nenena: (Default)
Uchouten Kazoku / The Eccentric Family

I didn't have time to watch this brilliant gem of a show when it was airing in Japan last season, but I heard only good things about it. And boy am I glad that I finally got around to watching it now. It's funny, it's sweet, it's moving, it's gorgeously designed, and there are only a few spots where the family melodrama crosses the line into eyeroll-inducing cheesiness. And for a Japanese dramedy that is really saying something, because eyeroll-inducing cheesiness is normally the name of the game in this genre of shows.

The Mindy Project

Oh hey look the second season of this show took everything that I liked about the first season - namely, the fact that Mindy had a lot of female friends and that her supporting cast was really funny - and, well, got rid of it.

Goddammit.

This used to be the show I looked forward to the most every week. Now it's just become a pain to watch. Don't get me wrong, I love all of the humor from Mindy's serial dating escapades, and yes, I WOULD expect a show about a single woman's quest for love to be mostly centered around the heroine interacting with men... but that can't be the ONLY thing going on every. single. episode. What happened to all of Mindy's girlfriends? Why does Mindy have only one female co-worker whom she barely interacts with? (Technically there are three female co-workers in Mindy's office, but Betsy and Beverly have gotten so few lines this entire season that they might as well be non-entities.) And whose idea was it to transform Ed Week's hilarious character from Season 1 into the sad, unfunny schlup that we've got in Season 2?

Hey, you know what makes a sitcom funny? There has to be more than one source of situational humor built into the cast and the setting. The first season of The Mindy Project accomplished this brilliantly by givings its lovelorn heroine MORE than just her lovelorn escapades to get entangled with. Now the show has boiled entirely down to only two jokes: either Mindy conflicts with her male co-workers over some stupid sexist Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus bullcrap, or Mindy dates some dude and it's a hilarious disaster. Again, both of these things ARE funny... But they can also get very tiring when there's nothing else of interest happening in the show.

I still really love Mindy Lahiri as a character, but boy has this season been painful to watch so far.

Frozen

First off, somebody needs to fire Disney's entire marketing team.

Frozen is not the film that it was advertised to be. In fact, I think it's safe to say that Frozen should definitely join the pantheon of other great Disney films that were marketed absolutely horribly (Brother Bear still being the worst victim of Disney's flubbed marketing of all time, with Princess and the Frog and its terrible teaser trailer being a close second) because I am absolutely in awe of the way that they managed to take such an endearing character as Olaf and through the power of terrible trailers alone turned him into such an obnoxious twatcharacter that months before the release of the film he was mocked not just on the internet but on primetime television with a level of vitriol that I haven't really seen leveled at a CGI comic relief sidekick since, well, Jar Jar Binks.

Forget the trailers, though. Here's what you need to know about Frozen:

1. It's a much welcome, long-overdue return to the Disney films of my childhood. Like the best of the Disney Renaissance films, Frozen is scored by Broadway composers (with none other than The Book of Mormon's Robert Lopez writing the song lyrics) and cast almost entirely with powerhouse Broadway singers.

2. By the way, the songs are fantastic. Absofuckinglutely fantastic.

3. It is a beautifully, beautifully, beautifully animated film.

4. The story is all about the bond between two sisters and there is a stunning, brilliant twist at the very end of the film that completely deconstructs everything about the usual Disney Princess narrative and that sends a powerful, positive, and much-needed message to all of the little girls in its target audience.

5. And really, seriously, DO forget everything you saw in the trailers: Olaf is freakin' great. I mean, he's basically Ray 2.0 (sweet, brave, endearing comic relief sidekick who saves Our Heroes from several bad situations and who suffers from a quirky delusional belief that nobody else has the heart to correct him about), but hey, Ray was a great character too, so I'm not complaining. It also helps that Olaf is voiced by The Book of Mormon's Josh Gad, and since it's basically the voice acting alone that makes Olaf so utterly endearing instead of utterly grating, well there you go.

Of course the film is not without its flaws. Like nearly every other reviewer has pointed out: The costume designs are fantastic but the character designs are really blah, the songs are waaaaaay too front-loaded and the very noticeable lack of a finale song is actually kind of jarring, and - most unforgivably in my humble opinion - there's no villain song, despite the fact that the film had a PERFECT moment for there to be a villainous reprise of "For the First Time in Forever." But alas, the moment was wasted.

