grinninfoole: (strangelove)
I have looked at a lot of art, lately, because I have had some time on my hands. Stories and games, and especially story games, have long been my preferred coping mechanism for life, so this is hardly a surprise. This is the first of a series of posts to sort of clear my mental buffer of thoughts about what I'm currently enjoying, and I'm going to start with the ridiculous amount of TV I have been watching.

Agents of SHIELD )

and speaking of Gotham... )

Sleepy Hollow )

The Good Wife )


Constantine )

Elementary )

Doctor Who )

Gracepoint )

Legend Of Korra )

Finally, it got cancelled after one short season, but Almost Human did quite well as a police procedural with strong SF/futurist elements. The heart of the show was the dynamic between Karl Urban as detective Kennex and Michael Ehle as his android counterpart Dorian. This was a fantastic show with lots going on, and great commentary on contemporary racial politics. A pity it didn't last.
grinninfoole: (Default)
1) This coming Saturday will be the second Paint & Pixel Festival.  I've managed to arrange programming this year, which is good, but I still feel like I did a slap-dash job, and kind of guilty about it.  Peggy continues to impress with her passion and capability. 

We're hosting comics workshops for kids at the store as part of the build up to the show.  Colin, the education guy, has done a great job setting these up and running them.  Peggy also sponsored a couple of movie nights at Popcorn Noir, the next of which is the Muppet Movie on Thursday..... which will conflict with my Deadlands game.  aargh!

Oh, and there's a filk band performing in the Mythos on Monday at 7, which could conflict with dinner plans!  double argh!

2) On columbus day, M and I went to NYC, met with the Ladies of Brattleboro for dinner at the Green Table, and then went to see Sleep No More, which is an extraordinary experience in immersive theater.  One is given a mask & enjoined not to speak, and for up to 3 hours one wonders around inside a warehouse of four or five stories where a troop of interpretive dancers performs something inspired by Macbeth.  One can explore the trappings of the set as much as one wishes, or follow performers around or hang out in the lounge.  It's a choose your own adventure style of show, though only as an observer.   I wound up following one stunning beautiful woman around for a while, and wound up getting whisked into a locked room for a short private performance that, while a scripted part of the show, was quite intimate and moving.  Which, if you are thinking of something sexual, is completely wrong--yet it felt like everything you would fantasize about.  A great experience which was well worth the cost.  I plan to go back at some point.

3) My mom is still in a rehab hospital, still in real pain, but I think getting better.  I hope.  Dad is still slipping away a bit at a time.

4) I drove back to Andover last night, couldn't sleep, and watched the Matrix Reloaded on demand.  It's better than I recalled.  The talky scenes make more sense when I can process the sometimes ornate and philosophical dialog, and some of the WTF plot twists actual do make some logical sense.  The biggest weakness that remains, for me, are the pointless action scenes.  The first Matrix was good in part because all the fight scenes served the story, developed character, and looked cool.  In Reloaded, there a couple of set pieces that just take up time. If the Wachowskis had done more with them, they'd have greatly improved the movie.  (Three examples: the introductory fight with Seraph--what does tussling with Neo for two minutes tell him, or us, that we don't know?; then. the  big fight scene with a crowd of Agent Smiths drags on; and the fight with the Merovingian's goons in his foyer is designed to waste Neo's time, but must it waste ours?  What's the point of another display of kung fu?  Are these guys really as challenging as the huge crowd of Agent Smiths?)  On the whole, I stick by some of my earlier criticisms, but I have to upgrade my rating of the film.

5) Sometimes I'm fine, and sometimes the depression gets to me.  I need to spend more time with friends.  I clearly need that.

6) Had an interesting talk with Morlock about making changes in my life. He pointed out that I'm still struggling with some of the same questions that bugged me years ago.  Maybe, he suggested, I need new questions.  hmmmmmmmmmmm.

