kungfuwaynewho: (community)
Five years ago, the West Memphis Three walked out of prison.

I first saw Paradise Lost in 2001 or 2002, when I was at USC.  Like a lot of people around my age who'd had a fairly-sheltered, middle class childhood, it was my first real experience with how frustrating and terrible true injustice could be.  I went on to read the book Devil's Knot by Mara Leveritt, getting more obsessed with the case.  I spent more hours than I could ever count on message boards, reading evidence amateur sleuths had uncovered over the years, finding myself convinced by this theory, then that one.  I followed the appeals and motions for years, and every time something new came up - another example of the courts' malfeasance, new exculaptory evidence - I would think, "this is it, this is how they're going to get out," only to have everything go back to square one.  And the whole time, Damien was on Death Row, getting sicker and sicker.  Five years ago, when I checked CNN in the middle of a desk shift at work, I hadn't heard a whisper of what was coming.  Yet there it was, the headline: "West Memphis Three Free."

If you've never seen it, I highly recommend the documentary West of Memphis.  Though the Paradise Lost films are very good, you have to watch all three to get the full story; and honestly, the second one suffers quite a bit in retrospect for suspecting the wrong stepfather.  West of Memphis follows the case from start to finish, from the murders, through the trial, through the painful eighteen years in prison for crimes they didn't commit, to their eventual release.  In fact, I'm planning on watching it (for like at least my sixth or seventh viewing) tonight.

To Jessie, Jason, and Damien: I'm still so proud and happy for you.  All the best.
kungfuwaynewho: (squee)
Bought my Star Wars tickets today!

...for a Sunday matinee.

 photo tumblr_nwhz7wV0of1qzucdqo1_500.gif

But I'm still excited!  I'm just too old for this shit midnight showings anymore, and I prefer going to the movies early in the day, anyway.  I don't mind waiting two days.  (Considering most of the time anymore I wait till a movie's been out a couple weeks to go.)  Star Wars at the Drafthouse!  I am so excite!

I watched the trailer twice yesterday and that's probably it for me.  Can't get spoiled, can't get used to the shiny, gotta stay hype.

(I don't have any Star Wars icons.  I'll need to rectify this.  And I've been meaning to make new icons for awhile anyway...)
kungfuwaynewho: (b5 londo bw)
"The Testament of Dr. Mabuse," 1933, directed by Fritz Lang.  Oh, some would probably quibble with classifying this as horror, but I stand by my choice.
Picspam under cut... )
kungfuwaynewho: (cate bw)
I'm not tremendously enthused about the Oscars this year, just because I haven't seen so many of the movies and don't really have a horse in this race, but I like to make my guesses every year anyway.  Let's see how I do!

Predictions under the cut. )

I got 18/24, which isn't bad at all.  I underestimated how many techs would go to Gravity - which I did a few years ago with Hugo, too.  Need to remember that they end up just voting down the line for one movie than actually thinking about each individual award.  (Which is not to say that Gravity isn't deserving, but that tends to be what happens.)  I was feeling pretty good about my against-the-grain Gravity for BP pick up until the very last minute, because of all the tech wins.

Pretty excited about correctly guessing 2/3 shorts.  You really just need to read the descriptions sometimes to know what they're going to go with!

It was a rather dreadfully boring show, unfortunately.  I am glad they cut down on most of the random montages and such; the couple they had weren't bad, were relatively short, though I was a bit flummoxed by P!nk singing a tribute to The Wizard of Oz.  No real fashion mis-steps; I'll probably have to go with Angelina as my best-dressed, because she really pulls off those grande dame full-sleeved dresses.
kungfuwaynewho: (b5 delenn)
I could have sworn I'd posted sometime more recently, but I guess not.

Anywho!  My November final NaNoWriMo word count total was 31,000.  Which I was totally happy with, and is a good, sustainable monthly average for me.  I'm at around 13,000 thus far, which is actually pretty good considering how much time I've spent editing Part One.  Which is still going on, as I decided after reading through it that I needed one more chapter at the end.  Originally it was just going to be 3-4 pages, a character-based chapter rather than a plot-based one, more in the line of an epilogue than anything else.  It's about five times that length now, and I finally finished it yesterday.  So now I need to edit/polish that up, and maybe give a quick once-over to the last quarter or so of Part One.

