Oh, man. I was going to get to bed at a decent hour, but I just did a quick check of the TV line-up, and West Side Story just came on TCM. I'm doomed! I saw it when it first came out in 1961. I was all of 12 years old, but I remember it like it was yesterday. It was playing at the Hartford Loew's; Hartford was very much the big city to me back them. I was with my mom and her sister Shirley (my favorite aunt). We were all raised on musicals, and none of us had ever seen anything like this before. It was stunning. And both the music and the dancing still hold up today. The dialogue not so much. Interesting little-known fact: the original play was supposed to be about Jews and Gentiles. I kid you not. It was decided that it wouldn't play outside of a Jewish audience, so they changed the main adversaries.

The movie was a huge, huge hit. I played the soundtrack so often that my dad got pissed at me. Then he decided to go see the movie himself, and the next thing I know he's playing the album. The movie was a big hit with my classmates at St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran School. We broke into two groups: the boys were the Jets and the girls were the Sharks. Because obviously the Sharks were much cooler. We'd "rumble" with big old wooden rulers during recess. It was a simpler time.

Our class got a rare trip to NYC to visit a Lutheran missionary school in Chinatown. On the way we passed through real NYC neighborhoods like in the movie. We were stopped at a light when we spied a "hood" just a little older than us lounging against a building. All eyes were glued on him in awe. He reached into the pocket of his jacket. We held our collective breath as he pulled out a … yoyo. To give him his due, he was pretty good with it. I'll lay you even odds that none of us remember anything about that missionary school, but we all remember our first New York hood.
We all know about my spotty memory, right? So this is more of an attempt at a list than a true reckoning, but I thought I'd play anyway. You'll notice that almost all of my "new" movies are old hat to everyone else. I have to wait for them to come to the movie channels.

Books
Lords and Ladies - Terry Pratchett
Carpe Jugulum - Terry Pratchett
Thief of Time - Terry Pratchett
The Truth - Terry Pratchett
The Unseen Academicals - Terry Pratchett
Snuff - Terry Pratchett
The Folklore of Discworld - Terry Pratchett & Jacqueline Simpson
(I'm still only halfway through the Discworld books. I want to work on that this year.)
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
The Walking Dead: Compendium One - Robert Kirkman
The Walking Dead: The Rise of the Governor - Robert Kirkman
The Help - Kathryn Stockett
The Lost City of Z - David Grann
The Lands of Ice and Fire - George R R Martin
Zoo Borns and Zoo Borns: The Next Generation (Yes, I'm counting those)
Drift - Rachel Maddow (but I'm still working on that one.)
Plus I reread all of Pratchett's Watch series and the first two of the witches series.

Movies
The Station Agent
The Hunger Games
Small Town Murder Songs
The King's Speech
Moneyball
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Melancholia
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (I & II)
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
In Darkness
Silent House
Hanna
The Tree of Life
The Help
Appaloosa
Hidalgo
The Bridesmaids
Dream House
God of Love (Short film, won Oscar last year. Hysterical.)
Margin Call
The Ides of March
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane
Jane Eyre
Shutter Island
2012
There are more, I'm sure, but that's all I can pull out of memory now. As you can see, there's a prominent lack of action movies, bro movies, and comedies in general.

And just for the hell of it: TV shows I loved last year.
Treme
Boardwalk Empire
Nashville
The River (yes, really)
The Walking Dead
Hell on Wheels
Project Runway
Game of Thrones
Nurse Jackie (Excellent season)
The Rachel Maddow Show
Up with Chris Hayes

Huh. Now that I see it all written out, I did pretty well for myself. Cool.
Both Miss M ([livejournal.com profile] darlong's daughter) and I have birthdays in May, so Dar bought us tickets to see 42nd Street at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival. The tickets were for June 2, and when she gave them to us at the end of May, I knew that date meant something else. It finally hit me that one of the members of our alpaca fiber consortium was having an open house, and they'd asked me to take souvenir pictures of visitors posing with our friends' alpacas. I had to cancel out on them, but Dar had bought the tickets many months ago; the Shakespeare Festival tickets sell out early.

