Live-Action Beauty and the Beast

My roommates and I all bought tickets for this thing the second they came on sale, way back in January. The animated Beauty and the Beast from the '90s has been my favorite Disney movie pretty much my whole life. I have had arguments with people who point out the plot holes (I'm already aware of them, thanks, and I can and will explain why each one of them doesn't matter until I win the argument by sheer virtue of you not wanting to talk about it anymore) or call Belle/Beast Stockholm syndrome (it's not, and I will fight you just as hard on that as on the plot holes). I *love* Beauty and the Beast. I went into the theater with extremely (perhaps even unfairly) high expectations, and I still had a fantastic time. I will probably see it in theaters at least once more, and I will definitely get it on DVD.

Collapse )
rockin' the purple sunglasses

Fandom (Especially the Buffyverse) and the Four Temperaments

I posted this as a thread over on Buffy-Boards, but the discussion might be more productive here than over there, so I'm posting it here too. As perpetual already knows very well, one of my favorite hobbies is figuring out which Hogwarts house I'd put the characters of all my favorite shows in. If you're not a Harry Potter fan (first of all, how dare you), it's basically the same thing as the classic four temperaments.

Collapse )

Star Wars Rewatch

My whole family has been into Star Wars for longer than any other franchise, including Harry Potter. I remember watching the original trilogy on VHS before the prequels hit theaters. I was nine when The Phantom Menace came out. My youngest brother dressed up as Anakin for Halloween that year. My other brother got tons of Star Wars Lego sets and a collapsible green lightsaber for his birthday. In my teens, I played the pod-racer game on N64 and the utterly fantastic Knights of the Old Republic games on X-Box. Ever since I found out that George Lucas was only going to be involved in Episode VII in an advisory capacity, I've been super excited about it. The day the tickets went on sale and broke ALL the ticket sites, I fought through that madness to procure us five opening weekend tickets.

Now, for some insane reason, the brother with the lightsaber and the Legos, who is a year and a half younger than me, prefers the prequels to the original trilogy (largely because he feels that whatever has the most modern special effects wins by default). I heartily disagree (largely because I feel that whatever has the best writing, acting, directing, practical effects, and creative oversight wins by default). This summer, we agreed that for the sake of Episode VII, we should call a truce and, together, marathon all six movies. Naturally, our younger brother and our parents wanted in too. So yesterday, after we got home from Thanksgiving dinner at my uncle's house, all of us got settled in to begin the marathon. We watched Episodes I and II.

And I have some thoughts. I know several thousand other nerds have already torn these movies apart, but the last time I watched the prequels and actually paid attention was before I even started college. I'm two English degrees later now, and I want to take my shot at them. So I present my suggestions for what could have made these movies good. I'm not talking about minor nit-picks. That list would take hours to write. These are just my ideas for how to eliminate some of the most serious problems.

Collapse )
too sexy

6 Episodes Down, 238 to Go

I successfully kept to my Buffy review schedule for a whole week! I've now written summaries/reviews/analyses for episodes through "The Pack". It's been a lot of fun so far, and I've definitely noticed more things than I did on passive viewings in the past. I'm trying to keep my mind open to new interpretations rather than being influenced by what I used to think, and I'm also avoiding reading or watching anybody else's episode reviews beyond the point I've gotten to, so that their ideas don't influence me either.

I think at this point the only significant change to how I saw things before is that I'm already disliking Xander in S1, where it used to take until S2 before he really started to bug me. I really love Buffy, though, and that's new. It's not that I didn't like her before, it's just that it was always hard for me to form an opinion of her one way or the other because I viewed the story and all the other characters from her perspective. When I turn the protagonist into a pair of glasses like that, it becomes really difficult to see them as a character too and figure whether or not I like them or if they're written well. I also do that with Harry Potter and The Vampire Diaries, and it's one of the reasons I didn't hate Twilight when I read it as a teenager. This approach, with the blog, is making that much less of a problem. I already love Buffy, and that alone is adding a ton to the enjoyment of watching. I also think I love Giles more than I used to. I've always liked Giles, but trying to break down exactly why I like him is making him even more enjoyable. And either I find Angel more attractive than I used to, or it's just been so long since my last rewatch that I've forgotten how attractive he is. *fans self*
Smiley Tiger

New blog!

