jencat: (dr who)
Because, honestly, announcing that the Ponds are exiting next year isn't exactly news news as such - they've suffered enough, surely, and had practically left to some extent before TWORS so Eleven did just spend 200 years without them - it's just announcing that it's going to be 'heartbreaking' that's kind of... uncalled for. 

It's not like any of the companions of NewWho have left to wander off to a nice cosy life sans Doctor (does Martha count? I had given up watching in disgust at the end of season 3 so still not entirely sure, but it got wrapped up quite nicely later by the end of season 4, no?) but I don't really want it confirmed at this point that Amy and/or Rory are going to be killed off AGAIN.  Seriously, you've destroyed Amy's life several times over, locked her in a giant box for 2 millenia, killed her husband off multiple times after making him hang around keeping guard for the aforementioned 2000 years, kidnapped her, replaced her with a doppelganger that promptly got melted, had her child kidnapped (and never really returned as such), made an alternate version of her spend 30 years alone on a creepy planet getting all bitter and twisted, and then made them have to choose who got saved (and then get promptly cheated out of the choice).  And I'm sure I've missed stuff off that list.  Really, Moffatt, what more can you do to the poor Ponds??!!

Oh god.  I shouldn't have even asked that, should I... 
(I'm just hanging onto the forlorn hope that it doesn't mean anything more horrible happens to River, as that's quite heartrending enough after watching the DVD extra scenes...)

On the plus side, likely more River so yay! Although it would be hard getting rid of the Ponds permanently without involving her in some way, surely?

(There was much squeeing from 2 of us in my office this week, as The Only Other Who Fan Around Here had Alex Kingston walk right past him at Waterloo Station a couple of days ago ("It was the hair! The hair!!"), and has been going on about not having stopped her to take a pic ever since...)

There was much silent squeeing at the BFI last week, as the inevitable happened while I was standing waiting in the corridor before the screening and Steven Moffatt walked right past me.  Well, obviously he was going to be there, and it's not totally unheard of for guests to wander about the halls there, but still.  There was a terribly pathetic attempt at staying cool at first, which inevitably descended into hysterical giggling out of sight behind a convenient pillar and much 'omgdidyoujustseethat'.  Oh what the hell, if you can't descend into hysterical fangirling at a Sherlock preview surrounded by most of the cast and crew, than I don't know when you can (Oh, alright, SDCC probably. And maybe BigScreen.).

After we, along with a couple of other people, managed to sit in the wrong row (hey, the row markings in NFT1 are hideously confusing, no matter how many bloody times I've been there!) and had to scramble back over the seats in a terribly ungainly fashion just before the show kicked off, we then had the insane excitement of Benedict Cumberbatch very nearly sitting in our bit of the row... alright, so the VIPs were sitting in the middle section of row G, well away from the irritating giggly fans (ie, us), and someone mistakenly directed poor Mr C to our end section instead. He nearly sat down, and then got rescued, so not really much of an occurance at all, except it was so very, very difficult to keep a straight face when there's been about 6 weeks of total hype for the damn preview and there was a pleasant amount of infectious buzz in the air.  Oh well, at least I wasn't the only one who ended up slunk down in her seat trying to cackle out of sight of all the VIPs sat across the aisle as he departed...

It's actually hideously difficult trying to write anything about 'A Scandal In Belgravia' at all, bearing in mind that you really really really can't be the idiot that spoils everything.   It was fabulous, of course, but then I've always loved the original story best out of the entirety of Holmes and in my current state of River fangirling, I was intrigued to see what Moffatt did with Irene Adler...  As it is, I really want to write a whole meta thing about who inspired what and how it all feeds back into each other, and obviously it's all off limits at the moment.  I will say the characters hit a lot of the same beats if you're looking for it, and that made me very happy.  Sherlock is the show that gets to have the darker, more adult tone (yay!) so hell, yes, it goes darker places with less overt sentiment, perhaps.  It was insanely funny, wonderfully twisted and, arch as she is, this Irene could break your heart.  Lots of things about this ep could, but that was what surprised me most.
jencat: (hello)
Actually, sod it, I sat through Immortals mostly going "ooooohhh, pretty."  I was entertained.  At no point did I start nodding off (which has been happening recently in anything remotely boring, thank you Tintin and, bizarrely, Troll Hunter).

