Having recently watched (and been largely baffled by) the "New Kyoto Arc," I was a little trepidatious about the two-volume "Rurouni Kenshin: Restoration" manga that Watsuki did kind of in conjunction with the first live action movie.
It works better if you read it the way he describes it in the author's notes, which is basically an AU version of the story and characters, with some things that work and some things that don't ( Read more...Collapse )
Finally got around to watching Joss Whedon and Friends' version of "Much Ado About Nothing" (which, as copperbadge noted, is basically "Joss Whedon has some people over for dinner and then Shakespeare breaks out").
I think that the decision to use black and white was fascinating- and given that the Brannagh/Thompson version was so lushly colorful, it made sense. It also added to the vaguely mid-century feeling. I mean, it was clearly modern; people had smartphones and there was a very modern-looking photographer running around, but the overall vibe was definitely reminiscent of classic films from the 1940s and 50s, especially given that the soundtrack tended towards jazz.
( Spoilers aheadCollapse )
One of the recent results of changing cable packages-- basically what I suspect was the customer service person's attempt to avoid the household cancelling both phone and cable due to the cost-- is that somehow, for the next twelve months, there is access to a wide range of streaming video through both the Internet and the TV (very exciting).
I've just really started figuring it out-- for one thing, it's a sub-category in the "hey, want to pay us to watch current movies?" menu on the TV, which means that it is a bit hard to find."
It's also kind of.... let's just go with "eclectic" in terms of the movies that are available. Nothing absolutely current, of course, a probably-not-too-surprising amount of "what can we put on while the kids need entertaining" sorts of programs, I think they do theme months and then...just... whatever.
So, I was poking around for something to have on while dealing with grading (ugh), and came across a fairly recent Vaguely Fantasy-Historical Martial Arts Action film called "The Storm Warriors," which was apparently a) based on a graphic novel and b) the sequel to an earlier picture.
Me: Hey, this looks like it could be interesting, and possibly inadvertently hilarious!
Movie: You're assuming it's going to ( make senseCollapse )
Speed-reading a book description:
"Satan is determined to create his own Hell on Earth and has unleashed unfathomable chaos into the world."
"Satan is determined to create his own Hell on Earth and has unleashed unfashionable chaos into the world."
resulted in several moments of blinking and wondering how exactly that would look...
(well, I mean, I assume it would look terrible, but there are so many possibilities....)
I heard this song on the radio a couple of times. The first time was that thing where you hear the second half of the song, and you're figuring it out and hoping that you can hear the full thing, and you have no idea who is singing it.
I have to say, when I learned who was singing it, I was appropriately surprised (I, um, kind of missed the great boy band trend of 19-whatever-it-was...).
But, anyway, hearing the lyrics, I kind of had this picture of the video in my head, you know, assuming that it would be a video that tells a story of some sort. The story, frankly, seemed pretty obvious-- but that was okay, because that storyline is one that I find fun, when it's done well.
Somehow? I was completely right and yet absolutely, totally wrong in a fairly fabulous way.
(seriously; how often is this type of story done as "it's 100% attitude, and it's entirely about owning that attitude and pretty much rocking it" rather than "new hair, lose weight, new clothes, make-up, high heels...")
"In this low-budget fairy-tale adaptation, the part of the pack of ravening wolves will be played by a group of happy, well-fed, bouncy Husky dogs."
("Hey! Hey! Hey! Do you have treats? We heard you have treats! Treeeeaaaaaats!")
(This is on the level with that scene in that one episode of "Criminal Minds" where the Shocking and Terrible Rat Torture was clearly a set of happy, plump, shiny-coated domestic rats who were clearly nosing about looking for the treats hidden in the actor's clothing....)
Way back last Spring, when there were trailers for the two (two!) “Snow White” movies, I thought it was pretty clear which was going to be, you know, more interesting. I mean... Charlize Theron! Looking definitely evil! Kristen Stewart looking.... um... action-chick.. ish! Chris Helmsworth!
The other option, “Mirror, Mirror,” had Julia Roberts, and somebody who looked like Audrey Hepburn, and Nathan Lane, and fantastically colorful costumes which looked like Disney on pastel-colored acid , and trailers which emphasized the color and the humor and the fantastical elements—as opposed to “Snow White and the Huntsman,” which looked GRITTY and ACTION-ORIENTED and like the princess would be... well, more about the action, and the leading the forces of good to fight the evil, power-hungry queen who was literally draining the life from the kingdom, as opposed to being all chirpy birds and flowery dresses and prettiness and sparkles and dwarves on boingy accordion stilt things.
