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Nov. 4th, 2020

RainbowRach
mostlyfriends2

Yes, I'm making some changes.  Comment if you'd like to be added. 

Is LJ Hijacking Your Friends Page Too?

Rachel Grunge
I just happened to look at my Friends' Page while not logged in, and I notice that about a third of it is taken up by LiveJournal choosing to advertise other journals in the same space under a "LiveJournal Today" section.  That needs to go.   I've sent in a complaint about this because I don't see where this can be changed and I am hoping for a solution.  I also don't like the fact that while I wasn't logged in my friends' page was in that awful default format that LJ is using now.  The letters are over-sized and it has no personality...  I don't know what LJ is doing, but they need to stop.  The only things showing on a person's friends' page should be journal entries from their friends/communities.  That's it.

It's not like I'm here a lot or posting much anymore, but this sort of thing makes me want to spruce up the dreamwidth account I don't use.  Geez.

This Just In: GoT Can Make A Bad Episode

OberynWTH
Okay, so it wasn't all bad, but it certainly wasn't all good either.  This is the first episode of Game of Thrones that I didn't really like.  What a disappointment, and it all comes down to shoddy writing.  I've seen plenty of things I wasn't happy about in this series, like most recently the death of a certain character, but I could always say to myself that at at least for the most part, it made sense for the direction of the over all story.  Not tonight.

SPOILERS.  Don't read if you haven't seen the season 4 finale, or at least unless you don't mind being spoiled.

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The beginning stuff with the war and Stannis coming, Mance and Jon Snow was all okay.  Not particularly riveting, like last week, but okay.  It seems to go downhill from there.  Before I go into detail about what I didn't like, I'll just say that I've only flipped around in the books.  The show got me into the books, and not the other way around.  So, I read more about things that interest me, but I don't read everything because I do want some surprises.  Now, on to what I didn't like about this episode.

1.  The whole thing with the old teacher/ex-slave was handled very sloppily and poorly and didn't really make sense to me.  The man comes to Daenerys and says that since he's been freed from his master he doesn't know what to do and that the newly freed young take advantage of the old.  Dany says that she'll provide the support of the Unsullied to maintain the order.  Then the teacher/ex-slave (who teaches languages and history) asks what will he have to do after that.  I fully expected that Daenerys would make the quite obviously needed announcement that the newly freed young (and old) needed to learn now more than ever.

They could build a school where the old could teach the young.  Also, the construction and maintenance of the school would provide jobs for those with nothing to do.  Sounds like a great plan to me, but Daenerys says nothing of the sort (even though she has pretty much the same situation going on with Missandei teaching Gray Worm to read, so you'd think that the idea would be easily present in Dany's mind), and the old teacher/ex-slave never asks for a job.  Instead, Dany tells him to get a contract with his old master where he'll essentially be a slave again.  Ser Barristan pretty much tells her that, but she does nothing to change the situation.  I'm sorry, but that's just bad, bad, and bad.  And they called her Mhysa!  I truly hope that this scene wasn't taken as-is from the books.

2.  I don't like how the bones thing was handled.  There is a place where this scene quite obviously should have been earlier in the season, and I was a little surprised that they left it out.  "Okay," I figured.  Maybe they didn't have enough time...  Then it pops up in this episode, and I feel like the only reason why this was done was so they could milk this scene for all is was worth during the finale.  The problem is, like the teacher/ex-slave scenes, this was handled poorly to, just to a lesser extent.  I honestly think that if they had pretty much just left it the way it really happened in the books that it would have been better.

3. Dany locks up the 2 dragons that she has on hand, but did they have to be locked up in complete darkness where they can't even see?  And these are the 2 that didn't kill a child.

4. It just felt like this episode was trying really hard to milk emotion at every turn, from Dany locking up the dragons, to the close-up of Jon Snow squeezing out tears for Ygritte, and onward.  They also seemed to lay the music on thickly in this episode, like they were trying to tell you when it was time to cry.  This is the first time that the music in a GoT episode didn't actually add the story.  In some parts it took away.  And Jon's burial of her is really disappointing to me because just last week, their moment together when she died was perfect.  Perfectly worded, acted, and filmed.

