Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Warddrobe

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Warddrobe

So, now we tackle the book, the true beginning of the Chronicles of Narnia. Yes, yes, arguements about the way you should read the books are slightly silly, and C.S. Lewis himself said it didn't matter.

But the point is, that I've always thought that chronological order is overrated, and sometimes you should appreciate the middle, then go back to the beginning to learn more, then you'll appreciate the end.

Anyway, the book. First, I didn't remember it being so short and so fast to read. I've read it in only a few days, and I don't get much time to read these days so I'm really surprised by that. I got several chapters in just waiting for my food to heat for lunch the other day.

Second, going back as an adult, I now see some of the criticisms the books have received. I'm surprised by the fact that Father Christmas comes out and says not only that he doesn't want Susan and Lucy to fight, but that, "...battles are ugly when women fight."

Makes me wonder if Lewis was being patriarchal, or just pointing out that women fight dirty.

There's also several hints that he was anti-school. I seem to remember reading that he had a really terrible boarding school experience, so maybe that's where it comes from. But aside from the professor's constant "What do they teach you in these schools?" commentary, there's also the fact that once Edmund returns from the bring of death, the book clearly says he was "looking better than she had seen him look--oh, for ages; in fact ever since his first term at that horrid school which was where he had begun to go wrong. He had become his real old self again and could look you in the face."

And that's the thing with this book. There are little, tiny, almost throw-away moments that say more about Lewis, or the characters themselves, than most of the book put together. He also changes styles often, which threw me some. He actually said "I" but only a few times, and sometimes would address the reader directly, but not often enough for it to be like Series of Unfortunate Events which is constantly talking to you.

In the end, this just made me remember that even when I was younger, I liked the Prince Caspian stories better, but held a special place for the first book because it was the first book.

Another thing that came to mind was something the producers and scriptwriters of the movie said in an interview, claiming that quite a few things in the book were "glossed over" (paraphrasing) and that they fleshed them out. That is actually pretty true. Especially when it comes to the battle, the descriptions of the bad guys, and even character development of the children themselves.

Now that I've re-read the book though, I'll have to say one more disspointment comes to mind for the movie. They made "the trees" talk by not-so-great CGI's of their leaves joining to form people. When in the original, they stuck pretty closely to Dryads and tree-spirits and I've always liked those better.

It's still a very, very good book, and I still encourage anyone to get their children to read it. But I have to admit that it does fall short of what I remember, and that I wanted more detail and description out of it. Maybe not as much as Tolkien, who Lewis is (almost unfortunatly) constantly linked to, but a little more all the same. We can picture Narnia very well, but the actions and the looks of the characters (aside from Aslan and the Witch) are often touched on and left behind.

It is still a dang good story though. I don't care if people think it's Christian propoganda. A moment that surprised me reading it, is when Mr. Beaver tells the children that the Witch is not a daughter of Eve, but in fact the daughter of Lillith. That I think is almost the only blatantly "Christian" part of it, and since as a kid I didn't know what the heck the Beaver was talking about, I just left it alone and forgot about it.

I think the book still stands well as a myth, a morality fable. It's not overly Christian, but actually stands alone and reminds me of the dozens of other ressurection myths throughout the world.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Warddrobe

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Warddrobe

This is a DUAL REVIEW, yay! Why? Because I went to see the movie last week, and then got home and pulled out my copy of the book. Only I'm posting it in two peices.

The film first:
I really, really hate to say this, but I was almost a little dissapointed. You see, my problem with films that are either based on books, or have been made before, is that they need to give me something NEW or I'll just feel like if you see the same play thirty times, with the same sets and director but different actors.

It's just not that compelling, and when you want so badly for it to be amazing, then that causes a little pang. That's what happened here. I know it's not their FAULT entirely that I've been obssessed with this story for years. It's not their problem that I've read the book too many times, and that I've seen the BBC Miniseries several times.

So really, here's a list of pros and cons. First, the pros were obviously, and wholeheartedly, the CGI. It was really brilliant, as advertised, and only a few times did I say "Eeeh, that really needed something better."

There's a story going around that Lewis didn't want the story adapted to a movie because he thought the animals would look ridiculous. In the BBC version, he was really right. The beavers were terrible, as were most of the "animated" things. But this new shiney version? Spot on. All the way down to the way the cats and wolves moved (yes, I know some where real).

