sarashina: (Default)
My crush on Tony Stark: continuing and predictable. This movie was no exception. I STILL LOVE YOU TONY.

My girlcrush on Natasha Romanoff: newer, but still predictable. I figured I'd fall in love with the character when she actually got things to do (*side-eyes Iron Man 2*), BUT SHE WAS SO AMAZING. Natashaaaaa. I hope you get your own movie. Maybe a prequel?

AND YET, WITH ALL THIS OTHER AMAZINGNESS ON MY SCREEN, THE BIGGEST RAGING BECKYCRUSH AWARD GOES TO BRUCE BANNER? I DID NOT CALL THAT ONE.

(Cap was not in the movie enough, but he gets an honorable mention for being adorbs.)

Please tell me there are at least 10,000 new Bruce/Tony BFF fics in the fandom right now. AND FEEL FREE TO DISCUSS THE MOVIE WITH ME. ♥ Possible spoilers in comments!
sarashina: (Default)
Good evening, everyone! I am huddling inside from the awful (RIDICULOUS) October winter storm, and taking a little break from rewrites since I got my chapter done around noon today. Scoooore.

So I come to you tonight with a nice Halloween rec: Margot's Room by Emily Carroll, the genius behind last year's awesome horror comic His Face All Red. Margot's Room has a very interesting layout: each line of the poem, IN ORDER, corresponds to a spot on the picture where you click on to get to separate parts of the comic.

(Trigger warnings for horror, blood, and loss of a child.)

Some spoilery discussion under the cut )

Enjoy! And Happy Halloween!
sarashina: (Oz - vexed)
So I will stop talking about agents for this point, except to say this: HE SAID HE'S "LOOKING FORWARD TO DIGGING IN," AHHHHHH. ♥

Ahem. Okay, done.

Fandom babble! Take note: I'm discussing some of the more unsavory aspects of the show, so trigger warnings for racial/sexual matters apply.

Game of Thrones. If you're looking for straight-up squee, this is not the place for you. )

... I feel like now I should point you guys to a show you can enjoy without reservations. SO MAY I DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO TIGER AND BUNNY? It's an adorable anime about a reality show about superheroes, and it is massively, massively entertaining. And it's all on Hulu! Watch it!

BOOOKS

Feb. 20th, 2011 03:45 pm
sarashina: (Raven and Oz)
So I figured I should actually make posts that are not related to writing! (I am probably going to finish another chapter within the next few days. God have mercy on our sooooouls.)

Instead, I thought I'd do a few mini book reviews/recs, since I'm getting some books read again! I'm going to keep 'em fairly spoiler-free, but if you're the type who likes to know as little as possible about the book before going in, I would give this post a miss.


The Last Good Place of Lily Odilon )

White Cat )

Next up (in no particular order):
Half World
Graceling
The Magicians
The Hunger Games
The Monstrumologist
The Maze Runner
Prophecy of the Sisters (represented by my dream agent - MY HOMEWORK)
sarashina: (Default)
The King's Speech

This movie! ♥ THIS MOVIE. It's like they took the usual Oscar-bait formula and made it charming and adorable. And now I know why Colin Firth has been going around calling Geoffrey Rush his "geisha girl."

I saw it with a coworker, and she is rooting for The Social Network for the Oscar pretty hardcore. She loved King's Speech, but she wants Social Network to win because it's 'more personal.' I have not actually seen Social Network - I will probably see it just to stack its chances against the other movies, but it will probably make me angry for various reasons.

But even so! I generally do like to root for the more 'personal' movies, like Slumdog, Little Miss Sunshine, or Juno. But I think that King's Speech, unlike a lot of Oscar-bait movies, was much more focused on the relationships than the historical setpiece or the Important Issues. And that's why I'm rooting for it. ♥

Also, DID I MENTION ADORABLE.


Black Swan

Okay, so I went into this expecting it to be like Perfect Blue: The Ballet Edition. And I really liked it! But as I watched it I thought, "Eh, it's not really that messed up."

You all are probably giving me a look right now. I would also be giving me a look right now. But I thought compared to Perfect Blue, it was pretty linear!

That said, it was delightfully twisty, and I loved the last quarter of the movie in all its trippy glory. I went home a little worried that I was going to find Winona Ryder in my kitchen. Someone more informed than I can provide a better analysis of how misogyny in the ballet world was portrayed, so all I will say for now is, I do believe Natalie Portman will be snagging that Oscar.