Hey guys! I just started a new blog in which I review and analyze episodes of TV shows with a moderate amount of snark. I'm starting with Buffy (and will alternate Angel episodes once I get to S4). I did "Welcome to the Hellmouth" today, and if I can stick to my awesome new productivity-maximizing schedule, I should be able to do one every day of the week except Sunday. I'm seeing how much of a literary approach I can give to this rewatch. Feel free to join the ride. Discussion could be a lot of fun.

Shouldn't have gotten my hopes up.

Okay, I have this OCD thing where if I start a show and watch enough of it, I feel like I have to keep watching it until it's over, even if it mostly only aggravates me. This is why I'm still watching Bones. And the first three episodes of the season were actually pretty good! They remixed the intro theme, which I did not appreciate, but I really enjoyed watching those episodes. And then I saw the one from last Monday, "The Tiger in the Tale". Good grief, what a mess. (Spoilers, by the way, if anyone still cares.) 

For some reason, the main topic of conversation unrelated to the murder of the week is Brennan's sudden ambition to become president. This comes completely out of nowhere and is utterly absurd. The subject merits two lines of dialogue at best, but should have been scrapped entirely for all the impact it has on the characters by the end of the episode.

Then, there was the ridiculously heavy-handed animal rights stuff. As far as I can remember, unlike Emily Deschanel, Brennan has never been strongly opinionated either way on matters of animal rights. She became a vegetarian because something in one of the cases grossed her out enough to put her off meat. However, in this episode, she is extremely vocal about how horrible all of these people are for trading in exotic, non-domesticated animals and keeping them as pets, going as far as a) forbidding Booth from ever taking Christine to the zoo because zoos are evil and b) saying that when she becomes president, she will make illegal animal trade a capital offense. Then, when she finds out that the man who owns all of these exotic animals shot and killed his (illegal) Siberian tiger, she is completely distraught and tries to assault him. Where the heck did all of this come from? It's fine for a character to be an activist, but not for them to suddenly become an activist in one episode of the eighth season of a show.

Finally, Sweets and Daisy. I haven't cared about this relationship since they kind of "meh"-ed their way out of their engagement a few seasons back, but this is just ridiculous. So, after being engaged to her and then nearly proposing to her again, Sweets doesn't know her well enough to understand what this means to her and isn't ready to commit to living with her? Seriously? And he thinks the best way to deal with this is by dumping her without even discussing his issues with her first? On the doorstep of the place where they were going to move in together? Sweets, you are a fool and a cretin. I have always found Daisy intensely irritating and have been hoping for ages that she would leave the show, so I never thought I would be on her side if they ever broke up. That's what this episode did to me. Thanks for ruining the potentially awesome relationship between Sweets and the new FBI chick from the previous episode, writers.
  • Current Music
    "All This Time" by OneRepublic
  • Tags

Favorite Female Characters meme

Taking a leaf out of Kairos's book.

1. Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter)
2. Éowyn (Lord of the Rings)
3. Elizabeth Bennet (Pride & Prejudice)
4. Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
5. Winifred Burkle (Angel)
6. Djaq (BBC's Robin Hood)
7. Riza Hawkeye (Fullmetal Alchemist)
8. Toph (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
9. Sabriel (the Abhorsen trilogy)
10. Amelia Pond (Doctor Who)
11. River Song (Doctor Who)
11. the TARDIS (Doctor Who)
12. Drusilla (Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel)
13. Fluttershy (Friendship Is Magic)
14. River Tam (Firefly)
15. Leia Organa (Star Wars)
16. Ginny Weasley (Harry Potter)
17. Tonks (Harry Potter)
18. Minerva McGonagall (Harry Potter)
19. Lucy Pevensie (Narnia)
20. Ella of Frell (Ella Enchanted--the book, NOT the movie)

The top four are definitely in order, but after that, I pretty much just listed them as I thought of them.
  • Current Music
    "Pictures of You" by The Last Goodnight
  • Tags
John Thornton

Sewing Project and an Edwardian Twist

This is me wearing the dress I made in sewing class for my final project, with my hair up in an Edwardian twist. The dress took a couple of months to make in my sewing class (since I only got three hours a week to work on it). In the original pattern, the dress had pockets, slightly longer sleeves, and no trim around the waist or at the hem. I made those alterations so that the dress would look more like Victoire's dress in my Teddy/Victoire drawing. I couldn't find fabric that looked like the fabric in her dress, but I like the fabric I found. The dress fits very nicely, and I'm quite proud of it.

The hairdo was inspired by Margaret Hale from North & South, an absolutely fantastic period drama I discovered last month. It took about twenty minutes to do that to my hair, which was about 60% dry. (That's Mr. Thornton, the male lead of North & South, in my icon, incidentally.)

You can click on the pictures to make them bigger. That might actually require multiple clicks.


Costume: White Lady of Rohan

Since August, I've been working on making my costume for Halloween with the help of my mom, my grandma, and a lady at church who has an epic embroidery machine. Yesterday, we finished it, so Mom and I did a photoshoot. Well, three photoshoots in different locations. And hopefully we'll be able to recruit a horse to use for another one before this part of Utah turns into a frozen, blizzard-y wasteland for five months.

(Click to enlarge.)

Click to enlarge.

Now for some notes on the construction of the dress. It took the lady from church ten hours to do the embroidery on the vest and the neckline of the underdress. I feel kind of bad about that. It took me at least that long to braid the cording that's wrapped around my upper arms. My fingers hurt for days afterwards, but it was worth it. The bottom half of the vest is made of the same brown fabric as the upper half; I had to add all those lines of quilting myself on one of the sewing machines in the lab here at Utah State University, which took about six hours. I found the shoes at Wal-Mart by accident, so that was nice. All in all, this costume represents about 50 hours of work. I plan to wear it for Halloween every year until it no longer fits me, as well as to the premieres of the upcoming films based on The Hobbit, and to any Renaissance Festival type thing I happen to attend. Previously the reason for growing my hair out so long, it will now be the reason for staying in shape. :P

The pattern we used to make the dress is not actually a pattern for Éowyn's shieldmaiden dress--no pattern seems to exist for that. At least, not commercially. I found a pattern by Simplicity that came close, but I had to add pieces to it, much to the horror of my mom and grandma, who are very "by the pattern" sewers and who didn't think a novice sewer like me would be able to pull it off. Those pieces were the cap sleeves and the embroidered girdle at the bottom of the vest, as well as the embroidery on the back of the vest above the quilting, because the pattern only called for embroidery on the front (which would have looked very cheap and fake, in my opinion). And I had to alter the neckline on both the vest and the dress. Because we did actual embroidery rather than basic ribbon trim, I also had to do a lot of hand-stitching on the vest. Oh, and I came up with those little ties to gather the sleeves the way they're gathered on Éowyn's dress, because if we'd followed the pattern exactly, we would have used the sewing machine to gather them and it wouldn't have looked as authentic. As you can see, despite Mom and Grandma's misgivings, all of that worked out rather well even though I'd never done anything like that before. 

I fully intend to wear this around campus all day on the first of November, because Halloween rudely decided to fall on a Monday this year, but all of my classes are Tuesday/Thursday classes. And I'm certainly not going to wear it to work that Monday, lest I ruin it with pizza sauce.