The most unflattering thing I can say about the film is that it really does feel like a not-quite-finished, workshopped version of a future Broadway musical. Not that Frozen being someday turned into a stage production is a bad thing - and heck, it's practically inevitable at this point - but what I'm trying to say is that it feels like maaaaybe this time Disney had their eyes on the Broadway prize from the beginning, and the animated film was treated like a stepping stone on the pathway to a lucrative Broadway megahit, rather than as an end in itself. That would explain why the score seems unfinished, why the settings and action sequences all seem carefully calculated to be executable onstage, and why it appears as though there was a ton more care and effort put into the costume designs than into the designs of the characters' faces. BUT that might also explain why Disney got Broadway composers to write the score and mostly Broadway singers to act and sing in the film, which were both A++++ MOVES WELL DONE DISNEY WELL DONE, and to be fair the film IS already perfectly situated to be expanded into a brilliant stage musical, so... I dunno.

But anywhoo, I really loved the film and y'all should go see it!!
nenena: (Devi - Is it stupid in here)
I don't want to be one of those people who complains about the Oscars every year. But I've actually NEVER complained about the Oscars on my blog before, so I think it's about time I cashed in some of that restraint and indulged myself in a little Armchair Quarterback Kvetching this year. Because everybody needs to get a little bit of Armchair Quarterback Kvetching out of their system every once in a while.

To wit:

Seth McFarlane was boring at best, unfunny most of the time, misogynist at worst.

The media's treatment of Quvenzhané Wallis was horrid. I expected some level of badness, since she's black, female, and a child nominated in the Best Actress category, but I was totally unprepared for "I'll just call you Annie" and the Onion's twitter actually calling her a c*nt. Holy shit people. Is this really 2013? And this on top of everybody saying that she wasn't "really acting" in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Because children can't act or something. I suspect that at least half the people criticizing her for "not acting" never even saw Beasts of the Southern Wild in the first place.

Argo was the only one of the Best Picture nominees that I felt didn't deserve to be nominated, so of course it won.

And goddamit, I really did enjoy Brave on a lot of levels, but Wreck-It Ralph was a superior film in nearly every way. Including from a feminist perspective. And that is really saying something.

I think I would have liked Brave a heckuva lot more if it hadn't been marketed and praised as some great feminist film or whatever. As a beautiful piece of animation it's great, and as an adventure story it's great, but as a feminist narrative it just falls right the fuck apart if you really start to think about it, and with that on top of all of the sexism that went on behind the scenes it's just ugh. I'm tired of "feminist" stories that denigrate femininity and (intentionally or not) enforce the idea that the only way for women to be strong/free/happy is for them to be more like men because things like bravery and bodily autonomy and wanting to change your fate are somehow inherently masculine. Somehow.

Welp. Glad I got that out of my system.
nenena: (Default)
So we're wrapping up Ancient Greece in my History of Art course, and the kids have just about had their fill of ionic columns and castrated marble sculptures and Homer and pointy-nosed naked dudes painted on vases. Tomorrow the kids are going to start their final project for the unit, which is a storytelling project: they have to research and then regale the class with their retelling of a story from Greek mythology. As a class we've already extensively covered nearly every facet of the Trojan War and the stories about Heracles, since I know that those are the themes and characters that we're going to be revisiting over and over again when we learn about Renaissance art. So for the storytelling project I forced the kids to sign up for stories that are more focused on the main Olympian gods and goddesses (i.e. Hades and Persephone, Apollo and Daphne, How Zeus Forced His Father to Barf and then Became the King of Everything, etc.) since, again, this is stuff that they're going to need to know once we hit up Renaissance art, but the official Core Content textbook barely mentions the Olympian gods and goddesses at all save for "Athena is pretty awesome and that's why the Parthenon was built." Yeah wow thank you textbook you suck.

Anywhoo, since we had extra time last week, a couple of girls in my 3rd period class asked if we could watch the Disney version of Hercules. Which is actually a completely legit request to make in Ms. K's History of Art class, since a) I had already shown them parts of The Princess and the Frog earlier this year because it is an absolutely pitch-perfect multi-plot-thread multi-character-arc example of the exposition-rising action-climax-falling action-resolution structure that I had to teach them, and b) we also watched the entirety of Yugo Sako's animated The Legend of Prince Ram because it's a much, much better way to teach the Ramayana to high school students than making them read any of the abbreviated English language texts currently available on the market.

So yeah, me and cartoon movies. A pretty good combination for these girls to be betting on. But I told them "I'll think about it" before making any promises. And then I went home that night and watched the movie for the first time in fourteen years, just to see if I could justify wringing enough educational value out of it to show it to the kids.

And oh my god you guys.

