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Thursday, January 2nd, 2020
10:18 pm - Collected Fanfiction Post
Links to all fanfiction I've written in various fandoms. That I'm admitting to.

Alias )

Angel the Series )

Babylon 5 )

Battlestar Galactica )

Breaking Bad )

Buffy the Vampire Slayer )

Citizen Kane )

Doctor Who )

Farscape )

Earth: Final Conflict )

Heroes )

Highlander: The Series )

Historical Fiction )

Lost )


Merlin )

Mythology )

Once upon a time )

Penny Dreadful )

Rome )

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine )

Star Trek: The Next Generation )

Star Wars )

Sunset Boulevard )

The Americans )

The Beatles )

The Borgias )
The Godfather )

Torchwood )

X-Men )

The West Wing )

Crossovers )

current mood: exhausted

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Tuesday, December 12th, 2017
7:40 pm - Look who's back
New Jessica Jones season 2 trailer:

Speculation: spoilery only for other tv shows, I have no information )

Meanwhile, for all my bickering about ninjas (in Daredevil), watching the trailer reminded me again how much I had enjoyed the Jessica and Matt interactions in The Defenders, so I checked what new fanfiction was around, and lo:

The Killing Game: in which Jessica has the bad luck of having to team up with Matt and Frank "The Punisher" Castle, when they happen to run into each other and the aliens from The Predator series at the same time. (I haven't watched any Predator movies, so if you haven't, either, don't worry.) The aliens mainly have the point of providing our three main characters with a really good reason to cooperate in order to survive. Very entertaining dynamics between all three people involved ensue, along with solid action.

Just a phone call away (order ahead): from the same author, a post Defenders tale in which Jessica still really does not want to be part of a team, but somehow finds herself unable to resist teaming up with these guys anyway. Again, excellent and entertaining characterisation all around.

This entry was originally posted at Comment there or here, as you wish.

current mood: cheerful

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Sunday, December 10th, 2017
6:20 pm - Oh, for the days that we have seen
There’s this lovely old gentleman I know, Edgar Feuchtwanger, nephew of Lion Feuchtwanger the novelist I wrote my thesis about. Edgar F left Germany age 14 as part of the Kindertransport, which probably saved his life. He became a British citizen, married, had children, taught as a historian at Winchester university, published books on various subjects (with a speciality to Victorian times), most recently memoirs of his boyhood. Whenever I visit Britain, I try to see him, and since he still (occasionally, he’s physically fragile now) participates in some conferences on the subject of Lion Feuchtwanger or other exiles, I sometimes see him on these conferences as well. He’s kind, wise, and I only wish that when I age, it will be with his grace and dignity.

Now, because the mail in December isn’t the most reliable, I sent him my present early on. Yesterday, he emailed me to say it arrived safely, and in his mail he also mentioned that he, all his children and their children have just claimed and been granted the German citizenship which in Germany is the right of anyone who lost it due to the Third Reich (and their descendants).

It makes me feel so - I don’t know how. On the one hand, I’m glad he can do this. That he sees Germany today, with all its flaws, as a nation to be citizen of again. On the other hand, the obvious reason why he and his family did this makes me so sad. In the grotesque horror that the Orange Menace spreads, it’s easy to lose sight of the geographically (to me) closer grotesque insanity that is Brexit and the change of mentality in a country whose literature, pop culture, landscapes etc. I’ve always loved, and where I have so many friends. But I relate to Britain as a visitor. For Edgar Feuchtwanger, it was and is home. It was a safe harbor from the worst point of German history. It was where he made a life. And of course his children (all older than yours truly) are as English as they come.

Now Edgar Feuchtwanger is over 90 years old. This is so not how anyone’s life should come full circle.

Moving from fact to fiction (and fictionalized history) again: this review of THE POST, aka Steven Spielberg’s movie about the publication of the Pentagon Papers, mentions that besides the leading duo of Tom Hanks (of course) as Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham, it stars ‬Bob Odenkirk as reporter B.  Bagdikian,  and Matthew Rhys as Daniel Ellsberg. Which means both my inner Better Call Saul and The Americans fan needs to see it. (If either fandom had more fanfiction-writing people in it, I’d expect crazy crossovers, but alas, the tales where a time travelling Saul Goodman/Jimmy McGill works for the Washington Post or Richard Nixon belatedly is proven right by the revelation that Daniel Ellsberg really worked for the KGB won’t be written.

