hradzka: (cameron screw you)
I've been busy as hell and caught behind a poky net connection, so I've just caught up on the last two weeks of SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES and DOLLHOUSE. Mixed bag for SCC: one crappy, one really damn solid. DOLLHOUSE is... still DOLLHOUSE. Improving, but the more you watch it the more you realize: the workaday office life of the Dollhouse itself is more interesting than any of the missions Echo has been on.

Read more... )
hradzka: (cameron undone)
My Valentine's Day: I went kite flying, got a gun out of the repair shop, and caught up on the TV I missed Friday because I went to catch the new FRIDAY THE 13TH. (Short verdict: different, but not a bad reinterpretation; the kills are pretty good, some very good, and Derek Mears gives good Jason.)

Dollhouse )

hradzka: (catwoman and holly)
Last night, I watched two sequels with my friends Ash and Denise. One was FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER. The other was PREDATOR 2.

...I am never, ever, going to knock PREDATOR 2 again.

Wow, FF:ROTSS sucked. )
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
[ profile] tsukiwriter uploaded a clip of the new SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY movie to YouTube. I am glad of this, because otherwise I would have just had to tell you guys how insanely gay the direct-to-video SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY is, and you won't believe it until you've seen the clip (posted by Tsuki to scans_daily, but I dunno how many of you are watching that comm these days).

How gay is it? This gay. )
hradzka: (donuts?)
[ profile] neonhummingbird had this to say about the first season of TORCHWOOD, which she liked better than I did:

Everyone behaves stupidly on a regular basis except Jack, who behaves stupidly by continuing to allow stupid people to work for him.

That sums up my feelings about TORCHWOOD in a nutshell.

I like watching shows about people who are good at their jobs. This is not that show. )
hradzka: (donuts?)
TORCHWOOD officially has the worst vetting procedures of any organization ever. EVER. I mean, Jack Harkness has a killer grin and great style, but my God is he shit for personnel.

Best episode so far is "Countrycide," which is full of good atmospheric stuff until the end, when it turns just overly gruesome and stupid. I like overly gruesome on occasion, but it felt too heavy-handed here. And the firearms stuff -- don't get me started. Apparently, a shotgun to the abdomen at ten feet will give you a light wound that's easily survivable and with which you can walk around with some discomfort, but a .38 Enfield No. 2, Mark I to the leg will drop heavily-armed people instantly and incapacitate them without giving them a chance to fire. [EDITED TO ADD: My bad! there's a very good chance that Jack's revolver is a .455 Webley Mark VI. The Enfield No. 2 was a clone of the Webley, which was the previous British Army sidearm, and was adopted in 1932, but lots of Webleys were still around. I figured that since Jack joined up late, he'd've gotten the Enfield, but that's not necessarily the case.] (To be fair, Jack did use the shotgun, too, but when he switched there was no change in performance. My favorite bit in the final battle: Jack starts off with a pump-action shotgun, fires it empty, then goes to his revolver, finishes the battle -- and the last shot is a spent shotgun shell hitting the floor, in slow motion, after being ejected. Took a long time to drop, did it?)

"Greeks Bearing Gifts" gets points for evil sexy lesbian action, but loses them for pretty much everything else. I don't know what kind of security clearance Toshi has, but whatever it is, it's far too high. Getting drunk in a bar and spilling your secrets to a suspiciously knowledgeable stranger -- I'm sorry, it doesn't make you look sympathetic; it makes you look bloody stupid. And, OK, she *was* really hot, but still. If the future of humanity is in hands like that, we're screwed.

Biggest problem TORCHWOOD supporting cast has to overcome is their reluctance to kill people when their lives are threatened. Maybe this is a British thing, or just a TV thing, wherein our heroes must not kill humans unless absolutely necessary -- but it's odd to see such prudishness in a show that flaunts it pretty much every other way.
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
(Catching up on everything, slowly.)

A few thoughts, so far:

1. The guy playing Ianto gave an absolutely fantastic performance in "Cyberwoman." Too bad the script sucked, and too bad Ianto's scripted actions in the episode were so throughly stupid that it wrecked the character's credibility for *all time.* You don't just have a hard time believing he stays on the show after this; you have a hard time believing the other characters don't take him out and put a bullet in his head. Literally.

2. many people is Gwen going to snog over the course of the season, anyway? DAMN, girl.

