Metapost: Index Pages

Welcome to Ramblings! Please check out the index pages, as they are the best way to navigate this site.

Film Corner: Jurassic Games

Jurassic Games

I need to get rid of all the emotions the Good Place finale gave me, so Kissmate says we can live-watch a really terrible movie on Amazon Prime tonight. Amazon Prime has served up "The Jurassic Games", which is... The Hunger Games and Jurassic Park. I believe it's the same genre of movies as Velocipastor. The trick will be seeing how far we get before we have to bail. "Every year, 10 of the world's most lethal death row criminals are chosen to compete for freedom in The Jurassic Games, a television show where contestants must survive against a variety of dinosaurs."

We open with a George Carlin quote that probably isn't really George Carlin but one never can be quite sure about these things without pausing, and the gist is that capital punishment should be more entertaining to the masses. We see a lot of future tech touch screens and I'm surprised to see that this is apparently trying to be a... real movie? Not an obvious silly parody, really?

A man on death row is invited to be part of the Jurassic Games, and we see a bunch of folks with VR headsets in a room. So the "games" are going to be in a virtual reality world, and it's presumably a Matrixy "the mind makes it real" situation? WHO KNOWS. NOT ME. There's a host in a sharp black suit and a black helmet that is BOTH a dinosaur AND a saber-tooth tiger somehow. Yes, he's explaining that the world is real for the contestants.

Film Corner: I, Frankenstein

I, Frankenstein

I haven't done a live-watch in forever for a lot of reasons, but tonight we've pulled up the Amazon Prime offerings and found that "I, FRANKENSTEIN" is available. Imagine my glee. "Two hundred years after his shocking creation, Dr. Frankenstein's creature, Adam, still walks the earth. But when he finds himself in the middle of a war over the fate of humanity, Adam discovers he holds the key that could destroy humankind." So, NOT the book.

Kissmate, beside me and very tired after a long Monday: "Did they make him hot? Why is he hot? Who is Aaron Eckhart? Why am I okay with them making him hot?" We get to re-use our favorite MST3K line during the opening credits: "Passed from studio to studio in a desperate attempt to save it."

The opening narration is kinda cool. "I was cast into being in 1795, a living corpse without a soul." That's a solid character introduction, I'll give them that. Adam gives us a quick rundown of that whole book thing. He says he's immune to cold, which I can't remember if that's canon or not.

Open Thread: Ice Needles

Pine needles shrouded in ice

Picture taken by Lonespark last week.  Sorry this is late again.

-

Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us here, so almost over, but you can still give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Open Thread: Streaked Stone

Streaked Stone

Picture taken by Lonespark in late November.

-

Friday Saturday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us here, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Open Thread: Twisted Vines

Two thick wooden vines on a tree, which twisted around each other in a double helix.

This picture was provided by Lonespark, who seems to have taken it last November.  Lonespark is also the one who reminded me to make an open thread this weekend.

-

Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so buy you can still give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Film Corner: The Hunt

The Hunt

Alright, here's the deal:

- I am still sick.
- My work computer is still sick.
- Kissmate has to work and can't spend the day cuddling me while I whimper because I'm a total baby when I'm sick.

SO YOU'RE GETTING ANOTHER BAD MOVIE WATCH. Today's movie is special because:

a) I've never seen it before.
b) I was hyped to see it when the trailers came out.
c) Then conservatives outrage-cancelled it.
d) Then it was released during the pandemic to critical yawns.
e) I found it in an Amazon clearance bin.

Yes, it's THE HUNT. Which looked like The Purge meets Hunger Games, but a bunch of conservatives threw an outrage fit because they didn't realize that "red state people are hunted by rich people" meant they were the protagonists. Like Katniss is, you know, the protag. (Though it was kinda funny to see conservatives admit they were more likely to be the rich assholes doing the hunting than the impoverished red staters being hunted.)

