Film Corner: The Sword

The Sword

Alright, my good bitches. I come bearing Amazon movies because it's been a long fucking day. THE SWORD. Nice, solid name for a minute. "In 730 AD, young Garron is given the task to defend his home as his father rides to war. That task proves to be difficult as the calamity strikes and the enemy closes in." Wait what? They didn't even capitalize The Calamity. What is it?

"Ever obedient, Garron must rely on his father's guidance and God's strength to overcome the odds--or risk death for all that he loves." I'm nervous now. Is this a Christian movie? Some of those are mind bogglingly bad. We have red Roman centurion costumes from a passion play. We have wheat fields from GLADIATOR. We have a sword being nonspecifically forged. We have a very specific filming technique that probably has a name but it's where the camera just holds perfectly still on a scene and doesn't move at all in any way.

We have his wife wearing glowing virginal white while she gardens, which I question the wisdom of. Roman Centurion Marcus has to go away for travel and says they can't complain and have been fortunate; his superiors are "getting apprehensive about our beliefs" KLAXON KLAXON WE HAVE CHRISTIAN MOVIE. This doesn't make sense; 730 AD was like 400 years after Constantine. Christians weren't being persecuted then!! I'm pretty sure!! Idk, I'm tired. I wish more movies involved religious beliefs without them being Christian or Christian Expy. They keep talking about God, so they're definitely monotheistic.

Film Corner: Let's Talk About Star Wars (Part 1)

[Rise of Skywalker spoilers herein. This post is from a twitter thread. Part 2, which is an original composition, will go up on my January Patreon.]

Today I go to see and probably hate the Star War. I don't like JJ Abrams and I feel like at this point I'm going out of an obligation to Carrie, so my hopes aren't super high. Things I want from the film:

- More Rose/Finn and Finn/Poe.

- Ace Rey and a continuation of her having parentage that doesn't matter; she's just a random force-sensitive. (Those occur!!) In place of Ace Rey, I will accept Rose/Finn/Rey with Finn having Poe as a romantic ace boyfriend, I am flexible.

- Jedi Finn.

- Kylo to die without redemption. If he *is* redeemed, then immediate death. By which I mean I would prefer Kylo not be redeemed at all, but if they do Because Darth Vader Was then I want him to only be redeemed in death (like Darth Vader was). I don't want him alive and happy at the end of this. (I do think there is a place in society for redemption narratives; I do not think a last minute redemption of Space Nazi Wizard is the time and place.)

I informed Girlfriend of these wants a few days ago and she gave me such a sincere look of pity that I wanted to give her a hug, so I'm not too hopeful.





Open Thread: Ice on dead leaves

Exactly what the title says.  Taken at my sister's farm, possibly on Christmas.


We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  This is currently the only one:
   ● Star Wars: Episode IX -- The Rise of Skywalker


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: The Babysitter

The Babysitter

Okay, I am sick as fuck and have the flu maybe so instead of working on edits, I'm going to attempt The Babysitter on Netflix.

"What class did you learn that in?"
"No one learns anything in class, Cole. That's why we have the internet."

Why are school bullies always portrayed as fat? Fat kids are overwhelmingly more likely to BE bullied. There's no reason other than fat stigma to signal instantly to the audience that this person is bad *because* they are fat. The head bully is also a black kid because OF COURSE a fat black kid is going to have more social power in a white school + white suburbia than his skinny, attractive, white male victim.

Look, the trailer was good so I'm hoping it gets better. Cole has been rescued by the most beautiful girl in the world. She is scarily affectionate. The trailer has teased that she will try to satanically murder Cole in a sorta cheesy Home Alone thriller. This pleases my flu-addled brain. I... really like Cole's mom. I was not expecting that. No, I actually love her.

Cole's adorable-and-age-appropriate girl friend warns him that his overly-affectionate hot babysitter probably has guys over while he sleeps. He determines to stay up and be sure for himself because the babysitter has creepily groomed him into a 'relationship'. To the movie's credit (I think? I've been burned before), it is presented as SUPER creepy and NOT OKAY how the older girl is grooming Cole. I know the movie is supposed to be cheese, but I really hope they do this right because I've been hammering on about how we don't take male victims seriously.

Mom and Dad leave for the weekend so now it's just Cole and Bee the Babysitter. Oh my god, this is like CRACKS but with a boy being creepily groomed instead of girls. (I like CRACKS but it's NOT a safe movie for everyone.) The babysitter girl even kinda looks like Netflix budget younger Eva Green. (She's very good in this role, whoever she is.) She tries to give Cole alcohol and Cole pours it in a potted plant instead YES MY GOOD SON YES.

