jemck: rune logo from The Thief's Gamble (Default)
And so we come to War for the Planet of the Apes, the latest in what now seems to be an ongoing series of films rather than merely a trilogy. We see where events since the last movie have led us, as man’s arrogance encompasses his own downfall. Will the unexpected consequences of bio-technology offer other primates a chance at the top slot?

Technologically, the film is a tour de force. What motion capture and CGI can do is astonishing – you really cannot see where reality stops and special effects start. So far, so increasingly common these days. But great special effects are not enough, as rather too many movies fail to realise. A film like this must also have sufficiently strong central performances to make it a drama, not merely a spectacle. Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson deliver absolutely what’s needed. The dynamic between Caesar, leader of the apes, and Colonel McCullough, commanding an embattled remnant of humanity, is tense and compelling from start to finish.

Mankind’s inhumanity to man is front and centre, compared and contrasting with the apes’ mutually supportive culture. All Caesar and his kind want is to be left alone. Colonel McCullough needs an enemy to fight though, and unable to attack the virus that’s been humanity’s downfall, finds the scapegoats he needs in the apes.

As a war film, the movie wears its influences unashamedly on its sleeve, most obviously, though not exclusively films exploring the Vietnam War. It can absolutely and legitimately be called Ape-ocalypse Now. This is not merely retreading those footsteps though. Such echoes, and other references such as the slang names for servile apes, serve to tie this dystopian future to our own reality. There’s also the inescapable fact that the Vietnam War proved the hollowness of the American doctrine of ‘peace through superior firepower’. That undercurrent continually runs beneath our viewing of events where armed men seem to have an inescapable whip hand over apes with severely limited abilities to fight back. Beware assumptions.

Issues of gender in this movie are more complex than they might first appear, certainly as far as I am concerned. I’m using words like ‘man’ and ‘him’ advisedly because this is very male-gaze apocalypse. Not however, one where masculinity-under-threat-in-this-modern-liberal-world can finally come good, with its guns and its manly men taking charge of helpless women and children to save the day.

This is a story about the dead-end destructiveness of arrogant white male masculinity so used to solving everything with aggression that it's incapable of thinking outside that self-defeating box. That influences my response to the widespread online comment about the complete absence of female voices in the dialogue (apart from possibly one female soldier’s scream?) The one significant human female role is mute and childlike in the most literal sense, and while a couple of female apes have things to say, they do so through sign language. Could one view the lack of female voices as a feature rather than a bug, if one were prepared to squint a bit...? Then there’s the almost-gender-neutral appearance of the apes apart from the females’ apparent (and to my mind inexplicable) inclination to unflattering central partings and rustic ear decoration. I think there’s more to be discussed about the absence of female characters here than might be first apparent. Is that very absence what permits masculinity to turn so toxic?

Not that this excuses the use of perhaps the laziest motivate-your-male-protagonist cliche in the first act of the movie. There are other script-writing choices I can quibble with, most notably some utterly bone-headed human tactics as the film rushes to its conclusion.

A fourth movie is reportedly under discussion, or development, depending on what you read. I’ll be very interested to see it, provided that the writers can offer something more than man and ape in conflict. These films have done that, and done it well, but the story needs to move on. In my head at least, there must be other corners of this world where the post-apocalypse is working out differently, with male and female voices contributing equally to co-operation rather than conflict. I’d like to see how that’s working out, given so many challenges will still remain to drive a story.
jemck: rune logo from The Thief's Gamble (Default)
After the holiday-and-other-stuff hiatus, here's where you can find the opening chapter of Southern Fire, Book 1 of The Aldabreshin Compass.
I've mentioned before that I am always determined not to rewrite the last book each time I start a new one. This time round, I was absolutely determined to write a very different series.

Meet Daish Kheda, absolute ruler and warlord, unquestioned master of all he surveys. Of course that means when trouble arrives, absolutely everyone is looking back at him, expecting him to have all the answers. That's a problem when the trouble that's turned up is invaders backed by violent sorcery, and all Aldabreshin law and custom bans magic on pain of death...



