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brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
I keep forgetting to post reviews of stuff I've been watching. I could wait till next Monday, but I keep doing that and I already have a month's worth of backlogged stuff to review. So, quickly:

Pride and Prejudice (the BBC 1990s adaptation)
This was great! It ended up being much more faithful to the book than I'd expected from the first episode and cultural osmosis (which mostly focused on the wet shirt scene, unsurprisingly). I thought it did a great job on so many levels – the actors, the costuming, the dancing, the dialogue – and had a great time watching it.

Death Comes to Pemberley
This was less good. Or rather, I liked the first two episodes, which were a bit like average-level casefic – not quite as good as the canon, but enjoyable enough – but then the last episode ruined it all. How does Wickham have a secret sister no one knows about? What was with all of her issues – being desperate to have a baby, wandering mysteriously through the woods, killing herself? Why did the consumptive dude tell no one that he was the murderer, and how convenient was that he dies literally five minutes after signing a confession? What was Colonel Fitzwilliam's deal? Why did Darcy and Elizabeth need to reenact their exact same argument from Pride and Prejudice instead of fighting about something new? Also, Lydia, Wickham, and Captain Denny were totally having a threesome, y/y?

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Aww, you guys, I really wanted to like this. I so wanted to participate in the hot new fandom. And yet it just didn't work for me at all. My main problem was that it's not nearly as funny as the trailers make it appear – and not in a "failed to be funny" way, it's simply more of a straightforward action movie than a comedy – and none of the characters clicked with me. Ah, well. Someday I'll find a big fandom for me.

The Duchess
I mainly watched this because tumblr promised me a lesbian subplot by showing off delightful gifsets, but that turned out to be a lie. I mean, there is one lesbian scene, but it lasts for about thirty seconds and involves the characters fantasizing about her male crush, so it didn't do much for me. Other than that, this is a very pretty movie, but it has some problems. I never could figure out how much time was passing (since it often seemed to be years between scenes), and the characterization of the Duke was kind of weird (I think maybe he was supposed to be autistic? It was confusing), but it's an enjoyable movie, especially if you're as into costume dramas as I am.

You know, I expected this to be way darker than it actually was. I'd somehow never seen it before, despite hearing it quoted all the time, and I'd created a movie in my head that did not involve a happy ending or fairly innocent main character. Nonetheless, it is a funny movie, and now I have joined the legions of people who quote it too often.

Jurassic Park
Somehow my girlfriend had never seen this, so of course we had to correct that problem. When watched back to back, the original makes the new Jurassic World look appallingly badly made in every arena except, I suppose, special effects. What I found most noticeable is how tightly made this is. There's not a single line of wasted dialogue, and the whole thing just rushes to a conclusion without subplots or dangling threads or any unnecessary detours. It's a fantastic movie.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
What a fantastic series! I've got a few quibbles here and there, but this is the best new sitcom I've seen in years and years. It's so smart and funny and sweet and hopeful; I highly recommend it.
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
Hey, remember when I used to do this 'Watching Monday' thing? I thought I'd start again. Well, without going back to catch up, because it's been several months and I've watched a lot in that time. But here's what I watched in the last week:

A really fantastic Indian movie, a remix of mythic tropes with more modern ideas, and all of it visually amazing. There were so many characters I loved: the fierce rebel woman! the middle-aged Queen, raising babies with one hand and cutting dudes' throats with the other! the elderly warrior, enslaved by a promise to always serve the throne! It's still showing in the NYC market, at least, and I very much recommend watching it if you get the opportunity.
(A warning: it does have a wicked cliffhanger, and Part 2 doesn't come out until next year.)

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
I've watched the first... three episodes? four episodes? of this so far and am enjoying it. It's not mind-blowing, but it's funny and sweet and totally the right sort of thing to put on when I don't want to devote too much attention to the TV.

Pride and Prejudice
Yes, the BBC miniseries from the 90s! I've somehow never seen this before, and so decided to get on that. I've only watched the first two episodes so far, but I like it. The characterization seems a bit shallower than in the book, but it really is capturing the humor. I've laughed so many times.

On a totally unrelated note, what the hell has happened to the LJ friends page? It's terrible looking and I can't figure out how to change it back.
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
Oh, man, I haven't done one of these posts in aaaages. So here's a very brief summary of some movies I've seen lately:

It Follows
An incredibly creepy horror movie that manages to have no gore at all! :D Who knew such things still existed? I adored this, and I like it more and more as time passes and I look back on it. The premise is that there's a curse passed on by having sex: a thing (a monster? a ghost?) that will constantly follow you. It can look like anything - strangers, friends, family members - and if it catches you, it'll kill you. The only way to get rid of it is by having sex with someone else, but of course to do so is to sentence them to death. It was clever and terrifying and disturbing, and I just liked it so much.

The movie pretty much has abhorrent politics (from the opening shot that's just labelled "Middle East" because it's all one country, right) and I am so not designed for suit-porn (personally, I thought Eggsy got less and less hot over the course of the film, which is clearly not the intended reaction), but with all of that said, it's a pretty amusing action movie that I enjoyed more than I expected to! I'm not engaged enough to actually join the fandom, but I'm totally not surprised that a lot of people ended up shipping it.

