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04 January 2010 @ 11:54 am
Some changes around here  
Hey guys! Welcome to 2010! It's going to ROCK! :D

I'm excited about the year ahead because of my determination to focus on the Things That Really Matter. In '09 I spent a lot of energy getting my freelance career off the ground--now I can focus more on quality of life.

You may see some changes around here on my journal. It's been a while since I felt comfortable in fandom, and part of that is that I've outgrown some old aspects of my online activity.

So... first up, I'm cutting my friendslist. I would like to be able to read and keep up with it without filters or GUILT, so sadly that means substantial cutting. Four years of impulsive friending caught up with me! It doesn't mean I hate you. It doesn't mean I'll never visit your journal. But if we don't interact much, you haven't updated in ages or our interests have completely diverged, then I may have deleted you. Don't worry! You are still welcome here. Most of my posts are and will continue to be public, so you're not missing out.

Also, tip to anyone that actually wants to be mutual friends with me: just talk to me. Comment, email, PM, whatever. I respond well to interaction. *g* But I'm going to have to put myself on a very strict 'no auto-friending' policy for a while because friending waaaay too quickly in the past got me into this unmanageable situation.

Secondly, you may seem some content changes. Since my fandom interests kind of nose-dived in 09 (BSG tanked, TSCC got axed), I'm not sure how much meta there will be. If something sparks my interest, I'll post, but I'm not forcing it. I am, however, going to post about movies and books I'm reading, because that's where my attention is. I haven't used my books filter for eons, but I've decided to just post about books publicly instead--if you're not up for that, scroll past or remove me, it's cool. I just need to be a bit more 'me' on here.

I will also continue to post about vidding and get (roving) vidding chats rolling again from the end of Jan (I hope).

Doctor Who: Ugh. Hated it. Thanks for pissing on Whoverse on your way out, Russell. Please don't come back.

Sherlock Holmes: Better than I expected because I expected to hate it. Don't like Downey, don't like Holmes-as-action hero. Did, however, find some directorial or editing choices interesting, liked the London grime, some of the writing and Jude Law's Watson.

Avatar: I saw it in 3D IMAX which was a phenomenally awesome experience and highly recommended. Visual overload, felt like an explorer on another planet... loved the imaginative quality and phenomenal FX works. Found the actual plot to be intensely offensive though (as anticipated) and also mindbogglingly naive (clearly there will be no sequel because five minutes after the movie ended the humans returned and nuked the planet). Particularly disliked Mr Dumb Dumb, the lead character and the fact that the Na'vi needed to be reminded by him that they were a martial people. *eyeroll* Best unexpected element of awesome? Michelle Rodriguez as kickass pilot Trudy.

Red Cliff (in two parts): Thank GOD! Best cinema I've seen in eons. Gorgeous cinematography, grand scale, epic history done the right way, stellar cast, and best of all tons of fun for a military strategy geek. I liked the combination of understatement and restraint in personal interaction with the totally over-the-top military sequences. Not without some LOLZ, but in the good way. These have hit my favourite movies ever list. And now I have infinitely more love for obsessive24's gorgeous vid as well.

Legend of the Seeker: Watched the first couple of eps and totally hooked! Very LOLZ-y but as a fan of the 'adventure' section of the DVD store, I found it very enjoyable to see the tropes played out in a new way. Love the lead chick, though she seems destined to be forever upstaged by the Classic Naive Hero, alas. I wish they'd stop doing that omg-I-am-so-moved-by-you-saving me music every time he saves her, because CLEARLY she has far more innate awesome than he will ever have and she can fight better than him even though she insists on wearing really absurd clothing (though his pecs are working hard to distract us from that truth!). She also has an uncanny ability to travel vast distances swiftly: useful! Ugh, shitty gender politics, but otherwise seems fun. Also it was prettier than I'd expected from the screenshots and stuff I've seen of it... weird!

I started the year with some slim but heavy reading material... first up 'The Disappeared' by Kim Echelin. This was well worth reading and I'm glad I put it on my Christmas list. It's the story of a young American girl who falls for an exiled Cambodian musician. When the borders reopen after Pol Pot's reign of terror, he returns to trace his family. Ten years later, she follows him. It's written with a lot of restraint and with some very direct and graphic descriptions of the emotions resulting from living with the consequences of losing family members violently, senselessly and often without even knowing how they died. The absence of closure haunts and drives the narrative. It's deliberately not an easy read and I particularly admired the writer's courage in describing some of the less noble feelings surrounding the central relationship. There are a couple of very striking images resulting from this story that will remain in my mind a long time, I think.

