intertribal: (can't look)
I know, I only randomly do Friday links.  That doesn't mean they are not still links on a Friday.  Also, I changed my layout!
  • The wonderful Abigail Nussbaum writes about the TV show Justified.  I don't watch it, although it seems like my kind of thing.  I don't know, you can only have so many FX gritty crime shows in your life.  And by "so many" I mean one.  Nevertheless, the review itself is, like all of her commentary, delicious:
    Justified pokes and prods at its characters' concept of masculinity, but it leaves Raylan's alone.  This has the unfortunate consequence of suggesting that Raylan's is the true masculinity, the one to which all other men can merely aspire--unfortunate because Raylan's version of manhood is so very tenuous, based on a fictional construct probably garnered from TV shows, rooted in a culture a hundred years gone to which he has no personal connection... and quite obviously arrived at due to his burning desire to leave Kentucky and Arlo Givens in his rearview mirror. As I've said, Raylan often acts as the silent witness to other men's struggles with their manhood, only coming out of his shell when the season's overarching plot, involving the Crowders and his father, heats up.  It's only in these scenes that we see Raylan's polite exterior crack, and only in his interactions with Arlo that he comes close to earning Winona's characterization of his as the angriest man she's known.  But it's also in these scenes that the cowboy persona is most tamped down, so that the question of Raylan's anger and his relationship to violence is never really addressed.
  • Elizabeth Tamny makes a remarkable discovery about the way Hollywood portrays female writers: "It seems like there is this trope of the female author just transferring (painful events from) her life to paper. Bing bang boom. Writing!"  Mark Athitakis comments: "It may be that male writers on screen tend to be presented as Important Authors while female writers are presented as "Sad People Who Can Only Manage Their Heartache by Getting It Down on Paper.""
  • My friend Yue wants to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter like so bad, dude (article is not G-chat convo with Yue).  Although NGL, that Forbidden Journey rollercoaster sounds cool.
K, that's all I got.  Sorry, and have a good weekend.
intertribal: (strum strum)
Several weeks back I told my mom I'd give her $20 if Lee "Black Hole of Talentlessness" DeWyze didn't win American Idol.  Guess what?  I'm keeping my $20!

Anyway, a music meme:

First, make a list of your top 8 artists overall. Then, for each of these artists, add the 7 most similar artists to your list. Delete any duplicates, count up the number of entries in your library and this will give you some idea of how eclectic your listening habits are. The higher your score, the more varied your music is.

(Note: Don't include the band members as solo artists, or with another band)

USE LAST FM!


You like the exhortation to use Last FM, right?  

COME WITH ME INTO THE TREES )

* Because Rammstein should do more covers of Depeche Mode songs.
intertribal: (scully; the x-files)
I was watching the Law & Order series finale.  It was a pretty intense episode, about a blog that posts threats of shooting up a school.  I thought the twist was pretty neat-o for Law & Order, and I was certainly tense at the end.  The NYTimes has a good write-up of it, and I agree that the Department of Ed. and teachers' unions probably won't be pleased by how they were presented - on the other hand, I also thought the episode was a little too soft on teachers as the totally innocent victims of crazy, lying, psychopathic teenagers.  I mean, in the context of things like this.  I know some children can be cruel, but...

Jesus Christ, all I talk about is educational administration.  I'm sorry.

Anyway, I thought the NYTimes dude had some good points to make about L&O: The Original Series:
The acting on “Law & Order” in recent seasons has been at a level far above that on “Lost” and “24,” shows often singled out for their performances. More mystifying — or galling — has been reading the weepy comments about how much the complex characters of “Lost” will be missed. Elaborate back stories don’t make characters any less two-dimensional. The police and prosecutors of “Law & Order” may have spent most of their time in dingy offices and had no personal lives to speak of, but we’ll likely miss them more in the long run than the hothouse heroes of those other shows. That’s what happens when you focus on the writing and the acting for, say, 20 years.
That's of course subject to taste.  I also liked this commentator ACW's comment:
What made L&O work was that for the most part it was NOT about the characters. With the notable exception of Lenny Briscoe, with his past drinking problem and his bitter and eventually doomed daughter, L&O episodes mostly kept out of the personal lives of the characters and concentrated on the cases and the issues they raised.