Heavy Rain

This is a very interesting game, with even more interesting gameplay. It's basically an interactive murder mystery movie - or as I like to call it, "the most ominous game of The Sims ever."

I'm just sort of getting into the action now, but it's really fascinating so far. There are quite a few different choices you can make, and they're not obviously good or bad like in most games. Said choices even make the plot splinter in different directions. The story can even continue when one or more of the characters dies. I can't wait to see how things go when I get further!

I am still getting attached to the characters, though. There was one I really liked, but then I got the worst spoiler ever and now every time I see them I'm like "WAS IT ALL A LIIEEEEEE." I think I enjoy playing the FBI agent the most, though. He has random futuristic FBI technology, and I am fascinated by his accent.

More on this later!


Justified

I SAW A JUSTIFIED PREVIEW TODAYYYYY. Eee! Raylan being a dork! Boyd blowing shit up! Art being exasperated! RACHEL HAVING SCREENTIME! Next Wednesday! I am so excite! omg this showwww ♥


Aaand recs!

I have a rather terrifying week coming up at work, and I will be lucky to get out of it alive. Therefore, I require things to unwind with after work! I will take anything - TV shows, movies, manga, reading material, anything. ♥ Any suggestions?
sarashina: (Default)
It's that time again, folks! Time for me to spend the annual Christmas Barnes and Noble gift card from Grandma. And you know what that means. RECS! So if you've read an awesome book lately, do tell, because I want to read it, too!

Just to give you an idea, here are some things I am totally weak for:
- A good mystery
- A creepy setting with a lot of character
- Any and all creepiness in general, really
- Creative fantasy elements/mythology
- Adorkable protagonists who I want to hug all the time
- Strong friendships and/or a good group dynamic
- Snark and banter
- Unique, surprising romances

If a book contains any/all of these elements, I will be allll over it.

And on the other hand, here are some turn-offs:
- Writers who are too in love with their own genius to tell a proper story
- Love triangles
- When the writer tells me, at great length, how DARK and BROODING and TORTURED and REBELLIOUS his protagonist is, when said protagonist is actually just a huge douche
- Female love interests who are given no development beyond "Manic Pixie Dream Girl"

Thank you in advance! ♥
sarashina: (Default)
Hello everyone! I am all settled in on my couch and ready to find some movies to watch. If you were looking to do the same, here are some Halloween recs from me, and all are varying levels of creepy (and quality for that matter):

The Shining - A classic, set in a deserted Colorado hotel during the winter and following the new groundskeeper and his family. The plot is twisty but the scares are brilliant in their simplicity; the trailer is a great example. RED RUM.

Coraline - A dark stop-motion fairytale, adapted from Neil Gaiman's novella. More deliciously creepy than terrifying, but plays on primal fears like the best children's stories do.

Beetlejuice - One of my childhood favorites! It's more of a comedy than anything, but one with an offbeat, eerie sensibility. The Banana Boat Song scene is my favorite.

The Gift - And here's a favorite that few people have heard of, by Sam Raimi. The cast is great, and brings out so many of the tropes I'm weak for: reluctant psychics, ghosts, and a Southern backdrop. You can't really go wrong with Cate Blanchett in the lead, either.

Sleepy Hollow - I've always adored the Headless Horseman story, and I watched the Bing Crosby-narrated cartoon version repeatedly every Halloween. The more recent Johnny Depp version is completely ridiculous, and also completely entertaining. Watch it for Christopher Walken and his prosthetic teeth. YAAHHHHH!

A Disney Halloween - The absolute staple of my childhood Halloween! This is a Disney clip show, narrated by the wicked stepmother's magic mirror, of various supernatural Disney shorts. It used to be on all the time, and I always loved watching it before Trick or Treat time. I don't think it's available online anywhere, but if you have an old copy lying around, watch it for me!

Guillermo del Toro's works - Pan's Labyrinth is a given, but have you seen The Orphanage and The Devil's Backbone? Both are, much like PL, a powerful combination of terrifying and sad, but Orphanage is the more depressing of the two.

