mercat: (Default)
I might be a bit Phantom obsessed lately.

And I keep making the mistake of forgetting that fan boards are really not the best places on the internet, barring the rare diamonds. I miss the days when LJ was a lot busier than it is now, there always seemed to be a lot more quality people around. I mean, just a few months ago, I went looking at Ghostbusters stuff only to see that there were tons of people arguing "girls can't dress up as Ghostbusters because there weren't any in the movie" and "girls have to wear the full jumpsuit just like everyone else if they want to be screen accurate", and, even though I agree, because a short skirt is just not functional, STILL. And then the whole fucking thread that was "post sexy ghostbuster girls!" which I think was just started to get girls posting more but then that whole thing is a fucking disaster. People started arguing about "real" costumes versus the "sexy" version you get at the store and shit, and just, FUCKING SHUT UP. Look, I hate store-bought costumes pretty much as much as any "average" costumer (not your average person, they buy Halloween cheapo shit and like it... not that it can't be done right, it's just often an excuse to dress sexy or whatever, I DON'T GET IT). Anyway. Moving on from that fail.

So I started poking around Phantom stuff since I haven't done that in a while and the actor playing Raoul was on Doctor Who. Found lots of fabulously hilarious gifs on tumblr, but there weren't a whole lot of posts, so I went and found a Phantom of the Opera fan site. JESUS CHRIST GET IN THE CAR.

(I suppose I should say, here, spoiler warning if you don't know details, but then again, I've always found the story pretty straightforward, so I wouldn't consider spoilers very "spoilery", as it were.)

I mean, props for having a pretty much all-encompassing site that covers all the books, all the movies, all the musicals, pretty much ever version, ever. So I found the thread for Andrew Lloyd Weber's 25th anniversary showing and HOOO-LEEEE-SHIIIIIIT. I mean, the discussion was pretty rational, but as in any case where a few people have unpopular opinions, there are some bullies. And the fact that the story is so... fucked up... really sort of enforces it.

I mean, let's look at the story. Phantom of the Opera is being billed as the greatest love story of all time or something like that, and, yes, I can understand. The Phantom is a richly developed character, played very cat-like, poised, he's a frigging genius, legitimately. Architect, engineer, inventor, vocalist, organist, composer. He is LITERALLY a symbol for how much people relate emotionally to music-- he's a god damn "angel". And as I said before, I've never liked Raoul. He doesn't get much "screen time" (as it were), and his character doesn't get to develop a whole lot, because it's done sort of off-screen. The Intermission is six months of him and Christine living away from the Phantom and presumably trying to get her over such a shock. They also lived and played together as children, and, presumably, were pretty close considering he risked getting soaked to the bone to save her scarf. And if it's scarf-wearing weather it's not exactly warm. A.k.a. not pleasurable to jump into the sea.

Meanwhile the Phantom is all up in here like "I'm a fucking Angel, worship me, all I want is your music" when it turns out he wants to marry her (the wedding doll) and enjoys fucking with (AND MURDERING) the people who run "his opera". So he also has some sort of control complex, obviously. He calls himself an angel and controls Christine's music. He calls himself a ghost and controls the opera via fear. He calls himself the Phantom and rules the mysteriousness of the darkness. (I mean I guess he thinks all artistry derives from sexual desire, I guess. That's not a damaging attitude or anything.)

And I mean, I do feel for him. He was born with huge deformations/mutations, and in, what, the 1860s? (I'm guessing is when he was born) you're not exactly going to go out and be able to get plastic surgery. And you're much more likely to get used in a freak show than be able to live a full life. Whiiiiiiich is what happens, although presumably he traveled to the Punjabi region, and maybe afterward was captured for a freak show? Anyway. His mother didn't love him, she made him wear a mask.

When you get treated like that-- and Raoul is played so flatly in the story-- it's really no surprise everyone comes out feeling for the Phantom. However, HE ALSO FUCKING KILLED TWO PEOPLE AND ATTEMPTED ANOTHER. (And he's supposedly been terrorizing the Opera for three years previously, so.) Not to mention he dropped the fucking chandelier on the stage/audience. That shit would kill you.

So... then Andrew Lloyd Weber goes and writes Love Never Dies, a "sequel that's not a sequel" (because there's an official novelization sequel for Leroux's novel? I guess?), which, from the beginning, most of the fans have been afraid of, and currently most people don't like it. Originally I think most people thought he was losing his touch (Woman in White is fairly inaccessible musically, I admit), and his notes on the story sounded a little questionable. I remember the cheers in like 2003 or something when his cat accidentally walked across his computer keyboard and deleted the whole thing. (LOL GO KITTY)

So... Love Never Dies. In Phantom, the important distinction at the end is that Christine chooses to save Raoul rather than herself, and the Phantom chooses to recognize his manipulation and lets her go. They both have to realize that the Phantom is a manipulative asshole human (even if he is to be pitied for his upbringing). So then Christine ends up with Raoul, who truly loves her, as he was willing to sacrifice himself for her, and honestly, there's no hint in Phantom that he has wronged her or would wrong her in any way. His most violent moment is that he arranges a trap to kill the Phantom, which, let's be honest, at that point has killed two people, and is a bit more justifiable.

HOWEVER, in Love Never Dies, (OKAY, BIG SPOILERS) apparently Christine is still truly in love with the Phantom and he with her, and her son is secretly the Phantom's because Raoul is apparently impotent AND DRUNK AND ABUSIVE? So that means retroactively that the Phantom and Christine and had sex. Which was... when? I mean, presumably the first time she meets him is the title song/Music of the Night, which I always assumed was one evening and that she returned the next day. HOWEVER she also PASSES OUT OF SHOCK because he has A FUCKING WEDDING DRESS ON A LIFE-SIZE DOLL OF HER. And then they had sex.

And even after six months away with Raoul (in which they fucking GET ENGAGED) and all the training for the Phantom's new opera, she doesn't show at all? In a fucking Victorian gown? I don't fucking think so.

