...but I cannot post a coherent review, because I am dead of the awesome.

Well, maybe just a LITTLE review -- with spoilers )

I think the measure of a really good episode is that as soon as you're finished you want to watch it again, and that's just how I feel about this one.

(Only they got it slightly wrong and called it "Lake Ramsey", but since the guy saying it wasn't local, it's a reasonable mistake.)

I am in awe. I actually had to pause the episode and spend a few seconds babbling and pointing at the screen while my husband nodded and smiled tolerantly.

A few very slightly spoilery remarks about various cast members, and some wacky theorizing based on this week's episode )

Ramsey Lake. Dude. Between that reference and this and my own plans to use a close facsimile of the city in my own SF novel, it's like Sudbury is the new SF black.

Also, I have no HEROES icons. Why is this? *goes looking*
My kids have been watching Hornblower again, and this morning as they were running around yelling "I'm Horatio!" and "I'm Captain Pellew!" and firing at imaginary French ships, I discovered an unexpected bonus to all this play-acting.

For instance, I'd informed Nicholas earlier that his t-shirt was on backward, with no response. But when I said in a crisp, disapproving tone "Your uniform is on backward, Mr. Hornblower!" he jumped to attention and straightened it out at once. And I often call the boys for breakfast without getting an answer -- but when I said, "Captain Pellew, your toast is ready, sir!" Simon hurried over to the table and tucked right in.

Best of all, when I asked Nicholas a question and he yelled at me (albeit in jest), I said stiffly, "That is not the behaviour I have come to expect from you, Mr. Hornblower!" and he giggled and composed himself before responding in a more civilized tone.

Man, I could milk this for a long, long time...

P.S. Wish I had a Hornblower icon for this post, but how often would I really use it?

P.P.S. I didn't actually get to watch yesterday's episode so much as listen to it, since I was busy baby-wrangling and making dinner. However, I could hear bits and pieces of it from the kitchen, and I must say that Paul McGann's voice is really quite... something. *fans self*
I just read [livejournal.com profile] lisayee's utterly delighful Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time in preparation for giving it to a niece for Christmas, and now I have to go hunt down the first book, which I am certain I will love even more, because the heroine is an 11-year-old girl with poor social skills and an enormous vocabulary, Y HELO THAR ME. (Only I was not actually a genius on the Millicent Min level, just a bit of a geek, but I'll take it anyway.) Anyway, now I am dying for the third book, which is NOT OUT YET O WHY MUST I SUFFER SO???

I also have three more books to read before giving them away for Christmas: Gideon The Cutpurse, Here There Be Dragons, and The House of the Scorpion. Just to make sure they are Appropriate. And not because they look really good or anything. Ahem.

In other brain-blowing news, I have just started watching North and South, widely acclaimed as The Best Adaptation Ever Made By The BBC, and I can see why it's so highly praised. DH and I have only got through Part One, but I'm dying to watch the rest. But why does Thornton make me think of Snape? Is it the coloring? The nose? The glower? I know not. I could hear my monitor sizzling when Margaret handed him the teacup and he was totally checking her out, though. I love me some early Victorian UST.

I may be feeling a little bit silly today, yes.

Also, I finished First Draft in 30 Days and it all seems very complicated, but I'm sure it will be less overwhelming if I sit down and actually work my way through the exercises one by one instead of trying to hold them all in my brain simultaneously. I am determined to try, though. I'm going to give myself 90 days instead of 30 (since unlike some privileged people, a.k.a. the author of said book, we don't all get to write full-time) and see how it goes. The only question is which book to outline first -- Wayfarer or Touching Indigo. Perhaps I ought to try brainstorming both at once and see which one takes over... because that's pretty much the state I'm in right now. "Ooh! I just realized where Linden could go to look for more faeries!" followed very quickly by "Ooh! I just realized how Thea ended up with such a radical form of synaesthesia!" It's all very confusing AND I STILL HAVEN'T MADE SNICKERDOODLES YET.

I think I had better stop now.

Teh pretty is brought to you by the BBC. Why isn't it Christmas Day yet?*

* Actually, seeing as I've yet to get any presents bought for my umptitudinal nieces and nephews, it's a good thing it isn't.
Start Time: 9:00 a.m.
Finish Time: 11:59 a.m.
Title of Book: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

And now, for my reaction [emotions only, no specific spoilers] )

I will post something more coherent, with actual details, at a later time.

ETA: There are now some specific spoilers in the comments, so if you were hoping to just read my general reaction and are still trying to avoid the details, don't read the comments, K?


Jun. 23rd, 2005 07:46 pm
rj_anderson: (Paul McCormick - art by friede)
Okay, so I'm halfway through the pilot of House (had to stop it in the middle because the medical stuff was too scary for the kids) and apart from thinking that some of the dialogue was a little forced and I could hear the distant clank of the Exposition Fairy's wings (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] lizbee, for that delightful phrase), I am thoroughly enjoying the show. Not least because of the pleasant shock caused by the following observation:

Hugh Laurie, up to this point in my experience = talented, if somewhat disconcertingly pop-eyed and frequently silly, British actor.