This is as it should be; when you are at work, do you spend all your time, as it often seems in other shows, swapping witty banter and/or intimate bodily fluids with your co-workers? (That is, between fist-fights and shoot-outs.)...  Which is not to say the characters were stick figures. The actors fleshed out the characters by inhabiting them, and their performances told us more, subtly, about the characters than any expository dialogue could - which made them real, and which also explored the issues by portraying plausible reactions by intelligent people.
Best scene of the episode though was definitely Jack McCoy putting the beatdown on the teachers' union rep.  Not because it was the teachers' union rep so much as because Jack ends up screaming in righteous rage, and Jack has always been my favorite character.  Totally not ashamed to say that Jack/Sam Waterston's politics MAY have played a role in influencing mine, at least in high school.  The courtroom scenes that stick with me the most are from "Gunshow" and "Vaya Con Dios," neither of which appear on the internet.  But have this one:


It's like a combined Fuck Yeah! and Fuck You! moment.  Anyway, Jack is awesome

GDI

Apr. 8th, 2010 10:58 am
intertribal: (if the bible tells you so)
Netflix has the X-Files on Watch Instantly.  I think maybe all the X-Files.  I'm on Season 1. 

Well, not getting any work done today.

NETFLIX WHAT HAVE YOU DONE.
intertribal: (the arrgh files)
Patient: I can’t get my contact lenses out.

House: Out of what? They’re not in your eyes.

Patient: [pointing at his eyes] But they’re red.

House: That’s because you’re trying to remove your corneas.
intertribal: (Default)
I was watching Ghost Hunters International on Hulu, and I like it, with all its Nazi-chapel-castle-built-on-the-gates-of-HELL!-stories, but my favorite "paranormal investigation" show ever remains MTV's Fear.

Six young amateurs are dropped off at a huge haunted locale and told to do various occult stunts in exchange for money (all via computer).  Very rarely did all five make it to the end - in one episode, every single contestant dropped out.  MTV never gave the actual names of the places they visited and they made up all sorts of stories to tell the contestants before sending them out to do a voodoo ritual or seance, and there was never any "evidence" or "analysis" here.  All you get is the expression on the poor suckers' faces.  Total fucking fear.  This show is all about the mental mindfuck that is our concept of and interaction with the paranormal.  And I think this made Fear much more interesting than the professional ghosthunting shows being made now. 

This is the middle clip of the episode where they all quit, Mina Dos Estrellas in Mexico - supposedly the only place where MTV didn't make up a backstory (it was a mine, there was a flood, many many people died).  Two people have already quit.  There's a lot packed into this snippet.  Especially love Zach's meta-poetry there at 6:30. 
intertribal: (the guilty have no pride)

Oh, John. WHERE THE FUCK HAVE I HEARD THAT BEFORE. (via Wrestlegasm)

Here's something that would probably scare people who know me: I have been known to watch W.W.E. Raw. You know, the fake wrestling show. I used to watch it in college at 2 a.m. - good thing to go to sleep to, believe it or not - and occasionally I watch it at home, because it comes on after long Law & Order marathons and hell if there's anything else on. Most (if not all) people I know consider it the literal scourge of the Earth, but their arguments usually boil down to "but it's scripted!" and I always say, "yeah, duh." I like fighting shows and always have. And not for the martial arts, either. Hell, I barely notice technique. Which is probably why my own fight scenes are so god-awful.

So anyway, my point is - I was watching Raw last night and it suddenly occurred to me that for every Raw "personality" (character), I could find a corresponding DBZ character. Of course, keep in mind I am hardly an expert on Raw and I can only speak for recent personalities and I may very well be totally wrong in my assessment of them. But it started with John Cena (who is SO OBVIOUS, right down to his color scheme and fucking wrist bands), and just went from there - sometimes hilarious, more often frightening. Granted, I don't really know what to do with DX (who are so lame I don't really care) and my Jericho-Big Show analogy doesn't quite fit, but... minor quibbles. And do not ask me about the Divas, because I just haven't seen them enough (USA tends to cut them out of re-broadcasts). In and of itself, this also fits DBZ.