True Story
A weird little movie about a man accused of killing his family and the journalist investigating his story. I'm not sure how much I actually liked this - it definitely dragged in some places in the middle, with the endless long shots of the two main dudes sitting in an empty white room staring at each other - but if nothing else, it was interesting to see Jonah Hill in a drama.
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
Man, I've missed several weeks of this. Let me try and catch up briefly:

This is one of the only Bollywood movies to have been nominated for an Oscar, but it was mostly sold to me with the promise that if I watched it, I would finally understand cricket. Spoiler: I still do not understand cricket.

In a vaguely defined period in the late 1800s or very early 1900s, a small village in India is undergoing the third year of a drought. Because the local British officer is Very Cruel (as established in several scenes of him being laughably, mustache-twirling-ly villainous), he refuses to lower the taxes ("lagaan"). In an attempt to humilate our Loveable Underdog Hero, he makes a bet that the local villagers will not be able to beat the local British team in cricket - if they do win, taxes will be cancelled for the next three years. I'm pretty sure you can guess where the movie goes from here. The whole thing is sort of charmingly predictable ("our team will include a Muslim guy! And a Sikh! And a Dalit! Could we be a more obvious metaphor for independant India?"), but sometimes that's exactly what you want. I was surprised to realize the whole thing had been filmed in Bhuj, in Kutch, which is just a few miles away from where I lived for a couple of months, but I loved recognizing the landscape.

I really, really wanted to love a movie in which Will Smith plays a charming conman who falls in love. But sadly this movie didn't quite work for me. It was stylish and clever and very cool, but it was so concerned with fooling the audience with surprising twists – making sure you never knew when the chracters were telling the truth and when they were lying – that, in the end, I continued to not trust the characters. I mean, the movie really wants you to believe that now they mean what they say, but they haven't earned any sort of connection or emotional honesty, and so I was left feeling cold. But it is an incredibly pretty movie!

I've also started watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and, OMG YOU GUYS, it's so good! Phryne Fisher is an upperclass flapper in 1920s Melbourne, and in each episode she solves a mystery, adopts a delicate waif, and bangs a random dude, all while having snarky tension with the cheif police investigator. I'm in love. I've watched the first five episodes so far, and am looking forward to more.
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
Sleepy Hollow
I mostly enjoyed this episode, though I do feel like there was a lot of unexplained stuff happening. I mean... witches aren't human? When did that happen? I'd assumed witchery was just something you learned, maybe connected to an inborn talent, but not all of this "us vs them" and "I could never be happy with a mere mortal" stuff. So, okay, whatever, witches are a different species.

I'm also theoretically okay with Katrina turning evil, I just wish there'd been more build-up to it. "Our relationship isn't working, this must be because of fundamental differences between us" is a totally plausible motive, but it should have been mentioned before this episode. Same for George Washington's broken promises.

Stuff I did like: Frank is back! I'm very happy, I figured that he would have stayed evil for much longer. I'm not really happy about Henry dying, since I liked the character, but since Katrina as the Big Bad could be very cool, I don't mind too much. Plus, with this show, I wouldn't be surprised if Henry showed up again somehow. I'm also excited by the possibilities of Abbie in the past! I thought the parallels between her arrival and Crane's back in the first episode were cute and well-done, and I'm looking forward to seeing how she and 1780!Crane get along.

Book of Negroes
This was a miniseries that aired on BET last week, but I can hardly find anyone talking about it. Did anyone else watch it? I found it really enjoyable, though it did have some problems. It's the story of Aminata Diallo, a young woman in the middle of the 1700s, who gets captured as a slave and then spends her life traveling all over the place (South Carolina, New York City, Nova Scotia, Sierra Leone, London) and doing all sorts of things (getting married, having children, being a midwife, being a nurse, working for the British in the American Revolution, farming, starting a colony, writing her autobiography, etc). The production values were obviously very high – I especially loved the costumes, which were all gorgeous, but the various locations it was filmed in were also well done - and the acting was great. I particularly liked Cuba Gooding Jr as a helpful but sort of sleazy tavern owner in NYC. It did have the problem that often shows up in biopics (this wasn't really a biopic, but eh, close enough): by trying to show someone's entire life, from childhood to old age, there's necessarily a lot of summarizing and time skips, a constant changing of locations and secondary characters, and it's hard to feel invested in any particular moment. But overall I liked it, and I hope it got good ratings and reviews so that they'll make more shows like it.

Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights
I dunno, I watched this randomly on Saturday night when I had nothing else to do. I have no explanation for how I ended up with this movie. But! Despite what you might assume, it was actually fairly enjoyable. I mean, okay, yes, it's a dance movie, it's a shallow romcom, and it leans a little too heavily on ~Cuban people just feel the music, like, in their musical souls~ to be entirely comfortable. But for all that, it's a cross-class romance set during the Cuban Revolution with a deeply ambiguous (maybe even unhappy!) ending, and it is inexplicable that this movie even exists. You sort of have to watch it just for that.

Oh, and I watched the Oscars! That was... pretty boring, actually.
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
Man, apparently I watched almost nothing last week. Possibly because I was suffering from The Flu 2: Death by Cold, and I tend not to watch much when I'm sick. Tonight I do have to choose between which show I'm going to watch: the next episode of Sleepy Hollow, or the first episode of the Book of Negros, a mimiseries airing on BET that I've been very excited for.

Captain America: The First Avenger
I did finally watch this! And only five years behind everyone else. Which ended up sort of being a problem, because I'm pretty sure I had already seen literally every single scene in gifsets, meta, or fic. Which – I don't mind spoilers! I just expected there to be something more, something new that I didn't already know.

