avrelia: (new year)
One of the highlights of the holiday season that's almost past me (believe me, it's still going!) was me, alone, going to see the new Star Wars. I am not sure what delighted me more – being alone for three hours or the movie itself, but I came back very happy. I have some questions, and not altogether happy with some decisions, but overall - I got what I wanted from it. Interesting new characters, great old characters, some laughs, some tears, and the desire to buy a DVD and watch it again. I am not worry about the next part – what if it is worse?

Instead of spoiler review I'll tell you my first Star wars experience. It happened in 1989 or 1990, when our closest movie theater suddenly started showing it – The New Hope only. I think we might have had some vague notion about the movie, but I am not sure. So yes, I watched it, utterly unspoiled, with my friends, and “walking carpet” became our favorite insult for months. The next time I watched The New Hope on TV. Some channel was showing it for five-ten minutes at a time at the end of their program for teenagers. The program was fun, and watching random pieces of Star Wars after if was fun yet weird experience. I haven't seen the rest of the original trilogy until much later, after I was spoiled for all the Luke's relatives. ;)

Brave

Jul. 16th, 2012 08:44 pm
avrelia: (Zenobia)
Not Pixar fandom, we are. In the great debate between Pixar and Dreamworks, we choose Dreamworks, because we have more fun watching them. Still, each of us has a much-loved Pixar movie. P. loves Incredibles, D. loves Toy Story, all three of them, of course, and mine was Monsters, Inc, but now I think Brave is it.

It was stunningly gorgeous, a real pleasure to watch for every tree, stone, waterfall and mist in it, but even better than that, it was a mother-and-daughter story, where both of them had failings and flaws and very human feelings, and then through the movie learned to listen to each other and find in each other something new and worthwhile. I loved Queen Elinor both when she quieted the rowdy clans just by walking through, and when she was mauling the demon bear, and when she was helping Merida to pacify the clans... I loved Merida, too - but I know that as much fun running wild is, one cannot do it all one's life. But it's always nice to do from time to time. :)
avrelia: (Ship)
I am happy to announce that I finally managed to be in sync with the fandom, namely – I saw The Avengers in the opening weekend.

Coming home at 2 am was also a forgotten experience... As was seeing movie with my husband in the movie theater full of people, since I didn't realized how much I was used to watching DVDs and commenting aloud to him. (One awkward moment! Sorry, people in the audience).

So, it was very fun and exhilarating hours spent movie–watching. I cannot say that I absolutely loved it, but I do want more of it – more movies, more everything. And I decided to adopt the Avengers as my cousins, because they are a fun bunch for a adopted family (I know, Loki disagrees, but who cares).

reaction list with minor spoilers )
avrelia: (Zenobia)
1)I had a dream. Probably because I was on painkillers – ear stuff, very annoying. But. The dream was amazing: I was reading the most gorgeous, smart and witty graphic novel based on Wilkie Collins' novel Moonstone. With some science fiction/steampunk elements in it. And now I really want to read it in real life. And the adventures of Marian Halcombe (from Collins' Woman in White). Why didn't anyone written them?

2)I and P. finally watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, both parts. I liked the first part better than the book (nicely suspenseful), and the second part less than the book (the awe and the heartbreak in the book were more immediate, and there was more of Harry-unrelated Hogwarts Resistance). Now I feel the need to re-read the book immediately, and P. went and bought all eight movies (we didn't have them before).