This movie.

This movie.

There are so many layers of erudite wink-wink-nudge-nudge jokes about Greek art and mythology packed into this film that I just DID NOT GET when I was a high school student and watching it for the first time. I mean, yeah, I got all of the surface-level jokes, I loved all of the Flinstones-like graphing of incongruent modern elements onto the archaic setting, and I could pick out all of the places where the Heracles myth was changed to make the story more Disneyfied: Hera being Herc's mother instead of an antagonist, Hades acting in the role of a villain because the movie needed to follow a certain formula, Philoctetes being rewritten as Herc's trainer also because the movie needed to follow a certain formula, Phil being a satyr because lol satyrs, Pegasus being in the movie at all because winged horses are awesome, Hercules having to fight the Gorgon and the Minotaur because those would be the most recognizable monsters to movie audiences, the whole movie being about Hercules trying to become a "true hero" instead of "oh noes I need to redeem myself through heroic acts because WHOOPS I KILLED MY WIFE AND KIDS," and Megara being given a backstory and her own character arc - something which by the way I still very much appreciate that Disney decided to do, because the movie is so much better for it.

What I didn't understand fourteen years ago, however, was how very deliberately and very cleverly many of the decisions about the Disneyficiation of the story were made. In the Disney film, Nessus the Sexual Harassment Centaur is the very FIRST foe that Hercules fights, and is trying to assault Hercules's first love interest. MAXIMUM IRONY ALERT ON EVERY LEVEL. And Philoctetes lives on a deserted island! I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND WHY THAT WAS FUNNY until I had to brush up on my Sophocles and my Euripedes for the purposes of teaching my art history course. Speaking of Phil: He's a satyr! I used to think that Disney made Philoctetes a satyr for no reason other than LOL SATYRS but it turn out, no, there's a very specific reason why Phil is a satyr and it has to do with how satyrs were used in ancient Greek dramas and oh my god that is such a perfectly meta statement on the entire Hercules film itself that I don't even have words for how awesome that is. Not to mention all of the callouts to famous works of Greek art that are liberally sprinkled throughout the film. I mean, the Venus de Milo bit is obvious, but until recently I had no idea what the Bassae Frieze was or that it appeared for all of three seconds during the "Zero to Hero" musical number. I had never seen the Mycenae Warrior Vase before this year and that's why I could never figure out why all of the Thebians in the movie had those long, pointy noses. During the opening few seconds of the film, during the two-minute sequence in which Hercules and Phil arrive in Thebes, and of course during Megara's musical number in the garden - freeze frame that shit and OH MY GOD it's like every famous sculpture in the goddamn course textbook is making a cameo in this film. And yes, of course, this is on top of the nonstop stream of verbal and visual jokes that the movie is absolutely packed with from start to finish. It's a glorious film. It seems so stupid and so silly on the surface, just so much more "oh look Disney is just stomping all over another famous story and changing it completely to make it fit a Disney formula," but it's so much better than that.

In Mulan and Aladdin and even (ugh) Pocahontas, all of the changes made to the respective films' story, character, and visual design can be chalked up to either a) Disney underestimating the intelligence of its audience and/or b) just plain not bothering to Do the Research. In Hercules, however, changes made to the story, character, and visual design of the film are all deliberate and well-planned. The changes ARE the jokes, most of them deliberately obvious but more than a handful of them very much not so. Hercules never condescends to its audience; even when it's taking up screen time with dumb jokes like SATYRS LIKE BOOBS LOL it's still managing to sneak in a golden deer in the background because goddammit this movie is going to make either a hidden or an overt reference to every single one of the Twelve Labors even if most of its intended kid audience is never going to see or get more subtle of these references. (I am so not kidding about that last example, by the way.)

And it's definitely not an accident that both Zeus's nipples and Hercules's ears are drawn as Minoan Swirls, either.

Every single little detail in this movie - I mean EVERY detail, right down to the fact that the top of Zeus's head is supposed to look like the top of an ionic column - has been carefully thought through to include some clever reference to Greek art and architecture. Disney's Hercules might (as a whole) look and sound absolutely nothing like the ancient stories of Heracles, but at least we know that's NOT because of anybody at Disney failing to do the research. They must have researched the shit out of EVERYTHING about Heracles. And then they just decided to change it all, but they changed it in such a way that even the changes themselves end up as wink-wink-nudge-nudge references to the ancient stories.

Yeah, like the irony of Philoctetes living on a deserted island. And being a satyr because of what "satyr" means in terms of Greek drama. Just now getting those jokes. Fourteen years after the fact.