Okay, it was a surprise that Natalie Dormer was in the movie. Why did no one tell me that?

But overall it was a fine movie. I loved the sort-of-parody of the Captain America bond shows, and the 1940s-ness of it all: vita-rays! Floating cars! secret bases in the Alps! Unfortunately I still don't feel very fannish about the MCU. Which is really sad, because oh my god so much fic to read.
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
Whoa, I am way behind on this. Let me attempt to catch up!

Sleepy Hollow
Siiiiiiiiiiiigh. Okay. Things I liked: Crane wanting a motorcycle! Fight scene with zombies in Revolutionary War uniforms!
I'm indifferent on Henry's turn. It wasn't particularly surprising (clearly someone was going to switch sides, though I think I might have preferred Headless to Henry), but I suppose it could lead to interesting things. I'll wait and see.
Things I didn't like: basically everything else. But specifically, I didn't like the repeated focus on Crane's jealousy and lack of trust in Katrina. I'd support their break-up if I thought this meant they were actually going to be adults now (or if it was going to lead to Crane/Abbie), but I suspect it's just in the service of melodramatically getting back together in the season finale, which is not what I want. It's not even that I don't ship Ichabod/Katrina; I'd be perfectly happy with them as a couple if they could have a functional or interesting relationship, but instead the show just keeps repeatedly telling us how much in love they are while showing boring anti-chemistry.
I'm also not 100% opposed to Irving dying, since presumably his soul being owned by Henry means Irving will still be around as an undead ghost or something and that could be a really cool plot, but this whole season has already wasted his character so much that I have little faith. Also, if he had to die, why not just have their guess about him being able to use the magic sword be wrong? That would have been a much better plot than "death from random shallow cut". It could have led to interesting drama about the characters' willingness to risk people's lives on unfounded guesses! But no, dumb pointless death instead, why not.
Of all the things this show needed, the sudden introduction at this late point of the old "white=good; black=bad" metaphor for the trees was definitely not one of them.
At least Jenny was in this episode, even if only to stand around in the background and do nothing. And of course we had to bring in Hawley too. My theory is that someone on the show thinks Hawley fills the "snarky badass" role, and so they've given him a lot of what would have been Jenny's lines or actions.

The second half of the season starts tonight, and I'm really hoping things have improved over the break.

As is traditional, I saw a lot of movies over the holidays. When my parents pay for the tickets, I become much more into going to the movies! :D

Top Five
Really great. Chris Rock plays not-quite-himself, a famous comedian trying to promote his new, more serious movie. I was very impressed by how it managed to be both incredibly funny and also deeply sincere on various topics (alcoholism, fame, family, etc). Not every moment worked (personally, I was disconcerted by the running joke about how terrible his movie, on the Haitian rebellion, was, particularly given that I had just reread Crimson Angel a week or two before), but overall it was really wonderful. I particularly liked Rock's fiancee, a reality star who could have been a shallow caricature, but was sympathetic and insightful.

Into the Woods
Disappointing. I don't quite know why; I liked all the actors well enough, and I'm not hugely offended by any of the cuts or rearrangements, but it just didn't work for me. "Hello, Little Girl" and "I Know Things Now" were even more distressing than usual, because of how young the actress was (I mean, I guess she's actually 16? But she looked so little!), and while I understand the reasons behind trying to break up the two-act structure, I think it was ultimately a bad idea. The end of the movie just seemed to drag on without point or plot, and a lot of what should have been big revelations (witches can be right! giants can be good!) didn't even seem to make sense (what was she right about?).
Ah, well. There were some good parts! "Agony" was just perfect, absolutely fantastic, and "Last Midnight" was dramatic and awesome.

The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies
Also disappointing. The whole trilogy has been, for me, but at least the first two movies had great scenes here and there (especially the riddle scene in the first one, and the Smaug/Bilbo scene in the second), but this one lacked even that. Ultimately I think it would have been better as two movies, or in particular Smaug's death should have gone at the end of the second one instead of the beginning of this one. The battle scenes were mostly too video-game or bad slasher movie for me, and there wasn't much to this movie other than battle scenes. Oh, and a lot of Bilbo/Thorin, which would be more awesome if I shipped it.
The very ending, repeating the beginning of the first LotR movie, was sweet though!

The Imitation Game
Surprisingly not disappointing! Despite my total disinterest in WWII movies and biopics about tortured geniuses, as well as some negative reviews I'd read, I ended up liking this. It's still not the movie you have to see to make your life complete, but it was a perfectly pleasant and enjoyable two hours. I even liked Benedict Cumberbatch!
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
Sleepy Hollow
There was some cute stuff in this episode: I liked Irving and Jenny's discussion in the car of hope vs resignation, and the snake political cartoon as a map was cheesy ridiculousness of the best sort, as were sock-torches. But overall this episode was disappointing, like so many of the ones this season. I didn't like the focus on Ichabod and the Ichabod-vs-Abraham rivalry, I didn't like Abbie not getting to do anything useful like pick the right sword (though, okay, lighting the fire of their soulmate bond was pretty great), and I have no idea what the hell was up with the random appearance of a shofar. I just miss last season.
I'm falling behind! I actually haven't seen the fall finale (winter finale? whatever we're calling it) yet.

