shadowkat: (Tv shows)
Way back in 1973, sci-fi writer, Michael Crichton wrote and directed a science fiction film entitled Westworld about a Western amusement park where the androids malfunction and start to kill the human tourists. It starred James Brolin, Yul Brunner, and Richard Benjamin. There was a sequel, that I actually saw years later, entitled Futureworld which starred Peter Fonda and Yul Brunner made a cameo appearance in a dream sequence.

The film version of Westworld aired again recently, and I still have it on the DVR, but have had troubles getting into it. Also, in the 1980s, there was a short-lived television series that I vaguely remember watching entitled "Beyond Westworld".

Now, years later, JJ Abrahams and company have revisited and rebooted Westworld as a television series for HBO. A far shinier, a far more violent series than the original. Also in some respects better written. Spoiler alert? It sort of ends the same, or rather, as one might expect.
It also at one point, references the original movie by following the journey of two guests to the park, William and Logan, who weirdly resemble Brolin and Benjamin's original characters.

The series is a fascinating philosophical study of consciousness or how we reach it. And that to find oneself, one must travel within, not without. You won't find the meaning of life or figure out who you are by looking outside yourself or out there, but rather within. Which is a Buddhist concept, I think. Or rather it's what I've been reading recently within Buddhist teachings. Although, I seriously doubt the Buddhists would agree with the graphic violence or the need for it.

The writers of this series aren't that found of humans, it is rather misanthropic. And there is a heavy meta-narrative on the exploitative nature of television or film. Reminding me a great deal of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. Having now watched the whole thing, I'd say the two series have a lot more common than I'd originally thought and in some respects end on a similar note.

eh spoilers for the series Dollhouse and Westworld )
shadowkat: (doing time)
Amongst other things...blogging is an art form in which I continue to insist on coloring outside of the lines.

Today..I ran into five-six homeless people, that I noticed. All people of color. All bundled up, at least there's that. They appeared to be warm. Scarves. Mittens. Layers. On this frigid day. They sat huddled on the floor of subway passageways, tin cans out, begging. Some on the heated grates on sidewalks. Or wandering the subway itself, hat in hand. Explaining that they were homeless due to a lost job, or various other reasons. Normally, I ignore...but today, I just couldn't. Not when I passed the man with the bandaged eye for the second time this week, half blind, huddled against the wall, with the small scratched out sign that he'd been beaten up while sleeping on the subway. I promised myself that if I saw him again, I would stop and hand him a dime. I gave him three dollars, a pittance. At least, others had as well. Further down, a man was railing at all who would listen. Screaming and ranting at the top of his lungs. His voice competed with the Scottish Bag Pipes lonely wail of Sweet By and By. And in between, a blind man sat on a mat, hands crossed on his lap, meditating.

New York City is not a safe comfortable place to live. It screams and shouts at you, to be noticed. With raw wounds scraped along its pretty glistening sides.

Been pondering the past lately...past transgressions, people who have drifted off and some who have drifted back again into my life, seemingly out of nowhere. My friend Maribeth Martell, aka [livejournal.com profile] embers_log, continues to haunt the social media pages...on Facebook her birthday was announced as if she was still amongst us, she'd have been 64, and on Good Reads, I see which books she liked and didn't...that I'm reading. She didn't live long enough to read mine, although she'd seen some introductory chapters. And whenever I post a picture to my livejournal, for some reason or other her name appears in the album posting box. She died two years ago of colitis - an infection that got worse and worse. Even though we'd begun to drift apart before she died, I miss her. An old acquaintance from my college days just contacted me out of nowhere. Hadn't heard from her since 1987 - when we traveled around Britain together. She was much older than I was at the time, thinking 30s or 40s. Found me on LinkedIn. And a few people have popped up again on livejournal, who I thought were basically gone. Then there's the little boy who told my best bud to punch me in the stomach when I was 6 years of age. Or maybe 5. I still vividly remember it. We were friends. We did get over that...kids do. But they moved soon after, both of them did. He was blond, white blond hair, and blue eyes. Name of Derek. I see him vividly sitting on a tree in my mind's eye. He moved out of the house that my best friend moved into, right next door to us. He could climb poles. He taught me to climb poles. I don't remember his last name. I don't know what happened to him.

The past never quite goes away does it? Just sort of floats in the ether of one's brain...around and around. My Granny at the end of her life remembered her childhood better than she did what happened a minute ago.

So...I revisited this old Buffy essay I wrote, about Willow, the other day - which I'd forgotten. And it said something that well made me sit up and take notice:
Read more... )

Anyhow, a while back, I wrote this book and self-published it. Called Doing Time on Planet Earth (see icon), it's a play on words. The phrase means mundane. Or drudgery. Feeling drug into the abyss. It features three people, all of which feel lost, all of whom have broken spirits...due to past transgressions, whether they be familial in nature or peer related, or even work related. One of the three has reacted with rage, she's sort of the Willow of the story. People who read it at work wanted to know which character was me, reader's always ask this question. People used to ask Joss Whedon which character represented him in Buffy, he flippantly would say Xander. Then later, Buffy, and at another point Willow. Although, I think they all probably did, and didn't at the same time. Same with me -- all the characters in Doing Time are part of me, and at the same time they aren't -- they exist outside of me, like children that I'd given birth to would. With their own views and ideals. Representative of me and not at the same time.

In my book, I reference fandom a lot, the fan boards...where two of the protagonists meet and become close friends. They know each other, and they really don't at the same time. One of them, Hope Wexler, who is an embezzler and identity thief - collects Loony Tunes action figures. It should be noted that even though she is a thief, she has a moral code -- she only steals from corporations that are laying off employees and only the identities of dead people. The characters she identifies with are Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner. And it's through the Looney Tunes characters that she connects with Kenny, a blind accountant that she is currently working with. He can't see her, but then she's in disguise. But he does see her, better than anyone, just as he sees and appreciates the Loony Tunes in greater depth than she does.

Below is a snippet from this novel that...is one of the reasons I decided to self-publish.
Because every publishing contact I sent it to - wanted me to remove it. They were blind to the fact that it was central to the themes of my book, it was vital to understanding the relationship between various characters and how they viewed the world. But not everyone will see it - because not everyone thinks the same way. If you don't think metaphorically, some of this will most likely jump over your head. You might think it boring or silly or why did she include this. I don't know. I found some of the reactions.. very frustrating. I remember begging my contact to see it...to give it a chance, but she cut me off without a response. None at all. It wasn't a quick read, a page turner, a thriller. It fell outside the box, outside the lines.