Narnia: Waiting For A Hero

[Narnia Content Note: Ableist Language]

Narnia Recap: Digory and Polly have returned home, but have accidentally brought Queen Jadis with them. She has ordered Uncle Andrew to procure means of transportation so she can begin her world conquest.

The Magician's Nephew, Chapter 7: What Happened at the Front Door

When we last left off, Uncle Andrew was trying to hit up his sister for money so that he could take Jadis out on the town. This was a highly awkward conversation to have because Andrew mismanaged all of Letty's money in the semi-distant past, which is possibly the most interesting detail in this novel so far to me and I'm sorry Lewis just passed right over it as adult and uninteresting. While Andrew and Letty were discussing all this, Jadis decided to enter the room.

   “NOW, SLAVE, HOW LONG AM I TO WAIT for my chariot?” thundered the Witch. Uncle Andrew cowered away from her. Now that she was really present, all the silly thoughts he had had while looking at himself in the glass were oozing out of him. But Aunt Letty at once got up from her knees and came over to the center of the room.
   “And who is this young person, Andrew, may I ask?” said Aunt Letty in icy tones.
   “Distinguished foreigner—v-very important p-person,” he stammered.
   “Rubbish!” said Aunt Letty, and then, turning to the Witch, “Get out of my house this moment, you shameless hussy, or I’ll send for the police.” She thought the Witch must be someone out of a circus and she did not approve of bare arms.

February Newsletter (2021)

I'm sorry the newsletter is late this week. Kissmate has been very ill for over a week now. What started as an upset stomach last Monday morning grew into him having to take a week off of work and culminated in us going to the Emergency Room on Sunday night. Which was very scary, of course.

[Medical Stuff] At the ER, they said his stomach lymph nodes are very swollen. They aren't sure why; the most likely cause is an infection, but it could be viral or bacterial. They gave him a covid test (negative!) and antibiotics, but they warned that the antibiotics may not do anything if the illness is viral. They were very nice and said to come back if he gets worse or doesn't improve, but American ER visits are very expensive, so we probably won't unless we absolutely have to.

[Medical Stuff] Worst of all, they can't give him any pain medications because apparently anything really serious about medicating pain will have a side-effect of constipation and they said that's the last thing you want when you have swollen lymph nodes in your digestive system. So all he can do is try to sleep through the pain. He's been miserable and of course I'm sick with worry. So I'm writing this in the dark while he sleeps next to me.

Prayers and thoughts are very welcome. I'm not used to taking care of sick people--I'm usually the sick one--so all this is very scary and I just want to make him all better. I wish I could, like, volunteer to be sick in his place.

Regarding posting: I have another queer Grimms retelling up on my Patreon! I hope you like it; I had a lot of fun writing it, though I had to edit a lot more heavily than some of the other pieces in order to keep a consistent flow. There are also three film live-watches that will be going up on Patreon this month, and I hope to get some more in; Kissmate likes watching silly-bad films while he's not feeling well. I love you all and I hope you're safe and well. Thank you for being here with me.

Links
@KissmateKittens: Here.
My Ramblings Deconstructions: Here.
My YouTube Let's Plays: Here.
My Favorite Tumblr Funnies: Here.

Open Thread: Purple, Green, and Off-White

A purple flower in front of out of focus green stems and leaves

Picture taken June 15th, 2018.

I'm trying to get back to having open threads every week; we'll see how that goes.

-

Friday Saturday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us here, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Film Corner: Dracula Untold

Dracula Untold

Ok, so here's the deal:

- My work computer is broken.
- Tech support is massaging it with healing oils or something.
- I have to "stand by" to reboot it when they ask but otherwise stay out of their way.

So you're getting an #AnaWatches. This *particular* live-watch is very dear to me because it's of a movie I was very excited to see and then spent the entire film shrieking "I'M SORRY WHAT" at the screen in increasingly louder volumes, and it's dedicated to @liminalfruitbat because you always hurt the ones you love, etc.

