I was going to write a review of the movie I saw last night (in 3D, which was rather irritating as I had to fit the 3D glasses over my regular glasses and the distance between the lenses and my eyes was a bit too far, thus rendering me slightly seasick throughout) but then I found that [personal profile] teenybuffalo had already written a thoughtful and lovely review with which I entirely agree, and which you can find here.

[personal profile] teenybuffalo also makes some smart points about Tintin's character, which is really not the blank slate that some claim -- he's just unrelentingly heroic and unflaggingly loyal, which is frequently mistaken for lack of personality by those who prefer morally ambiguous and/or tortured characters. However, I happen to quite like characters who are doggedly committed to doing the right thing if it kills them, so it never occurred to me to see Tintin as bland. Especially since he is, at times, quite wickedly clever and flat-out hilarious. ("...since I've just been bitten by this mad dog!")

One thing I also want to mention since I haven't seen it in any other reviews: I did not at any time feel that these characters fell into the Uncanny Valley, which was a pleasant surprise after the trailer (which did give me such worries). I was particularly watching the characters' eyes to decide if they looked "dead" or not, and I was thoroughly impressed by the light and expression in everyone's eyes. Also, the level of detail is phenomenal. You can see the fine hairs on Tintin's forearms and the texture of Haddock's skin. And Sakharine's hair is fab. :)

Upshot: I want more movies, please.
I was going to write a review of the movie I saw last night (in 3D, which was rather irritating as I had to fit the 3D glasses over my regular glasses and the distance between the lenses and my eyes was a bit too far, thus rendering me slightly seasick throughout) but then I found that [livejournal.com profile] teenybuffalo had already written a thoughtful and lovely review with which I entirely agree, and which you can find here.

[info]teenybuffalo also makes some smart points about Tintin's character, which is really not the blank slate that some claim -- he's just unrelentingly heroic and unflaggingly loyal, which is frequently mistaken for lack of personality by those who prefer morally ambiguous and/or tortured characters. However, I happen to quite like characters who are doggedly committed to doing the right thing if it kills them, so it never occurred to me to see Tintin as bland. Especially since he is, at times, quite wickedly clever and flat-out hilarious. ("...since I've just been bitten by this mad dog!")

One thing I also want to mention since I haven't seen it in any other reviews: I did not at any time feel that these characters fell into the Uncanny Valley, which was a pleasant surprise after the trailer (which did give me such worries). I was particularly watching the characters' eyes to decide if they looked "dead" or not, and I was thoroughly impressed by the light and expression in everyone's eyes. Also, the level of detail is phenomenal. You can see the fine hairs on Tintin's forearms and the texture of Haddock's skin. And Sakharine's hair is fab. :)

Upshot: I want more movies, please.
I have been known to rant about my dislike of certain aspects of the LotR movies (to wit: THE ENDLESS FIGHT SCENES PLEASE OH PLEASE MAKE THEM STOP WILL THEY NEVER STOP), but that being said, I am still unreasonably excited about the prospect of a cinematic version of The Hobbit, especially one starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo, the prospect of which causes me to squee at ear-piercing volume, if only in my head.

And then I saw that they've also cast Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, and can only conclude that Christmas has come two months early this year.

Now all we need is Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of Smaug (well, he said he wanted to play the role, and he and Freeman are buds, so why not?) and my triumph will be complete.

That is, at least until I see the movie and come out ranting about the ENDLESS FIGHT SCENES PLEASE OH PLEASE MAKE THEM STOP WILL THEY NEVER STOP, but I am an optimist.
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I cannot possibly talk about this movie without going into massive spoilers, but first, here is my spoiler-free reaction for those who haven't seen it yet --

I love this movie eleventy-one with exclamation marks. It is greater-than all the other STAR TREK movies put together. I less than three it in a massive fangirly way.

And here is why )

There will be a sequel? Yes? As good as this one, yes? I sure hope so.

Miscellany

Sep. 19th, 2008 06:15 pm
rj_anderson: (Christmas - Lamppost)
There is going to be an Airman movie.