The play was a lot of fun, and they did a great job of transferring a sprawling Busby Berkeley musical movie onto a small stage with only a dozen actors. We had third row seats on the side, which is the best of both worlds: We were up close and personal with the actors, and I could see parts of backstage, too. I love being able to watch what's happening off stage - or at least that bit of it available to that sight line. Partway through the last act, I realized I could also see the conductor stationed at the back of the theater - so that was fun, too. I know; I'm a freak.

The bad part about sitting so close to the stage was that I'm sure they saw me nodding off and falling asleep briefly several times toward the end of the first act. I'm still having a bad time with fatigue, but I really thought having a bunch of people energetically tap dancing about 12 feet away from me - with an orchestra going full blast - would have been able to keep the fatigue at bay. But no. In addition, fighting off fatigue brings a lot of nausea with it; I'm not sure why that is, but it's what happens with me anyway. I took some meds during intermission, and that did the trick. I still felt as if I should have hung around and apologized to the actors.

I never did get to see The Hunger Games, and I had no interest in The Avengers. I did some digging around spoilers for Prometheus, and based on those I'm going to skip seeing that in a theater, too. I'd get too drawn into it if I saw it on a big screen, and I know that there are some scenes that I really do not want to have to watch or even sit through. It's easier to distract myself if I'm watching it on TV. Honestly? I'm not sure I could sit through a movie anymore. I tend to catch movies when they're finally released to HBO, but I find I have to watch it several times because I'm called away by something else - or I fall asleep. *hangs head in shame* Based on what happened at 42nd Street, I'd probably fall asleep in the movie theater, too. I am no fun anymore.

I finished The Lost City of Z a while ago. It's a great read, and I highly recommend it to you all. I can believe that Doyle based his Lost World characters on the real-life adventures of explorer Percy Fawcett. On the other hand, I just finished Redshirts, and it was a struggle to get through it. I ended up scanning most of it for anything interesting. It's got a good premise based on an in-joke with Star Trek fans since the show first ran in the '60s, but Scalzi (the author) can't deliver on it. I know I'm in the minority here; it's getting loads of good reviews.

I still have my Rachel Maddow book waiting for me, but it's going to be a busy summer. I'm not sure I'll be able to dig into something that's going to require some close reading. Not only do we have a hundred million babies coming (or maybe it just feels that way), but we also have a number of shows to do. The consortium has rented a booth at the big St. Jacob's Farmers Market; it'll be staffed three days a week, so we'll be rotating through shifts there, plus there a few other venues we're booked into this summer.

We're expecting record-breaking heat and humidity for the next few days. It's not a great time for the babies to be born; they're in as much danger of dying from heat as they are of dying from cold. So of course we can expect a few them to be born in the 100+ degree weather. Because that's just how our girls roll.



We get to see this many times a day while the weather is good. That's Samson in the lead. Notice the gait on the light brown one - that bouncing is called pronking; Samson does a little of it here. Sometimes there will be a whole line of alpacas - adults and kids - pronking around the paddocks. It's so much fun to watch. Near the end you can see a darker brown alpaca join the run; that's Delilah, Samson's mom. She's trying to herd the rest of the young ones away from Samson, because she's being protective of her little boy. "Stop that! You'll break a leg!"

Conchita Gatsby_0208, originally uploaded by maystone1.

It was very windy today, and it was ruffling the suris' fleece.



And a little movie. )
1. Buffy is being rerun from the beginning on MuchMusic (Canadian MTV). I know! I forgot how cheesy some of the first season eps were: praying mantis teacher, Moloch demon loose on the internet, killer dummies. But the good episodes are still great, and omg how I have missed Giles :) I still love this show. Now if they would rerun all of Angel, I'd be deliriously grateful.

2. I watched The Fantastic Mr. Fox yesterday. Perfect movie! Why didn't it win an Oscar? Was it even nominated? I loved Ash. Hell, I was Ash! Yes, I used to spit when I was a kid (when my parents couldn't see me), because I thought it was cool and made me look tough. I watched too many Dead End Kids movies, I think. And I was the weird one who didn't really fit in with my family. I did not, however, wear a cape or an old sock as a bandit cap. Oh wait, I did wear a cape for a while. But still - no sock on my head. Really, folks, if you haven't seen that movie, please, please, please make a point of doing yourself that pleasure.