1.09-1.10 ("DNA Mad Scientist" and "They've Got a Secret")
Wow, these episodes were really good. I feel like this was the first glimpse I've gotten of why people recommend this series. I really liked Aeryn's reaction to everyone else going home and then almost dying, as well as the reveal of D'Argo's past. And okay, Aeryn/John is starting to grow on me. They were very cute washing her hand together.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part One
I didn't like this one as much as I enjoyed the first two movies, but it was still pretty good. The main problem came out of the source, in my opinion; though this didn't feel stretched the way I feared splitting the book into two would, it did feel like it didn't quite have a plot. There were just scenes following one after the other, without a particular arc or drive. On the other hand, Katniss/Peeta works way more for me in these movies than it ever did in the book, and the movie's version of The Hanging Tree was AMAZING. I had to get up and leave the theater during the scene with the protestors at the dam, though that had more to do with current events than the movie's inherent ~artful powers~. Though I suppose the producers appreciate their good luck, at having brought this movie out right at this moment.
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
Sleepy Hollow
I actually quite liked Katrina this episode (though why was she still wearing someone else's discarded clothing?): I liked her being helpful in a fight and with research, I liked her actually talking about her perspective with Ichabod and especially Abbie, I liked her dealing with the visions. I just don't like that by the end of the episode she ended up in the exact same place she was two episodes ago. Plots that erase development like that are generally never a good idea.

The lack of Jenny in this episode was very noticeable and annoying. Even if, for some reason, they couldn't have the actress, I wish they had dropped in even a single line of "Oh, we can't call Jenny, she's busy with X". I did ADORE Abbie's "Family isn't biology", and am so looking forward to lots of Mills sister action on tonight's episode.

I also much preferred the Abbie/Hawley dynamic when it seemed like she couldn't be bothered to deal with him. Which, to be fair, also describes most of this episode, but the wound-bandaging at the end seemed to promise more for the future.

1.05-1.07 (or, since Netflix continues to be weird, "I, ET", "Thank God It's Friday, Again", and "PK Tech Girl")
I really liked "I, ET", and the parallels between John and the alien woman. That was a great episode, and deserved to be #2, instead of wherever it ended up airing. "Thank God It's Friday, Again" was nice, although I feel like the weird 'hyper rage' thing at the beginning needed far more explanation and resolution, instead of just being a random plot-starter. And "PK Tech Girl" was great; who would have thought a muppet could have poignant torture flashbacks? I wasn't very into John/Tech Girl or Aeryn's random jealousy, but whatever. I suppose every TV show is required to have random love triangles. At least it was for a guest star instead of an ongoing plot.
(Should I spoiler cut these? I feel like everyone's probably either already seen it, or isn't watching it and so doesn't care.)

I also saw Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) which I... liked? I think? I'm still trying to figure out what exactly happened, to be honest. Did the main character mean to commit suicide, and if so, once or twice? What was the point of the magical realism aspect - the only interpretation I've been able to come up with so far is that it represents 'selling out', but I hate that concept and would hope that a movie as otherwise as enjoyable as this one wouldn't stoop to that. I didn't get bored while watching it, at least, even if I don't know entirely what I think of it.

I forgot to mention it here, but last week I saw A Fistful of Dollars, which I'd never seen before. I haven't seen most of the classic Westerns, actually (though I had seen Yojimbo before! Which this is a remake/AU of). Anyway, it was great, far less dated than I'd expected, and both more clever and less nihilistic than I'd been led to believe.
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
Iron Man 3
Ah, this was fantastic! I think I like this the best of all three movies. Well, hmmm, I dunno. The first one is really good. I liked this better than Thor 1 and The Avengers, the only other MCU movies I've seen, certainly! And it was randomly a Christmas movie! I had not expected that. This movie feels really dense; there's a ton of subplots that could have been expanded on (like, what was up with the giant Christmas rabbit? "Iron Patriot"! The Vice President being arrested at the end - I somehow entirely missed that plot point beforehand). It's good – it makes it feel complicated and real. I liked the big twist, and it continues the series's theme of the enemy being more the "War on Terror" than "terrorism".

After that I started The Feast of All Saints, which – did you know there was a movie of this? I did not know there was a movie of this. I watched about fifteen very confusing minutes while going "What is happening? What are they talking about? Who are all these people?" before realizing that somehow I was watching Part Two. I'll have to find Part One and try again.

Parks & Rec
5.02: Soda Tax. Two years ago I became obsessed with Parks & Rec and binge-watched the entire thing. Then I caught up to currently airing episodes and promptly forgot to keep up. Now that I'm two seasons behind it's time to binge-watch again! This was very sweet, I love everything about April/Andy, Chris is hilarious, and Tom is my favorite.
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
True Blood

Oh, Sarah Newlin. You have somehow managed to get even crazier. I almost want her to actually turn out to be some sort of messiah, just because I can't think of a weirder ending for the show than that.
Tara's plotline is just bizarre. She needed to come back as a ghost and spend the entire season haunting Lettie Mae so that she could tell her... what? About a memory Lettie Mae already remembered? What was even the point of that? I was hilariously amused by the poor family that had to stand around and watch a bunch of strangers get high and dig holes in their front yard.
Well, that Violet plotline wrapped up quickly. Can't say I really care.
Jessica/Hoyt is sweet, but I am totally rooting for Jessica/Jason.
The Sookie/Eric scene in Fangtasia where he pretends to glamor her was EXCELLENT. I love that narrative trope - I can't think of the name of it (if there is one), but where two friends/allies/lovers are in front of a bunch of bad guys and have to improvise a story on the spur of the moment; I love that combination of danger and their trust in one other, and all while pretending to be strangers or on opposite sides.
Sookie is totally going to have Bill's magic baby.
And meanwhile Bill has decided to be suicidal, because there apparently wasn't enough plot of wrap up in two episodes yet.

