tanithryudo: (IDIC)
No I didn't watch this in the theater. And for once I didn't bootleg it either. =P I watched it for $3.99 on Google Movies. After, of course, having already thoroughly spoiled myself on the plot already, so I already knew going in that it was supposed to be more like a normal TOS episode than the previous two.

And, y'know, I actually kinda liked it, as a Star Trek AU. And considering how much fanfic I read, I don't have anything against AUs in an of itself.

Read more... )
tanithryudo: (Default)
Yes it's good. It didn't disappoint even though I had fully spoiled myself on the plot before walking into the theater. (Aside: And a nice theater it was too; a new AMC at the New Park Mall which had large leather couches for seats, with an electronic foot rest. Nice.)

Read more... )
tanithryudo: (Default)
I still couldn't find anything online about the actual contents of the Accords aside from that one page which appeared in the trailers. I suppose it's a good idea not to show it so that movie watches wouldn't nitpick the thing to death instead of enjoying the movie itself, but still, that prevents me from nitpicking the thing to death. =P

Also, it seems that even internally, Marvel isn't very consistent about what the Accords do. Pretty sure movie canon takes precedence over TV canon though.

Anyway, I found this article online which pretty much explains a lot of my feelings about what we do know of the Accords, better than I can. Of course, this would be in a realistic USA in a realistic universe...so of course that wouldn't include the MCU. -_-!
tanithryudo: (Default)
So it seems the extended DVD for Battle of Five armies is out. I've been going through the clips that have been uploaded to youtube to see if there's anything decent added to canon. They were mostly underwhelming, unfortunately.

Also, no awesome combat scene for Thranduil *sadface*. Didn't bother to look at the extended Legolas vs Bolg scene - the Mario hop over the crumbling stone that made it into the theatrical release already obliterated my SOD for that sequence.

WTF is this--? - Helicopter seige...bolts, what? I'm pretty sure that's not possible..really? And...and the dwarven army lugged all of this seige over from the Iron Hills, like, overnight? Over two nights? And then they didn't bother to use them on the orcs/trolls? I'm...not going to accept this as canon. No. Someone's dipped too far into the sauce for fantasy CGI.

Ok, this bit here I can accept as canon, if only cuz it kills off that really annoying guy.

Thorin's funeral - no Elves or Men in attendance, really? Moar character assassination ho! Where's the frickin' moral of this story?! AAAUGH!!

Ok, this one made me laugh. But, uh, why did Thranduil namedrop Ecthelion? The Battle of Five Armies took place in TA 2941, while Ecthelion became Steward of Gondor in TA 2953 (after the death of his father). At this point he's...not even a prince...just the heir to the Steward of Gondor. I mean, would he have cared to know Boromir's name circa LOTR?

More White Council vs Nazgul - I can't tell, is the flashing light when Elrond strikes the Nazgul coming from his hand/ring or from his sword?

Beorn the bear cavalry - Well at least he looks better than Lupin did in HP. *squints* I wish they actually put him up against one of the giant siege trolls instead of against random canon fodder though. Crushing a bunch of mooks doesn't really do much to establish your cred in fantasy land.
tanithryudo: (IDIC)
Finally saw the movie today. I actually went in with...fairly low expectations, so at least I was pleasantly surprised. If you treated it as a sequel to Avengers 1 and ignored all character development in IM 3 and Cap 2, it's a decent sequel.

I would have liked to see the process of the team actually building up into the dynamics we're dropped into, but I guess team building would've required a separate plot all on its own and there was no way to squeeze it in without ruining the pace. Still, even a throwaway line about how long they've been working together as a team again would've helped the audience get a general idea of the background events since Cap 2.

Also couldn't help but feel that Joss was trying to jerk around the fandom just for the purpose of jerking around the fandom rather than for the sake of a good story. The characterization of Clint and the giving him a family I feel was also his FU to the odd masses of Clint/Coulson shippers -- not that I minded this particular development for Clint, personally, since I wasn't one of those shippers. The real litmus test will come in the following Avengers films, to see if they'll kill that family off like they did in the Ultimates for the cheap shock value.

The Nat/Bruce thing was a total waste of character development that could've been better spent elsewhere. They did such a good job staying away from making the strong female lead a romance focused role with Avengers 1, Cap 2, and the Peggy Carter series. Pity they blew it here. Also, the whole sterility = monster thing was just as horrible as everyone said it was. If that wasn't the message intended by the film, then your scriptwriters totally blew it.

What I did like...