So maybe it was when he takes her down after his opera goes awry, but that always seemed pretty straightforward. They go down to his lair. Everyone is banding out to catch this murderer. Madame Giry IMMEDIATELY takes Raoul down there. (And let's not even mention the fact that she knew roughly who he was and where he was THE WHOLE TIME.) There's enough time for the Phantom to redress Christine in the wedding gown, but before he can put the veil on her, Raoul shows up, and then the whole closing scene occurs. So... unless he also raped her while changing her clothes, I don't even know. And she's clearly pretty resistant at that point. The ONLY reason she kisses him AT THAT POINT IN HER STORY is that she realizes he needs to know there is some goodness in the world AND THAT she is WILLING TO GIVE HER LIFE FOR RAOUL'S.

And so in Love Never Dies, Madame and Meg Giry have apparently secreted the Phantom away to the United States. What the fuck? A (at least) two-time murderer? (So Madame Giry is pretty fucked up as a character, too.) I mean, after all that shit, if it turns out Christine secretly got raped (that's really the only way I can read it) and is STILL FUCKING IN LOVE WITH HIM, despite all her character development in Phantom about not being able to escape him-- it seems he really has fucked her up mentally, messing with her, so much that it's still there maybe ten years later-- I really do not blame Raoul for drinking. Abusive, I see no reason for writing other than giving Christine's character a reason to not like him.

But here's the thing. When your choices are 1) a guy who apparently raped you, had a creepy fetish for you, tried to force you to marry him, and killed at least two people, plus has some complex control issues of his own, and 2) an abusive drunk who you used to love/loved you, YOU DON'T PICK ONE OR THE OTHER, you get the hell out of there.

And that's why Love Never Dies is atrocious.

So, rightly so, a lot of the fans dislike it. However, they also dislike the portrayal of Raoul that was used in the 25th Anniversary celebration, because everyone is pretty sure Weber is just trying to drum up retroactive support for Love Never Dies. Which, yes, some of their points I can agree with. Taking leads from Love Never Dies and some completely unfamiliar with performing Phantom is a bit strange for a 25th anniversary performance when you would ideally want the Best People Who Ever Performed Those Roles And Still Can. But then they were also pissed that Michael Crawford didn't sing. He fucking came out and said he had previous engagements and he felt it would be in poor taste to drop them for Phantom. So why the fuck can't they grasp that it would be so rude to expect that? Jesus. And then they also hated on the poor guy who is apparently the next London Phantom, saying they didn't like his voice, it wasn't trained.

Well, first, let me state that I don't have pretty much any vocal training. However, I thought his tone sounded rather... alien? I mean, it was sort of nasal, strange? But I actually liked that, it reminded me of the Phantom. I remember when the movie came out, I liked that they wanted Gerard Butler to sound gruff because he didn't have training-- except, oh wait, he was a fucking genius. AND HE HAD TO BE ABLE TO TRAIN CHRISTINE. However, giving him a bit of a strange edge -- which to me, sounded like Crawford, who I admit is my favorite-- I think makes him more of a foreign force, which I think is beneficial.

Also, allow me to just state for the record, that I don't really like how operatic the characters sound when they are not "performing the operas". It's a musical... WAY too much vibrato in my opinion. But that could be Weber's preference, I don't know.

But I also don't know this guy's previous work, he's apparently done some pop albums, so people don't like his voice for musicals. And to be fair, apparently one of the Jonas brothers was cast in Les Mis, and I wouldn't want to see that, and Bieber might also be getting cast in something, and I wouldn't fucking want to see that either.

Anyway, so they don't like Raoul because they think it is just Weber leading up to him being abusive in Love Never Dies (that title is rather ironic...). Which I would understandably be upset about as well, if it weren't for the fact that this was the first rendition of Weber's Phantom that actually made me like for Raoul and cheer for him. He CARED about Christine. They were childhood friends, and he's seeing her manipulated by this madman, and tortured (and secretly raped? I don't even.). AND THEN AFTER SIX MONTHS OF TRYING TO HELP HER RECOVER FROM SUCH A TRAUMATIC BETRAYAL, IN WHICH THEY GET ENGAGED, the Phantom returns. With spite on his mind. How could you not be angry at the Phantom? He's killed at least one person by that point! Raoul is upset that Christine is upset over the Phantom's return, and swears to get her a final complete escape from him, and he's angry that the Phantom has the gall to keep thinking himself such a great person.

I think he has the right to be angry. And I mean, considering it's the most passion I've seen out of his character ever... yeah. And everyone is also like "well he's angry all the time and Hadley Fraser can't act", oh, you know, except for those few scenes he's given where they're in love/happy. So All I Ask Of You and Masquerade. And other than that he's frustrated that a) the Opera he is now a benefactor of is being haunted by some madman, and b) in the second act, that this huge douche won't leave Christine alone. TOTALLY WARRANTED. Oh, and then, you know, in the last scene, he's pissed because ONE, HE'S FUCKING ON THE VERGE OF DYING and TWO, THE PHANTOM IS MENTALLY TORTURING CHRISTINE. So fuck that noise.

And then of course, they say he's pretentious in the opening auction. I'm sorry? He was a fucking fop before in every other rendition, and, uh, HE IS RICH ENOUGH TO BE THE MAIN PATRON OF THE OPERA. So yes, maybe he is a little used to ordering people around. Which then brings the complaint "but he just stares off into the distance, not reacting!" Uh, one, he's an old goddamn man. Two, he's probably recalling Christine's mental torture and all her stories and staring off into space.

I mean, let's talk about the most minor of complaints, for real.

I have to admit that I am not always the quickest person to pick up on "plot holes" and idiosyncrasies in stories, which I think makes my suspension of disbelief much more enjoyable (although, at the same time, I can watch them very meta-ly.) It seems, though, that I tend to pick up on subtle characterizations much better. So that is an interesting note. I suppose it has to do with the fact that I have always been the sort of person who is less likely to get mad at someone or call them weird rather than come up with a reason they do what they did.

(Oh my god, let's not start on my dad's comments on tattoos and such the other week. Christ, that was bad.)

Oh! I also forgot the part where they said he was always "shouting" at Christine and everyone else. I mean, he wasn't literally shouting, so I think he was just being emphatic, especially when he's trying to get Christine to snap out of... whatever is going on there. And while I admit it would be nice to see him maybe break down a bit more and be more kind in one of those moments, I don't remember anyone's tone particularly bothering me when I actually watched it. Which could just be that I'm listening to it rather than being able to watch it as well now, but it could be that when you can see their mouths move you can also tell that perhaps the mics are adding some weird echo and shit. Which I also tend to be more perceptive to, so... I don't know.

Anyway, Raoul haters can fuck right off.