Sidenote I: it wasn’t until yesterday and a certain tweet [Bad username: “likeadeuce”] retweeted that it occured to me Philip and Elizabeth in The Americans have the same names as the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and might even have been named after them, i.e. their cover identities, on either a Doylist (the producers wanting an in-joke?) or Watsonian (one KGB official in charge felt whimsical) level.

Sidenote II: I saw an interview with Daniel Ellsberg somewhere last week where he mentions it’s odd that Spielberg chose to focus on the WP, when it was the New York Times who did all the work in that particular case, with the Post only coming in at the tail end. The same articles mentioned a few disgruntled NYT veterans who do feel this movie should have been their “All the President’s Men</i>, and why give the glory fo the Post again. At a guess, because Spielberg liked that other movie a lot. And unfortunately, that’s all too often how historical drama (be it movies, tv shows, or theatre) works - people get edited out or reduced to minor roles when in reality they were the major players. (If they don’t get villainized. In Spielberg’s last historical movie, Bridge of Spies, this happened to the German lawyer of the American whose freedom the movie’s hero and his American lawyer, played by Tom Hanks (of course) was negotiating. In Spielberg’s movie, Vogel is a glib and sinister (in turns) Stasi apparatchik. Meanwhile, quoth the real life Frederic Pryor (i.e. the captured American in question): “The portrayal of Wolfgang Vogel, my East German lawyer who was negotiating the communist side, was unfair. They made him out to be a total apparatchik, and one of the villains. He wasn’t. He was a quiet, well-spoken man. The movie made it out to be a political thing, him trying to get the U.S. to publicly recognize the East German government. But it was more a waiting game the East Germans played to show the Russians they had the upper hand. Vogel was actually a very nice guy, whom I later visited several times.") (In this interview.
Back to the review of The Post I linked above. Key quote in is 70s nostalgia:
An American president who is evil but not stupid. People who publish leaked documents without winding up barricaded in London’s Ecuadorian embassy. People who publish leaked documents without winding up endorsing a president who is evil and stupid. And to add to this gorgeous period detail, Spielberg reproduces some of the characteristic middle-distance sound design and overlapping dialogue of his film work from the 70s.

Says something about the present day, doesn’t it, when the part of the 70s you want back isn’t the music but the non-stupid villains.

Lastly, I still have free slots for themes of your choice to ramble about in January, here.

This entry was originally posted at Comment there or here, as you wish.

current mood: sad

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Wednesday, December 6th, 2017
7:33 pm - This can't be real life, so let's move on to fantasy
Since we appear to be still in the Darkest Timeliine as far as politics is concerned - and I mean on a global level, not just the Orange Menace and his cast of Disney movie villains (my apologies to actual Disney movie villains, who are wonders of subtlety and competence by comparison) - I cling all the more to fiction. I mean, in which other time line would something like the news that Russia appears to have revived the "blood libel" of antisemitic infamy be worth only a tiny mention, because there is so much else going to hell?

(I kid you not, though. When the director of what sounds like a bland avarage type of royalist fluff about Nicolas II. and his youthful love for a ballerina got death threats because the late Nikki - outside of Russia regarded on a level with Louis XVI, which is to say, personally well meaning but entirely in over his head, none too competent and prone to bad decisions - is now considered a saint, it sounds absurd enough to laugh. Not for the director, who considers himself a patriotic Putin follower and didn't understand where all the hostility came from. But, you see, the director is Jewish. And now the same Orthodox leader who campaigned against the movie - and who rumor claims is Putin's "confessor", which neither of them denies, and at any rate is hand in glove with Putin - has decided that the execution of the czar and his family was ritual murder, a blood sacrifice. Yes, like that. See also: middle ages. And an official investigation is to follow.)