I will say, expectations were pretty damn low.  This was averaging, oooh, one star in a lot of the reviews I'd read.  But it was Tarsem. Doing something approaching a 300 redux.  And it was absolutely batshit crazy cracked up fun, but it still managed to be approximately 70% less silly than *shudder* Clash of the Titans.

This is because: 
1. Tarsem.  Who probably can't direct his way out of paper bag story-wise, but my god the man has an eye for... well, anything baroque or ridiculously gorgeous (the random oil soaking! Bonkers genius!).  The screen practically glowed dammit.  Visually it was utterly stunning; the 3D worked subtly and nicely even on the tiny west end Odeon screen and I will happily watch it again at some point just to see all the heads exploding in slo-mo.  Hell, all the everything exploding in slo-mo.  There was rather a lot of that.

2. Henry Cavill.  Yeah, I will believe the dude can be Superman.  Hell, I'd believe he can do just about anything, because he carried this entire freaking film single-handedly despite atrocious dialogue and minimal help from the script, and he was just lovely.  f 
vaguely spoilery )
jencat: (brain)
Y'know, I'm sure there's a reason, somewhere deep down, why I'm still watching the banal parsimonious fluff that is Terra Nova.  I just... can't for the life of me think what it is.

And I'm totally getting why Kelly Marcel took the money for a co-creator credit and ran as fast as she could.  It's shockingly brainless, trite and for a SF show, a tragically amateur approach to the actual laws of science.  I've seen the vast majority of the cast in other, better, shows, and frankly I just spend most of the episodes embarrassed for them.  The rest of the time I just want the dinosaurs to eat them.

Most irritatingly of all is the fact that it makes life in what is basically a frontier colony so insanely cosy. The fishing scene in tonight's ep had me fastforwarding, and the scene at the end with the apple orchard just defied all known tenets of biology last time I looked (beetles eat mould off apples, and the previously mouldy apples are miraculously perfect again afterwards?).  Last week we had a full three minutes of Jason O'Mara singing a stupid song about spiders. It's not cute or funny, it's just absurd.  I think I keep watching for some lingering loyalty that the previously fabulous Shelley Conn got the lead in a major network show, but also that it shows so little sign of life that I keep expecting it to be cancelled any day now and I may as well see how it ends.  Hmmm.. may have to rethink that plan.




jencat: (dr who)
Seeing as how the season 6 boxset won't be arriving for another couple weeks, and Sky now have season 1 on the Anytime menu, I had a yen to rewatch the first couple of eps for once... 
I probably wasn't concentrating so much when I watched Rose the other day, but it was still as cute and quirky as I remembered from way back when (ended up watching it in a hostel in Norfolk at Easter the first time around, on a very fuzzy tv, and it was such a nice surprise at how awesome it was.)

Tonight was The End of the World (and, let's be honest, new Who destroys the world at least once a series as a rule.. they eventually had to upgrade to destroying the universe a couple of times now, just to up the ante a bit, let's face it).  And I'd forgotten quite how impressive it was, especially considering how early on it is, with hardly any of the later canon established.  There are some lovely one-liners, Zoe Wanamaker shamelessly stealing the show as the voice of a CGI strip of skin - and bizarrely, Tainted Love and Britney's Toxic making an appearance on a jukebox (hey, Toxic as a soundtrack improves almost anything, it's true..).  Also the trees! 

