reinforce my clarity
a thousand burning penguins jumping into a sea of crisps
6th-Nov-2014 10:51 am - Battle of Five Armies
I need a hug
There's a new trailer out soon apparently, but I've seen a few posters, including this one of Thorin, Fili and Kili apparently battling a troll. And it looks like very much like Thorin is wielding Glamdring, which is confusing me since that's Gandalf's sword and as far as I can remember from the book the only interaction they have now certainly isn't friendly enough to involve him lending Thorin a sword!

Also, I'm not sure fandom collectively has enough tissues to survive the end of this film.
25th-Oct-2014 03:07 pm - PSA: MCU extras!
An amazing person on tumblr has uploaded all of the extras from the Marvel films, which means that those of us who don't have BluRay or who are Region 2 for DVDs *glares at Disney* (yes, I'm still pissed about the extras being cut for Europe compared to US DVDs for Avengers) can actually have access!

Links are here. Get 'em while they're hot.
I updated the PC due to the death of XP, and in doing so switched over to Firefox but with my favourites imported. And today I figured it was time to go through the fannish ones and get rid of the websites that no longer exist, which depressingly turned out to be rather a lot (and I'm not done yet). For a bunch of homepages where I couldn't even remember why I had favourited them in the first place this wasn't too upsetting, but typically it appears that the sites where I did remember and would rather like to be able to reread some of the fic cannot be resurrected by Wayback either. Sigh.

This is probably why people used to save fics they really liked to their PCs, but I never bothered. Hindsight 20/20 and all.
30th-Aug-2014 09:24 pm - Doctor Who: Into the Dalek
Ooooookay, that was actually... kind of disturbing.

Just when you think the Daleks are all played outCollapse )

Ooh, the confidential thingy on iPlayer was also much less irritating this week, so that was good too! (They could still do with calming the narrator down another notch or two though.)
23rd-Aug-2014 09:58 pm - Attack eyebrows!
And Doctor numero... (uh, is he 12 or 13? Wait, are we on 14 now, with 10.5 and the War Doctor?) oh well, whichever one he is, he's the Doctor, and he's landedCollapse )
And thought I would share a couple of the joyous things I've found:

Catherine Tate interviewing David Tennant for the radio show Chain Reaction. Very funny and if the BBC wanted to give them their own show where they get to talk about anything they like that would be fine with me.

The Ballad of Russell and Julie, which is David Tennant, Catherine Tate and John Barrowman performing a musical number (which I think is an adaptation of a Victoria Wood song) in honour of Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner. Makes you wish there had been a musical episode of Doctor Who.

And what sent me on the kick in the first place - Digital Theatre has a performance of Much Ado About Nothing available (which as far as I know isn't available any other way). No link as you have to register and pay for a download (and get either their app or player) but it is glorious and well worth either the rental or the permanent access price. I think I have watched it at least 4 times since I found out about it and I have enjoyed the heck out of it every single time. DT is fantastic as Benedick and CT is very nearly as good as Beatrice, and the whole cast are excellent.

This most recent rewatch was inspired by watching the first half (ish) of the film version directed by Joss Whedon and finding it, hmm, disappointing is the word. It definitely suffers by comparison with the stage ones I have seen, both with DT and without, and by comparison to the Kenneth Branagh version (though I haven't seen that in a long time I do remember enjoying it a lot despite the Keanu Reeves factor). Not quite sure why this one didn't work for me, but it seemed very flat - I don't think I smiled until the slapstick of Benedick being fooled into thinking Beatrice loves him. Much as I like most of the cast members from other Whedon productions, I don't think they were making very much of the dialogue; it all seemed to get rattled off without much attention to giving it a flow so that lines stood out as important, or even as jokes (Clark Gregg does get an honourable mention for giving it a bit more life than some of the rest). Though I realise that is probably as much down to direction as to any particular actor and I am surprised that Whedon didn't manage to give things more oomph too. I didn't like Alexis Denisof as Benedick much, sad to say, and while I liked Amy Acker a bit more as Beatrice that may account for my not enjoying it that much since those two characters are the main draw of the play. I didn't even make it to Nathan Fillion's appearance.

So yeah, what I watched was all adequate, but not great which is why I had to go back and rewatch the Tennant/Tate production!
3rd-Jun-2014 08:43 pm - Meme!
Who is your Doctor?
Oh, start with the hard one first, why don't you... Uh... on reflection I think it may actually be Eleven. Much as I adore David Tennant, Eleven just edges it over Ten as the Doctor. He's just that bit more quirky and odd and flaily.

Who is your Doctor's companion?
And immediately followed by an easy one: Amy and Rory Pond, hands down. (Though Donna Noble is in second place.)

