Intended Reading (29th March)

2017-03-29 04:30 pm
ironed_orchid: (wrong sort of question)
[personal profile] ironed_orchid posting in [community profile] bitesizedreading
What haven't you read yet this week?

We all have things we mean to read, but never quite find the time, whether it's a bunch of unopened tabs, or in a precarious tower of books by the bed.

What's on your to-be-read list this week?

(no subject)

2017-03-29 09:19 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] thatyourefuse!
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Posted by kimnewman

My notes on the live-action Ghost in the Shell.

Looking up my Sight & Sound review of the 1995 Japanese animated film – based, of course, on a manga – I find I wasn’t much taken with it, which probably explains why I remember so little about something that has gone on to found a franchise and be accepted as a classic of its type.  Watching this two-decades-on big budget live action version, directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White & the Huntsman), I found the story still oddly rote and hard to get involved with – the cyborg, brain-in-a-robot-body heroine’s trauma is less affecting than RoboCop’s for instance – but the visuals sumptuous and seductive, whether it be a rainy city dominated by giant holo-adverts or the stolen brain’s sexy (but technically sexless), deracinated barbie body (Scarlett Johansson).

 

It has its astonishing set-pieces, and fun with spiderwalking tanks, but its actual story – which boils down to the not-exactly-unprecedented concept that no one should ever trust a robotics corporation that wants to move into law enforcement – and is full of great bits of art direction and incidental gadgetry, but there’s a robot heart at its centre.  We can now get nostalgic about the cyberpunk hell futures of the 1990s the way that, say, Tomorrowland, is nostalgic about the optimistic visions of flying cars and silver walkways – which means that this doesn’t just evoke the look of Japanese cartoons but also films from Blade Runner through Strange Days (note the uncredited Michael Wincott cameo) to The Matrix.  The casting of  Takeshi Kitano as a boss figure even stirs dim memories of Johnny Mnemonic, which must be the first time anyone’s done that deliberately.

A lot of pre-release controversy had to do with the ‘whitewashing’ of reimagining a Japanese character, Major Kusanagi, as a caucasian – though it’s not that clear if the original Major (a robot, after all) was supposed to look Asian, and the film actually stands as a critique of the practice in that the backstory reveals that a runaway Japanese girl, Motoko Kusanagi (Kaori Yamamoto), has been murdered for her brain, which is now put into the internationally-appealing form of Johansson, who retains her Under the Skin/Lucy knack for appearing unearthly even as she suffers extreme damage in combat.  Of course, embedding a critique of the practice of filing the serial numbers off Japanese products for the global market in a big-budget science fiction film isn’t quite as radical as, say, casting Rila Fukushima (seen as the spider-limbed robo-geisha hit woman) in the lead might have been.

 

As if to put up a front against criticism, this assembles one of the most diverse, international casts ever to appear in a popcorn film – with Dane Pilou Absbaek, French Juliette Binoche (ScarJo’s Avengers dance trainer), Singapore’s Chin Han, London-Kurdish Danusia Samal (who really ought to be co-starring on Doctor Who), American indie angelface Michael Pitt (as a broken-down Frankenstein), Zimbabwean/Kiwi Tawanda Manyimo, British Peter Ferdinando (standard baddie) and Romanian Anamaria Marinca (with disturbing eyepiece) appearing in an interesting variety of cyber-enhanced roles. The script is by William Wheeler (Queen of Katwe, The Lego Ninjago Movie) and Jamie Moss (one of many hands on Street Kings), and rewrite meister Ehren Kruger – who probably had the job of gluing together all the pieces.  Though it operates at the other end of the budgetary spectrum from Under the Skin, it has the same basic fascination – watching the weirdly dissociated Johansson simply being strange, though this time round there’s more jumping off buildings for no apparent reason and strutting about in a CGI-assisted skinsuit.

Here’s a trailer.

Film review – Cage (2016)

2017-03-29 07:32 am
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Posted by kimnewman

My notes on the claustrophobic thriller Cage, available on Amazon Prime from April 3.