Read more... )

And.. now I have much-sought-after tickets for the Sherlock preview next month, which started off as a whole 'will Moffatt show up?!' (we only got Mark Gatiss at Big Screen, after all) and then descended into a OMG THE BFI ARE EVIL from lots of other people who didn't get tickets after the date was changed by the BBC.  I can totally see how you could miss out on the tickets, after all that - they took the online booking offline just as it was about to open, the phone lines immediately got blocked with frantic phone calls (I know, as I was hitting redial constantly for 35 minutes and couldn't even get through to the queue), and in the end I decided it was quiet at work and I was 2 tube stops away from the box office so trotted off down there.  Looks like I made the reservation list just in time, 35 mins after it theoretically opened - and I got through to the phone queue just as I walked into the box office, lol! 

jencat: (Default)
Eesh, it's been such an odd week.  And showing no signs of getting less odd, unfortunately...

Last night I kinda reluctantly went to see Contagion (it's hard to say no when I just had The LFF Splurge), and it was... more than a little meh, really.  I think I read Steven Soderbergh had about a gazillion edits ranging from 3 hours to, er, half that - and went with the slimmed down version.  

Erm, yep, you can tell.  Want to see a whole bunch of Oscar winners faff about momentarily before disappearing without explanation? Then you should totally catch Contagion. Or.. not, obviously.  

I mostly didn't want to see it because it looked fairly po-faced and depressing, and while it does like to pile on the close ups of icky dead faces , it's weirdly just po-faced and pretty shallow.  .  
slightly spoilery )
jencat: (dessert spoons)

Apparently I didn't take into account quite how brainmelting it would be trying to do LFF the way I have this year. *note to self for next year: TAKE MORE TIME OFF WORK...!*

My brain is still kinda off running around the plains of Armenia/a spooky Cumbrian boarding school circa 1921, and yet there are, like, patients to deal with and letters to be typed. Obviously I may as well start with the interesting stuff (so, completely backwards then)...

The last double-bill kicked off with The Awakening, which at some points had the potential to be utterly fabulous, and at other times was content to tick along as a kind of sub-The Others/Sixth Sense bog standard Ghost Story With a Twist. The fabulousness, as best seen in the first 20 mins, was Rebecca Hall dashing about Edwardian London being Florence the Kickass Lady Ghost Hunter/Writer.  Really, we do need more of this particular bit immediately.  Whenever the film got occasionally annoying after that, I distracted myself by theorising about a TV show where she disproves hauntings/fights crime on a weekly basis - preferably with Dominic West's adorabubble severely traumatised WW1 vet/kindly teacher Robert as her sidekick. 

Honestly, at that point it was a little bit like Sherlock with an awesome girl. And GHOSTS. What's not to love?

slightly spoilery for The Awakening )

The thing being is that this film is still in my head a couple of weeks later - for all it's many imperfections - and it's out on Friday here.. Armistice Day, nicely.  So I may have to go see it again.  

The very last festival film this year was HERE (the fact that it's 'arthouse' is about all the explanation you're gonna get for the vaguely unnecessary use of CAPSLOCK, but what the hey).

Actually it was utterly lovely, for all that it risked being fairly alienating, and I have pretty much zero knowledge of Armenia (except about the Turkish massacre about a century ago, oddly enough).  There's a nice American boy doing satellite map engineering in Armenia (part of which is disputed and has never been mapped properly), and he runs into a slightly flighty Armenian photographer who's back home  briefly on a grant and slightly reluctant to reconnect with her family, who can't really understand that photography can be an actual career.  And then they run into each other again, by pure chance, and take a little road trip to the disputed territory... Well that's one version of it.

Read more slightly spoilery ramblings )



jencat: (through the door)
Yay!  the 2011 London Film Festival kicked off again this week, and this year was the point I finally cracked and snapped up the BFI membership the month before booking opened.  Yeah, it's £40 but theoretically I can offset this against the BFI ticket discount if I go once a month (or something. It sounded plausible!).  But most importantly, I got in for the first week of ticket booking...!

To be honest, I was somewhere in Florida minus internet (ok, I was at Wet'n'Wild in Orlando...) when booking actually opened, but I managed it a day later when the sleep deprivation started to ease off a bit and I could actually work out the hideously complicated arrangements that ensue when I try to fit in a dozen films and actual work (plus family bdays!) into 3 weeks.  Oh, obviously I'd spent a couple weeks beforehand plotting my theoretical schedule, but that doesn't even nearly take account of stuff selling out practically instantly.  Or, indeed, the fact that I wasn't at work and needed to get an okay to take time off for the daytime showings...

The final list settled at this 9 - which is still minus a couple of things I would love to see, and have had to admit defeat on for the moment.  Also, next Sunday night is still up for grabs between a bday and queuing for standbyes for Mitsuko Delivers (which lost out to The Awakening in the daytime slot battle.  What can I say, the latter had Rebecca Hall and Dom West being spooky!):

Today:  50/50more later...

Monday: Where Do We Go Now?

Tuesday:   Tales of the Night

Weds:  Let The Bullets Fly
             Miss Bala

Thurs:  Nobody Else But You
            Rebellion


Mon:  Martha Marcy May Marlene

Weds:  The Awakening
              HERE



2 American, 3 French, 1 Lebanese, 1 Chinese, 1 Mexican and 1 Brit (and not sure about HERE...)
I dashed out of work in a mad rush to make the lunchtime screening of 50/50 in what I thought was plenty of time, only to discover a queue stretching halfway down Leicester Square to collect tickets, and much panicking... In the end they herded all the folk for that showing to the box office first with a minute to spare (it started late anyhoo) and we weren't allowed to collect the rest of our festival tickets (which I still don't have, dammit!).  Teeny bit more stressful than i anticipated, but hey, I'm still in shock that a Seth Rogen film made me cry...!


The best way I could think to describe it was in the vein of Up In the Air, but with cancer instead of redundancy being the Big Awkward Subject.  Also, Anna Kendrick :o)

slightly spoilery for 50/50 )


jencat: (Default)
Read more... )Well, I guess 'cool' is a subjective term, but it's so rare to find anything that claws ahold of my interest like Lost Girl has done the past week that I'm really going to make the most of it...

Read more... )Read more... )


jencat: (dr who)

I don't think brain-melting is quite a strong enough term for what the Moff just did to Who... it was, erm, ambitious, I guess? But messy. So, so, so very messy, coming back from the high drama of 'A Good Man'  to something with a hell of a lot of dashing about and red herrings

Read more... )



Read more... )
Read more... )
jencat: (Default)


Y'know the thing I shouldn't have done last week? Watched Agora. Sod the fact I've been wanting to watch it for absolutely ages, it actually turned out to be frickin' relentlessly depressing... book (well, scroll) burning, mass murder and religious oppression of every shade,

slightly spoilery )


 


jencat: (Default)
 I  have to say, HBO have done it again... I was seriously unconvinced about whether Game of Thrones would actually be worthy of the staggering amount of hype piled upon it - not least because I've tried to read A Song of Ice and Fire about a dozen times over the past few years, and quit every single time.  Mostly because it was so freakin' depressing, and kept making me miserable (oh, the sheer scale of the slaughter.....!).

But it was kinda fun catching all the build-up.. the pic releases looking rather sumptuous, and then - dear god, the actual adverts for an actual fantasy show! Everywhere! (you have to take what you can get in the epic fantasy ghetto)
 
And I was getting  a little hyped watching the premier (bitching about Catelyn, who has since grown on me, and Sansa, who really has not. But that's kinda the point.).  And, knowing at least what was to come for the first... two eps I think.
 
And, of course, that's why I sat there watching the finale with a silly grin plastered on, chanting 'Dany got dragons!!'  Because it kinda rocked...
jencat: (Default)


So, some months later.... the season finales have been and gone (and more new stuff has arrived. My brain hurts, and my mega upgraded Sky planner cannot keep up.) Some actually new stuff, some hangovers from last year that have only just schlepped across the Atlantic (and I couldn't be bothered to obtain via other means). And it's been an interesting bunch of stuff. Just not always in a good way, unfortunately.  These two especially are still bugging me all this time later...

Worst of the bunch has to be whatever the hell the House writers came up with.  An unholy mess might be putting it kindly.  House ranting... )

Next up was Bones, which kinda ticked all the season finale big moment boxes on paper, but went about it in such an odd way that you couldn't help feeling a little flat when it was over.  Last year dealt with all the insanely complicated emotional angst so well - firstly by giving us the big flashback 100th episode which appeared to end badly, but actually quietly reiterated why they weren't going in that direction just yet, and then on to finally rewarding us with reuniting Ange and Hodgins before sending the whole gang in out different directions to go find themselves (and not have to deal with fiendish murders on a daily basis any more. Except Cam, who would be hard pressed to make a living without fiendish murders, as it were).

And last year's ending was appropriately heartrending, but not necessarily disappointing - satisfaction deferred a while longer, to give the show a little more longevity (understandable, considering what just happened to House after they gave into  making Huddy official at the end of last year.  It's stil the freaking Moonlighting kiss of death).

It was hard to tell where Bones was heading exactly this year -
Bones ramblings... )

jencat: (Default)
There's something about Eurovision that demands you sit through the entire damn thing, come hell or high water (or truly dreadful Swedish songs up first), even if something like Tell No One is on the other side, dammit... Oh well, it hasn't been too awful all round this year (thanks apparently to the semis weeding out the dross earlier).  
Blue were quite an unusual choice for us, but hey, they have a Euro profile already from way back when, so maybe that will count for something... Bless 'em, they did try, and pretty much pulled it off - although I'm not sure what was going on with the sound? They can sing (you could just about hear them) so why they were being drowned out by the production, I have no idea... And it would be a terribly entertaining evening if Ireland won again.  Shades of Father Ted's My Little Horse, but lordy, I do have a terrible soft spot for the sainted stylings of Jedward bouncing around inside a giant red glitter cannon by the look of things. Bless.
 
Eeep! we got 12 points on the second vote announcement! that's..actually quite cool! And after the 4th we're heading the board, woohoo! can't last of course, but what the hey!
 
Aaaand... eleventh. Post-jedward. How fitting...

Earlier, of course, we had the long, long awaited foray of a certain Mr Gaiman into writing Who. Not that we weren't supposed to have had this last year, I think, but it fits into the mood this year quite well, without changing too much (although I will admit to being slightly upset at the thought of losing the Tardis swimming pool, dammit!).
 
Sooooo.. 'The Doctor's Wife'.  Which had moments of real fabulousness, and was more than a little heartrending at times, even if I'm not convinced it worked entirely as a whole... I wasn't sitting there glued to the screen for chunks of it unfortunately.  I wasn't exactly gripped by Amy and Rory running up and down corridors due to the fact I can barely bloody remember what the last incarnation of the Tardis looked like (It didn't matter enough in the grand scheme of things what the control room looked like, honestly.)

 
much Who rambling... )
jencat: (hello)
 ... because Thor turned out to be one of my favourite films in absolute ages.  It was funny, it was sweet, it looked freaking amazing (not that it's worth seeing in 3D cos it's not that kinda epic) - in short, it was everything Marvel do really well, on occasion (see, Iron Man, of course).  It also made absolute sense despite my missing the first 15 mins (why thank you, clueless woman who sold me ticket, who apparently made up a start time when I asked to check if it was running on a preview schedule with no ads/trailers. And got it completely wrong..)

I can only conclude that the camera really does love Chris Hemsworth, after the adorableness that was Papa Kirk's Heroic Demise in Trek, he managed to absolutely carry the whole character arc with aplomb, all the while looking fine as all hell in nothing but a pair of very low slung jeans (ok, it was only one scene, but it did make an impression)... *swoon*  When Natalie Portman dissolves in an fit of goofy giggles after he kisses her hand, you're absolutely there with her, I have to say :o)

It was the entertainment value that really sells it though - I sat there with a daft grin on my face the entire way through, especially when it veered towards Galaxy Quest levels of affectionate parody at one point ("Er, we've got Xena, Jackie Chan and Robin Hood heading this way" Which then led to the inevitable musing, in my brain at least, of who would win out of a Sif and Xena smackdown...?)
jencat: (brain)

I've been making an effort the last few weeks to actually go see some films for a change, after a few months of not really bothering - it's been a mixed bag, but mostly not so bad.