The Musketeers

The Homecoming: Man, this "shoot the melon on his head" scene is INCREDIBLY slashy. I'm kinda shipping Porthos/Aramais now.
Awww, tragic bb!Porthos backstory!
The Court of Miracles! I've had a weird fascination with it since I read The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I'm not sure of the historical accuracy, but I totally love its inclusion here. (Actually, having checked Wikipedia, apparently it's more accurate for the 1600s than the 1400s. You have let me down, Hugo.)
Damn, who is this dude playing Charon? He is super hot (I have totally already claimed him as a Benjamin January fancast).
Aaaaaand now I want the Flea/Charon/Porthos backstory.
Man, Athos, you could have broken the news about his son's death to this guy a lot more kindly. Way to be a dick.
"God's on my side." / "Is he any good with a sword?" Haaaa.
This is such a good episode otherwise; I wish it hadn't come down to fighting over Flea. The home vs opportunity conflict is so much more interesting than "who gets the girl".
Alas, Charon died, no sweet reunion fic. I still want the AU.

The Exiles: BABY. CUTE BABY.
Oh my godddddd the king is such a baby. Not a cute baby, though.
Why are d'Artagnan and Aramis keeping the whole stolen-baby thing a secret? Why would they take the mom to Constance instead of the Captain or the Cardinal or anyone with power? THIS PLOT MAKES NO SENSE.
DUN DUN DUN SECRET HEIR. No iron mask, though?
Hey, go Constance, kicking the bad guy's ass! AND HAAAAA KNEEING D'ARTAGNAN.

A Rebellious Woman: "You are too generous, your majesty." / "I know. It's a weakness." OMG LOUIS.
"That's so medieval." HAAAAAAA.
Oh, a knee bone, hooray. No one ever gives me knee bones. Not even poisoned knee bones.
Man, Ninon, seriously? Athos is the least hot of the Musketeers.
He's not even hot, and then he takes you to the morgue on the first date? You can do way better, Ninon.
"This is the Cardinal we're talking about – why are we running?" Hahahaha!
Aww, Constance/D'Artagnan is very sweet. And then hot.

Guardians of the Galaxy
This was just a lovely little treat of a movie, silly and funny and enjoyable. I don't have any particularly deep thoughts on it, but I liked watching it. If I was into 80s music, I probably would have liked it even more! :D
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
True Blood

Things I never needed: Eric and Pam's 80s hair. Also Eric having sex on a tractor.
Possibly I hate Jason's girlfriend even more this week than I did last week. What, no medieval Catholic men had children? I somehow doubt her claims. I want Jason and Jessica to hook up again, because they were incredibly sweet, and also then James is free to hook up with Lafayette. I am really enjoying their chemistry, though I don't believe James's angst over Jessica "not being really present" when he doesn't seem to have noticed that she'd been missing for over a day.
I really loved the scene with Lettie May's husband. I'd been thinking of him as a forgettable background character, but the actor and writers were able to give him so much depth and background in just this one speech. It was very impressive.
Goodbye Hoyt's mom! You were a terrible person, but so much fun to hate.
Goodbye Alcide! You were a pretty good person, but sadly I never cared much about your plotlines, so I don't really care that you're dead.
Hello Sarah Newman! I love you and am glad you're back. Also it's hilarious that the one thing that can motivate Eric is killing you.

Hey, remember I was watching this, ages ago? I finally started again!

The French Connection Job: The "12 for a kilo" is totally going to turn out to be not drugs but some sort of ingredient, isn't it? Truffles, saffron, caviar...
Okay, I have no idea if it's standard to tip a bike messenger, but giving someone change for a tip is worse than not tipping them at all. Hardison, don't be a dick! If you can buy lasers, you can tip the guy.
"What's your name?" / "Chef." HA.
Truffles! Ha, called it.
Haaaa, of course Hardison is into molecular gastronomy.
Oh, man, I love Eliot beating up the dude in-between cooking and barely even noticing it.
Ew, salsa verde on spring rolls? WTF, Eliot. And then bone marrow?
And aww, Parker found her passion.

I liked this less than most of the internet, unfortunately. It's a fun action movie, but that's all I got out of it - I didn't connect to any of the characters, and felt that the world-building only holds together as long as you don't think about it too hard. On the other hand, the acting was pretty great all around, and there were some brilliant moments.

How to Train Your Dragon
Oh, this was so lovely. I adored the animation - the dragons, of course, obviously, and the flying, but also all the little moments of historical detail in the houses or ships or background. I liked how certain things were just shown and never commented upon, the ubiquity of women fighters and disabilities in particular. I loved that the entire point of the movie was about the necessity of kindness. It was sweet and funny and occasionally weird in the best of ways.
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
True Blood

So, the episode starts off with nearly ten minutes of gay porn, starring Eric and Jason. When did Jason drink Eric's blood, to necessitate such a dream? Not that I'm really complaining, mind. I do love how Jason is absolutely, ridiculously bad at being seductive, considering how good he is at flirting with women. Nothing's as funny as the "I hear the water in Alabama is very... hard" line in the Bill/Sam dream, though.