The biggest plus was Aslan himself. You see, I said from the beginning that the crucial point for me was going to be Aslan, as I'm a bit of a crazy lion aficianado. The reason that, despite it's shortcomings, I like the old miniseries is because their animatronic Aslan was actually pretty darn good, and made me want to scritch behind his ears.

This Aslan though, went beyond the idea of a "cartoon lion" and was practically a real lion. He very much fit the phrase "not a tame lion." The thing I have to suck up and realize is that lions will never look "right" talking in human speech. Their faces aren't made for it. What Disney did, in both The Lion King and this installment of Narnia, worked out well, but still felt off once in a while.

But there's one moment that for me really sealed the fact that this film felt like it really happened: as they're going to the Stone Table at night, Lucy reaches up to Aslan's mane and his ear, ever so quickly, flicks back. Why does this little movement really blow me away? Because it's the kind of tiny little detail that reminds me of my cat, or of the nature documentaries.

So the movie was beautiful. The film also did a very good job with Edmund, who could have come off much, much worse. But in the end, you really felt his remorse and redemtion. I also really liked Mr. Tumnus. The Witch scared the wits out of me, and really did look ethereal, unhuman, and really wicked. Especially in the final battle.

Which brings me to the cons, and it's a big con. The film was violent, massively so. There were so many things that should not have been in a PG movie, let alone didn't need to be in THIS story itself. The bombings in the beginning? I'm fine with that, because most children these days won't understand the context of the kids being shipped off.

But one of the things I remembered most about the book and the story was that people were turned into stone by the witch, and later revived by Aslan. In the battle, most of the people fell by being turned to stone, and many of the wounded were treated by Lucy. You see, I'm a sucker, I don't think there needs to be massive death on both sides for me to find a battle effective or dramatic.

Lots of the moments in battle, I had no problems with. But there were many, many things that I thought just didn't need to be there, and that fault I lie directly at the feet of a director who openly said that he felt Lewis glossed over too many things. If you want to make a children's film, make a children's film. If you want to make an action movie, do it, but don't try to mix the two.

Aslan's death was done well. The Witch's was not. All we needed was the lion flying through the air at her and knocking her off the screen, and if we get her body lying there later, fine. But instead she's knocked barely off screen and we see Aslan rear back, teeth bared, and lung at what would be the area of her throat, though she's just not quite visable enough to be sure.

I for one never really wanted to think about Aslan as the type of lion who rips people's throats out. It wasn't neccesary, and that's the gist of it. About half the violence in the film was needed for the message, the other half wasn't. This movie was for children, this story has always been for children, and having smaller animals brutally killed by minotaurs doesn't really fit in. While on the one hand, you could argue with me that I'm being too prudish, I think that the telling aspect was that I personally was uncomfortable with it, when I have no history of caring about the violence in many films. I watched Serenity and cheered and cried and never once said it went too far, despite the fact that it did have much worse in it than Narnia ever could.

So in the end, I was and am very much on the fence when it comes to the film. I think the actors and animators all did wonderful jobs, I think the entire thing was gorgeous. I think Liam Neeson was a great Aslan, though I always imagined his voice deeper. I think the parts of the story they didn't include weren't vital, and the ones they did were the ones that needed to be there.

And yet I still can't muster myself up to be gung-ho excited about it, because there wasn't anything there that wasn't already there, except technology. And the opening sequence about the bombings of London, which in fact were the only part that made me cry.

Posting about the book next.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Talk to the Hand

Talk To The Hand by Lynne Truss

I picked this book up because I really enjoyed the parts of Eats, Shoots and Leaves that I read when it came out. While I know I'm a horrible person when it comes to grammar, most of the nitpicky points she was getting at are in fact ones I even know. So I do consider it kind of sad when signs and corporate entities don't get it.

But moving on to her new book, Truss is taking on manners and rudeness, subjects rather close to my heart right now because of the fact that I work in retail. Specifically, I'm working in food service right now since I'm slinging coffee at a cafe. The saddest part is, I'm not fascinated by rudeness as much because of my customers as I am my co-workers.

Truss touches on both sides, terrible customer service, and terrible customers. And I laughed and agreed with her almost every step of the way. Her conversational tone is backed up by excerpts and facts from larger works and studies of manners and society.