3. I was having a "woe is I" moment a while ago. I'm exhausted, there's no part of me that doesn't hurt or burn, I was starting to get teary. Then Pixel jumped on the bed, bounded onto me, and proceeded to give my face a thorough grooming, purring like crazy thing all the while. She's snoozing next to me now; Rocky is asleep at the foot of the bed. Everything feels better. Cats are good.

4. No Supernatural for me tonight. I've heard it's about zombies, and I don't think they'll be able to restrain themselves from going all Gorefest 2010, and I just don't want to watch that. Someone let me know when they get back to plot, OK?
[livejournal.com profile] llaras posted a list of what she considers the 20 movies that everyone should see. I'm not sure I can come up with that many but here goes. In no particular order:

1. LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring
2. LOTR: The Two Towers
3. LOTR: Return of the King
4. Jaws
5. Schindler's List
6. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
7. American Graffiti
8. Young Frankenstein
9. Empire of the Sun
10. To Kill a Mockingbird
11. The Three Musketeers (Richard Lester dir.)
12. Legend
13. Blade Runner
14. The Life of Brian
15. Raiders of the Lost Ark
16. Now Voyager or Little Foxes or Jezebel (Bette Davis at her peak)
17. Singing in the Rain
18. Snow White
19. Star Wars: A New Hope
20. Gone with the Wind (Just to clarify - I hate this movie, but it is one of the most iconic American films ever made.)

Yes, I think Steven Spielberg is a master storyteller. In case you couldn't figure that out from my list.

And you?
Except of course, there is. I found this link to the 26 greatest SF tearjerkers. I agree with most of them, if not with their places in the rankings. For one thing, I think that about half the spaces should be taken by moments from the LOTR trilogy. "My brother. My captain. My king." I mean . . . come on! I cried more in those three movies than I've cried probably at all other movies combined. With the exception of the endings of Field of Dreams and The Color Purple, both of which reduce me to puddles of goo in the last few minutes. Still . . . I could probably have filled a small swimming pool with the tears I spilled throughout LOTR. And taking into account the number of times I've seen each of the individual movies (dozens, literally dozens), make that an Olympic size pool.

Anyway, browse the list. I strongly disagree with the #1 choice. I think it belongs on the list, but not that high up.
1. We lost power for about an hour tonight because we had a kickass thunderstorm roll through.
See the lightning? )

2. Unfortunately that hour without electricity ran right into this week's episode of True Blood. Fortunately there's another showing at 11PM, or else I think Dar would have had a breakdown.

3. No showings this week, and still no feedback from the couple who were here last weekend. At least it was a quiet week, which as good because . . .

4. [livejournal.com profile] travestine came to visit for a few days. We'd never met in the meat world, so it was good to put a face to the name. It was a lovely few days; Trav helped with the alpacas, bonded with all of the kitties (especially Pico), and devoured S1 of True Blood with Dar as her fanatical enthusiastic guide.

5. Friday night we also went to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival to see A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Excellent production. We all laughed our asses off. My brother and I fell in love with the play when it first came out in the 60s. We had a copy of the Broadway soundtrack and a copy of the play. We'd read all the parts and then play the music on cue. I saw the movie, of course, and I have to say that this production was on par with both the original and the movie.

6. I'm watching Appaloosa for about the fourth time. Anyone else seen it? Viggo Mortenson and Ed Harris? I love character pieces, especially when they're Westerns. I gotta say that Viggo is becoming my go-to guy for the Western stuff. He's perfect for it.

7. We finally had a dose of summer today: hot and humid. Nasty. One more day of it, and then we're back to the more temperate weather. Until now I've been loving this summer.