Damn, Disney. I didn't know you had that level of self-awareness in you.
nenena: (Soul Eater - Blair kitty)
Some of these links are old, some of them are new. I hope that all of them are interesting for you.

Uktena is a historically accurate (well, with the addition of a few supernatural elements) free PC roleplaying game created by Toye Heape and based on native cultures that lived in Tennessee about six hundred years ago. It needs some funding help to get off the ground. As to why this game is awesome and important, here's what Heape has to say:

When the game is finished I want to make it available as a free digital download. I have plans for future games that I'd like to create and possibly sell, but it's important to me that as many people as possible have access to Uktena. Here's why: When many people hear the words Native American they think of teepees, war bonnets, and other icons associated with the great horse riding, buffalo hunting cultures of the American plains, but you won't be seeing those things in this game. Uktena is about a different Native culture and a different period in American history, neither of which is very well known to most people. I believe Uktena has the potential to help change that by immersing players in that prehistoric world and letting them participate in that civilization while having a fun gaming experience.

[...]In recent years road projects, housing developments, shopping centers, and even libraries and museums, along with illegal looting, have impacted or destroyed major Native American archaeological sites in the Nashville area. It may seem inconceivable that America's heritage could be wiped out like this, but I believe a major reason is because most people aren't aware of it. This was one of my main motivations for creating Uktena. I think a video game can have a powerful impact on the imagination in a way that other media can't, and once the player has "experienced" the history he or she will be more likely to object to what little is left of it being crushed under the treads of a bulldozer. [...] At the same time I want you to know that, like most people, my main objective when playing a game is to have fun, and I'll do my best, with your invaluable assistance, to make Uktena a fun and exciting game.


Recently there's been a lot of discussion on Tumblr and Dreamwidth about fan-funded indie games that are intended to be inclusive of people and cultures not normally represented in your typical mainstream RPGs. Unfortunately a lot of that discussion is fueled by a Certain Project doing nearly everything wrong. Well, here's an example of a game that is really, truly doing it right. And even though the Kickstarter deadline for this project has passed, there are still ways that you might be able to help it get the funding that it needs.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the internet! A whole lot of dimwitted male movie critics have been trying to gain Feminism Points by critiquing how Black Widow is portrayed in The Avengers. The overwhelming problem with most of these reviews, however, is not that there isn't anything bad to be said about Black Widow's portrayal or Joss Whedon's often strangely limited flavor of feminism - because there most certainly IS an awful lot worthy of critique there - but that movie critics are, for some inexplicable reason, complaining about Black Widow being useless in the film. Uh, what? Fortunately, Ian Grey has an excellent takedown of that argument. Bonus points for actually calling out the offending movie critics by name.

Speaking of Doing It Right: Dan Norton is the amazing character designer for the new Thundercats series and he's posting all of his character and mech design work on Deviantart. Well worth a gander even if you're not into Thundercats. Also, some time ago Norton's gallery hosted a hilarious flamewar during which Norton beautifully smacked down a sexist fanboy who showed up to complain about Pumyra's new design being "too manly" and not having big enough breasts. Sadly, however, those comments seem to have been deleted now.

More potpourri links:

Paul Tobin hilariously describes stupid depictions of gender in fiction.

Swan Tower writes about writing fight scenes.

How to Illustrate Weelchairs. Also useful information for anybody who wants to write about or film characters who use wheelchairs.

Push Girls is a show that documents the lives of four women who use wheelchairs.

This is the best Avengers/Disney mashup. The BEST.
nenena: (lord krsna)
18 Days is available on Amazon for a sweet discounted price of only $17 for a hardcover edition with 120 pages of Mukesh Singh artgasm. A 47-page preview is available for free on Scribd.

I am looking forward to enjoying the Mukesh Singh artwork almost as much as I am looking forward to laughing really, really hard at the "Grant Morrison writes about the Mahabharata" sections of the book. Actual quotes from the preview pages:

Snark behind cut. )

Meh, enough snark for now. The artwork by Mukesh Singh is OH MY GOD ABSFUCKINGLUTELY MINDBLOWINGLY GORGEOUS and makes the entire book worthwhile, especially if you ignore the pages full of Grant Morrison's braindroppings.

Wait, that book was listed on Amazon all the way back in July?! How did I miss that until now?! Oh yeah, the semester from hell. That's why.

