important when you have three seconds to scan covers and figure out what interests you).

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Medieval Lady

Clearly, I can't choose the wine in front of you...

Read a short SciFi story from the 1950s this evening-- main plot was that, however many years/decades/centuries into the future, the Cold War (yes, really; it was the 1950s, Cold War seemed pretty permanent...) had gone hot, the US government had relocated to the moon, and the remaining troops had set up a system of nasty attack robots to try to take out whatever of the Soviet forces they could...

... except (of course) for some reason, the US side just sort of set up massive automated underground robot factories and then left them alone. Because they have clearly never read a book THAT'S going to end well.

Naturally, when the head officer of the US camp gets called to the Soviet side by a surrender message, the Helpless Refugee Boy with Pathetic Teddy Bear he runs into along the way turns out to be a new kind of robot, built to just pretty much kill everything, not just the "bad guys" ("Hey, babe-- wanna kill all the humans?"). This is explained to him by the two man, one woman team of survivors from the Soviet bunker (which made the mistake of letting one of the Helpless Refugeebots in). They also explain to him that Refugeebot was not the first time the robots had tried this- the first attempt was Wounded Soldierbot. Once they had figured this out, and checked the serial codes they found on the robots, they realized that they were dealing with Version I and Version III.

Commanding Officer: Wait... one and... three?

This, of course, means that a lot of the rest of the story will revolve around "OMG! You are secretly a robot! I HEARD WHIRRING NOISES!"

Me: *sigh* OH, for heaven's sake, it's the woman--- have you nitwits never read a book? Sexy Girl Robot is the obvious missing link between Wounded Soldierbot and Helpless Refugeebot. It is not even subtle!

... and yet, at the same time, all I could think of was a little humorous news article I read recently about a group of high school boys in Montana, who got three goats and let them loose inside of their high school after painting the numbers 1, 2, and 4 on the sides of the goats. Administrators apparently spent pretty much the whooooole day trying to track down Goat #3....

Life in plastic; it's fantastic... (and bendy!)

On the one hand, it's fantastic that there continues to be so much cool new "Ruruoni Kenshin" stuff out there-- the Blu-Ray DVD of "Trust and Betrayal" is spectacularly pretty-looking (and, according to Wombat's first impressions, it looks great and has a booklet full of useful information and pretty pictures...well, the booklet is in Japanese, but there's also a booklet which is a translation of the booklet...).

I am ambivalent about the movie being in Blu-Ray (ok, look; I don't have Blu-Ray, I am trying to avoid the temptation; I know that it's supposed to be ultra-amazing in many ways that would be VERY TEMPTING.... but I don't honestly remember the movie being so fantastic, visually, that Blu-Ray would really make it substantially more amazing/clearer. OTOH, it may just be that I haven't seen it in a while, and the fact that it has basically one cool fight flashback which it then repeats over and over and over again kind of annoys me, which would not be solved by having it be both annoyingly repetitive and better-looking). I want to set all copies of "Reflection" on fire and then smash them with hammers-- there is no degree of pretty that is going to fix the degree of oft-incoherent stupid there.

Upcoming Weaseltastic "reboot"? Um. Yeah. Still kinda boggled, there.

And then today I ran across this upcoming addition to the RK product line...

(With special action lounging pose!)

Now, of course, since this is Kenshin, and Kenshin is all about his past self being different from his present self, there is also another figure

(Never fear, the amazing action gi will leap in and save you!)

I'm not linking the other in-detail image directly, because, um... the hands are disturbing. Just... yeah. As are the faces, frankly.

(Also: what are you supposed to do, have them engage in epic pose-offs with each other?)
Medieval Lady

"Of course it's easy! Especially the step where you set everything on fire!"


Ah, the end of the semester. Not just the end of the semester--the end of the Spring semester. Good times. Everybody is going nuts, my inbox is full of Very Special Excuses and Panic*

Not, of course, that there are not legitimate excuses. Because of course there are. But, really, day after day after day of panic and illness and family emergencies and car-related emergencies and oversleeping and crazy stress and oops I've lost my computer and oh no my computer died and multiple deadlines.... yeah

This is not helped by the fact that they've started group presentations this week, and many of them seem to be doing amazingly half-baked work. *headdesk* I dunno-- end of the year? Groups not gelling? Not really caring? See, it's not that there haven't been excellent presentations. But.... I'm hoping that things pick up later in the week, because if they're all at the level most of them have been at so far, it's going to be wretched and boring for everybody. And a pain in the tail to grade (not least because, upon careful re-reading of the assignment, it's not that they're getting it completley wrong,, it's just that they're being ridiculously broad and giving no details and just providing a laundry list of "Our topic is X. X is very important. This is what X is. X originated in the following location." And frequently occasionally they are just egregiously wrong (witness: "Sugar is easy to process!") or skim over important details (like, for example, the development of plantations and the slave trade in relation to the sugar industry *headdesk*)

*Very Special Excuses and Panic are a known academic phenomenon. Seriously; "The Chronicle of Higher Education" has an entire forum dedicated to their mockery discussion.

"Noah? I want you to build an ark...."

Ooookay... I just saw the very first "ohnoes there's a disaster that's going to Destroy The Planet" movie I can remember in which the end of the movie involved actually destroying the planet. None of this wimping out with "well, we've wiped out millions, but there's a stalwart group of survivors on boats and they can go hang out in the Himalayan Archipelago" or "well, everybody who could make it out of glacier range is A-Okay and rebuilding civilization" I mean: entire planet. Destroyed.

With, btw, some REALLY REALLY bad dialogue coupled with over-the-top acting, which Dad and I gleefully snarked. Seriously; there was a scene where the hero and... um... female character who had more dialogue than other female characters, even if it mostly consisted of freaking out and crying and panicking... right... ok... anyway, they were talking on the phone and clearly not in the same room, so there was about five minutes of "I'M ONLY THINKING OF THE CHILDREN!" "YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO ME!" "THE CHILDREN! I HAVE TO GET THEM TO SAFETY!" "NOTHING CAN SAVE US NOW! WE HAVE TO GO TO THE SECRET LOCATION I'VE JUST FIGURED OUT BECAUSE I'M THE MALE LEAD AND CAN THUS DO MATH"


Oh, and apparently the film had no lighting budget, because aside from the characters running around in the dark with flashlights (including in scenes where they were in a building and the logical course of action would be to, you know, hit a light switch, there were all sorts of scenes in the house in the dark, and in the yard in the dark, in the woods in the dark.... and once, for a change, in a dimly-lit museum.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all of this, there are dark-colored trenchcoat-wearing aliens running around in the dark. And, aside from Freaky Whisper Noises on the soundtrack, the other sign of alien presence was... these black rocks. Adorable child actor is in touch with aliens? Gets handed a black rock. Want to show that the crazy whisper-hearing lady from earlier had been frequently visited by aliens? Piles of black rocks all over her Room of Crazy. Dramatic moment where Our Hero finally goes to the location where the puzzles are telling him to go and finds the secret treasures of the Templars random stealth bunnies the aliens? Whole entire path through the very dark forest, covered in black rocks.

Dad: So... ok, any idea why there are all of these rocks all over the place?

Me: Um... I dunno, Dad. *resists, resists, resists saying, "Rocks fall, everyone dies!"*

(That was, btw, very, very difficult)

(Not least because I seriously suspect that SOMEBODY on that film knows that phrase and was totally using it, giggling gleefully the whole time)