'In the Country of Men' was less effective for me, though an interesting enough read. It's the story of a young boy in Libya, growing up with an absent father who resists the totalitarian regime and an alcoholic, erratic mother. It describes very well, perhaps too well, the way a young child absorbs the confusing emotions, underlying violence and cut-throatness of a regime that tortures and hangs its citizens publicly on TV, taps their phones and turns neighbours against one another. The young boy's relationship with his mother is disturbed also as a consequence of her 'illness' and immaturity. I found it an increasingly distasteful story--probably all the more true to life because of that, but for me it lacked a deeper grace that may have come from a more sympathetic lead character.

Now off to Brisbane for a music festival: should be fun!
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: listlesslistless
RivkaT: dean readingrivkat on January 4th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
I like book reviews! I am also a big Legend of the Seeker fan, though mostly because they and the setting are SO BEAUTIFUL. The dialogue doesn't improve, and I take it you haven't hit the Mord Sith yet--this will either make or break the show for you, is my guess. (Yes, the bad guys are named Darken Rahl and the Mord Sith: subtlety, thy name is not Legend.) I even bought the first book in the series, though I hear its gender politics are worse than the series.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Flowersbop_radar on January 4th, 2010 07:11 am (UTC)
Yes, I am constantly distracted by the settings in Seeker! And no, I've not encountered the Mord Sith yet, but I do LOL every time they mention Darken Rahl. ;)
(no subject) - katiebugs18 on January 5th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
rhoboatrhoboat on January 4th, 2010 01:19 am (UTC)
Ooh, Red Cliff! I got to see the shorter single part version in the theater a couple weeks ago, and it's just gorgeous. Made me appreciate obsessive24's vid that much more which I already loved anyway. I think I need to track down the two-parter on DVD when it's released here.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Aishwarya Raibop_radar on January 4th, 2010 07:13 am (UTC)
Oh yay, another fan! It's the kind of movies I'd happily seek out all the extras or director's cut for. Which is kind of hilarious as I usually hate overly long movies. But I make exceptions for brilliance. ;)
(no subject) - laurashapiro on January 4th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Call Me OneTrack: Kara: readscallmeonetrack on January 4th, 2010 01:52 am (UTC)
I randomly checked out your user profile the other day (I think I was looking for your birthday!) and saw how massive your flist is! I'm not surprised you want to cut it down! That's a lot to keep up with.

Well-summarized re: Avatar.

I'm excited for more books posts from you too! I owe it to you that I read the Ness books and those were my favorite this year.

Happy 2010!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on January 4th, 2010 07:15 am (UTC)
OMG, yeah, waaay too big. That's what happens when you've been through several fandoms with little personal restraint or caution. ;)

Thanks for the book support! *g*
sarmoti: Jamie!sarmoti on January 4th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
I want to see Red Cliff, but I'm not sure any of my friends will be up for it. Well, screw them, I'll go by myself!

I'm just getting into Legend of the Seeker. It's not the type of show I generally go for, but, PRETTY! Kahlan is kickass and I dig Richard/Kahlan, so that's enough to keep me interested, at least for now. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bellydancebop_radar on January 4th, 2010 07:16 am (UTC)
Go by yourself! Go by yourself! I need to watch out for a rescreening on a big screen here... it would rock in a cinema. It's totally worth it--you'll be immersed in the world.

Yes, pretty setting, pretty man! :D I think I have not met this Kahlan yet... Kahlan is the chick!! GOT IT! (I have foolishly assumed they were saying 'Caitlin')