5. The fight when Bran and company go to see the tree Targaryen was surprisingly boring.  Although, I have yet to become a fan of Bran's story so maybe that's a part of it, but I just wasn't into any of the scenes that dealt with his story in this episode.

Finally, I can break to say we get some good interaction with Brienne and Arya.  So, at least the count of good things in this episode starts to tally at one, but this happens more than halfway through!  And, like all good things in this series, it doesn't last.  The scene turns sour quickly.  At least Brienne's exchange with The Hound was interesting.  And then the fight...  Arya's scenes with Sandor were interesting too.

6.  Okay, so Jamie never tells Tyrion what his part in what happened to Tysha was?  Tyrion just goes up to kill dad anyway and with no prompting?  I think it might be a mistake not to have this happen the way it happened in the books.  I'm not sure about how they did the thing with Shae either...  At least that wasn't too far off.  But then there's the fact that he says he loved Shae and that's the reason why he's got a crossbow pointed at his father.  I think the combination of revelation of what happened to Tysha, that his own brother had been used against him, how his father had treated him his whole life, and what happened with Shae should have been set up as the motivator.  The thing that pushed Tyrion over the edge.  How it happens here just doesn't seem like enough.  It's believable, still, but not nearly as good.

And finally, the other good thing about this episode was how Arya got to go to Bravos.  I'm looking forward to seeing that.

Watching this episode felt like watching the quality of the show go from the penthouse to ground level in some ways, but I do believe there's a good chance that this is a temporary dip.  May season 5 come soon.

X-Men and Sex Abuse?

The Wolverine
Well, I was already hedging a bit on watching Days of Future Past when the director (Bryan Singer) said that he might not include my second favorite character.  Finally, that's all cleared up and okay and then a month before the film comes our there's a sex abuse scandal involving the director.

The accuser is a man who says he was raped by Singer and other powerful men in Hollywood starting when he was 15 years old and continuing on for 2 years, although it sounded like Singer wasn't involved until he was 17.  That's at least what I am understanding at this point, but you can read some of the details here and here.

I don't know what's true and what's not, but I do know that I take sex abuse charges seriously.  At first I thought this could be an attempt at a money-grab, but after reading more about it I don't know.  It's possible that none of this happened, but I also think that there's a good chance that at least some of it did.

Today I read this article, and it got me thinking about some of the comments from people I've read that were either indifferent or that read like they condoned what might have happened.  MY issue is with the tone and take that the author of this article has.  He basically says "So what?"  He said movie goers won't care, but in saying that, he also made A LOT of assumptions, like the idea that most movie-goers get their information from talk shows and tabloids.  I'm not too sure about that.

All I can do is speak for myself and say that if this is true, then I don't want to support that with my dollars at the box office.  So, I guess I might not be seeing this at the theater if this isn't resolved by then.  I know I might be in the minority, but I think that sex abuse is serious and not something to disregard because it's more important to see what Wolverine is going to do without his metal claws in this one.  If Mr. Singer is guilty, then I do hope X-Men: Apocalypse can get a different director.  I would say Brett Ratner, but the fans of the comics seem to hate him.

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Some Sci-Fi Stuff... (and Fantasy)

Uhura226
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I recently saw this short Sci-Fi film on YouTube called Signal.  Nice.  I hope they can continue on with it.



It stars Michael Ealy from Almost Human.  And about that.  I've seen the first 2 episodes and it's not bad but not a "must see" show either.  I really like Michael in it, but I don't think that's going to be enough to make me a regular viewer.  Following up on another post, I'm still liking and watching Sleepy Hollow (the last 2 episodes were GREAT!!), but I was done with Agents of SHIELD after 3 episodes.  Going off of the ratings, I'd say most of their initial audience has made that choice.  That's too bad.