The empty town scenes were very creepy. The graffiti reminded me of Silent Hill: very similar scenes of wondering around desolate urban places with just a few lines of text to hint at what had happened. I'm not really sure how the vampires managed to kill the entire town though: surely no one was inviting them inside? And they don't seem to have been burning homes or otherwise forcing people to come outside.

"Our mayor is a dog-bear!" Oh, True Blood.

This episode was much better than last week's.

Penny Dreadful

The finale!

Good lord, how long was Vanessa supposed to have been sick, if Dorian had time to go to Italy? I'm very amused by Dorian Grey the lovesick puppy, especially when he wiped away a tear and was all "WHAT IS THIS EMOTION?".

I'm glad Caliban did not actually kill or otherwise harm the actress, and that he has enough conscious to regret what he did do. I didn't expect that; I totally thought she was doomed.

Aw, poor Brona. I am unclear on why Ethan smothered her, though - she was dying already, so why couldn't he just have waited an hour or so? Unless he was lying to Ethan, and she wasn't really that close to death? Either way, I hope she gets to be cool next season and not just a mindless monster.

I was really surprised that Malcolm actually killed Mina, but it was nice to get at least one plotline wrapped up. Overall, I was a little disappointed in the episode: it felt flat compared to last week's, and so little was actually resolved. On the other hand, I liked the creepy priest and the cliffhanger ending, so I'm looking forward to next season.

Begin Again
A sort-of romantic comedy, sort-of indie about the music industry, a movie starring Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo. I found it insufferable, mainly because Ruffalo's character was a self-absorbed alcoholic dick (and, like, I am VERY SYMPATHETIC to your alcoholic woobies. I give a lot of leeway!) and Knightly's character had no personality or depth. The narrative mainly focused on how being authentic is just, like, so much more real and better than selling out, a trope I hate, and featured a subplot about how Ruffalo's daughter's clothes were too revealing, because ~teenage girls need father figures~. On the other hand, Knightly's ex-boyfriend was a hilarious parody of rich hipster musicians, so that was fun.
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
Game of Thrones

Man, even the "previously ons" made me feel bad for Tyrion: all those people he's pissed off, all those people with reasons to betray him, or genuinely believe he killed Joffrey.

BRAAVOS YES AWESOME. I don't think Stannis actually traveled to Braavos in the books (I think? I don't remember it, anyway) but I approve of this change if just because I loved seeing Braavos and actually having a scene in the Iron Bank.

I guess the Asha (Yara? whatever) and Theon scene was vaguely useful for demonstrating Theon's level of brokenness, but it just feels like it was too short to be worthwhile and yet also much longer than it needed to be. A waste of time, basically, and way too similar to the Jon/Bran scene from last week. So many characters not quite connecting! Also, when Ramsay showed up shirtless and all bloody, were we supposed to infer he'd killed the woman he was having sex with, or what was that about? The Ramsay/Theon bathing scene was SO CREEPY JESUS. All of the Ramsay stuff is working for me much better this season; it seems actually terrifying rather than just gory.

Whoa, we are skipping way ahead on the Dany plotline, huh? Are we even going to do the whole betrayal thing? I don't see how they can't do it, so maybe they're somehow rearranging events so it happens for maximum end-of-season dramaticness. Also, I really need more focus on how her savior-attempts are failing, show, please. (Also, I totally thought that poor shepherd boy was getting eaten by the dragon. Glad he was not!)

The Small Council scene was pretty great, but I thought it was strange how causally they dropped in the detail that Jorah was spying on Dany. Varys/Oberyn was fantastic, though.

Ah, the trial scene was really fantastic, of course. In a painful, heart-breaking way. AND JAIME TRYING TO SAVE TYRION BY AGREEING TO LEAVE THE KINGSGUARD oh my heart. And Peter Dinklage is amazing and wonderful and so good.

OMG SHAE. I... had thought the show was going to play this scene much differently, given how much else about Shae's plotline they've changed. I'm not sure I really like it. I feel like I don't understand Shae's motivation here; in the book it's easy enough to say she was threatened, she was paid, but book!Shae is a very different character than show!Shae. They seem to have been playing it as all about her revenge for Tyrion calling her a whore, but that... just doesn't feel like enough, to me, given what we know about her. I really want some scenes about what's been happening to her – which of course is one of the benefits of the show, that we're not limited to a relatively few POVs. I don't know. I am dissatisfied with this at the moment.

Penny Dreadful
A really great first episode, if a little too given to melodrama (as is only appropriate, I suppose, given the title) and Extreme Closeups. I liked all the characters (even if I didn't quite learn all their names yet, so there's cowboy-dude and rich-dude), particularly Vanessa, and they have some awesomely creepy vampires. Also, I like how this show is distinguishing itself from HBO's gratuitous tits by the use of gratuitous corpse penis.

The Other Woman
The idea for this movie had so much potential! And yet the execution... really, don't bother. (Unless like me you just want to see a movie and are frustrated in your ambitions by Belle not yet showing near you.) Way too many offensive jokes, poop jokes, jokes about how dumb women are... etc. Also, no women I know would ever criticize another women's choice of body-hair. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's depressing and enraging to watch. So not really what I look for in a comedy!
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
I'm doing that old December talking meme, but for May! Feel free to ask me something; I have lots of empty days.