SO THEN. Legitimate complaint-- apparently the Love Never Dies Phantom is apparently played as being autistic (and this is the same guy pulled in for the 25th anniversary show). No one knows if it was his choice or a director's or something, but WHAT THE FUCK. That is just all sorts of wrong. I realize things like autistic savants and things exist, but WHAT. First of all, it cheapens the original story by making him not a genius who was tortured by society such that he became deranged enough to kill. It both over-explains why he is a creative mastermind as well as GIVING A REASON FOR HIS CHOICE TO LIVE APART FROM SOCIETY EVEN THOUGH THERE IS ALREADY ONE IN THE STORY. Secondly--and although maybe I am not exactly in a position to comment-- I think it's incredibly ableist. Someone should call that shit out, and I haven't seen ANYONE do it yet. It seems to me to hint that the only reason he couldn't function in society (despite being totally shunned)-- the reason he had to live under an opera, basically Stockholm-Syndrome a woman into loving him, and MURDER-- was not that he had his own issues, but that he was autistic.

I'm sorry, but what the fuck is that? That's some fierce bullshit-asshole-I-don't-even, right there.

Okay and then there's this contingent that was discussing the stage sets (which pretty much everyone liked! and for the most part I agree), and hated the movie version for being smaller versions/similar copies of an actual Paris opera house but still calling itself the Opera Populaire in the story? I'm sorry, what? What are we even complaining about? With a movie like that you can't exactly get all the world's biggest sound stages and build A. FUCKING. OPERA. HOUSE. Not to mention, some people seemed to be upset that they were copying this real place but making up a new name...?

I'm sorry, what. You do realize this isn't a real story, right? This is not historical nonfiction reinterpreted as a musical? I mean, the original book is presented as a detective doing research, but COME THE FUCK ON. I don't even know how to address that "complaint" because it is just completely absurd.

Oh and also, I am apparently not paying well enough attention, the stage lights I guess sort of washed some things out, apparently Raoul/Hadley Fraser's hair really was brown, which upon reflection I think that might be the first brunette Raoul I've seen? But still. No foppish ponytail, so I'm happy.
mercat: (jedi master Pooh)
I have "real post material" I'm actually working on, I swear. I'm a bit busy at the moment, despite my joblessness, as I am trying to register for grad school, get a museum job, hang out with peeps, do two halloween costumes, get a whole party together, et cetera.

Oh, and trying to also blog over at my "professional blog", which, I haven't updated in over a week, shame on me. Note to self: haunted houses, city museum, phantom.

The other thing: mom and I went to the movie theater tonight to see the 25th anniversary showing of Phantom. It was pretty damn decent. When Laura and Latta went and said it was LCD-screen sets, I lost a fair amount of interest because I have seen the, what, 15th? anniversary showing of Les Mis, the one with mics and chairs and the only "scene" is the battle one, BUT I am glad I went because it wasn't like that at all.

They do have "digital set paintings", as it were. I am not sure they are LCD screens because 1) there didn't seem to be much backlight coming off them, 2) they were still strong enough to be seen well with bright stage lights on them. But I did get some interesting... diffraction? patterns when the camera was focused at certain lengths.

So, the reason for the digital sets: well, one, I think ALW is getting into that kind of thing. Haven't really been following Broadway lately but (number two) in my recent knowledge I know there's been a shift towards special scenery. Like Woman In White iirc was entirely on a stage that rotated around for different scenes. I think? Never saw it. We were supposed to, senior year, and it got the kibosh so we saw Lion King instead. (In terms of props I consider the trade highly worth it, as my interest in puppetry might owe a fair amount to whoever designed those headpieces, unf.) (Yeah, I just "unf"ed over set design. This is me. Shoulda seen me earlier today, I freaked out over the facebook Indiana Jones game because I was in that kind of mood. You know, despite the fact that I've been playing it for weeks? Also, Ghostbusters showing Thursday. And I --actually, because of seeing Phantom tonight-- caught the Doctor Who episode where he does the WHO YA GONNA CALL thing, and then I found out he did some hilarious Christmas special where he also danced to the theme song, and that both made me very happy especially after I was watching Doctor Who Confidential today mostly just so I could hear David Tennant talk with his Scottish accent which by the way is glorious. So yes, set design.)


I absolutely adored the way the space was laid out, strategically. The front of the stage was the sort of "lower stage"-- which, I'm sure, based on the size of that massive hall was plenty big for probably a full normal-sized show-- where all the acting took place. Then there was the "digital backdrop" which rather looked like paneling on a french screen, very well done. And two staircases on the sides. Above the immediate backdrop was the entire orchestra-- not a pit orchestra, I'm like 99% sure they reorchestrated for a fuller group (possibly for the movie? no idea)-- and behind and above them was the extention of the giant screen. They also used that "above" space for all the "rafters" and "the roof", etc. (Although the scene where the Phantom shows up on the roof and the... roof of the tomb?, I think those were lower, as in, he was riiiight in front of the conductor.

What I did like about the screen was that they did a lot of animation with it, opening and closing stage curtains, the falling scenery, etc. And they didn't rely on it entirely, either, they had props like dead bodies and such. (I really hope I'm not spoiling anyone, I'm trying to keep it not too specific.)

Because the theatre there was SO INCREDIBLY VASTLY MASSIVE, the one good thing about the screen was that it made the whole production a lot more accessible to the whole audience. (Not to mention the cast that was probably four times the size of the normal cast.) When Christine goes to her mirror, they used the screen instead of the mirror prop and made her larger so more people could see her.

My favorite part of it was when she does the aria and finishes, then bows to the audience, then turns around and is "still facing the audience" and the curtain closes so she is "backstage", they had what I'm pretty sure was a live feed of the actual audience that night. And I think they had a feed for the "mirror" as well, as it seemed to be only a slight delay of what she was doing.

ON THE OTHER HAND, the technology sort of took away from it as well. In the mirror scene, they just had Christine and then up in the corner, the face of the Phantom talking to her. What? Why the fuck is that there? (And then they open it and the screen-mirror is also a door, and he's behind it, but that face wat.)

So you don't get the reveal of the two-way mirror. And also the creepy bride doll was not present, though I can't determine if that's yay or boo. Yay no creepy fetish doll! Boo no foreshadowing.

