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Open Thread: Distorted Reflection


Picture taken November 5th 2019 from the Portland side of the Casco Bay Bridge.

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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!

Film Corner: Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5

KISSMATE: Today we're continuing the Resident Evil film series! Written and directed by Paul W S Anderson, we're watching "Resident Evil: Retribution" (2012). The last one was fun with cheesy writing, so I'm hoping for something similar. Just a nice popcorn flick. Don't forget this is a double team with Ana Mardoll!

I did notice something interesting last movie. Wesker said he needed Alice's blood to become stable with the T Virus. After she was stabbed in the fight, she stabbed him with the same knife. Meaning she stabbed her blood into his brain. I'm hoping he comes back!

Open Thread: October Leaf


Picture taken yesterday, for the specific purpose of being used, that day, in this open thread, which was already a week and two days late at that time.  (Sorry about that.)

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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!
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While you are free to discuss movies in this thread, provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu), we sometimes have special open threads set aside for discussing a specific movie, with the discussion including plain text spoilers.  This is for when discussion of the movie in question is expected to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.

At the moment, however, no such threads are open.  If you feel that a given movie calls for the creation of such a thread, please ping me (chris the cynic, not Ana Mardoll) in the comments, otherwise, please use this thread for movie discussion.

Film Corner: Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4

KISSMATE: After a week-long bout of stomach bugs and stressful IRL stuff, we continue our series of Resident Evil movies! Apologies for the delay. Today's little ditty is RE: Afterlife (2010) directed and written by Paul WS Anderson himself! At this point, Paul WS Anderson has married Milla Jojovich, the main actress playing Alice. I've heard the writing reflects this in some way. What way is that, I don't know, but we're gonna find out! Don't forget this is a joint effort between me and Ana Mardoll, so follow both, please!

After some artistic bullshit thrown in our faces that is supposed to represent the virus spreading through Japan and World, Alice explains stuff we knew from the previous movies. Then we see Snipers getting taken out by mysterious forces. I call Alice Clone Army. Ok, the 3D models in the other movies were cool because it gave us reference of space. This one almost made me puke because the camera was left of the roller coaster setting.

Film Corner: Resident Evil 3

Resident Evil 3

KISSMATE: Hello, my dear followers! Today is the third movie of the Resident Evil series, Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) dir. by Russel Malcuhy. So far each movie has had a different director. It showed last movie. Let's see if it's better here!

We see Alice waking up in the shower again, per first movie. Like, shot for shot, scene for scene. Did we put in the first movie by accident? No, because none of the Hive deaths were shown... She opens a door and now is in the Queen Laser Chamber! The lasers attack, but she escapes through the vents. Now she's in the empty hospital. She runs through the hallway pushing a gurney (to break the glass?) when a trap guillotine falls and breaks the bed!

October Newsletter (2020)

It is officially October and I am officially late on my newsletter! But October has been so wild and on top of everything else I've been dealing with really bad allergies and some kind of stress-tension migraine? I know that's not exactly novel right now because we're all stressed. I hope everyone is well and able to rest, breathe, take medications, and so on.

In writing news, having this new project figured out has lit a fire under my butt and I am so happy to be writing again. I posted 4 stories (I think? I'm pretty sure!) last month to my Patreon and I have 2 more already scheduled for this month. I'm working on a 7th story right now. I love fairy tales so much and it's so much fun to be playing around with them. I get to keep all the weird and gory and nonsensical bits without having to update everything to "make sense", which I would absolutely be making myself do if this were one of my usual re-tellings. It's just nice being allowed to indulge in something absurd for a change.

We also have more live-tweets of movies scheduled. I'm going to tell you this one in advance: The Circle is available on Amazon Prime and it is garbage, and Vivarium is available on Amazon Prime and it is amazing. It's my favorite kind of horror: no jump scares, very little violence, and sensible people who react in a "normal" way to an alien and very genuinely terrifying situation. That's all I'll say for now but I wanted to tell you before the live-watch goes up in case it stops being available after Halloween. (Trigger warning for self-harm: there's a very brief glimpse of a suicide in a bathtub near the end, though not of any of the main characters.)

Patreon News

All Patrons: Kissmate finishes out the Resident Evil series, and I watch The Circle.
$5+ Patrons: Queer fairy tales!

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

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That's really all I have right now! I love you all and I hope you're staying safe.

Open Thread: Green and Purple


Picture taken on September 9th.  Sorry for the lack of open thread last week.

I wasn't expecting today's description to be word for word identical to the one from two weeks ago.  So it goes, I guess.

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While you are free to discuss movies in this thread, provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu), we sometimes have special open threads set aside for discussing a specific movie, with the discussion including plain text spoilers.  This is for when discussion of the movie in question is expected to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.

At the moment, however, no such threads are open.  If you feel that a given movie calls for the creation of such a thread, please ping me (chris the cynic, not Ana Mardoll) in the comments, otherwise, please use this thread for movie discussion.
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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!

Film Corner: Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2

KISSMATE: Another day of Resident Evil movie series! Today is Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) dir. by Alexander Witt. With hopes high and expectations low, let's blow this casket open!