Oh YEAH. Best news since the Larklight movie. Assuming the movies are good, of course -- if they are terrible I will be baying for someone's blood.

Also, Laini Taylor is in the process of designing the perfect imaginary writing cabin. Go help her with your suggestions for making it even more fabulously peaceful and inspiring than it is already! Sigh... I wish I was there right now.
WHY IS THIS NOT HAPPENING WHERE I LIVE??!

*weeps*

(Also -- 25 years? Ouch.)
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Overall I enjoyed it, but I'm not itching to run out and see it again. IMO this movie suffered from two of the same problems that made me dislike the Jackson LotR films:

Spoilers )

On the plus side, however -- and there were quite a few plusses I didn't even expect:

More Spoilers )

I'd say three out of five stars. Would have been much better if the fighting had been cut back and more time given to humor and character development. It's hard to care that much about people you've barely got to know, especially when some of them are behaving like the aforementioned utter prats.

ETA: If you have seen and reviewed this film in your LJ, can you drop me a link in Comments? I know I had to skip at least two or three reviews on my f-list for fear of spoiling or prejudicing myself...
I've just come back from Horton Hears a Who.

What a BRILLIANT film. I absolutely loved it. And spent half of it laughing out loud, which I rarely do even with films that amuse me. The anime parody alone was worth the ticket, and that's not even halfway into the film.

Also, to my gratified surprise, movie critic Gina Carbone was right about the resemblance to the Intelligent Design debate. From now on I shall always think of Richard Dawkins as a purple kangaroo, and my life will be considerably enriched.

--
* Yes, I am fully aware that this was not Theodor Geisel a.k.a. Dr. Seuss's intent when writing the book, any more than it was his intent to support the pro-life movement. Nevertheless, the parallels are irresistibly there.
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I fail at holidays, so I have no timely New Year's post full of resolutions and thoughtful looks back at the year that was, or anything of that sort. I did, however, finish revising Chapter Eight of Knife (although it feels like a bit of a cheat, since I am splitting the original much-too-long chapter into two, so technically I'm only half finished). And that makes me happy, because it means I am still on schedule to get this puppy -- er, faery -- finished and back on my editor's desk by the end of February.

Meanwhile, I have been reading the last four Artemis Fowl books at a frightening pace, which is funny because I really didn't care at all for the premise or the execution when I read the first book, but I did develop a teeny tiny nagging litcrush on Artemis (shut up) and eventually I broke down and decided to find out what happened to him. And now I may kind of ship Artemis/Holly, in a deranged May-December way (yeah, yeah, I know, SHUT UP).

We also watched Amazing Grace on the weekend. Good film, that, and Ioan Gruffydd puts in a highly commendable performance. It even had extra bonus coolness in the form of Nicholas Farrell and Ciaran Hinds, although I was embarrassed to discover during the credits that I was incapable of telling Albert Finney and Michael Gambon apart. (At one point I actually wondered if Gambon were playing both Newton and Fox, but dismissed that as being too stupid.)

Apart from that... there isn't a whole lot else to say. Except that I do have one New Year's resolution after all: I have decided not to harsh anyone else's squee. If you think that you can therefore deduce my opinion of certain recent books, TV shows and/or movies by what I have not posted about them, you may be onto something. (Unless you were thinking about this season of House, which I have in fact been enjoying very much, so there.)

Man, I am boring these days. I apologize to all of you who were expecting actual content.

*skulks away*
For the sake of those unaccustomed with my peculiar sense of humor, I just thought I should mention that the previous entry complaining about my f-list's failings was meant as a joke. In no way do I regard the members of my esteemed f-list as minions. For one thing, that would be arrogant in the extreme; and for another, it would make the winged monkeys terribly jealous.