Most of what she has to say is very true. She talks about how men are afraid to act nice to women anymore for fear they'll be yelled at for holding the door open. I've always felt it was sad that feminism often thinks being rude to a nice person is acceptable.

She talks about people on cel phones in public places, one of my pet peeves. Truss says she's really okay with people on the train or walking down the sidewalk being on their phone, and I'm the same way, depending on the conversation. What I hate is when people come up to my register on their cel phones. I want to wear a t-shirt that says "I'm sorry, you're already talking to someone, I'll wait until you're done."

Truss does start to go off insulting video games and the internet at one point, and though some of her points are true (internet friends, no matter what you might think or experience, are not the same as real life friends. They can become real life friends though) most of them are reactionary and apply to only a small portion of the population. You know, like every other time people start insulting "gamers" and internet junkies.

But in the end, the book did make me laugh a lot, and it also gave me many things I'd like to photocopy and hang up in the break room at work. There's a brilliant list of 20 types of people you should always show respect towards, and I'd like to blow it up and post it around town.

At the moment when you start to think that Truss is belaboring her point, and repeating herself, she wraps up her book and ends. It's very short overall, I read it in only two evenings. It's definitely worth a look for anybody that thinks if they deal with one more rude clerk they're going to go by behind the counter and ring themselves up.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

A Knight's Tale

A Knight's Tale

When movies start with Queen's "We Will Rock You" there's a good chance they're not going to be high cinema. When that is accompanied by medeival peasants stomping and clapping to the beat, there's a good bet you're not in for Orson Welles, or even The History Channel.

I'll admit up front that I absolutly hate intentional anachronism.
n 1: something located at a time when it could not have existed or occurred [syn: mistiming, misdating]

Almost always, when people do this kind of thing on purpose, it's played for laughs. Filmmakers usually try to make the things fit, by quaintly changing them to make them more accurate but still pointing at the modern concept.

There are also those cutesy little moments that are put in films where people go talk about something in their time period, and since they aren't the viewer, they don't know that what they're saying is ironic or amusing. That's like a scene I've been told is in Titanic where somebody says Picasso or Van Gogh won't amount to anything. Oh, teehee, we as the audience know that Picasso and Van Gogh are way famous! That means it's funny! This phenomena is exactly why I don't bother every watching Shanghai Knights even though I loved Shanghai Noon.

All that being said, my outlook towards A Knight's Tale was rather absymal. I thought it might be amusing, and my best friend liked it so I thought, why not? So I rented it.

Two things happened in the opening credits that proved that I would at least enjoy the film: the names Alan Tudyk and Paul Bettany. Tudyk could make faces to the camera and I'd be amused, he's great. Bettany actually made me like a romance movie like Wimbeldon, the likes of which I usually get bored with.

And really, Heath Ledger is quite a looker. Not to mention that jousting is neat.

So let's say I went in with low expectations. I was served them back with only a small return on the investment in the end. Tudyk was fantastic, and as usual every time he opened his mouth he said something funny.

Bettany was a little different, as he was the only real "known" player, taking on the role of Geoffrey Chaucer, affectionatly called Geoff. He was the source of most of those "teehee" moments I mentioned. He tells some men who threatened him that he will "eviserate [them] in fiction." And I'm sure if I could remember much of the Chaucer I read in high school, I would have gone, "Oh, that's funny because in Cantebury Tales..."

But I forgave him, as I did most of the things that usually bug me. In the end the only fault that still bothers me is that well, it was kind of boring. That doesn't make sense even as I type it, since it was a movie full of grown men bashing each other with sticks...but still, I was bored.

Maybe it was that the characters were all so one-dimensional that they could have put up cardboard cut outs and animated moving mouths and it would have worked just as well. No, not the acting. The acting was fine, it was the script that I'm talking about. You have William, the stalwart young man determined to change his lot in life. His father, the man who didn't get a chance but is determined his son will have one. Wat, the funny one with the bad temper. Roland, the wiser, happy guy (who can sew!). We can't forget Kate, the girl-blacksmith who is just as good as the boys, even better because she invents better armor.

Along with our merry band is Jocelyn, the beautiful woman who hates that she's so beatiful people don't respect her, so sad. There's also the eeeeeevil Count Adamar, a man so sinister he needed a handlebar mustache. He's there to poke men with big sticks, knock them off their horses, take the woman as his prize, and sneer at anyone who isn't him.