May 3rd - "movies! Which are your favourite films, which do you loathe with a passion, what movies would you wish into existence if you could" for [livejournal.com profile] somebraveapollo. Oh my God, May 3rd, I am so far behind already.

I am, in general, not as into movies as I am into other media; I tend to have problems focusing on visual media. I always get distracted in the middle and wander off and start doing something else instead of paying attention. This is not a problem in theaters! Because it's nice and dark and very focused. But alas, movies are so expensive these days. I used to see a movie every single Friday with a group of friends; we had this whole routine where we'd always see something, just to hang out and have something to talk about, even if all the movies available that week were dumb or not our favored genres. But tickets have more than doubled in price (almost tripled, actually) since then, though it's been less than ten years. That seems... an inordinate amount of inflation. I wonder if it's because of the rise of piracy? Surely higher ticket prices only drive more people toward piracy? Anyway, I'm not an economist, so who knows why it is. But it does mean I see less movies than I used to!

I don't think I have a single favorite movie, in a general sense. It depends on what mood I'm in. I love to watch Drop Dead Gorgeous when I'm sick or not feeling well; it's a mockumentary about a small town high school beauty pageant, and it's so silly and over-the-top and just ridiculous that it always makes me feel better. I love The Fall for sheer visuals, the Pirates of the Caribbean series for action and PIRATE KINGS YES, Boondock Saints for its incredibly blatant twincest and visuals (though, uh, terrible ethics. It's definitely a movie I have to not think too hard about). I absolutely adore Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet, in all its crazy modern-AU weirdness. The movie I've probably seen the most times is The Christmas Story, as my dad is obsessed with it, and we watch the 24-hour marathon (or, well, less "watch" and more "have on in the background") of it that's on TNT every Christmas. I went through an intense obsession for a while with Silence of the Lambs (alas, back when it had no fandom. I should be into it now!) and have loved some obvious ones: Dogma, The Little Mermaid, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Unbreakable, The Exorcist, The Blair Witch Project.

There's definitely some movies I've seen that were not worth the time it took to watch them: Splice (incest rape by mutant baby!), Battlefield Earth (John Travolta with alien dreads!), the Saw movies (okay, I've only seen Saw 2, but it was so terrible I wanted to leave the theater; I don't think I've ever seen another movie that so despised its audience), but I can't think of any movie I've really loathed. Okay, maybe Saw 2.

For which movies I would make, OBVIOUSLY A BEN JANUARY MOVIE. Though no, clearly it should be an HBO series, so you could do one book per season and have lots of time to do worldbuilding and character moments. I think Swordspoint would make a pretty good movie! It's short and self-contained enough that I don't think you'd have to cut too much, and the clothes and setting could really do with the big budget of a movie, so they could be as lovely as should be.

Ha, I feel like this has been a boring answer. I don't think a lot about movies, unfortunately! I do really like to listen when other people can discuss interesting topics, like color schemes and angles and framing shots, but alas, I don't know enough myself about those details to do so.
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)

"The First Contact Job": Dust mites! "Manda-da-biles!" "Winner chooses our next date!" OMG SO CUTE. "It's a very distinctive static." AHAHAHAHAHA. "Two good old boys, behind the wheel, chasing down bad guys in Lucille!" Oh my god, this is beyond cute, Eliot and Hardison singing! HA ELIOT ASKING FOR AN ORANGE SODA. HE LEARNED HOW TO BE A GEEK FROM HARDISON. Hahaha, Hardison and Parker are totally Men in Black. "Candlelit picnic nuder the stars"! Awww, Hardison is such a romantic.

Game of Thrones

I'm not sure what's going on with this Cersei/Margaery scene. Obviously someone is playing someone, but I can't really figure out what either of their motivations are. Or why Cersei suddenly seems so nice – not even minding Margaery calling her sister!

I like that we're getting to the point where Dany's trope is starting to fall apart, but nothing much really happened in this scene.

Aw, apparently the show is skipping Littlefinger's and Sansa's whole visit to the Fingers. I liked that part, especially as a way of getting an insight into Littlefinger's background and motivations. But Lysa is awesomely creepy, and her "wedding night screams" were hilarious. The second scene with the lemon-cakes was wonderful, in a scary, scary way. Poor Sansa.

I looooved this Oberyn scene: finally he is not in a brothel! Also: poetry! The Sand Snakes! The Water Gardens! I also really liked Cersei here; it's nice to see other dimensions of her than just plotting.

Brienne and Pod are awesome, of course; Jon and Bran are sort of boring. I did like the terrible implications of Bran using Hodor to kill someone, and I do like that the women at Craster's Keep get more agency and a better ending.

Overall, though, it was very much a midseason episode: setting up pieces without anything of much importance occurring.

Only Lovers Left Alive
This was a charming movie. That's really the only word for it. There's only the barest outline of a plot, and nothing much happens, but it's very enjoyable to watch nonetheless. Adam is a rock'n'roll Hamlet, sulking and mopey and vaguely suicidal, cynical in a self-centered sort of way; Eve is sweet and optimistic and happy; Ava is a petulant, bratty younger sister. Together, they fight crime are vampires! Also, so is Christopher Marlowe, for some reason. I really enjoyed it.
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)
Game of Thrones

I really liked this episode!

Man, Ramsay with the dogs already? I feel like the show is going to catch up with the books incredibly fast. Or else the Ramsay and Bran storylines are just going to outpace everyone else.