Anyhow, below is the scene, which is about how we will often use fictional characters to express how we feel about ourselves or who we are. Whether it be Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, or Willow Rosenberg. In the scene, Kenny identifies with Wile E and Daffy, while Hope in direct contrast is identifying with the much cooler Bugs Bunny and Road Runner.

The conversation is between Hope and Kenny. It is their first date. Takes place in a coffee shop in Coliseum Books in 2004, across from Bryant Park in the fall. Kenny is blind. Hope is using an alias, and working for the same company that he is as a contract administrator. She plans on embezzling from the company at some point. While they are talking, a woman that she'd met at a fandom concert, whose car she borrowed without permission, appears to recognize her. Hope during the conversation is trying to explain herself to Kenny by using a Looney Tune character that she identifies with...but she's not sure she is connecting with him, even though she desperately wants to. At the same time, she knows she has to stay hidden from him, she can't risk revealing who she is...and is on the verge of fleeing his company.
From Doing Time on Planet Earth )
The above excerpt depicts how people use characters to explain themselves to each other in a safe way. A healing way. Taking on various archtepyes.

Art, I think, is how we relate to the world when its too painful to do so directly.
A way to express what's inside..without exposing oneself.

I think though often...people don't see it. Too quickly read or skimmed over. We forget to read what isn't written or what the writer hasn't said, but only implied. And so much gets lost in translation, and well...in misinterpretation.

I tried sharing this last night, but panicked and took it down. Afraid it would be misunderstood, leaving me..vulnerable to attack. The internet is scary. LJ less so. Most of the scary folks have fled to the next trendy spot. But..it is still scary to try to connect to others. There's always that chance they will bite you.
shadowkat: (warrior emma)
1. Doctor Who Episodes 9.1.5-9.2 or rather "Meditation for the Doctor", "Magician's Apprentice", and "The Witch's Familiar".

The problem I had with these was the damn commercial interruptions. Can't help but wonder what it would be like if I wasn't constantly fast-forwarding through commercials every 15 or 10 minutes. As a result of the commercials, some of which were flash-forward previews regarding what will happen next in between commercials, so you don't give up, I found it hard to follow. Not to mention jarring.
Note to television writers producing shows for "commercial" television - out of order narratives or jumpy narratives are hard to follow when you are interrupted by commercials. It interrupts the flow.

I felt I should get that out of the way first. My main issue with Doctor Who, and probably the reason I was never "fannish" about it - is it is geared more towards "horror" than really speculative science fiction/fantasy/adventure. Basically the writer is interested in examining what scares us. This has never had a great deal of appeal for me. I'm not a big fan of horror. I like it, but sparingly. If you aren't a horror fan -- you probably don't like Doctor Who all that much.

Ignoring both of those quibbles? (Because one, let's face isn't the writers fault, he wrote the series for non-commercial television, and two, it's a horror series. Hello. Sort of know that going into it.) It was an interesting series of episodes. Playing around once again with the idea of mercy and war. And enemies vs. friends. The Doctor at the end of it, chooses to save the child who will one day become he's most dreaded enemy, to show mercy, as opposed to the more tempting choice - to kill him.

spoilers for Doctor Who )

2. New American Television Series

* Scream Queens -- I gave up halfway through, around the 30 minute mark. I'd read good reviews of it. But here's the thing, Ryan Murphy's unique and rather flamboyant (read over the top) brand of cultural satire/parody either works for you or it really doesn't. Don't get me wrong, I didn't find it offensive so much as boring. I didn't care about any of the characters. And I kept wondering why all these rich entitled college kids weren't using smartphones 24/7 like their real life counterparts? In short, I was taken out of the story intermittently by the thought - why aren't they taking pictures of that with their cell phones? Why don't they have their cell phones on them? Clearly Murphy and Falchuck are of my generation and don't seem to realize that everyone under the age of 30, with few exceptions, has a cell phone as a third appendage.

But my main difficulty, was none of the characters was relateable, interesting, charming, or compelling. Not one. I need at least someone to care about and root for. In Glee, I had five people, plus nifty musical numbers. This...I don't even have the musical numbers, just gory death scenes, and seriously who wants that?

* Blindspot --- has potential. My co-worker loves it. I find it a bit boiler-plate, but I admittedly have watched too many tv shows in my life-time. It feels a bit like Orphan Black meets the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. A woman has her memory completely wiped, and her skin covered with tattoos, then she's dumped naked in a duffel bag in the middle of Times Square. The duffel has a tag stating that they should "CAll the FBI". Oh and on her back is the name of a top level FBI agent, Kurt Weller. Apparently each of her tattoos holds a clue to her identity and to various terrorist attacks around the city or country. It's a treasure map of sorts.

So, each episode will be unraveling the mystery behind each individual tattoo. The case of the week is the terrorist or criminal action that the tattoo is a clue to, and the back plot is who is this woman and what does the tattoo and the case reveal about her.

She's clearly a trained fighter, with awesome shooting and kung fu skills. (And has a Navy Seals Special Ops Tattoo hidden under a new tattoo.) We're also shown the man who trained her and did this to her - but no clue if he is a villain or what exactly.

Like I said, it has potential, but it's nothing new or that we haven't seen before, exactly.

3. ) I've finished Grant Morrison's New X-men - which overall, was quite good. Read more... )

Anyhow. Now re-reading Joss Whedon and John Cassiday's Astonishing X-men, which is much better than I remembered. Read more... )
shadowkat: (dragons)
Any X-men fans reading this journal or out there? Or maybe not fans so much as folks who've read the Grant Morrison arc?

It's funny, I stopped reading the X-men right around the time Grant Morrison took over the series and created the New X-Men. What he basically did is reboot it - and evolve the characters, taking what had been a superhero book and turning it into a hyper-realistic, sci-fantasy, story filled to the brim with metaphor and psycho-philosophical chewiness. But at the time, way back in 2001-2002, I still wanted the superhero book or mainly lost interest, and well, unemployment struck, so couldn't afford it. So I gravitated towards Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and became insanely obsessed with that. It was in a way a far more rewarding obsession, once I discovered the online fandom, which I could discuss it with in geeky splendor. X-men -- I stayed away from the fandom, my interactions with them in comic book stores...were, well...think Warren Mears meets Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory.

