Asterisks mark vids that I consider readily accessible to folks not familiar with the source material.
( SPN vids )
( Buffyverse vids )
( Other fandom vids )
I love the dynamic here so much, especially downjune's Mako - smart and precise and careful and caring. Highly recommended.
Meanwhile, we have this nifty Abaddon artwork by odysseaia. I really like the use of color in this piece.
I have basically zero interest in giving Amazon money for e-books, especially since I already have tons of paper books sitting around that I'm not reading, but I'm very excited to finally read fic on something more mobile (and with considerably longer-lasting battery) than my laptop. Plus, I'd been wanting something to take on a Very Long Plane Trip early in September.
Another Pacific Rim thought: ( mildly spoilery )
This movie didn't emotionally manipulate me the way, say, Independence Day did. Or... I'm having trouble coming up with another comparable SFX-heavy action movie with feelings. Deep Impact, say. (I've never watched that one all the way through, so I don't know how well it handled its emotional content, but it's the sort of thing I'm thinking of.)
And I appreciate that. I'm tired of action movies proceeding as if I'm stupid. Just because I like giant robots or superheroes doesn't mean I need every single emotional beat and element of worldbuilding verbalized (especially when the worldbuilding that does get explained make no sense).
This a giant robot movie for the intelligent viewer, is what I'm saying. :D
Here is what probably no one has told you: this is a gorgeous movie. A whole lot of thought has been put into the design work on the Jaegers: not just the exterior design, but the interior, how all the parts work together, how the pilots function within the Jaeger.
And then the lighting! No movie that involves this much macro-scale combat should have such ridiculously pretty lighting!
If you are a person who thought the best part (perhaps the only watchable part) of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was the giant robots walking through Manhattan, then this is the movie for you.
For example, did you know that there is a global energy grid, at the intersection points of which ancient peoples built their monuments? You should never, ever detonate a nuclear warhead at one of these intersection points, because if you do, the radiation will spread all over the globe. Via the energy grid. Obviously.
The SFX were quite bad. We got a lot of mileage out of watching concrete blocks tearing up turf (because the stones of Stonehenge were moving, doncha know). The writing was abysmal. The acting was not bad - Misha made the best of his material, and I really liked the gal playing the dissenting scientist who ends up teaming up with Misha's character to stop the apocalypse.
I would recommend it on the power of Misha Collins' face, basically, plus ridiculous cheesiness. Also, there's a reveal about 3/4 in that I actually quite liked and would have worked as the seed of a much, much better movie.
Then, of course, I went to AO3 and read all the fic. (Well, all the marginally interesting-looking fic that didn't involved Jimmy Novak/Jacob Glaser twincest.) And found Ride the Lightning by ratherastory, which is a little bit about Jacob and a whole lot about Claire and Castiel, which suited me fine. There is never enough Claire+Castiel fic. And the author has a very light touch. I recommend!
So now, in my SPN obsession, I've seen Ten Inch Hero (with Jensen and also Danneel), New York Minute (with Jared), an episode of Wildfire (with Genevieve), and this. The only one of those that was even remotely good was Ten Inch Hero, which, although deeply flawed in its themes, had good characters, quirk, and a lot of heart. New York Minute had Jared being ridiculously hot and not much else. The first ep of Wildfire wasn't awful, but it seemed to be leading directly into teen romance triangle shenanigans that I couldn't stomach, and also the casual, entirely unproblemitized misogyny bugged.
A Battery of Signals by cordialcount - Inception - 5700 words
To be honest, I only saw Inception once, it was a long time ago, and I'm not sure I fully follow everything that happens in this fic. It is nonetheless clearly brilliant. It's a "Mal was Right" fic that follows after the events of the movie as Mal chases after the forger who's been wearing her face. The tension here between Mal and Dom, between Mal and her quarry is perfect and, satisfyingly, never fully resolves. Delicious psychological thriller (even if you've forgotten half the canon. :D)
Rin's Deal by petrichoral - Spirited Away - 6k
A fully fleshed out story of Chihiro's grudging friend Rin (/Lin), how she came to the bath house, and what became of her after Chihiro left. This is the Rin-centric fic I have always wanted, full of little details that ties it in with the world we saw in the movie. The author gets the tone just right while developing Rin into a person with a story of her own.