Action scenes were pretty good. Didn't drag on for too long aside from the Hulkbuster one (that one was obviously pandering to the fanboys).

Clint and Steve's interaction with the twins were good buildup.

Steve had some really sassy lines and some really inspirational lines. As he's still my favorite, I liked. that. Also loved his scenes with Thor, the two make a really good pair on the battlefield. He also budged the hammer just a tiny bit... (my headcanon is that when the Bucky arc is finally over he might be able to lift it.)

I also actually liked it that he didn't throw a fit at Tony over the Ultron thing, that he was only a little passive aggressive about it but still trusted Tony to be on the team afterwards. Most fangirls who project too much of themselves into fics tend to forget that as far as shown onscreen, Steve is more about doing what needs to be done than indulgent in melodrama. And that he's not an actually a closeminded asshole just because they want to make Tony a woobie. /rant

Ultron and Vision weren't as bad as I feared they would turn out to be, which is good. Still a lot of hand-wavey about how it all happened but I'm going to just chalk all of it up to space magic.

Some further thoughts and concerns...

It's already somewhat evident that with the expanded cast, it's hard to squeeze in enough characterization for everyone. Even if they're permanently dropping Hulk from future Avengers movies, they are still accumulating major characters like whoa, which will make things even tougher in the next film. It's not that I want them to start axing more characters in the films until then...but I do wonder how they're going to handle it.

There's not a lot of decent post-AoU fanfics, at least on AO3, period. Usually there's a glut right after the movie comes out. Even the Steve/Tony ships aren't drawing from it. Not sure what that means in terms of the fandom reaction to the movie...
tanithryudo: (Default)
So, I, uh, watched this on fast forward. Basically, skipped scenes that didn't have elves in it. I didn't have a lot of expectations going into the film since I've read all the spoilers and know what I was getting into. And yeah, no pleasant surprises. Ugh.

Let's get the really obvious complaints out of the way.

1. Pacing was horrible. As bad as the last one.

Smaug. Dying barely past the opening credits. W. T. F.

No further major battle scenes about 2/3rds of the way through in favor of Thorin's little corner of the field. I thought this thing was supposed to be about armies?

2. Characterization was spotty.

Galadriel. WTF was she supposed to be? Weakling who couldn't bear up under the Nine? Powerful enough to zap off Sauron? Was she going dark or something with all that black-lighting? Cuz that's what the colors give off.

Tauriel. Ugh. Don't shoehorn in a female OC if you don't want her to be scrutinized. She was a horrible disappointment as a female character. She brought *nothing* to the table except a horrible romance that did not belong to this story. Also, threatened regicide (and kinslaying!). WTF. Did everyone forget this is supposed to be a Tolkien elf? Only thing she got right was not to get fridged.

Legolas. Poor boy. Three extra movies and they still couldn't give him a memorable characterization that could stand out beyond the other major characters. *sigh*


Honestly, outside of some moments of coolness, there's not much that this movie has going for it.

Anyways, the few things I liked:

Elrond & Saruman swashbuckling duo. Surprisingly hypnotic dance combo. *cough*

Thranduil. Awww, he's a good daddy; like, total and complete pushover when it comes to his son. Also, a pretty reasonable guy, and a decent king.

Did those eagles airdrop in bear cavalry? Oh, I think that was supposed to be Beorn.

And some of the fight scenes are nice. Too many of those builds up a tolerance unfortunately.


*sigh* I had such high hopes. Back before Hobbit 2 anyway. *shrug*
tanithryudo: (Read)
Didn't actually get any sleep the last night in Auckland. Basically just tossed and turned for like 4 hours. We flew first to Sydney and then waited for another 4 hours for our connecting flight to LAX. Not sure why they can't just have us fly directly from NZ to the US but I'm guessing it is probably due to group rates. I didn't get any sleep on that flight, but did manage to catch maybe an hour's nap during the wait.

The international flight from Sydney to LAX was supposed to be about 12+ hours in duration. I watched two in flight movies (Qantas international has a pretty big list to pick from) - Guardians of the Galaxy and Inglorious Basterds. Then I think I must have slept about 5+ hours, which is pretty good, even if I missed the 'midnight' ice cream snack they served.

As an aside for the movies, they were kinda meh to be honest. GotG didn't really grab me, and I thought the male lead way too cliche. Inglorious Basterds reminds of a revenge fanfic; I didn't get what's so great about it that has so many authors on AO3 lauding it.

Anyway, the connecting flight from LAX to SFO was much tighter in schedule. We were lucky that the checkout was quick (they didn't even collect my customs declaration form, which is kinda a WTF after the interrogation in NZ), and the check-in wasn't too bad. We managed to get through everything in like 1.5 hours and just 15-20 mins before the boarding.