On the other hand, when the Phantom's letters are being voiced over, they also showed, on the larger "above" screen behind the orchestra, a video of the Phantom writing this letter. Which I thought was a very nice sort of movie-montage moment. So it's almost like this was a mix between the stage and movie versions, a stage play with movie effects-- which also relates to my next point.

The greatest thing I saw lacking was the stage effects. And I'm not talking about props or costumes or dancing or direction or the fact that they had an absurdly massive chorus (despite the fact that I found the voices rather drowning eachother out, and therefore also, the countermelodies). The. Fucking. Special. Stage. Effects. As in, when the musical first was made, they hired a stage magician-- an sfx-for-stage-shows-guy-- to do fabulous stuff. WHICH HE DID. And which were not in the show.

Uh, the "stairs"? No. The trapdoor-running-couple that gives yet another mysterious montage effect? No. Fireballs straight from the Phantom's staff to the ground? NO. Just stage explosions or fire bursts or something.

Oh my god and the chandelier wasn't rigged to crash, either, it just sort of shorted out with bonus fireworks effect.

(Also? I did not notice until tonight that the chandelier, which I think is supposed to look like candlelight flickering, looks like a fucking flying saucer taking off. YOU SEE THOSE CHASE LIGHTS? DAMMIT PUT A BETTER FLICKER MECHANISM IN THERE, YOU CAN AFFORD THEM. Christ.)

At any rate. So the set-dressing-and-props side of me really loves the "real" stage version better, but this was still SUPERBLY done. And I forgot how long it's been since I've listened to it, and how much I hate all the re-lyricking they've done since the original, and how much Lara and I used to know about it thanks to A.P. English and Lit/Drama/Song and the New York trip. Although I was thinking it was 1989 when it came out and then I was like herp derp nope I guess it's '86? Which, shit, that's Little Shop too and I totally misremembered. So I guess Little Mermaid was '89, and I was sitting there thinking "well maybe I'm remembering some corps did Phantom in '89, except I think Phantom did Phantom (Phantom Regiment, that is, the former), and I'm like 99% sure they did the 1812 in '89." So I checked later, and, sure enough, Vanguard did Phantom in '88 and '89. (I remembered from a video, the chair prop, and I seem to recall a lot of ridiculous '80's dance-style ballet-ish-ness.)

So back to this "we used to know so much" thing. We pretty much knew the stage recordings backwards-to-forwards and the movie as well, and I remember having enough criteria that after we saw the Broadway version (oh, ALSO, no surround-sound effects in the movie theater, I mean COME ON) we had some critiques of the Phantom and Carlotta although I think I liked Daae? I don't remember now, though.

BUT ANYWAY, the vocalists were positively fabulous. The Phantom did his own thing while still sort of being Michael-Crawford-lite (my favorite Phantom) (I hate Gerard Butler's Phantom GOTDAMN), and Christine was wonderful and I didn't want to Sarah-Brightman-stab-her (the Phaaantom oooof the Oooooperer), and Carlotta was not the tiny-whiny-diva like Minnie Driver and all the others but was a rather large lady but absolutely owned the role. I love her. She seemed much more like the character should be, an opera diva spoiled and famous. Maybe it's that whole viking-lady shtick-stereotype but DAMN, get it, gurl.

But, oh.




Allow me to explain. I detest Raoul. I have never liked him. I have never liked the actors/vocalists who I've seen/heard play him, I never liked his character, and even reading the book the only benefit I could see was that he and Christine were childhood friends and the Phantom is obviously KINDA FUCKIN' CREEPYTOWNS all up in there and Christine's character needs to not end up with his.

Whoops, spoilers, shit. Although I guess if you've made it this far, I mean, the musical's been out for 25 years so... T.S. Eliot, but I'm sorry. (And the book... ah... probably about a century now, rite? Just passed, I think? 1904?) (...ohshit 1910. So we're like right thurr.)

At any rate.

I FUCKING HATE RAOUL. Even though Patrick-Whatshisface and Emmy Rossum and pretty much the entire cast of the movie besides Gerard Butler were PERFECTLY cast, and I love that actor in everything else I've seen him in, I have hated Raoul. I think part of it was that ridiculous Fabio hair. Long, blond, and a ponytail. Or that was just the icing on the whatthefuck cake, I don't know. ANYWAY.

Holy shit the guy playing him in this version needs to just fly over the US and marry me because JESUS CHRIST HE WAS FABULOUS. Amazing voice. Actually wanted to cheer for him instead of the Phantom, actually cried for him and Christine when you're supposed to, all that fabbishness. Juxtapositionally made the Phantom feel a lot more creeper as well.

Anyway so the whole time I'm like YAY I DON'T HATE RAOUL but he looks familiar? so I looked him up when I got home and he was on a fucking episode of Doctor Who.


Aaaaand it just so happened to be on the dvds the lovely [ profile] astrid087 has let me borrow, and, sadly, he's in like two scenes and has maybe one line before he gets Cybermann'd. NOOOOOOOOO

So other than that I'm fan-stalking him now but--this might be the only time I've ever said this about a dude, and possibly because guys don't mess with their hair much? but-- he looks a lot better as a blond. (Also worth noting, his Raoul did not have a ponytail, thankthefuckinglord.)

Uh, and then I found out Instructables' Halloween contests, since being bought by Autodesk, now have grand prizes such as A FUCKING DESK LASER-CUTTER.

Yeah, I could do work on that, fuck.

I hope this year is my year, then. Gotta get that Medusa instructable up, and then Portal, and GET ME SOME VOTES!

So, today, in summation: David Tennant, Phantom of the Opera, Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones, Raoul, Doctor Who, awesome engineering.

Oh and I spent like WAY too much on all the things I have been needing to buy for Halloween, but I feel more caught up so I can work on things when they finally get here in the mail. Beakers and Erlenmeyer flasks for drinks? Check. Kinda want to heat one up on the burners and make tea in one just because. (I probably will.) Also I got some adorbs shoes, and light packs and mushroom switches and all sorts of lovelies.

So... yay!

...Oh and ALSO, Michael Crawford didn't sing! What! Sarah Brightman did, along with four guys who I'm assuming played the Phantom who I don't know (although possibly one of them was the guy we saw on Broadway who I'm thinking had played that character longer than anyone else ever) and the guy from the Twenty-Fifth show. But ohmygodMichaelCrawfordIloveyou whyyyyyyy!?