3. Jack's pistol instruction leaves a hell of a lot to be desired. Gwen's grip is lousy, and so is his (though you could make a case for him having learned in 1941); he starts off getting her to shoot one-handed and straight-armed, which isn't what you'd do in combat conditions; muzzle discipline is downright petrifying; and he manages to make it through the entire sequence without once mentioning the words "front sight."
hradzka: "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (sledge hammer!)
Went to the flicks today; caught PAN'S LABYRINTH, which was okay but didn't set me on fire the way I'd hoped it would, and CHILDREN OF MEN, which was annoying in some ways but a better movie. I haven't read P.D. James's novel, but the film's dystopia is such a politically correct dystopia (meaning, it's evil in the sense that if you're a die-hard leftist you'll walk out thinking, "OMG, they would totally do that if they could get away with it, the bastards," and if you're a die-hard rightist you'll walk out thinking, "What's wrong with that?" "Well, it's not exactly believable that they'd do this, this, or this as a reaction to that situation, is it?") that it leads to some substantial eye-rolling. You can tell director Alfonso Cuaron made many of these changes to suit his own leanings, because they don't quite make sense given the scenario.

Spoilers below. )
hradzka: (spidey and mj)
Today was a day for staying in and getting caught up on TV I've missed. So far, I'm up on DOCTOR WHO and SUPERNATURAL (about which comments later), and am now working on THE WIRE. I'm in episode three of the latter, and just had to pause the viewing to say: Omar's trip to the store in his pajamas = OMG HEART.

(I think that's how the kids say it these days. Let me know if I'm wrong!)
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
Back at the new apartment, which still doesn't feel like mine. The roomies moved while I was away, so the new place feels strange. Add to that that all my stuff is still in boxes.

SUPERMAN RETURNS is on the DVD player. It's a real mixed bag of a film, too slow and overblown, with some very good performances and some unfortunate script and directorial choices. Brandon Routh is pretty good as Superman and better as Clark Kent. He looks too young for the role; he's about the same age as Christopher Reeve when Reeve first played the role, but Reeve looked older than Routh does, and he was playing older than himself, to boot. (In the 1978 film, Superman's answer to Lois Lane's question about his age is "Over twenty-one," but if you listen closely to Jor-El's dialogue in the Fortress of Solitude, Clark travels to the Arctic when he's eighteen and spends twelve years studying with Jor-El, so Superman is thirty then, and SUPERMAN RETURNS takes place five years after SUPERMAN II.) The age issue also works against Kate Bosworth, who's a crummy Lois Lane. You keep looking at the kid and thinking, "She had him four years ago, when she was how old, twelve?" I think the Lois Lane/Superman dynamic works better if Lois is a few years older; it makes it more difficult for Clark to compete with Superman if he's junior to Lois in age as well as professional experience (Margot Kidder, incidentally, was thirty when she played Lois; like Reeve, she looked a few years older than she was). Bosworth doesn't have any spunk, or sarcasm, or charisma, which she really needs, considering that she's the second lead in this flick. Frank Langella, who I'll watch in damn near anything (yes, dammit, I *liked* CUTTHROAT ISLAND), is below par as Perry White, but Sam Huntington is excellent as Jimmy Olsen. Kevin Spacey is decent as Lex Luthor, though he mostly lacks the sense of fun that Gene Hackman brought to the role. James Marsden is again quietly good in a minor role; he was so good in X1, and his other thanklessly brief X-MEN appearances, that he really deserved better in that series, and it's good to see Singer giving him more exposure here. The movie should have been much better than it was. Also, the new costume sucked.

Even so, the film was much better than the videogame, which was boring, repetitive, crappily written, and a lousy tie-in to boot. I played it with my friend Ash over the last couple of days, and the only cool part was getting to fly around as Superman. Beyond that, um, you fought a lot of robots. Most of the stuff the advance copy promised was never delivered on. There's no crime fighting, no rescuing citizens unless they're collateral damage in your battles, and -- amazingly enough -- next to no supervillains. Myxzyptlk gives you some minigames. You fight Metallo, and Bizarro, and a whole bunch of robots and Cadmus genetic creations. And that's it. The ads mentioned the Parasite; he never appeared. The ads also said you could pick up billboards; you can't. (Light poles, yes.) And amazingly, you don't fight Lex Luthor even once. He shows up in some cut scenes, about three of which cursorily detail the plot of the film. The game was hideously delayed, and someday I'd love to hear the story of what happened, and just why it sucks so much. I mean, this is a game based on SUPERMAN RETURNS and they didn't even bother to license any John Williams music. That's just sad.

Y'know what I'd like to see one of these days? A Superman game based on the 1930s Fleischer cartoons. Throw in secret identity as a feature -- you can switch between Clark and Superman, but you have to do it out of sight -- add fights with giant robots and mad scientists and death rays and volcanos, give it a good solid storyline, and bob's your uncle. The Fleischer toons had a terrific, upbeat musical theme, and I'm sure it's cheaper to license and adapt than John Williams's.
hradzka: (donuts?)
So, recently I went lesbian. I don't mean that I've undergone a profound, deeply personal metamorphosis in my gender and sexuality. It's just that, by an odd coincidence, the last three books that I've really enjoyed reading all happen to have been written by lesbian authors. Seems like a good excuse for a themed review, right?