Now that's cleared up, I just want to mention that I watched Happy Feet for the first time last night and was surprised to find it tedious. Not because it was anti-religious or militantly environmentalist, which were a couple of the criticisms I'd heard levelled at the film by the (very few) critics who disparaged it -- I didn't think either of those criticisms particularly valid. No, I just thought the plot wasn't up to much, and there was way too much singing and dancing and not enough actual stuff happening, considering the length of the movie. Proof of this, I think, is that both my seven-year-old and my five-year-old got bored and walked away halfway through, before coming back some twenty minutes later and asking without much enthusiasm, "Did I miss anything?" To which the answer was, "Not really."

Sure, the film had lots of funny moments, but I'd seen them all before in previews, and many of them were aimed at adults rather than kids. Overall, I think we made the right choice when we took our kids to see Flushed Away in the theatre instead, and saved this one for the DVD release. Visually impressive on a technical level, yes; a great family film, not so much.

I wouldn't mind seeing March of the Penguins one of these days, though.
Just for some perspective here, I'm not really a big fan of the HP movies. I don't have anything against them, and I've taken the time to see every one in the theatre so far... but I just don't get all excited about them, or normally feel any great desire to watch them more than once.

However, I've just come back from seeing OotP, the movie adaptation of my least favorite book in the series, and...

...I loved it.

No, really. I think it's the best movie yet. In fact --

*glances around nervously, whispers behind hand*

I think it's actually better than the book.

*runs away from lynch mob*
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- my fourteen-month-old son just heard a three-syllable word in casual conversation and repeated it flawlessly. The word? "God-zil-la".

(My husband just came back from a business trip and brought Paul a dinosaur keychain that roars and "breathes fire". Hooray for age-inappropriate toys! But he loves it.)

- Hugh Jackman as a rat. As a human, I can take him or leave him, but between Roddy St. James and Justin in The Secret of NIMH I'm beginning to suspect I have a Thing for tall, skinny rats.

(We took the two older kids out to the movies last night. Flushed Away is a great little film and if you have any love of animation and/or screwball romantic comedy at all, you ought to check it out. Also, it has slugs. FTW!!!)

- I am almost done Chapter Eighteen of Knife, with only one full chapter and an Epilogue (possibly) to go.

(Work. Lots of work. But it looks like I may actually meet my early-December deadline, D.V.)

And now for something that is NOT awesome:

- the U.S. Postal Service's online store, for processing my order and giving me a receipt for one batch of 63-cent stamps when in fact they were mailing me (and charging me for) two. And then refusing to give refunds under any circumstances.

(No idea how that happened, actually.)

O_O

Dec. 23rd, 2005 10:09 pm
rj_anderson: (Tenth Doctor Wonder)
I just found out something about the Narnia film I hadn't realized before:

Ware spoilers )

I can't believe I didn't notice that, but now that [livejournal.com profile] miladygrey has pointed it out, I'm totally blown away. It's just another of those clever but subtle little touches that makes the movie extra-nifty, in my view.

Anyway, I am not likely to be online for the next little while, so in case I don't get to say it before the date, a very merry Christmas to all who are celebrating it.
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And although I was skeptical at first, right now I am just overflowing with so. much. love.

They got it right. I hardly dared to hope it could be done, but they really did get it right. At least, all the parts I personally strongly felt they needed to get right, they did. And the bits they added in that weren't in the book, I mostly didn't mind, or even outright liked (like the fox).

The absolute best bit, though, has not been mentioned by anyone in any of the reviews I've read to date: Big Whopping Spoiler )

As for the rest, Tilda Swinton's White Witch was every bit as cold, ruthless, chilling and brilliant as she needed to be -- Another Spoiler ) As for the Pevensies, I've always had a bit of a literary crush on Peter, and I must say this movie did not discourage that at all. Susan was lovely, and I was very interested by the way they emphasized Yet Another Spoiler, for the books as well as the film ).

Also, hee on the movie's revisionist handling of Last Spoiler, Honest ) It's not like I was sentimentally attached to that line or anything, so I didn't mind that particular change in the least. In fact I got a bit of a chuckle out of it.