I wonder what that means. I could have guessed Raw and DBZ are similar - same demographics, same melodrama, same ridiculously long build-up - but are they that similar? Because maybe DBZ's live-action movie should have gone for the wrestling aesthetic instead of the horrible, misfit Saved By The Bell look. Or is it just that they both play to the same bag of fighting-character tropes? Am I seeing things that aren't there? Is this further evidence that all my entertainment eventually links together, a la Rammstein and Air Crash Investigation, or is this a case of being doomed to endure the same characters and plots until the end of time?* I should probably look into something like Street Fighter or Dead Or Alive and see if I can find similarities in a franchise I'm not a fan of. But um, that would require me to waste time on the internet, and I definitely do not do that.

*: "Because that's what hell is all about, Robbie - repetition!" - Storm of the Century
intertribal: (readin about it)
Words:
- Syzygy. A kind of unity, especially through coordination or alignment, most commonly used in the astronomical and/or astrological sense.
- Conduit. A means of conveying something from one location to another or between persons.
- Je Souhaite. French for "I Wish."
- Kitsunegari. Japanese for "Fox Hunt."

Arcadia. (Arcadia) As in Et in Arcadia Ego.

You can put swear words in dialogue. As in, "and you're in the wrong house, you son of a bitch!" (Paper Hearts)

Villains must be compelling. This is not an option. (Cigarette-Smoking Man, Krycek, Marita)

It's okay to kill the dog. (Quagmire) But only once in a while. (Ice)

"Make your own damn sandwich." (Arcadia)
"This is where you pucker up and kiss my ass." (Paper Clip)

"Hey Man, Nice Shot" by Filter. (D.P.O.)
"Beyond the Sea" by Bobby Darin. (Beyond the Sea)

Color-blindness. (Wetwired)

Kuru. (Theef)

The Hanta virus. (X-Cops)

Moby. (Closure, all things)

People that society thinks are dangerous are not always the real dangers. Vice versa, pillars of society can be predatory. (Sanguinarium, Fresh Bones, Signs & Wonders, Chimera, Die Hand Die Verletzt)

Unreliable narrators. (Field Trip, How The Ghosts Stole Christmas, Bad Blood)

The inner lives of hegemonic assholes and the people who put up with them. (Dreamland I and Dreamland II, Two Fathers, One Son)

Animals are part of the world too. (Fearful Symmetry, Alpha, Red Museum, Biogenesis, The Jersey Devil)

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. (X-Cops)

And technology, we also have to fear technology. (Ghost in the Machine, Blood, Wetwired, First Person Shooter)

Ghosts can be caught on video/camera. Fantastic! (Born Again, The Calusari)

Old people are scary. (Excelsis Dei, Dod Kalm)

Watch your fucking vents. (Squeeze, Tooms)

Don't even think about the port-o-potty. (The Host)

If stuck in the middle of nowhere, don't get on a midnight bus. (Roadrunners)

And obviously avoid the creepy mutant neighbors. (Home)

Also avoid Santa's Villages. (Sein und Zeit)
intertribal: (so fuck this shit)
"I mean if you're creative and you fail, are you creative - or are you a failure?"

V

Nov. 3rd, 2009 08:55 pm
intertribal: (she's got that queen of the dead thing)
man, that was boring.

...

time for Sons of Anarchy!
intertribal: (Default)
Extreme Paranormal is an A&E show that is Ghost Hunters, Git-Er-Done style (but to be fair to Ghost Hunters, I do think TAPS is a well-meaning and honest organization).  They basically spend the episode trying to summon the ghosts of murderers and such, using elementary and bastardized demonology and voodoo (why?  because no one's done it before, yarrrhh!) - they've got an "occultist" with them, see.  The "occultist" knows how to "close the circle." 

The main problem from an entertainment standpoint is there is no sense of analysis at all - they're looking in the forest and hear movement and assume it's a zombie, or they're in a boat and hear splashing and assume it's a dead serial killer, or one guy starts coughing and they assume he's possessed.  There's no data analysis, no attempt to debunk and see if it's wind or pipes or anything else.  Just spearing porcelain doll heads on toy chests and calling out to ghost children.  They say the bed's shaking but we don't see it.  They  hear whispers but we don't.  But can I really complain about that, since what I generally mock about Ghost Hunters is the assumption that ghosts can be "measured"?  Extreme Paranormal is experiential and hysterical, like most ghostly encounters - but it's not as authentic and emotional as FEAR, which in true Blair Witch style, never presented any evidence aside from contestants quitting the competition (and indeed, FEAR wasn't about evidence).  But, well, though my opinion of Extreme Paranormal got a little better at the end of the second episode I watched, these quotes somewhat speak for themselves - I think my issue with the show is that it goads so much:

"We need to go find a voodoo priestess."  Later:  "Priestess, can a spirit kill somebody?"