God, I know some of this is going to play into the "hot girls are liars and you can't trust them" problematic trope, but I almost feel like this is an EXCELLENT picture of grooming and how to guard against it. Cole pretends to fall asleep and hears a bunch of people downstairs. He crawls out to investigate and my heart is in my throat.


Yeah, I have no idea how to live-tweet this movie and will probably have to stop tweeting because trying to WORD at it is very hard. Taken in a vacuum, it is surprisingly good so far at showing how vulnerable men can be groomed and abused. Which... we don't really have enough of, so... good? Taken in the surrounding cultural context, there's definitely shades of "hot women can't be trusted" which we have WAY TOO MUCH OF, so... less good?

But if they'd made the babysitter a boy, then we'd fall into Predatory Gay tropes. And if she was plain, we'd fall into Underage Grooming Of Boys Is Only Abusive If She's Not Hot tropes. So I have no idea how to rate this movie but I will definitely be watching it further. Thanks for sticking with my extremely short live-watch thread. Oh gosh, they even addressed that just because Bee is evil doesn't mean all or even most women are. It's like they KNEW the trope was lurking in the background.

Wow, okay, that was a wild ride, but I guess I liked it? I don't know. Note there is fat-shaming and racism in addition to the abuse grooming triggers.

Film Corner: Babes with Blades

Babes with Blades

Alright, I'm back and ready to rumble. Or watch movies. Today's movie is called BABES WITH BLADES. Not the most auspicious title, but I remind you that DUDES & DRAGONS was actually surprisingly good and self-aware. "Set on the planet Draiga, this steampunk action film features world-class female martial artists and follows Azura as she tries to save her dying race."

We're going into a flashback. 12 years ago, a girl (it's the martial artist we saw in WARRIORESS and that one movie with the pirates and gargoyles and zombies and dragon wizard!) was... captured? by bad guys? but then escaped and has lived on the streets of Draiga ever since. The problem with movies structured around "An actor who fights! Watch them fight!" is that you still need to put some effort into the other stuff: plot, camera work, dialogue, etc.

Open Thread: Cat

This is my cat, also what appears to be the distal knuckle of my right middle finger, but mostly my cat.

It was taken, about a week ago, from more or less where I'm presently sitting.  Interestingly (or not) she's about as close right now, but in the exact opposite direction (i.e. she's up, back, and to the left, where she appears to be taking a nap.)

...and she demonstrated she's awake just to prove me wrong.


We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  This is the only current one:
   ● Star Wars: Episode IX -- The Rise of Skywalker


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!

Movie Open Thread: Walking on the Sky, and still going up (Star Wars)

First off, sorry I didn't have an open thread last week.  There will be one tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, Star Wars: Episode IX -- The Rise of Skywalker is released in the United States.  Except local theaters here in Maine are two minutes into a showing as I type this (today is very much not tomorrow) and Los Angeles, apparently not part of the United States, is in its fourth day of watching the movie.

But it's totally opening tomorrow, the internet says so, so it seems like it's time we had a place for people to talk about those who walk upon the sky and say, "This is is boring.  Must go higher!"

Anyway . . .

This is a place to discuss the movie Star Wars: Episode IX -- The Rise of Skywalker, including spoilers (without need for ROT 13 Cthulhu summoning.)

Unfortunately the "Current Comments" feature removes whitespace so, to avoid spoilers appearing there, please use some space for non-spoiler comments or just start your comment with some nonsense.

Example nonsense:
[nonsense] Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, id soleat doctus sit, cum te erant omnium. Invidunt periculis at cum, eos diam vivendum no, ea qui vivendum legendos. Verterem similique ut pri, iisque prodesset voluptaria no nam. Eos esse mollis et, mei no putent utamur praesent, nec ex solum saperet. No has soluta molestie.[/nonsense]
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: Dead Rising

Dead Rising

I'm trying to watch DEAD RISING on Amazon Prime whilst battling a heat stroke and I'm sorry but did they just call this pharmaceutical company "Phenotrans"?? How are we not already using that word for, like, a trans death metal band or something, that is too good a word for the cis to have.

The zombie cop remembers how to use a pistol. ...I have questions. Maybe they aren't zombies, maybe they too have heat stroke. Zombies know fear of death in this verse? That's new.

