amatyultare: (team tyler's van)
For those of you who were reluctant to see Gantz because you don't enjoy watching violent films, let me remove that obstacle – there's surprisingly little explicit violence in this movie. (Barring a first fight scene – just cover your eyes for the onion people.)

Unfortunately, that still leaves about a dozen reasons to run screaming from this movie. I don't think I'll be able to sleep until I vent, so let's run down the list, shall we?

Gantz: That's Just How The Cookie Crumbles, or, Capslock Ahoy! )

Bottom line: I don't particularly regret going to see it myself – there's a certain pleasure in seeing even a really bad movie with good friends – but I can't recommend it unless you're feeling masochistic.
amatyultare: (Default)
1. Celtx is awesome. Free script-writing software that is incredibly easy to use? Yes please.

2. Once you get into the swing of it (and actually decide on plot points, cough cough), script writing is actually not too difficult. I have just under 4 pages so far. Whee! As a movie, it will be terrible, but as a script-writing exercise, it's kind of fun.

3. So. Alice In Wonderland. Jason was teasing me that my 'review' of it was quickly becoming irrelevant since it's been out for weeks now. So I finally sat down and finished it.

I was really happy that was that I was able to watch Wonderland with my sister, although Erica and I have very different tastes in movies; I respect her taste immensely even when I disagree with her. I have a higher tolerance for campiness, self-conscious humor, and 'typical Hollywood' (romantic subplots, glitz, etc). Erica, on the other hand, has a much higher tolerance for gratuitous violence, sex, and drug use, low-budget films, and general grittiness. I like to think this means that, if we both like a movie, it's a good sign of that movie's quality. On the other hand, when we turn to each other after a movie and tell each other earnestly, “That was AWFUL”, it's a pretty good bet that movie is bad.

You can see where I'm going with this. People who really liked Burton's Wonderland...may want to stop reading now.

The short version: The latest Alice In Wonderland is Tim Burton with zero respect for his audience and precious little respect for his source material.

TL;DRx1000 )

Okay, bedtime. Later, all!
amatyultare: (Default)
1. Celtx is awesome. Free script-writing software that is incredibly easy to use? Yes please.

2. Once you get into the swing of it (and actually decide on plot points, cough cough), script writing is actually not too difficult. I have just under 4 pages so far. Whee! As a movie, it will be terrible, but as a script-writing exercise, it's kind of fun.

3. So. Alice In Wonderland. Jason was teasing me that my 'review' of it was quickly becoming irrelevant since it's been out for weeks now. So I finally sat down and finished it.

I was really happy that was that I was able to watch Wonderland with my sister, although Erica and I have very different tastes in movies; I respect her taste immensely even when I disagree with her. I have a higher tolerance for campiness, self-conscious humor, and 'typical Hollywood' (romantic subplots, glitz, etc). Erica, on the other hand, has a much higher tolerance for gratuitous violence, sex, and drug use, low-budget films, and general grittiness. I like to think this means that, if we both like a movie, it's a good sign of that movie's quality. On the other hand, when we turn to each other after a movie and tell each other earnestly, “That was AWFUL”, it's a pretty good bet that movie is bad.

You can see where I'm going with this. People who really liked Burton's Wonderland...may want to stop reading now.

The short version: The latest Alice In Wonderland is Tim Burton with zero respect for his audience and precious little respect for his source material.

TL;DRx1000 )

Okay, bedtime. Later, all!
amatyultare: (team tyler's van)
Today has been, not a bad day, but a day of grumpiness for me. And also a singularly unproductive day at work, which I freely admit is totally my fault. I spent a truly reprehensible amount of my work day essentially pouting.

The primary reason for this - and yes, I am ridiculous for getting so worked up/caught up in/influenced by a work of fiction, but there you go - is that I borrowed Eclipse and Breaking Dawn from Julie on Saturday and spent much of the day Sunday reading through Eclipse. Apologies to anyone who enjoyed Eclipse; you may not want to read the rest of this post.