3)I started to watch second season of the Lost Girl, and I am enjoying it very much. Now I finished episode 2.04, and... I am happy. I didn't know I needed it that much – weird Russian stuff that is not Random Weird Evil Russian Stuff, but character-related Weird Russian Stuff. Kenzi summons Baba Yaga – because she used to be terrified of her, and because she knows how (and because she is drunk and angry at Dyson, for Bo's sake). Of course, she ends up in Baba Yaga's hut, and has to defeat her herself, even though Bo and Dyson both are trying to help. We heard Kenzi speaking perfect Russian in the first episode, but while she doesn't hide it particularly, she doesn't advertize it, either. It's not a big deal. We can assume that she was born and learned to talk outside Canada, somewhere in former USSR – hence the normal Russian, but attended school in Canada – hence the perfect English. She grew up with Russian fairytales and silly kids' games. Summoning Baba Yaga this way was invented for the show, but we, at school at about 10-12 years did like to summon some scary stuff. Like the Queen of Spades and such. Using mirrors is also a good traditional way to stir some mystical shit. It is recommended to do only in twelve days after Christmas, though. But if you look in the mirror in the candlelight long enough, you could see your future husband or the devil (or your husband, the devil). So the fantasy stuff, while invented, felt organic to me. It also was genuinely creepy. But Kenzi dealt with it the best way possible.

4)Finished N.K. Jemisin's The Kingdom of Gods, the last book of the Inheritance trilogy. Liked it a lot, but I still think the second one, The Broken Kingdoms is my favorite of the three. I need to do a proper review, but when did I manage it the last time? If any of my friends want it, btw, it can be arranged. ;)

5)Watched Captain America. Was underwhelmed. I liked it – Steve, Old New York, Tommy Lee Jones, Fantastic Low-Tech, Peggy Carter... Except Peggy Carter was there just to be Steve's love interest, the only woman with more that one line of text. Other women were nurses or dancers. No female soldiers? Pilots? Whomever? Besides, I do always get a weird feeling watching movies about WWII where it seems that the war was fought by USA with their little helpers. I don't really expect anything from Captain America movie, of course, but it still feels weird – given the world domination plans of Agent Smith, to completely disregard the existence of the Eastern front. But the main underwhelming moment for me was that in the second half of the movie all the action became boring and perfunctory. It's like all the cool stuff was done, and they just had to fill up the time.

6)Looking forward to the new Sherlock Holmes movie. I don't care whether it's going to be good or just silly, I want to see Robert Downy Jr. And Jude Law enjoying themselves as Holmes and Watson.
avrelia: (Pirate with a music box)
Well, I've finally watched all three Toy Stories. Not at once, over the last month. Then I had nightmares.

Is it normal?

I liked them well enough, I see that they are good kids' stories, and D loves them, too. I think I liked the second one most of all, and it seems that D liked it the best, too. We got them from the library, so right now only the third is at home, and this is the one he carries around the house.

But the nightmare was real, too. I dreamed about a mother whose kids left for college, and she is home absolutely alone with nothing but alive toys.

Strangely, there was a female military toy unit, built out of random small dolls. It was kind of cool.

Then the mother turned into Alice (Carroll's one) and got lost in Buckingham Palace. It was no less terrifying.


And now I am sitting there and wondering whether it is totally crazy to be freaked out by Toy Story... I mean nothing makes the characters happier than to be owned and played with, and the perfect life is a short period of bliss followed by eternity of despair, and the daycare is hell. And their friends and loved ones are being sold on yard sales or thrown in the garbage... And I am the one who gets annoyed when fairy tales are judged by adult standards and the one who happily reads stories where characters are eaten or meet some other kind of gruesome death – or escape it. Why Toy Story made me sad?

TiMER

Oct. 20th, 2010 11:33 am
avrelia: (Default)
(re-posted from LJ)

One of the pleasures not available to Canada is Netflix. There are lost of things that more than make up for its absence, of course, so it’s that we were lacking entertainment because of it, but now - since we can have it - we amuse ourselves by looking for things to watch there, we wouldn’t watch otherwise.

One of those finds is TiMER. I learned about its existence from here: http://io9.com/5642348/timer-and-the-trope-of-destructive-prescience, and immediately wanted to see it - as it is available on Netflix steaming video. Read more... )

TiMER

Oct. 18th, 2010 01:20 pm
avrelia: (alphabet)
One of the pleasures not available to Canada is Netflix. There are lost of things that more than make up for its absence, of course, so it’s that we were lacking entertainment because of it, but now - since we can have it - we amuse ourselves by looking for things to watch there, we wouldn’t watch otherwise.