What is this movie, tantalizingly teased? DRACULA UNTOLD: "the origin story of the man who became Dracula." I want to stress before we start that I have very low standards for Dracula movies. I like the Keanu Reeves one. I like Dracula 2000, which involves a plane crash and Mardi Gras. I like Van Helsing, because I am hopelessly gay. Et cetera. I am not hard to please.

Open Thread: Weathered Hood Ornament

Weathered Hood Ornament

Picture taken June 8th, 2017, in a parking lot in South Portland, Maine.  In addition to the stylish hood ornament, there were also fuzzy dice hanging from the car's rearview mirror.

-

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Narnia: Those Who Take and Never Give

[Narnia Content Note: Misogyny]

Narnia Recap: Digory and Polly have returned home, but have accidentally brought Queen Jadis with them. She has ordered Uncle Andrew to procure means of transportation so she can begin her world conquest.

The Magician's Nephew, Chapter 6: The Beginning of Uncle Andrew's Troubles

(I'm back? Not sure what to say about that! Hi! The new Blogger interface is awful!)

   The old man went out, looking like a dog with its tail between its legs.
   The children were now afraid that Jadis would have something to say to them about what had happened in the wood. As it turned out, however, she never mentioned it either then or afterward. I think (and Digory thinks too) that her mind was of a sort which cannot remember that quiet place at all, and however often you took her there and however long you left her there, she would still know nothing about it.

One of the reasons I wanted to do the Narnia series in publishing order rather than the in-universe "chronological" order is that it matters to me how the tone and style of Lewis' writing changed over time. We've gone from a relatively straightforward approach which was tinted with cozy elements (here thinking of the sewing machine in the Beavers' home) to the more dreamy style which I think Lewis preferred in his later writings and which I'm very much not a fan of, at least in his hands. I think this passage is a good example of this tonal shift: instead of Jadis having a logical reason for not confronting the children over their attempt to leave her in the Woods, Lewis postulates that she's just...forgotten about the place. Indeed, that she is entirely incapable of remembering it, no matter how long she is there.

I'm sure there's some religious parallel he's trying for here, but I will admit I don't understand it. The peaceful Woods both hurts and harms her (it seemed to be tortuously draining the life out of her!) yet she can't remember the place even enough to avoid returning to the torture? The two seem almost mutually exclusive; I can almost believe the Woods would be torture for Jadis, and can almost believe she can't remember being there, but trying to believe both at the same time throws an Out Of Cheese error in my brain.

Open Thread: Rhododendron

Rhododendron Engulfing a Chain Link Fence

Sorry it's been almost a month since the last open thread.  Picture taken June 8th 2017.

-

Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so almost over, but you can still give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

January Newsletter (2021)

Oh my gosh, it's a new year. I want to tentatively poke at it. 2020 was painful and spiky in a lot of ways and I really do hope that 2021 is gentler and more loving, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared. I woke up trembling like a newborn lamb and I haven't quite gotten my legs under me yet.

But! Regular posting will resume this month, both here and on my Patreon! I have an absolutely lovely Grimms fairy tell retelling (or perhaps I should say queertelling? no? I'll workshop it a little.) for my patrons, as well as two dreadfully awful movies that were painful to watch but which I hope resulted in pleasant live-watching material for you all.

I hope you're all well and safe as we step into the new year. Please don't feel you have to be bright and cheerful here if you aren't feeling it (this isn't the instagrams!) as this is a safe space for people who are scared out of their wits like me. All my love to you. ♡

Links
@KissmateKittens: Here.
My Ramblings Deconstructions: Here.
My YouTube Let's Plays: Here.
My Favorite Tumblr Funnies: Here.

Film Corner: Mermaid, Lake of the Dead

Mermaid, Lake of the Dead

Kissmate is sick and running a 103 degree temperature, so (a) thoughts are appreciated, (b) we might have to go to urgent care if Advil and water don't bring the fever down, and (c) he wants me to live tweet a terrible Amazon movie to take his mind off the probable flu he has. [Editor's Note: This was previously posted on Twitter; Kissmate is fine now.]

