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Time I opened up a little? 
  1. have you ever really lived outside the country of your birth? why or why not?
  • I have lived for 4 years in Stuttgard, Germany and 2.5 years in Lakenheath, England due to being in a military family.  We lived onbase in Germany (getting out as much as possible!) and in town in England.  When I returned to the United States (country of my birth) my overwhelming thought was that the US was a teenager, with all the attitude, defiance, clutter, joy and energy which defines that age.
  • what was your first record/cassette tape/cd?
  • As far as I can remember, I had a record of waltz music (I have no idea where it came from, but it's the earliest one I can remember on my record player).  My sister and I used to play Batman with that album as our background music.  I dunno, it worked for us somehow!
  • what do you think of your parents?
  • Even though he exasperated me like no other (because we were so much alike) I miss my father terribly.  My mother struggles with some mild dementia, she's not the person I remember, but I love both who she is and who she was.
  • what is your relationship with your hair?
  • My hair.  OMG, my hair.  You know, people with curly hair want straight, people with straight would kill to have it curly.  Mine is frizzy and red-- not a day has gone by that I haven't loved my natural hair color, but I've fought with it almost all my life to be more, oh, WAVY and less like I've just stuck my finger in a light socket.  I would also pay handsomely (with blood or years or whatever currency you'd name) to be guaranteed to have hair down to (or past!) my waist.  Long hair (I mean LONG) has always been my dream.  Despite two-thirds of my life with no more of a haircut than a trim, it persists in growing *out* and not *down*.
  • what kind of pens do you like?
          Yeah, I can't get the formatting to work, quelle surprise.  I've never really thought about pens much, as long as the ink doesn't leak all over my fingers or the paper, I'm good with whatever.
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The Bad:

I don't ask for a ton of belevability in my science fiction, but I do like consistency, which this lacked at times.  Worse, the way several of the plot threads were concluded left me rolling my eyes in exasperation.  One was so contrived even I couldn't find a way to believe it, and I certainly wanted to, the other was such a tired sci-fi cliché trope that I couldn't believe two professionals like Abrams and Spielberg considered it for more than a minute, let alone the studio countenancing it.

The Good:

While every word of the above is true, none of it matters.  There's a reason that this will be compared to 'Stand By Me' for more than just the age of the actors.  What the plot lacked in believability, the characters had in spades.  Each of the children are well defined and layered, with one exception their actions are believable.  For example, they stay quiet about being at the train crash not because of a warning by a mysterious man (which there was) but because they had to sneak out at night to be there and didn't want to get in trouble.  Unfortunately, the few adults in the film are not so well-rounded.

The surprises are genuinely *surprising*.  I jumped in my seat on three separate occasions, and that hasn't happened to me at a movie in, literally, years. 

Super 8 was touching and fascinating, and well worth the price of admittance.  A fun and touching, if not necessarily well-plotted, movie.
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Well-- for something to do on a boring afternoon it wasn't bad.  It was a completely mediocre movie, rentable enough. 


The beginning tone struck me as insufferably arrogant and superior.  The 18 year old who saw it as well didn't agree, but then 18-year-olds are prone to insufferable arrogance themselves, as a general rule.

Norse mythology wasn't as much borrowed from as name-checked.

Much of the dialog and action was telegraphed far in advance, or was clichéd to the point of obviousness.

Some of the battle scenes were cut too quick and hard to follow.  The Frost Giants were pretty cool effects, though.

Thor's friends were nothing more than broad archetypes and woefully under-developed, used only as plot devices rather than even a group of sidekicks.  Without more screen time but better writing, they could (and should have) been so much more.

On a personal note- Natalie Portman, despite being an amazing actress, was a poor casting choice.  Her eyes, her lips, her voice, all too recognizable, it was distracting.  I kept waiting for her to call Thor 'Anakin' or say she was dreaming of dancing the White Swan.  But maybe that's just me. 


They did a credible job of making Loki a complicated character, cliché motivations but classic and *there* and consistent.  Although on the negative side, they gave him so MANY complications they never really went into any of them with the depth they deserved.

Lots of eye candy.  Admittedly, although Thor was pretty buff, Loki was pretty hot as my taste runs, and Thor's lady friend (his posse was so badly developed I can't remember any of their names) wasn't hard on the eyes either.  Also see the aforementioned Natalie Portman.

I was honestly surprised at one plot development.  Refreshing.

A good explanation for taking Thor's power away, even if he didn't have as many motivations and dimensions as Loki, I give them credit for making us understand that he wasn't perfect, and some character development.