Now I've read a good portion of Grant Morrison's arc, vol 1 through vol 3, or the Cassandra Nova arc, and it's rather brilliant. Nova is a mummundrai - or the antithesis of Xavier. She is the other, that legend has, we met in the womb -- the anima. The hunger, the demon, the fear, the despair, the insecurities that knock at your minds door and want to be let in. In the background, we have various characters struggling with inner demons. And the new students at the school - aren't pretty, aren't powerful, and are incredibly vulnerable. Nova wants to exterminate all mutants, everyone who has a genetic anomaly, who is different. She does it through biological warfare, robot sentinels, and mind control - or tries to. Doesn't succeed. They finally defeat her by working together, overcoming their fears, and deconstructing her mind and essence into what amount to an alien organic device programmed to learn.

The art is uneven. I'm rather fond of Silverstri and Yu's art, but Quitely is almost too bland, and this other guy too busy. However, what I love most about these type of comics is the art continues to change and you see various interpretative styles.

It's odd that like hyper-realistic art in comics, when my own art and drawings are more abstract and cartoonish, less realistic. See the icon of the dragon for an example. I don't tend to draw detailed and realistic renditions. It's not that I can't - give me a picture and I can pretty much draw close enough to it. But when I do it naturally, it tends to be more abstract or surreal in design. Drawings and pictures like all things artistic is in the eye of the beholder.

The writing like most comic books is uneven as well. Brilliant in places, cheesy in others. Also typos here and there - which is sort of reassuring, I'm not the only who screws up in this regard.
Good to know.

Cyclops arc continues to be interesting and consistent. Actually all the characters are consistently written. Jean is gaining in power, and he's understandably concerned. (Actually he's been concerned since before he was taken over by Apocalypse - way back when they living in Alaska, he'd asked his friends to come up to discuss Jean's Phoenix manifestations. And he has reason to be concerned. She is becoming insanely powerful again, and the last time she lost control - he lost her.) But they are estranged in some ways, he doesn't trust her or himself any longer. He senses her judgement of him.
Jean in her own way resents him for severing their psychic bond to sacrifice himself to Apocalypse.
She'd begged him not to do it. And while she managed to severe Apocalypse from him, he was changed.
Apocalypse exposed all his self-doubts and insecurities about their marriage, everything. As Wolverine puts it at one point - being taken over by an evil thing isn't funny. Scott is gritting his teeth to hold it together, to stay sane. So yes, he comes across as uptight, but he's barely keeping it together. (Which is a nice change of pace -- often in comics and television shows, a hero is possessed by evil, then whoa, all better. Then possessed again. Then all better. And that's not how it works. When we battle our demons, particularly internal ones, we are changed.)

Joss Whedon took over the comic after Grant Morrison's run. And Whedon, interestingly enough, got into the comics again when Morrison took them over. He found Morrison's take inspiring and he read it voraciously, along with Claremounts (which I was incredibly addicted to in the 1980s and 1990s) (I know this because he stated it in an interview:




Wired: What’s it like for you to write other people’s characters? Your run writing Astonishing X-Men managed to do all kinds of new fun stuff, but still hearken back to Chris Claremont’s work in the 1980s and Grant Morrison’s completely weird stories.

Whedon: Well those are the runs that I read. Those were, I thought, the two true golden eras of the X-Men and I followed each of them voraciously. Originally I was supposed to take over New X-Men. It wasn’t, “Do you want to start a new X book.” It was “Do you want to take over Grant’s book?” And I loved it. It was my favorite book. I thought he was really honoring the spirit of the book, because he was pushing the boundaries of science fiction and the emotion and really going out there.

Wired: Sure, but it got nuts.

Whedon: It did get nuts. You know, Grant’s not not nuts. But it never lost me, you know. When Frank Quitely wasn’t drawing it I would be sad, because he was so much a part of it.

Wired: If Morrison doesn’t have a good artist his books are completely incomprehensible.


See the full interview Here

It is true Quitely got Morrison's vision, although I did like two other artists in there who were quite good, almost better, but didn't draw nearly enough issues. They had one in there that was way too busy and the story was incomprehensible when he drew it.

It's probably worth noting that there is a very good reason that I'm a fan of Joss Whedon, more or less. 1) He's studied the same cinema that I did in depth - Westerns and Terminator films. So we have a similar film history. Also the horror films of the 70s and 80s. 2) Same generation, he's about two or three years older than I am. 3) Shakespeare, X-men, Star Wars, and General Hospital are guilty pleasures. And the man likes to explore his characters inner demons, pain, and psychological arcs.
That said, it's a love hate relationship. He frustrates me.

Morrison is a controversial writer. Many X-men fans believe he ruined the series for them - taking Cyclops into a darker arc, breaking up Scott and Jean's marriage, killing off Jean...etc.

A really good blog post about Morrison's run can be found HERE


* Morrison turned mutants into a subculture, a logical extension of what happens when new elements are introduced into society. They were still oppressed, but they actually had some kind of culture to go along with their oppression. He gave them their own Chinatown, their own Little Italy, and made it a point to show that mutants, while not entirely accepted just yet, were more than just mutant paramilitary teams. There were ugly mutants, ones with useless powers, ones with hideous powers, and ones who just didn’t really care about the X-Men.

* My favorite change, though, is Cyclops. He went through something horrible and traumatic, and after, he didn’t feel the same. He felt like he didn’t measure up to the storybook romance that he found himself in, and was worried about not being perfect enough for his (in his eyes) perfect wife. And it hurts their relationship, they grow apart, and he eventually finds someone else.

It’s a bad thing, but at the same time, believable. His friends warn him off, tell him he’s being stupid, and he still does it. And when the missus finds out, what’s he do? He leaves to get drunk. He reacts poorly to a situation he simply doesn’t know how to handle, and ends up adventuring with Wolverine.

And you know what? It works. It pulls Cyclops away from being the stick in the mud, generic leader type he’d been for years. He even sticks to the Marvel blueprint: he struggles with a personal problem, makes a poor decision, and somehow ends up sticking the landing.


I'm not sure I agree that Marvel ran from it and dialed it back to the 80s. Just different takes.
Cyclops story remains interesting and controversial.

I love controversial characters and stories. The more controversial the better. If character doesn't rile people up, get them talking, then he or she's too bland. That's what I adored about Buffy's latter seasons - it was controversial. And Breaking Bad - controversial, in your face.

Also I like a distinctive narrative voice. Grant Morrison definitely has that. It stands out from the crowd.