The flight to SFO was uneventful, as was the BART ride afterwards. One the "same day" that we left NZ, as a matter of fact, due to crossing the international date line. (Hm...looking over the timestamps of previous entries, it seems that IJ used the US Pacific Time for all of them even though I posted them from AU/NZ. Ah well, don't think it would be worth the bother to manually change them all.)
tanithryudo: (Read)
Saw this the past weekend. It was ok, I guess.

Is it just me or did Fassbender...gain weight? I initially thought they got a new actor for Magneto, before the end credits rolled.

Alas, not so much interactions/chemistry between (young) Charles and Eric this time, which is kinda a let down from my expectations after XMFC. I guess fanfic has spoiled me too much. There was slightly more feeling between old Charles & Erik, but they didn't get enough screen time together. (Which is a shame. C'mon... it's Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen).

Some WTF moments and thoughts...

* How long did it take Trask to build them demo robots? Long enough for Eric to find out where they're manufactured and follow the train to DC; for Charles to fly back from Paris, then fly to DC; for Kitty to...not die of blood loss in the future? He built a dozen giant flying robots in like...2 days? With 70s tech? Man, Tony Stark must be crying a few universes over.

* They...did they kill off Emma, Sean, & Alex off screen? WTF? I mean, the boys you might be able to explain away as getting drafted for Vietnam. But Emma?

* Ok so Mystique picked up past!Wolvie at the end in Strycker's guise. But...doesn't that mean in the new timeline, Wolvie is never experimented on by Weapon X and never gets metal claws?

* Post-credits tag shows Apocalypse, so I guess they are doing another sequel? Is this going to still be with young Eric/Charles in the 80s/90s? Or in the new "future". It seems weird to me since this movie feels really a lot like closure for the storyline begun in XMFC. They could've put a "The End" at the end and it would've felt complete. *shrug*
tanithryudo: (Gods at Play)
So I have been reading a lot of Worm fanfics on the Spacebattles Creative Writing forum. A lot of the best crossover fics I've seen have been with the Exalted RPG. The discussions on those threads invariably get inundated by Exalted game mechanics, so I've learned more about those than I've wanted to.

Anyway, so then I was watching CA:TWS. And throughout the movie, I kept thinking - My god, Cap is such a Zenith (Exalted "sub-class" for the Solar "class"). He would make a great Exalt expy. And then afterwards I ran a google search to see if any Exalt games/fans have tried to create a character sheet for Cap and came across this discussion.

So anyway my imagination runs away with me... )

EDIT: For my own reference
tanithryudo: (Red Lady)
First, let's get my squeeing out of the way. I absolutely LOVED this movie. Love <3<3<3!!! I went into the theater with high expectations. I was not disappointed. It ticked ALL of my likes. Cap, you are my favorite superhero evar!! <3<3<3

*cough* *ahem*

Attempted coherency... )

There's other stuff I loved, but the above covers most of the big things.

Incidentally, this reviewer's posts? I agree with all of it. ^_^
tanithryudo: (Read)
So I saw The Hobbit (Part 2) lately, and found I do have some stuff to say about it.

spoilers ahoy )
tanithryudo: (IDIC)
Saw Thor 2 today. I liked it, better than Thor 1 actually. Maybe it's because I didn't have high expectations going in this time, or maybe because there's less emphasis on Loki (I still don't get the fandom's obsession with him... OK I get the why, I just don't feel it myself).

Read more... )
tanithryudo: (Earendilion)
My mom's company sponsored a free lunch and showing of The Hobbit today and I was able to see it. (My company also sponsored a showing last Friday at the opening day, but it was at 8 AM and I just couldn't make myself get up that early.) So here are my thoughts about this part one of the prequel trilogy to LOTR.

Overall, I would say it's a good popcorn movie, I guess. Some good eyecandy spread through it, and not just of people, though there are some bits of good characterization... But. Well. It tries way too hard to live up to LOTR and doesn't make it by far. In fact, I would say that the worst flaws of this movie is that it's been bogged down with the success of the previous films.

Read more... )

Tl;dr. - Middle Earth is still an awesome place to see on the big screen. But a good portion of the movie should still belong in the extended edition. Gandalf is still awesome, but I'm not feeling the love for the Fellowship Company here, if I even remember half their names.
tanithryudo: (Avengers)
So I finally got to see the Avengers this holiday weekend. I have to say that Marvel Studios has hit another one out of the park. Even five weeks after the domestic debut, the theater was still packed. I had to sit somewhere the front and crane my neck up to watch the film up close cuz there were no seats left in the entire rear section. According to google news, the film is doing really well at the box office and in critical reviews as well.