Also-also I maaaaaaay have made a really bad Dalek pun today on facebook. Totally worth it. And I will still probably call them day-leks in conversation, it just seems right...

(rabble rabble stupid americans rabble rabble England was the one who changed their accent so HA)
mercat: (Default)
Crap, I missed three days, didn't I. Ugh. Well, at least I'm trying.

First of all, RIP Leslie Nielsen. :( Although I used to confuse him with Steve Martin a lot when I was little... Anyway. Airplane! is hilarious if you don't watch it a million times.

Uh, three favorite girls/boys names? Idk. I honestly think about pet names more than people names, and even then, I kind of ascribe that a pet determines their own names based on their personality. I tried to name my fish Nessie, but he ended up being Captain Nemo. Just like it was probably better that Tippy ended up as Tippy and not as Dipstick. Although I rather love Spats and Jack, as far as nomenclature is concerned. ANYWAY. I do hope I have a cat that would fit the name "Throgmorten" some day, as the cats from the Chronicles of Chrestomanci. There is a bright orange cat that hangs out in our back yard sometimes, with waaaaay yellow eyes. We call him Jacque Nouveau because he looks kinda like Jack and drives Jack crazy. But he is exactly the sort of cat I would name Throgmorten, if I actually owned him and he wasn't just a neighborhood cat. Or maybe it's appropriate that he's a neighborhood cat? I don't know. Either way I don't think mom or laura or dad would go for calling him Throgmorten.

Also, there's the T.S. Eliot method of cat-naming, which is appropriate in a semi-regal-semi-cats-are-90%-of-the-internet-cute manner.

Celebrity crushes... I don't really understand them. I mean, I do, I guess? Characters are cool, but celebrity crushes have always kinda creeped me out. I just... don't... get them. I can't really explain it... I guess because I don't understand it? I'M NOT REALLY SURE. I'm kinda weird that way, buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut I've been that way my whole life. I recall people crushing on the Backstreet Boys in, uuuuh, fifth grade? Anyway, I seem to recall a number of lunch conversations (or at least one that stuck pretty well in there) revolving around AJ who I think was getting married at that point and the whole thing weirded me out. Why would you crush on someone who you don't know and not only that is not single? Still mystified to this day. Fact: I'm weird.

MY OPINIONS ON GLEE, LET ME SHOW YOU THEM: First of all I kind of can't stand the way the performers sing. Secondly, when I found out it was set in Lima... I can't even... what? It's a very poor representation of this region, that's for sure. THIRDLY, the whole thing comes off to me as, as it came up in a discussion, "nerd culture appropriation". Basically, OH, IF WE TURN THIS INTO A MUSICAL WE CAN SELL IT TO MUSIC NERDS! Because... there's not much quality there? Although at least they have the respect to get some cool people involved sometimes, like Kristin Chenowith and Idina Menzel. Anyway. Basically I can't stand the show despite my love of musicals. I find it extremely grating to listen to/watch.
mercat: (Default)

HOLY SHIT I SUCK AT POSTING. This thing has been sitting on my desktop for a month and a half, christ, shame on me. Anyway. I'm trying to make better habits for myself... Some are getting better (I keep a real schedule on my ipod! I'm under 100 firefox tabs consistently!) and some not (I don't check my calendar, I forget things, I haven't organized many piles of files on my new computer... from a year ago...)

Shia says Indy V will be crazy. idk what to think. I'm excited but hesitant at the same time? Eeengh. Like I said after Indy IV, I mean, at least they can't do that one anymore. (Also, I told you so. Also-also, I am kind of sick of hearing about your stereotypical MacGuffins: the spear of Longinus, Noah's Ark, all that stuff.) GO TO HAWAII, PLEEEEASE

But, uuuuhhh, if Spielberg pitched a script, I'm guessing this is happening. So... yay?

...I'm depressed that that last sentence has a question mark attached to it. :(




While we're doing videos, this time-lapse-experiment-turned-art-video is absolutely fantastic:

ANTS in my scanner > a five years time-lapse! from fran├žois vautier on Vimeo.

I hope this is just some lawyers having fun, and were not actually hired over legitimate offense.

I didn't even know they had finished the script for this, shit. Three months away was apparently a COMPLETE NEWS ISOLATION, much moreso than usual. (Nobody famous died.)

This movie looks awesome! That hat looks awful. (Short crown + extra-wide brim = grossnasty.)

Ghostbusters/AC/DC mashup:

Lady Gaga kidnaps Comissioner Gordon. Guys, I was about to say "I want to live in that world", and then, you know, I remembered that Lady Gaga is a real person and kicks major ass.

A good essay on Iron Man 2, which I am still excited about. The awesome thing about disappearing from the world for three months to memorize a metric assload of numbers until you've lost 15 pounds is that, when you get back, all the movies you just watched in theatres (and loved) are about to come out on dvd. Fuck. Yeah.

Some awesome shots from the filming of Star Wars.

So, "mad science", you say?!

That is the kind of awesome shit I'd like to do with my life. (I must say, though, that the closest I've ever come was destroying an antique rusted oven with a sledgehammer. Also fun, except for the part where the paint chips were popping off the bent metal everywhere...)


Jesus, it's about time! They better make these. Not that I'm planning to buy any, but, yeah...

Oh, James Cameron. I thought I couldn't hate Avatar any more, but I was wrong. You think you're God's gift to cinematography when really it sounds like you're just a rich bully. I kind of want to go see Pirahna 3D, even if I hate it, just to fucking spite you. Goddamn.

BUT THE GOOD NEWS? Rick Moranis may come out of retirement for Ghostbusters 3. HELL. FUCKING. YES. As long as this shit is better than the game (a bit repetitive story-wise, in relation to the movies). Also, I thought we were already clear that Oscar is Venkman's? There's some banter toward the beginning of the second one that that is what I took away from it.

OH HEY THERE BLACKBEARD. Why the fuck don't you have cannon fuses in your beard?! Jesus, the man should look MUCH more epic than that. For god's sake his body circled his ship seven times before sinking after he was beheaded! (Fuck yeah pirate lore.)

Chewie: not nearly as adorable as Winnie. But still hilariously adorable.

Here! Have a picture of Viggo the Carpathian.

Okay, now, look. I am all about crazy costumes but I don't even know what's going on here.

So adorable.