Overall today was a relaxing, lovely day. I watched Longmire, took a long walk, visited my reflexologist, and read comic books.
shadowkat: (Calm)
current cultural obsession )

[ETA: Ugh. I can't seem to write anything without skipping words. I don't know what is up with that.
I'll re-read what I wrote and go, wait, what happened to that word? I know I wrote it. It's almost as if my brain is moving faster than my fingers can type. Or it thinks my fingers are typing the word and they aren't. I need another pair of eyes and apparently fingers. Does this happen to anyone else or is it just me?]
shadowkat: (doing time)
Finally saw The Avengers with MD. It was either that or Mad Max: Fury Road, we opted for the Avengers, which had been out longer...and was more likely to disappear. Also, we were both tired of avoiding spoilers. And not in the mood for Mad Max. We did dinner first, and those sweet potato fries did not agree with me.

Anyhow..The Avengers...

MD: So what did you think?
Me: I liked the first movie better.
MD: Other than that?
Me: Busy movie. Way too busy. What did you think?
MD: Yep, busy movie. Too many characters. Too much action. Granted there's supposed to be too much action that's what these movies are about. You expect it. But it was trying too hard to be clever and coy, and had too many supporting characters that I didn't know or care about.
ME: Exactly.

Unlike MD, I was actually familiar with the Avengers and have read at various points the comics. I don't like the Avengers that much -- the comics to be fair are as busy as the movie. And the movie is fairly close to what I remember in the comics. So, we both went in with pretty low expectations.
spoilers, albeit vague and mild spoilers )
Busy, busy movie. Too many characters. Too many sub-plots. Too many action scenes - which felt like you were watching a video game. It was fast. Hard to follow and head-ache inducing at times. (Also, people got bored and were pulling out their cell phones...during the action scenes.) Not enough humor or cohesion. The jokes felt forced and often fell flat. And, methinks, Whedon clearly needs to take a vacation from filmmaking and do a non-super hero flick. I could feel his exhaustion/burn-out watching this film -- it made me tired.

Overall rating? C-

Go rent X-men:Days of Future Past instead.

[As an aside, I know a lot of people were upset with Black Widow's arc, but I went into it not expecting all that much. There wasn't all that much in the first film. The comics weren't exactly known for their feminist content. The X-men, yes, the Avengers..not so much. So it was actually better than I thought it would be, but I went in with very low expectations. Weirdly, the most feminist of the Avenger's movies is possibly Captain America and Captain America: Winter Solider.]

[After the movie - took forever for the train to arrive. And there was an incident. Somebody got into a fight, and banged a guys head against the platform. People were screaming for help. And then someone got the cops, who took off running after the assailant, screaming 168, 168. There were 8 cops running after the guy. I didn't see the guy, I saw the cops. The only thing I did - was help one of the cops wave the C train to a stop, because the guy who got attacked was lying uncomfortably close to the edge of the platform, and there were people helping him that were halfway off the edge. I was worried they'd get hit by the train. The guy seemed to be okay, had a concussion.

Then about 20 minutes later, the F train...finally arrived. Texted MD about it - who said, she has a feeling this is going to a crazy summer in NYC. Lovely. I so need a vacation from this city. Hmmm...maybe a retreat to Vermont is called for?]
shadowkat: (Tv shows)
Managed to figure out how to make fried chicken and fried zuccini/summer squash with almond flour last night. Seasoned it with garlic/parsley/sea salt/pepper, and used coconut oil. Was rather tasty.

Read that some online blog or zine believes :

AtS is better than BtVS. "If Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a show about becoming, then Angel is about something far more challenging: existing. There is a rot to the world, one that threatens to infect us all—not in grand, dramatic ways, but mundane ones. Entropy and inertia are the natural order of things. According to Holland Manners, the world doesn’t work in spite of evil—it works with it".

Eh, the two series are so completely different in tone and style, that it is akin to saying an apple is better than a pear. You either prefer the pear or the apple, but one is not necessarily better than the other. I personally prefer apples - I like the crunch and variety, pears are too mushy. Not a fan of mushy texture. Also pears are sweeter and have a higher inflammatory index. But I know lots of people who prefer pears.

My brother never understood why I preferred Buffy to Angel. Read more... )

We don't discuss it much. But it is interesting - how people swear one series is better than another, when if fact they are merely just pointing out a preference which has zip to do with any objective criteria whatsoever. I mean, I can argue both are excellent and both are campy cheesy serials, with little effort.

I do however think that of the two, Buffy was far more innovative. Let's face it - Angel has been done multiple times. Brimstone (short-lived), Koljack the Night Stalker, Forever Knight, Moonlight, etc. The most innovative take on the whole Angel trope is probably the serial The Originals, which isn't nearly as well written or captivating. But Buffy? I can't think of anything that resembles Buffy past or present. The closest might have been Veronica Mars. Vamp Diaries - is more about the vampires, not about a girl's coming of age story fighting them. And is there any female superhero shows on at the moment? Not that I can think of. In the past? Maybe Wonder Woman or Dark Angel - but neither featured quite the type of character line up that Buffy had. No, I think one of the reasons I became a die-hard fan of Buffy in a way that I have not become a fan of anything else before or since, is that it just broke the mold or stood outside of the trope, often making fun of or satirising the tropes it found itself in. It just was so different. And unlike a lot of tv shows, never sat on its laurels or phoned it in - the writers kept experimenting and playing with the narrative form. I can't think of many tv shows that have done all of that.

So yes, from that perspective Buffy was the more innovative and interesting series. Angel was a spin-off that initially followed a fairly safe and traditional anti-hero noir detective trope. What Angel did do that separated itself from the pack, however, is it became highly serialized and built a mythology. It also played a little with the trope and commented on it, often making fun of itself in the process, particularly in the latter (and in my opinion at least far more interesting and innovative) seasons.

Actually if you think about it - both shows have that in common. The initial seasons sort of follow a standard and somewhat formulaic traditional television trope. A gang of high-school kids fight and occasionally fall in love with monsters, and the monsters reflect the nasty high school issues they are dealing with. That has sort of been done before and after Buffy - Vampire Diaries was sort of that trope, Hex, and a few others. Albeit not as often as the supernatural noirish lone detective trope has been done (the latest entry to that fold is Constantine and well Sleepy Hollow, Gotham, and Supernatural). Angel started out that way, then sort of drifted away from it - making a law firm of all things the main villain. Normally it's other vampires, family members, demons, or some criminal mob boss - but here it was lawyers and their ability to create order through "laws". Angel tackled order, law, regulations, and control as problems. The Authority - was always the main problem for Angel, the monster or demon that had to be overcome - whether that authority was religious in nature (ie. God or the PTB), legal (the evil law firm WRH), or societal pressures. The phrase "Everybody thinks this is a good idea" - was often the opposite on Angel. And this was in a way what set Angel apart from it's predecessors who often focused on chaos as the bad guy. In Forever Knight - the lead character was a cop, and the monsters were people outside of the police force. On Angel - the bad guy was the police force.