"This whole possession thing freaks me out."  "Well, it should freak you out."

"Let's go over there and raise the dead!"

"It's not exactly the smartest idea to keep doing this."

"We need to bury someone alive." 

"I think this is gonna work guys, I think this is gonna up the activity."

"Worst case scenario is voodoo spirits see you as being dead, and come and claim you."

"["voodoo" incantation] You're gonna be marked for death... you're as dead as everybody else down there."  Later: "I'll start by sprinkling some chicken blood."

"Come on, Julia!  If you're here, show yourself!"  Later: "Come back here, you son of a bitch!"

Guy in casket: "Something's scratching on the casket!" 
Occultist: "Get him out, get him out!" 
Alpha Male: "Don't get him out, that's why he's in there!"

GAAAAAAH

Oct. 27th, 2009 09:57 pm
intertribal: (she's got that queen of the dead thing)
I
am
so
in
love
with
Sons
of
Anarchy.
(especially
Katey
Sagal.)
intertribal: (marked)
Justine Larbalestier has a post about "how many readers seem to hate female characters more than they hate male," spurred by Sarah Rees Brennan's post about how we all "tend to be harder on women." 

A long time ago (10 years-ish), my best friend told me that based off the characters I had written, either I had a huge problem with women or she did.  Ironically she is now the one who jokes about being a misogynist, but then again I was writing Mary Sues.  I've thought about the whole problem of female characters - especially written by female writers - a lot over the years.  

I write mainly male characters.  Never an all-male cast, but mostly male characters.  I continue to struggle writing women.  Part of this, I'm sure, is because a lot of the things I liked growing up were really male-dominated (I mean, this show is what shaped my adolescence, for better or for worse).  Not a whole lot of impressive female characters in sight - except, of course, in Xena: Warrior Princess, which I still love (my favorite character is Callisto the psychopath, in case you're wondering).  

Xena Tangent: Xena was so much cooler than Hercules: The Blah Blah Blah.  I don't think it was because all the major characters were women, because I didn't even realize that until a lot later - it was more like, all the major characters were interesting characters who had hella rollercoaster lives and developed as people and all that.  Xena and Gabrielle got so far beyond hero and sidekick, probably because Xena used to be evil and Gabrielle wasn't just comic relief.  I suspect this happened because the hero-sidekick motif is very male and the writers didn't know how to slide Xena and Gabrielle into it.  And because they were travelers they couldn't sit at home and talk about men to fulfill their own gender motif.  So the writers actually had to make characters!  Wow!

First off: what does it mean to "like" a character?  Is it the same thing as "liking" a person in your real life?

I.  Liking Characters: The Art Critic.

There are some characters I like watching that I wouldn't ever befriend in real life, and there are some characters that I appreciate for being richly developed, interesting characters even though if they were real, they'd be pretty despicable people (like Schillinger on Oz).  I am of the opinion that if all the characters are richly developed and interesting, a good deal of this female-character-backlash goes away.  Sometimes this looks really difficult.  HBO shows make it look really difficult because just one of their major characters would totally blow the minds of the suits at the big networks.  But making characters that are all at least believable as people and not as cartoonish stereotyped instruments of social control is not actually that hard. 