A Tale of Two Sisters and Lake Mungo - The former is a Korean thriller, and the latter is an Australian mockumentary. Both are ultimately more sad than scary, but both are great examples of using the lull in the action to build tension. AToTS pulls off some great scary moments with an almost J-horror aesthetic, except they're more affecting to me than J-horror because of the sparsity. Mungo, meanwhile, uses the entire movie to build tension, leading up to one reveal at the end that left me unsettled for the rest of the day.


Non-movie recs:

The Dionaea House - A technological horror story. Check it out here - the door is open!

Smoke and Mirrors by Tanya Huff - the second and strongest book of Huff's Smoke trilogy, and though knowledge of the first book helps, if you don't mind spoilers, prior knowledge is not required for the main plot. The best thing about these books is the hysterical protagonist, Tony, and the narrative has a lot of his personality despite being in third person. The haunted house here is a great one, though, and once you get to the creepy parts, you might have to stay up all night to get to the end.

Ghost Hunt and Mononoke - My favorite horror anime. The latter is just incredibly inventive while at the same time being the most Japanese thing ever, and GH is fun, cute, and has a great group dynamic. GH has several different arcs, and the levels of creepiness vary, but the only one that crosses the line into terrifying is the "Bloodstained Labyrinth" arc.


So there you have it! You can pick your poison depending on your tolerance. Sooo... got any recs for me? :D
sarashina: (Default)
HELLO EVERYONE

IT'S A THREE-DAY WEEKEND AND IT'S A BE-YOO-TIFUL DAY ♥

This week was much busier than last week, but now I'm rested and ready to chill out. I made an omelette this morning! And I'm going to make actual real dinner tonight! But first I'm going to go on a journey to buy a wireless router and some work clothes! And then tonight I am going to CLEAN ALL THE THINGS and make my apartment pretty. ♥

And most importantly! I GOT A NETFLIX ACCOUNT, FINALLY. And I require some recs for movies and TV shows to rent. Suggestions~?

Have a great holiday, everyone!
sarashina: (Default)
I'm a huge fan of horror, but I'm also pretty picky when it comes down to it! Serial killers and other such slasher movies don't faze me at all - sorry, Freddy and Jason - so most of the horror/supernatural thrillers I enjoy involve ghosts, demons, and things of that nature.

Of course, since I've seen/read most of the better-known good stuff, it means that there's not a lot that gets under my skin. Actually, when something is sublimely creepy, it's more of an adrenaline rush than a chill - I'll cackle gleefully at the scary parts while everyone else is screaming.

Which is not to say that nothing scares me, because plenty does! Off the top of my head, a couple movies and shows that have creeped me out: The Shining, The Devil's Backbone and The Orphanage, the Urado arc of Ghost Hunt, and especially the Ju-on/Grudge movies, which I eventually inoculated myself to over time. And I can't forget the first movie to ever really get under my skin: The Sixth Sense. I was nine or ten years old, and I didn't sleep at all that night.

The movies that get under my skin aren't the ones with relentless scares (well, except maybe The Grudge), but they're the ones that really get my imagination going. That's the scariest thing about them, I think.

Which, finally, gets me to this rec: Lake Mungo, an Aussie indie film that the lovely [livejournal.com profile] pocky_slash brought to my attention last night. At first, the ghost story setup seems very standard: a teenage girl (with long black hair, natch) drowns, and her grieving family soon starts experiencing mysterious phenomena in the house. I would have thought it would play out in the usual way, but after reading some of the reviews, I knew it wouldn't. So thankfully, I decided to watch it during the day.

Lake Mungo is recorded in a faux-documentary narrative, much like another recent horror film Paranormal Activity. I enjoyed the slow build of the latter, and the tension builds even more slowly and effectively in this film. Many of the spooky inciting events from the beginning are only talked about, not shown, and the film is mostly made up of pictures, interviews, and camera footage.

While there are some genuinely creepy images, the film is really building, ever so gradually, up to one real scary moment towards the end that actually made me gasp and recoil. Which I never do! I started the movie with my computer on my lap. But after that moment? I moved it to the end of my bed. It's one of the few examples of horror where they do reveal the unknown, and it's just as scary as what you imagined, if not more so.

It's not a popcorn horror flick - don't watch it expecting things to jump out with scare chords. But if you want something sublimely unsettling that just digs its way under your skin, Lake Mungo gets my enthusiastic recommendation.