Buffy was similar in a way - it too had issues with Authority. Read more... )

Need to make dinner. This was unedited and not proofed. Read at your own risk. I may come back and edit tomorrow. Not sure. Didn't plan on writing it. Just sort of came out. [ETA - has been edited somewhat.]
shadowkat: (Tv shows)
Just finished watching the first two episodes of Season 2 of Marvel Agents of Shield - and, it was surprisingly good. Fast paced. Unpredictable. Interesting characters - both supporting and lead. And diverse casting choices. Someone came in with a monkey wrench and managed to fix all of its problems. The two weak links in the main cast last season - Simmons and Ward have been completely retooled and as a result, have become multi-faceated and interesting characters. I want to know more about both of them, and why they've done what they did. When last season, I didn't care if they keeled over. I only made it through three episodes last season - the show kept putting me to sleep. But the first two episodes of this season...were compelling and riveting. WTF happened?

I admittedly tuned in just to see Lucy Lawless and Kyle McLachlan (whom I've had a bit of a crush on since he played Paul Atreidis in Dune. I've seen most of Kyle McLachlan's movies and tv shows. Some are excellent, some not so much.)

Now I need to find a site that summarizes what happened last season, specifically in regards to Ward and Simmons.

Spoilers for first two episodes )
shadowkat: (warrior emma)
Finally saw Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing - which was all the rage online this summer, or at least amongst the Shakespeare/Whedon fans.

First, off, this was clearly a vanity project (and in more ways than one). But to be fair, it was also a vanity project for Kenneth Brannagh, who had a bigger budget and more support, plus had to include box office stars to obtain the support. Some of which did not quite know what to do with Shakespeare. I'm wondering if Brannah shouldn't have starred in it and directed it? Because Keanu Reeves and Michael Keaton butchered Shakespeare.

Not sure what it is about Much Ado About Nothing and rich Hollywood directors...why that play in particular? May be because it is easier than some of the other ones...
I watched the Making Of - hoping to get an answer to that question - I didn't. Did get an answer to why they filmed it in black and white - to date it and as a homage to the noir films of the Jazz age. It also hid the big orange lawn-mower. Note to filmmakers who do commentaries and "Making Of" - the viewer doesn't want to know how great you all are or how much fun you had or how often you partied or what bosom buddies you've become, we don't know you and do not care...that's boring. We want to know why you chose to do certain things, like why push-ups in that scene? Why that era?

Overall? The movie is actually pretty good. The acting is better than expected. I'd have to say that in some respects, I think it worked better than Kenneth Brannagh's version (although haven't seen that one in 18 years). Nathan Fillion surprised me - his Dogberry was not only funny, but I could understand what he was saying. And Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof - not only have chemistry, but both appear to be comfortable with Shakespeare, so too was Reed Diamond and Clark Gregson, who apparently can act. Who knew? Read more... )
shadowkat: (Calm)
Finished watching the 1980 video of Pippin this afternoon courtesy of Netflix, complete with Bob Fosse's original choreography and staging.

To see a sample, go here: http://youtu.be/k1cZRnQ5ftg

The best thing about this was the dancing and music. Also Ben Vereen is amazing.

Here's two versions of the opening number Magic to Do, with Ben Vereen and the revival with Patina Miller. The first is more jazzy, with a magic show vibe, the second has a cirque de soliel or circus act vibe.

Read more... )
But you really have to watch this video to understand: http://youtu.be/k1cZRnQ5ftg

The video is a marvelous satirical and clever critique of the drive for War. It's a feat of dance and song that few musicals come close to equaling.

The story itself is a simple and relateable one, it is about the son of Charlemagne who wants to find meaning in life, wants to accomplish something extraordinary, to find his corner of his sky. So he tries solidering, then the simple joys (hedonism), social justice and revolution, being emperor or ruler, and finally a simple land-owner, husband, and father. Bored to distraction, he leaves and the players attempt to convince him to do the last big magic act - set himself on fire and go out in a burst of flame. He refuses and chooses to go back to his life as a land-owner, with no costumes, makeup, flourishes, or lights. When asked if he feels like a coward or feels wonderful. He states, no just trapped, but hey since this is a musical comedy? Yay!

There some truly wonderful and timeless songs in it - including: War is a Science, Corner of the Sky, Magic to Do, Spread a Little Sunshine, Morning Glow, Simple Joys, and War is Glory.

Still want to see the revival, just not as badly as before. The book is witty in places and unlike HAIR, not dated.

2. Read an interview in EW this weekend with yet another Hollywood filmmaker, you may have heard of him? Joss Whedon? Here are some snippets:

Snippets from Joss Whedon Interview in Entertainment Weekly )
shadowkat: (Tv shows)
As you already know, I have stepped away a bit from the Buffy fandom, but I did read this essay by the writer Foz Meadows - Buffy and the men in her life. Which to be truthful is actually more of a comparison piece of Spuffy vs. all of Buffy's other romantically inclined relationships. I read it mainly because I'm stuck in my apartment with a broken foot and don't feel like getting up and fixing breakfast, which I know I should do. Maybe I'll just combine lunch and breakfast - and that way I only have to get up once.

What is interesting about this meta, although I prefer the word essay for various reasons, is the following paragraph:

[Eh, prior to this paragraph, foz meadows establishes how Riley, Xander, and other characters that are considered good are never really taken to task for their actions nor shown to redeem themselves. In particular Xander. And it occurs to me that this essay should come with an advisory to Xander fans - Foz Meadows clearly doesn't like the character that much. I don't know why this is...but it is rare to find Xander fans who like Spike and vice versa. You will find Xander fans that are ambivalent about Spike or found him interesting on a certain level, and well vice versa. I'm in that category. But fans who "love" both? Or consider both favorite male characters? No.]


There is, I suspect, a rather awful reason for this – and, indeed, for why Spike alone of all Buffy’s lovers and love interests accepts responsibility for his actions. It’s all down to narrative impetus: we, the viewers, are meant to sympathise with Xander, just as we’re meant to sympathise with Angel and Riley. At base, we “know” they’re all good guys, and as such, their contrition is implied. We don’t need to see them apologise, because the surrounding story is structured to suggest that they’ve already been forgiven off-camera. But Spike, by contrast, begins as a villain. His developmental arc is the most dramatic and varied in the whole show, culminating in a radical heel face turn at the end of S6. We need to see his redemption, because otherwise, there’s no reason to believe that it’s taken place – and to an extent, this makes sense: if the audience can reasonably infer that something has happened, then it’s a waste of script and wordage to insert it. The problem is that, if the good guys never apologise on screen, then their goodness is called into question – which is why the most fucked up relationship in the whole show is simultaneously the most equitable. Neither Buffy nor the audience can assume anything about Spike’s intentions that we aren’t actually shown, and as a result, he has to work the hardest out of anyone to be seen as good.


