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I Can Have Reasons to Be Judgey

28 Jun

By the way, I’ve looked at the word judge so much now, it looks like it’s spelled wrong.

 

I have been accused numerous times of being too critical of certain media. Sometimes this lends me well, as a beta reader for various scripts and novels for instance. Other times it seems to alienate me from conversations with others when they ask my opinion and my answer isn’t glib. Conversely, if I say “I liked it” then they feel that not enough information was given. It seems I can’t win.

Recently, I was recommended to watch True Detective and for no particular reason, I had held off. Crime dramas are not usually my cup of tea. Police procedurals give me headaches in their poor recreation of protocols and realistic shows mainly give me a misanthropic view for a time afterwards. Don’t get me wrong, I have read or watch numerous true crime but usually from case files, the boring stuff with underpaid, normal looking people and dirty concrete walls for interrogation rooms. Having known and worked with a number of police officers, including quite a few involved in criminal science divisions, these shows are far more interesting to me in character studies within the political climate that can be involved at times. So for these reasons, I don’t watch a lot of “detective” shows.
After seeing it was only eight episodes, I gave in. I know it’s rated well, and it’s well acted, actually allowing me to like Matthew McConoughey for the first time ever.

 

This version of him (in just about every movie) always got on my nerves.

 

While I found this version enjoyable.

But after a while, it became plugging in to get to the end result. This will probably earn me quite a few enemies, but I’d like to get it out over the anonymity of the internet.

Spoilers ahead:
My issue with True Detective was that, it didn’t really offer anything new. For some reason, early on in the episodes, I had been reminded of “The Killing List”. Both provide exposition on two men who work together; one a family man, the other is wild and single. There are differences of course, but the format remains similar. They both provide an exposition of their personal lives and professional lives, the walls that may need to be placed in order to deal with the horrible things they’ve seen. Both even deal with occult-ish symbolism and bad men going after worse men, reinforcing that there are varying degrees of “good” and “bad” in this world. Each also have various discussions concerning religion and morality, questioning, without questioning whether they are actually intrinsically tied together? But I probably won’t revisit either show or movie again anytime soon.
I must be the only person in the world a little tired of worlds where men win by machismo and women are only extensions of the male leads. This may seem like a little thing but after reviewing maybe three novels in the last month and arguing against why I had no desire to see Wolf of Wallstreet, it all comes across a bit tiring. (FYI full of T&A is not a selling point for me) Someone voiced to me how women want movies that make them cry and men want things that blow up and it was extremely irritating. The success of Magic Mike has proven women don’t always want to cry and the fact that men have been going to see films like Maleficent proves that wrong.

But Maleficent was just so heartbreaking… .

Is it wrong to ask a little more out of movies and books? Break up the male gaze, make characters complicated, satire something, offer up more imagination, and don’t answer every little thing into a nice neat present by the end? They are not guilty of all these things, but most are guilty of more than one as a plot point. Of the three novels reviewed, one was post apocalyptic, one was science fiction and one was historic fantasy and every single one offered up boring ideas of gender, politics and the inner workings of the characters minds. I can’t understand why nomadic warriors living off the land would worry about propriety or why someone exerting their will onto another “for their own good” would be a precursor to kissing?

This scene is kind of horrific actually.

Entertainment Geekly has a wonderful article on the reasons why Hannibal has handled beautiful but horrific imagery better than both True Detective and Fargo. (Everyone go read it now, it’s much better written than this) But it was nice to see that others have thought the same things. Sometimes these shows (or books) take themselves a little too seriously and while well acted and beautifully shot, once again, don’t really offer up anything new or exciting? Or I have read and watched so much that it all seems the same to me at this point. While a fan of the original Hannibal series, I am also a fan of artists who can piece together darkness into eye candy. I am drawn to works that are visually interesting like films by Tarsem Singh or Chan Wook Park, artwork by H.R. Giger fall into this category as well as photographer Florio Sigismondi’s work. I can even forgive a poor story (to a point) if the visuals are meant to draw the viewer in, but usually a slick looking film is not enough to keep me drawn in. (I’m looking at you Michael Bay.)

Two batshit crazy people fall in love in a mental asylum, and it’s beautiful.

I have been accused of overthinking things, a lot. So that insult would be nothing new to me, but does anyone else wondering, while watching The Great Gatsby, why Daisy gets such an awful rep while Gatsby is the hero? Gatsby was a liar and criminal attempting to convince a married woman to run off with him. Does no one else question these things? I don’t doubt F. Scott Fitzgerald did while writing his novel, but with the numerous criticisms out there about Daisy’s character, where are the varying viewpoints on all the characters?