The Monsters Inside, by tristesses - Avengers - 6400 words
(The not-Rarewomen fic.) Um, so, this is a Natasha-as-Hulk AU, and it's good. 'Nuf said.
Statistically unlikely fact: before today, the last three movies I watched were The Hobbit (Hugo Weaving!), Men in Black (Tommy Lee Jones!), The Hunger Games (Stanley Tucci!). Movie I decided to watch today: Captain America. Which includes all three.
I had no idea. The only person I knew for certain was in it was Chris Evans. (Am v. curious about how they handled the special effects on his before-and-after shots. I know they can jimmy with height and such, but aside from that, he was just so scrawny.)
It was fun. I enjoyed it. Honestly, I spent the whole movie waiting for us to get to the modern day, because Steve in the modern day interests me more than anything that was happening during WWII.
My one other thought was: if Peggy's going to charge into battle with everyone else, why in heaven's name doesn't someone give the woman a helmet??? (Also, you know what, I am still a sucker for forties women's fashion. The permanent wave and that starkly contrasting lipstick? Yes, please.)
Next stop: Thor. Or possibly a nap. It's a toss-up.
Anyway, here are my fics written for Yuletides past. Perhaps I will do another one on gifts I've received, since I've received some lovely ones and would like to think people are still reading them.
( lots of writerly blather, with links )
Things That Are Clearly The Best:
* Natasha Romonov
* Robert Downey Jr.
* Samuel R. Jackson
* this incarnation of Bruce Banner
* the giant segmented worm things (flying biomechanical monsters ftw!)
* Enver!!! (There may have been flailing. I'd heard he had a bit part, but I forgot.)
* Captain America is very nicely shaped
* Why only one woman, Avengers?
* Thor would like to be Eomer, but he isn't cool enough. He's the shiny Halloween costume version of Eomer.
Edit: and two more observations I thought of later:
* I can kind of see why the fandom for this movie exploded the way it has: so many delightful people having such excellent chemistry with each other.
* And Joss Whedon finally hits the big time. Good on him.
Plotwise, I thought this was an unsurprisingly stupid movie. I generally couldn't figure out why people did the things they did, in terms of either tactics or strategy. But then, the plots in these things never make all that much sense. Nor was I impressed with the big explosions or the big music.
However, I went because I was promised character moments, and I did indeed enjoy those very much. I would happily watch half a movie of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner in a lab ragging each other and geeking out, with Steve Rogers, earnest and culturally obtuse, standing around as foil. And Scarlett Johansson was epic.
Then I wondered what other bits of pop culture I'm missing. So, you tell me: what movies should a woman of 2012 with pretensions of pop cultural literacy have seen? Choose up to 3 that are 2011 or earlier, and tell me why I ought to see them. (Much earlier is perfectly fine! I just don't want anything from this year, because then I will feel like I need to go to the movie theater, and I don't wanna.) Feel free to argue with each other and stump for your choices.
I make no promises to actually watch any of these. I am just curious. I can probably be counted on to compile statistics, though.
(In this vein: rebcake! You told me forever ago I should see Clueless, and I got it from Netflix, and it quit playing 2/3 of the way through. But I enjoyed what I saw! And Netflix is supposed to be sending me another copy soon.)
( Yuletide meta, Queen's Thief, Rear Window, Dragonriders of Pern, Badass Women in History, Downton Abbey )
will pick five of your icons.
2. Make a post (including the meme info) and talk about the icons I chose.
3. Other people can then comment to you and make their own posts.
4. This will create a never-ending cycle of icon glee.
Icons below selected by penny_lane_42, who startled me somewhat by titling her comment, "THE PORN ONE! THE PORN ONE!" If you are me, that is not an email title that you expect in your inbox.
