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Monday, December 31, 2007

 
[#] [3]
since i'm not actually posting much, let me show you what dang got for christmas. it makes me even more grateful for my own gifts, even the bavarian-girl-holding-a-giant-pretzel ringbox. also, note his spanky new wordpress blog!

also, i picked up a wireless mouse to use with the laptop: i hate adding clutter like that, especially since i don't really have desk to use it on. but the trackpad has done damage to the nerve endings in my index finger, making it burn even when i'm not using the trackpad. i switched fingers at that point, but once i noticed the same symptoms developing in my middle finger, i bought a mouse. i hope it helps, but at this point i'd be happy if it didn't hurt.

Monday, December 10, 2007

 
[#] [1]
(sven, don't read this yet! nor should anyone who doesn't want to see spoilers for the golden compass.)

i was compelled to see the golden compass after reading the "his dark materials" series, but i sort of wasn't looking forward to it. i LOVE the book and was too afraid they'd mess up the movie in a hundred different ways: a dull and lifeless lyra, dumb special effects, insipid daemons, appalling additions, inappropriate humour, horrible gender dynamics, terrible transitioning/adaptation, a soulless story, mitochlorians, etc. the film transition of narnia didn't leave me much to hope for.

so i was very relieved when the credits began at the end: i felt like i had been holding my breath waiting for it all to go wrong, and it hadn't. oh, sure, the very end deserves an eye roll with its metaphorical sunrise and "just try to let them stop us" music swelling, and right at the beginning there was a nagging continuity issue (why doesn't anyone notice the shattered glass & wine on the floor?), but my issues are pretty minor and generally i thought it was well done.

i was most grateful that i had some genuine emotional reactions in the film: feeling fear, sorrow, pain as the characters did. and though i have reason to suspect they may have been primarily layered with how i felt at those moments in the book, the movie didn't ruin them for me like a lesser film would have. iorick byrnison's story was heartfelt. the witches aren't well explained, but i liked them anyway: mysterious & fierce. the daemons look good and interact with each other and the world. while the characters don't seem to be as morally complex as they are in the books, i'm pleased that they are still allowed some room to wiggle past "good" or "evil."

there were only two thing that really stood out as ways the movie adaptation wasn't as successful as i would have wanted:

1. i was mad when i realized that if a character was speaking a different language, he would be killed. foreigners were perfectly fine to use as the faceless bad guys: siberian or nomadic tribes who have been hired by the magisterium to guard the experimental station or capture lord asriel. killing them so casually is especially egregious because the proper white british people who are actually doing the horrible experiments simply get to run around the station as things explode around them, but you never see them harmed, much less killed.

2. i was disappointed with how they handled finding billy: they didn't give the characters enough time to discover or process the fact that he no longer had a daemon and how horrifying that was for him, for everyone. the whole beginning of the movie is a big blur but since this is the central conceit, they really needed to take 30 more seconds here and let the realization sink in. i really want to rewrite that scene: it had the potential to be so much more powerful than it was.

still, i'm happier with this movie than i was w/ stardust, lord of the rings or new star wars trilogy. yay! alas, the movie wasn't very full at all. perhaps the catholic boycott is working? i see a lot of similarities between the way the magisterium is being portrayed and harry potter's ministry of magic, and yet there's far more outcry about the golden compass. michaelmas said he enjoyed it but won't go see it again, so i may have to take sven to it and give it some more money.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

 
[#] [0]
two snows before christmas is really something! time to break out an even scarier solstice. in addition to an advent chocolate every other day, i am receiving carefully crafted & mysteriously personal fortune cookie slips...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

 
[#] [0]
first off: snow! whatever plans i had for the day were immediately canceled. i think this is the earliest i've ever seen snow in portland, but it has been trying to sleet all week. to celebrate the first day of december, we broke out the "scary solstice" cds and i got a rosewater caramel in my advent calendar from alma. we also picked up a box of candy canes tonight. it's going to be a good holiday. :)