This fascinates me as both a writer myself, and a critique of a narrative structure or style quite common with television and comic book writers of my generation. The next generation of writers, I've noticed, is sort of breaking with this pattern. And it is admittedly not all of them. It also underlines something that has been needling me about Mutant Enemy's writing in all of their series, in particular Whedon. This tendency to take it on faith that if a character is "good" - they can do horrible things, but the audience forgives them without requiring the audience to necessarily witness apologies or redemptive acts. Or you can just blame it on the drugs, the booze, or they just weren't themselves. The writer's seem to stop just short of examining why the character did it and the character's actions.
Read more... )
shadowkat: (chesire cat)
1. Being snacked on again by damn mosquito. I might as well adopt it and give it a name. Considering I can't kill it, not because I don't want to, but it eludes capture. I'm torn between the names Angel and Dexter.

2. Amusing and somewhat ironic fandom cross-over news by way of Entertainment Weekly...Danny Strong is has been hired to write the two part film Mockinjay. This is the finale of Suzanne Collins Hunger Games series. Yes, Jonathan from Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been hired to write the film version of Katniss Everdeen's arc.

3. Lovely day today. Warm. Sunny. Blue Skies. Took the day off. Have Columbus Day off too.
Decided to give myself a nice four day breather from the old workplace. Getting burned out.
Need the break. So took a walk. Bought some food. A bottle of Avanti, Pinot Noir, Wine from Spain. And chocolate.

WW and Menopause. If I were a man? I'd skip this. Just saying. )

4. Wet-behind the ears blogger who is getting paid to rant about pop culture (and another media onzine reviewer who gets paid to write reviews...nit-picking on Stephen Moffat's Sherlock) are reminding me of how back in the day many a viewer considered Joss Whedon racist and misogynistic in his writing just as many a viewer today considers Moffat and JJ Abrhams to be. In short, it's all about limited perspective folks or myopic pov's. I think, we often fall into the trap of believing what offends us and how we view something is the only way to view it?

Example: I look at the paint - it is clearly white. My brother looks at it - it is clearly cream. This wouldn't have been a problem if we hadn't run out of paint and could not find the same brand. Hence the two and a half hour long fight back in the early 1990s regarding which brand of white/creme paint to use to paint our parent's basement. Fan fights remind me of this argument.

Perhaps a better example: Talked to Aunt K, who really likes the new tv series Revolution. (I still think it is a weak and somewhat cheesy Hunger Games rip-off, but to each their own - and she can't watch or read Hunger Games due to the violent content. She's a school nurse that deals with abused children.) She certainly didn't see the racism or the classism. (It should be noted that my Aunt came from Working Class roots, and has worked with the underprivileged and non-white children her entire life.) I can see these things, although I don't think it's nearly as blatant as people think any more than I thought it was that blatant in Whedon's work or Moffat's or RT Davies. You have to squint a bit. People, I've learned, tend to zero in on things that bug them. Like I zeroed-in on the scientific improbablities of Revolution and Last Resort, which I thought more obvious, even my Aunt saw those but she dismissed them, because hello, television.

the cult of fandom and how we interpret art )

5. Speaking of JK Rowling (I refer to her above, if you read that whole bit) - I flipped through her new book Casual Vacancy at the book store the other day. Read two reviews of it. One in Entertainment Weekly and one in NY Times. Both were not that complimentary. EW said it starts out well enough, crisp and sharp humor, but derails into preachy doom and gloom. While one of the book store clerks (at the indie book store) loved the book. I looked at it, first page, middle pages, end and noted that JK Rowling has fallen in love with the semi-colon and the coma. She likes to write these long rambling sentences with lots of commas and semi-colons. She also loves to describe things in a sardonic or wryly bizarre manner. (Methinks she's been reading a lot of Ronald Dahl, with a bit of PD Wodehouse thrown in. But unfortunately no EB White.) After glancing through it, I thought the same thing I did when I flipped through Stephanie Meyer's Twilight and Anne Rice and Stephen King's latest, what has happened to the publishing industry? Aren't there copy-editors any longer? Hello? Although...I'm guessing Ernest Hemingway most likely thought the same thing when he read James Joyce's Ulysess. So this may have always been the case? Granted Joyce is a better writer. I also thought...whoa, Rowling's really likes to use semi-colons. Every sentence had them. I had to hunt for paragraphs that didn't. The one's that didn't? Had a lot of commas. People? Don't do this. Rowling's is a name author, she can get away with it. She could write a telephone book and people would buy it.
That said, I do applaud her for continuing to blast the British political system and caste system - which she's been doing since Harry Potter. What? You didn't know that beneath all that magic and wizardry was a wry social critique of Western Culture and class system, not to mention British Politics? Granted she's no Ron Dahl, but it is there. Bit preachy in the latter novels, which may explain why people didn't like them as well.

6. Finally, this link made me laugh my head off this morning:

Mitt Romney Fired Big Bird.

Also...apparently Canada's Maple Syrup Reserve Got Stolen. Up until now, I didn't know Canada had a maple syrup reserve let alone that such a thing would be worth 30 million.
shadowkat: (Calm)
1. Just finished watching True Blood finale - and it was great, would have been better without the bar scenes and the pregnant fairy, but we can't have everything.
Besides I'm willing to bet there are people who loved the pregnant fairy. Watched too many soaps and lurked around too many fandoms to not realize this is the case.

Favorite line?

Sookie: Jason, don't be a fool.
Jason: I assert my god given right and privilege as a proud American to be a fool if I want to.
Sookie: Oh. Okay.

Ball does satire quite well.

spoilers )

2. While reading [livejournal.com profile] beer_good_foamy's essay about Buffy S7 -
weird ideas popped into my head. I don't know if they make sense to anyone but me or not.

Actually a lot of weird ideas.

I don't know if these ideas quite work. So I'm Playing with them. This is written off the cuff, expect lots of typos and errors.
weird ideas inspired by beer good foamy's essay on Buffy S7. )

I don't know it's late, and perhaps I'm too sleep deprived to see straight. Make of the above what you will.
shadowkat: (chesire cat)
This time I decided to add other Whedonverse characters to the mix to spice things up a bit. If you don't them or didn't like the other shows, makes the poll rather easy.
Rules are the same - pick the one you enjoyed watching on the show the best or thought was the most fun, interesting, whatever. Don't over think. Just go with your gut. Quick responses.