The naming schemes for the titles are garbage. The only way I know for sure that RE: Apocalypse is next is because I looked up the years. The words after the main title either need to explain the chronological system, or just add a number after the main title. I'm looking at Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies as I say this, though not proudly. Good movies suffer this too. Still, it's difficult to bring newcomers into these series if you can't even keep the order labeled and obvious.

Utena: Outside The Birdcage

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Child Death]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 39: "Someday, Together, We'll Shine"

We don't even get an opening song, just a repeat of Anthy stabbing Utena as Akio waits. Anthy whispers that Utena reminds her so much of Dios when she loved him. [Kissmate: "Oh, the merry-go-round. This happens again and again, in a cycle."] She says Utena can never be her prince, because she's just a girl. (Female or child? She leaves that ambiguous.) She peels Utena's sword from her hand and Akio walks up as children laugh.

Saionji is about to take off his rose crest when Touga stops him, saying she's entered the arena representing the duelists. Nanami, god bless her, is grilling kabobs and idly mentions she's already taken hers off. Juri tells a story about how her sister nearly drowned as a child. An adult rescued her, but a boy who jumped in to save her was washed away. He did a heroic act, but is forgotten instead of celebrated and successful; he wanted to be a hero, a prince, but the danger was real and not a fairytale, and he wasn't ready. [Kissmate notes the biggest danger in drowning cases is that the victim will try to climb the rescuer and they can both sink; Anthy is taking Utena down with her.]

Utena: Crumbling Castle

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Stalking, Self-Harm]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 38: "End of the World"

Zettai unmei!! We get one more! Utena opens the rose gate and, at the end of the song, takes Anthy's hand. A walkway appears and we see a decorative orb materialize upon which sits Prince Dios. Akio walks out and confirms he's the End of the World but says he's also her prince and the reason she came here. [Kissmate: "Ha! He's wrong and this 'memory' isn't right. He still doesn't have her figured out. She didn't come here for him. She came here for Anthy."]

Utena demands to know what he's doing with the school and making everyone duel. Akio says all he dreams about is the castle where a prince and princess will live happily ever after, forever and ever. He takes Utena's hand and says he's the prince and she's the princess. At this, Anthy collapses like a ragdoll, and disappears only to reappear at the base of the stairs at Dios' feet. Akio say she's done well not to lose her noble heart, and pulls a sword from her chest and transforms her into a pink Rose Bride dress. [Kissmate: "Wait! Usually the Rose Bride pulls it out of the duelist these days, but he's going back to season one where the duelist pulls it out of the rose bride!"]

Film Corner: Resident Evil 1

Resident Evil 1

KISSMATE: We're starting a brave and bold new project, my dear followers. Ana Mardoll and myself shall be dual-livetweeting a special series of movies. Resident Evil. All Six of them. Grab your sunglasses and cheesy lines, we're going in loaded! A bit of background: I know the games pretty well and know the main actress, Mila Jovovich, was married to Paul Anderson at the time. I haven't heard good reviews on this series (esp from the fans) so I know I'm going into a shark tank without a cage. Let's dive!

Already, the movie starts out like the video games (the newest ones especially). Text that floats across a technological background and talks about Umbrella Corp. and Raccoon City. Not too bad so far! So Umbrella is Amazon. It's everywhere and is almost all powerful. We see someone take a gun full of green science away, while breaking a blue science behind him. This causes a building full of scientists and office workers to be locked down inside. Panic ensues.

Utena: Every Girl a Princess...or Witch

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Stalking, Self-Harm]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 37: "The One Who Brings The World Revolution"

We open with Utena looking at Anthy in the morning sunlight. Slowly, she takes her ring off and lets it drop. At breakfast, Akio notices that Utena's ring is gone. Utena asks him if he can meet with her after school. She seems chipper than usual.

At the council balcony, Saionji and Touga are on a bicycle together like they were as children. They've received farewell letters from the End of the World. Touga points out that Utena doesn't want to revolutionize the world and Saionji asks if that means Dios' power will remain sealed and the revolution won't happen.

Utena: Every Boy a Prince

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Stalking]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 36: "And Thus Opens The Doorway Of Night "

We recap the Saionji and Touga conversation from last time and how they're all trapped in their coffins. I'm a little sad that Touga didn't tie this back into the baby bird's shell (that it dies in if it doesn't break) but here we are.

Utena and Akio are out riding again. Kissmate notes the body language: Utena is riding side-saddle in Akio's arms, sheltered like a princess but huddled in on herself. She looks smaller and more helpless. He's boxing her in. He says she looks like a princess and pulls her in for a kiss; this time she doesn't resist him the way she did before.

Juri and Miki watch Utena walking across campus and note how she looks like a girl now, the way she walks: small, hesitant steps instead of her usual confident stride. Miki asks if this is a good thing, and Juri asks if he really believes that. She thinks the school is changing and the day of revolution coming, but wonders why she has a vague awful feeling.

Open Thread: Some Birds and Reflections


Picture taken on September 9th.