Seeing as Source Code was something I'd been looking forward to for absolutely months, it turned out to be a partial success - spoilery ramblings )

jencat: (dr who)

Aw, the Doctor's back :o)

Well, the first ep wasn't completely perfect - that kind of drama so early on immediately puts your audience's back up, spoilery who ruminations... )
jencat: (Default)

I've been a little glued to the news channels for the past few days, watching Cairo with a kind of heartsick fascination.  I've rarely visited a city that caught my imagination so utterly, for all that I saw comparatively very little of it.  I have an overwhelming memory of the first time I stepped out onto the hotel balcony and saw the traffic streaming, dozens of lanes wide, across the October 6th bridge, and how hypnotic the view became when the sun came down and the lights came on.  I could live without seeing the southern temples and tombs again, for all that they were immensely impressive, but I have spent the past two years convinced I would go back to Cairo again.
stressing about egypt... )

jencat: (Default)
dear god, the amount i used LJ last year was shockingly low, looking back.  I did kinda assume I would use it a lot more whilst gallivanting round the Rockies etc for several weeks last summer (given that I was wandering around with a new netbook and lots of free wifi) but hell, most of the time I seriously didn't feel like doing anything that could be construed as actual work after a very long day driving a couple hundred miles... heh. (I did manage to watch the last couple of eps of Dr Who come hell, high water or sitting in a tent with wifi in the middle of Wyoming. Just saying.)Read more... )




jencat: (dessert spoons)
 I seem to have been reading a lot of worryingly deep and meaningful stuff recently, but obviously that way lies sheer craziness and thus I tend to stick to burbling instead about the terribly inconsequential things (because, honestly, the escapism and narratives fixes are all that's standing between me and a prescription for antidepressants some days.)  I'm fixated, sometimes, by where the line gets drawn between what matters and what should not - it does not matter, of course, where a word goes in a sentence, or whether you get to use a semi-colon Just So.  But a part of my brain seems to derive so much pleasure from the particular words, and how they fit and do not fit, that I have convinced myself that it must be at least some measure of the entirety of civilisation somehow... and it, is, logically, to  a point.

Hmm, what matters...  that Russell Crowe is officially No Good at picking films any longer.  Having caught the preview of The Next Three Days for free, I'm officially glad not have have paid for the damn tickets.. 

Read more... )
jencat: (crow)
 Honestly, I shouldn't be surprised that the Snowpocalypses of the past couple of years are becoming predictably regular now, but... still.  It's been do-able getting into work recently (much helped by my plundering the Uniqlo Heattech website last week) but then the freakin' buses quit running this morning and I just... kinda gave in to the fact that I've been popping cold remedies like smarties for the past week and decided that a 45 minute trudge to the station through foot deep snow was not really something I wanted to get into today.

Except... We don't really have that tradition of Snow Days in the UK.  It's awkward, and a little embarrassing, admitting that you're just not going to make the extra effort and I could really have done with being at work today.  Soooo... not so much of the fun Snow Day.  Mostly I fretted, and waded around the back garden restocking the bird feeder, and started knitting something (something else that was not the thing I started knitting at the weekend and promptly lost the pattern for, obviously), and then started making scones... except then I realised we were out of eggs, and had to wait for my sister's handily-timed supply drop.  

It wasn't that I didn't have a hundred other things I would have loved to do today, given an actual free day but... It really didn't feel free, as such, and I couldn't relax, dammit.

And here endeth the incessant whining :o)

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Jennifer Howell

July 2015

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