I wanted to include a question regarding Mark Watches - do people care what the guy says about your favorite character? Does what Mark says affect whether you read his reviews of Buffy? Perhaps a better question is - will you read a blog or review or discussion board that bashes your favorite character? Or give up on it? Will you read people who do it? I ask, because, I'm not sure if the answer is as simple and obvious as I think it is. my two cents )How do you feel about it? Do you feel the same way? Differently?

[ETA: This poll had harder choices than I thought. First one that I really struggled picking between characters on. Good luck! Again...hope more than 10 people do this or I will look silly.]

[Poll #1852210]
shadowkat: (chesire cat)
Lovely day. Quite relaxing. Beautiful Spring day - crisp, baby blue skies, no clouds, sparkling sunshine, and quiet. Also accomplished a bit - got laundry done, made up bed, signed lease, picked up envelope to send long-over-due gift to friend, and saw the Avengers' movie finally.

So sue me, I enjoyed The Avenger's movie. It wasn't deep but it was a lot of fun. I like pulp. It's fun! And ...It's a lot of fun to see that movie in a packed movie theater with a NYC urban audience. Specifically an audience filled with comic book buffs and fans of the genre. They get the jokes. There were a lot of NYC insider jokes in that film. Even though it's more expensive, I'm glad I saw it in a theater - you sort of need to. Like Hairspray, it's a better film in the theater than it is outside of it. The audience went crazy during the fight scenes, laughed, applauded...was weirdly interactive and very warm and fun. You are in the dark with like-minded souls. I felt safe and warm and included. Happy. Which is why I think The Avengers is making millions of dollars.

Is the film great? No. It has problems. And yes, Whedon is clearly obsessed with the whole free will vs. subjucation or loss of free will bit. I've noticed this as a recurring theme in all of his stories and it does to a degree echo George Lucas' Star Wars, The Matrix, and Cameron's Terminator films...a somewhat cut and dried view of power.

The Avengers' was in some respects a repeat of the same themes addressed in Buffy S8, Cabin in the Woods, and Dollhouse...except with better execution.

And the movie is quite good in places. It's a lot of fun. And to date the best "ensemble" superhero movie that I've seen. Not the best superhero movie. It does owe a lot to Sam Rami's Xenia and Spiderman Flicks in how the action sequences and build up is accomplished. If you've seen Rami's Spiderman flicks - you'll see the similarities. I'm more of a Chris Nolan fan myself, preferring the dark noir opera, but I admit, Rami is more fun as is Whedon.
spoilers, most won't make sense unless you've seen the film and I do reference Whedon's other works such as Buffy )
Is The Avenger's an empty-headed superhero film like NY Times and Salon.com's critics suggest? I don't think so. Any more than I think the comics truly are. Or Twilight or Harry Potter or Shades of Grey. The more I study pulp...the more I realize...that art like all things is in the eye of the beholder. Sure a story can be better written, better told,
more rightly told - but it doesn't mean the story doesn't have power or meaning if it's not.

Who are we to be the arbitrators of other's tastes or desires? Who are we to judge?
And more importantly why do we want to? What can we learn from pulp fiction? From populist stories...told to the common person, the working man and woman?

I'm asking these questions of myself tonight, more than anyone else. Wondering...perhaps I'm too quick to judge. And wondering why I feel the need to judge at all. Is it a flaw or a gift or both in my makeup?

Anyhow...judging the Avengers solely on what it is, I'd give it a B+, not an A, merely because of the plot gap regarding the Hulk and the lengthy exposition that slowed the film down. Other than that...it was a fun and interesting flick. Definitely worth the price of admission - which for me was $13.50. Definitely preferred it to Cabin in the Woods, but it should be noted that I'm more of a fan of this genre than Cabin's...so that may have had an effect.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2012/05/14/the-narrative-gift-as-a-moral-conundrum/

I believe a good story, plotted or plotless, rightly told, is satisfying as such and in itself. But here, with “rightly told,” is my conundrum or mystery. Inept writing lames or cripples good narrative only if it’s truly inept. An irresistibly readable story can be told in the most conventional, banal prose, if the writer has the gift. - Ursula Le Guinne


2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2012/05/03/avengers-director-joss-whedon-on-trying-to-be-more-like-buffy/5/

Forbes Interview with Joss Whedon regarding his work. (Note, if your movie becomes the biggest blockbuster of all time, regardless of its content, you get an interview with Forbes). Below are out-takes that I found rather interesting and different from what he usually says. Yes, (if you follow the link) he still thinks he's Buffy, I still think he's Angel and Spike, with a bit of Warren Miers and Xander thrown in, but what do I know? ;-)


Interviewer: Do you ever delve into the voluminous fan fiction around “Buffy”?

Joss Whedon: I have delved into it. There’s a bunch. There isn’t a better barometer of the kind of success that I crave, which is that people haven’t only enjoyed the work; they’ve internalized it. I don’t, obviously, spend all my days reading it because that would make me creepy, but it’s a huge, huge thing for me that people have taken it into their lives.


There you have it, folks, proof that Whedon has possibly read your fanfic. I'm not sure how I would feel about that. I know he hasn't read mine - because it is hidden. But he may have read my meta ...which would be weird. I really don't want to know.


Artistic freedom can be dangerous. A lot of times it can lead to very self-indulgent work, but it’s also, if you are aware of your audience and what you’re trying to do, it’s very necessary.


Regarding Twitter...which is a comment I agree with, and is the reason I'm not on Twitter, but luckily I'm not Whedon, so I don't have to open an account because someone else might steal my name and pretend to be me on it. (Someone did this to Cormac McCarthy by the way, so Whedon is not alone.)



Interviewer: You’re not on Twitter, although you do have an account in your name.

Whedon: I created it because someone was using my name.

Interviewer: So why aren’t you using it?

Whedon: I think I would find it a little paralyzing. If you tell me I only have 140 characters, that’s like writing a haiku. Shit is hard. Try to write a children’s book and you realize, oh, this is much harder than writing a novel because every word matters. I don’t want to be on Twitter and just go, “That burrito made me gassy.”

I’m not interested in sharing my life with people. And I would feel an obligation, if I were to tweet, to tweet something worth tweeting. And believe me when I say if I could lose four days of work — of page after page of good, solid work of my job of being a writer — to trying to figure out a tweet. Now, eventually, I might throw caution to the wind and dive in and see what happens, but right now I think that would be poor time management for me.