Who is your Batman?
I'm not actually a fan of Batman at all *shrugs* But I'll go for the 60s version with Adam West just for the cheesy joy.

Who is your Cat Woman
Halle Berry? Just kidding. Michelle Pfeiffer, I suppose.

Who is your Sherlock Holmes?
Benedict Cumberbatch. (I have fond memeories of watching Jeremy Brett many years ago though.)

Who is your fictional female federal agent?
Dana Scully. (Though if I'm allowed to pretend Hannibal didn't happen, it is totally Clarice Starling.)

Who is your Robin Hood?
Michael Praed. Oh, Robin of Sherwood with your Clannad music and 80s obsession with dry ice fog. I think if I watched you now I would find you very cheesy but damn did I love you when I was a child.

Who is your Maid Marian?
Kate Lonergan from Maid Marian and Her Merry Men! Awesome series, and I think I can just about still sing all of the theme tune.

Who is your Bond?
In descending order of preference: Daniel Craig, Sean Connery (only not tied for first because the rampant misogyny of the early films is a lot more obvious and annoying for me now), Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan (I have not seen Die Another Day and do not intend to), Roger Moore, George Lazenby.

Who is your fictional female assassin?
Natasha Romanoff. (Duh.)
Okay, I had not gone back to watching Agents of SHIELD after its hiatus here in the UK because I hadn't found it that interesting. (FYI, Clark Gregg, on the off-chance you read this, my lack of interest had nothing to do with wanting Avengers cameos. That would be a horrible idea. But I would like the show to have an ensemble where half the characters aren't a personality-free zone, and to have a bit of life in its plots.)

But after seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I wanted to see how the series dealt with the events of that film (see post below for spoilers and my reactions) plus I'd heard this half of the season was better so I gave AoS another shot. And maybe I just picked a bad episode to jump back in, but jeez louise people, could you not write plots that make your characters look like incompetent idiots?Collapse )
Finally got into the cinema to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and now I have Things that need to go down somewhere... don't expect any logical sequence though, there are no neat segues ahead just some headings.

Steve Rogers
First off, Steve Rogers is absolutely my favourite character in the MCU, though fairly unexpectedly on my part. Going in to Avengers Assemble, I'd only actually seen Iron Man and Thor (sacrilege, I know) and skimmed past articles about Captain America without much interest. Coming out of the Avengers film, I had a burning need to see The First Avenger as soon as possible, and immediately after that I had a one true character for the Marvel universe and I've spent the last few years basing my reading habits in that fandom entirely on how much Captain America was present. If Steve Rogers isn't fairly central to a fic, I'm not interested, but I will ship him with virtually anyone (long as it's consensual) because everything is better with added Steve.

Interestingly, the friend I went to CA:TWS with hadn't seen the first one, so we did the DVD first and her comment at the end was "he reminds me a lot of Carrot from the Discworld", which I can totally see and also means that some of my Steve Rogers thinking now comes attached to Terry Pratchett quotes, about simple not being stupid, and "personal isn't the same as important". Not that I think either Carrot or Steve are simple, but they share a view of people that isn't cynical, that expects people to be their best selves, and that makes other people underestimate them both. And they both look at duty first and their own wants second, making them fairly unusual characters because while there are plenty of heroic characters around, the heroism isn't usually framed in that kind of context. Winter Soldier spoilers and a *lot* more rambling under the cutCollapse )

Tl;dr: the film is awesome, Natasha and Sam are awesome, Steve is love.
I think I am on Doctor Who overload. I have watched The Night of the Doctor (awesome), The Science of Doctor Who (loved the sketches, thought the science was a bit tenuously linked), The Ultimate Guide (interesting but very annoying narration), The Culture Show (okay) and The Afterparty (total rubbish, which was expected) as well as

The Day of the DoctorCollapse )

and "The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot". My goodness, this was hilarious. I adored it, all the cameos (especially spoilersCollapse )) were fab and it was so sweet and lovely. If you haven't caught it, do go find it and watch because it is probably the most fun anniversary thing aside from the actual episode!
Atlantis was surprisingly fun! I almost didn't watch it, but then I caught the start and it wasn't what I expected at all so I failed to turn off and ended up sucked in.