7) 2013 must be the year I learn to budget.  Just because my desires have heretofore not exceeded my means, doesn't mean those means are inexhaustible. I must get the hang of identifying priorities, choosing amongst them, and then setting aside the others while resisting impulsive spending.  Good grief!
grinninfoole: (strangelove)

I worked late today, and after work I stopped by M's place to divvy up the farm share. Wound up having some dinner, and then joining her for a trip to Popcorn Noir for Zack Snyder's 300. I cannot recall having ever seen a worse movie.

The visual effects were OK in places (well composed, so stylized that they weren't interesting), some of the photography and cinematography were aesthetically striking, but otherwise it was just bad. I didn't hate the film, because that would have required it to evoke an emotional response beyond mild boredom and disdain, but it's an embarrassment that should never have been filmed (or, failing that, released).

Not to mention that it was obviously racist, sexist, and homophobic, filled with ridiculous decisions, a pretentious and unnecessary narrator, logical inconsistencies, question begging, and fundamental historical inaccuracies that completely subvert the crapulously earnest speeches all the Greeks make.

Mind you, the many slashy scenes were so incredibly over the top that it's the closest I've ever seen gay subtext come to being text without quite making it. It should have just been a gay porno.

Oh, and I couldn't but compare it Tarantino's Kill Bill, which I disliked intensely because it seemed to have little point beyond reveling in violence and bloodshed. Say whatever else you wish about Quentin Tarantino: he made a film I didn't like because it was basically an excuse to watch Uma Thurman flight and mutilate folks. 300 should have been the same, but mostly I just didn't care about anyone on screen. So, meh.


Oh, and tomorrow evening the store is celebrating it's tenth anniversary. I hope you'll all stop by and join us.

grinninfoole: (Default)
Again, don't bother reading this if you don't care, or if you don't want spoilers.




Each problem is serious.  Overlapping the two, as the show's creators have done, only makes them worse. For now, I shall wait (9 months...) and see what they do.  They might be able to pull the fat out of the fire, but I do not have the faith in them that I did after first season, or even after second.
grinninfoole: (Default)
When I was younger, from when I learned to read into my mid twenties, I read a lot.  Science Fiction and fantasy mostly, but I read a fair bit of history, some science fact, and other fiction, too.  I noticed last week that I don't read much prose anymore.  I read a lot of the stuff that comes into the store, of course, and unlike [personal profile] omnia_mutantur I consider comics to be real reading, but I just don't consume books the way I once did.  In part, as I have aged, I have become pickier, and I just don't enjoy what I used to enjoy.  (I notice this trend in movies, too.  I probably would have liked XMen 3 more when I was 20 than I do now at 36, though I don't think I would have loved it.) 

Also, I have more going on in my life, and I spend more time with people I love, especially[personal profile] millari .  And, I find that I am increasingly more interested in my own stories than in other peoples'.

That said, though, I do want to be someone who keeps reading, who keeps engaging with someone else's ideas and perspectives, so I'm making a point of reading at least ten prose books this year.  So far, I can only think of one such book that I have read, The Translator, which I discussed in a post last week.  So...

1) The Translator, by John Crowley.[profile]

I'm working on/about to start:

2) Historical Understanding, a collection of essays by Louis Mink.  He's a tremendous thinker, though I still have read little by him, and I don't think many people know who he is.

3) Gormenghast, by Mervyn Peake, though it seems that I should actually have gotten out Titus Groan, since the jacket blurb says that Gormenghast is a sequel.  (Albeit the main character is only 7 years old when book two starts, so what the hell happens in book 1?)

4) Mother Night, by Kurt Vonnegut.  Actually, Millari will be reading this to me.  I look forward to it.

Eventually, I shall start 5) The Dark Tower by Stephen King.  I enjoyed the first six, so I look forward to the finale.

I welcome suggestions, too.


On the graphic front, I just got around to reading Craig Thompson's haunting reminiscence about teenage alienation and romance, Blankets.  It's really good, though full of unresolved pain (the character's, if not the author's.)

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