One of those finds is TiMER. I learned about its existence from here: http://io9.com/5642348/timer-and-the-trope-of-destructive-prescience, and immediately wanted to see it - as it is available on Netflix steaming video.

For the first five minutes I had a feeling I am in Buffyverse AU, where Anya and Halfrek are working on some hapless male together. The feeling passed soon, and I got used to seeing Emma Caulfield as Oona, the orthodontist who is looking for her soulmate. Here is the thing - in this world it is assumed that everyone has a soulmate, and it is easy to find it - you only have to implant a small device into your wrist, called TiMER, and it starts a countdown to the momentous meeting with him or her, and when your soulmate is in the range, a pretty tune will alert both of you. Sounds perfect, isn’t it? No more heartbreak, unrequited love, plummeting divorce rate and so on. But, of course, they bring completely new problems. Oona’s TiMER isn’t yet started the countdown - and she is almost 30 - which means that her soulmate hasn’t yet got himself a TiMER. Her stepsister and the best friend Steph, also at 30, has a dozen more years till the meeting with “the one”, so she spends the waiting time with one-night stands. Their brother meets his soulmate three days after getting the TiMER, at 15, and well, nobody is happy.

it is not a romance, or a romantic comedy. I would say it is a scifi comedy about love. It tries to explore predestination, and love and how can our behaviour would change if we know our future. It poses questions without suggesting right answers. Oona and Steph both try to defy their screwed TiMER-ed futures. And their brother is facing the future that is already all settled for him at 15. Is love still exist? Are people slaves to their own technology or just to their own believes? Are there no more second chances? How to love a person when you know they are meant for someone else?

The turns and twists are rather predictable, but that doesn’t really spoil the fun of poking at the predetermination and love. And it is always a pleasure to see Buffyverse alumnae in starring roles and episodes (Kali Rocha). The movie is not groundbreaking or too deep, but quite solid and fun ride to no answer.

Inception

Jul. 25th, 2010 04:09 pm
avrelia: (Reality)
I went and watched Inception. The first movie I watched in 2010 and in USA. I need to find some company to go to movies together, because going alone is not the same, especially when I want to talk about it afterward.

Anyway, that’s what I have LJ for. I liked the movie well enough to watch it the second time some time in the future. I loved the actors involved and they did a great job. I don’t like much Christopher Nolan’s work, but this was probably most watchable of all. I wasn’t bored for two plus hours, the suspense was suspenseful enough to keep me on the edge of my seat literally, even though I knew it was a movie and not real. There were pieces of action that were too long - I think the chase in the snow plodded on meaninglessly, but the slow fall, the piece in the hotel starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and others were awesome. incoherent ramblings )

Now, onto spoilers; with more ramblings about dreams )
avrelia: (Berty)
[livejournal.com profile] molly_may gave me those names as a part of these meme:

Comment and I will give you ten actors and ten actresses. Then post in your Livejournal with your favorite films of theirs.

The thing is, my movie watching is weird. During my University years I watched whatever happen on TV, but it was in Russia, so the selection of what was on TV was pretty random. And here and now I hardly ever watch serious dramas. So my movie choices tend to lean toward cheesy. Enjoy!


10 actors )

10 actresses )
avrelia: (Cabaret)
I didn't watch a lot of new movies the past year, and the ones I watched were mostly from DVDs. We are not comfortable with leaving D with a babysitter, and people we know and trust live too far away.
cut for boringness )
avrelia: (difference)
my mother visited us a month ago, so we used the opportunity to go see movies. Unfortunately at the time there were no movies we both really wanted to see, so we went to something we both didn't mind. Just imagine - a year and a half without going to a movie theater!