Initial thoughts:
- yay Juliet Stevenson, but boo for getting her to do the clumsiest exposition scene. I suppose it is better to give it to someone really good, but still a bit better scripting there would have been nice.
- yay Mark Addy, you're still marvellous.
- Jason turned out to be much more attractive than he looked in the prepublicity pics I saw, and there was a rather sexy moment when I genuinely thought for a second they were going to have a naked man on evening telly. They did not, of course, but it was still rather nice.
- if there doesn't end up being Jason/Pythagoras slash I will be very surprised given the amount of touchy-feelingness going on there
- on that note, Pythagoras was adorable!
- hey look, it is Dr Bashir from DS9!
- and Sarah Parish, and they are both being ambiguously sort of evil, probably?
- interesting way of doing Jason as a fish out of water. The beginning really took me by surpriseCollapse )

And then there is SHIELD.
- enjoyable, but not much to it so far. I'm hoping they settle down and actually let the characters have time to breathe in the next one because it was a little rushed on who these people are.
- Coulson is great of course, and I am fond of Ming-Na from ER days
- Sky reminded me overwhelmingly of Faith from BtVS in her mannerisms and way of speaking at some points, I hope that doesn't continue since I would like her to be her own distinct character and not keep making me think of someone else. At other times she was that, so more would be nice.
- mostly though, I want to know why none of these powerful agencies can afford proper lighting in their facilities. Don't they have health and safety regs?

Last but not least, Orphan Black. I've only seen the first two episodes so far, but I am totally hooked, mostly because the main actress is so incredibly awesome. And the intrigue is intriguing, and there is an interesting anti-hero aspect to Sarah that I want to follow, or at least some definite amorality that is unusual for a POV character. I like a lot that I have no idea what it coming up next, because neither does Sarah and she is just winging it and rolling with whatever happens - makes it enjoyably confusing.
13th-Jul-2013 05:58 pm - Poetry meme
When you see this, post some poetry.

I, being born a woman and distressedCollapse )

- Edna St Vincent Millay
23rd-May-2013 09:00 pm - Oh, Amazon, no
It seems Amazon have worked out a way to finally monetize that pesky fanfiction stuff with Kindle Worlds. Hoorah! Or not, as their terms make interesting reading.

For example, Amazon and the rights holders will establish content guidelines that writers must follow to publish using Kindle Worlds. Apparently these will "balance flexibility and openness for writers with what is reasonable for the franchise". And writers will lose all rights to the works to Amazon - oh, they'll get copyright to anything that is definitely theirs but that doesn't actually mean anything since Amazon will also license the rights holders to use all the new stuff writers come up with without any further compensation. They also won't accept "offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts", "excessively violent or graphic material, or excessive use of foul language" or crossovers. But the writer will get 35% (of the NET not the gross) for stories over 10000 words, and 20% for shorter ones, and that's the important thing, right? (Note there doesn't seem to be anything on how that net is going to be worked out, and there are plenty of ways for avoiding paying out anything in net on things that apparently make huge profits...)


I'm just guessing here, but I think about 90% of the fic I read (or want to read) would not be considered "reasonable for the franchise". The whole point of a lot of fanfic is that it is what canon won't do or consider, and that isn't even counting the myriad of fics that would fail their rules for what is offensive. (Not to mention that I can't see a lot of the rights holders giving a big a-okay to slash between their manly leads.) A big part of fanfiction is its total freedom from any rules - there isn't much attraction in bring told "these are all the things you can't do" at the start of something.

Combined with the signing away of all rights involved, it feels a lot like this is just a way for the copyright holders to crowd source tie-ins at no cost and with the ability to make off with anything good that comes out of it.

And really, why would I as a reader buy something that I can get as easily for free elsewhere and have the option of back buttoning if it turns out not to be my cup of tea?
18th-May-2013 08:18 pm - astfhjlg! Or, The Name of the Doctor
Okay, after a half series that mostly didn't rise above mediocre (except for The Crimson Horror which rocked, and the one with the ghostly hall was okay) the finale certainly packed all the punches that were missing from the rest.

Spoilers (sweetie)Collapse )
6th-May-2013 11:14 am - update on the e-book thing
After the advice from you lovely people, and having a fiddle in a couple of shops with different devices, I eventually bought..

dun, dun duuuuun... iPad Mini! And it is so shiny and cute, and I can't believe I'm finding an electronic device cute, but it is. It is the first Apple thing I've ever had and I am quite charmed by how easy it is to use. I've already downloaded a boatload of AO3 fic (so easy!), bought a kindle book from Amazon to try out that app (sooo easy, I was delightfully surprised) and loaded up on Austen (easy and free!).

I also remembered about a review of an app I read ages ago that made me extremely jealous I didn't then have an iPad - the Shakespeare Sonnets, all 154, all read by various actors and scholars in little vids alongside the text with brief commentary and a whole load of stuff about sonnets as a form. I now have it and it is just as cool as I thought it sounded way back when (and it made the other people I've shown go "wow, fantastic" too). I've obviously already listened to the David Tennant ones, but I am trying to save the rest for travelling - apart from when I spotted the guy who played Elyan in Merlin and listened to his, and wow he does an amazing job, and I had to listen to the Stephen Fry one because he does "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun", and the James Shapiro one because I've read one of his books, and I'm really not doing all that well resisting temptation!