I like that they already know what zombies are and, like, have quarantine procedures for outbreaks. The white news lady cares more about looters than zombies. The football dome has people who can't evacuate for whatever reason, including infected people who have to take Zombrex daily. I guess maybe the Zombrex is past its expiration date because people are turning regardless.

Frank West, video game protagonist I think, is being interviewed on television. A reporter who is NOT Frank West runs from zombies who may or may not have heat stroke. He has cracked the story that Zombrex isn't effective anymore (orrrrr the formula has been changed? c'mon, guys, where's your conspiracy theory enthusiasm?).

I'm rooting for Survival Girl here, not gonna lie. She's so done with Reporter Guy. She's also demonstrating the game's crafting mechanic. She has made a paladin shield from the biggest garbage can lid in the universe. The military are closing the quarantine gates on the survivors, like military does. Frank West is being a jackass. Dunno if that's game canon.

The government is afraid that the Oregon outbreak is a resistant strain, so they're killing survivors / locking everyone inside to fend for themselves. Reporter Guy is trying to get people to care. Good luck, my dude. Oh no, Survival Girl needs Zombrex. I like her. Zombrex is working for her, so it's either not a resistant strain or her drugs are different or something.

Meanwhile, the government is going to firebomb the quarantined area. Frank West gives terrible advice on television. A....biker gang is killing zombies. .....and looting. They have face paint, fur coats, and katanas. Oregon biker gangs. I'm gonna be honest, this movie in which BOTH the government AND the biker gangs are hurting innocent people is kinda a downer considering the relatively light hearted tone of the games (or so I thought).

My heat stroke headache is really throbbing so I'm gonna close my eyes. I'm sorry.

Film Corner: Infini


Alright, it's time for another shitty Amazon Prime movie for me to vent my "can't get out of bed" frustrations at. Get yon popcorn. Tonight's thing is a scifi called INFINI which was aggressively algorithmmed at me after I watched BEYOND THE TREK or whatever that last one was called. The one with the designer babies finding emotions in space.

23rd century. 95% of the world is at or below the poverty line. I assume we're gonna TOTAL RECALL this up rather than guillotine the 5%. "As a result, many take dangerous jobs in the interplanetary mining, military, and space exploration." Ah, in college I wrote a fun paper on asteroid mining. (It's basically not worth it yet, but they do sometimes have minerals that are tricky to get on earth.)

"Off-Earth transit is achieved via SLIPSTREAMING, the process of turning matter into a data signals and transmitting it to a fixed coordinate anywhere in the known universe." Surely this is the Star Trek Transporter Problem in that death no longer has meaning because you can always just print a backup copy of yourself from yesterday? I mean, I will not fault someone for dodging the same problems Star Trek dodges, just pointing it out.

Open Thread: Stairs to Nowhere

Three things here.  First, sorry this is several days late.  My time has been occupied, almost exclusively, with stuff related to my sister.  (She's doing remarkably well, for the record, and is expected to be released tomorrow, which is two weeks, to the day, after she got run over.)

Second, I really should have used flash.

Third, we didn't notice when we came in.  Our room was on the third floor, it was late, the building in question has no elevator, and so when we got to floor three we just went straight for the door, into the room, and unloaded our stuff.

It was the next morning, when we were leaving to spend the day with my sister, that we realized that the stairs up were of a different sort.  They look completely different, as the rest of the stairwell is composed of white walls, no carpet, and a simple, light (possibly pine) railing.  That, however, wasn't what stood out.

It was the complete and utter lack of a destination for the stairs that stood out.  (Presumably it's a result of a no-longer-in-use roof access point or Eldritch dimensional shenanigans.)


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: Warwolves


Alright, we're gonna try another werewolf movie. WARWOLVES. Jack Ford leads a special forces unit back to the United States to hunt down Jake Gabriel-- Wait, the main characters are Jake and Jack? That's gonna play hell on my hearing!

Apparently one of the two men has contacted werewolfism and must be hunted down. Unbeknownst, "three of the female soldiers" in the special forces unit have also contracted werewolfism and are now "she-wolves". Thank god they're not just "wolves", I needed gender confirmation. Nice to see women, plural, in the movie special forces unit for once, but they sound like they're gonna be Dracula Brides except werewolves. So.