Good Example: Law & Order, The Original Series.  I like all the "A.D.A. babes," and especially Abbie Carmichael (who says things like "That pathetic excuse for a woman has a hole in her soul" and "I've got a solution that'll make everybody happy.  No deals for anyone.  Let's hang 'em all.").  I don't think Dick Wolf & Co. work very hard on the lawyers or detectives - or the murderers and witnesses as far as that goes - yet they always come across like actual people and engaging, workable cogs in the big Law & Order wheel.  Fontana was a racist dick of a detective but he was still a good character. 
  • Most everybody on Battlestar Galactica is three-dimensional, interesting, engaging, and at least a little bit sympathetic.  Even the "bad guys" have tangible reasons for making their choices.  Everyone's a plausible human(oid) being. 
  • You don't have to have a lot of women on the show for those women to be good characters.  Sons of Anarchy basically only has Gemma and Tara, both of whom are good characters that the show couldn't survive without.  Gemma is extremely flawed but that's what makes her so fun to watch.
Bad Example: Law & Order, SVU.  I realize I am in the minority here, but holy crap, I hate every character on this show except for Fin and Munch.  They're the only ones who have any real life to them, any possible soul.  Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler are ridiculous as characters.  Utterly ridiculous.  Not because they're "bad people", but because they're unrealistic, stereotypical, over-written characters that never develop and never pay their dues, karma-wise.  Their flaws are "romantic" flaws.  Olivia gets too attached to victims; Elliot punches perpetrators.  In the real world, both would be fired.  They defy my ability to suspend disbelief.  They weaken storylines that are already on life support.  That is bad characterization, and it may actually be caused by trying too hard to make "complex" characters.
  • A lot of times, female characters on male-dominated shows are just plain bad characters.  I don't like Cameron on House; my mother doesn't like Cuddy on the same show.  It wouldn't help if they were gender-switched - Cameron, for one, already has a male counterpart (his name is Chase) who I also don't like and is equally vapid.  House and Wilson are the best-written characters on the show.  I don't think anyone would argue with that.  We can argue about why Cameron, Cuddy, and 13 are written so shallowly, but the fact remains that they are written shallowly.
  • Sometimes all the male characters are also terrible.  CSI: Miami and Bones are my examples of that one.  Nothing on God's Good Earth will help Calleigh Duquesne or Horatio Caine.  Of course, these shows are also immensely popular, which means I am out here on a limb saying WHAT THE FFFFF. 
  • And female characters on female-dominated shows are not necessarily works of art either.  Meredith Grey?  Carrie Bradshaw?  Ally McBeal?  Right.  Meredith only became interesting to me when she started showing serious mental and emotional "flaws" because that's when she became an actual character. 
II.  Liking Characters: People's Choice Awards.

But when we get into things like fandom wars and fandoms like Harry Potter, I realize that "good characterization" is not at hand.  This is all about the knee-jerk, sometime-immature gut reaction to a character that often remains to the end - whether they're well-made, realistic, three-dimensional characters or not.  For example, Cally on Battlestar Galactica is a complex, many-motived character.  I also disliked watching her character because she was so anti-Cylon, and that kind of blind prejudice - while sad, and true, and understandable - is a real turn-off for me, and I was never going to cheer "for" Cally the way I cheered "for" Athena and Helo, for instance.  That's the kind of reflex that fandom gets into wars over.

And in this case, I think what's going on with readers/viewers hating female characters that they would like if they were male can be mostly explained when you consider that it's mostly female readers/viewers who hate female characters.  No, this isn't the reason I disliked Cally, but it is why I used to dislike Starbuck.  [Yes, I disliked Starbuck!  But good characterization won me over and now I love her!]  I used to think this was self-hate/jealousy (and part of it probably is) but then I started wondering if male readers hate male "Gary Stu"s - the male equivalent of the Little Miss Perfect Mary Sue.  I suspect that a fair number do.  I mean, they hate those all-star male athletes with the supermodel girlfriends and the championship rings.  I will submit, however, that women are probably much more likely to fall into the trap of comparing themselves to female characters, because that is what we are supposed to do, measure measure measure.  So yes, this winds up tying to self-hate and jealousy, but in more roundabout way. 

Harry Potter TangentWe call Ginny a slut because she's popular with boys.  We wouldn't hate Gino if he was popular with girls, no - not because Gino is a boy but because we can't be said to have "lost" a "competition" with Gino.  We might call Gino a manwhore.  But there's no reflexive high-school-mean-girl dynamic triggered by what Gino accomplishes or how handsome Gino is. 