Of course, overall this was really just a sports movie. As a sports movie, it did really well. There were plenty of heartbreaking moments where you wondered if the hero would win or fall off his horse. He even does the last tilt without armor so you can see his pretty face.

I'm making more critcisms than I meant to. In the end, it wasn't a wasted evening. I had fun, watching it with my friends. We wanted to fast forward a few times, but the urge wasn't as strong as say, Dragonfly, which I didn't fast forward through because I was cleaning my living room and couldn't find the remote.

It's not a bad Saturday afternoon rental movie. But I wouldn't put off mowing the lawn to watch it either.

Oh no, I just discovered that Alan Tudyk is in Dodgeball: A True Underdog story. I might have to watch a Ben Stiller movie...whatever am I going to do?



I just finished watching an older film, Dragonfly, with Kevin Costner and Kathy Bates and a lot of other people I can't remember right now.

I have this slight problem when reviewing films, I tend not to want to outright bash the people involved. I want to make excuses for them and such. But I just can't with this one.

It began kinda promising, and I almost actually cared about the characters. When the first "supernatural" event happens, I was actually getting into it. There's a kid that's flatlined, and suddenly he wakes up again. Spooky stuff.

Then the "too much, too fast, too small" syndrome starts. The point is to give the main character, whose name is Joe by the way, Emily's Joe, a mystery to unravel. He's got to follow the clues to figure out what his wife is trying to tell him.

But we get each clue hard and fast, and smaller characters run on and off the screen so quickly you're not sure they were even there. Some mystery, we don't even get a chance to try to figure it out because he's already got one thing down and is moving to the next.

Several reviewers compared it to The Mothman Prophecies. I wouldn't be that kind, because the Mothman Prophecies actually spooked me out a little. Of course, it could be because I live close enough to where that all happened.

Not to mention that the END of that movie is not really an up or down ending, it just is. It really felt like it was telling a true story, which the author felt it was. I'm sidetracked.

Dragonfly would have been a decent enough movie if the mystery unveiled something interesting, something neat or unexpected. I don't need a real twist really, but something.

Instead I get the most sentimental peice of crap I've ever seen put on my television. This is yet another one of those cases where I sat at the beginning of the movie going "I wonder if...nah, that would be too stupid!" and then it happened. This hasn't occurred since Urban Legend.

The ending is wretched, absolutly wretched. And Kevin Costner's reaction to said ending made me laugh so loud I scared my cat. People don't fall to their knees in real life, very rarely anyway. It's gotta be something dang good to make you fall to your knees, and while this revelation probably was pretty dang good for that character, he waited until about five minutes AFTER to fall over.

You think his brain couldn't keep up the pace, or did the editing just chop in a few too many seconds before they panned out? Because as it is, it's more like "*COMPLETLY SHOCKING ANNOUNCEMENT!*"
"My wife really did have something to say..."
*dramatic pause*
*more dramatic pausing*
*uncomfortable shifting from the extras*

Then after all that junk, as if that wasn't enough to make your brain slowly start to leak out your ears, then we get a voiceover.

Note to directors of the world: voiceovers often equal the death of your respectability as a film. Esp. when said voiceovers only occur once. If you have a narrator, sure. If one character's thoughts play an important role in the film, sure.

But if you start the movie with a vo, or end it with one, you're just spoonfeeding the audience what you didn't have the time or skill as a storyteller to show them before your producers said "That's it, no more budget for you!"

To top it all off the VO was so ultimatly sappy that I had to brush my teeth afterwards. Guh.

You know, I let movies get by with an awful lot of things that probably couldn't happen. Heck, one of my favorite action flicks is Independance Day and we all know that it's completly unbelievable.

But our stunning and shocking finale in Dragonfly? That's just too far out even for me. It's so completly impossible that it makes me want to remind the writers that since they're getting paid, they probably should actually write something that doesn't sound like a fifth grader chanting "And they all lived happily ever after."

Bad movie. Only rent it if you've got time on your hands, and a friend to mock it with.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Directors: Wes Craven

The Directors: Wes Craven

I've been watching this series created by the American Film Institute, where they profile various directors that have made a big impact on Hollywood. So far I've checked out Steven Spielberg (of course), Rob Reiner, Ron Howard, and a couple others.