( Iconses! )
I ask because apparently the roommates and I are going to the drive-in movie tonight, and our other options are Spy Kids (NO), Columbiana (yay Zoe Saldana, ugh yet another assassin movie and 36% RT rating), Conan the Barbarian (er, no thank you?), and Fright Night (which is moderately decent, the flist has told me, and probably my first choice unless y'all convince me otherwise).
So, a poll:
What should Snick + roomates go see tonight?
The Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Conan the Barbarian
Spy Kids 4
These options are pathetic. Stay home and make the roommate watch Gattaca instead.
ETA: Yeah, so the roommates and I decided to stay home and watch SPN instead. Cheaper and more comfortable.
We really are lame, aren't we?
Go here and start with the year you were born. Select your favorite movie from the list - the one you actually like watching the most, not necessarily the one you think is the best. Then make a list, selecting one movie from each year you've been alive.
You can definitely tell when I started watching more adult movies, and also when I quit watching movies altogether.
( The List )
Also, I'm a bit sad there aren't more women on the list, but the sorts of fabulous that female characters usually are don't seem to fall under 'heroism,' at least however my brain defines the term.
Finally, note again that I make no actual claims to supremacy; these are just five I like a lot who have stuck with me.
1. Don Diego de la Vega (Tyrone Powers) - The Mark of Zorro. Because he's clever, has a sly and wicked sense of humor, gets into the heroing business for all the right reasons, and gets out of it as soon as they're resolved. Also because he swashes buckles with the best of them (and with Basil Rathbone, no less, which can't but help any budding swashbuckler's reputation).
2. Eowyn - The Lord of the Rings. Because she's a shield maiden of Rohan, with all that implies. Because she goes to the battle and slays the witch-king and defends her people at all costs. When it comes to that, she's really the most traditional choice on the list.
3. Freddy Standen - Cotillion, by Georgette Heyer. Because sometimes, getting you out of a sticky social situation is the most heroic thing a man could do. Also because he's so terribly good-hearted and will put up with so very much to make the people around him comfortable.
4. Chuck Bartowski - Chuck. Because he's such a very nice reluctant hero; and because although he's sensibly terrified about his sudden promotion to espionage, he pulls himself together and does the heroic thing that needs doing, even if he panics about it afterwards.
5. Miles Vorkosigan - the Vorkosigan series, by Lois McMaster Bujold. Because he's smart enough and driven enough (my gosh, the energy) to accomplish whatever he thinks needs accomplishing, heroism included, but also complicated enough that he comes across less as "hero" and more as "human being."
Mainly I enjoyed Ellen Page (Ariadne), Ken Watanabe (Saito), and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Arthur). Leo, bless his heart, seemed determined to act his role by brute force - "I'm wrinkling my brow! And moaning! Feel my paaaain."
I was trying to figure out who I'd cast in that role. Someone who broods prettily and makes me, you know, care. My friend suggested Russell Crowe or maybe Edward Norton (which would have made quite a different character, hmm?); I was thinking about Hugh Jackman (if nothing else, time watching Hugh Jackman is always time well-spent). Ooh, or Rufus Sewell, maybe.
I dunno. Thoughts?
And, second question: I gather that this movie has developed an instant fandom with tons of slash, kink, the works. Uh, why? I realize that what fandom latches onto isn't always explicable, but I am mystified. I mean, there are practically no characters here. I can't even see what the obvious slash pairing would be.
ETA: And why does Cobb say that he 'performed inception' on his wife? I thought he just talked to her and reminded her of her spinning top. I mean, if we can perform inception just by talking then I don't see why everyone told him at the beginning that it was impossible.
I recently read some non-Jossverse fic that made me very, very happy, and I wanted to share.