So to remedy this problem, a lot of times creators try to make ultra-"relatable" female characters, so their female audience will think the female protag is "just like me."  But that's asinine.  The only female character I ever related to was Laura Ingalls.  You know why?  Because there was a big deal made in the early books about Laura having brown hair and being jealous of Mary's blonde hair.  And I'm a brunette.  So, so arbitrary - and because of this fickleness the gamble of relatibility is very likely to fail.  For example, I hate Jo in Little Women.  I know I'm supposed to relate to her, but I related to Amy.  She was girly (I wore a lot of pink) and was the youngest (and I was always the youngest in any group).  Oops, turns out she's "evil."  See?  So then you get what Bella Swan: no defining characteristics, so every girl could see herself in Bella.  But that's exactly the wrong direction to go.  Don't whittle your characters down to some lowest common denominator!  Define them more!  Make them deeper!  Don't worry if your readers can't see themselves in those characters!  If they're strong, three-dimensional characters, it won't matter! 

This is how part II relates to part I: Good Characterization Heals All Wounds.  This does not mean making them all "kick ass."  Like I said above, Meredith became interesting to me once she became flawed.  I mean, hello, she was already the wunder-surgeon despite never needing to try who all the guys were in love with.  She "kicked ass," all right.  Didn't do a whole lot else.  And then her mother died and she tried to commit suicide and pulled away from McDreamy and sniped and she became truly flawed, not just Hollywood-makeup flawed (Of course, by then the whole show was in such a massive downhill shitstorm that I stopped watching anyway, but that wasn't Meredith's fault).  I didn't like Elizabeth in Pirates of the Caribbean for very churlish reasons (why is she so super-cool?  it's not like she does anything) in the first two movies, but she was my favorite character in the third because she seemed to be taking such huge leaps forward as a mature adult.  I love the part where they're at the pirates council thing (it's been a while) and Sparrow sees her and is basically like, "fuck me."  I was like, in your face, Jack Sparrow!  Elizabeth has come into her own, bitch! 

And I realized that I was really just waiting for her to become a fully-realized person, not just a token girl.  Sometimes this never happens.  Sometimes cookie cutter token girls remain just that, and while they're in so-called "development limbo," they're not people in any meaningful sense.  They're blow-up dolls. 
intertribal: (Default)
Project Runway Season 5 is shaping up to be awesome, even if it is on Lifetime.

Interesting review of Rebecca Solnit's "A Paradise Built In Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster":  "Our response to disaster gives us nothing less than 'a glimpse of who else we ourselves may be and what else our society could become.'  Her overarching thesis can probably be boiled down to this sentence: 'The recovery of this purpose and closeness without crisis or pressure' — without disaster, that is — 'is the great contemporary task of being human.'

And now, the main event (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] charlesatan for linking to this essay):

"Why I Write" by Stephen Elliott (whom I've never read):
I still go through heavy bouts of depression; it’s my nature. But I wouldn’t choose a different life. Time spent focusing on art is a privilege and a gift. The writing doesn’t make me happy, but it makes me happier, and it makes everything else easier to take.

When I got to know other writers I was surprised, but also comforted, to find that they were often as messed up as I was—especially fiction writers. They were just as insecure and obsessive. They went through periods of gigantic confidence when they felt like they could do anything, then slipped into cavernous depressions when they wondered if they had anything of value to say. It didn’t matter how successful they were. They wasted time, berated themselves mercilessly. Most of us have something wrong at our core. If we didn’t, we would write for television, where the standards are lower and the money is better and they throw bigger parties. But we want to create something good, and we want our names on it. Our creativity is our Nile flowing through us, all of our nourishment blossoming along its banks.

The hell with it, let’s take this metaphor one step further. It’s easy to forget the river, take it for granted. Like parents who love you no matter what, you don’t miss them till they’re gone. You might want to think before wandering away from the source of your inspiration. You might think you need things you don’t; you might think there’s something greater over the next berm, only to cross into a long desert.

But here’s the good news: The river is always there. You can always return, but getting back might require covering the same distance and take as long as the time you’ve spent away.
intertribal: (don't you want to bang bang bang bang)
Right now, there is an infomercial/ad on TV for a Michael Jackson Thriller lithograph.

MJLitho.com
intertribal: (you know how it is)
Watched last year's X-Files movie last night.  You know, X-Files: I Want to Believe.  I knew it was going to be pretty bad going in but I figured, hey, I'm a diehard fan of the X-Files (at least up to the end of season 7), I want to see all there is to see in the franchise. 