Edited at 2010-01-04 07:30 am (UTC)
Allison: Defriending 2frolicndetour on January 4th, 2010 02:07 am (UTC)
Oh yaay I made the cut!! Not that I would blame you since my posts are still all BSG and boring personal stuff, but I'm glad anyway. :):)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on January 4th, 2010 07:20 am (UTC)
Aww, I'm glad you're pleased. I hope I haven't upset too many people--it was really hard for me to do but at the moment I just am not doing anyone any favours as everytime I open my friendslist page I get overwhelmed and run away. ;)
Phil: subetherthumbvchrusch on January 4th, 2010 02:44 am (UTC)
Thanks for the Christmas card! Looking forward to the vid feedback. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on January 4th, 2010 07:20 am (UTC)
You bet! I hope a smaller friendslist will mean more attention to those on it. :)
counteragentcounteragent on January 4th, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)
I am pleased that you and Brad have both fallen under the Seeker's charms. This is now another show that I will watch vids for without having to dive into the murkey gender politics or cheese of watching the actual source. Yay!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on January 4th, 2010 07:21 am (UTC)
Hee hee hee, nice policy! ;) It is prettyful--good vid fodder.
The First Evil: WC - Neal (jawline) - Sheaasta77 on January 4th, 2010 03:30 am (UTC)
I haven't gotten around to posting about Doctor Who yet, but while I can't say I hated it, there was a lot I disliked about it. However, I can't get too worked up since I was never a huge fan of the series.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on January 4th, 2010 07:23 am (UTC)
Well I don't talk about Who because I dislike so much that Russell did with it and it would just provoke annoying conversations with fans online. I've found Ten (and R's writing of him) pretty terrible for a long time now but I still managed to find this recent installment hit new lows. And was booooooring, to boot. I have a lot of unpopular opins re. Who. ;)
cherylad: Snowy lake with boatcherylad on January 4th, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
I've been hearing my flist rave about Avatar and I want to see it, but I've enjoyed cocooning all during my vacation so I'll catch it soon.

I got distracted from LotS by Farscape S1 as I had a mission to get through S1 so I can return ez_as_pi her DVD's back and then I'll catch up with the pretty on Farscape!

Books... I love to read, but I mostly read fluffy fiction to escape. Yes, I'm shallow that way! Though I do like political thrillers too, guess that is my passion showing.

I completely missed the Dr Who train, but from what I'm seeing on my flist, most peeps are NOT happy with it right now!!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Blair yelloqbop_radar on January 4th, 2010 07:25 am (UTC)
Avatar is quite amazing, so I hope you enjoy it when you see it! I just wish it had had a better script. But it did feel like watching the future of movie-making.

most peeps are NOT happy with it right now!
Oh good! Did the Who peeps say it was ridculously self-indulgent and an affront to old-school Whoverse? :D I hope so.
DC: Batman - Comics - Ivybananainpyjamas on January 4th, 2010 04:01 am (UTC)
You're the second person on my f-list to have suddenly gotten hooked on Seeker. It doesn't look like my thing but you people are making me curious. :P
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kittenbop_radar on January 4th, 2010 07:26 am (UTC)
LOL, yeah, I'm not sure it would be your thing. I have a weakness for swords and sorcery. I actually thought it would be even more B-grade than it was, script-wise, so that helped expectation-wise. There's not a lot of logic...
wisteria: *gen - gosh darn heckwisteria_ on January 4th, 2010 05:50 am (UTC)
I'm with you on Seeker, though I think the show's big problem is that it takes itself far too seriously. Embrace the OTT insanity! I also wish they'd figure out the gender issues. The female characters are quite strong on their own (especially one who shows up in S2), but they *act* quite stupid sometimes -- i.e. Kahlan is very capable of saving herself, yet she barely gets a chance. (Though I might be missing something because I don't really pay much attention while I have it on.) Please figure out the women, writers, and stop having them bare as much skin as possible. ;)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois reporterbop_radar on January 4th, 2010 07:29 am (UTC)
Oh no, no, I am SO HAPPY it takes itself seriously! Otherwise it would have that annoying somewhat-self-consciously-embarrassed humour which I absolutely loathe in shows and which makes things unfunny in my eyes. Instead I can LOL at it happily to my heart's content. For indeed, it is VERY OTT. ;)

Oh! Kahlan is the chick? Is that how they spell her name? I thought it was Caitlin. HA!