This one he picked out: it's called MERMAID LAKE OF THE DEAD. It's on Amazon Prime. "For years, she has lurked in the depths, waiting. Once a young woman sent to a tragic and watery grave, she has since become something unholy. Cursed to swim the waters in which she met her untimely death, the mermaid has risen once again."

A little girl is explaining that the Russian mermaid in the lake will drown you as soon as you express your love for her and I'm excitedly screaming because it's a rusalka??? The little girl says if you DON'T love her, she'll hound you to your grave and separate you from all your loved ones. There's an escape clause if you give the mermaid your most precious possession, but nobody has ever managed to be released before.

On a bridge, a girl approaches a boy who has creepy blood red eyes. He falls into the water and she whispers "no, take me!" Then she manages to pull him out. OH NO ETHEREAL SINGING AND WOOD CREAKING. The girl just got yanked into the water by magic and blue hands before a title dropped. That was legitimately terrifying?

Film Corner: Terminator Dark Fate

Terminator: Dark Fate

[Editor's Note: This was previously posted on Twitter in 2019.]

I wanted to see the new Terminator anyway because of Linda Hamilton but I'm seeing that some men are angry because Feminism is in it or something and that just makes me more excited.

T1 and T2 were good because of her and because Sarah Conner was the focus of the story. T3 lost its way by believing Arnold and John were the heroes. It'd be like removing Ripley from the ALIENS series. This just confirms my belief that all the guys who use Sarah Conner and Ellen Ripley as examples of "strong female characters" they don't hate *would*, in fact, hate them if their movies came out today.

Hell, one guy I saw complaining claimed there are "no political issues" in T1 and T2 and OH MY GOD. Nuclear war, capitalism, the tech and war industries bent on our communal destruction in search of profit, medical abuse, foster neglect, THE BAD GUY IS DRESSED AS A FUCKING COP, do I need to go on??

HOLY SHIT THE NEW TERMINATOR SAPPHIC LOVE BALLAD FEELS

HOLY FUCK HOLY SHIT HOLY FUCK

YES OMG OMG OMG YES THIS IS THE BEST MOVIE EVER

DIABETIC TERMINATOR GIRL?????

OH HOLY. FUCKING. OVARIES.

MY FEELINGS.

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

Oh god Sarah is powerful and sexy and strong and I just-

Oh my god that was the best movie I've ever seen, bar none.

The scene with Grace shoving Sarah against the wall was SEX.

I cannot deal with my own dang feels.

Ok, the only terminator movies that matter:
- Terminator
- Terminator 2
- Terminator: Dark Fate

(I personally liked Genisys for what it was, but I'm ok with it being non canon so Dark Fate can exist.)

I still find it hilarious that men were angry about the US military and cops being useless or outright evil in the movie, given that was their role in *checks notes* literally all the other Terminator movies too. "The OTHER Terminator movies didn't talk about illegal immigration!!" My dude, she goes entirely off-grid and moves to Mexico, did you think she left a passport paper-trail??

Can I just say as someone Older Than A Lot Of Folks, how valuable it was to me to see an older woman being powerful and ripped and sexy in a movie?? Linda Hamilton is 63 and Sarah Conner has my consent to do whatever the fuck she likes to me. And that's not noteworthy when it's various aging Hollywood men, and yet! I honestly can't remember the last time an action movie starred an older woman in this kind of role.

I seriously--and I am not joking here--feel like TERMINATOR DARK FATE should be shown in sex education classes to help the baby sapphics come out.

Film Corner: Frozen 2

Frozen 2

Well...Frozen 2 was a movie? [Spoilers] I'll say that I went into it wanting an explicitly ace and/or sapphic plot-line, was hyped for Elsa singing about the temptation of a siren, and had my hopes dashed in that regard. So if you're going for Give Elsa A Girlfriend / Make Elsa Ace, they...don't.

