elfinblaze: (Arrow Laurel)
I'm currently on a rather rambling path through the animated DC universe. My newest purchase has been the Batman animated movie Under the Red Hood.

Click for my thoughts on the movie )

In summary: if you can stomach the agonising first scene, it's a VERY good movie. I have watched it twice already. It may even end up being my favourite Batman movie ever.
elfinblaze: (Torchwood)
Just finished reading Anne Rice's The Wolf Gift. I've never been a big Rice fan, although I've read some of her stand-alones, Servant of the Bones and Cry to Heaven, the latter of which is still one of my favourite fiction books ever because it helped me discover opera. I don't read much horror these days, but as a teenager I did. I read mainly classic horror: Stoker, Poe, Lovecraft, LeFanu, with a few modern writers like Poppy Z. Brite thrown in for good measure. I never enjoyed Stephen King or Clive Barker although I tried, and these days the "horror" that most bookshops stock is really paranormal romance, and I have zero interest in reading romance fiction, paranormal or not.

But I discovered that there's two types of horror that I like. Type one is the "chiller" type, fast moving, keeping you on the edge of your seat, compelling horror. Type two is slow moving, atmospheric, more beautiful and sad than horrifying. Most of my preferred horror fiction tends into one of the two types, although it has elements of both.

This one is mostly the second type, it's more philosophical, although it is still enough of a page-turner that I read it in two days. When my sister saw me reading The Wolf Gift she dismissed it as being like all the paranormal romance fiction out there these days, and the cover doesn't help. But of course it's not at all; it's true horror fiction with all the challenges and complexities the genre raises.

Cut for spoilers )

Of the "big three" horror creatures - vampires, werewolves, and zombies - my favourites are still werewolves and other shape-shifter stories (followed by ghosts, which are less popularly written about). In European folklore it was mostly wolves that threatened people, and that people turned into. In Russia it was bears. In parts of Africa it was hyenas and lions. In South America, jaguars. It was always the untamed and untameable in our stories that humans became when they lost their humanity. I find that combination of fear, nature, and human history fascinating.

I would label this book "fluffy horror", or maybe "horror for non-horror fans"... but I like "fluffy horror" better. :p Yes, it's still horror so of course there's the corresponding level of violence and sex and disturbing themes, but then, my bar for horror is extremely high, so that colours my interpretation and you may disagree vehemently. But this book is what I would consider fluffy by comparison to others in the genre. I've read similar levels of violence in general fantasy fiction, and it's still confined to the action scenes. The sex is mostly "off screen" and completely consensual. There's no torture, cold blood, or extended dread, and even the violence isn't lovingly dwelt on. It's just part of the way things happen. Like nature.

The reason werewolves are considered horror is because they confront us with what we're all capable of and because we all fear a loss of control. They tell us that wildness exists in everyone, and that it doesn't take an animal to be truly cruel: that is all human.

I found The Wolf Gift very enjoyable actually. I thought I would enjoy it when I bought it, just because I do like reading about werewolves, but I probably enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
elfinblaze: (me writing)
I've just realised that I haven't mentioned all the things I've been watching/reading/enjoying recently the way I usually do, so I thought I'd do a post for those that I really want to mention.

Struck By Lightning DVD )

Outland DVD )

Heartthrob CD, by Tegan And Sara )

I think that's all? I can't think of anything else I bought or borrowed recently that I wanted to talk about.

The Hobbit

Jan. 6th, 2013 07:21 am
elfinblaze: (Torchwood)
Things I got done yesterday:

- Went to Medicare by myself. Yay. Never done that before. I chickened out last time, but I was having a much better day yesterday and felt much more capable. Very proud of myself.

- Went shopping at Myer as I always do this time of year, because they practically throw out their Dangerfield stock (including Black Friday, Princess Highway, and Revival stock); I'm talking $200 dresses being sold for $50. So I got a lime green dress and a denim biker jacket. I don't know how I'm going to resist when I get too old to pull off Dangerfield clothes.

- Got Kathy Reichs' new Virals book, Code, which I didn't even realise was out. I like her books, but I especially like her young adult series.

- Saw The Hobbit. Really loved it.

Read more... )
elfinblaze: (Glee)
I finished reading Trick of the Dark by Val McDermid, and I enjoyed it so much I had to write a quick post about her brilliant depiction of homophobia in it, which is such an important theme throughout the book.

cut for length; no spoilers )

Books read so far this year: 6.
Stories written: 1 (to be finished around Easter).
New Year's Resolution to read and write more: looking good so far.


Mar. 7th, 2011 08:42 pm
elfinblaze: (Glee Kurt Blaine)
Mwahaha! I have turned my journal layout pink and yellow! It now looks like ice-cream. ^_^ *is five years old* But seriously, I like both pink and yellow, and I needed a change from the white and brown combination.

Anyway... It's Monday, so...

Glee, episode 2x14, "Blame It on the Alcohol".