On a high note, I recently did see Absentia, a small indie film with loads of mood. This was a wonderful character study with understated creepiness. If anyone has any recommendations like this, I’d be happy to hear them.

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Wuthering Heights

18 Jun

I finally got around to seeing the 2011 version of Wuthering Heights.

Yes, I know I’m behind.  Anyone following the Twitter feed can see that all I watch are old movies.

This movie was darker than any other version I had seen, but it kind of made sense.  While I am not sure if I liked the film, I can say I was struck by it.  It immediately made me want to go back and read the book.

I first read Wuthering Heights in high school.  I’m not sure why, but I distinctly remember thinking I was going in for a gothic romantic supernatural love story.

image

While I guess it was a story about two people in love with each other, it was also a story about two people who were also incredibly mean to each other.  They hurt each other time and again and it didn’t matter if they could justify their actions.

how misleading is this cover?!

They were selfish and destructive and yet could not tear themselves away from each other.  Even when they tried, it made it worse for those around them and themselves.

While I’m guessing I have a soft spot for this type of story since a mutually assured destructive love story was also the basis for “Jeux D’enfant (Love Me If You Dare), one of the first things I’d seen with Marianne Cotillard.

Differences, yes.  But sometimes, despite love, people can bring out the worse in each other.  Both explore the darker side of being together and how trying to move on with a “normal” relationship does not work for them.  It is too boring, too common, too tame, too civilized.

My favorite part of the novel is the second half, the half generally ignored in movies.  I always felt this part brought everything back around full circle.  There was hope and redemption in the second half, while the first part ends so hopelessly.

Healthcliff begs Cathy to haunt him.

In this version, I did think that the children actors, Shannon Beers and Solomon Glave were very good.

These two were amazing.

I felt that the intensity was lost slightly when they were adults.   I can not tell if this makes the abuse more horrifying or less since the attitude is so cavalier, but it does not feel as though they are compelled by their obsession.

As children, Healthcliff is horrifically abused; emotionally, mentally and physically, no matter how he tries to be accepted.   He spends much of his time with Cathy, who defines the relationship between them.  When he grows older and she leaves, he doesn’t know what to do without her.  Of course, as is often the case, he becomes abusive as he is now able to assert some power where he has been previously powerless.  Oh, there a lot of themes in this novel but (courtly) love is not one of them.

So while I have read reviews where people outright hated the 2011 version, I personally felt that it captured the destructive nature of the novel.  Also, how could people not feel bad towards Heathcliff?  It almost seems obvious that he is so mean as an adult after all he had to deal with when younger.  (though there is one scene that creeped me out  a bit)

I’m also glad that the age is where it should be.  Doesn’t it make more sense that their love is so intense if they are younger in age?  It’s a driving theme behind Romeo and Juliet.  Has society changed the connotations of  this novel by using older actors?

Also, as a matter of comparison, when Cathy (in the 2011 movie) is licking his wounds and sucking on her scratches, I was reminded of “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield.

I will not give out spoilers, but just know there is a tale of two lovers that seems very similar to the 2011 movie version of Wuthering Heights.

Let’s see how much is kept in for the BBC movie adaptation that will be out in Christmas of 2013.  It will star Vanessa Redgrave and Sansa Stark.

Leaving Books Around the House

7 Jun

With summer here and my recent move, my house has been volunteered for revolving door service. This is fine, stressful, but not in a bad way. Having family and friends choose to visit while I am a bit in the midst of nowhere is nice.

a little isolated

Other than furious cleaning, because… maybe I still had boxes just lying around unpacked.   Please though, a little slack.  Remember when other people packed the boxes?   Some boxes, I would open up and just wonder at the clusterf*ck that ended up in there.

Kind of like this

Miscellaneous things were shoved into boxes, which made them such chores.  The house is also lacking in storage spots as well.  This means that anything I kept ends up a lot of times in totes in the bottom of closets or on shelves.   Some boxes just get frowned at and the lid put back on until I can figure out what to do with them.   And then hidden in my room.

But since the rest of the house is immaculate at this moment, I’m okay with the maze I have to navigate to make it to my bed each night.

cleaning is endless

While most of my books are stacked on shelves and bookcases in one room, I do like to strategically leave books sitting out in the hopes that someone visiting will pick it up with curiosity.

This of course means also tailoring the books to tastes of the people in their proximity.  Also, not choosing something too long perhaps?  Does anyone else agonize over this?

Currently, these are the small piles I have around my home.