Meanwhile! The Liquid Comics website is showing new artwork for Ramayan 3392 AD in several places (check out the front page and the Ramayan gallery under "Titles"), yet no new issues are available on either the Liquid website or on Scribd. Hmmm. Yet Liquid is apparently finishing some of Virgin's unfinished projects, as Buddha was finally completed last summer and is now available in graphic novel format.

Liquid is releasing all of the old Virgin titles on more digital devices now. For the iPad, you can now get the entire Ramayan 3392 series for $9.99, some parts of Reloaded for free, and all five issues of The Tall Tales of Vishnu Sharma for $4.99. Of course you can still download good old-fashioned PDFs of all of the previous titles plus the entire rest of Liquid's line from their Scribd website and import the comics to your e-reader that way, too. ;) Which is how I got Devi on my iPad right now.

UNIVERSAL FORMATS: DOIN' IT RIGHT. Thank you, Virgin/Liquid! Manga publishers, are you paying attention?!

Speaking of Virgin Comics alums, Abhishek Singh is up to awesomeness, with art shows in New Delhi and Los Angeles.
nenena: (Default)


"Shiver My Timbers" made the list but "Professional Pirate" didn't?!

Blasphemy!

nenena: (Disney - Lazy Lady)
Maybe it's because I've watched more formulaic romantic comedies this weekend than any sane human being should have to endure, but somehow or other my thoughts have lately been preoccupied with how race usually is dealt with in said romantic comedy formula, and how - although I didn't realize this at the time that I first saw the movie - The Princess and the Frog rather delightfully subverts the usual romantic comedy racial paradigm.

We have to start with, of course, the typical romantic comedy heroine. She is always intelligent, hard-working, good at her job, perhaps too good at her job, slavishly devoted to her career, professing little to no interest in sex/men/dating/having fun, and of course destined - through a series of contrived and utterly ridiculous, unbelievable circumstances - to end up falling into the arms of the movie's leading man-child hero, eventually falling in love with him.

In almost every romantic comedy film that I can name, this character is a) white and b) of middling to high socioeconomic status. Also, she is approximately 90% likely to be played by Sandra Bullock and/or Jennifer Aniston.

In The Princess and the Frog, however, that exact role is filled by a poor, black woman.

And next, of course, we have the heroine's Black Best Friend. Sassy, brassy, loud-mouthed and sexy, the Black Best Friend is usually materialistic and man-hungry, although of course she has a heart of gold lurking beneath all of that crass, raunchy exterior. Her role is to cheerlead for the *real* heroine, whether throughout the movie or possibly just at the eleventh hour, not really to get a happy ending herself. Also, at some point in the movie, she must either a) take the heroine shopping or b) give the heroine a sexy change of clothes.

In The Princess and the Frog, of course, the role of the Black Best Friend is fulfilled by a wealthy white woman: Charlotte.

I don't know if Disney did any of that on purpose, but still, how cool is that?!
nenena: (Devi - Is it stupid in here)
Since I just saw this pop up on my flist five times in a row...

Yes, people, Disney *did* just buy Marvel.

But! Disney also already owns Touchstone, Miramax, Hollywood Pictures, Hollywood Records, ESPN, Lifetime, A&E, The History Channel, Hyperion Publishing, Discover Magazine, US Weekly, and CrossGen Comics. As well about a jillion other things, too.

I wouldn't exactly start panicking about any Marvel properties being Disneyfied any time soon. And it's not like Marvel hasn't ever Disneyfied themselves before, either. Heck, they started doing that back in the 80's.

Remember: Miramax, people. Miramax. Here's a list of Miramax films, in case anybody needs it. Miramax was bought by Disney in 1993. Note that Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, all of the Kevin Smith movies, and some of the Halloween and Hellraiser movies, were released after 1993. And it was Disney who gave a recording contract to Atreyu.

(I think that discussing the business side of the Disney/Marvel thing is very interesting, but I'm not sure why I've seen people panicking about the content of Marvel's comics or movies being influenced by Disney. Bwuh? That's not how it works!)

Edited to add: Heeeey, maybe now the Spiderman musical can actually get some funding!
nenena: (Disney - Lazy Lady)
Right, then. It's time to get back on the scanspam horse. If you'll recall, we last left off with Anno Moyoco Day, before my computer decided to drink the virusaide, and then I got caught up in moving. Anywhoo, to re-kick things off, here is a very small scanspam post devoted to pretty girly things.

Tinkerbell, Ariel, and the Rose of Versailles. )

One more thing: I just posted two more Soul Eater CD scans over at [livejournal.com profile] shibusen today. Here they are. There were only two of them this time, and they were older scans anyway, so that's why I posted them over there instead of over here.