Here there may be spoilers )
tanithryudo: (Chess)
First of all, I saw both of these as an in-flight movie and not on the big screen, so I guess any CGI or SFX that was made to have them look cool in the theater was probably lost in translation. I'll mainly be commenting on the other aspects of the movies than how they look...

X-Men was great, just like everyone said it was. The pacing was fast paced, the plot carried you along with every tide, the fact that you knew who was going to end up on which side didn't detract from the suspense of how things are going to get there.

The plot was... ok, it was pretty standard comic book. Let's not talk too much of plausibility of the bad guys' plan. There are also some other visible plot holes, but they don't detract too much from the movie. The more important plotline of Xavier finding young mutants in need and becoming a mentor to them was nicely done.

The characterization was...wow. They did an awesome job with the two stars – Xavier and Magneto (nobody cares about the villain). I especially like that they managed to give Xavier some depth instead of cardboard xerox of MLK Jr., let him have some flaws that make so much sense on him, and yet still make him the goody two-shoes guy. Magneto was more uneven if looked at overall, but he certainly had quite a few moments that really made the guy shine.

Most of all, there was chemistry between the two of them that just sizzled, arguably even better than frickin' Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen playing off each other in the previous movies. I can certain see where all the slash fics are coming from, because there are so many emotionally heavy scenes between the two of them that just make you go "Oh my god they are so totally doing it behind everyone's back."

The rest of the cast is good too (except the dragonfly-girl which made me go "bwah?"). Mystique is great. Banshee is great. Havok is great (though I wonder how they're going to tie him into continuity with Cyclops). The villains were...not that great, but nobody really cared about them.

Three thumbs up for X-Men First Class.

Next, we have Super 8, which unfortunately did not live up to the hype. I was expecting horror. I was expecting sci-fi. I was expecting more than just 3 frickin' scenes with the alien that the plot is supposed to be centered on.

Instead, we got barely pubescent teen drama, with all the you like her, I like her, she likes you, our parents don't want us to talk to each other... GAH. If I wanted a relationship chick flick I wouldn't be going to something billed as sci-fi/horror!! Who the hell wants to see barely-teen soap operatics in their sci fi?!

Aside from the kids who are pretty much living out of Lady Luck's pocket, everyone else... sucked. The deputy guy who was Romeo's (can't remember the kid's name) dad--nothing made me care about this guy thoughout his angst and dysfunctional relationship with his son and the later turnaround; whatever. I barely got what the hell was going on with the other guy that was Juliet's dad (I can't remember her actual name either). The other kids in support roles were annoying and utterly transparent in their roles for the movie. The alien, as mentioned before, was largely absent. The military – bleh, so annoyingly one dimensional it makes me long to rewatch Stargate instead. And everyone else was pretty much cardboard/fodder.

FYI: Horror is not randomly killing people out of the blue. That's just playing people for the shock value. It is not horror if we don't evey care about 100% of the people killed.

Worst of all, the climax was an utter anti-climax, and then it just skips to the end credits. W. T. F. Who wrote this crap?

Two thumbs down for Super 8.
tanithryudo: (Default)
Just saw the movie today. Dragged my mom with me since the supermarket she needed to go to was right next to the theater. Verdict? I like it. I would even verge to say I loved it.

The Good: The characters. Definitely. Times 100.

Cap was spot on what he should be, which is a level of goodness and niceness you don't see much anymore in today's emo/snarkiness/cynicism overwhelmed entertainment products. He's humble, which is a lot unlike the other superegoesheroes out there. He's well adjusted...though that credit probably goes to Dr. Erskine for choosing the right person to become a hero (makes you want to ask the GL ring what the heck its criteria were, huh?). He's adorably bumbling when it comes to women. And yeah, I honestly cried in the scene where he said his goodbyes and crashed the Hydra plane (not knowing he'll be on ice for the next 75 years).

(Also, the thought occurs to me that Steve's virtues are the same that Superman/Clark Kent, the iconic character, is supposed to also have. But alas, only one of these characters actually managed to pull it off in the movies...all of their movies combined. -_-)

Peggy was probably one of the, if not the best female lead in a superhero movie so far. She kicks butt and takes names, and can probably shoot a fly at 50 paces. She dominated (and I mean that seriously) all the guys she meets. Alas, she's probably the one who got the least far with her guy as well. One kiss and a promise for a date before he crashed into the ice.