But it's coming along!  I'm well-pleased.

About halfway done with Christmas shopping.  I don't understand how it, like, sneaks up on me each year.  I've got three stores to hit this weekend, and my goal is to get up early Saturday morning and get going, try to beat the crowds, if that's even possible the weekend before Christmas.  I decided to make gifts for my co-workers, and was planning to be done long before now, but I'll have to finish them up tonight.  Mini-pallet coasters! Though I made mine with popsicle sticks, cut to length and then glued together double or triple thickness.  A box of popsicle sticks is a lot cheaper than buying like actual wood.  A pretty easy craft, even for someone as relatively uncrafty as I am, but it took much longer than I was anticipating.

I finally saw Gravity yesterday.  I'm glad I got to see it on the big screen, and it was a really great movie, and Sandy did a wonderful job, but I guess my expectations were way higher, because I wasn't particularly wowed.  Beautiful, and science-y, and it's nice to see a clear, simple, straightforward story for a change, but it wasn't the technological oh-my-God marvel everyone had blown it up to be.  But still very good, and the clear winner this year for SFX.

Speaking of awards, I'm pretty happy thus far with how the award season is playing out.  I don't really have a favorite I want to win everything, except maybe Cate Blanchett for Actress, and that seems in the bag.  I haven't seen a lot of the major contenders yet, either because they haven't come out (American Hustle, Her), I don't really care (Wolf of Wall Street), or I'm not comfortable seeing it in the theater and will wait till DVD (12 Years a Slave).  I feel like the upcoming Oscar nominations won't have a huge amount of surprises, but this year that doesn't seem to be a bad thing. 
kungfuwaynewho: (xf umbrellas)
It's been a couple of action-packed days.  Thursday night we left straight from work to go see The Cornetto Trilogy.  Such fun!  It had been years since I'd actually sat and watched either Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz from beginning to end, and of course doing so on the big screen with a theater full of fans is the best way to rewatch something.  I went with my sisters and some friends, and we had a ton of fun.  And we ate a ton of food!  Because of course we went to the Drafthouse.  For Movie #1 I had a coupon for free popcorn, which I had smothered in real melted butter.  For Movie #2 I had fish and chips, and my sisters split a chips and queso and an amazing grilled cheese sandwich we plan to recreate ASAP: sourdough bread, white cheddar, caramelized onions, bacon, and apple slices.  For Movie #3 we all got milkshakes (Mexican vanilla, chocolate peanut butter, and chocolate espresso), and then one of my sisters and I splurged and got fresh-baked cookies, too.

This was of course a huge mistake.

OMG, we were all SO SICK Thursday night.  I was afraid my little sister was going to throw up first in the parking garage, then out the window as we drove home.  I was afraid I was going to have to make myself throw up.  (I hate vomiting more than just about anything.  I told my other sister in the morning that I didn't because I didn't want to wake them up, and she was like, thanks, because your dejected sobbing definitely would have woke us up.)  I was just so uncomfortable, and like, how could I be so full when I didn't feel terrible while I was still eating?  Ugh.

Anyway, The World's End was GREAT.  Really, really funny, from beginning to end.  Eddie Marsan was incredible; I don't remember seeing him before in such a broadly-comic role, but he did it so well.  We're probably going to see it again this weekend with my dad.  During the first intermission, we had a trivia contest; during the second, there was a drinking contest.  For The World's End, they brought us all twisty straws (you'll understand when you see it), and then coasters and these weird mouthpieces.  My little sister immediately stuck hers in her mouth, and we were, I'm not even joking, like hysterical laughing for the next five minutes.  The Alamo guy came over and took a picture of her.



Then yesterday, we moved little sister into her freshman dorm.  Kansas City has been having a really mild summer, so of course yesterday it was up in the 90s with no breeze to speak of.  Thankfully it wasn't too busy and we got up there early.  She's got a single, lots of room, pretty nice all things considered.  After we got everything unpacked and mostly put away, we walked to campus and had lunch at the student union.  Then my sisters went to scout out where all her classes were going to be, while I stayed in the union and read.  We met back up and returned to her dorm, hanging some posters and stealing cans of pop from the outdoor break station.  (Her mini-fridge is FULL of pop.)  Then it was to my parents to visit, then to my grandpa to visit, then we came home and promptly went to bed at about 9pm.  I slept HARD, for like 10 hours.  It was intense.