So! My apologies that this particular post is so short. The next five scanspam posts, however, will be more on the "massive" end of the scale.

Coming Up Next! 1) Doujinspam the First with Takehito Harada Special. 2) Doujinspam the Second, 100% Toho Project. 3) Fate Day. 4) Hello Kitty Day. 5) Samurai Day. And then I'll finally be finished with my backlog!
nenena: (Soul Eater - FUCK YEAH)
I am still in the midst of working on the Soul Eater Scanspam Post that Ate the World. Until that shizbit is ready to post, however, here's a selection of random scans that I've been hoarding on my hard drive. There's a mixture of Teh Pretty and Teh Brain-Breakage behind this cut.

Cuuuuuut! )

Fanspam.

Oct. 17th, 2008 11:00 am
nenena: (Minako - Volleyball)
Nifty fannish things:

1. Brain-breaking Soul Eater crossover fanart.

2. Totally awesome Disney crossover fic, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] miss_breeziness.

3. Sillabub's completed Sailor Moon/Starlights epic, which is freakin' excellent. Remember the grand old days of epic Sailor Moon fic? Yeah. Sillabub may be the only person writing it anymore, but she is just so good.
nenena: (Default)
In light of my previous post, I thought I'd take this opportunity to write about a Virgin comic that's actually really, really good.

So, Panchatantra. This would be that Virgin Comics kiddie series that I've been drooling over since it was first solicited back in February 2007, and then subsequently delayed oh, about a year. But it's finally here!

Panchatantra will be five issues long, and right now we're three down. And it's a lot of fun so far.

More behind the cut. )

EDIT: A review of the final two issues. I was right! Things did get better!
nenena: (Default)

(Click for a larger version!)


So this Adam Hughes poster, subtitled "The Real Power of the DC Universe," has been making the rounds. And there's some debate on whether it's sexist or not.

My reactions:

1. Holy God that's GORGEOUS.
2. The women may be dressed similarly, but their individual personalities really shine through.
3. Are those... individualized... faces?! Why yes, they are!
4. Mary Marvel looks about ten years too old.
5. Oh wait, that's not Mary Marvel... it's Kate Kane?!
6. So why is the lesbian the only one wearing a pantsuit? (*headdesk*)
7. You'd think that with all of Bab's money and connections she would be able to afford a wheelchair that doesn't look so wretchedly behind the times.
8. Kara. Oh my God. Kara. She's sixteen years old, for crying out loud!
9. I can imagine both Selina and Poison Ivy taking Kara aside, either before or after the photoshoot, and giving her a good tongue-lashing. "Oh honey. That's not how you do a seductive come-hither face. That's not how you do it at all. And really, would it kill you to add an extra inch or two on your hem? You're supposed to leave a little something to their imaginations!"
10. Okay, I'll admit, the fact that EVERY SINGLE WOMAN* is wearing three-inch spike heels is pretty effing sexist. The gowns are varied and gorgeous; why can't we have a little more variety in the footwear, too?

* Granted, as was pointed out in comments, we can only see the shoes on five women, and it's kind of hard to tell what Barbara's wearing. If you ask me, though, her visible foot definitely looks pointed, so either she's resting with her foot en pointe, or she's wearing freakin' heels.

ETA: You know what this entry needs? Beefcake.

Here, let me ruin your childhood for you.

Disclaimer: Many of those characters are from Disney movies that are NOT from my childhood, actually.
nenena: (Default)
So I finally saw Enchanted this weekend.

James Marsden: Officially typecast.

But seriously, though, he was awesome in that movie. Even if he does play... well, not the same character, but definitely the same role in every movie that he's in. Er. If that makes any sense. I guess I should say, his characters always fulfill the same role: that of the third wheel.

Somebody, please cast this man as the lead in a movie ASAP! I think that he'd be awesome as the lead in a romantic comedy.

And I couldn't watch Edward onscreen without imagining that it was Cyclops wearing those poofy sleeves and singing those ridiculous love songs.
nenena: (Default)
Pirates of the Caribbean III!

I got the widescreen 2-disc AWESOME edition. Only... It really wasn't so awesome. First, there were a bunch of Disney trailers before the main menu that I couldn't fast-forward through. (Also, the Japanese subtitles were turned on during the trailers, and I couldn't turn them off for some reason, even though the audio was also in Japanese.) The main disc menu was prefaced by an obscenely long animation. Also, the main disc menu was almost completely unreadable. To add insult to injury, despite the fact that I got an entire extra disc of bonus material, the theatrical trailers for PoC III were NOT included. I've ranted before about how it pisses me off the way that Disney DVDs almost never include theatrical trailers, because I LOVE trailers, and they're such a standard extra on almost every other studio's release, I don't understand why Disney keeps omitting them.