EDIT: Some spoilers in the comments!
sarashina: (Default)
Two words: THE CLAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! (I shrieked. And then I applauded like a crazy person.)

Loved it.

Loved it loved it loved it.

I think it's actually my favorite of the three.

This coming from someone who didn't really think a third movie was necessary! Mea culpa, Pixar. I should have trusted your brilliance.

But basically, it was one part prison escape caper, two parts Brave Little Toaster homage, and three parts concentrated Pixar awesome. I think I laughed at least twice as hard as any of the kids in the theater. (Chuckles the clown! Every scene Ken was in! Timothy Dalton as the classically-trained porcupine plushie! Bonnie! Barbie being really freaking awesome! Spanish Buzz's DANCING oh my god. DYING.)

And yep, I was definitely crying at the end. As someone who graduated recently, the themes hit me right in the heart. But it was a fantastic, perfect ending and I'd watch the movie again in a second.

Also, um. I think that Woody and Buzz and Jessie may be the writers' OT3. I can't bring myself to ship it (mostly because, well, they're toys), but I'm glad the love triangle was so epically averted.

All in all, it was definitely a love story to our generation, the people who were kids when the first Toy Story came out. And it was a nice reminder that even though we're growing up, we'll never grow out of their movies.

And now I want to have a Pixar marathon. ♥
sarashina: (Default)
Going to tackle the unpopular opinions meme later - this sinus infection is keeping my energy super-low, but I'm feeling better today - but I require your book recs once again!

I have loved the books you guys have recced me in the past, and now I have a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card that's burning a hole in my pocket. The books in my cart only total to $34 right now, and I require your assistance to throw some awesome titles at me.

(And yes, I've already pre-ordered Dragon Soul. With my Borders gift card, actually! I have a lot of gift cards lately.)

Things I love:
- Fun books. Not to say there can't be conflict - conflict is wonderful, after all - but I want something I can just curl up and enjoy, not something that will get me depressed.
- Horror, the supernatural, good use of mythology, or any dose of creepiness at all. A nice, tense mystery will do it just as well, too.
- Creative fantasy elements.
- Adorable characters who I want to hug all the time. I tend to adore strong friendships and group dynamics, too.
- Snark and banter. ♥
- Unique, surprising romances.

I will be all over a book containing any or all of these elements!

Things that turn me off:
- Writers who are in love with their own "originality" or worldbuilding to the point that the story is inaccessible.
- Pretentiousness
- Love triangles
- When an author clearly wants me to think that his protagonist is amazing and witty and rebellious, but actually he is just bland/grating/all of the above.
- Romances between hapless guys and "quirky" women who aren't actually quirky at all but just spout supposedly meaningful dialogue at every opportunity. (See: Manic Pixie Dream Girl.)

Thanks in advance~ ♥
sarashina: (Default)
I have only one word:

KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

omg omg omg omg so cuuuuuuuuuuuuute

So cute it goes on my list of "Movies so cute I almost expired while watching them." That list is mostly composed to Pixar movies, so that's saying something. It is so full of love that not even the rejection I got when I returned home was enough to dampen the love.

(omg Hiccup and Toothless and Astrid and EVERYONE omg)

I-I want to see it again. AND YOU ALL SHOULD SEE IT TOO IF YOU LIKE FUN.
sarashina: (Default)
THE CHARACTER ASSOCIATION MEME


Also, I have a vacation coming up, and I am beginning to fear that I have seen/read all the animanga worth seeing/reading, which I'm sure is not true. What are some of your favorite series? The more obscure, the better. Series with a creepy atmosphere, gorgeous art, and/or adorable characters are definitely a plus.
sarashina: (Default)
The editing plows onward, and today I'm revisiting Jack's tumultuous relationship with pronouns. Why did I make Jack a shape-shifter with an unknown gender again? Oh, right. Because I love shooting myself in the foot. Other than that, I incorporated a lot of my mom's nitpicks through chapter eight, and hopefully the story reads better for them.

Aaaaanyway. Reviews/recs!

Two books and a manga: The Night Tourist, The Devil's Whisper, and Otoyomegatari )

And lastly, more fashion pictures! Since I didn't wear anything particularly special today, I will show off some winter gear instead.

Coats, hats, and scarves! )

Dinner, and then more editing!

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