Howard Stark also made me squee... he's a lot like Tony from IM. Same flashiness when he gave his World's Fair demo (though alas I think his son got better engineering skillz), and is totally insane enough to fly behind enemy lines and still make it out alive. And the scene at the end where he's spending his millions to scour the North Sea for any sign of Cap is just heart wrenching. More since we know he died before Cap was finally recovered. *sniff*

Dr. Erskine was a character that was barely a footnote in the comics as part of Steve's background. Here, he's fleshed out in the few times he appears and is probably one of the wiser and cooler "old mentor guy" figures around.

Tomme Lee Jones Col. Phillips... I think all the reviews online have said everything better than me about how he rocked.

The Meh/Bad:

I'll agree with some reviewers that the pacing could use some work. The end where Cap wakes up in the modern world I think should be moved to the post-credits teaser, IMO. Or, at least make it shorter and vaguer. Otherwise it takes a lot out of the emotional impact of Cap's sacrifice.

Also, the unclear end of Bucky (typical stereotype of falling into the abyss...if you don't see the body then they're not dead) I think was kinda unnecessary, since I doubt they're going to do anything with the Winter Soldier storyline of comic fame. IMO it would've been better to go with the Ultimates storyline and had Bucky survive everything and be in his 90's when Steve returns, as the one last touchstone in the brand new world he's thrust into. (Edit: Belated note - since the sequel is Winter Soldier, nevermind about this.)

Making Hydra into a rogue Nazi element was kinda...odd, but I guess I could get where they're coming from. Might even be due to restrictions on Nazi imagery in entertainment that's driving the change, actually. Also, in-story, I guess it's a little too hard to explain why Germany didn't win the war in the Marvel timeline with the gear Hydra had available otherwise. Still. It was kinda odd. And I still think it's a little odd that the US was on the wrong side of the tech parity with Hydra. Even with the Norse superscience that Red Skull had, wouldn't he have been limited by other raw materials and funding like the rest of Germany? Ah well, chalk it up to standard supervillainy handwaving.


Anyway, in summary: Two thumbs up for Captain America!
tanithryudo: (Autumn)
First, disclaimer - I'm not actually 100% sure the download I watched was actually the same Disney's Earth that played in theaters. Apparently there was another version made earlier in England but had a different narrator. So, I dunno, even if it was the original film from England, everything except the narration was supposed to be the same as the actual theater one, and I didn't watch it for the narrator anyways, so I guess it still counts...

The good, the bad, the different )

Overall: If you love shiny and cuteness, go see it. If you care about the science, go watch National Geographic instead to get it out of your system, then turn off your brain and go see it. You'll never be able to see a real documentary reach these levels of eye candy. I take that last part back, since they apparently swiped the scenes from BBC.

WTB DVD rip/BT download of BBC series...
tanithryudo: (Cute Demoness)
Overall, I was pretty disappointed in this film. It didn't live up to the expectations set by DaVinci Code at all. I think they were trying to much to make it into a(n average blockbuster) "thriller" and forgot to include many of the elements that made DaVinci Code good - the riddles, the problem solving, the complicated plans, the outrageous daring on the parts of the protagonists...

Specifics )
tanithryudo: (Foreign Relations)
link to cashew's reviews

Background:
赤壁 (Chi Bi) is supposed to be a remake of the famous battle in the middle of the Three Kingdoms period. I heard from somewhere that it's one of the most expensive movies produced in China to date - although, it's hard to tell where all that money went. The director claims that he was trying to move away from the ROTK standards and stereotypes that was set by the classic novel of the Ming Dynasty and the original TV series, and instead be more faithful to the historical documents on the era. Unfortunately, his attempts seem to have failed.

Overall Impression:
In my opinion, Chi Bi is the Chinese equivalent of Troy. A purposeful maligning of classical stories and history with modern "reinterpretations" and Hollywood flash-over-substance. And worse still, it's apparently only the first movie in a duology or even trilogy (cuz I certainly can't imagine them being able to finish the story in just 1 more movie given the pace the storyline is moving). The characters and characterizations have been modernized and "humanized" to their detriment, and have lost many of the qualities that made these characters into cultural heroes in the first place. In the end, the movie leaves the audience (as long as they are not ignorant of Chinese culture and history) with the impression that the Chinese filmmakers have sacrificed their own cultural heritage in order to make a film through the eyes of the modern western world on one of the most famous times of Chinese history. And that is just sad.

More wall of text )
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