(This kind of thing is why Putin apologists drive me mad. Yes, he's not crazy or stupid the way the Orange Menace is. But he's supporting right wing nutters and thugs all over the world so that they may take over, and he himself supports every -ism and phobia in his own country in order to have scapegoats he can throw at the population.)

Give me fiction, with characters and plot developments I can at least believe in instead. Just a few weeks now until the Yuletide Archive opens. In honor of Yuletide, I shall link one of the most awesome YT stories ever posted. The Year: 2012. The Place: Babylon 5. It was the last of the Babylon stations...

The Subtle Arrangement of Stones

A season 1 tale, in three of the four main ambassadors are kidnapped by the Homeguard and it's up to their aides to come to the rescue. (While Delenn must keep Londo and G'Kar from killing each other in captivity.) If you haven't read this fantastic tale yet, do so at once. If you've read it all those years ago, read it again. Vir, Na'Toth and Lennier teaming up against the odds is the best thing ever.

This entry was originally posted at Comment there or here, as you wish.

current mood: indescribable

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Monday, December 4th, 2017
5:38 pm - Once more into the breach...
Have accepted that I'll spend the rest of December in a state of semi-exhaustion. Not for unpleasant reasons, but it does prevent me from posting a lot. To get back into the swing of things next year, I'll do the January Talking Meme again.

Pick a date below and give me a topic, and I'll ramble on. I'm good at talking. It can be anything from fandom-related (specific characters, actors, storylines, episodes, etc.) to life-related to pizza preferences to whatever you want.

They will probably be brief, or not, depending on the subject. Also, I reserve the right to decline prompts that I don't feel equipped to meet.

Topics: you can get an idea from my tags/from the stuff I usually ramble about/from things you maybe wish I talked about more but don't. Also, please feel free to check out last year's post and the one from two years ago for topics I've already written about.

January 1:
January 2:
January 3:
January 4:
January 5:
January 6:
January 7:
January 8:
January 9:
January 10:
January 11:
January 12:
January 13:
January 14:
January 15:
January 16:
January 17:
January 18:
January 19:
January 20:
January 21:
January 22:
January 23:
January 24:
January 25:
January 26:
January 27:
January 28:
January 29:
January 30:
January 31:

This entry was originally posted at Comment there or here, as you wish.

current mood: exhausted

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Monday, November 27th, 2017
7:08 pm - finishing stories...
Phew. All three tales of Yuletide done. This year, my assignment and one of the treats were in fandoms I've never written before, and the other treat was from a fandom of old. It's odd, in some years I can detect a common theme, as when I wrote about Marie and Skyler from Breaking Bad in one story, and Connie Corleone and her brothers from The Godfather in the other (dysfunctional siblings ahoi), but this year, I can't. They were all fun to write, though. Brushing up on the canons also invoked the urge to write meta, but I have too much rl stuff to do for that to happen right now, not to mention that it would give away the game. Maybe post Yuletide.

Meanwhile, check out an intriguing article about John Ford, John Wayne and the creation of a certain idea of masculinity that was artificial from the stort. Choice quotes:

"masculinity (like the Western) is a by-product of nostalgia, a maudlin elegy for something that never existed—or worse, a masquerade that allows no man, not even John Wayne, to be comfortable in his own skin.


From Stagecoach through Liberty Valance, their last Western together, Ford rode Wayne so mercilessly that fellow performers—remarkably, given the terror Ford inspired—stepped in on Wayne’s behalf. Filming Stagecoach, Wayne revealed his inexperience as a leading man, and this made Ford jumpy. “Why are you moving your mouth so much?” he demanded, grabbing Wayne by the chin. “Don’t you know that you don’t act with your mouth in pictures?” And he hated the way Wayne moved. “Can’t you walk, instead of skipping like a goddamn fairy?”

Masculinity, says Schoenberger, echoing Yeats, was for Ford a quarrel with himself out of which he made poetry. Jacques Lacan’s definition of love might be more apt: “Giving something you don’t have to someone who doesn’t want it.” Ford was terrified of his own feminine side, so he foisted a longed-for masculinity on Wayne. A much simpler creature than Ford, Wayne turned this into a cartoon, and then went further and politicized it. There was an awful pathos to their relationship—Wayne patterning himself on Ford, at the same time that Ford was turning Wayne into a paragon no man could live up to.