Grouchy, stubbly Hugh Laurie limping about with a cane and delivering Holmesian deductions in a flawless American accent = GUH.

Does anybody (*cough*[livejournal.com profile] penwiper26*cough*) want to give me a short list of the episodes from this season they think I really absolutely must see? I don't think I'm up to the whole twentysomething episodes, but six or seven key ones would be good...
Now even the Doctor is younger than me! *weeps*

That being said, look at teh pretty!!!

You know the skin that forms on custard when you leave it cooking on the stove too long? Yep, I'm just about that deep today. :)
*gibbers incoherently*

Dude, I mean, I've already seen the first episode of the new Doctor Who and this still blew my mind. (Probably because none of the clips in it are from the first episode, so it was all wonderfully fresh to me.) Only vague spoilers, if you can even call them that.

Go watch it! (Third link down, right-click and save, please.) And then comment!


Dec. 3rd, 2004 09:41 am
rj_anderson: (Saffron Cake)
The first teaser trailer for the new series is up and EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I know there isn't much to it, but the way Christopher Eccleston says "I'm the Doctor, by the way" was just... I must have listened to it five times. It gave me shivers. Happy/scared "this-show-I-love-more-than-anything-is-really-coming-back-I-can't-believe-it" shivers.

My first, my oldest fandom. Indeed, one of the oldest fandoms there is -- certainly one of the oldest SF fandoms, anyway. It gave me screaming nightmares when I was eight but I could. not. stay. away. And that was years before Peter Davison came on board as the Fifth Doctor (and my first real teengirl crush). I have a huge box of the Virgin New Adventures and BBC Eighth Doctor novels (*nods respectfully at [livejournal.com profile] kateorman and [livejournal.com profile] jblum for providing me with many hours of reading pleasure*) plus a bunch of videos (*grins thankfully at [livejournal.com profile] avarill*). When I heard there was going to be a new series produced and written by people whose names and credentials I actually recognized and whose work I'd already enjoyed (Rob Shearman!!!) I could hardly believe it.

Is it spring yet? Forget the sixth HP book, I want my Doctor Who!!!

And wouldn't you know, I deleted my last DW icon yesterday. D'oh! I need to make a new one...
I have died, after all. Of ecstasy. Because [livejournal.com profile] sannalim's home-made cinnamon rolls just arrived by FedEx, and I have just taken my first bite.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I am about a million miles out of the Zone right now. I would have to eat, like, a whole cow to get back in it. But you know what? I. don't. care. Because these rolls are absolutely amazing. My only hope right now is to find a lot of friends who love cinnamon rolls to come and save me from myself before I eat the whole dozen.

Thank you so much, [livejournal.com profile] sannalim. I've got your address off the box, and your GAME t-shirt will be in the mail shortly.

Did I say yum? YUM.
Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] penwiper26, it's the Morality Test:

Check out my Morality! 41% liberal, 59% conservative

Am I the only one who thinks that "Check out my morality!" sounds like a really cheesy pick-up line? Which brings me to the opposite end of the intelligence spectrum, the The Match.com Attraction Test (gacked from [livejournal.com profile] dragonpaws):

Interestingly, a lot of the features you liked are not especially popular. They're not what usually defines "mainstream" attractiveness for men. But who cares what the mainstream thinks?! Below is a list of some of the unique features you found appealing in men.

My more 'unique' results )

My chief complaint about the latter test is that most of the guys in the test pictures looked so... all-American to me. Square-jawed football players and surfer dudes, meh. Without any personality data, it was hard for me to imagine being interested in any of them...

Edited to add this one, gacked from [livejournal.com profile] sff_corgi:


synaesthete7's LiveJournal Friend Stats I
Biggest digital packrat:
Most easily-distracted:
Most friendly:
Most popular:
Most communities:
Oldest on LJ:
Newest to LJ:
What Are YOUR LiveJournal Friend Stats?

(Beta - May be slow for those with large friends lists)

I've just finished listening to Scherzo, the latest Big Finish Doctor Who audio drama featuring the Eighth Doctor and his companion Charlotte "Charley" Pollard, and I'm utterly overwhelmed. Slightly spoilerish observations follow... )

Ahem. I apologize to the universe at large for this fit of incoherence.


Dec. 14th, 2003 02:38 pm
rj_anderson: (RJA Adult!Hermione)
Oh please someone dig a hole and bury me now.

Not that the review is anything I'm sorry about, but if I'd known that the actor in question was going to read and respond to my LJ, I would probably not have included such a potentially embarrassing postscript.

P.S. And yes, the comment from HIC is very likely the genuine article and not a prank -- I checked the IP address, and it's from London, UK. Eep!

Go. See. NOW.