Southern Fire - Artwork by Ben Baldwin
laughing_tree: (Default)


USAvengers abroad is gonna be so much fun. It's by Al Ewing and Paco Medina, so you don't need me to tell you it's good. -- Nick Spencer

How the team will make it through [Secret Empire] – they won’t, not in their current form. If they did, it wouldn’t be much of an arc, because there’d be no consequences. So not all the team members who come out of this particular crucible are going to be exactly the same as when they went in. And they might not all come out! Cannonball, for example, is a hundred per cent dead. I would never lie about something like that to promote a surprise reveal where he turns out to actually be alive. Never. And I would also never lie about lying about that, or lie about lying about lying about that, so I hope anyone reading this knows exactly how trustworthy I am when it comes to Cannonball’s unfortunate, and definite, death. -- Al Ewing

Read more... )

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 08:13 am[personal profile] cesy
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
More things I have learnt from physio - mainly notes to self. I suspect [personal profile] hagar_972 and [personal profile] taennyn may have useful experience here, where I'm just starting out on the same journey they've already been on.

Muscles in the thigh - VMO, lateralis, the big quad one, the sartorius one across, adductors on the inside, abductors on the outside. VMO needs extra strengthening due to hypermobility. The small stabilising muscles tend to give up, then the big muscles compensate, and that's why my hamstrings get tight all the time. Then the hip/bum ones like glute max and glute mede also need help, particularly the latter.

Making sure things activate in the right order is hard. If the lateralis activates before the VMO instead of at the same time, then my kneecap slides sideways and that's one of the reasons it hurts. Trying to activate the VMO first will retrain it so they both go at the same time.
elf: John Egbert with a rocketpack, captioned "THIS IS STUPID" in all caps. (This is stupid)
I'm behind again. This time it's not because I forgot or got too busy. Who MAKES these damn lists, anyway? Don't answer that. I know who. Teenagers, or maybe college students. People who think, "reliving heartbreak is a poignant moment, an interlude of quiet sadness in the midst of your hectic day," and not "reliving heartbreak is like walking naked into fire, so of course I'd want to share that with all my friends and casual acquaintances who knows how many strangers on the internet."

So I've spent a couple days trying to nudge the question from the side, trying to consider songs that I think of as heartbreaky without sending myself into a downward spiral that could take weeks to recover from.

Today doesn't get a list, and it doesn't get a video. [personal profile] mdlbear posted that Jordin Kare has died.

I remember one filksong from my first year at BayCon - Leslie Fish's "Banned from Argo," sung in the back corner of a party room by four people sharing a copy of Westerfilk. The next year, I went looking. I remember one song from my second year - Jordin Kare singing "The Bride of Saint-Germain."

I wrote about this before. Bride of Saint-Germain has, as far as I know, never been recorded. It's certainly never been publicly released. And now, no matter how well the OTW does in its struggles to get fanworks accepted as fair use, no matter what kind of precedents vidders win from congress... he's never going to record even one of the fannish concert versions that sometimes make their way to Youtube.

I loved Jordin's music; I have both Fire in the Sky and Parody Violation and I can sing along with all of them, even if I don't quite know all the words. The song that breaks my heart is the one I'll never hear again.

Meme list
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
For those who don't know, we live in an up/down duplex. Marna, Ian and I live upstairs and Lorayne has the downstairs, with two spare rooms for any guests of upstairs or downstairs.

Lorayne also has two window AC units. One of which is in her big spare bedroom. We do not have any AC upstairs, just a lot of fans.

It's been hot and humid as fuck in Ottawa for the last week. It's finally starting to cool down, but the heat is really lingering upstairs. Last night I couldn't fall asleep because of it.

So, I said fuck it and am sleeping downstairs tonight.

Dreadful followed me downstairs and was staring forlornly out the screen door, so we invited him in. So, Dreadful's sleeping downstairs too tonight.

Rayne's cats, Kina and Chakra, are less than impressed.

They've met Dreadful before, and even lived with him for a week when we stripped the wainscotting in the kitchen several years ago, so we're not worried it'll come to blows overnight or anything. They'll cope. And I think Dreadful is enjoying the change of scenery.

Also, the lack of dog.

Oh yeah, we got a dog. We've had him for about a month. Our intent was to foster him, but Marna fell in love, so now he's ours.

His name is Bogart, we think he's some sort of pointer cross, but he was rescued from the Everglades, so we can't be sure. He's about 18 months old and weighs about 40 pounds. He's a sweetheart, but he has some behavioral issues we're working on.

And Dreadful has NOT reconciled himself to this new family member yet. He's never lived with a dog before, and he's not sure he wants to now. They're cohabiting relatively peacefully, but Dreadful is still keeping his distance.

ETA: and then Kina and Dreadful got in a fight in the hallway. So much for not coming to blows. So, now they're locked on opposite sides of the dog gate for the night.