Taken. We actually ended up liking it quite a lot - as an action movie. Action is unstoppable, every second something happens, and Liam Neeson beats up everyone quite nicely. One thing why this movie worked for me was that I could relate to the notion "Most bad things that you fear can actually happen" so the premise wasn't an outlandish nonsense as usual, but rang true. Besides, I could identify - in my memory - with the young girls that get into trouble, because they think nothing can happen to them. I was seventeen, and I thought myself pretty smart and intelligent, and I've done some things that look awfully stupid from half of the life later. I was lucky - or maybe not that stupid. The girls in the movie were just enough stupid to get into trouble, but one of them was lucky to have Jedi Liam Neeson for a father. Liam Neeson plays a former secret agent type guy who also knows for a fact that "Most bad things that you fear can actually happen" and acts sufficiently paranoid, then immediately goes to Paris and turns everything upside down in a very satisfying manner.

on a bigger scale, there are some troubling considerations. The girls went to Paris, then got to Albanian villains, and it sets fine with me. If they went, say, to Russia, I would be more uncomfortable with an American turning everything upside down for his very own purposes. Of course, no sane parent would a teenage child go to Russia unsupervised, whereas Paris seems so familiar and safe. On the other hand if they were in trouble because of Russian criminals I would have been annoyed. My personal cockroaches aside, it's the men's world and girls can only get in trouble there and be saved - or not saved. Or wait at home, waving hands helplessly, like the mother of a girl. But yes, this is world, and the movie reflects it as is. Some might be bothered by an American going everywhere without any regard to the local authorities. But then, it was less strange than a secret U.S. military base in Siberia in Fantastic Four... Anyway. this is our world. Overall, the movie proved to be strangely satisfying and I think we will watch it again some day.

The second movie we watched was International. P. was underwhelmed - it was certainly not what we expected based on the trailers. I was nicely entertained by watching Clive Owen running around desperately. I kind of like him, so the meaning of running around was less important. I liked Naomi Watts's character as well - ans I liked that they worked as colleges, without a hint of a romance. Nice change from ... almost everything else.

The trailers were insane, and not in a good way. Except for Crank 2. which was insane in good way and very gleeful about it.

TV stuff: as usual. hardly existing. I watched Dollhouse, and was so utterly bored by the first episode, that I couldn't bring myself to watch the following ones until #6. Ep. 6 was rather interesting, and now I am looking forward to watch the next one, but still don't feel like watching episodes 2-5. Maybe later. Not sure.

Instead I occasionally watch some Buffy episodes and call it a rewatch. It's not a true rewatch, since I pick up episodes very randomly (though in general order) and let them play as a background, but I don't have time for any other type of rewatch, anyway.
avrelia: (Smaketh)
Continuing with not book-related posts, I now move to the visual delights.

On TV I watch Doctor Who – finally, but only when I manage to remember or anything other doesn’t prevent me. Which usually happens every other week, but still.. I have the worst luck with Doctor Who, but I do like what I see there. ;)

With the DVDs I had huge plans before the leave. I was telling myself I’ll watch this and that and rewatch so many of those… and here am I… Not watching.. except for sometimes.

Becket )

Bourne Ultimatum )

More DVD: I watched some s6 Buffy today – and I keep noticing stuff I’ve never paid attention before. BtVS is a source of constant amusement )

In a non-watching news - I started to get my maternity benefits. Yay!
avrelia: (Cabaret- those two)
A nice surprise: I've got $2 from Live Journal (in gift certificate, not cash) for being a Cyrillic user. Hmm. Has it happened to anyone else here? As you probably noticed I don't use Cyrillic that much in my posts, but those sneaky folk had me all figured out.

Thanks, anyway. :)
Now I need to decide how to spend such a windfall.

I saw some movies over the last month, and I didn't tell anything about them here. I find it very strange myself that I had so much to say about Shrek, but nothing about all others.

Here is the short rundown

Pirates of the C. )

Ocean's Thirteen and Fantastic Four - again, I liked them for the entertainment value. And I have no deep thoughts on them whatsoever. Ocean's 13 is good clean overblown fun, and I like the family dynamic in FF - more so than in the first part, and the only question that I ask myself - why exactly is there a US military base in Russia in FF? or - Why it seems perfectly natural to Hollywood that there is a US military base everywhere?
oh, well...