Oct. 30th, 2003 08:03 pm
rj_anderson: (Saffron Cake)
I took the evening off and drove out to our nearest Mega-Cinema-plex thingmy to see The Gospel of John last night. And I'm so glad I did, because it was just... wow.

I feel sorry that more people didn't know about this film before it came out, and that even now that it's in wide release across North America, hardly anybody seems to have heard about it. But it's still out there if you want to see it on the big screen. And I would heartily recommend that you do. Or at least see the DVD/video when it becomes available.

Beautifully filmed and acted, with real reverence and attention to detail -- this is the LOTR of Biblical films, only more so. Not that it's full of eye-popping special effects, or anything of that sort; the filmmakers were smart enough not to load the film down with those kinds of distractions, and when they show supernatural or miraculous elements it's done without glitz or fanfare. No, it's just a faithful, comprehensive, high-quality dramatization of John's gospel. And even though the film clocks in at just under three hours, it never drags.

Christopher Plummer's superb narration helps a lot, to be sure. It's difficult to complain about having the gospel of John read to you in its entirety, word for word, when a voice like that is doing the reading. Jeff Danna's gorgeous, haunting score enhances the story's drama. And when the film is further enhanced by an absolutely brilliant performance by Henry Ian Cusick in the central role... well.

A movie like this really stands or falls on the portrayal of Jesus Christ, and until now I'd really never seen a film that I thought did Him justice. Many times He comes across as a remote, otherworldly figure, blandly serene and detached from the rest of humanity -- an insipid sort of God and an even less attractive Man. Or, as in some more recent films, speculation and conjecture have run rampant and presented us with a Christ plagued by self-doubt and buffeted by myriad temptations -- not Godly at all. In both cases it's difficult to imagine what the disciples see in this Jesus person, or to understand how His message could turn the first-century world upside-down and resonate across the centuries to touch millions of people.

Not so with this film. Cusick's portrayal is nothing short of amazing* -- he makes Christ's every word ring with such conviction and authority that you can completely understand the temple guards' testimony that "No one ever spoke like this man," and yet in his face-to-face conversations with His disciples and others there is such a wealth of compassion and sympathy and understanding that you can readily see why so many people loved Him. This Jesus's emotions are real, not contrived; His answers are thoughtful, never pat; and yet He knows beyond a shadow of a doubt who He is and what He has come to do. This is the Jesus I recognize from reading the gospels, and it's a real thrill to see the Biblical account of His life and words taken seriously.

For me, the most moving part of the film was the death and resurrection of Lazarus -- the grief of Mary and Martha, and of Jesus Himself, is so deep and real that I was sniffing and blinking back tears of my own. But I also chuckled at several points -- most notably the bit where the Chief Pharisee is lambasting the temple guards; all it took was a flicker of the chief guard's eye and one quick shot of an innocent-looking Nicodemus, and I started giggling. You'll understand why if you see it.

To avoid accusations of anti-semitism similar to those being levelled at Mel Gibson's upcoming film The Passion of Christ, The Gospel of John takes care to present its message without giving needless offense. Right from the beginning of the film it's emphasized that Christ and all His disciples were Jewish, and that the religious leaders, not the general populace, were the ones who opposed Jesus and sought His death -- a death which could not have been effected without the involvement and cooperation of the Roman authorities as well. That information is already there in the text of John's gospel, so the emphasis is not unwarranted, and goes a long way toward defusing controversy.

Anyway, I could go on in this vein all day, but it boils down to this: The Gospel of John is really good, and a considerable number of reviewers, even secular ones, appear to agree. So if you're even just a little bit interested, and you've got the chance, it's worth seeing. Really.

* I do have one misgiving, however. This would be it. Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah that "There was no beauty in him that we should desire him," and the gospels likewise give no indication that anyone was drawn to Christ on account of his appearance. But Henry Ian Cusick's Jesus is distractingly good-looking and buff, and it's hard to concentrate on deep theological insights when you are suppressing a mad urge to wibble.

8:03 p.m. -- Edited to correct the implication that Gibson's Passion of Christ is demonstrably anti-semitic -- further reading, including a number of reviews written by Jewish commentators who have seen a rough cut of the film, seems to indicate that this is not the case.


Oct. 16th, 2003 08:48 pm
rj_anderson: (Eleventh Doctor)
I was poking around the BBC Doctor Who website and found this. Oh, the nostalgia... I'd almost forgotten that the Cybermen were the original Borg. Or that there was, in fact, some genuine shipping fodder for Fifth Doctor/Tegan, bickering or no.

And Peter Davison is still cute, darnit. Even if he did spend most of his tenure as the Doctor in desperate need of a haircut.
A movie rec and a play review, plus some wibbling about an actor I think might make a rather decent Holmes and/or Snape (not that anybody's asking me about either!) are over in the blog.

And I thought forgetting Mr. Knightley was stupid...

Oh, man, I can only blame that one on Mommy Brain and having a head full of snot.


rj_anderson: (Default)

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