I really do not know why I do this to myself. But kudos to Jason, who very patiently endured/indulged my angry rants via text message.

I guess the reason why I'm so upset about this book is that I hate certain behaviors with a passion. I hate it when someone tries to take away another person's ability to make choices for themselves. I hate manipulation (which is really just another way of trying to force someone's choice, except through emotional means) and passive aggressive behavior, which is essentially a pervasive form of manipulation. These three are some of my biggest 'buttons' - just seeing someone behaving like this, even if it's not to me directly, is likely to get me riled.

So, apropos to this, five distinct points in the book that I remember offhand bugged me. A lot. )

I am almost excited to read Breaking Dawn, because there is no way it can be as bad as Eclipse. (I know, famous last words and all, but I know basically what happens in BD and frankly I think I can handle blood-vomiting, bone-breaking pregnancies easily after this.)

And now, to bed.
amatyultare: (team tyler's van)
Today has been, not a bad day, but a day of grumpiness for me. And also a singularly unproductive day at work, which I freely admit is totally my fault. I spent a truly reprehensible amount of my work day essentially pouting.

The primary reason for this - and yes, I am ridiculous for getting so worked up/caught up in/influenced by a work of fiction, but there you go - is that I borrowed Eclipse and Breaking Dawn from Julie on Saturday and spent much of the day Sunday reading through Eclipse. Apologies to anyone who enjoyed Eclipse; you may not want to read the rest of this post.

I really do not know why I do this to myself. But kudos to Jason, who very patiently endured/indulged my angry rants via text message.

I guess the reason why I'm so upset about this book is that I hate certain behaviors with a passion. I hate it when someone tries to take away another person's ability to make choices for themselves. I hate manipulation (which is really just another way of trying to force someone's choice, except through emotional means) and passive aggressive behavior, which is essentially a pervasive form of manipulation. These three are some of my biggest 'buttons' - just seeing someone behaving like this, even if it's not to me directly, is likely to get me riled.

So, apropos to this, five distinct points in the book that I remember offhand bugged me. A lot. )

I am almost excited to read Breaking Dawn, because there is no way it can be as bad as Eclipse. (I know, famous last words and all, but I know basically what happens in BD and frankly I think I can handle blood-vomiting, bone-breaking pregnancies easily after this.)

And now, to bed.
amatyultare: (bookworm glee)
So here’s the thing. I was, and am, working on my review/chapter summary of Eldest. But then I realized that the sequel, Brisingr, was released this weekend. And being able to form my impressions before any reviews or spoilers was very tempting. So I put Eldest on hold, got a copy of Brisinger, and started reading, typing up chapter notes after each chapter I read.

Three days later, here I am. If you’re interested in my thoughts on the book for some reason but you haven’t read the first two in the series, you may want to read the Wikipedia summaries for them first.

Let’s start with some general notes on the book.

General but spoiler-y comments on the book. You’ve been warned. )


That’s everything I can think of at the moment. LJ won’t let me post this all at once (too long), so the first section of my summary/commentary by chapter is below. Links to later chapters follow.

Chapters 1-10: Let’s Go Save Katrina! )

The rest of the chapter summaries are here:

Chapters 11-20
Chapters 21-30
Chapters 31-40
Chapters 41-50
Chapters 51-58
amatyultare: (bookworm glee)
So here’s the thing. I was, and am, working on my review/chapter summary of Eldest. But then I realized that the sequel, Brisingr, was released this weekend. And being able to form my impressions before any reviews or spoilers was very tempting. So I put Eldest on hold, got a copy of Brisinger, and started reading, typing up chapter notes after each chapter I read.

Three days later, here I am. If you’re interested in my thoughts on the book for some reason but you haven’t read the first two in the series, you may want to read the Wikipedia summaries for them first.

Let’s start with some general notes on the book.

General but spoiler-y comments on the book. You’ve been warned. )


That’s everything I can think of at the moment. LJ won’t let me post this all at once (too long), so the first section of my summary/commentary by chapter is below. Links to later chapters follow.