Women in captivity, solitary or otherwise, have recently featured in quite a few movies – including fresh variants like Room, Pet and 10 Cloverfield Lane.  It may be stretching things to read these long-gestating projects as zeitgeisty, but the notion of being trapped in a situation you didn’t vote for at the mercy of a patronising, unreliable, bullying, cajoling creeper-father figure – which is even a subtext of Passengers – has a specific bite in the current political climate.  Cage is a bare-bones entry in the cycle.  As a person-in-a-pickle movie, it is as rigorous as Buried in letting only one person onscreen throughout – though, as is now traditional, giving the protagonist a cell-phone with a long-life battery means the cast can be bumped up and we don’t have to rely on someone talking to themselves to carry the drama.

 

Seen jogging through woods in a brief outdoors opening, Grace Blake (Lucy-Jane Quinlan), a young woman who makes ends meet by running her own phone sex line, is drugged and wakes up on an ankle chain in a wooden cage in an anonymous warehouse she believes is in Seattle.  She is called by Peter (Patrick Bergin), her abductor, who never satisfactorily explains why he’s taken her – he says it’s more than sex, but considering he claims to be flying around the country on a mystery trip, it’s possibly not even sex – and is also mysterious about what exactly her set-up is, though he is observing her by remote camera and can hear all the calls she makes and receives, mostly with her boyfriend Eddy (Jake Unsworth) and mother Sandra (Sharon Drain).  A missed opportunity is that none of her clients have this number – it might have been neat if the heroine had to try to get a horny phone sex customer to help her escape.

 

In her recent backstory, Grace has a child given up for adoption, a mental condition which requires medication and slightly clingy parents – during her ordeal, with the expected ‘Day Six’ captions, she tries to work out the combination of the cage’s lock, initially obeys Peter’s wishes she not call the cops but then does report herself missing when her father has a heart attack, though she still keeps spinning excuses to her mother about why she’s not turned up at the hospital.  Writer-director Warren Dudley (The Cutting Room) hints that there might be a conspiracy or mystery about the abduction – teasing at possible twist endings – but then a late-in-the-film development (clue: the film is set in 2001, with period-appropriate clunky Nokia phone) drops any of that to pile on the agony.  Quinlan is initially callow, but impresses in the later stages as privations wear her down – the actress makes more of the character than the script, which overloads her with tokenistic emotional ties and then doesn’t carry through with them.  Bergin is nicely smug, annoying and mysterious as a mastermind who now seems strangely distracted from his plan – as if he has other big things going on his life and just can’t keep up with his Collector scenario.

Agent Carter AU not-fics

2017-03-28 11:54 pm
sholio: Peggy Carter smiling (Avengers-Peggy smile)
[personal profile] sholio
I asked people on Tumblr last night to send me an AU and I'd give them some thoughts on that AU, which all ended up being Agent Carter. I got more than I could write, but here are the ones I did:

Vintage car mechanic AU
Librarian AU (with follow-up suggestions)
Art heist AU
Pet Shop of Horrors AU
Wild West AU
Star Wars AU (with follow-up expanding on Daniel's role in this 'verse)
College student AU
College faculty AU
[syndicated profile] allthingshorror_feed

Posted by /u/Whos_Chaotix

  1. The Thing
  2. Inside
  3. Evil Dead (remake)

I also really liked Martyrs (not the remake haha)

I'm hoping to find some gems I haven't seen yet, so list away.

Ps: I am so fucking excited for The Void

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Posted by /u/SilverShamrock88

Enjoyment considerably lower than expectation:

Antichrist, Town That Dreaded Sundown, The Church, Murder Rock, The Third Mother, Devil Inside, I Am Legend.

Enjoyment considerably higher than expectation:

Beyond the Black Rainbow, Final Exam, The Ambulance, Conjuring 2, Taking of Deborah Logan, Last Exorcism, Witchboard, Alone In The Dark 1982, Girls Nite Out, Evil Dead Remake.