Does anybody have the Region 1 release? Does it suck as much as the Region 2 version?

Next... Bender's Big Score!!!! Hooray for more Futurama!!!!!

Non-spoilery thoughts about the movie:

1. It was good. In my head I (inevitably) compared it to The Simpsons Movie, and it held up pretty well.
2. Non-spoiler: The plot involves time travel. It got confusing at times.
3. Sorta spoiler: They used the time travel plot device to "fix" the endings of the two most tragic episodes from the TV series ever. (Seriously, "Jurassic Bark" reduced me to a quivering ball of tears so bad that to this day I refuse to watch that episode again. It is the only Futurama episode that I've never seen more than once.) I am so happy with the new continuity that there are no words. Seriously. But hey, I'm the type of person for whom the highlight of Pirates of the Caribbean III was the revelation that the shaggy dog didn't die after all. So the parts of this movie that retconned "Luck of the Fryish" and "Jurassic Bark" made me very, very, very happy.

Also, the Kwanzaabot rap. And Al Gore's multiple guest appearances. Best line: "Finally! I get to save the Earth with deadly lasers instead of deadly slide shows."
nenena: (Default)
RE: Paris Hilton

My faith in The System has been completely restored. Thank you, Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer. I've never met you in person, I've only read about you once in an AP news article, but I think that I love you.

[livejournal.com profile] cleolinda has articulated my exact feelings about Paris Hilton here, and in a much smarter way than I ever could have written.

And what bugs me the most about this is that Ms. Hilton STILL refuses to take responsibility for ANYTHING that she's done wrong. Argh, she reminds me of my worst maturity-challenged students. You know, the ones who will blame their parents, their friends, their dog, institutionalized racism, immigration reform, and the failures of the American/Japanese social support system for the fact that I just caught them cheating on a test by copying answers downloaded onto their cell phones.

But enough about Paris Hilton, who sucks. Here are some memes.

One for me to do: Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] sam_chan and [livejournal.com profile] meiousei: Name any character I know and I'll tell you three reasons why s/he sucks, whether or not I like that character. You can name more than one character. I like a challenge.

One that I am doing: Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] evercool. What's in your bag?

Behind the cut. )
nenena: (Default)
So apparently there was a little bit of Pirates of the Caribbean III that was shown after the credits finished rolling.

I did not know this, because the theater that I saw the movie in did not show this part. Stoopid Japanese theaters.

No, seriously. I *expected* there to be something after the credits, because there was something after the credits for the first two movies, so... We stayed all the way through the credits, but then said credits cut off quickly in the middle of the "Special Thanks to" section. I didn't think anything of it at the time, I just thought that the movie was over. I mean, we knew that the credits were cut off early for some reason, but... I dunno, we just sort of up and left after that. I guess we assumed, or at least I assumed, that since the credits were cut off early, we weren't missing anything particularly important. Only after I was browsing my flist today and saw people writing about what happened after the credits did I realize... We were robbed! Argh! Fortunately, the "after the credits" bit has already been posted all over Youtube, so I was able to see it that way. Okay.

Also, I found out (via [livejournal.com profile] tricianna's journal and Wikipedia) that there was a scene cut from the film that totally changes the ending:

Major spoiler, obviously. )

ETA: Wikipedia lists the names of all nine Pirate Lords and which seas they're the lords of. Apparently Barbossa is the Lord of the Caspian Sea, and Jack is the Lord of the Caribbean Sea.

...Really? The Caspian Sea?! Now I am more curious than ever as to how Barbossa got this title.

ETA 2: The first Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack was good, but nothing special. The second was a freakin' masterpiece. And the third? OMG I'm listening to it now, AND IT IS AMAZING. I'm very picky about my movie soundtracks, and it's extremely rare that I'll find one that I can listen to, in its entirety, over and over again without ever getting sick of it. I've been listening to the PoC II soundtrack over and over again *for a year* without getting sick of it, which really says something. Except that now PoC III has officially bumped PoC II out of its sacred spot as Nenena's All-Time Favorite Movie Soundtrack. So in short? GOOD SOUNTRACK.
nenena: (Default)
I saw Pirates of the Caribbean 3 tonight. I can't sort out my thoughts about it properly yet, but I will say one thing:

Barbossa RULED this movie. He just did. The whole darn movie was basically two and a half hours of Barbossa being awesome, and that was just fine by me. It was about five minutes into the movie that I realized that Barbossa had suddenly catapulted himself to the status of my favorite character, and he stayed that way all the way through to the end.