On a fantasy front, I saw Thor: The Dark World this weekend.  It was alright, but not great.  I'd give it a C+.  Here's the trailer:


I don't feel like writing up a real review for it, so here's a mini-review:

Why you might want to see it - The first reason, aside from watching it if you like Thor, would be because it will inevitably tie into the next Avengers movie.  So, if you want the best amount of context possible, it wouldn't hurt to watch it when it comes out on video.  The second reason is Loki played by Tom Hiddleson.  He was the best part of the film and he's not even the star.  I'm not taking anything away from Chris Hemsworth who does a great job as Thor; it's just that there's always something "extra" you get from Tom in these Loki scenes and it's great.

Why you might not want to see it - Over all, it just wasn't the best.  It was o-kay.  The CGI and imagery was great, but the helper intern girl whose name I can't remember was just flat out annoying.  And Jane Foster (played by Natalie Portman) is just bland and boring.  Her love story with Thor is flimsy at best and it doesn't really add anything on it's own to the story.

Movie Review: The Wolverine

The Wolverine
I'll start out by saying that I am not a comic book fan, but I do love (for the most part) the X-Men films.  My favorite characters are Wolverine and Storm, followed by Jean.  So, there was no doubt that I was going to see this film.  I'm a little late reviewing it, but, what's that saying?  Better late than...

Possible Spoilers Inside...Collapse )

So, there you have it.  I walked away from this film with two thoughts really present in my mind.  1. No good deed goes unpunished.  2.  Can't wait for Days of Future Past. :)  There's a scene during the credits that I have literally been waiting 8 years to see.  It's about time they got the old gang together and followed up on The Last Stand!

This movie was definitely better than X-Men Origins: Wolverine if you were disappointed in that one, as I was (but I liked his love interest, how he got his Wolverine moniker, and his story with Stryker, but that's another review, lol).  I recommend seeing The Wolverine if you like the character, good action movies, the X-Men movies, and especially if you like all of the above.

Grade:  A-
Final Analysis:  This is a movie you can definitely sink your claws into. :)

Fic: Reunited, Chapter 3

smokyrachel
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This took along time, but I've had a bit of calm before things will really pick up next week.  So, I decided to finally get around to writing the next chapter of my True Blood fic.


ReunitedSmall

Read Story Here...

Movie Review: Man of Steel

Superman of Steel
Superman.  What can I say?  Well, this movie started off with some real promise.  As a new reboot for the Superman franchise, this movie starts off well enough.  There are some clunky parts, or rather parts that didn't flow very well.  But, all-in-all it did what it needed to do to pull me into the story it was telling.  Reviewing this movie is kind of hard because I have some mixed feelings about it.

I'll start off with what I liked and what I think worked and move from there.

Possible Spoilers Inside...Collapse )

I don't want to sound like I'm being harsh with some of what I've said here, because I really do like the new Superman/Clark Kent.  I think this movie did what it needed to do to get the rebooted Superman story off to a halfway decent start.

Final Analysis: Almost Super.  Almost.
Grade:  C+ (or a B minus on a good day)

Photoshop: Wallpaper (IM3)

smokyrachel
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Well, here's that wallpaper I talked about making for Iron Man 3.  The larger version is under the cut. It's 1600x1067px.

IManIPatriot3_PosterbyLanteanBreeze

For Large IM3 Wallpaper...Collapse )

.I hope everyone is having a great weekend. :)

Movie Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

smokyrachel
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How do I put this?


Do you remember that high you felt at the end of the 2009 movie?  Yeah, that one.  Well, it’s completely absent at the end of this film.  “Into Darkness” is aptly named because you come out of it slightly feeling like you’ve just crawled out of a pit.  I’m not being spiteful.  After a four year wait for this film, I truly wish I could give it a better review.  To be fair, it’s worth it to see it once if you are invested in these characters, but you might not have that “can’t wait to see it again,” or that “can’t wait for it to come out on DVD” feeling that I know I had with the last one.

Still, this film has its merits.  So, I’ll start off with the bright spots.


Possible Slight Spoilers Inside...Collapse )

So there you have it.  For better or worse.

Final Analysis: It wobbles, and at times it even twitches, but it gets there.
Grade: