retsuko: (yay doctor!)
Today, I had the first real day off in a long, long while, and Yebisu and I had a lovely time seeing two different pieces of entertainment that centered around the same trope, the aligning of the planets/stars. How each version of the story used and abused the trope was an interesting bit of comparison.

First off, there's Thor: The Dark World. My expectations for this were really pretty low. I wanted something fun and relatively light, and even with the ominous title, I hadn't seen or heard anything that indicated it would be dark and serious. It was, perhaps, heavily told at times, but there was nowhere near the awkwardly exhausting constant moral dilemma-posing of The Dark Knight or Watchmen. I suppose the worst things that could be said of this installment of Thor had to with the following spoilers. )

Anyway, the aligning of the planets in Thor:TDW lead to some very interesting/amusing chase sequences near the end, and some fun science-y stuff at the beginning, and so that was a plot trope well used! So much fun!

A quick side note: if anyone can explain to me what the hell was going on in the first credits extra scene, with Sif and The Collector, and the Stone of Plot Driving, please do so in the comments. I pride myself on being up on my comic book meta-plot knowledge, but this completely stymied me. (I mean, it's a Guardians of the Galaxy tie-in, but what its significance is was utterly unclear.)

Then, there was the finale of Legend of Korra. This show has had a very uneven season; it's felt rushed in many places, and just when I thought there were too many characters already, the writers decided to add at least five more. Like many fans, I've been getting antsy since the show was moved into the Friday Night Death Slot. I know that Nick wants easily marketable things, and I suppose this is another entry for another time, about gender and capitalism and feminism and so forth. But anyway, in the last five episodes, the show finally regained its footing, and there were cliffhangers galore with stakes so high that I felt sure there'd be a string of dramatic/child-unfriendly deaths. Spoilers for the entire season. )

All in all, it was a good ending that leaves a lot of plot openings for future seasons and I HOPE it doesn't get cancelled. Now, more than ever, I cannot wait to watch this show, and the one that preceded it, with my son. I think I'm almost as excited about this as reading Harry Potter with him. :)
retsuko: (moko sake!)
In the stand-alone book department, I finished Who Could That Be At This Hour?, the Lemony Snicket sort-of-prequel to A Series of Unfortunate Events. It was an odd read: familiar themes were hit on (adults being utterly indifferent/unhelpful to children, wacky definitions of "difficult" words, vague conspiracies tip-toed around) and at least one of the characters was made of win. (For the record, 'Ellington Feint' is my new favorite pseudonym.) But the whole affair never quite congealed properly, at least for my tastes, and at times felt overly forced. Still, there are some very funny bits, and perhaps the sequel will illuminate some (most definitely not all, this being Daniel Handler's work) of the odd conspiracies and contrivances that this volume hinted at.

Switching genres, I have finally gotten around to seeing the live-action Rurouni Kenshin movie, and I am most pleased. Spoilers, although if you've read the manga or seen the anime all the way through, you won't really learn anything new. The good news is, you don't need to read or seen it previously to appreciate it as a movie. )
retsuko: (squee!)
The Thursday schedule is here!

Highlights include:

3:45-4:45 Entertainment Weekly: Wonder Women: Female Power Icons in Pop Culture— EW will moderate a conversation with Sigourney Weaver (Avatar), Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost), Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), and other stars about the actresses who have redefined the rules and the female characters that have shattered the glass ceiling for all women. Basically: a discussion with women who kick ass.

*dies* Ripley, Juliet, and Veronica Mars?! *dies of awesome* THE COOL FEMINIST QUOTIENT IS ACHIEVED!

12:00-2:00 CBLDF Master Session: The Painter's Process with Jill Thompson and Charles Vess— Bring your sketchbook and your questions to this first-hand view of the creative process of two of comics' greatest painters! Jill Thompson (Magic Trixie) and Charles Vess (Sandman) take you step by step through the painting process at this live art demonstration. Witness how each artist brings a painting to life on the big screen. The original art from this session will be auctioned off on Saturday night in the CBLDF's auction!

Oh, how badly do I want the $$$ to bid on that?! And the chance to see two great artists at work is amazing--I've always been curious what the creative process would be for that sort of thing.

4:30-5:30 Imagination in Illustration: a Brief History of Fantastic Art— Catch Comic-Con special guest Charles Vess's intriguing visual presentation on the history of Fantastic Art (1850 to present day). Featuring his favorite English fairy tale artists, American pulp masters and visionary painters, many not found in textbooks. Prepare to be swept away.

Wow, this is definitely one that I'm hoping I can go to... not sure I'll have the energy at that point, or what other plans will present themselves, but definitely going to try (uncomfortable overlap with the cool women panel, too.)