So today I'm proofing an audio book, cleaning house, working on my het bigbang (2k words finished, 8k words to go!), and generally relaxing.  A boring weekend.
kungfuwaynewho: (ad gob angry)
What happened with the Oscar nominations?  I mean seriously, what happened?
  • Bigelow and Affleck both get snubbed in Direction.
  • I mean the Director lineup just in general.  Fuck David O'Russell.
  • Moonrise Kingdom doesn't get a Picture nomination.
  • No Looper in Screenplay.
  • No John Hawkes in Actor.
  • Where the actual fuck did Jacki Weaver come from?  I didn't really think Ann Dowd would get in, but no Ann Dowd and Jacki Weaver instead?
  • This isn't a surprise, because everyone knew Alan Arkin would get in, but he would have been the third most interesting supporting performance in Argo, under Bryan Cranston and John Goodman.
  • I literally cannot with Editing.
  • No Hobbit for Costume?  (But Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman make it in.)  Or for Sound Editing?  Or Sound Mixing?  (Lincoln for Mixing?  Really?  Really.)  No nomination for "Song of the Lonely Mountain?"
  • And where are The Avengers' Sound nominations?  Oh right, there are none.
  • I literally cannot with Documentary Feature, but I knew that when the first short-list was announced.
  • Hitchcock for Makeup over Lincoln?  Anthony Hopkins literally looked like he was melting.
  • I fundamentally do not understand Life of Pi getting nominated for Production Design.
Bright spots:
  • Christoph Waltz.
I have seriously like been seething this whole morning.  These are the worst.  THE WORST.

In conclusion, GPOY:
kungfuwaynewho: (Default)
FYI: I have already watched this trailer exactly seven times.  I will probably watch it at least twice more tonight.

kungfuwaynewho: (drh penis)
I started my new year off by waking up on a futon to an angry cat clawing at the door demanding to be fed, feeding said cat who continued to dislike me, and then I made my own breakfast: chocolate cake in a bowl with milk.  I had a very nice, casual New Year's Eve at a friend's wherein we watched HGTV and Arrested Development, ate pizza and chocolate cake, drank some wine (I had two whole glasses!  Bringing my 2011 yearly total of wine consumption to approximately 4.5 glasses!), and generally just hung out.  At one point we heard distant fireworks and then like half an hour later were like, oh, happy new year.

Today we took down all the Christmas stuff and grilled out, because this weekend was gorgeous.  Yesterday we went for a walk!  In short sleeves! ♥

December Writing Progress )


New December Media )

kungfuwaynewho: (hp gradient)

So who else is going to join me in pretty much weeping uncontrollably from now until July 15?
kungfuwaynewho: (ib laughing)
You know how some people proselytize about their religion?  And they're super into it and you can tell it's really important to them and maybe you even think once in a while "hmm, maybe I should try it out if it makes you feel that good"?  And they just keep doggedly bringing whatever up over and over because to not preach is just unthinkable?

I'm like that about the Alamo Drafthouse theaters in Austin, Texas. 

These are the BEST MOVIE THEATERS EVER.  They are THE BEST.  Every other movie theater pales in comparison.  Full menu of really fantastic food, alcohol, very cool special presentations (a sample: Shaun of the Dead with blow-up bats to smack your neighbors during the zombie fighting scenes; Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical sing-a-long; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with all-you-can-eat pizza; all three Lord of the Rings movies lasting all day, served with a "hobbit feast" that is, like, eight separate meals).  Best of all, though, they have a very strict no talking/texting/being annoying policy.  Before every single movie, there's a short reminder that tells you that if you talk or text or annoy your neighbors during the film, they will, and I quote, take your ass out.  They're very creative with this message.  There was one featuring Ann Richards, former governor of Texas, for instance.  Here's a bunch of others.

This is the best one ever, though.  How could you not have the best time ever watching movies at a theater like this?

kungfuwaynewho: (dexter ghosts)
This weekend I watched the original Vampyr.  This is an incredible film.  1932, which puts it a little late, and it's a bit more grounded in reality, but I would still classify it as German Expressionism.  And I flove German Expressionism.

This is just such an amazing film as far as visuals go.  It's hard to believe it's from 1932, actually.  The compositions are just stunning.  The cinematography isn't always the best - part of it is that the best print now existing was cobbled together from a couple different prints, plus quite a bit of the film was shot day-for-night - but I can't really blame it.  But the compositions, oh, the compositions.  The use of negative space is divine.  It's also a surprisingly creepy film.  I think a lot of people feel like it's not possible for modern audiences to be scared of something so old, that we're too jaded and desensitized - but there were a couple shots and moments that legit freaked me out, and I've seen this movie twice before.

I took a lot of notes as I watched, and I also capped. 
 
Picspam! )
kungfuwaynewho: (Default)
11:02 pm - The show's been over for awhile.  Am still basking in wonderful TKS-wins glow.  I do think, though, that tonight's show was the second-worst Oscar show in terms of production and pacing that I've seen.  (The worst is still the one where they gave out awards in the audience, or had the technical award nominees all cluster on the stage together, to save time - because God knows things like sound mixing and cinematography are totally unimportant when it comes to making movies.)  Like, everything was just so painfully unfunny, except for the rare few presenters who actually have some natural comic timing and were able to save themselves, if nothing else.  The set was weird, the homages to past films that had won was scatterbrained and confusing, the introductions of the nominees was boring, and on and on.  I mean, is it really that hard to put together an entertaining show, where pretty people in nice dresses win shiny things?

They should just hire the people on YouTube who make the awesome montages.  And skip the host, and just have people present without dumb scripted chatter.  And actually, like, TALK ABOUT MOVIES.  I swear, that auto-tuned turning dialogue into songs thing about halfway through rivaled Rob Lowe singing with Snow White for I'm Going To Seriously Kill Myself, This is Too Embarrassing to Live moments.

10:45 pm - I'm happy with both lead acting winners.  Natalie is not my favorite actress in the world, but she was amazing in Black Swan.  And Colin Firth of course was brilliant and perfect. 

And The King's Speech wins.  I knew True Grit, which was my other favorite movie of the year, didn't have a chance in hell, so I was obviously enormously pleased with the outcome.  I was still so nervous, though; goodness.  And for the first time since 2003, my favorite movie of the year, and the one I truly felt was the best, actually wins the Best Picture Oscar.  Tonight ended up a whole lot better than it started.

10:08 pm - TOOOOOOOM HOOOOOOOOOOPER FINALLLLY THANK YOU GOOOOOOOOOOOD.

I think some of the happiest moments in my life have been when people I like when awards.

9:57 pm
- Hi, Sally!  Bye, Sally.

I'm incredibly glad they turned off the Death Clap-o-Meter for a change.  I still can't quite believe Dennis Hopper is gone.

9:49 pm - Thanks a lot, Oscars, for reminding me that Jennifer Hudson has won one of you.  Also, what is wrong with her boobs.

Those were like four of the worst song nominees ever.  At least Randy Newman was funny?  I just want to know who keeps telling Gwyneth Paltrow she has a good singing voice; it's flat and awful.

9:37 pm - Oh God, The Social Network is going to win, isn't it?  Ughhhhhhh.

Also, WTF is up with Hereafter getting a Visual Effects nomination.  That wave looked like something from a video game from 2002.

9:23 pm - So far, The King's Speech has won a single Oscar, and True Grit has won zero Oscars.

At least Cate Blanchett looked ethereal and perfect and gorgeous.

Also, that Tangled song was the blandest shit I've ever heard.  For this, Jonsi didn't get nominated?  Mmmkay.

8:51 pm - I cannot believe Trent Reznor has an Oscar.  Fucking Social Network, damn it.  This Oscars is balls so far.  Balls!

8:35 pm - Screenplay went as expected, does not clarify the race at all.  I'm happy to see Christian Bale win, even though I would have liked John Hawkes or Geoffrey Rush to win as well.  Helen Mirren's dress was gorgeous and she was stunning, as per usual.  I think she's been in my top three best dressed for about the last five years at this point.