Well, it was pretty bad.  People have described it as a very long TV episode (instead of a movie) - they are wrong.  That's an insult to the TV episodes. 

1.  The movie takes place not in the Arctic/Alaska, but in West Virginia, in winter.  Whatever, lame, but whatever.
2.  The music was awful.  Not everybody likes Chris Carter's doom-and-gloom mood music but I do, and the slow black-key monotones fit the X-Files much better than shitty triumphant made-for-the-latest-hollywood-movie-about-a-ticking-time-bomb. 
3.  Amanda Peet and Xzibit just did not belong.  Amanda Peet, it turns out, is a terrible actress. 
4.  Actually, Mulder and Scully were bad too.  Duchovny and Anderson clearly: a) did not care about this performance, b) could not remember what their characters were like - Duchovny was more Californication than Mulder, and Anderson was... auditioning for a shampoo commercial.  They were totally lacking in intensity.  Or acting ability.
5.  Not that the script helped.  Chris Carter must have written it while on valium.  Basically, would go like this: A: This isn't my job anymore.  I'm not with the FBI.  Neither are you.  B:  But a young agent's life is at stake!  You can't give up!  A:  Oh, fine.  And Mulder and Scully would switch off between A and B.  No intelligent repartee, no clever insults, no technical or cultural jargon. 
6.  Worst of all, however, was what the script did to the narrative.  There really was no narrative.  Subplots would be picked up and dropped without a word; the climax was anti-climactic; too much time was spent on pathetic exchanges like the above and too little time was spent on action; way too little exposition about what the fuck was going on with the crime.  In my opinion the meat of the X-Files - that is, the thing without which the series could not have succeeded - was the X-File itself.  And I couldn't even see that the mystery was an X-File at all until 20 minutes from the end - and that was mostly through my own jumping to conclusions, because the writers sure didn't make it clear.  Or even focus on it at all.  And that's how each episode always started - some unexplained mystery, the audience gets a pretty clear idea pretty quickly that something paranormal or otherwise deeply irregular is going on (we see the monster coming out of the dirt, we see the door close by itself, we see somebody turn into a pool of acid goo).  None of that here.  Really, they should have just called the movie I Want to Believe.  Because there was no X-Files involved.
7.  Way, way too topical for the X-Files.  Pedophile priests.  Stem cell research.  Black-market organs.  All handled very badly, e.g., a Catholic hospital allows surgery based on stem cell therapy, Scully looks up stem cell research on Google, etc.
8.  We end up basically at square one, having learned nothing about anything, at the end.  I mean, we needed another X-Files movie to figure out what the hell was going to happen with the alien invasion prophesied in season 9.  Not this bullshit.

What's sad is that this movie had potential.  There were quite a few creepy-powerful motifs that could have been translated into something suspenseful and beautiful.  Alas, they fucked it up.  I therefore do not recommend this movie to anyone - least of all X-Files fans.
intertribal: (Default)
Chef Ramsay: Ben, what you've done, and your ambitions, you do seriously surprise me.
Ben: Thank you chef, I was hoping you'd see that.  I mean I give it all I've got.  Give you 110.
Chef Ramsay: You surprise me to how shit you are.

Also, Gordon Ramsay wears skull shirts - therefore, he's awesome.
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If anybody wants to be extremely stressed out (ha!), they should try watching Locked Up Abroad.  The show has definite problems and some of the episodes are more about "held by terrorists abroad", but the first episode is pure Bangkok Hilton angst.  I watched Bangkok Hilton as, like, an eight-year-old, and it left a really strong impression on me.  Which is why this kind of stuff gets to me.  Also, the episode has really scary/depressing music.  Although the prison here is much less scary than the Bangkok Hilton. 

intertribal: (monster man)
Blagojevich in Tentative Deal to Appear on NBC Reality Show.

“Based on the hit U.K. reality show, ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’ is a groundbreaking live series event premiering June 1 and stripped over four weeks in June. Ten celebrities of various backgrounds will be dropped into the heart of the Costa Rican jungle to face challenges designed to test their skills in adapting to the wilderness and to raise money for their favorite charities. Rod Blagojevich will be a participant on the show pending the court’s approval.”

crycrycry.

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