What probably drives my enjoyment of these short documentaries is my love of the director themselves, or the actors that are interviewed. But at the same time, when I watched the one for a guy that was in Monty Python, I had seen next to none of the films mentioned but I still found it a really fascinating documentary.

Now, with Rob Reiner and Steven Spielberg my intense love for their movies really helped. But even Ron Howard had a lot of things to say about the way he worked, and the actors interviewed gave me great insights into what makes a director they want to work with again.

I can't say that about the Wes Craven volume I just watched. In the end, I had seen next to none of his movies. After a bad experience watching Nightmare on Elm Street as a six year old, I never watched any of the Freddy Kreuger movies. I saw The Serpent and the Rainbow and found it pretty darn boring. The only movies that they discussed that I really cared about were Scream and Scream 2. Both of them only got a really cursory examination.

It was pretty interesting to learn about Craven's background in academics, but in the end I didn't really learn anything. The actors didn't have much to actually contribute much besides a neat talk about how Robert England tried to protray Freddy as a "dark trickster" I think it was.

On the whole, I would only tell really big fans of Craven to pick it up. Even if you just like directors or the Hollywood process, there are others out there.

Dawn of the Dead

Dawn of the Dead

Last night Cyn, Shoka, and I got together to watch Dawn of the Dead, one of THE zombie movies. Also a movie that along with Night of the Living Dead changed the genre of horror in America.

I would like to formally hit George Romero with a tennis racket for that. He changed us from a society that got the proper heebie jeebies from Vincent Price's creepy laugh, to a bunch of teenagers begging for the next bloody corpse. Yay, bloody violence!

Sure, violent movies have their place. I for one really enjoyed Resident Evil and it's sequel. But the thing is, I wasn't scared by them. I liked the action, not the blood and intensines. I think Shaun of the Dead is one of the best movies I've seen in ages, but that's despite the gross disembowling, now because of it.

Now that I've got that out of the way, I'll just say Dawn of the Dead does not equal frightening or scary in the least. Guess I'll have to go and get kicked myself for saying it.

Romero did have a vision, and it was an interesting one. The parallels between consumer culture and zombies were a very nice touch. But we were also beaten in the head with them until even the most inattentive moviegoer would get it. Okay, shoppers = zombies. Got it, please please move on.

The idea of building your own little hiding place inside a mall was brilliant and well executed. But when it started to get interesting and we realize that these three people are going to go nuts by themselves, random raiders show up and spoil the character development by having a pie fight with the zombies.

Sure, it was really funny to see that some people had figured out how to deal with zombies, by just moving faster than them. I think that's one thing most zombie movies never really think of, that we've got several distinct advantages over the undead.

Oh, and to quote Randy in Scream, a movie that found a good balance between story and gore, "They got the blood wrong. It's too red!"

Maybe it's just the jaded eyes of a later generation, but while I felt Dawn of the Dead is worth watching for it's cinematic contribution, as a story and a film on it's own it's not really the best. Yes, you have to remember that it was one of the first and that many films rely on the stage set by Romero's trilogy. But you also have to realize that one of the brilliant things about movies and art is that those that come later often take a formula and improve on it, honing it into something even better.

I'm glad I sat and watched Dawn of the Dead, but I don't think I'll ever watch it again. I would reccomend it to anybody that likes to poke fun and laugh at movies, as we had a great time imitating the characters as they got stupider and stupider.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Towel Day

Okay, I'm mostly just testing to see if the add settings I'm trying to fix are working.

I'm trying to get Google ads to post on this page, so that it will help a little with the cost for server space. But I'm having issues with it not seeming to read the content properly to give me a good selection of ads related to what I'm talking about.

So I'm going to try to get it to talk about something else by rambling about a specific topic: towels.

You see, I just learned that Towel Day is coming up, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to try to participate this year. I'm trying to decide which towel I should carry with me all day. On the one hand, I'd love to have this towel but since I don't have the money to run my own website then I can't very well be flitting off and buying a very cool "Don't Panic" towel.

So that leaves me with the towels I have at home, which include quite a few decorate options. I have towels with sunflowers, with cherry blossoms, with purple paw prints, with haunted houses...I went through a phase where I was buying cute matching towel and washcloth sets for my towel rack.

But they're all very small, and what kind of statement does that really make? Should I go for my larger than beach-towel sized Lessard Architectural Group option? It's very bright blue and one of my favorites. Or should I perhaps go with my "tea towel" that I got at Harrod's, since it is an authentically British towel from my biggest trip I've ever taken?