Chapters 1-10: Let’s Go Save Katrina! )

The rest of the chapter summaries are here:

Chapters 11-20
Chapters 21-30
Chapters 31-40
Chapters 41-50
Chapters 51-58
amatyultare: (don't ask)
My last day at Microdyne was uneventful, almost (gasp!) enjoyable. My manager called in sick, which amused me, so I spent all day working on our gigantic pile of emails. I jumped off the phones entirely, in fact, and spent the day writing responses while listening to my iPod--particularly the excellent mix made for me by [livejournal.com profile] deliriumdriver. By the time I left, there were only about a dozen unread emails left, more than manageable if they choose my replacement quickly.

Haven’t done much on the job-search end this weekend because Mom’s been online a lot doing schoolwork. Instead, I’ve been reading a lot. Among others, I picked up and read New Moon, the second book in the Twilight series (from the library this time). I’m still asking myself why I care so much about the books, and I really don’t know. But there you go; my thoughts are below. For those who haven’t read the book and plan to, there are spoilers.




1. The writing didn’t bug me as much as Twilight’s did, mostly because Edward is gone for most of the book and therefore SMeyer doesn’t have a reason to abuse the thesaurus for new combinations of words that mean ‘stunningly gorgeous’ and ‘dazzling’ and also ‘sparkly’.

2. I had read a recap of the book that summarized Bella’s post-Italy conversation with Edward as "Shh, hold on a second. I think I'm having an epiphany here." (Give her a moment, Edward, she doesn't have a lot of these.) "Oh! Okay! You love me!" And I thought it was meant facetiously. Silly me. That’s almost a direct quote from the book. As the same reviewer said, Twilight means never having to say you’re kidding.”

3. I agree with many reviewers that Jacob and Alice are probably the best and most engaging characters in the whole series (which makes me kind of dread Eclipse). Once I got past the nonsense of Alice’s walk being described as ‘dance-like’ (seriously, what does that ACTUALLY MEAN? Does she go around doing a little ballet waltz-step all the time? Answer: it is SMeyer’s lazy attempt to describe extremely graceful movement.) I really enjoyed her as a character, not least because she is one of the few people in the books you’d actually like to know in real life. Actually, that applies to Jacob as well.

4. One of the few characteristics that Bella showed in Twilight besides her adoraklutzability was being a bookworm. And you know, I can relate to that. So all through New Moon, I was waiting for her to drown her sorrows in reading. And it never happened. Finally, this is ‘explained’ by Charlie telling Alice that Bella stopped reading along with listening to music because it ‘reminded her of Edward’.

I’m sorry, WHAT?

As a bookworm myself, I can assure you that one of the easiest and most satisfying ways to mentally ‘escape’ is to read. I will grant that perhaps her usual fare of romantic 19th century novels and Shakespeare plays would be too painful to read. But geez, that still leaves a pretty wide field. Fantasy and sci-fi. Biographies, history, economics, sociology and psychology. Science books written for non-scientists. Epic poetry. Even self-help books, for goodness sake (I suddenly want to see a story in which Bella reads It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken). I do not find it credible that the simple process of looking at and comprehending words and sentences somehow inescapably reminded Bella of Edward. It comes off, again, as a lazy way to keep the heroine in a perpetual state of suffering that nothing! nothing! (besides illicit motorcycles, cliff-diving, and werewolves) can alleviate--contrary to the heroine’s previous characterization.

5. I have a Big Theory regarding New Moon (okay, not that big, but bear with me):

SMeyers makes it quite clear that New Moon is supposed to be a retelling of Romeo and Juliet; she practically hits us over the head with it, in fact. But I don’t really buy it.