If the world is making you feel weary (although I don't see how that's possible after all those adorable kitties), I prescribe this.

Next video: An apparently sanctioned-by-Lucas video about the dumping of Jabba's cargo. With a creepy animation of Han Solo. (BUT I SAW THAT RAIDERS REFERENCE. I SAW IT.)

...Definitely thought it was going to be something like River Tam in the box though, the shape was eerily similar.

Heheheh kitty parkour.

HOLY SHITBALLS this woman has completely missed the point of feminism. Oh my god this article is rage-inducing. OH. MY. GOD.

Good news, videogamers! Playing video games enhances decision-making skills. That is, it enhances your ability to make choices faster.

Oh! An antibiotic-resistant superbug. Awesome. This may be our downfall. However, if you're worried about the apocalypse, I just thought you'd like to know that science seems sometimes straight-up fictional. I know a lot of zombie movies/novels/etc. lately have been leaning on diseases like ebola, mad cow disease, or other things to explain the basis for the disease. So here's a crazy fact: mad cow disease causes cattle's eyes to glow. WTF.

Rechargeable cars are less hurtful to the environment than gas, even if charged using "dirty fuel". And it's crazy, if it could charge using renewable sources--solar, wind, etc.--it's FORTY PERCENT cleaner than a gas-using car. Holy shit. Why is the world so resistant to changing how we use our resources? :(

(Answer: laziness, greed, but it still pisses me the fuck off.)

I read an article the other day about how an old solar panel from the White House was rediscovered, and some students, led by Bill McKibben, took it to the White House to see if they would take it back as a symbol of good faith and an attempt to move conservation forward in the eye of current US politics. Some of the statistics were incredibly impressive--like the fact that seed sales increased by 30% the year Michelle Obama was promoting her White House garden. But the kids were taken into a "war room" and basically told no. The whole thing made me so sad, particularly because I remember McKibben speaking to my freshman class on his book we all read, and because we were stuck in a hot, sweaty gym with a rather heavy book (as in, the material, not the book itself), he kind of got ignored by most people. And trying to sort out the fifty interested students in a room of 1000 or however many it was is not really a simple task. Anyway. The whole thing just makes me depressed for the state of our politics. I don't understand why people want to spend so much money on stuff and on keeping things the way they are instead of helping people who need help, helping the WORLD that needs help. I don't know. Maybe that's my bias of too many years of marianist catholic education speaking. I'm too hopeful, I suppose.

Cats drawn as Marvel characters! Adorable. And hilarious. Particularly Spidey and the Sandman.

OKgo's new video to encourage the adoption of shelter pets. Amazing as usual.

Surprise! Facebook is fucking with you again. And this is why I keep all my info private except to people I know.

NEWSIES IS GOING TO BROADWAY, hilariousyesfantasticyesssss.

If superheros were hipsters. I particularly like PBRman. Also I feel like Spiderman isn't that far from Tobey McGuire Spiderman because DEAR LORD DO I HATE HIM. (Also, LOL at Aquaman--Northwesterners are a silly people. I learned that this summer.)

Mysterious civilization hidden in the Amazon--I think this is the same thing (SPOILER ALERT!) Lost City of Z talks about. BUT NOBODY KNOWS. It's fascinating.

Carnivorous plants dwndling across US; I wonder if this might have anything to do with all the bugkiller sprays we use? (No idea, just a thought.)

Shark attack survivors team up to save sharks.

ATHLETE'S FOOT MEDICATION COULD CURE WHITE NOSE SYNDROME! Finally, a hint of good news on that front.

Bug people are crazy. So are geologists.

Some foreign memes for you. I particularly like Makmende, for some reason. I suppose it's like Chuck Norris, but cooler, because Chuck Norris has kind of turned out to be a douche. (Clint Eastwood = cooler than Chuck Norris.)

A really good article about building the mosque. It sums up my feelings on the subject pretty well.

Where can you find Ned and Chuck, Henry Jones (Sr.), and (old school!) Zaphod Beeblebrox? Cons, of course. (Those PD outfits are fantastic, though, seriously.)

Interesting bit of Raiders trivia.

Oh my god, remember the ad for Iron Man 2 where Pepper smooches Tony's helmet, and it wasn't in the movie, and everybody got upset? I present to you--THE ALTERNATE OPENING:

(Fan. fucking. tastic. Why did they not do this one, now?)

And another fantastic short.

Star Wars yoga, absolutely hilarious. And rather clever.

Obscure Taco Bell trivia! A.k.a. the random shit I will bring up in conversation that may eventually lead to me singing the Gordita Anthem. This, in fact, happened this week despite me finding the article months ago, although it did not lead to Gordita-anthemizing, which is a shame.

Here is a fantastic interview with Patrick Stewart, and within it is a fantastically creepy tidbit of their interpretation of Macbeth, which I am cutting for the rare case of spoilers )

Is that not fantastically Halloween-y in the best manner? It absolutely is.

First of all, this article is rather old. Second, I doubt it is more than tongue-in-cheek coincidence, and three, Hex of the Hydra sounds godawful. Like the books series.

OH MY GOD. So I was watching the new Sherlock Holmes (not for the first time), but I also decided to watch the bonus material. Apparently they decided Jude Law was more of the ladies' man than RDJ, so they took to calling him Hotson on set.

omg. Hotson.

I can't even. It's hilarious. Anythus.

Much like Rule 34 of the internets, I surmise there must be a similar rule about blogs and personal interests. If you have thought of it, someone, somewhere, has already posted about it online. There is a cool blog called Strange Maps that posts, well, non-generic maps. This particular post has some interesting material on worldviews. It's rather fascinating, but my main point of this whole thing is that the Bulgarians think Poles are all sexy fembots.

I. Don't. Even. Know.

What I do know is that I need to post things more often because I have AT LEAST this many more links piled up in my Google Reader waiting for me to take action. And FIVE MORE old posts on my desktop from before I left this summer! Luckily those posts actually have some real content, like some book reviews.

So, real stuff now, we went to the Yellow Springs Street Festival today. I got an awesome monster shirt, a necklace for my medusa costume, and a beaverfelt antique collapsible tophat! The sad part is I got home and realized the tophat is too small :( BUT I refuse to get rid of it for the time being. I also walked RIGHT PAST Dave Chappelle without even noticing at first, who was saying that the street fair was "like Yellow Springs normally, but gayer". Which... I don't know what that means? Because it's almost the opposite. All the out-of-town people come to visit for the day, so the percentage of hippies is decreased by at least some...