8. And it's almost time for True Blood. Gotta run!
Loads of birthday wishes make me smile, so thank you all again :) It was a low key day but a pleasant one. Dar and I went into Elmira (it's as small as it sounds) and rummaged around the Mennonite second-hand store for a while. I found a pair of pants that are not jeans, and she came out with 4 or 5 blouses. Then we ambled over to the Mennonite restaurant for coffee and their most yummy bran/chocolate chip muffins. Later on this afternoon we noticed that the alpacas had made a bit of a break for it by switching paddocks. We'd been keeping Hannibal and Delilah and her baby Ozzie separate from the others for a while, but Valentino (aka Houdini) figured out a way to knock the gate down so it was one big alpaca party going on out there. They all looked very pleased with themselves, I must say.

This evening Dar and I went to see Star Trek. Finally. Now don't hate me, but I didn't love it. I liked it. I just didn't love it. I thought it was a good origins movie, though, and I'm really psyched to see the next story now that they have everyone in place. Loved Spock. Loved Uhura. Loved Bones and Scotty. Liked everyone else - even Kirk once he settled down. The movie didn't really come together for me until the last third, but then I truly enjoyed seeing the crew working together. It has the potential to be a great franchise. And Leonard Nemoy? You're the best, man. The best.
I just spent a few hours rewatching The Fellowship of the Ring. Still jumped, still laughed, still held my breath with tension, still cried. Tomorrow The Two Towers.

Damn, I love that trilogy.
But that doesn't mean that I can't get fixated on CGI chipmunks. Marry me, Pip! I think it's legal in Canada! I'm speaking, of course, about the little guy from Enchanted. Yeah, yeah, James Marsden. Yeah, yeah, yeah McDreamy. I'm talking six inches of adorable, squeaky-voiced rodent here, people! One with killer pantomime skillz. I want him on my team in Charades, for sure. And yes, I just watched the YouTube clip of him trying to clue the prince in on Nathaniel's evil plan - four times. And laughed. Every. Time.

Aaand my mood theme has apparently been deleted from photobucket. Damn.

Still love Pip, though.
Yesterday was pretty good almost all the way through. I was feeling pretty well, and I even started off the day helping with the morning alpaca chores. Did chores around the place, and then Dar and I did mondo laundry at the laundromat a couple towns over. By that time, I'd realized that I'd overdone it, but by that time it was too late :)

Overnight I got hit with joint pain, chills, nerve pain in all four limbs, trigeminal headache, and intestinal pain. Nothing I took helped, or if it was helping then I shudder to think what I would have felt like otherwise. Anyway, bad night led to wasted day. I still managed to clean the bathroom and the litter boxes (I sense a theme!) and clean up the kitchen a bit, but mostly I've been a wasteoid. And a cold and achy wasteoid at that. Tomorrow will be better, I'm sure. Right now I'm cozied up on my bed with Chloe the Overstuffed Kitty. She's very soft and squishy.

Oh, I finally got to see Dr. Horrible! Sort of. Dar, Q, Maddie, and I huddled around my little laptop to watch it, which meant that none of us really got a good view, but at least we got to see it. I liked it a lot, and I was super impressed by NPH. Both Dar and I thought that he was doing a spot on Nathan Fillion impression, btw :) Meanwhile Nathan hammed it up shamelessly. I mean the character called for it - there is nothing subtle about Captain PenisHammer. Bad Horse made me belly laugh, and it really made me miss Angel when Q said that she's heard that Bad Horse was going to be a villain on that show if it hadn't been cancelled. But wouldn't that be cool if future episodes of Dr. Horrible incorporated plots or characters that Joss&Co didn't get to put into their other 3 shows? And now I'm looking forward to the Dr. Horrible DVD to actually see it all as it should be seen.

Before the big badness kicked in last night, I got to watch Gone Baby Gone on Showtime (which is the Canadian version of HBO). Has anyone else seen it? Dayum! I'm kind of glad that I didn't see it on the big screen because it got pretty intense at times. The acting was first rate throughout, and Amy Ryan in particular just knocked me out with her portrayal of Helene, the missing girl's skanky, negligent mother. I went searching around for articles about the movie and the cast, and it turns out that except for an Oscar (for which she was nominated), Ryan won every single acting award an actress can win both in the States and overseas. Phenomenal job. And you know, I never understood all the bad comments flung Ben Affleck's way. I think he's a damn fine actor, but then I've seen him only in non-action films like Good Will Hunting, Shakespeare in Love, and Hollywoodland. That last one especially was some first rate acting on his part. (Wait, I did see him in an action film - one of the Jack Ryan films. I liked him in that, too.)