Fairytales from Ireland

Folk Tales of Ireland and A Light in the Attic

photo (2)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, What the Dickens and Grimm’s Fairytales

photo (3)

Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Anne of Green Gables and The Screwtape Letters

Right now it’s just family coming by but I know the books will change once it comes time for friends instead.

Does anyone else do this?

New YA Title, Eyre House by Caitlin Greer

2 May

We are always looking for new things to read here … though really there needs to be more hours in the day to just read.

Since we are fans of YA, sci-fi and fantasy (all this authors categories), we were intrigued by the upcoming novel.

Cait writes YA and NA stories that range from sci-fi and fantasy (because she loves making worlds and things up), to contemporary (because she kind of sort of fell into it and discovered she’s not half bad). (from GoodReads)

When eighteen-year-old orphan Evan Richardson signed up to work at Eyre House, on the sleepy tourist getaway of Edisto Island, SC, he never expected to find himself dodging ghosts. But Eyre House seems to have more than its fair share of things that go bump in the night, and most of them seem to surround his employer’s daughter.

Back from her freshman year of college, Ginny Eyre is dangerous from word one. She’s a bad girl with ghosts of her own, and trouble seems to follow her everywhere she goes. But living or dead, trouble isn’t just stalking Ginny. When her ex-boyfriend is found murdered in the pool, Evan knows he’s got two choices – figure out what’s going on, or become the next ghost to haunt Ginny Eyre.

Mark it to read on the below link!

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17694883-eyre-house

We will have more information as it gets closer to the release date. 
image

Greetings from The Middle of Nowhere

16 Jan

So blogging from a much different area, much different part of the country.  There are a lot of dirt roads, camo hats and trucks about.  No more just stopping by the store on the way home to pick something up.  No waking up in the morning and heading out to grab a cup of coffee and a bagel.  It’s quite surreal.

Anyway, I’m hoping that all had a good holiday season and did all the things they wanted to… Partied too hard, stayed in and relaxed, ate way too much awesome food, drank too much stuff that tasted great….

Like I mentioned earlier, during this time, I was kicking off the time with a move.  Oh… If only I had more time, because I ended up having to have people come in and help pack up the boxes.  The important books were all loving packed away and marked clearly.  Some of the other stuff, well, not so much.

In fact, I think the comment made (more than once) was, there are too many books and too many shoes.

Um…. excuse me while I spam pictures of both these beautiful things:

Lots of beautiful pics on this blog! click the pic to see more!

Of course, now I’m finding myself having to organize (AGAIN!) these beautiful things. *sigh* But at least I know where they are.  The utensils on the other hand are still missing as is my Inniskillen wine key.  While this made me sad, I lasted a two full days before being forced to go out and buy a new wine key.

Clicking on this picture will direct you to a NSFW link! Just a warning.

So while I’m still digging through my many, many boxes

While I am still learning all the crevices of my new home

While I am am catching up with technology

While Classic Who is in the background

While waiting for Warm Bodies to come out in theaters

While waiting to make new friends

I am keeping my books nearby.

Protected…

clicking on the above pic while direct to a NSFW blog

And I will leave you with a Twilight Fanfic called Dirt Roads by winehoes.  It is a hilarious story about people living in the middle of nowhere being much more successful than I have been. Maybe I’m visiting all the wrong gas stations.

https://i1.wp.com/i1118.photobucket.com/albums/k602/winehoes/1adirtroads.png

Trucker hats, possums, and dirt roads.

Book Readers are Sexy

13 Aug

From: Mickey
To: Leela
Sent: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 1:09 PM

This just keeps getting better…

Echo Bunny@EchoPalimpsest

The woman reading @neilhimself on the train is 100x sexier than all the chicks posting naked pics of themselves

Retweeted by Neil Gaiman

uglyduckling pilates@angelabarsotti

@EchoPalimpsest @neilhimself that’s what you say, but a #fantasy novel has NEVER gotten me picked up and high heels have a lot

Retweeted by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman@neilhimself

From the last few RTs, I think someone clever should do an objective test on the efficacy of good books vs high heels for meeting people….

Ruth M@scottishruth

@neilhimself What about reading a good book whilst wearing high heels? I do that all the time (can’t say I’m met anyone through it though!)

Retweeted by Neil Gaiman

 

From: Leela
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2012 3:09 PM
To: Mickey

lmao too funny. I read in heels too. but those are usually emails at work…

no one’s coming… click all the NSFW!