The after-the-credit ending scene.  (by now, everyone should know not to leave a Marvel movie until after that final credit roll)  It opened up the ability to speculate on possible future developments MUCH better than any prior 'final teaser' scenes.

Spotting a grip in the credits with the first name "Jor-el".  Really?  What a name to live up to, but how could any DP resist hiring him for a superhero movie? 

It reminded me, to be honest, of a middling-quality fanfic.  Some overblown prose, some trite dialog, a readable, if predictable plot, some handy motivations for the antagonist.

amberdark: (Default)
Title: Eloquence of Silence
Prompt: #290, Past Prompts Revisited (Prompt Chosen- #286, Silence)
Fandom: Saiyuki Characters: Hakkai, Sanzo, Gojyo, Goku, Hakryuu
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Summary: Character study regarding silence
Disclaimer: Saiyuki is the creation of Kazuya Minekura with some rights owned by Tokyopop and ADV Films. I do not own these characters nor make any profit from this work.

Read more... )
amberdark: (Butterfly)
If you've seen the previews for Easy A, you know the plot.  We are not misled, the story is pretty much as advertised.  The thing about Easy A is, it transcends that plot.  I don't mean in an intellectual, artistic way but that the movie uses the plot as a framework to hang everything else on, like ornaments on a Christmas tree.

Social commentary, check, but light and smooth and nearly subversive.  Slick and watchable, I was drawn along for the ride without speed-bump morality or clunky object lessons.  Realistic characters, except the ones so over-the-top cliché there is never a question of the satiric intent.  Humor vibrantly colors the movie through sharp, witty reparté, in slyly believable situations as well as through vivid character interaction.  While Olive handles herself with humor and self-possession, her teen-age reactions are amusing and recognizable. 

You think you know where this movie is going, and for the most part it does, albiet with different scenery than you might expect and down parallel roads.  There are one or two surprises and a few things I expected which never materialized, to the credit of the movie.

Easy A is fun without being overly frothy, charming and smart but the most delightful element is the self-aware, share-the-joke-with-me, referential moments.  Easy A is an 80's movie wrapped in techno-current life and the best part is, the movie itself not only knows it but uses it and unapologetically revels in it, charming the audience along the way.

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This is a 'character study', a meditation piece to get inside the character's head. Not a story, per se, something I do to explore the thinking patterns and voice narrative. This is Brian O'Conner from F&F just before the newest movie.

Everybody’s got something to live for. Yeah, I know what it sounds like, but it’s true anyway. I make my living on it, if it comes down to that, finding out what makes a person get out of bed in the morning and playing on that to get what I want. What the FBI wants, which is usually the same thing but not always.

I guess that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. I’m damn good at what I do. I’m the best the Bureau’s got, and they know it. Penning knows it. That takes me so far, just far enough to put away the bad guys. See, I use the system just like it uses me and that relationship suits me just fine. Sure, I’ve been in the doghouse a couple times and there’ve been some domestic disputes here and there, what couple doesn’t have those? But overall we got a good thing going on.

Yeah, there’ve been a few late night regrets, I’m not saying it’s all sunshine and roses. A couple cases kept me up scared and there was one or two that made me wonder about deeper shit than I should have been. Goes like that sometimes. Work hazard, I guess, except OSHA doesn’t make a poster for that one.

Life’s a game and the job’s a game; you gotta play it, and you’ve gotta play it right, every single time, to get what you want. Politics and arrogance. It’s not so much what you can do as what you can get away with. You can get away with a hell of a lot if you bring in the right results.

It’s all about paying attention. About watching, and listening. To everyone, doesn’t make a difference if it’s the scum on the streetcorner or the head of the Bureau, you gotta know what moves a man, know what’s in his secret heart. Give him what he wants and he’ll give you what you need and that, my friend, means you’ve won.

Everybody’s got to have something that gets them up in the morning, even me.
amberdark: (Default)
I'm interested in all sorts of things, but suck majorly at lists, or cohesive narratives when it comes to my own life. Writing various fandoms, some slash, some not, friendships & relationships in all sorts of flavors, family, my intrigue is to explore the kalidescope ways people come together and fracture apart.

Right now I have a couple Fast & Furious things sitting around that I'll post. One of these days I'll get around to writing up a 'who I am' bit for the introduction, but don't expect a lot of personal notes here, or life updates.

Mainly you'll see fiction, short pieces are my specialty, in whatever fandom catches my interest. Got a few minutes to spare, I'm story-lite.


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June 2011



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