JESUS, massive trigger warning for suicide right out of the gate. A soldier writes a letter and then shoots himself. It's unexpected and happened before I understood what was going on. Be careful. Soldiers play football and there are indeed three women in camo pants. They're supermodels instead of body builders, which is disappointing to me, and they're...flirty and kissing the men. Um. I don't think that's...right? This has more of a "company picnic" vibe than I was expecting from Special Forces.

Film Corner: Howl


HOWL: Passengers on a night train are attacked by a vicious creature out of folklore, and must band together in order to survive until morning. I hope it's a banshee. (It is never a banshee. It will be a werewolf.)

Oh, good, the unskippable Amazon Prime videos now include fat jokes.

Our POV character appears to be an employee of the "Alpha Trax" line. Is that a real line or a werewolf alpha joke, I legit don't know. He's been turned down on his application to supervisor, on account of management preferring to promote an obvious douche. Obvious Douche puts Alpha Trax Boy on the next redeye because the usual guy called in sick. (FROM LYCANTHROPY? WHO KNOWS.) He's a ticket inspector with a crush on the stewardess. He rattles off the names of the quaint English places they'll be passing through, all of which I assume will not be equipped to deal with werewolves.

We have been jump-scared by a Chihuahua.

Storify: Impeachment Hearings


Okay, I'm going to try to live-tweet the Impeachment Hearings.

I'm coming in late because I had tech problems on my end. Chairman Schiff is outlining the concerns in a thoughtful manner. "The president has instructed witnesses to ignore subpoenas and refuse to appear." (All quotes from me are subject to user error; the feed isn't closed-captioned.) "If we find that the president abused his power ... must we simply 'Get Over It'? Is this what Americans should now expect? If this is not impeachable conduct, what is?" --Schiff

I haven't heard Schiff speak before; he's a very effective public speaker so far. Calm and measured, thoughtful, not grand-standing. Nunes is talking now. He, uh, strikes an immediate awful contrast to Schiff's calm. He's blasting Democrats for "smearing any Republican who ever shook hands with a Russian." Nunes is playing to the base and I don't know how well that will work. Instead of answering Schiff's thoughtful charges, he's complaining that Dems tried to obtain "nude photos" of Trump from Russians.

Film Corner: Beyond the Trek

Beyond the Trek

BEYOND THE TREK: A deep space mining vessel has been adrift for two years. It is suspected the crew brutally killed each other, but the reason for the bloodbath is unknown. A rescue crew is sent to find if there are any survivors, what happened, and why.

Ok, first of all, does this sort of investigation EVER end well? It's always either demons, aliens, or Space Mental Illness. Second of all, does that title make any sense except as a desperate bid for Star Trek fans to notice it? I'm surprised they didn't go whole hog and call it Event Trek: Horizon Dead Space.

Event Trek: Dead Wars on the Horizon Space.

Event Trek: Battlestar Dead Wars on the Horizon Space.

Event System Shock Trek: Dead Wars on the Horizon Space.

Although, honestly given what we know about human nature, most workplace killings just involve a disgruntled employee with a weapon. Has a SciFi movie ever done that as the reveal?? Don't say Pandorum, it's covered under Space Mental Illness and also I'm the only person to watch Pandorum. Even the director of Pandorum didn't watch Pandorum. I love it anyway, though.

I still really hate the unskippable Amazon Prime commercials.

December Newsletter (2019)

These monthly review posts are always so strange for me because I have to think things like "was my girlfriend really not my girlfriend last month?" That seems strange and impossible. Surely my girlfriend has always been my girlfriend. I cannot quite comprehend a time in which she was not, and yet I know it must be true. can probably tell I'm doing well this month. *shy smile*

Movies were live-watched on Twitter and scheduled for posting on the Patreon every Tuesday and Thursday--I hope you'll like those a lot. I posted a new Narnia post! I have some more D&D drabbles to put up, although a few of them still need to be put onto paper. I'm working on a story which is coming along very slowly; I've always known I work slower in winter because of my seasonal affective disorder. It's alright. Slow and steady wins the race.

Reminder! It's a new month, which means new paper books for the $25 patrons and new bookmarks for the $5 patrons! If I don't have your address, send me a message on the internal system or email me at AnaMardoll at gmail dot com. I love sending ya'll things!

An index to the deconstructions on my blog is here.

My YouTube channel is here.

Do you like "Tumblr Threads" which collect funny tumblr posts? I have one here!

My Twitter account @DivorceKittens with stories and pictures is here.

Please drop in the comments and let me know how you're doing? I love you all and I know this time of year isn't always easy.