Not that there’s anything wrong with prettiness and sparkles and fairy tales- -I mean, I love “The Slipper and the Rose,” which is definitely pretty and sparkly and occasionally silly (and, okay, sometimes snarky—gotta love a prince whose first line is, “Why do they always sound so many trumpets? I’m not Jehovah!”). But, when trying to figure out what I want to see on the big screen, I’m kind of going to go for the action and the movie that look like it will have a more serious plot.
That didn’t mean that I didn’t, you know, think, “Gee, I should see “Mirror, Mirror” when I get a chance, when it’s out on video, I can get it from the library, but, you know, whatever, silly camp film version, watch for pretty costumes whenever...”
Wow, guys, I was soooo wrong.....
( SPOILERS AHOYCollapse )
Ah, Korean historical costume drama... so much crazy crammed into.... well, it's actually quite a lot of time. Time and hair ornaments.
Also the Hwarang ("Flowering Youth"). Who were an actual historical thing: a group of noble-born young men who were trained in fighting and ethics and poetry and the appreciation of nature and so on.
Comically stupid servant girl:* They are so pretty! And they were all in the shrine, painting their faces! I peeked!
The king's young pregnant wife: Wait, what? They were what?
CSSG: Face-painting! I'll show you!
TKYPW: Ohnoes! Don't you know anything about the Hwarang? They only paint their faces when they are GOING INTO BATTLE!!!!
Hwarang: This is some very fierce blush!! Rarrrr! This eye shadow? Absolutely vicious!!!
TKYPW: They want to be sure that they will still look pretty, even in death!
Me: Okay, I can see that; that's actually interesting, and the take on masculinity and fighting; very interesting... but I have one question. You put your hair up and get it out of the way... and then you go with the long dangly silver earrings? Because that just seems to be asking for trouble...
*No, really-- if this were "Iron Man," she'd be following Robert Downey Jr. around with a fire extinguisher; she's that kind of comic relief character. Works in her favor sometimes, though; when she has to sneak a Plot-Relevant Secret Baby out of the palace when it's in lockdown, she's freaking out so badly that she keeps trying to hand the baby off to the guard who catches her... which makes him assume she's trying to avoid scandal, so he sternly tells her, "You play, you pay!" and shoves her out the gate.
I think that my favorite quote so far from Tor.com's Bowie Week has got to be this one:
"When Gaiman reimagined Lucifer while writing Sandman, he was extremely adamant that the ruler of Hell resemble David Bowie as closely as possible. According to artist Kelley Jones, Gaiman insisted, “You must draw David Bowie. Find David Bowie, or I’ll send you David Bowie. Because if it isn’t David Bowie, you’re going to have to redo it until it is David Bowie.” The artists complied, and the resulting character ranks as the greatest depiction of His Infernal Majesty since Milton (and/or Peter Cooke in Bedazzled), at least for my money."
(there's also a bit later in that same column on an unfinished project between Neil Gaiman and Yoshitaka Amano called "Return of the Thin White Duke," which sounds extremely epic... and who can forget the infamous Sock Puppet Labyrinth, also with Neil Gaiman... really, the whole Gaiman/Bowie thing is the sort of thing that is just going to be amazing no matter what direction(s) it goes in, and it all makes me wonder what kind of crazy/amazing "Labyrinth"/"Mirrormask" fanfic* has been or could be created, and whether the universe as we know it would survive...)
*I'm not really sure if that Halloween storyline from "Roommates" counts or not, although there is no denying the awesome, especially in the reveal page. And yes, I realize that I'm putting a link to the early, early first hints of "Roommates"... but, really, the Halloween storyline is not the best place to start. Not to mention that you miss a lot of awesome by jumping in that late!
So, I recently read a book, which I really liked (a lot, as in "beware, friends, you are about to get copies once I can track them down and don't have to worry about lending you mine). And I've been trying to figure out a way to mention something from that book which I thought was really cool, but without, you know, being spoilerish. I mean, I guess I could always solve the problem by making up details in an attempt to confuse people ("It's a steampunk fantasy! Set in the Wild West! With steam-powered cowboys and ....um.... ninja who fled the Warring States period and washed up on the coast of California and have reorganized the entire area along clan lines!"), but an lj-cut for the extremely spoiler-averse seemed more reasonable.
( In every story like this, you're bound to have some clashes between culturesCollapse )