And the iTunes store is way, way too easy to use. I am going to have to be very strict with myself to avoid going overboard (and broke), especially since I've now checked out the film and tv section. I am restricting myself to getting 2 films I have not seen before immediately prior to my holiday flights and nothing else. This can be my very late new year's resolution, and I am goddamn going to stick to it. Yes. *nods firmly* *scratches weakly at iPad while whining*
26th-Apr-2013 10:03 pm - So who knows about e-readers then?
I'm considering caving in and getting an e-reader for travel reading purposes, but researching is just making me confused and it doesn't help that all the comparison sites I've found so far are for the US market.

Anyone out there who can give me something more useful? I want to be able to download AO3 stuff and get books, and while I don't want to be tied to Amazon since they don't support E-Pub (which I have worked out is not a good thing), does not going with a Kindle mean not being able to get any ebooks from Amazon? How good are other sources for e-books if it does?

And I don't have wi-fi at home, but I can't even work out from what I've read so far if that is going to be a problem or not.

7th-Apr-2013 06:04 pm - I accidentally ficced for The Hobbit
And it's a Bilbo/Thorin PWP of approx 4500 words for the kink meme prompt:
I would like to read a kinky smut scene were Bilbo is really vanilla (related to above, Hobbits are very proper folk even in bed, so they totally do it without the lights, etc, etc) but Dwarves are very passionate... and Bilbo LOVES it

Though it didn't turn out especially kinky... probably rated R, and in other warnings, this has not been beta read so do let me know if there are embarrassing errors. Oh, and it's an Everybody Lives!AU

All Joys Are DueCollapse )
19th-Feb-2013 09:14 pm - Wtf, LJ?
Why can I suddenly not see any comments except on my own journal? I click on the commnents link anywhere else (including on posts on my flist) and all I get is the post with a note saying how many comments are on it that I can't frigging see! Argh.

ETA Well, I don't quite know how that worked, but apparently disabling script debugging is the way to go to fix this. Let's hope it doesn't screw up something else along the way...
3rd-Feb-2013 07:47 pm - rec of joy
And, oddly for me, an HP fic: Harry's New Home. It's one of those Snape-becomes-Harry's-guardian fics (which is a foolproof way of tempting me into HP fic) and it is freaking hilarious. Snape is a seriously snarky, in-denial drama llama (I keep picturing him played by Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock mode for some reason), the Harry & Snape relationship is adorable, the author has pulled in bits from all of the HP books in a delightful way and I am succumbing to uncontrollable giggles at least every other chapter. Now, I'll concede that it is on the cracky side rather than IC for the canon, but I haven't had this much fun reading a fic in ages! Give it a go if you need a laugh.
7th-Dec-2012 07:36 pm - Quote of the week
from Martin Freeman in SFX:

"the fact that people might like what you do and are touched by it, that's enough for me. I know people are touched by it, because they write to me and send me pictures - often of me having sex with Benedict Cumberbatch (laughs)"

Otherwise known as "Martin Freeman is awesomesauce", and is The Hobbit out yet?
6th-Oct-2012 09:05 pm - Merlin 5.01
The fifth series of Merlin started tonight and so I duly watched. Is it just me, though, or is the plotting getting repetitive? Stop me if this list sounds familiar...

Cryptic threat to Arthur: check
Merlin worries: check
Arthur dismisses Merlin's worries: check
Arthur and Merlin insult each other: check
Arthur is noble: check
Arthur and Merlin have a moment of affirming mutual loyalty at night: check
Merlin summons Dragon: check
Merlin is Arthur's only hope of safety: check
Knights get their shirts off: check
Morgana plots: check

I had an enormous sense of deja vu all through the episode. The traitor was obvious almost on first appearance, nothing got said in dialogue that I hadn't heard from the characters before (apart for the one exception of Gwen being brilliantly ruthless that was the only bit that felt like it wasn't a retread)... It feels like it's stuck in stasis, and nothing feels more like that than the relationship between Merlin and Arthur who have been dancing the same steps in it for about the last 3 series. I don't know - I feel like Uther dying last series should have been this huge game changer, but instead it's more like it just changed the details around the edges and the centre stayed exactly the same.

Come on, Merlin writers! Shake it up a bit - do something different! (And that does not mean fart jokes, you already did those.)
29th-Sep-2012 08:43 pm - DW7: Ep 6 - Poooooonds. *sniff*
Or "The Angels Take Manhattan My Heart"

Spoilers, sweetieCollapse )
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