ariad: (btvs // go hand in hand)
Adaptation
Watched this in my film class, and it is amazing. The backstory is that the screenwriter, Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), was commissioned by Columbia Pictures to adapt the bestselling book The Orchid Thief, by Susan Orlean, into a Hollywood film. The problem is that The Orchid Thief, which I am reading now, is not a novel; it's a non-fiction book about an orchid poacher, with no real plot and a sprawling structure. Finding himself unable to adapt the book in a conventional way, Kaufman wrote Adaptation, a film about a screenwriter, Charlie Kaufman, who is attempting to adapt The Orchid Thief. The script that he ends up writing over the course of the film is, in fact, the film Adaptation, which can itself be considered an adaptation of The Orchid Thief. On top of all that, the movie is meta on about five other levels. It is the most metafictional thing in existence, holy crap. And I love it.

Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Errrrgh. This is the movie of my favorite novel (also called Corelli's Mandolin in the US), by Louis de Bernieres. I watched it only so that I could use it for a paper on literary adaptation into films. Although it was very "faithful" to the novel in a lot of ways—it is structured very much the same and a lot of the scenes from the novel are reproduced with dialogue taken verbatim—in my opinion, the filmmakers pay lip service to the book without understanding it. Both of the novel's major themes are absent from the film, and many scenes seem to be included for the sake of the plot and lack the deeper significance that they hold in the novel. A large part of this is that many scenes are totally off-tone, and the tone of those scenes is ultimately more important to the novel than what occurs in them. I would have preferred a looser adaptation with a greater mind toward what the novel was actually trying to say.

Legend of Korra
I had a minor freakout today because Nick.com seemed to have temporarily taken episode three off of their site, and the only other stream I could find was extremely low quality, with the sound cutting out quite often. But the episode went back up, and although it was amusing and had some cool fight scenes, I wasn't as impressed by it as I was by the first two (which were PERFECT). Other thoughts: I was under the impression that creating lightning is difficult to learn, seeing as how Zuko, who was supposed to be a very good firebender in the first series, never managed to do it, so those workers at the power plant must be super pro. Also, I noticed that Korra, Bolin, and Mako all have eye colors to match their dominant elements! I found it kind of silly when I first noticed, but come to think of it, that was true in the first series, too. It was just less blatant because there weren't any mixed-element families.

LOST
Started watching this again. I'm up to 2x08 "Collision" now and, boy, is Ana Lucia irritating. I almost never dislike characters unless they're racist or misogynist or otherwise abhorrent in some very obvious way. Granted, this episode gave some insight into why she is the way she is, so I'm starting to appreciate her, but I would still rather not have her around. I hope her personality improves soon because she is driving me up a wall. The end of the episode nearly moved me to tears, though. I think I have a couple of ships for this show.
ariad: (Default)
Books and Book-Like Things
Shadow Magic. By Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett. I started this in March and finished it a few weeks ago. I was Not Impressed. Although I loved the prequel, Havemercy, I found this one drab in comparison. I didn't particularly like any of the four narrators, and although Caius Greylace teetered on the edge of interestingness, his unusual personality felt forced. Another of the novel's shortcomings was how little action was in it. That is to be expected about a novel that takes place in the aftermath of war, when the tense relationships are all diplomacy and court intrigue and running away because your brother is plotting to have you killed, which was not as exciting as it sounds, but I feel like nothing significant happened in the novel. They ate rice and dumplings. Some insults were exchanged. There was some commotion in a theater and an attempted assassination. I hope the third book, Dragon Soul, will be more thrilling than this one.

Harry Potter Books One, Three, Four, and Five. By J. K. Rowling. This is my third time reading through most of the series, and like the first time, I am in love with Remus Lupin. (The second time, I was most interested in Sirius, our resident Peter Pan.) This readthrough had be gushing love out my pores for all knowledgeable and competent characters, though, in particular Severus Snape, Ginny Weasley, Fred and George Weasley, Minerva McGonagall, Albus Dumbledore, and Harry Freakin' Potter. (I think I am too used to Hermione being knowledgeable and competent, and Harry is too used to Hermione being knowledgeable and competent, for me to be especially impressed.) I had tears, tears, many tears at the end of Order of the Phoenix. I didn't even mind Harry's constant state of capslock, such was my sympathy for him. I am starting to get annoyed by the overuse of ellipses; some days, it seems like every single page has at least two paragraphs that end in ellipses and at least five that contain them. The story is remarkably well-organized, structured, and plotted, though, so I forgive all flaws in the prose.

Shoebox Project AAAAAAH. AAAAAAAAH. AUGH. SO MANY TEARS BUT SO MUCH JOY. ♥

Television
Doctor Who. I'm five or six episodes into the first season, and I am pretty impressed. I rather like the Doctor, and I think the plant lady in the second episode may be one of my favorite one-shot characters, despite my inability to remember her name. (I like people with shiny skin. The Oracles from Angel are also on my list.) The show does seem a bit overdramatic, though. Even taking into account that the Doctor is a time traveller, does the fate of the world need to be threatened in every single episode?

LOST. I've taken a hiatus in favor of watching Doctor Who, but I think I like LOST more. I had just finished episode 13. Episode 15 is written by one of my favorite TV writers, Drew Goddard, so I will definitely be returning to the show eventually.
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Comics



Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8. Finished this a few weeks ago. As a whole, the season was entertaining, but I cared so little. It's a shame; great and terrible things are happening to my favorite characters and I just don't give a shit. I think the art style may be to blame because Georges Jeanty's lineart just isn't very emotive. However, read it for the army of tiny vampire teddy bears screaming, "EAT THEIR #%&@ING OVARIES!"

More: 'My glimmering hope is so large it eclipses the sun and the moon!' )

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September 2016

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