And no, he never mentions the Buffy comics, which leads me to believe he's given up on them like I have? Okay, not exactly like I have.
shadowkat: (work/reading)
Yes, I know, I'm boring everyone with my weird obsession with the 50 Shades of Grey popularity. Which I wouldn't have known about if it weren't for livejournal, so you only have yourselves to blame. (Over 200 people showed up for the book signing in Miami.) But there's a reason for this obsession. a) I'm a frustrated writer trying to get published, and like my father, I like to figure out what works - why people go nuts over one book and not another (my father literally read every best-selling mystery novel out there - binge reading runs in our family), and b) frustrated social psychology major. (hello).

Have figured a few things out, now that I'm a third of the way through the second book.
Read more... )
shadowkat: (Calm)
1. Well, I've figured out what distinguishes Fifty Shades of Grey from 90% of the erotica fiction out there, specifically BDSM and Boddice Ripper fiction:
What Distinguishes Fifty Shades - Trashy Pop Culture Phenomena of the Moment from other's of its ilk. )
Okay, maybe a sample from Fifty Shades...would work better. Although admittedly it may remind you of Bridget Jones Diary, it reminds me of Bridget Jones Diary. Except with better sex.

Read more... )

2. They are advertising the bejeesus out of the Avengers. General Hospital did a product placement for it - first time I've seen GH do a product placement for anything. And
it's on the cover of EW with a four page interview with everyone in the cast. If it doesn't pull in the big bucks, someone will be upset. The movie cost over 200 Million. To put this in perspective? Hunger Games cost about a third of that to make and reaped over 300 million in 6 weeks. Cabin in the Woods which cost even less...reaped 17 million. If Avengers doesn't make at least 100 million it's opening weekend? It may end up being a bomb. Expensive movies are nightmares. That's why they are going nuts on the marketing.

Sigh. If only they'd done this 4-5 years ago. Even three years ago. I might have been excited. Now? I couldn't care less. (sorry, couldn't think of a better phrase, wait, I know I'm paralyzed with not caring very much.) What can I say? Sometime between now and 2010 I got burned out on the whole superhero genre, comic books, violent stories with lots of explosions, and Joss Whedon. I'm no longer fannish about any of the above, I honestly don't know why.

I think that I have finally figured out what it is about Whedon's writing that is not working for me? (As you know, I keep changing my mind about this...which I know is irritating to some people, but I change my mind about pop culture stuff all the time. It's a given.) He's too focused on plot-twists, and action, not enough on small character moments, and relationship discussion (which appeared sporadically in his series but not enough to satisfy me - hence the fascination with fanfic, particularly in the later seasons). I'd say it was a gender thing - but Kevin Williamson does it as does Matt Weiner (Mad Men), George RR Martin and the tv writers of Game of Thrones, and Aaron Sorkin along with a lot of the male soap opera writers. Granted not everyone needs these sorts of discussions - I do. It's a subjective thing. I get that.
shadowkat: (Calm)
1. Is it just me or has Mad Men been really good this season? The last four episodes are superb character studies. Indicative of the time, and examine mid-life crisis and the monstrosity of the mundane. Watching is reminiscent of those glorious 1970s and 1960s movies: Carnal Knowledge, Five Easy Pieces, An Unmarried Woman, Lovers and Other Strangers,
and the later ones - The Ice Storm, Little Children and Revolutionary Road. Middle Class angst. Or as Don Draper puts it so well..."Nobody grows up wanting to be in advertising."
Last week's episode focused on Peggy and Joan, this weeks on Pete and Lane. This series, like a good wine, gets better with age.

2. After a brief exchange on an unrelated topic online...I found myself pondering the writers and novels and for that matter stories that resonated and influenced me the most as a youth. The stories that I remember. I've read a lot of stories in my lifetime and a lot of writer's, many of them award-winning and highly acclaimed, and yet often the one's I remember aren't either. Odd that. I've read Toni Morrison and Ursula Le Guinn but I can't remember their characters or the plots of their tales. Any more than I appear to able to remember most of Carey Grant's films for some reason - although I've seen all of them, they sort of blend together. I do remember Father Goose - actually that stands out.
As does Charade and To Catch a Thief. It's odd, Grant's older films seem to stand out in my head more than his early ones do. But back to books...

Here's 16 books that I vividly remember and re-read with obsessive devotion as a child between the ages of 7-14. The fact that I can remember them more than 30 years later, says something, I suppose, about their effect on me.

16 memorable books from childhood )

3. Was anyone else disappointed by Mark Watches reaction to Restless? Just me then?
Also, he seems to understand it pretty well, that was Restless in a nutshell. It's a far more interesting episode though...in retrospect. And it reminds me what Whedon can do when he focuses on the psychological and emotional journey's of his characters, delves deep into them, as opposed to philosophy, theme, or political allegory. Whedon? You are not
George Orwell, Stanley Kubrick, or Aaron Sorkin - stop trying to be! You are falling into the same trap George Lucas did - getting a bit too self-congraulatory (I blame Whedon fans and whedonseque for this) and a bit too into the sfx and meta/philosophical stuff. It killed Lucas and it is killing you. (Okay in my opinion, admittedly, I know there are people out there who dig the prequels to Star Wars and like what Lucas did post his earlier works, just as there are people who adore Whedon's latter works and think Buffy is silly. Mileage varies, folks, we know this. It makes life interesting..etc. Difficult, but interesting.)
shadowkat: (Ayra in shadow)
The following is spoilers. Or basically, I watch Cabin in the Woods, so you don't have to.
Or for those who have seen it and wish to discuss.

Yes, I know..for someone who keeps saying she's not a fan of Joss Whedon, I certainly see and read a lot of the man's works, don't I? There was this blog post that I read online somewhere that stated -- if you want to find your way into a girlgeek's heart, watch everything Joss Whedon has done. Sigh. Too true. We girl-geeks have a weirdly ironic love of Whedon's stories. I've no idea why. Best not to wonder why...just to do or die. I am, as you well know by now, extremely critical of things I love and enjoy. What can I say? It's the car I drive or how I am put together.

The following will compare Cabin with Hunger Games and various other films. Before going into the review, it feels odd to do a meta on it, since the film itself is more a meta than a film or a meta on the horror genre in general.

There be big ass spoilers in these woods...don't say you weren't duly warned - for both Cabin and Hunger Games, vague spoilers for Hunger Games )
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