Hope you had a lovely time over the winter holidays. I received the complete Blackadder DVD boxset for Christmas, and a dress-up David Bowie paperdoll from my sisters - delightful.
(And a poster from certain persons Statesside YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE turned up, which is much-appreciated, but I must point out you guys wussed out on labelling the tube-shaped parcel sent to my parents' address as "Contents: David Bowie's d*ck" like you said you would. Chikins.)
Many apologies I haven't yet resumed GND (I see little Wednesday spikes in my daily pageview stats and feel mildly awful). I basically spent the last week of the official "holidays" hurriedly finishing off a project that had gotten delayed by Christmas shopping and family obligations. It's another issue of that digital comic I may have mentioned and certainly will again once they get their e-reader format neat and ready for download - it's an unpaid, creator-owned publication and I would immensely appreciate any of my dA watchers helping boost sales - and since it's in English this time and availlable online... Expect a spot of shameless self-promoting on that matter soon.
I think I can safely forecast a new GND page for next week, at the very least. In the meantime, there's the new single and promise of a new Bowie album that could substitute as a fangirl fix, 'cos damn, no one saw that one coming.
Also: 'Rise of the Guardians' gets a 4/5 stars from me and a hearty reccommendation to anyone not quite sure they want to see it. Sure, as far as "the evolution of myths" and "the power of belief sustaining anthropo(or bunny-)(cunni?)morphic personifications/immortals in a symbiotic relationship with humanity", it ain't quite Neil Gaiman or 'Small Gods'-level deconstruction, and there is undeniably a slightly problematic Anglo-centric cultural slant to the Guardians (fyi, France has no form of Jack Frost, and I find it hard to believe he's a familiar personification to peoples living in tropical climes...)(and Bunnymund getting Aboriginal motifs and a boomerang when rabbits are so very very painfully NOT native to Australia, hello reason for releasing myxomatosis on them...) - although nice tip of the hat to the Petite Souris who takes teeth in lieu of fairies over here. Those problems aside, it is a gorgeous film that is just incredibly generous with its visuals (the dream sand! the Nightmares!), dynamic, and finely animated. I see serious progress from the Dreamworks people in how Jack is really rather likeable and sympathetic, when you just know a few years ago he'd've been an insufferable cool dude with snowboarder moves and hip teen lingo because DEMOGRAPHIC APPEAL commercial trawling. They are getting so much better at CHARACTER and storytelling. Maybe less so on the latter, because as previously mentioned, some interesting facets of the Guardians idea are treated rather frustratingly superficially, and the /////// SPOILERS //////// final fate of the bad guy seemed pat, ruthless and hurried - there was a more interesting aesop to be teased out of the story about the usefulness of Fear, methinks, in measured doses and as a teacher... ////////// SPOILERS //////////. So yeah, it kinda feels like more story-polishing time, like is traditionally Pixar's forte, was a little lacking.The voice-acting is a treat, mostly - Frost left me indifferent, but North, BUNNYMUND (that's Hugh Jackman voicing a fluffy bunny, people), and oh my fangirl goosebumps, Pitch, were glorious. Some seriously sexy villainy going on there from Jude Law.
And North's Christmas Elves are the most ridiculously likeable Ugly-Cute critters since Gru's Minions and the closest I have ever seen on-screen to Lixxle/GND goblins.
And really I encourage people to go see it... because it would be nice if this sort of creativity is seen as commercially viable, rather than have Dreamworks churn out more Shrek spin-offs?
(In a similar vein, much as I enjoyed and applaud 'Brave' - 'ParaNorman' needs to win Best Animated Film, plz.)
Bee tee dubs for a few folk asking me about appearance updates in the GND cast and all that, please bear in mind that the Les Mis film ain't been released here yet.
The other major film of the moment being of course The Hobbit.... oh, so many mixed feelings.
Eh, I was all over the place watching that movie. Like, I had forgotten how much Jackson's films toy with my Tolkien love - alternately coaxing and flattering it (Istari trivia! Rhosgobel! that Misty Mountains song sounding just so perfect!!) and then suddenly slapping it in the face like a dead smelly herring with stuff like hurrhurr slobbery Dwarves scraping their shoes on the furniture (Come on - Dwarves of all peoples respect private property!), and being able to sneak out of Rivendell, and oh dear, Sebastian the hedgehog. SEBASTIAN. That's a Baltic Christian name, WTF is it doing in Arda. I mean -
List of things J.R.R. Tolkien did Not do very well as an author:
- Diversity casting
- Getting ON with it.
- Sex and titillation
- Hide a rather problematic fixation with lineage and hereditary greatness and grey eyes
- Make a case for not having arachnophobia
- Give his important Elf characters names that didn't start with 'F' in the Silmarillion
List of things Tolkien bloody well aced as an author:
- Kickstarting the entire f*cking High Fantasy genre as we know
- Songs and poetry
- Scenery porn
- Creating, like, at least three functional fictional languages with clear grammatical rules and extensive vocabulary oh, and a coupla alphabets
- Leaving realms upon realms of notes and extra material pertaining to said languages and the cultures of the word he built, as well as dozens of unfinished tales full of minor characters whose names it would be no trouble to recycle Mandos hang whoever named that hedgepig SEBASTIAN.
Some stuff, I understand needs to be changed because movie making =/= writing a book. THAT, was just WTF. This is The Hothouses of Minas Tirith* controversy ALL over again....
Also my inner purist is annoyed they did a shot-by-musical-theme re-enactment of the moth fetching Deus Ex Machina Airlines instead of the Eagles being out on patrol, and changed Gollum's riddle from fish to wind when the whole point of that scene is that he has been living in silence and darkness for years and FORGOTTEN sunshine and wind, and I am so over Jackson's unnecessary additions of video-game-esque run-jump-tumble-platform-escape sequences.
Martin Freeman was impeccable, however.
Also, while Thranduil looks mighty fine, why why WHY no Sons of Elrond in that Rivendell hunting party???
(... Yes. If you go waaaaay back to the beginning of my gallery and my fandoms, I am a big ol'Tolkien nerd first and deepest, for all my love of glitter and tight-pants-beclad glam rockers in makeup. )
*Hothouses of Minas Tirith: Denethor. Eating tomatoes. In a Western-Europe themed fantasy world. There are issues of both climate and non-native flora going on there.
... Look, just don't get me started on what the movies got wrong, ok? I love them dearly. BUT.