Fat Walda! Yay!

I thought the Theon/Ramsay shaving scene was an excellent way of showing how broken Theon is without being able to use his internal monologue. Also just a great, tense scene.

I kind of don't care about anything happening with Melisandre and Stannis, just get back to the wedding, y'all.

Oh, I don't know how I feel about this Tyrion/Shaw scene. On the one hand, it's really obvious he's only saying these things to drive her away, and if we're going to have him regretting things later, I would like it to be things he himself said rather than things his father said. On the other hand, I wish Shae had done something other than stand there and cry. It doesn't seem like the character she's been set up as. At least she slapped Bronn, I guess? (Shae is totally not on that ship when it leaves, by the way. My guess is Tywin already has her.)

I really liked the Cersei/Tywin/Oberyn/Ellaria scene. Oberyn's actor is growing on me, and I loved the line about "Some places frown on those of low birth, others consider the rape and murder of women and children distasteful". Cersei calling him "tolerant" as an insult was too perfect.

I liked the change in the wedding entertainment– it managed to insult not just Tyrion, but basically every single person there. All the reaction shots were wonderful.

And then Joffrey dies! Goodbye, Jack Gleeson, you were awesome.

Sigh, I always have such high hopes for horror movies and they almost always disappoint me. That said, I did like this one better than any other that's come out in the last few years: it actually managed to use suspense and terrible situations rather than gore and jump scares. I also liked that there was never an explanation given for why exactly the mirror was evil (and let's just go along with the "evil mirror" situation) because that's definitely a set-up that's just going to get silly instead of scary if you spend too much time trying to explain it. It could have been a bit scarier– there was a few scenes where the director dragged out a super-long take to build tension, and it just wasn't happening– and the ending wasn't as good as it could be, but overall a very nice horror movie.
brigdh: (I need things on a grander scale)

"The (Very) Big Bird Job": Portland? Are they going to pretend to be hipsters? Because that would be hilarious. OMG IT'S A MICROBREWERY THEY ARE HIPSTERS. "Thief juice!" OMG ELIOT IS A FOODIE (I mean, obviously, but this is still hilarious). "The Tony Stark of the 40s?" Haaaaaaaaaa but accurate. Oh, man, I totally want Sophie to buy a theater. Hahaha, Eliot spit out the beer! And then dun dun dun!: mysterious ending!

Game of Thrones
I disapprove of the new Daario actor. Daario needs to look like he could be in a boyband. I'm not sure if I like Oberyn yet.

Bronn was awesome! I love the scene with Joffrey and the Book of Brothers. However, I don't think I liked the Tyrion/Shae scene. She seemed more petty than how I think of her, and I wish Tyrion had been more tempted or sympathetic to her rather than just pushing her off.

TOTALLY SHIPPING BRIENNE/MARGAERY NOW. I'm also shipping Dany/Missandei. I was shipping them in the books before I read more closely and realized that Missandei is, like, eight. Even if Dany is 14 that's too sketchy for me. I approve of the show aging her up.

I find it really interesting how similar the last scene with Arya was to the newly-released chapter. Was the reason they released it last week just to get it out ahead of this episode, I wonder?

Oh, Ser Dontos. You were almost kinda sweet here. Alas for your future.


The Grand Budapest Hotel
I am generally not much of a Wes Anderson fan, and saw this movie only because I was with others. But I liked it much more than I expected to! I don't normally dislike his movies, exactly; it's just that I find them unengaging and tend to occasionally zone out while watching them. But this one worked much better for me, probably because of the book-end train scenes which give everything between them so much more depth. The first in particular made my throat tight- apparently I have a particular horror of that situation, where you thought you could protect someone but such turns out not to be the case. And then the second, nearly identical scene, was very much the perfect answer.

Anyway. I recommend it! It's a very pretty movie too, of course.

And I got to see the trailer for Belle, which I am so excited for!
brigdh: (Default)
I have missed posting about three weeks of this! On the other hand, most of my TV shows have been on hiatus, so I haven't actually had that much to post about.

Extremely brief movie reviews:
American Hustle: Eh. I liked the concept a lot (conmen! How could I not like it?), but found the execution fairly boring. Acting was very good, though.
Frozen: Lovely and wonderful and had fantastic music, but I wouldn't say it's the best Disney movie in the last twenty years, like some reviews have been arguing.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: There were a lot of great individual scenes or images or elements, but overall I was pretty disappointed. (However, I did see the movie while sick and high on cold medicine, so possibly I'm not the most objective viewer.) I still think this should have been one or two movies instead of three.

OMG THIS SHOW IS AMAZING HOW HAVE I NEVER WATCHED THIS BEFORE?? I love Hardison and "Age of the geek, baby" and "Well, somebody got to fight the injured, shoot, that's my niche.", I love Eliot and "I don't like guns", I love strange, strange Parker, I love Sophie and her terrible acting and coaching Eliot on how to flirt.
I love the entire idea of the show. It's ridiculous and over-the-top and completely unrealistic, but the entire premise is how insurance companies and banks and big companies are evil, and our team of conmen will fight for individuals. I was reading something recently that described the mystery genre as "fantasies of justice", and that is such the perfect description of Leverage.
(Also, I have only seen up to episode 1.06- "The Stork Job", about the Serbian orphanage- so no spoilers past that, please.)


brigdh: (Default)

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