These things might seem trivial, but with the mind-boggingly bigness of the universe I feel they can be construed as important.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

I read a review before I went to the movie that said "Great acting, great effects, no discernable plot."

I thought that sounded perfect, and it pretty much was. Except for one part that I felt Zaphod's third arm could have been done better, the effects were great. I loved the design of dang near everything. I think they hit all the high points of the book and really captured the spirit of it.

The only thing I felt that this changed at all was that in the books, I loved Zaphod, but in the movie he kinda grated on me. But you know, that's the type of character that would be like that.

The only thing that got left out that should have made it: Mostly Harmless. And Gin and Tonics.

Otherwise, I think it was an amazing recreation of a great book. To say thumbs up would be too cheesy though.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Jem: Finally Woken

Note: I know that the archives aren't working and you can only access the latest three posts. I'm not sure why this is happening and will try to tackle the problem soon, along with making the google ads read the content of the blog and not the Also: the spellcheck feature on blogger doesn't seem to be working, and so I apologize for spelling errors. I'm really a very terrible speller.

Jem: Finally Woken

It's been an incredibly long time since I bought a CD after listening to only one song. Normally I wait for two or three, or even until someone else has bought it and I can listen to the entire thing. But in the case of Jem, I loved the song "24" so much that I wanted to hear it more, and only one local radio station seemed to be playing it.

So on a whim I checked out the price at our local FYE, which is always overpriced. They had it for only $12, so I decided to check Target instead. When I found the CD for only $10, I snatched it up without thinking much about it.

I am so glad that I did. Every song on the CD is good, and I can listen to it over and over without getting tired of it. The music is very different from the typical pop songs that are getting so much airplay now, and it's a sound I love. I played it on repeat for about four hours when I first bought it, and I never listen to anything on repeat because I get sick of things too quickly. Since then it's left my CD player only to go to Cyn's house and make her listen to it.

The song that gets stuck in my head most is not 24, which I still love, but Finally Woken. Jem's voice is beautiful, and I wish I could explain the allure of this album better. But all I can say is that there's something in it, the way the songs flow, the way they work together, the way the music compliments the singing. There's something, and it's perfect. Now I'd be willing to buy any music of hers without even hearing it, which could get me into trouble but ah well.

It really is that great. I would reccomend it to anyone, and wholeheartedly so. It might not be everyone's taste, but it is absolutly worth a try.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Pretender: Season 1

The Pretender, Season 1

I'm currently finishing up with disc 6 of the first season of Pretender, and I've got to say that I'm still extremly happy that this show was chosen to get to DVD. I know most shows are making it these days, but this was far and away one of my favorites.

One thing that's surprising me is how quickly the plot line moved along. So many things have already happened by this next to last disc that I'm trying to figure out what happens in the second season!

A few things about the navigation: I don't like it. While the graphics are pretty, the navigation is uselessly complicated. You have to click on an episode title, go to a second menu, and then chose to play episode, use the set up menu, choose chapters, or go back.

Personally, if I want to have set up something, I want to do it before I pick my episode. I didn't like this when the Stargate DVDs started doing it, though they are even worse. On those, you have to click episode, then the title, and then play. If I'm watching a tv show on dvd, chances are I just want to play it. The Friends box sets have this much better organized, though they don't offer chapter selection: a major negative.

Pretender is only better as a show that can be watched in long sittings rather than waiting each week for the next installment. You really see Jarod's versatility that way, and how quickly he moves from one thing to the next. On Disc 6 you also get treated to Jarod's first "love" (if you don't count Miss Parker), and I remembered thinking the episode wasn't as bad as I thought.

Now that I'm older, I like it even better. The woman wasn't a typical model, but a woman that was actually beautiful. Not to mention it's the episode where Jarod learns about Star Wars. Other episodes haven't stood the test of time, and every once in a while I'm starting to actually think Jarod goes a little too far.

The behind the scenes featurettes are great, and overall it's well worth watching, whether you've seen it or not.

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Price

The Price by Anne Bishop, featured in Powers of Detection, edited by Dana Stabenow

I picked up this book at the bookstore for a lot of reasons. I pulled it off the shelf for the cover art, which I think is phenomenal. It's very intruiging, and I was looking for short stories as I currently have the attention span of a fruit fly.