Sorry for the lack of open thread last week.

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We sometimes have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  That said, we do not currently have any.  You do not need such a thread to discuss a movie.  Provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu) discussion of movies is quite welcome in the regular open threads.

The special threads are for cases where movie-talk might threaten to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.  If you believe a given movie calls for one, simply say so.  Be aware, however, that I'm not remotely on top of things right now, it's probably best if you @ me (chris the cynic, not Ana) to get my attention.

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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!

Utena: Eternal Suffering

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Stalking]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 35: "The Love That Blossomed In Wintertime"

We open with the "once upon a time" spiel, but updated to reflect what we learned in the last episode. Then we're back in Akio's car while he and Touga talk strategy. Akio says the next match will determine who brings revolution to the world.

Utena watches Anthy in the rose garden as we get the sense that memories are starting to trickle back. [Kissmate: "She's holding water--her emotions--and they're suddenly so heavy she has to set them down."] Anthy asks her if she's been dreaming and Utena says she feels like she promised someone something very important. She asks Anthy to let her see her face and almost seems to recognize her until Akio interrupts them to take her for a walk. He asks Anthy if he can steal Utena from her. Anthy smiles and agrees, but her face falls when they leave.

Film Corner: Lady in the Water

Lady in the Water

Kissmate wants me to watch Lady In The Water, which I have avoided because I thought it was a horror movie about drowning. Kissmate has assured me there is no drowning in this one. I'm trying to make heads or tails of this movie description. "A building manager rescues an enigmatic young woman and learns that she is a 'narf', a character from a bedtime story, who is trying to return to her world." WTF is a narf? I thought I was fluent in fairy tales, but this just makes me think of Pinky and the Brain.

I'm a little worried because I see where it very clearly says "M. Night Shyamalan" on the image thumbnail, and Kissmate is treating this like he's about to watch an entertaining trainwreck. I'm pressing 'play' warily. I am worried. We get little stick drawings, like with the rusalka movie. A gruff man tells us that people used to be linked to "those in the water". Mermaids? Rusalka? Shark-people?

Utena: Drama Club

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Stalking]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 34: "The Rose Crest"

Akio tells Anthy as she dresses that he discovered a comet but that he doesn't plan to tell anyone else about it. He won't even name it. [Kissmate: "Didn't he promise to name one after Kanae?"] He says the feeling of discovery is amazing, like he owns it, but that stars belong to no one. [Kissmate: "He's Lucifer, the morning star, so that means *he* belongs to no one and everyone."] Anthy tells him goodnight and he asks if she has to keep torturing him. [Kissmate: "We're only getting slices here because there's things we don't know."] Utena, in bed, promises herself again she's going to become a prince.

The Shadow Girls, in the flesh!, try to convince Utena to join the drama club, promising that all she has to do is show up and people will throw flowers at her. (What was it Akio said about Big Brothers and Princes? They're useless with nothing to do but people feel better when they look at them.) They leave behind a ticket for Utena to attend The Tale of the Rose. Wakaba tells Utena to mark the pictures she likes for the yearbook photos, and Utena points out that Anthy isn't in any of the pictures. Seeing the ticket, Wakaba asks when the school got a drama club.

Utena: Her Nervous Babble

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Stalking]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 33: "The Prince Who Runs Through The Night"

We start with the "once upon a time" starter but everything is different: the monologue occurs over the lights of what look like a carnival with a red ferris wheel. [Kissmate: "The wheel is red, infused with a white light: this is Utena's center of self. She's centered herself around the light of the prince."] Anthy stands in the tower center and looks up at the projected constellations. She's watching all the characters rather than being one herself?

Anthy picks up the phone and says she was looking at the projected stars, that she didn't want to see the real ones. We see Utena stretching while enthusing about how much fun she had at the fair, and how she wishes Anthy could've come with them. I'm unsettled by how we don't see Akio in this scene even though that's clearly who she's talking to. It's like he's not really there with her, and emotionally he isn't. He wanted to separate his sister from Utena because they were getting too close. When he couldn't beat her in the ring, he seduced her in an attempt to extinguish Anthy's love for her. He doesn't care about Utena herself, or the fair, or having fun; he's doing this to keep Anthy alone and dependent on him.

Film Corner: VelociPastor

VelociPastor

I am lying in bed resting my chest (which is still twitchy and I'm a little annoyed at myself for not healing faster, but Kissmate keeps saying Healing Isn't Linear and is threatening to cross-stitch it at me) so it's time for Amazon Prime!

Several folks have asked for this one by name: VelociPastor. "After losing his parents, a priest travels to China, where he inherits a mysterious ability that allows him to turn into a dinosaur. At first horrified by this new power, a prostitute convinces him to use it to fight crime."

I have many questions, like "do people normally call a priest a pastor?" because those are very different sects of Christianity in my experience, and also questions like "will he be 2 feet tall in dinosaur form?" Please let him be a tiny feral lizard-chicken. The movie opens with screen-text which informs us that it's "Rated X by an all-Christian jury". Kissmate is struggling to breathe.

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