Anyway, I highly recommend Gone Baby Gone. Don't let anyone spoil you for the film, either. It had one of the most unsettling endings I've ever seen. Not gruesome or scary or gotcha, mind you. A character makes a decision - a difficult decision - that is just so wrong. In my opinion. And I'm guessing in most people's opinions. Mark saw the movie, too, and he agrees with me - a bad choice for moral reasons. Really - check out the movie.

And now I'm going to be slapping myself around to keep myself awake long enough to watch the S2 premiere of Mad Men. Tonight, 10PM, AMC. Be there or be square. Hmmm, I need some Mad Men icons, I think.
1. We had a very large dust devil out in the main paddock yesterday. A weird storm blew up with hail and strong winds that kept rapidly changing direction. I noticed parts of the neighbor's yard flying by overhead and when I called out for everyone to come and see, this big ol' whirlwind blew up out there. It was taller than our barn and it was throwing things around like crazy. Fortunately the alpacas were all in the barn because of the hail, but a couple of them started to run outside because, well, they're alpacas and they get terminally stupid when they're frightened. The dust devil had started to move on at that point, and the alpacas had stopped dead in their tracks when they caught sight of it anyway. So, it dug up the paddock a little and broke some branches, but otherwise everything was OK.

2. In other weird events, I fainted this morning. Happily the bed was right there, so no damage done, and it only lasted a second. Dar thinks it was an electrolyte imbalance, so I'm drinking some President's Choice fortified water and feeling much better.

3. The library closed before I could get in there yesterday and no libraries are open today, so I won't be able to work on my internet snafu until tomorrow.

4. I am more than a little bit in love with Viggo Mortensen's acting in Eastern Promises. I really don't understand why he didn't get the Oscar that year. (Yeah, yeah, yeah - nude fight scene. Really, it does nothing for me. Big ol' lezbo here. I think all guys look better clothed.)

5. Q's cat Lexy is now completely an outdoor cat by her own wishes, but the neat thing is that she has a BFF out there with her: this big long-haired tuxedo cat. Go, Lexy!

6. And now go, Mays. Off to the store to get some prescriptions filled.
I think about posting, but then I don't. I start to post, but then I stare at the screen and nothing really comes. Bleh. It's not that my mind isn't a-whirl; it's more that getting it from there to here requires more effort than I can or sometimes want to put forth. Effie, fetch me my chaise lounge and a large plate of peanut butter and crackers so that I may recline and contemplate the sorry state of the world and the me. Thank you ever so much.

So. I am 5'8" and oh so many pounds of free floating anxiety these days. I worry about my health and Dar's and Maddie's and Mark's and Q's. I worry about my immigration visa. I worry about the pregnant alpacas giving birth while I'm here alone since the last time that happened, the cria died. (No one's fault, but you can say I've been scarred.) I worry about that stupid fucking particle accelerator going live in two months. Yeah, yeah, most (it's not unanimous) physicists say that there should be no problems. Operative word being should. But no one knows, because this is brand fucking new technology - hell, new science - they're dealing with. It's all theoretical until it isn't, and at that point it would be too late. Why the rush, guys?

I hate Bush, hate McCain, and I'm starting to hate Obama. WTF, Barack? Giving tax dollars to faith-based organizations who discriminate in hiring based on religion? Backing telecomm immunity and continued warrantless wiretapping? First Amendment, BO. Fourth Amendment, BO. Look into those, OK? Jackass. I'm voting third party in the general election.

In less pissy areas of my life, the cats keep me amused. And busy. On my fictional resume, the one that exists only in my tiny shrinking brain, is the entry: Cat Concierge. I spend my day catering to the fussy felines. Let them outside. Let them inside. Outside. Inside. Outside. Inside. Outsideinsideoutsideinsideoutside. Try to track who is where. (Ha!) Fill the food bowls. Fill the water bowls. Do the litter boxes. Fill the water bowls again. And the food bowls. (Eight cats go through a hella whack of food.) Dispense the crunchies and the catnip. Sweep up the catnip. Reassure the anxious and separate the sparring. Pet the needy. Kitty cats - more high maintenance than I was led to believe.