And also, some fanfiction, Orphan Black this time.

the eve of your labours: remember season 3, when Delphine, temporary in charge of Dyad, tried very hard to out-Rachel Rachel while Rachel was slowly recovering her speech and movements but was mentally all there (and ready for mindgames)? This story takes that to it's ultimate conclusion.

we'll still be running at the break of dawn: post-series encounter of Sarah and Rachel, the two clones who find it hardest to adjust to a time of peace.

Black Sails:

Give me a chance: Betsy the Walrus ship cat doesn't show up post s1 anymore that I recall, but fanfic sees no reason to follow suit, so every now and then a writer does something with her. In the case of this priceless little vignette, this results in Silver and Flint having one of Those Conversations. No, not the later season intense dark ones. One of the early season point blank hilarious ones. :)

This entry was originally posted at Comment there or here, as you wish.

current mood: exhausted

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Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017
1:16 pm - Quickly, links
Black Sails:

Talking with [profile] ryda_wong about Max, Idelle, Charlotte and why the two scenes of Idelle confronting Max in s2 re: Anne and Anne about Charlotte in s4 has reminded me of this meta I've been meaning to link for ages:

In praise of Charlotte: Female legacy on Black Sails

Also, have some fanfiction, this one about Miranda:

And swallowed darkness whole:

Moving away from pirate fiction, you may or may not have heard that on Sunday night, coalition negotiations (which were ongoing since the election this fall) came to an abrupt halt when the FDP walked out. Now while this is indeed serious, I can't believe the hyperbole in the foreign press. No, this isn't the biggest crisis in post war Germany. (I'm not expecting British or US journalists to be experts on decades of post WWII Germany, but you'd think at least that bit about a certain wall being built in the early 60s, or the Chancellor's right hand man turning out to have been a Stasi spy in the early 70s, triggering events culminating in Willy Brand stepping out as Chancellor, would have stuck in mind. And that's before we get to the terrorist-ridden 70s themselves (this year, we had the 40th anniversary of the so-called "German Autumn" of 1977). Anyway, this article puts current events in a welcome perspective for the English speaking world.

This entry was originally posted at Comment there or here, as you wish.

current mood: awake

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Saturday, November 18th, 2017
2:21 pm - Le jour de gloire...
‪Before she fell in love with Thomas Cromwell, Hilary Mantel fell for Maximilien Robespierre (and proceeded to write A Place of Greater Safety which does for French Revolutionaries what „Wolf Hall“ does for Tudor politicians with a bad reputation). The London Review Of Books put her essay about Robespierre from March 2000 online, which, whether or not you agree with her about the Incorruptible One, is a beautiful bit of prose, here.

One bit that struck me especially, given Mantel wrote this in 2000 and thus years before Tumblr became a thing, about the young Max:

He identified with victims, and would use the language of victimhood like an offensive weapon. He constantly declared that people were trying to ‘oppress’ him; if you disagreed with him, he would declare himself ‘oppressed’.

ZOMG, thought I, Robespierre was a Tumblerite several centuries early, why didn‘t I see it before! (Meanwhile, Camille Desmoulins strikes me as more of a facebook shitstorm kind of guy, while Danton would fire off tweets.)

Another Hilary Mantel quote, this one with some wry self directed irony, which, alas, I haven’t seen in her Tudor pronouncements: Howarth’s piece on Robespierre in drama has little to say about Stanislawa Przybyszewska, on whose work Wajda based his Danton script. She was the maddest of all female Robespierrists (and in this matter I yield to few‪)‬.

Anyway, read the essay. It makes me wish Mantel would publish essays on many more historical figures. I mean, I‘d probably disagree with her more often than not, but I‘d love to read those pieces of prose.

On a note both joyful and wistful, the BBC put up a brief excerpt from this year‘s Doctor Who Christmas Special here. Expectedly funny and unexpectedly poignant (when Mark Gattiss‘ character asks „One?“ - you‘ll understand it when you hear it in context). On the one hand, I can‘t wait, on the other, it will be the last time (at least for a good long while, if not forever, given there‘s always the possibility of anniversaries and Big Finish) that I‘ll get the chance to see Capaldi‘s version of the Doctor in action. Much as I look forward to Jodi Whittacker, I‘m going to miss him dreadfully.

This entry was originally posted at Comment there or here, as you wish.

current mood: energetic

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Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
3:53 pm - Alias Grace (TV Review)
aka the tv miniseries based on Margaret Atwood's novel of the same name. I have read said novel, but was many years ago. While I remembered roughly the plot, the characterisations and a few lines that stuck into my memory, many of the details had faded, and thus I didn't do a constant compare and contrast when watching. (Later, I checked, and the tv version is indeed very faithful to the book, minus the cutting and trimming of some subplots.)

Alias Grace could be described as many things: a historical series, a true crime series, an elegant variation of the unreliable narrator principle, a meditation on storytelling and gender - and much more. Margaret Atwood based her novel on the historical figure of Grace Marks, who arrived in Canada from Ireland when she was 12, and got convicted of the murder of her employer, Thomas Kinnear, and suspected of murder of his pregnant housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery, at age 15. I mention this above spoiler cut because it's brought up right at the start of both novel and tv show; their story begins about 15 years later, when the imprisoned Grace is also working as a servant in the home of the governor of the penitentiary she's serving time at, and starts to get visits by Dr. Simon Jordan, an alienist (= early version of therapist), who was hired to find out whether she is a "hysteric" rather than a criminal, and what lies behind her claim not to remember the murders.

Sarah Gadon plays Grace, Sarah Polley wrote the adaption, and Mary Harron directed all episodes. All of them deliver superb work. Yes, Sarah Gadon in the flashbacks doesn't look like a 12 or 15 years old girl, but you easily forgive that because she's so very, very good as Grace. Who, as a much later appearing character once observes, is Sherezade, telling stories for her life; what in these stories is true or false depends not just on the beholder and whom she's telling the stories to but how they are framed through the circumstances of Grace's life. If you're easily triggered, Grace goes through a lot of abuse, but it's never filmed exploitatively. At the same time, she's in the present day time frame always in control of herself and her stories, no matter how dire her situation, and that's breathtaking to watch. All the supporting players are excellent as well, up to and including Paul Gross (yes, that one) and Anna Paquin as the two murder victims in waiting. Given how much tv and film in the past and present is about male anger, it's worth pointing out this particular story is about female anger, and not in an easily solved way. And it's an enigma tale. DS9 joke at the end: Garak would approve.

This entry was originally posted at Comment there or here, as you wish.

current mood: impressed

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Monday, November 13th, 2017
4:14 pm - Star Trek: Discovery 1.09
Autumn finale, i.e. half of the season finale. All in all, I not only enjoyed this first half but will tune eagerly for the second one, so basically: mission achieved, team.

Read more... )

This entry was originally posted at Comment there or here, as you wish.

current mood: okay

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Monday, November 6th, 2017
7:14 pm - Star Trek: Discovery 1.08
Hard to judge, since it's evidently the first part of a two parter, and a lot of set up without pay off (yet), but here we go:

Spoilers wonder whether the scriptwriter likes the Organian Peace Treaty )

This entry was originally posted at Comment there or here, as you wish.

current mood: okay

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Sunday, November 5th, 2017
1:31 pm - even a man who is pure at heart...
Browsing through Curt Siodmak's memoirs again, I was reminded again of how so many things are a matter of perspective. Siodmak - scriptwriter of many a sci fi and horror movie in the 40s, started out writing (both scripts and novels) in the last years of the Weimar Republic, i.e.those very years which in the English speaking world's imagination are firmly coded as sexually liberated (or decadent, depending on who is doing the telling, but at any rate, if Brits and Americans refer to Weimar era Germany, you can bet they envision sex and drugs somewhere). Meanwhile, young Curt Siodmak, making it to the US in 1937 after wisely getting out of Germany post Goebbels' speech to the film worldi in March of 1933, and a few years in France and Britain, comes to just the opposite conclusion - he thought it - i.e. the US of A - was the country of sexual liberation, so unlike sexually repressed Germany (and he means Weimar era Germany, not the Third Reich) and even more repressed Britain. Now this might have something to do with just where Curt S. scored, but even so, I was amused.