*sigh*
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
Whose Luck?
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 1, complete
word count (story only): 1419


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, the Mercedes story set, and the Road Trip story arc. Kais' luck seems to be holding, but someone else points out a surprising trend in it. ::

:: Pay Special Attention: I tried to be vague about the details of Kais' injury, but I wanted to frame these events first from Kais' viewpoint, so some unpleasantness is unavoidable. (The payoff for this will happen in the next story, of course!)




Kais turned her face toward the window, trying desperately not to cry.

Willem, the young man who had taken her clothes-- every stitch she'd brought with her save what she stood in-- tried to apologize. Again. “I mean, it's called a mangler, but it really shouldn't have done...” He lifted up one torn, button-less shirt and waved at the sodden mess.

“I can check everything your size in the lost and found,” he offered. “I feel...”
Read more... )
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
I just got to a series of posts from 2014 Wiscon harassment meltdown. Ah, memory lane.

MCU AU fest

Jul. 21st, 2017 01:46 pm[personal profile] tielan
tielan: (AVG - maria)
A very small pool this year, but I still matched with at least one person who requested Maria & Pepper!

I admit, I would have liked to write a treat for [archiveofourown.org profile] CamrynBarnes as the only other person who asked for Maria/Steve, but simply didn't have the time. I did get a couple of hundred words into several different universes, the problem is reaching a satisfactory ending...

Anyway, my assignment for [archiveofourown.org profile] finnimbrand:

title: Travel By Bubble
pairings/characters: Maria Hill & Pepper Potts, Maria Hill, Pepper Potts, JARVIS.
tags: Alternate Universe - Fairy Tale
notes: I had such trouble with this, because neither Maria nor Pepper manage to fill the 'heroine' roles in femme-focused fairytales in any way, shape, or form - they're not the wanderers or explorers so much as the guardians and maintainers, and so trying to write them in as the heroines involved a lot of backstory and worldbuilding. In the end, I kind of said, "Ah, to heck with it," and just wrote them as the fairy godmothers, because they fit there!
summary:
“Why pink, anyway?” She wondered idly as she combed her fingers through the still-damp strands. “If we can magic the bubble into any color, why pink?”

“We tried making the bubble with all the other colours,” Maria reminded her from where she sat at the portable desk. “Pink’s the most efficient.”


And a treat I wrote for [archiveofourown.org profile] Rivulet027 because I had time and the idea took hold of me:

title: Break My Bones But You Won't See Me Fall
pairing/characters: Bucky/Sam, Bucky Barnes, Sam Wilson, original characters, (background Steve/Maria).
tags: First Meeting, Alternate Universe - Single Parents, Alternate Universe - Human
notes: So I like these two flirting. They seem the type, and they work for me. Plus, the idea of Sam as a single daddy is just too much cute, and I'm pretty sure that Bucky agrees. I kind of 'reused' the character of Pippa from 'And Baby Makes Eight', only Steve is her biodad as well as her father in this universe.
summary:
Sam doesn't hold hands on the first date. Luckily, they're about to have dinner together...
rfmcdonald: (photo)
Ice cream truck, Bloor at Russett #toronto #bloordale #bloorstreetwest #truck #icecreamtruck


I did not cross the street to buy anything from this truck parked on Bloor just one street west of Dufferin. Perhaps I should have.
conuly: (Default)
She's talking just fine (which is great, she's a real chatterbox) and even though she has some weakness on one side, it's already improving.

And while we were gone dealing with this, the cops broke into our house to search for our escaped neighbor. Which is ridiculous - they didn't have a warrant, and they certainly didn't have probable cause, and they definitely did not have our consent to a search.

I must say, they're really pulling out all the stops here. The cops, the state troopers, a joint NY/NJ task force, a helicopter... all this for some dude who ran out of his house, handcuffed, in his undies. It's either overkill, or they're hiding something big.
fandomgiftboxmods: Picture of three giftboxes on the beach with flowers. (Default)
As the title says, all of the request summaries have now been posted. You can access all of them in one place at this link, along with the requests by media type post.

The Ao3 collection already has 3 works, and we have even more fills in giftboxes on Dreamwidth, which is even better. :D We'll be back in September with the lonely giftbox list, so have fun filling! And if you have any questions, leave them on the mod support post.
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
jemcover.jpeg

In the next-to-last issue of the series (but not the story), the Holograms, the Misfits, the Stingers and Rio are all in Hawaii. And Jerrica has just told Rio she's Jem.

What's Synergy? )

Requests for Fandoms T-Z

Jul. 20th, 2017 10:48 pm[personal profile] fandomgiftboxmods posting in [community profile] fandomgiftbox
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