Marijane Meaker's HIGHSMITH: A ROMANCE OF THE 1950S. )

Catherine Friend's HIT BY A FARM )

Alison Bechdel's FUN HOME. )
hradzka: (jim with pipe)
“The Sign of the Four,” Conan Doyle’s second Holmes novel, is underrated. It’s not one of those titles people instantly remember as A HOLMES STORY, like “A Study in Scarlet” or “Silver Blaze.” But it’s flat-out terrific, full of excitement and great character work; and it’s arguably the most cinematic of the Holmes stories, save perhaps “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”

And there are interesting angles for the cracktastic LJ fandom, if the series had had one. Um, this got longish. )
hradzka: (wonder woman)
Watched an interesting movie the other night: HOW TO BEAT THE HIGH COST OF LIVING, a 1980 flick starring Susan Saint James, Jane Curtin, and Jessica Lange. I remembered the movie from my childhood, but hadn’t seen it in maybe twenty-five years and had little to no memory of what it was actually like. I’ve been revisiting my childhood in film a fair amount lately; LICENSE TO DRIVE wasn’t nearly as good as I remembered it, while THREE O’CLOCK HIGH was a masterpiece. I’ll let you know about MIDNIGHT MADNESS and GOTCHA!, also recent purchases, when I get to ‘em.

What do these movies have in common? Well... )
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
So far, I like the show, but it's giving me cause to realize that my reactions to certain elements may be a little... atypical.

SAM. "When I was nine, I told Dad that I was afraid of the monster under my bed. He gave me a forty-five!"
HINES. “That’s terrible! …a .45 has way too much kick for a nine-year-old.”
hradzka: (jim with pipe)
Goddamn it, [ profile] __marcelo! It's your fault.

So I’m reading Sherlock Holmes again. It’s been a good few years since I read the Holmes stories, and I know a lot more about storytelling now, and about fandom, than I did back then. As a kid, I loved Holmes; as an adult, who occasionally scribbles stuff, I’m even more impressed.

Some comments on “A Study in Scarlet” in a minute, but first: Livia’s comments about what a weird, cracktastic Peter Wimsey LJ fandom would be like got me thinking about what LJ fandom would have been like for a whole bunch of properties that never got to experience it. (I wound up writing a post on that, then thinking better of it, because one of those properties was something we all should be really, really grateful never got a cracktastic LJ fandom, and mentioning it in public would a) offend a lot of people and b) put me on the path straight to hell.) Holmes got me thinking about it over again.

It would have been a weird LJ fandom. )
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)

review by David Hines
rating: **1/2

I'm not as big a fan of PITCH BLACK as many seem to be. The original film was okay, but nothing to drive me wild; it was a decent little movie with some good bits, vaulted into cult status by virtue of an excellent performance by Vin Diesel. Now Diesel's back as Richard B. Riddick -- murderer, thief, and all-around bad guy -- in a movie that sees Riddick saving the universe from guys who are rather worse. Not because Riddick has lofty humanitarian goals, or because he's vowed to thwart the villains' plans, but because the bad guys 1) have pissed him off and 2) are in his way.
Here there be spoilers... )
hradzka: (lobo sam)
So this is what it's like to shoot a .500 Magnum Smith & Wesson revolver: it's really, really fun. Also, ow.

The .500 Magnum Smith & Wesson is, at the moment, the most powerful handgun in the world. If there is ever a more powerful handgun, I do not want to meet it. Well, I do, but I'd be a little afraid. The .500 Magnum is not a gun that anyone in his right mind would call "practical." Smith & Wesson built this thing because a) they could and b) gun nuts love this stuff and c) there are people out there who are actually crazy enough to want to hunt Cape Buffalo with a handgun. It's pretty much the firearms equivalent of a 1967 Cadillac El Dorado Convertible, hot pink, with whaleskin hubcaps and all-leather cow interior and big brown baby seal eyes for headlights that gets one mile to the gallon.

How big is it? )
hradzka: (bruce and diana)
God *damn,* this is a good show.

And I'm not just saying that because between this and the pilot (which I just re-watched) I've come to really like the much-put-upon General Wells, and think he and Batman would get along like a house on fire.

Spoilers for Starcrossed. )
hradzka: (donuts?)

  • Really excellent, possibly better than the original.

  • Puss in Boots is the best role Banderas has ever gotten.

Spoilery note to Dreamworks: )


hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)

November 2014



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The collected poems from my descent into madness year spent writing daily poems are now available from Lulu as the cheapest 330-page book they would let me make ($16.20). If that's too pricey, you can also get it from Lulu as a free download, or just click on the "a poem every day" tag to read them here. But if you did buy one, that'd be awesome.

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