Being a genre man through and through, he has a nice hang-up free attitude towards the fact he'll probably best known for The Wolf Man (and inventing a lot of modern day pop culture werewolf folklore, complete with doggerel), but he can be snobbish in other regards; David O. Selznick is never mentioned, for example, without the adjectives "ill-educated". And the descriptions of the first visits to post war Germany in the 50s are (deservedly) scathing, because of course he runs into denialists and "did something happen?" attitudes all around. One of these encounters includes the most effective verbal slap I've ever read administered, when he runs into Gustav Ucicky, whom he knew from ye olde UFA days, and who had then gone on to become one of the Third Reich's leading film directors. Seeing Siodmak again, he asks: "Mensch, Kurt, wo biste gewesen?" "Hey, Curt, long time no see" would be the closest English equivalent for what is the kind of informal greeting you give when you haven't seen each other in a good while but have parted on good terms - the literaral translation, however, is "where have you been?" To which Siodmak replies: "Not in your ovens", and leaves.

(A few decades later Siodmak got and accepted the Bundesverdienstkreuz; in the memoirs he said that three decades of Germany confronting its past (since said memoirs were written in the early 1990s, I'm assuming he means the time between the mid 60s and the present, which is a fair assessment) seemed supportworthy.)

I can't imagine what he'd say to the situation on both sides of the Atlantic right now. Or wait, I can. *cringes* (He died in 2000, at 98 years of age, in his sleep, which.) On that note:

Something New In the West : in which two writers from Die Zeit ponder not just German-US but general Europe-US relationships in the age of not just the Orange Menace:

Today Atlanticists have to deal with the paradox that the attack on the foundations of the liberal international world order founded by America comes from the White House. In the West Wing sits a nationalist and confessed enemy of multilateral politics, one who sympathizes with authoritarian leaders and undermines the EU by supporting Brexit.

The fact that the constants and principles of German foreign policy -- European integration, multilateralism, engagement in the name of human rights and the rule of law, rule-based globalization -- are questioned by the American government constitutes an enormous intellectual and strategic challenge. In the future, Europe now, out of necessity, has to do this by itself without the aid of the U.S., or perhaps even against the U.S. government.

And lastly, on to something to be fannish about.

Black Sails:

Fabulous essay about Black Sails by one Natasha Simonova, University of Oxford, posted by the British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies. Spoilers for all four seasons.

This entry was originally posted at Comment there or here, as you wish.

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Thursday, November 2nd, 2017
8:24 am
Star Trek: Discovery:

Spoilery only for broadcast episodes and theorizing (not knowing) about possible future developments: not to make this entirely about showing off my new self made Discovery icon, regarding a certain theory involving the Klingon character Voq, check out this visual comparison. As I said before, if the theory is correct it would at last provide some justification for the new Klingon look.

It is, alas, real life, not fantasy:

How to follow the Mueller probe (if your only knowledge of US justice comes from tv: I have to say, this is both funny and very useful for those of us across the Atlantic who really do on tv shows and movies for said knowledge. (Am especially gratified that Better Call Saul gets quoted. Mind you, Vince Gilligan and friends would never write a character as grotesque and unrealistic as the Orange Menace.)

In conclusion, I have to use a German joke at least once: Alles Müller oder was?

This entry was originally posted at Comment there or here, as you wish.

current mood: good

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Wednesday, November 1st, 2017
10:54 am - Thor: Ragnarök (Film Review)
Though not much of one. I mean, I was entertained and amused, but all in all, like the first Guardian of the Galaxy movie (still haven't watched the second one), it was too jokey for me. And it took me a while to get beyond the first scene where Thor seems to have exchanged vocabulary with Tony Stark (they tone it down afterwards) (and even had a non-verbal joke stolen from Iron Man 3). Even taking into account he's spent a lot of time on Earth by now, that felt inconsistent.