Thoughts in short:

*spinnn* ^_____^

Thoughts in long:

cut for plot details and 18 screencaps )
elfinblaze: (Glee Brittany Santana)
Glee, episode 2x13, "Comeback".

cut for plot details and 4 screencaps )

Short post, but I'll make up for it next week, because I have a lot to say about that episode. Ye gods. Be warned.
elfinblaze: (Glee Brittany Santana)
Keep in mind, I write these reviews after seeing each episode a few days after it comes out in America, but then post them after the episode has screened in Australia, almost two weeks later. So I'm ahead by one episode now, but I haven't edited my review to reflect that except where noted, because these were my thoughts after seeing just this one.

So without further ado...

I need to talk about Glee, episode 2x11, first known as The Superbowl Episode, then renamed Thriller, and then renamed The Sue Sylvester Bowl Shuffle, or possibly The Sue Sylvester Shuffle; I've seen both titles used, so buggered if I know what it's actually titled at this point.

Cut for detailed plot-points from the episode and 11 pictures from the episode and filming thereof )
elfinblaze: (Glee Brittany Santana)
GODDAMNIT! Why has no one else seen the Christmas episode of Glee yet?! *ignores voice in head chanting 'because you couldn't wait and got it early, you idiot'*

Loved it so much! Just... GAH! Must... talk... to... someone... about... *gnaws on chair*

Under a cut so that I don't spoil anyone and with pictures )

Now to catch up on the episodes I missed before February comes around with new episodes.

Glee. Again

Dec. 3rd, 2010 08:24 pm
elfinblaze: (Glee Brittany Santana)
I took the day off work yesterday because... well, where do I start? My sinuses felt like they were trying to claw their way out through my face, my throat felt like I'd had sand shoved down it, my head was thrumming away in the background, and I sounded like a frog. Minor reasons, I would say, to take the day off, but I suspect others would tell me to go home with that vile plague if I were to sniffle my way in to work like that. And I didn't really want to infect any adorable old people. *sigh* I'm very good at running myself into the ground with stress. Then I got a fever in the evening, but that seems to have boiled the bugs alive, because I feel much better today. Not perfect, but better.

But at least I had a [livejournal.com profile] viciousdisorder to talk to on IM yesterday, because she was at home too, recovering from a Wisdom [teeth] Extraction, plus I had Glee, episode 2x09, "Special Education". I couldn't have picked a better day to get sick, really. ^^;;

Cut for spoilers, speculation, and pictures of Glee, episode 2x09, Special Education. Also, it's a bit long. )

If you're in Australia and you want to see it, unfortunately you'll have to wait until next year, because Channel 10 are saving their "big" shows for when the ratings season starts up again. Joyous summer television repeats coming up instead. ^^;;


Nov. 26th, 2010 09:39 pm
elfinblaze: (Glee Brittany Santana)
Note to self,

A phone will not help you to unlock the letter box. Next time, try taking the keys instead.

It would probably also help if you had your mind somewhere in the vicinity of the Earth, not dancing on clouds. It might help you think.

Affectionately yours,

Okay, I admit it, I am slowly becomming obsessed with Glee. For the past two days I've been saving onto my USB stick all the Brittany/Santana and Gen fics (especially Hummel-Hudson family, because I'm a sucker for stories about siblings) that I could find, and then reading them at work. *_* So much new stuff to read! Though not nearly enough to appease an insatiable bookworm like me, which means I'll probably be writing my own sooner or later.

Also been listening to the music on my Zen non-stop. Favourite musical performance from the show is still "Don't Stop Believing". Second favourite is "Bad Romance", and I scarcely even know who Lady Gaga is, I just liked that performance.

This situation is not entirely all my fault (or Madonna's, for that matter). In the past two months or so, Glee has replaced Criminal Minds as the show my whole family sits around to watch, which is increadibly rare in my house; usually we're arguing over the remote control and switching channels whenever someone else walks off for a moment because we all have such different tastes. But with this... my first sister got into it first. My other sister just watches whatever's on anyway. My brother's girlfriend got him into it, so now he watches it with us too, and if she's there she'll watch it as well. XD It's funny. Only mother doesn't watch it, so the rest of us - whoever happens to be there at the time - comandeer the second TV every week for ourselves.

I'm still going to download all the episodes and watch them in my room so that I can laugh and squeak and squeal to my heart's content and not annoy anyone else. And then I can watch it all calm and sane-seeming with the rest of my family a few days later and enjoy it all over again. ^_^

So that's been what's been filling my head with stars and "yay" at the moment. So much so I take the phone instead of the keys to the letterbox. ^^;; Should probably work on getting my head out of the clouds one of these days. On the other hand, I wouldn't have amusing stories to post then.

Cut for spoilers for episode 2.08, 'Furt', and pictures )
elfinblaze: (torchwood)
I need to talk about Lip Service, the BBC "version" of The L Word, except cooler and more realistic, because Glasgow feels much more like planet Earth to the average Westerner than West Hollywood does.

My hormones don't understand how people can't think Ruta Gedmintas is hot in this role, but each to their own. And while I'm at it, there will be no bashing or name-calling in my journal, which includes "slut", "bitch", or other gendered words, because I have already seen this in other blogs. Actually, I should add that to my user info in general.

And now, to continue...