It occurs to me that the panel I really want to go to is entitled something like, "All the people who you admire and want to ask questions of come and hang out in your living room for an evening/weekend/your preference". Something tells me I will never get this panel. ^-^;;
retsuko: (not my style)
Random thoughts as I watched "Quantum of Solace":

+ If Daniel Craig wears a tux for more than fifteen minutes in this film, I will recommend it to all and sundry.

+ If Daniel Craig gets naked, I will buy a copy of the DVD.

+ OK, half-naked. Well, maybe not buy a copy of the DVD, but rent again at some point.

+ Hey! No one makes Judi Dench look like a chump!

+ Whoa, there, editors! You're giving me ADHD with your fight scene cuts.

+ OMG: BEST opera scene EVAR. When I am an EVIL supervillain, I will make all my evil supervillain compatriots come to an opera to meet, and it will be a crazy staging of "Tosca" with a giant eye on stage for no apparent reason, and we will be all bad-ass and cool until the dashing hero interrupts our evil plotting -- OH SNAP!

+ Sufficient tux time. I shall recommend it to all and sundry! AHEM: DANIEL CRAIG, IN A TUX. NEED I SAY MORE?!

+ Lots of property damage in this one. Whole lotta glass blowing into small pieces.

+ I was amused at the filmmakers' insistence on lingering on small details in the background of scenes as things were going on. At one point, Bond drives down a street in Haiti, in pursuit of the female lead. The camera stops for a moment, focusing on a man ironing a shirt outside a run-down house. Other random people featured in this film were an old Italian woman who was sad that Bond's chase after a rogue agent caused her wine bottle to get broken, a village of Bolivian natives who don't have enough water to drink, and a chatty bartender in the first class cabin of a plane.

+ I wonder what Bond's resume would look like. Could he actually put most of the stuff he did in this film on the resume, and what would he be applying for? Where do old super spies retire? (Film's answer: Greece, with a requisite hottie to take care of them. I don't entirely buy that.)

It was entertaining, and I enjoyed it. I wasn't going into it expecting too much, and I was pleasantly surprised. It's by no means the best Bond film, and there's a little bit of Bourne lurking around the edges, but except for the abnormally hyperactive edits, it's a solid piece of work. However, like the icon says: killing's not elegant or creative. It's not my style. I feel more voyeuristic than usual watching this movie because there are about five layers between me and the main character, layers that can never be shoved aside.

In the Trailer Park Department: "Star Trek" trailer. It may just be the trailer, but the hyperactive editing people have gotten into this movie, too. Everyone looks "good" and the space battle looks pretty darn intense. I dunno--it's obviously not the original Trek I grew up making fun of, and that's probably a good thing. On the other hand, seeing Spock attempt to strangle someone seems horrifically out of character, and almost fanfic-level dumb. Anyway, worth tracking down on the interblag to watch in more detail.

Curiously, the woman next to me had never heard of "Star Trek". The man next to her had the following conversation with her:

Him: Oh, that looks good, do you know "Star Trek"?
Her: No, I've never heard of it.
Him: It's some science fiction-y thing.
Her: Huh.

And I wanted to say, what rock have you been living under? Because even if they don't like the show, I think most people have heard of it and could name one or two characters from it. It's the same thing with Quentin Tarantino, Guns 'n' Roses, and Cats. At least in my universe it is.

Comic Con: Day 3/4!

Sunday, July 27th, 2008 02:29 pm
retsuko: (yuuko)

My legs may never speak to me again. My wallet and I had a small falling out but then reconciled over thrifty-ness of buying Xmas presents in July. I got all my missions accomplished, and so did [ profile] yebisu9. And I had the BEST time! I think this year was even better than last year!

But, in chronological order:

Saturday: MAH BIRFDAY! Lynda Barry's autograph! Quick Draw! Meeting with friends! )

After this, Yebisu and I were pretty tired and decided to head home a little early. Then, because it was my birthday, we decided to see "The X-Files: I Want to Believe". And I was pleasantly surprised. Without any great spoilers, I will say that the central conflict of the plot (i.e. the monster of the week) was a little wimpy, scare-wise, but the central idea of the film--faith, and its consequences--was executed in fine fashion. I was thrilled to see Mulder and Scully again. I was also thrilled they were filming in Vancouver again! A pivotal chase scene takes place on a darkened Granville Avenue! All in all, not a completely definitive ending for the series, but a fairly satisfying film. And then we drove home, and fell asleep, exhausted.

Sunday: Further shopping and hanging out! And great swag/freebies! And free comics, of course! )

Best Con yet! We had a great time!

... And now I will deal with the inevitable let-down of looking around and wondering, "Why aren't more of these people in costume?"

Comic Con: Day 1!

Thursday, July 24th, 2008 05:35 pm
retsuko: (squee!)
I want to say this right up front: don't go to Comic Con when you're sick. It's so draining, and there's all this amazing and fun stuff around you, and you can't do any of it because you're too tired... That said, even though we left early because I felt tired and sick, I still had a WONDERFUL time!