(Otoh, it was consistent with general Marvel use of mythology that this movie's villain, Hella - because apparantly "Hel" won't do? - had as much in common with the Norse goddess Hel as Loki, Odin and Thor have with their namesakes, which is to say, not much, and she's got a completley different perdigree, too. Otoh, Cate Blanchett who plays her wasn't, like poor Christopher Eccleston in the last Thor movie, buried beneath prosthetics and make-up and got to do slinky villainy, so that was fun.)

Still: as I said, I was entertained. It was as advertised, colourful, funny, the whole Asgard family soap got to a satisfying (to me) conclusion, and for all my nitpicking about mythology, this is the first movie (if you ignore Thor's arrival in Avengers with a bolt of lightning) which actually puts Thor's mythic powers to good use. And for all that the use of both Hulk and Bruce Banner generally goes with the comic tone of the movie, I thought it got across something spoilery well )

Of the new characters, Valkyrie (I'm told she's not just any Valkyrie but Brunnhild? Who again hasn't got much in common with the mythological one other than having exiled herself and having issues) was fab, Jeff Goldblum had a blast as the Grand Master, and Hella's temporary sidekick Scourge even got a mini character arc of his own. (Which was more than Hella got who was simply there to provide menace, but hey.) And if Thor: The Dark World actually managed to sell me on Thor and Loki as siblings who grew up together and had mutually conflicted feelings (as opposed to just Loki hating Thor and Thor loving Loki, which was the impression the first Thor movie and Avengers left me with), Thor: Ragnarök at last made me fond of that particular sibling relationship. It helps that no one pretends Loki is actually competent at evil overlording, though. Not because of his hidden inner goodness, but because his speciality is messing things up, not building and ruling. Spoilers for Thor II and III here. ) The first Thor movie had both Thor and Loki start out as emotional teenagers, and Thor then subsequently grew up which Loki did not, but this latest movie, for all its determined comedy, provided the hope he just might now.

(Another thing that helps: is spoilery. ))

Alas, though, aside from the family soap opera, no other relationships of Thors are treated seriously. I mean, this is a movie in which spoilery things happen ) It's as if there was some editorial fiat that there must be absolutely no brooding in this movie and it should not be anything but funny, presumably as a counterpoint to Civil War? Which leaves me seeing the movie as the Chinese fortune cookie of Marvel movies: it's fun to consume, but there really isn't much inside.


- it fits inter Avengers relationships that Thor refers to "Stark" while Bruce refers to him as "Tony" (and apparantly noticed the tight fit of his trousers)

- yeah, okay, I'm still in stitches about the statue and the play

- if anyone is mourning Thor's long hair because of the trailer, he doesn't lose it until ca. 20 or even 30 minutes into the movie

- if this takes place two years after Age of Ultron, and the Steven Strange movie starts simultanously with the end of Civil War (since one of the cases Stephen Strange declines at the start is Rhodey's), how come Strange in his cameo here is already all routine about his powers?

This entry was originally posted at Comment there or here, as you wish.

current mood: amused

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Tuesday, October 31st, 2017
6:45 pm - 'Tis the day
Never mind Halloween, the big occasion today in Germany is that it's the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which events throughout the past decade and epecially the last year have been leading up to. (See also: the Luther eggs at Easter Wells, shared in this very journal.) Now I'm not of the Lutheran faith, but as a historically interested person, I'm duly impressed, of course. This article I thought does a good job of portraying both the good and the bad of Martin Luther, quondam Augustinian friar in Wittenberg. And there was both good and bad in excess. Incidentally, back when Hilary Mantel both in her Cromwell novels and in non-fiction articles went on about Thomas More's scatological extravaganzas in his anti-Luther writings, I thought: Yeah, but did you read Luther's writings? Nobody, but nobody tops Martin L. when it comes coming up with literally shitty similes for his opponents. This may be amusing when he's writing about being depressed (the article I linked includes a particularly drastic and genuinely funny description of Luther's of how that feels like to him), entertaining when he's writing about people he'll never meet and who are above him in power (read: Popes and Henry VIII.), starts to to get disturbing when he's having a go at poor old Erasmus of Rotterdam for being the lone guy in that era who tries the "look, everyone has some good points in this argument!" line, and becomes incredibly unsettling and revolting when he's punching down and attacking people whom his verbal hatred truly damages (mainly the Jews, since Luther was incredibly antisemitic even for his time, but you can also list the peasants from the peasant's revolt in this category).