You could maybe read her as flirting with a girl in one scene, ish, but they don't do anything with it. And a "YOU'RE what you're looking for" plotline is nice in the context of 1,800 hetero-marriage Disney movies, but so many of us wanted Elsa to be queer. "Look, we made her independent and single!" would be fine for a new Disney movie, but when the vast majority of the queer community has claimed your character for their own, it's a bit of a slap in the ol' giblets.

You can definitely see how they were trying to address the cultural appropriation called out in Frozen 1, but I wonder at a deconstruction of colonialism in which the white people benefit the most and lose nothing. I would have preferred that white audiences grapple with the idea of losing some of our colonialist gains and life going on regardless despite a lessening of our generational wealth and power. But that's just my two cents; I'd rather boost POC voices on that topic. Not my own.

Oh! I will add that Elsa and Anna are now both queens with an indigenous parent, which feels significant given *waves at Disney Princess collection* but again this is NOT my lane to commentate on, being white myself.

What IS my lane is how super disappointed I am that Elsa wasn't made explicitly queer. And the fact that her "I want" song FELT like it was going in that direction was a kick in the chest when they refused to follow through. Anyway, it was a movie. The six dollars I paid for a ticket weren't wasted. Go see Terminator if you still can. I do expect her I Want song to be taken by all the sapphics. "I'm missing somebody, which makes no sense because everyone I love is here, shut up siren, I don't need you" like lol Disney this is ours now, fucking deal with it.

A moment that stuck with me from Frozen 2 is Elsa being embarrassed at the reminder of her sultry-walk, chest-wiggle in LET IT GO. And how that would've been funny were it not for the context of Disney's regret that all us Gays identified with that song. Like, it's clearly meant to be a moment of growing older and being a little embarrassed at your younger self, but the context of all their queer baiting and hostility is present and I'm still a little miffed. So I propose we all super-steal her I Want song in F2 ("Into The Unknown") and do the gayest shit we can think of while singing it.

This is good context:

@FemmedelaMer. I haven't seen the film, but my indigenous friend did because it was made with help from the Sami Parliament of Norway. Apparently the dam conflict is an explicit reference to this.

Film Corner: Event Horizon

Event Horizon

Oooh, EVENT HORIZON is on Amazon Prime. Will I finally be able to watch it without covering my eyes the entire time? "In 2047, a team of astronauts embark on a mission to retrieve a missing spaceship. However, their simple retrieval job leads to something far more terrifying than any of them would suspect." I wonder what it was like to have confidence that in 40 years time we'd have manned space mining and shit. Sorry, sorry, I'll focus on this lovely movie about hell in space.

Ooh, text scroll. "2015. First permanent colony established on the moon." Wow, so we only have -4 years to get on that, y'all OH MY GOD how is it 2019? "2032. Commercial mining begins on Mars." That doesn't have anything to do with anything, so I'm not sure why they bring it up. "2040. Deep-space research vessel Event Horizon launched to explore boundaries of solar system." I hope potatoes are involved.

Anyway, the ship disappears without a trace just past Neptune and is the worst space disaster on record. That seems really grand, actually, compared to how dangerous I assumed Mars mining would be. I had to pause and came back to a cat lying on the remote. Why do I have so many naughty cats. I ordered good cats.

Film Corner: Doom

 Doom

I want to know if the Netflix DOOM movie is as good as the campy original. "When a swarm of soul-stealing demons invades a Martian moon, a group of elite space Marines must obliterate the beasts to save earth." I forgot Mars has moons, so that's cool. The opening is very pretty and I'm disoriented because the first scientist we see looks like a scientist from the first movie. Did I put the wrong disc in, I wonder in a brief panic.

The gate between Phobos and Nevada is this ominous black onyx thing with glowing red demonic runes set in it and I really want to talk to the designers because WHY. I want a movie about the futuristic Steve Jobs figure who convinces everyone that space ships and teleporters and stuff should look as Satanic as possible for maximal aesthetic benefit. OH MY GOD, the teleporter creates terrifying writhing black goo that you have to step into, I think the goo might be SCREAMING, why would you design it this way????

Back |