Also my sister finally found the CORRECT version of the Taco Bell Gordita Anthem (thank you, 1998) and I downloaded it for the sake of posterity. POSTERITY I TELL YOU.

(begins at 1:40ish if it doesn't play correctly.)

[EDIT] If I had been paying attention or had any creative/organizational method of linkspamming (Captain Obvious Hint: I don't) I would have posted the Ghostbusters/Rick Moranis thing followed by the carnivorous plants thing followed by the Newsies thing. Points to you if you know how those three are related.

Alas, I did not, and I also need to post this in the case I missed posting it before:

Also-also, tomorrow is 42 DAY as in, the date is binary for 42 (101010), and it happens only once every hundred years, and tomorrow we are getting together to watch the Hitchhiker's Guide movie, probably have a Vogon poetry reading, and get our brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick. Coincidentally that is the name of my ipod and there will be no citruses anywhere near my electronics, thankyouverymuch. (I've taken to naming my electronic devices after science fiction things, or other related items; this new lappy is HELPeR486.)

Also-also-also, I am very afraid for this Pan-galactic Gargleblaster recipe, which is, essentially, take Everclear, cut with liquors:, scratch that. I may be looking at the wrong recipe. Anyway, there's a lot of alcohol, plus a little bit of mixers, add olive, et voila.

If I weren't so convinced I'll be smashed rather quickly, I'd throw in a gin & tonic to boot. Maybe I'll pour one out for my gpa who seemed delighted about the affair but clearly can't make it (and probably shouldn't be consuming high levels of alcohols).
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We watching 500 Days of Summer last night, it's kind of amazing. First of all, I don't know if it's Zooey Deschanel's choice that she's typecast or if she just plays all her characters true to herself, but I freaking love her. Also, JGL is hilarious.

AND THEN THERE'S THE DANCE SCENE, OMFG. I DIEEEEEDDDDDD. I can't find the whole thing online, but it is just fucking hilarious, because, letmetellyouwhat, storyofmylife. I mean it. Ahahaha. That movie is wonderful.


quick note

Sep. 27th, 2009 12:14 am
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Another for the 1957 list-- the year West Side Story came out.

[EDIT] HOW HAVE I NOT MENTIONED THIS BEFORE: or if I did, I didn't tag it! Jim Jones alo founded the Troopers that year.

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Wicked was amazing. I feel like it's been ages like I've actually listened to musical soundtracks.

My week is going to suck. I'm so busy it's ridiculous. So don't expect to see me around much...
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Oh my god. I mean, I love musicals, but Mamma Mia, at least in movie form, kinda sucks. And seriously, I love ABBA. It's just... I don't know... kinda poorly written. Like SONGSONGSONGSONGdialogueSONGSONGSONGdialogue. Not much room for exposition, and the music doesn't exactly flow. Meh, at least I know now, I guess.
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Movers came today to pick up about half of our stuff. It's strange.

Caroling was amazingly awesome last night. My toes got cold but that's my fault for wearing my Christmas chucks. (BUT it wasn't too snowy or icy or anything SO I HAD TO.) The thing about caroling is, I feel like you should be singing more "fun" tunes... Not stuff like Away in Manger.

By the by, I randomly read "manger" a few weeks ago and heard it in my head as "anger" with an "m" in front of it, and now I hear it that way almost every time. Weird.

Tonight is trivia night... I hope it's Christmas themed.

I realized I don't really have any Christmas-themed clothing, just my light-bulb (and my light-up) necklaces, and a really awesome Santa hat. Well, and my chucks. (Which people are consistently amazed that I painted... It's just fabric paint...)

Um um um. What else what else. We're moving the cats today... That will be crazy. I need to practice my horn and register for camp because I AM BEHIND UGH NOT GOOD. Saturday was the Brandstetter's party, that was fun. Sunday I saw Yes Man with Johnny, it was pretty good. I feel like Zooey Deschanel, as awesome as she is, kind of gets typecast. I could be wrong. Just moved stuff yesterday and went caroling... Hm.

My life is weird.

Hugh Laurie might be in the new My Fair Lady, which would be amazing because he's awesome and I can't stand to listen to the original because HIGGINS HURTS MY EARS. Oh, and Hugh Laurie is awesome.

A new Wallace and Gromit! I'm so glad they're not finished making these. I still very much want a "HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CHICKEN?" poster.
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You know what I realized the solution to my problem is? A classic musical.

HOW DO I NOT OWN OKLAHOMA OR THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Not even Little Shop on DVD, daaaaaamn. Just that old VCR recording that I think Papa might have taped (because the intro and the credits are cut off).

I have... ~zero~... musicals here with me. Dammit. How did I get this far with zero musicals? Semi-musicals don't count. Enchanted's out. Oh wait, I have Hairspray, but that is far from a classic. ARGH. I NEED THAT RETRO-NESS.

Yeah... so.
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RHPS redo, 3D original Star Wars, and Hairspray 2: THESE ARE ALL TERRIBLE IDEAS.

Sequelese is out of control. Somebody needs to stop Hollywood and give them a good bitchslap.
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Alrighty, so... my parents bought the house. Dad doesn't think we'll be movied there for at least a year and a half, and also I'm glad they bought the one with a yard and not that ridiculous sun-room and the hostile garden takeover. (Seriously, the one they liked had god-awful wallpaper and paint jobs, this atrocious Florida room and NO YARD. IT WAS ALL PLANTS AND DECK AUGH) Anyway. Sooo... yeah. =( I'm a bit of a sad puppy. I'm not ready to give up the open space of living out here... =C The only awesome thing so far is that mom was trying to figure out room arrangements so that Laura wouldn't get shafted on closet space like she did here, and asked me if I would like the attic room (although that would mean everything gets stored in the basement--but this time it's dry...) ...YES...! So that's kind of cool. It will be short but I've always liked cavey places, aaand I sort of get a bathroom to myself (sort of).

Anyway, I watched Batman Begins again tonight. I couldn't remember what happened all the way with Wayne, only the bad-guy-takeover plot. I still love this movie, and the pacing is nowhere near as complicated as I first thought. The flashbacks did get confusing the first time, but if you listen closely to the dialogue (which I've been much more attuned to lately), they relate a lot more.