This, btw, is why fictional depictions tend to stay the hell away from older Luther and focus on younger Luther in rebel-against-Rome mode. Though there are exceptions.)

(I haven't yet encountered a fictional Luther in any medium entirely convincing me. Though I loved the monologue Christine Brückner wrote for his wife, Katharina, "Are you sure, Martinus?" in her collection of female monologues (translated into English by Eleanor Bron, btw).

On a less historical and more Halloween note, read some Stranger Things ficlets, all spoilery for the second season and hence hidden beneath a spoiler cut: )

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current mood: devious

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7:24 am - Star Trek: Discovery 1.07
Speaking of unexpected nostalgia: It's a timeloop episode!

Spoilers do the timewarp again )

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current mood: contemplative

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Monday, October 30th, 2017
1:36 pm - Stranger Things (Season 2)
I had a really crowded week, being on the move all the time, but I did find the chance to watch the nine episodes of Stranger Things, season 2. Which was that rarity, a highly enjoyable sophomore season that didn't feel like a paler retreat of the original or an abandonment of all that had made the first season endearing.

Spoilers don't recall being that fond of the 80s while living through them )

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current mood: impressed

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Tuesday, October 24th, 2017
4:28 pm - Meanwhile...
Doctor Who:

Casting news: Cut just in case it's considered spoilery. )

Harper Lee: when you're a dead writer of note, your letters will be published sooner or later. These sound as if they contain some gems, including this reaction to Obama's inauguration:

In one letter, dated 20 January 2009 – the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration – Lee wrote to Itzkoff: “On this Inauguration Day I count my blessings … I’m also thinking of another friend, Greg Peck, who was a good friend of LBJ. Greg said to him: ‘Do you suppose we will live to see a black president?’ LBJ said: ‘No, but I wish her well.’”

Well, what do you know: LBJ, female black president predictor? Am trying not to be depressed at the thought of what Harper Lee and Gregory Peck would say to the current occupant of the White House. Otoh, Lyndon Johnson (at full power, unhindered by depression) - let loose on the Orange Menace could have been quite something, because Johnson could out vulgar anyone any time, was excellent at destroying people in his way and above all could whip the Senate into shape. Also, [personal profile] muccamukk, Gregory Peck fan extraordinaire, did you know he was buddies with LBJ?

Meanwhile, in depressing reality:

Leaked White House Memo detailes more war on women's health

Because general war on women isn't enough, it seems the Orange One has picked a fight with a soldier's widow and a Congresswoman both last week. You know, I don't get (much of) the US re: soldiers. In no other country I can think of is there such a cult like reverence for "our boys" in everyone's (independent of party) rethoric and such a lack of care for veterans with ill health (unless, of course, they're politically useful generals) and families of dead soldiers in reality. Anyway, good article on the subject of the widow in question: Myeshia Johnson stands up to Donald Trump.

Lastly, the Mary Sue has an article looking back on The Stepford Wives. (The film based on Ira Levin's novel.) I think what gives it - and the trope it coined - its enduring power is that the disturbing answer it provides do the "what do men really want from women"? question is today still all too plausible. No, of course not all men. Etc. But enough.

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current mood: busy

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Monday, October 23rd, 2017
1:06 pm - Star Trek: Discovery 1.05 and 1.06
1.05: In which the first TOS character other than Sarek shows up, the spotlight of the episode is shared by Saru and Lorca, and we finally get on screen canon m/m which is not limited to a few silent seconds.

Read more... )

1.06: In which it's time for another round of everyone's favourite dysfunctional Vulcan family saga. Luckily for me, since I eat this stuff up with a spoon.

Read more... )

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current mood: calm

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Tuesday, October 10th, 2017
7:24 am - Star Trek: Discovery 1.04
In which Spock would be proud of Michael Burnham, while all previous Security Chiefs of Starfleet facepalm.

Read more... )

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current mood: contemplative

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