I am so over Oscar hosts and their random, unfunny shtick.  Seriously.  I'd rather have a bunch of random montages; at least they're ostensibly about movies.

8:09 pm - Well, not the best start.  I'm 1/5.  I was hoping this would be the year when the voters realized that the best acting =/= the most crying and yelling, but alas.  No such luck.  And even though I picked Toy Story 3 to win, I wanted How to Train Your Dragon to win - but I knew that wasn't going to happen.  So far, underwhelmed by dresses.  I liked Mila Kunis's color and basic idea, but it was a tiny bit too low-cut for my tastes. 

I refused to watch Melissa Leo's acceptance speech.  I stirred the pizza bites in the oven, and angrily ate some popcorn.  Grr.
kungfuwaynewho: (lotr galadriel)
Normally I am way more into the Oscar season than I have been this year, but I still made a point of watching the nominations live.  And, of course, I have Important Thoughts.

1) Tron didn't get nominated for visual effects.  Whaa.....?  At least it did get nominated for sound editing, though.  The Academy Award-nominated film Tron: Legacy!

2) I'm sorry, I know it gives her a better shot, but Hailee Steinfeld for supporting actress is ridiculous.  She's in almost every scene.  The movie is about her character.  SHE'S THE ONE WITH TRUE GRIT.  I don't care that she's 14; she should be up for lead.

3) Haha one guy from The Social Network, you didn't get nominated for supporting actor HAHAHAHA.

4) Also, in general, The Social Network is that movie that I inexplicably hate without ever seeing for this year (there's always at least one), so I was pleased it did not get the most nominations.  Also, it lost the PGA to The King's Speech, which did lead the nominations.  I hope this to be a harbinger of things to come.  Because TKS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>TSN.

5) YEAH JOHN HAWKES YOU GET THAT NOMINATION HE WAS A JEWISH BANKER ON DEADWOOD HE HAS BIDNESS TO DO AND THAT BIDNESS BETTER BE TO WIN SOME OSCARS.

6) (Unless Geoffrey Rush would rather win that supporting actor nomination.  That would work, too.  I actually saw his movie and performance, so.  I just...don't want Christian Bale to win?  IDKW.)

7) The King's Speech for cinematography!  The Coens for directing!  Inception for sound design!  True Grit for costumes!  I'm still pissed that Carter Burwell's score for True Grit was disqualified.  WHO CARES THAT IT WAS BASED ON OLD HYMNS.  IS THAT REALLY ALL WE THINK FILM COMPOSITION BOILS DOWN TO, THE MELODY?!  YOU, PEOPLE WHO DISQUALIFY THE BEST SCORES EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. ARE NOTHING BUT BALLS.  GIANT BAGS OF SWEATY, GROSS BALLS.

8) I miss when Cate was nominated every year.  :(
kungfuwaynewho: (firefly crew)
Hope everyone had a nice weekend!  For the first time in my life, I am working during this holiday season, and it is weird.  I went from being a kid to going to school to working for a school, so I've always had at least two weeks off around this time, so the idea of going to work two days after Christmas hasn't quite percolated through my stupid brain.  Most of my brain, the part I imagine is run by the man who sits behind a help desk and who for the last few years I have imagined looking like Kenneth from 30 Rock, is still pretty sure I will be home in my jim-jams tomorrow, watching Christmas movies and playing Christmas games and eating Christmas leftovers. 

Took my Grandpa to see True Grit today.  It was amazing and flawless.  As always happens when I watch a great film whilst in the middle of writing something of my own, it made me think about what is not working in my own project, what I'm missing, and how I can fix it.

Yammerings about writering. )
kungfuwaynewho: (tng picard :o)
 

Why can't the montages on the actual Academy Awards show ever be this awesome?  BRB, have to watch this for like the fifth time this morning.
kungfuwaynewho: (bsg baltar bored)
Back home!  I knew I would be busy, but I didn't realize I would be that busy.

AFF - Panels, Meeting Folk, Etc. )

Everything else - "We're coming for you, Barbara!" )

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