The alpacas also continue to amuse, although it's not always as funny to them. Adama pissed off Hannibal big time a few days ago, and Hannibal chased him around the paddocks with the intent of doing great physical harm. Adama's shrieking gave us the heads up, and by the time we all made it out there to separate them, Hannibal was running around literally with a big piece of Adama's bloody white fleece hanging from his teeth. He looked like a psychotic slasher camelid Santa. When I was out there this morning I got to see where Hannibal got Adama - there's a very angry looking bare patch on his belly right near his front legs. Poor Adama! Although really it's his own fault. He's dumb as dirt and continues to taunt Hannibal.

Completely changing direction now. I got a chance to see Outing Riley the other day. That's the Nathan Fillion movie that he made in between Firefly and Serenity. Not bad, really. Very funny in parts. The brothers are mostly jerks, but they're funny jerks, and it's a role aptly suited to NF's acting style. Yeah, even the jerk part :)

I'm halfway through weaning off prednisone; I started out at 25mg daily, and now I'm at 12.5mg. Mostly I feel better, but the aching in my joints is back. I'm hoping that OTC meds will take care of that, or at least make it bearable. I really don't want to have to stay on the pred.

Last April I got a referral to an ophthalmologist (took me four tries to spell that right). The appointment came through for the end of August. I just got notified that it's been changed to the end of October. Yeah, that's helpful.

Finally got to see the Blink episode of Dr. Who. It was clever, and I really liked the guest character. But I didn't find it at all scary. It's just not the sort of thing that creeps me out. Still, I liked it.

I want carbs in a big, big way. Where's that toasted asiago bagel from Panera when I really need one? Huh? Huh?
You know how you have a few movies that you just watch over and over and over when they come on TV? Mine is Zulu. I bet I've seen it over two dozen times, no lie. It's on now, so of course I'm doomed to watch it until I fall asleep. My absolutely favorite part is when the small band of British (mostly Welsh) defenders are starting to give in to their fear due to the Zulu warriors chanting a very ominous war chant, and their commander orders them to sing in response. They start singing in glorious harmony, "Men of Harlech."

Men of Harlech stop your dreaming, Can't you see their spear points gleaming,
See their warrior pennants streaming, To this battlefield ...


I know that there are several versions of the song, and that it's evolved over time. Always stirring, though.

Well, except for when my brother and I started emailing parodies of it back and forth to each other. Damn, I wish I had made copies of those emails, because my brother is a grand master of the parody. He had me laughing so hard that I nearly peed myself. (And that just goes to show how long ago that was, because if it were more recent I would pee myself. Ah, late middle age.)

Other "can not resist" movies: The Mummy and The Thirteenth Warrior.

Uh-oh, the Zulus just showed up. Gotta run. "Zuluuuuuuu!"
Frodo returns!

We got some of that snow that hit New England, but ours only amounted to about two inches. I didn't get to take any pictures during the day, so I went out with camera and flash at night. Two small pics:

Autumn leaves and a few sparkles )
Two things:

1) I am crazy excited for the latest (last?) Indiana Jones movie. It's due on Memorial Day weekend in 2008, and I couldn't think of a better birthday present. I came out of the first movie in a state of absolute, gibbering euphoria, and I think that there's a part of me that never came down from it. Go, Indy!

2) I had a good night's sleep last night for the first time in longer than I can remember. Huzzah! Hurrah! Hallelujah! Hell yeah! Enough with the H's.

3) A fanatical devotion to the Pope. No, wait. Oh yeah, we're in the market for a lifeguard at the alpaca pool. We've had children's wading pools in all of the paddocks, but until Cinnamon Girl arrived home the other alpacas really didn't know what to do with them except use them as very big water buckets. But CG, she is one clever girl. She knew she could lay herself down in that lovely cool water and soak her over-heated self. Well. The light bulb went on in the rest of the herd and there was a shoving match going on as everyone in the girl's paddock tried to muscle themselves into the pretty small pool. CG wasn't giving an inch, feisty female that she is. It was really very funny to watch, and I wish to hell that I'd had my camera on me when I was watching the to-do. And now we need more pools, I'm thinking.