Anyway, besides the Wayne background that I couldn't remember, I was watching to compare the portrayal of Gotham. I guess we're getting into spoilers...GO SEE THE MOVIE ALREADY )

So just wondering, who hasn't seen this movie yet, or doesn't plan to and doesn't care about spoilers? I don't want to spoil it because it's a freaking beautiful movie and plot, but, yeah, I try to avoid cuts in my personal journal when I can. (Makes it easier to search and scan later.)

Why do we not have a closer IMAX yet? The closest is the AF museum, obviously, but they don't show non-educational films. Which I don't blame them, I mean, it's a military institution and that would be a hassle, I'm sure. Same thing goes for COSI, which is probably the next closest IMAX. So where are the commercial IMAXes?! AUGH, I want to see TDK in IMAX sooooo baaaaadly.

Anyway, interesting thing that has been mulling in my brain since Friday night/midnight Saturday, when the final installment of Dr. Horrible went up. You know what, this is rambling and probably spoilery for both... )

I really need to catch up on How I Met Your Mother, too. Is it sad that I only see Dr. Horrible instead of Barney? It seemed like Dr. Horrible acted almost exactly like Barney, minus how much of a jerk he is, which has only convinced me Barney has Billy hiding away... somewhere. If they got Felicia Day on the show... OMG I WOULD DIE OF HAPPINESS! <3 (I think I'm just desperate for something to get unjossed? Is that possible?)

So this fall I have three shows to watch: How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, and YAAAAAY PUSHING DAISIES! =^n.n^=
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So this day started out FANTASTIC and got logorithmically worse.

Found out a good friend from high school not only got fired from his (GOOD) job because he was smoking pot (and doing other things) but that he RAN OFF TO WYOMING TO LIVE IN A TENT WITH A KID WHO HAS FAILED OUT OF MULTIPLE REHABS, AND IS NOW DROPPING ACID AND E.

I am so depressed you have no idea. I keep getting flashbacks to Jacob's funeral and this is all not. good.

Also, part three of Dr. Horrible is up, and... yeeeeeah... =S
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Have you seen the shit they are doing for Tropic Thunder? Holy shit this movie is going to be awesome.

Also, Wicked is finally going to be a movie!

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Hmm, just got back from going out on the Hokule'a. Was fun but it looks like I burned my face a little, which ticks me off because I was doing fine until we got back in the car. Grr. So now my face is red and I have glasses lines and it's really dry-feeling. (Curse the rain and its indecisiveness!) Anyway, yeah. I've had a headache for the past week or so, I dunno why, just my neck and my head hurts a lot. I think I need a better pillow but there's not really anything I can do about that right now. So my head hurt a little and my neck hurt a little and going out I was a little hungry so overall I just felt a little sick, and now I want to take a nap but I can't because I need to clean the room asap. Argh.

I also forgot to mention yesterday that I keep looking at that photo and laughing because it makes me think of the line "the corn is as high as an elephant's eye" from Oklahoma! and so I am just picturing Indy and Shorty singing Oh What a Beautiful Morning and it is hilarious.
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Not a good musical. Ohgodit'sjustsowrongIdon'tknowwheretostart

I mean, it wasn't bad, it's just, eh, not good as a musical

And it is quite possible that watching Hawaiians trying to be a bunch of drunk Scots is the funniest thing ever. Just try to picture it. (It all explains the bagpipes though.)

34 days! Augh! Woo! So did you know Ford turned his 800 acre ranch into a land conservation trust? Neither did I. I knew he flies helicopters, but he volunteers as a hike leader too. I am really glad there are Hollywood celebrities who can really make a good difference and not be all about their parties. =)
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Woo my parents are coming in less than 24 hours! Yay. Sooo much to do beforehand because I'm a procrastinator, and I still don't know how to get to the airport, haha...

So I'm procrastinating, of course, watching my roommate's copy of Legally Blonde 2 (because I already watched two episodes of PD and my internet is soooo slow that the next one has been downloading for two hours and still has about one a half left), and it's really creepy: the music sounds way too much like Enchanted. So many of the opening bar/melody lines are the same it's kind of creeping me out. Enchanted was Menken, and this is some guy I've never heard of, but I mean I had the same thought go through my head with at least three different melodies, and that makes me wonder. I dunno. Crazy, crazy coincidence?! (Melodies matched up with True Love's Kiss, So Close, aaaand... hmm. Maybe it was So Close twice. Can't remember.)

Aaaaanyway. I reeeeeally don't want to ride the bus for two hours tomorrow, but $35 for a cab is kind of steep...

64 days until Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull! Today's trivia: This article on the soundtrack is both interesting from a musical perspective while making me cautious from a plot perspective. Only more evidence towards alien involvement and I will flip my shit.


Mar. 8th, 2008 11:35 pm
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If I wrote Dear Diary style, this is what it would kind of be like: "Dear Diary, today was awesome. The end."

Seriously, I just sat around and did nothing but I had fun doing it. And I had fun wearing all green, haha.

Demyla and I went out and saw Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day... ADORABLE! Kind of creepy to walk into a theatre full of old people, though. (But it definitely explains why I haven't seen any ads for it anywhere.) I definitely recommend it. But it probably didn't help that I sat there the whole movie going AAAAAAH I LOVE THAT DRESS and YAY FORTIES and OMG "ANYTHING GOES!" YAY MUSIC and GUH I WANT THAT APARTMENT *stare*

Seriously. Fucking. Awesome.

And then Barnes and Noble finally had the copy of Empire I was looking for! So our apartment now has an Indiana Jones poster and everything is good in life. (Except that I have to get up at 6 tomorrow... and we'll have a 6 hour difference to Ohio...yuck.)

74 days to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull! Today's trivia: Quote from the Empire article: "Having such a Jones for Jones, has Koepp peppered the script with knowing nods and winks? 'A little, obeying the characters as they're laid out. But inside series jokes? I don't like that kind of stuff. Any self-referential stuff we tried to avoid. I don't think that people remember everything that was said 25 years ago, so referring to somethin you said 25 years ago seems kind of stupid to me. So, no, not a lot of that. But, you know, sometimes for fun.'"

SO YAY no stupid references (which I think is what ruined Pirates 2 and 3), at least, not too terribly many or anything.


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