What made me take it home was that it featured a story by Anne Bishop, who quickly became one of my favorite authors after I bought The Black Jewels Trilogy because, well, they had pretty covers. I had a gift certificate.

I didn't care if the story was based on the world of the Blood or maybe her other series, which I haven't read yet. But it turns out it was based on the BJT, and is a continuation from after the last book. I haven't read Dreams Made Flesh yet, so I don't know how it interacts with those stories.

Surreal is the main character of this story, which made me happy because I would say that she ties with Lucivar for my favorite character in the books. Daemon and Jaenelle are great, but Surreal has so many facets that never got explored. I hoped this would finally give us another one.

In a way, you did get to see a little more of her, but the story suffered greatly from being short. There is too much telling and not enough showing, and things wind up a little too neatly. Though I was happy to see Daemon and Jaenelle show up, they seemed like cameos made just to appease fans, and not vital to the story in the end.

I really wanted to see Surreal on her own, maybe with a new character, but not needing help from the other "mains" of the story. The end came too quickly and too neatly, with too much "inner thought" instead of action, despite a fabulous beginning. I also thought the ending didn't have near enough "bang."

For people who, like me, are in love with the world of the Blood, this is something you should read. But it absolutly isn't a place to start, and if you're only lukewarm to the BJT then don't read this as it won't offer you much.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


Stellvia vol. 4

Tonight my sister and I watched the three episodes that make up volume 4 of Stellvia, an anime that's still in the process of being released by Geneon.

This show is quickly becoming one of my favorites the more I watch of it. Though there was a moment there when a new character was introduced, and was of course absolutly perfect and cute. But in the end she wasn't that big a deal and the show continued to focus on Shima Katase, the main character.

One of the best things about Stellvia istead of becoming a show entirely about space battles and mecha, it's actually about the people on board the Stellvia, a giant space station. You get your fair share of spaceships and such, but there's just as much personal interaction between the pilot trainees as there is actual training.

Of course this volume also starts to give you the payoff of the growing romantic attractions on the show, and it was better than I even thought it would have been.

There's mystery, spaceships, romance, angst, and humor. I really love this show, and I'd like to buy it one day to watch it over again. I highly reccomend it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Sure, this blog isn't actually visible yet, but I'm working on it. I just don't have a ton of time right now. I'm debating what this will be used for, and I think I'm going to go with randomly talking about what movies I'm watching and books I'm reading, along with the updates of the site. Maybe that'll work.

Tonight I'm working at the bookstore, which means I'll be taking back two books I checked out. The first was Juvenile Orion vol. 1. I liked it alright, but I was getting extremly confused. I know this sounds petty, but the binding on the book was annoying, because it was hard to hold it open and really see the art. I'm sure that means it won't fall apart, but I'd like to be able to read it too. I'll probably pick up the second volume, but it's not a priority.

Sin City vol. 1 was the other one, and I can't remember the title of this one. It's the middle story in the movie I think, with the woman named Goldie. I can't decide entirely what I think of it. The story was interesting, but the artwork actually was beyond not my style. Actually it really bugged me. But that was the story of the Sandman comics too, and I read all of those. Def. going to pick up the next volume of Sin City, because the writing really did have a lot of good stuff going on. Will likely rent the movie, but not spend the cash to go see it in the theatre because I'm flat broke.

Last thing I watched on my DVD player was the last of Season 2 of Friends. Man, I loved that show when it first came out. I'm going to try to make it past Ross and Rachel's "break" this time, which is when I stopped watching during the original airings. Ross got so annoying I just couldn't take it anymore. I wanted Rachel to dump him.

Before that it was Demon Under Glass, a good indie vampire flick about scientists who capture a vampire to study him. The big draw was of course that Jason Carter was the vampire. But the story was interesting too, and it really got me wanting to get back into filmmaking, because I could see a lot of the things they did while making it, and I really wanted to do my own movie again. I just wish I had the time.

Time to stop rambling since nobody can read this until I figure out how to insert it anyway!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Would you look at that? I do have an update blogger already set up for this site! I just need to plug it in.

Seven new images posted in the random image archive, and one ask/answer question answered. The pics are in entertainment, photos, random, and artwork. The categories are new too. Be sure to leave comments so I know what kind of pics people are looking for!