Finally, the TV in Canada started showing Doctor Who (3rd season), and I started watching it. So far I like it, an will continue to watch it. I just hope they finish it by the end of summer - or I'll never know how it ends. ;) I am not yet sufficiently motivated to look in other places - but who knows?
avrelia: (Ship of wonders)
I feel like the most boring poster ever - tuning in to wish belated birthdays and going away to miss some more stuff.

Today's belated birthday wishes are going to [livejournal.com profile] lisalamona and [livejournal.com profile] treacle_a. I hope you have a wonderful year ahead!

We are sitting at home and enjoying a lazy holiday Monday. Well, I am also trying to create a poem for my creative writing class and husband does some work. Still, it's a very feel-good morning, turning into a feel-good afternoon.

Except for the poetry thing. I am coming up with a strange creature of English-Russian mess. The worst thing is that I need 250 words, which is too many for a poem - in my opinion. Poetry is economical, images, emotions and thoughts are distilled. I shouldn't have to add words...

Recent lucky find - [livejournal.com profile] russkij_sever. Highly recommended to go and have a look - a community devoted to the Russian North, one of my favourite place on Earth. It is in Russian, but the best thing is the gorgeous pictures that you can enjoy without need to read anything there.

Yesterday we went to see Shrek the Third and Here is the reaction- with spoilers: )
avrelia: (Lantern)
We went to see Pan's Labyrinth last weekend. And then we watched Star Wars Episode III at home. I wouldn't have noticed the common theme before, but now it seemed glaringly obvious:

Spoilers, for both )

and finally, two silly Star Wars questions that keep poking in my head:

1) With the lightsabers and space travel, the technology in the Star Wars Universe seems pretty advanced. How is that no one knew Padme was carrying twins? Or, if she was hiding it from everyone save Anakin, couldn't he, being super-jedi and all that, feel the Force of two(that's apparently strong in the family) ?

2) What exactly Luke's uncle was farming on Tatooine?
avrelia: (Default)
I wish everyone a very happy October!

Good things that happened so far:

1)I am on vacation now.
Downsides: I’ve saddled some things to do while I am at it and some responsibility I don’t want
Up and Downsides: I am going crazy with the massive present-shopping. It starts like fun and soon descends into worries and tiredness and lack of time and money to buy everything for everyone.
2)We saw Serenity on Friday

Here is it )
avrelia: (Wes by Tissa)
Non-work-related:

The Corpse Bride – we saw it last Friday, and were rather disenchanted about it. I certainly expected to like it much more. The Bride was lovely, and visuals were stunning, the music with songs and without was good, and the dancing skeletons were amazing and very enjoyable, but… It was boring! The story was absent whatsoever, and the fact that I couldn’t care for any of the characters lost the movie for me.

Just like Heaven – rather enjoyable fluff, but utterly forgettable. The end was too happy for my taste (I am surprised, as I usually like happy ends) – too magical or whatever. They seem to put all the best things in the trailer, which is the wrong idea, as it brings higher expectations. Except I didn’t (as opposed to the Corpse Bride), and managed to enjoy the movie and forget it immediately after.

To say nothing about the dog by Connie Willis. I’ve never heard about it before, but somehow through some cross-references I found it, ordered from the library – and was happy for several days reading it. It hit all the right buttons with me- the time-travel, the mystery of time, the making of history, personal choices and general course of events, happy fluff and irony. Kittens and ugly objects of décor to add – all made for very satisfied Avrelia.

I almost didn’t watch TV, and I don’t feel anything about it. What I did watch though – AtS DVD, s1 and 2 – still the for the first time ever. And it feels a lot like filling in the blanks. And seeing it all again, it came to me that they face the same problems over and over again - it is they are running circles – first just running, then running and jumping through the hoops, them running, jumping through the hoops blinded, then all that but carrying 50-pounds stones, then all that, but with the left big toe in each others’ ear… Yes, a disturbing image…

Work-related:

It was crazy and very crazy – conducting the shareholders’ meeting in Russia, while being here. I didn’t sleep that well, and when I did, I dreamed about shareholders’ meetings and raccoons. It is done now, It could have been done better – I could have done it better, but it is done, and now I can focus on other things – not better, but different. I am still worried silly about the thing, but the important thing, it is over. (and on Friday night – after work- I fall asleep on the couch at our friends’ place watching Star Wars.)