All of a sudden, I realized that New Moon is an adolescent girl’s version of Peter Pan. The Cullens become Bella’s version of Neverland, and Jacob is (in an interesting gender reversal) Wendy, doing his best to help Bella grow up. He also falls in love with her, something she realizes but cannot deal with. She does mature somewhat after spending time around him--one huge indication is that she realizes how immature and selfish she has been--but in the end, she returns to the Cullens and her fantasy world, and Jacob cannot stay with her.

(Does this make Alice Tinker Bell?)

6. One last thing. Even more so than in Twilight, Bella shows her incredible self-absorption in New Moon. The entirety of her concern for any negative possibility, up to and including Jacob dying, occurs to her in terms of how it will affect HER. How does anyone read this series without wanting to slap her?



Next up on my self-flagellating reading spree: Eldest, the sequel to Eragon. Just out of pure sadistic curiosity. Wish me luck? On the bright side, the thing is so huge that if it gets too painful, I can use the book to clonk myself over the head; it’s easily heavy enough to knock me out.
amatyultare: (don't ask)
My last day at Microdyne was uneventful, almost (gasp!) enjoyable. My manager called in sick, which amused me, so I spent all day working on our gigantic pile of emails. I jumped off the phones entirely, in fact, and spent the day writing responses while listening to my iPod--particularly the excellent mix made for me by [livejournal.com profile] deliriumdriver. By the time I left, there were only about a dozen unread emails left, more than manageable if they choose my replacement quickly.

Haven’t done much on the job-search end this weekend because Mom’s been online a lot doing schoolwork. Instead, I’ve been reading a lot. Among others, I picked up and read New Moon, the second book in the Twilight series (from the library this time). I’m still asking myself why I care so much about the books, and I really don’t know. But there you go; my thoughts are below. For those who haven’t read the book and plan to, there are spoilers.




1. The writing didn’t bug me as much as Twilight’s did, mostly because Edward is gone for most of the book and therefore SMeyer doesn’t have a reason to abuse the thesaurus for new combinations of words that mean ‘stunningly gorgeous’ and ‘dazzling’ and also ‘sparkly’.

2. I had read a recap of the book that summarized Bella’s post-Italy conversation with Edward as "Shh, hold on a second. I think I'm having an epiphany here." (Give her a moment, Edward, she doesn't have a lot of these.) "Oh! Okay! You love me!" And I thought it was meant facetiously. Silly me. That’s almost a direct quote from the book. As the same reviewer said, Twilight means never having to say you’re kidding.”

3. I agree with many reviewers that Jacob and Alice are probably the best and most engaging characters in the whole series (which makes me kind of dread Eclipse). Once I got past the nonsense of Alice’s walk being described as ‘dance-like’ (seriously, what does that ACTUALLY MEAN? Does she go around doing a little ballet waltz-step all the time? Answer: it is SMeyer’s lazy attempt to describe extremely graceful movement.) I really enjoyed her as a character, not least because she is one of the few people in the books you’d actually like to know in real life. Actually, that applies to Jacob as well.

4. One of the few characteristics that Bella showed in Twilight besides her adoraklutzability was being a bookworm. And you know, I can relate to that. So all through New Moon, I was waiting for her to drown her sorrows in reading. And it never happened. Finally, this is ‘explained’ by Charlie telling Alice that Bella stopped reading along with listening to music because it ‘reminded her of Edward’.

I’m sorry, WHAT?

As a bookworm myself, I can assure you that one of the easiest and most satisfying ways to mentally ‘escape’ is to read. I will grant that perhaps her usual fare of romantic 19th century novels and Shakespeare plays would be too painful to read. But geez, that still leaves a pretty wide field. Fantasy and sci-fi. Biographies, history, economics, sociology and psychology. Science books written for non-scientists. Epic poetry. Even self-help books, for goodness sake (I suddenly want to see a story in which Bella reads It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken). I do not find it credible that the simple process of looking at and comprehending words and sentences somehow inescapably reminded Bella of Edward. It comes off, again, as a lazy way to keep the heroine in a perpetual state of suffering that nothing! nothing! (besides illicit motorcycles, cliff-diving, and werewolves) can alleviate--contrary to the heroine’s previous characterization.