In short, I loved the movie and would gladly see it again, and when my kids are old enough not to be scared witless by some of the nastier-looking creatures, I'm sure I will. And in the meantime, there's Prince Caspian to look forward to -- at this rate, the sooner the better.

Note to self: badly need at least two Narnia icons.
Roger Ebert's review of the Narnia film has some delicious turns of phrase. I laughed out loud at least twice. Anyway, he really liked it, and although I don't always agree with Ebert, I suspect I'll enjoy the film too.
Some random linkage for a Friday afternoon:

Community plug: [livejournal.com profile] housefic_meta. Right now they're looking for recommendations of "Classic" House fics, by which they really seem to mean "really well-written House fics of any sort, even if nobody's heard of them". So in the end, some useful recs could come out of this. I personally plan to submit a couple (recs, I mean). It's hard to find good Housefic.

Also, probably everybody in creation has seen the best Christmas lights display ever, but here it is in case you haven't. Snopes has the backstory -- it's the real deal, cooked up by an electrical engineer with delusions of grandeur and waaaay too much time on his hands. Now if only I could get my kids to stop playing it over and over and over...

Finally, [livejournal.com profile] ursulav has just posted an amusing story about editing one of her manuscripts which I think will be of special interest to [livejournal.com profile] lizbee, among others.

* * *

I should probably have mentioned a couple of posts back, since there seems to be some honest confusion on the subject, that I did enjoy GoF. In fact, I probably enjoyed it as much as PoA or more so -- definitely more than I did the first two movies, anyway. Not that any of them were actually painful to watch, IMO. Of course the books are better, but aren't they always?

The best thing about the film, though, I haven't yet seen mentioned anywhere -- costuming spoiler ). Comedy GOLD, man. I nearly spit my water all over the row in front of me.

Also, I love Neville like whoa, shiny shoes and all.
I finally worked up the courage to a) ask my parents to babysit both boys and the baby for more than two hours and b) be away from the baby for a feeding. Apparently little Paul took the bottle of expressed milk I'd left for him just fine, and went off to sleep with very little fuss. *is hugely relieved*

So... now I've seen The Movie at last! But really, what can be said about it that hasn't been said already?

A somewhat hasty (hoom, hoom) review )

Off to pump (meh, but this is what happens when you miss a feeding) and then to bed.
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Fic Happens

Jul. 22nd, 2005 09:07 am
rj_anderson: (Snape Portrait)
Yes, it really does. I wrote a good couple of pages' worth last night, and am having great fun, even if nothing has really happened yet. But trapdoors and tunnels are always fun if you ask me.

In other HP-related news, I have just seen the new EW cover and all I can say is, please will someone take a weed-whacker to Daniel Radcliffe's hair? And his eyebrows too. No, make that especially the eyebrows. I'm not sure I can sit through a whole movie where Harry keeps reminding me of Groucho Marx.

And finally, I have a cold. Blech, ack, ptooie.

Oh WOW.

Jun. 23rd, 2005 11:05 am
rj_anderson: (GHW - art by Anneth)
Thanks to Cheryl for pointing me to this trailer for the new Pride and Prejudice:

Is it September 16th yet?

With apologies to most of my friendslist, I've never been a Colin Firth fan, or at least I've never understood what was supposed to be so attractive about him, as Darcy or otherwise. Matthew MacFadyen, on the other hand? I've never seen the guy in anything before (or if I have, I didn't notice him enough to recall the name), but after this trailer, I am sold. Besides, Donald Sutherland as Mr. Bennet! And Judi Dench as Lady Catherine!

I think Mr. Collins is a bit too good-looking, though.

ETA: Oh, so MacFadyen is from Spooks/MI-5, is he? He looks a lot more baby-faced with short hair. But I've heard good things about the show so I'm going to assume he can act.
Well, that was pretty much what I expected, after the last two Star Wars films.

No specific spoilers, just some general comments on RotS )

So ultimately I guess my reaction to the film, and indeed this whole prequel trilogy, can be summed up in one word: *shrug*.

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