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Ugh

2017-03-29 07:26 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Everyone at work is going to be cranky tomorrow--there's a big storm that
just passed over and in addition to the tornado sirens that went off (they
go off for warnings, which means conditions are likely, not necessarily
that one's been spotted), the university sent out an alert on their info
line so everyone got a text AND a phone call.

There's also a lot of cranky parents right now who are getting the alert
because their phones are registered as the main contact but who don't live
in the area.
viridian5: (Abel (No white knight))
[personal profile] viridian5
I enjoyed this a lot more than Prince Lestat. No long chapter after another about a multitude of characters we haven't seen or have barely seen before and don't care about. A smaller cast means more time for the characters actually moving things. Fewer contemporary characters, good since Rice doesn't write dialogue I could imagine most contemporary people speaking. More things happen and at a better pace. It even picks up momentum at times. Lestat is a bit less obnoxious, and we don't have everybody talking about how wonderful he is all the time.

Some things change forever, in potentially interesting ways. Rice seems to have given some thought as to how her world works and started and what that means for the future.

There's more Louis, though he's not all that much like Louis anymore. He has some moments though.

Although the plot wasn't as goofy as I expected, there are still some things that come off a bit goofy, some of them partly because they go outside the genre Rice's vampire stories have been in. spoilers ) The other part... is that some of them are still kind of goofy.

But it's a mostly fun "borrow it from the library" read.
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Posted by /u/itzkd0tyabish

List some and i will tell if i have seen it or not. Also please list what makes it so special compared to another movie like it. Sorry for being picky but im trying to watch some really good classic horror

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finch: (Default)
[personal profile] finch
Tuesday’s dollhouse shrine figure. Clothes are still a work in progress.

Every week Tuesday has rolled around and I’ve somehow been sans prayer, despite having working models for everyone else, despite being completely sure I’m going to work on it this week.

On one hand, considering I knew almost nothing about Tuesday when I started, the fact that I now can contact him, interact with him, and know the outline of his mythology seems like some pretty good work to show for it.

On the other hand, well.  I hadn’t actually done the assignment. I started with the format anyway, planning to make something up on the fly as I had last week and promising myself that later on I’d do it properly, maybe following the format from Felix Warren’s course, or doing some meditative writing or something.

Nope. Sit.

He made it clear that I was going to sit there and I was going to write the damn draft, and despite getting distracted by a goose (goose necks are weeeeird y’all) and worrying about rain, I got it down. As a bonus, I got a few more notes on his personality, and a vocabulary edit. (Instead of “worker for my household” I’m experimenting with “voice of my household”. What do you think?)

Tomorrow morning I have another doctor’s appointment, because I think Wednesday is the only slow day at work that I haven’t had one yet. Maybe I have. I’d have to check my notes.

Anyway. I decided to pull a coin again tonight, and this time it was a commemorative coin for the 1996 Olympics with the logo for rowing on it. (Does anybody else remember those? They came in cereal boxes and I was obsessed with collecting them.) Sometimes you just have to keep plugging along, and sometimes plugging along hard enough is what wins you the medal.

from WordPress http://ift.tt/2of5yrV

Indivisible Goes State

2017-03-29 01:42 am
executrix: (Default)
[personal profile] executrix posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
https://www.ourstates.org/#ourstates

Interactive map of state laws and pending bills in five areas: immigration, policing/protest, reproductive justice, voting rights, and LGBTQ equality, plus a counterpart to their original Indivisible Guide for rousting state rather than federal legislators.
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Posted by /u/SilverShamrock88

Ones that come to mind:

Fred Dekker, 1986-1993, Night of the Creeps, Monster Squad, Tales From The Crypt (the thing from the grave), Robocop 3.

Kevin Tenney, 1986-1993, Witchboard, Witchboard 2, Night of the Demons, Witchtrap.

Joseph Zito, 1980-1984, Bloodrage, The Prowler, Friday the 13th Part 4

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Posted by /u/Shamr0ck

Screw you.....great horror movie but I had some man tears rolling up inside of me. That little girl actress was amazing. I cant remember a time when I didn't hate little main role children in horror movies but damn was she a great actress. Her emotions were so believable .

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