We got up early enough to park down at Fashion Valley, only to find that everyone else had the same idea and the train was crowded--almost Tokyo subway crowded, but not quite. The convention center was packed, too--lines of people waiting for the doors to the Exhibit Hall to open, lines of people waiting to pick up their passes. (Pictures are here, and of course I'll keep adding to it as I go along.) As usual, the staff moved us through very quickly and we barely had to stand in line at all. From there, it was straight to Ballroom 20!

I should pause and say here that I have/had two "missions" to accomplish during this Con: 1) to attend the Who/Torchwood panels and 2) to hear Lynda Barry. The first has been majorly accomplished, as is evidenced below; the second will be accomplished tomorrow. :) (Add onto these two a "semi-mission" involving the Con exclusive My Little Pony for sale at the Hasbro booth, one of which I have already seen on eBay for $25! I shall endeavor to purchase two tomorrow, one for me, and one for Shanghai Vixen... wish me luck!)

Ballroom 20 holds about 2,000 people, and I'm pretty sure that during the first panel (Stan Lee and Grant Morrison) that it was at 75% capacity, and during the second two panels (Who/Torchwood), it was at 99% capacity. [ profile] yebisu9 and I were quick to grab seats around the tenth row, left-hand side, and we stayed there the entire time--something which we sort of regretted later, as hunger and dehydration threatened. While we were waiting for the first panel to start, I chatted with the cool people behind me, notably [ profile] ratchet and her friend S., and the woman next to me, who had a fabulous camera and was (I suspect) getting far better pictures than I was.

The Stan Lee/Grant Morrison panel was fantastic. Every time I see Stan Lee, I get all happy to be included in the "club" that he's in--OK, not really, but he's always got this great vibe about him that makes me happy to love the stuff he's written and to hear him talk about it. (Also, every time I see him, I think to myself, You're so awesome that I forgive you for 'Stripperella'.) He kept ribbing Grant Morrison for making him (Stan Lee) look bad, first by wearing a suit, then by giving complicated answers, and then by being a better writer. He also joked about his hearing aid being a translation device for Grant Morrison's Scottish accent. Grant Morrison was very good-natured about the whole thing and kept pace. I'm really curious now as to what their collaboration turns up, work-wise. I have, in all honesty, never heard of Virgin Comics and wondered if it was the same millionaire guy who owns Virgin Records, Virgin Air, etc. Not sure what it will look like, but it should be interesting at the very least!

But then... the Who/Torchwood panels! Spoilers ahead, for both latest Who and Torchwood series! And I mean SPOILERS. )

The best part of the Torchwood panel was when John and Naoko sang "Last Night of the World" from "Miss Saigon" together! *dies of happy* (That was how they first met, when she was just 17 years old!) I was especially pleased because I was really curious to hear her singing voice, after learning that she was in the London production of "Avenue Q" and she sounded great!

After the awesome trio of panels, Yebisu and I took a brief spin around the Exhibit Hall. I attempted to get in line at the Hasbro booth to buy the Con Exclusive My Little Pony, only to discover that I had to have a ticket, and that they had run out for the day. This was a little disappointing, but nothing too terrible. There was a giant model of Castle Greyskull from 'He-Man' that I really, really need to get a photo of. I was tempted by the Yotsuba action figure, but decided to hold off and see if I was still tempted in the next few days. Dark Horse, as usual, had a very con-friendly booth that was easy to walk around in and buy all their cool stuff. :)

And at about this point, total fatigue set in, for both Yebisu and I, and we decided to head home for the day. A short trip to Trader Joe's later, we were happily at home, hurriedly rehydrating.

Tomorrow! Lynda Barry! Meeting up with [ profile] psychoe! (And [ profile] jtaylor2? [ profile] ashearstone?) Yebisu will binge on all the Star Wars-related stuff! My wallet and I will likely have a fight! Can't wait! XD
retsuko: (sexy espresso)

~HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL SEPTEMBER JANUARY?! *weeps* This isn't Agent-Mulder-in-a-burning-traincar-with-a-bunch-of-smallpox-infested-alien-corpses bad, but this is pretty bad.
retsuko: (seriously?)
Mere ranting alone cannot express my feelings. THEREFORE CAPSLOCK!

SO MANY GOOD THINGS ABOUT THIS EPISODE WHERE TO BEGIN?! But, so many spoilers, they simply have to go behind a cut! )

Non-spoilery-wise, I have to say that I am also impressed at the way this finale's storyline is being spun. There's fine building of suspense here, and no lingering on someone's story too long (except for lingering on Jack too long. But they *always* do that, so no surprises there, I guess.) All I have for next week is a deep sense of dread: there will be a high body count. :(


Non-TV-wise, the neighbors two doors down are having a loud party with lots of beer. Overheard thus far: "I AM FAR DUMBER THAN YOU!" @_@;;

May 2016

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