4) The lawn is mowed, the tractor is cleaned, and I am quite the happy camper.
1. There's a freakin' blizzard going on outside. Make it stop.

2. So at this moment my lungs are OK, but I can't breathe through my nose. It shouldn't be an either/or proposition, but there you have it.

3. I missed most of the SB, but I did catch a couple of the ads. Two stood out: the GM ad with the despondent robot (wicked anthropomorphicazation [huh?] on that, and the Coca-Cola ad that started out looking like a video game shoot-em-up and ended with a parade including, I think, a high-stepping chorus line of sewer rats. If so, that rocks my world. I'll have to see if I can find it around somewhere and watch it again.

4. Rome. I know that the critics are slamming the less than epic battle scenes and the conflation of historical events, but for me it's all about the characters. Pullo, Vorenus, Atia, Timon (yes, Timon), damn near all of them. Great acting all around.

5. Space Channel here in Canadia showed the extended version of LOTR:TTT. I'm still in love with the trilogy. I can't see a time when I won't be. Perfect casting, stellar story telling, and hands down my favorite sound track. Hands down. After all these years, parts of it will still bring me to tears; I actually have to be careful not to listen to certain sections while I'm driving because I become so distracted by the emotions it evokes in me. That . . . is powerful stuff.

6. Months ago, [livejournal.com profile] gatezilla started a meme to which I never posted a response. It was "Name your five favorite action scenes on film." I don't like action scenes, as a rule. I detest car chases (or foot chases), gun battles and fistfights bore me to tears; I'll ff through them all if I'm watching them on CD. In the theater I just get impatient for them to be over so we can get on with the story. So I didn't really jump on the meme, you know? But I've been thinking about it, and I came up with favorites - and it surprised me when I saw them all listed.
A. LOTR:FotR - The flight to the Bridge at Khazad-Dum. Absolutely without a doubt the greatest action sequence ever filmed. In my opinion, of course :) That scene alone should have secured an Oscar for the movie, but no. I bought every single second of it. When Frodo and Aragorn were teetering on that falling staircase, I thought I'd have a heart attack. Just a spectacular piece of work.
B. LOTR:FotR - The final battle scene split between Boromir defending the hobbits and Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli fighting their own batch of Orcs. (It also has my favorite not-quite blooper with The Little Orc That Could running so daintily down the stairs.) Boromir's death scene destroyed me. Legolas stabbing an orc with his arrow jazzed me. Aragorn's fight to death with the head Uruk-Hai warrior just about had me crawling out of my skin. And let's not forget, "My brother. My captain. My king." Waaaaaaaaah. I'm tearing up.
C. The Phantom Menace - The gorgeously choreographed fight between my Qui-Gon and Darth Maul, and then Obi-Wan and the Maulster. Oh. My. God. That fantastic idea to have the combatants isolated by the force fields, Qui-Gon meditating, Darth Maul and Obi-Wan pacing and edgy - gah! Then the actual saber work was dazzling. I bet I saw that a half dozen times, each time hoping for a different outcome. Sigh.
D. LOTR:TTT - The Battle at Helm's Deep. I don't know how they filmed that. Just extraordinary work all around. The rain, the lightning, the desperation, the fatigue - I felt exhausted just watching it.
E. The Three Musketeers (Richard Lester's 1973 classic version) - Pretty much every single swordfight. I'll go with the one where D'Artagnan meets up with the Three to have his individual duels with them and it degenerates into this unbelieveably stylish, funny, brawling have-at when the Cardinal's Guard shows up. If you've never seen that film, you owe it to yourselves to check it out.

So then, when it comes to action sequences, I'd say that there has to be sword work for me to sit up and take notice. I love the clash of steel :)

And on that, I have to see if I can get my sinuses to stop strangling me so I can actually get some sleep.

August 2015

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