Oh yeah, I fear the gender politics will continue to bug me... admittedly I'm sure they're working from crappy original material, and probably think their audience is 13 year old boys but I'm not very forgiving on this score. ;)
elzedelzed on January 4th, 2010 09:04 am (UTC)
I wish I'd watched Avatar on an imax - because 3 d in a normal cinema looks so... small! But it was absolutely amazing to watch - I had my mouth open half the time, I think. The story, on the other hand - well, come on, what do you expect from Hollywood blockbusters? Cartoon character villains, hero that shows the noble savages quite how noble (and savage) they are, and the improbable last-minute victory of the good guys (no matter how likely it is they will survive the next five minutes) - that's all par for the course. As is the last fight between the almost indestructible baddie and the hero (Terminator has a lot to answer for, I think).

But yes, visually, a feast! And hey, at least it had a kickass female character (or two); and dumb boy was at least easy on the eye. Ish.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Faith darkbop_radar on January 4th, 2010 11:04 am (UTC)
It was friggin' awesome at IMAX and we sat just three rows back so I felt like I was *in* the forest!!

The racial politics pushed me further than the average schlocky Hollywood blockbuster. It frustrated me because it could have been a more manageable, still mainstream, but tighter version of the same story, but no. However, as you point out, the gender politics were actually better than the average blockbuster so maybe it all comes out in the wash?

I wasn't that in to lead-guy's looks, no matter how disloyal that makes me as an Aussie. ;)
Ellielli on January 4th, 2010 09:51 am (UTC)
I've never watched Dr. Who much but did see those two eps. It was way to erratic for me. And what a wate of john Simm.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on January 4th, 2010 11:05 am (UTC)
Ohh, White Collar icon! I like that show despite myself. :p

And yeah, John Simm wasted in Who. Thumbs down.
(no subject) - elli on January 4th, 2010 11:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: books are lovebop_radar on January 4th, 2010 11:06 am (UTC)
*nods* It has been bombing...

Glad to hear support for book reviews! I used to be very hesitant to post stuff like that publicly because I thought people only wanted fannish stuff, but really things all bleed into each other, creatively, so it makes less and less sense to me to separate them.
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(no subject) - bop_radar on January 10th, 2010 10:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - bop_radar on January 11th, 2010 07:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
Becka: nihilus vs atrisbeccatoria on January 4th, 2010 11:44 am (UTC)
Completely agree re: Doctor Who. Also, while there was plenty to hate, I rather pettily perhaps hate most that he dangled Donna in front of me and then stole her away again, married off and bought off like all women want, right? *sigh*

I'm soooo torn on Avatar, cus I do want to see it cus of the techvisual wizardry but equally am not sure I could handle the fail of the plotline...

BUT RED CLIFF EEEE! I'm so glad more people are seeing it now. It's awesome. Cao Cao gets shot in the hair. It does not get better than that...

Though if you're interested in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms stories, I also totally recommend Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon. It's another recent movie, this time starring Andy Lau as Zhao Zhilong (Zhao Yun in Red Cliff - it's a fairly minor role, one of Liu Bei's generals with a big spear). It's more of a character piece and less visually stunning than Red Cliff - more a focus on the man in the battle than the grandeur of the battle. But it also really gave me a sense of the scope, not physically, but in terms of time, about how these stories stretch lifetimes and generations. Plus it has Sammo Hung doing some fantastic acting and who doesn't want to lick Andy Lau from time to time? ;)

I'm also hearing good things at least about the scenery in LotS. I may have to check that out eventually, I am, after all, in the market for new shows.

Re: your flist - as someone who keeps her flist small for exactly the reasons you gave, I understand completely, though I'm glad to make the cut. ;)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Aishwarya lanternbop_radar on January 4th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the Donna-dangling was just CRUEL.

With Avatar, can you go with someone who will find the plot equally as offensive? I found that I needed to rant afterwards... I think you need to reconcile yourself to the fact that the whole last hour is a write-off, but I found the first 1hr 45 mins to be enthralling because it was a series of new amazing visuals. It's definitely a movie where you have to take what good you can out of it and discard the rest, mentally. ;)

Cao Cao gets shot in the hair. It does not get better than that...
Hahahaha, SO TRUE! That was GOLD! His face of outrage!! :D And I'm halfway through Resurrection of the Dragon! :D It's interesting to compare the storytelling approach to Red Cliff--there's definitely a place for both! (Actually it just makes me want more Three Kingdoms movies, MORE MORE MORE!!)

I used to be a friend-all-comers kind of person and that was nice while it lasted... I just need to be more pragmatic now. That only lead to guilt and an inability to focus on the people that actually were giving something back.