5. I have a Big Theory regarding New Moon (okay, not that big, but bear with me):

SMeyers makes it quite clear that New Moon is supposed to be a retelling of Romeo and Juliet; she practically hits us over the head with it, in fact. But I don’t really buy it.

All of a sudden, I realized that New Moon is an adolescent girl’s version of Peter Pan. The Cullens become Bella’s version of Neverland, and Jacob is (in an interesting gender reversal) Wendy, doing his best to help Bella grow up. He also falls in love with her, something she realizes but cannot deal with. She does mature somewhat after spending time around him--one huge indication is that she realizes how immature and selfish she has been--but in the end, she returns to the Cullens and her fantasy world, and Jacob cannot stay with her.

(Does this make Alice Tinker Bell?)

6. One last thing. Even more so than in Twilight, Bella shows her incredible self-absorption in New Moon. The entirety of her concern for any negative possibility, up to and including Jacob dying, occurs to her in terms of how it will affect HER. How does anyone read this series without wanting to slap her?



Next up on my self-flagellating reading spree: Eldest, the sequel to Eragon. Just out of pure sadistic curiosity. Wish me luck? On the bright side, the thing is so huge that if it gets too painful, I can use the book to clonk myself over the head; it’s easily heavy enough to knock me out.
amatyultare: (don't ask)
(above quote is from this delicious bit of sporking.)

•My car has died. Really, really died. As in, getting it to start might require a Ouija board. What happened? Don’t ask me. I was driving to work Monday when I noticed there was smoke coming out of the hood (!!!) so I turned around and came back. Eric and I poked around at the engine, etc, and Eric told me to turn it on so we could figure out the source of the smoke. I did, it turned on...and quietly died. And wouldn’t turn on again.

So for my last few days of work, I am driving Erica’s car. This is a less-than ideal solution, though, as the suspension is not in great shape. Good thing I had given my two weeks’ notice at Microdyne, eh?

•Speaking of Microdyne--last two days, yeah! My manager still has not chosen a replacement. I have basically given up. Starting Friday, the day after I leave, work will STOP on the contract because NO ONE WILL BE DOING IT. Wonder how long it will take them to notice.

Also, we are up to 200+ unanswered customer emails. Good times. *headdesk*

•I’ve been thinking about it on and off this weekend, and I am steadily more apathetic about Twilight-rantage. Let me just say three things, to get them off my chest. (If any of my readers wish me to elaborate on my points or give examples, I of course shall.)

Edward Cullen is not ‘the perfect guy’: he is creepy, manipulative, and bipolar. And a stalker. (Seriously, find the leaked chapters of ‘Midnight Sun’ and read them, they are scaaaary.

Bella Swan is passive-aggressive, codependent, and has a martyr complex.

Stephanie Meyer cannot (or, perhaps, simply ‘does not) use the English language properly, let alone eloquently. I think one review (from Sweden!) perfectly sums up the stylistic aspect of SMeyer’s work using the immortal phrase “violent adjective-mongering”


Also, I highly recommend you check out [livejournal.com profile] xlormp for a truly delicious parody: The Most Popular Book In The Whole World. No, seriously, read it:

There were three thoughts I was thinking,
that I was absolutely positive were accurate thoughts:

One, Xlormp was a space alien.

Two, there was part of him, and probably it was
all of him, that wanted to blow up my planet.

And three, I was really, really hungry for quesadillas.


One more thing, and I swear I’ll stop. There is a Twilight drinking game! This clearly needs to be adapted for the movie once it’s released.

•On the topic of books, was I the only person who didn’t know there was a new Tamora Pierce book out? Is Terrier the latest Tamora Pierce book? My library is pretty good about getting her stuff, so I figured it was, but it was published almost two years ago.....anyway, I really like Terrier and I support the romance even though it is SO DOOMED. Also, the earlier-and-darker Corus is quite intriguing.

And now....a little Agatha Christie before bed? I think so.

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