Other non-spoilery bits:

Elizabeth was about 300% more awesome in this movie than in the previous two.

DOGGIE! Seeing the return of the shaggy dog literally made the entire movie for me. Those of you who know me know that I have this gigantic hang-up about dogs in movies... As in, if a dog dies, I bawl uncontrollably for hours. I mean, I bawled when a dog died toward the beginning of Jaws. So when I saw the end of PoC II and the poor dog's fate was left hanging in the air... Well, I was kind of beside myself. I've been angsting about that poor dog for an entire year, hoping that maybe his fate would be resolved in PoC II. And it was. And that made me very happy. Yay!

Okay, that's it for the non-spoilery bits. Maybe a longer post with spoilers later.

Oh, and one final thing: PoC III = More, and more egregious, retcons than X3 and Spiderman III combined. Okay, granted, it's kind of hard to top "Your uncle's REAL killer!!" and "She had multiple personality disorder this whole time!" as far as egregious retcons go. But Pirates comes darn close. Those of you who have seen or been spoiled for the movie, you probably know what I'm talking about.

Edit May 28th: Oh yeah, and icky, icky race issues. I heard - and I can't confirm where, but somehow I doubt it's not true - that the producers actually but Chow Yun Fat in yellow face because he didn't look "exotic" enough. And Tia Dalma especially was a big giant Magical Negro.. Well, at least she was until the very end. Without spoiling too much: In the end, instead of helping out the white characters, Tia Dalma basically gives them a giant epic supernatural "Fuck you!" Which was kind of awesome.
nenena: (Default)
I was tagged by [livejournal.com profile] meiousei!

Guilt
What is yours?
Explain yourself
Culinary: Japanese Mr. Donut I only go once or twice a month, I swear. Still, the temptation is so strong... And this month they have Black Sesame Cream Pon de Ring. Oh god.
Literary: 80% of my manga collection. ...Do I have to?
Audiovisual: Nerima Daikon Brothers Sexist. Atrociously racist. And the best animated musical send-up of The Blues Brothers EVER. Plus it has Nabeshin in it.
Musical: early Britney Spears Major chords. Yeah they're musically "cheap" but whatever. Really simple, catchy melodies. And you can dance to it.
Celebrity: Gordon Ramsey Watching a brilliant man act like a complete asshole on national television will never stop being entertaining.


Now I tag:-

[livejournal.com profile] aster_dw [livejournal.com profile] atelierjoh [livejournal.com profile] goldenflames [livejournal.com profile] imorca and [livejournal.com profile] steelehearts

to complete this same Quiz, Its HERE.



Also... I found this because a post about it was being mocked on Somethingawful.com's Weekend Web. As far as I'm concerned, THIS IS AWESOME. It's a theatrical production starring two adorable Shetland Sheepdogs. *I* would pay money to see this. Check out the photo galleries on the website, they are sooooooo cuuuuuuuute.

Hey people that own The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on DVD: Does anyone have the 2-disc collector's edition? If so, what physical extras did it come with? I picked up the R2 Japanese edition the other day because it was on sale. It came with postcards and bookmarks. I've noticed that postcards and/or bookmarks are pretty standard extras for Disney's "collector's edition" DVDs. (I.E., my special edition of the PotC II DVD also came with postcards.) Since I haven't bought a Region 1 Disney DVD in forever, I'm curious if the postcards thing is universal to most Disney DVDs, or if it's just a Japan thing.

Also, what's up with not including theatrical trailers as DVD extra anymore? Seriously, it's really annoying. Okay, maybe this sounds weird, but I'm a bit of a trailer connoisseur. I looove to watch theatrical trailers, especially good ones. But lately I've noticed that it's becoming rarer and rarer for trailers to be included as DVD extras, particularly on Disney DVDs. (Fox is usually pretty good about this, though.) I mean, a year or two ago I would have just expected a theatrical trailer to be a standard extra for any DVD releease. So why are fewer and fewer DVDs including theatrical trailers? Maybe it's a silly thing to get worked up about, but it's starting to piss me off.

Finally, some random writing-related linkspammage:
Now THIS is a smart and useful post about "Mary Sues"
Stephen King Said it Best
Stephen King Said it Best, Part II