 

From: Mickey
To: Leela
Sent: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 9:41 AM

speaking of emails at work…   http://www.thejanedough.com/romney-working-women/

BAH!

I’m writing in Batman!

 

From: Leela
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 10:09 AM
To: Mickey

May as well. Since we only have two ridiculous candidates to choose from. I too, will write in Batman.

 

From: Mickey
To: Leela
Sent: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 10:12 AM

He already comes with a Robin.

 

From: Leela
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 10:26 AM
To: Mickey

And lets face it, Air Force One does not have shit on the Batmobile.

batmania:</p>
<p>Batmobile Gif.<br />
Via<br />

 

 

From: Mickey
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 10:38 AM
To: Leela

True. True.

Plus, who’d really want to mess with us?

Light Sabers or Wands??

19 Jul

funny celebrity pictures - Would You Rather: Wand Or Lightsaber?

From: Lela   Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 4:01 PM   To: Mickey   Subject: light saber vs. wand
GO
image
From: Mickey      To: Lela        Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 4:11 PM   Subject: RE: light saber vs. wand
……………………………..
Why do I have to choose?
L
This is like choosing between snicker doodle cake with brown sugar icing and Kahlua cake with coffee  butter cream …
From: Lela            Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2012 9:23 AM   To: Mickey   Subject: Re: light saber vs. wand
I KNOW!!!!
I chose the saber.  But only because the other girl chose the wand and was trying to tell me that there was no contest.  Um, No.  There is a contest.  That is quite possibly the toughest decision most of us would have to make.
I’m really bad at making decisions as well..
From: Mickey      To: Lela     Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2012 9:27 AM   Subject: RE: light saber vs. wand
I mean… I’m so accident prone, it would  probably be like that time Ron hit himself with his spell.
It could potentially be a disaster. 
I guess a light saber would be more for people who have control issues.  I mean… a saber is more like a computer, it will do what you want it to do, right?  What you put in is what you get out?  A wand isn’t always like that?
From: Lela     Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2012 9:34 AM  To: Mickey    Subject: Re: light saber vs. wand
See, to me, a saber is a powerful weapon, by itself.  The wand by itself, is just a stick really.  So to me, the saber wins there.
Although I too, am accident prone.  I can see me slicing off my own limbs easily with one sneeze and drop of a saber…
From: Mickey Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2012 9:38 AMTo: ‘Lela      ‘Subject: RE: light saber vs. wand
Well we might just need one of the Wii wrist bands in case we accidently drop it?
Also, since Jedi’s build their own, we would probably have to include a pressure system that if you release the grip, the light saber automatically retracts?  Is that the right word?  Turns off???
But you know what I mean, like on treadmills where if you fall over you won’t get your skin ground off by the tread moving, it turns it off if you pull on that stupid little string you clip to yourself. 
Or in my case, you get your arm stuck in it and repeatedly turn the treadmill off anyway, plug it back in and start again in some weird spastic way of trying to “increase my endurance”
wait… what?
From: Lela       Sent: Monday, July 16, 2012 12:49 PM     To: Mickey     Subject: Re: light saber vs. wand
Good call on the retracting pressure system.  I would also like to include using some never before seen colors.  Maybe a fuchsia?  I mean Mace Windu already took purple.  Or a rainbow saber?!?!?!?!?   😀
I dig the auto retract, that way if we have to throw the saber into the air while we flip over a nemesis and then catch it, it can retract in the air that automatically pop back when we land and it is back in our hands!  That would be pretty awesome. See how much more fun sabers are over wands.  I mean, with a wand I guess we could carve a pretty one and slap some paint on it.
From: Mickey        To: Lela          Sent: Monday, July 16, 2012 12:52 PM   Subject: RE: light saber vs. wand
… I think I just had a horrifying image of a hello kitty light saber..
Wait does one exist yet??
Now that I’ve had time to think this over though… if we’re using a saber though, we’re Jedis, who went through Jedi training… and maybe we won’t BE that clumsy?
If it’s anything like the Kinect game training, I am SADLY LACKING and apparently very incompetent as a Jedi.
From: Lela     Sent: Monday, July 16, 2012 12:53 PM     To: Mickey     Subject: Re: light saber vs. wand
THAT GAME IS OUT FOR KINNECT?!?!??!?!?!!?!?!?!?
hold the phone.
dammit is sure is.
You have a good point.  We can use the force to overcome our clumsiness, so no need to even worry…

image

From: Mickey Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2012 12:09 PMTo: ‘Lela     Subject: RE: light saber vs. wand
You should play it…. Nothing will scar you more than battling Han Solo to a rewritten version of Jason Derulo