Murdering Us Horribly Was Also a Concern, by ladyofthelog
Potterverse. Snape/Hermione. (Should I be ashamed that I read fic in this fandom even though I've never finished the books? I feel I should be ashamed.)
Hermione, now a teacher at Hogwarts, is tasked with helping to remove Snape's Dark Mark, which has been getting the better of him and writing inappropriate letters. It's an understated piece with lots of snark and intellectual romance, which are two of my favorite things. Lovely, lovely stuff.
Lunch and Other Obscenities, by rheanna27
NuTrek. Uhura, her green roommate, and some Uhura/Spock
Uhura and her roommate come to terms with each other. This is fabulously happy-making female friendship fic which is also the best example I've ever seen (fic or pro) of exploring truly alien taboos. It's a bit didactic in places, but the gradual growth of the friendship is just wonderful. Thanks to dragonpaws for the rec.
Unpleasant characters, stage magic, faux science, train-wreck psychology, hits my structure kink like whoa.
Also: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman (twice), Michael Caine, Andy Serkis, David Bowie (as Tesla!).
(Funny story: a friend and I had seen previews of this, so we went to the theater to see it. During of the previews we saw ads for... this movie. Which left us looking at each other wondering what on Earth we were about to see instead.
It turned out to be The Illusionist, also about stage magic and also enjoyable. We'd somehow gotten the titles mixed up. It was a bit bizarre sitting in the theater and realizing I had no earthly idea what sort of movie I'd just bought a ticket for...)
First, I got just exactly the Spirited Away fic I wanted!!! I asked for something that dealt with the day-to-day workings of the bath house, because I find them all fascinating - I love how Miyazaki tends to ground his fantasies with things like ironworks and boiler rooms. And my assigned Yulewriter wrote me Good Children, in which Chihiro deals with cleaning up the aftermath of the river god's visit and also deals with a potentially cranky radish spirit. And it's fabulous! All the details are perfect: the radish spirit, the bath house's frog employees.
But what surprised me and what I think I like the most is how very much herself Chihiro is in this fic. I hadn't given her all that much thought before, but every bit of her portrayal in this rings true: her persistence, her tendency for weird but topical questions, her pluck. She's a determined young lady who gets things done, is Chihiro. I love it.
Second, a wonderfully generous soul wrote me Eh by Gum!, which is everything I could possibly want in a Wallace&Gromit fic. Wacky inventions (complete with a numbered list of what should happen, and another of what does happen)! A new scheme! Wonderful Wallace lines! (“Gromit!” Wallace shouted in panic. “Get out of here, lad, she's gone loco for cocoa!”)! The return of old friends! (Naturally, Gromit and Wendolene have bonded over knitting.) Just fabulous stuff.
So, go check them out. 'Cuz they're really neat.
So, in April I watched my first Buffy episode. In June I wrote my own first bit of fanfic and asked folks at my other LJ for fic recommendations. In July I posted my first bit of fanfic. In November I signed up for Yuletide...
( snick's fic year in review )
Not Monster Nor Stranger, for swtalmnd
Fandom: The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman
Author's Note: A passing familiarity with the story of Philomela would not go amiss, although it's not necessary
He found the woman he was looking for in Mela's All-Knite Knitting Place (or possibly Palace), squeezed between a laundry and a shop that looked as though it would sell crystals and smell faintly of cannabis.
What Became of Marie La Fleur, for Ria
Fandom: Beauty and the Beast (1991 movie)
Characters: Marie La Fleur (one of the blonde triplets) and Belle
Marie was surprised to realize that she didn’t find Gaston nearly so handsome now that he was dead.
Wireless, for emei
Fandom: The Matrix (No plot spoilers)
It’s darker in Zion than she expected.
Just a handful for now; more later when I've read more, maybe.
( Fics for The Blue Castle, Mary Poppins, Enchanted, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Winnie the Pooh/Discworld )
And when names are attached to the fics on New Year's (all the stories are anonymous right now), I'll post links to my assigned story and two short treats.