Looking forward to the vacation…
avrelia: (Default)
First of all I am very grateful for the lovely words you said in [livejournal.com profile] luna_k's Love cup post. Every time I look at it - it makes me warm and fuzzy and able to fly. ;)

Otherwise the week was almost uneventful. We counted days and sent off our applications for Canadian citizenship. There is a good chance that in two years we will become Canadian citizens (in addition to Russian) it is a new big step, but too early to congratulate – and besides, I am feeling a little bit as a phoney – since I don’t feel nearly as excited as it is appropriate, though I am looking forward to Canadian citizenship, but not to singing the anthem and such stuff. I am not an anthem-singing person, generally.

We also realized that we probably will stay in our apartment for some time, and we need to make it more cozy than it is – so we bought some shelves and stuff, and moved the furniture around. Still miles to go, but overall it looks nicer.

Also I’ve seen unusual amount of movies this week. 5

Four brothers – I didn’t like it. The idea seemed interesting – four delinquents adopted by a woman and raised as brother meet after time passed, but it was such a clichéd vengeance story! Every single plot turn was trite, the villain was flat and cartoonish, the violence ruled, and mother was saintly and dead. The only “blemish” on the mother’s reputation was that she was dating a decent elderly lawyer. Couldn’t she date a young and evil lawyer at least? Besides, why the villain needed to kill her was never answered. Because he was evil, apparently. And the thing is, I cannot say that I utterly disliked it – I truly enjoyed watching the four brothers themselves, and the actors had good working chemistry that in my opinion was totally wasted in the movie.

Red eye. A very decent thriller I enjoyed a lot. A creepy villain, a mounting tension, and action that moves so fast that you don’t stop and notice the plot. Plus, a capable heroine is always a plus.

Intolerable Cruelty. I got it from the library mostly because it was there – but I was hoping I like it. And I almost did – but the ending spoiled all the fun. George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones are pleasing to my eyes and had a decent chemistry working together. But the romance between their characters and the kiss at the end seemed so artificial and so unearned that it spoiled the whole movie. I believed them as rivals, but I didn’t believe them as lovers - mostly at the Zeta-Jones’ part. Pity.

Team America. We went to see our friend, and she had the DVD, so we watched – with some wine and beer. I don’t remember the last time we laughed so hard. And we were dying over the puppet sex there, proving that we are all, in fact, twelve.

Forty-year old virgin. No puppet sex, but fun enough. The final song-and dance sequence kills me dead. ;)
avrelia: (Default)
Let’s see, this week was full of adventures and various stuff, and generally me being busy. It was good.
I had an interview today. With a temp agency, so no much hope for any results, but still fun. I tried to do my cheerful best, don’t know if it worked. I am the kind of person who has to remind oneself to smile on formal occasions. Will have to do some MS Office tests tomorrow, so probably I should stare at Excel a little bit.
I visited an allergist this morning, and left without much appreciation of modern allergy cures in Canada. Stay away from cats! Easy to say.

Yesterday I had a wonderful walk with Jonesie, but she’s already told all important points.

I have started to knit a pullover for myself recently. Wonder, how long will it take me to finish it? The last thing I knitted, a turtleneck for my husband, took me three years of work (I am serious, of course, there were interactions and stuff, but still)

Finally, convinced my husband to watch “Pirates of the Caribbean”. He liked it. Yay! I found myself again fascinated with the world of pirates and adventurers, and beautiful tall ships. But not with the characters, oddly.

Tomorrow the Olympics start. Hurray! The main hope of mine for these games – less scandals. Scandals kill for me all the fun and spirit I love the Games for.

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