Cut for pictures; contains spoilers for the first 2 episodes )
elfinblaze: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] viciousdisorder and I went to see Tomorrow, When the War Began yesterday.

I loved it. There were a few weak moments, and her husband spent most of his time criticising the specificity of the weapons and aircraft (eg. "Only Australia uses those guns. Why do the enemy soldiers have them?"), so if you're picky like that you might want to skip the rest of this entry, because I don't care about those things and I loved the movie.

contains spoilers )

And now for the random links:

- Berlin is.... Berlin is: if a family doesn't have to look like a 'family'.

- Muslim staff at Ikea's north London branch wanting to wear a headscarf to keep in with their faith have been given a hijab bearing the firm's logo. So good to find some decent companies around.

Whip It

Jul. 14th, 2010 11:25 am
elfinblaze: (NCIS Abby/Ziva)
I'm all for raisin' hell, but sometimes you gotta know when to make peace.
- Malice

After watching the movie a few weeks ago, yesterday I read Shauna Cross' teen fiction novel Derby Girl (or Whip It).

It's about, Bliss, a sixteen-year-old girl growing up in a small town in Texas, and bored out of her skull by the beauty pageants her mother forces her to compete in, and the bland and limited life around her.

more (contains spoilers) )
elfinblaze: (Harry Potter)
Now that I finally have my copy of The Wizard Rockumentary, I watched it twice over the weekend. It's a lovely documentary. It's fun and you can tell it's made with a lot of love and enthusiasm. I'm still smiling.

My review plus a few pictures )
elfinblaze: (Harry Potter Peverell Brothers)
Yay! My whole bedroom smells of "new book"!

Just finished reading Richard Morgan's fantasy novel The Steel Remains. Best book I've read all year! Actually, no, tied for best book I've read all year, along with The City of Dreaming Books, but still, I have about 20 books on my list of print-published fiction read so far this year, so that's still worth a lot.

This got a bit long )

Now I need to decide which book to read next!
elfinblaze: (WM Spears Write Hard Die Free)
"Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else."
Italo Calvino
Invisible Cities

I finished reading Die Stadt der Träumenden Bücher, by Walter Moers, translated into English as The City of Dreaming Books, and it is easily one of my favourite books of all time.

This review's going to be odd because I read the book in German and want to review it in English, so I'm going to be using my own translations here. In the official English version some of the names and words got changed, most obviously the protagonist, Optimus Yarnspinner, who is called Hildegunst von Mythenmetz in the original. I have no idea why it was changed but if anyone can enlighten me, that would be great. I'm going to be using the German words and names, since I haven't read the English version.

Read more... )

[livejournal.com profile] viciousdisorder, let me know when you finish the book, I need to talk to you about it!
elfinblaze: (WM Spears Write Hard Die Free)
I finished reading Iron Council, by China Miéville, yesterday. It's broadly categorised a science-fiction/fantasy book, and it's a bit of both genres: the society builds weapons and industry and robots in metal, but also builds weapons and industry and entertainment with magic. There are alien species and wizards (thaumaturges), and most importantly, it works.

My review )
elfinblaze: (Harry Potter)
Alright, now that I've seen Half-Blood Prince twice, I can better articulate my thoughts.

From the Azkatraz @ Home discussion points:

cut for spoilers )

All up, not as good as Order of the Phoenix but about on a par with Goblet of Fire, which was my second favourite movie.

Definitely not a children's movie anymore though. My sister said she was expecting it be be "less scary". Yes.
elfinblaze: (Default)
So one person on my FList is dealing with family issues, one person is dealing with health issues, one person is dealing with work issues, and [livejournal.com profile] ashkitty is dealing with zombies. I'm not sure which of those is the worst, but after reading my FList I think you could all use a big hug. And in [livejournal.com profile] ashkitty's case, a big gun. *hugs you all*

Meanwhile I've been dealing with dragons. Only in fiction, thankfully; I don't need big, fire-breathing reptiles in my life too. I've just finished reading The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff.

I love it to pieces! Short summary: it's about a family of witches in Canada, specifically Allie Gale, a young woman from that family who inherits a magical junk shop from her grandmother. So she moves away from her (huge) family, into a new city, and ends up right in the middle of magical occurences that she realises she needs to unravel in order to find out what happenned to her grandmother. It seems like there's a lot going on at the same time but it all makes sense at the end.

I love all the characters. Even the minor characters are interesting; like Auntie Ruby, whom the family send down into the basement to find some apples, but what she finds is a broomstick. The next thing the family knows she's flying past the kitchen window, cackling. Then there's Charlie, who goes for a walk in the woods in Halifax and ends up in Haiti. And Joe, the overgrown leprechaun, who refuses to return to fairyland. Tanya Huff just writes the most interesting characters I've ever come across, and they're all wonderful.

And I love all the pop culture references in the book.

"My name is Jack. My mother says it is a name for heroes."
Jack and the Beanstalk.
Jack the Giant Killer.
Little Jack Horner.
Jack O'Neill.
Captain Jack Sparrow.
Captain Jack Harkness.
Those were all the Jacks Allie could recall off the top of her head."

I knew I'd love this book and I do. ^_^ Yay!


elfinblaze: (Default)

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