August 2017

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We had our first snowfall last night. Around nine o'clock, we began to spot the first fat snowflakes among the rain, and by eleven o'clock, it had changed over to all wet snow. It was sticking a little on the ground by the time we went to bed around 1 AM, but when I eagerly peeked out the window this morning, I was disappointed because it had all melted already.

In the mountains, however, there is quite a bit on the ground. Bobby is currently pacing around the house waiting to be picked up by a friend to go up to Jay Peak, where it's estimated they got about 6 to 7 inches (15 to 17 cm). They'll "earn their turns" by hiking the mountain and snowboarding down. Power to them! That sounds like a lot of work, but Bobby is over the moon.

At his colleague's house about 15 minutes north of us, she posted a picture on Facespace with about two inches (5 cm) on the ground, so it seems we just missed it being cold enough to stick, which isn't particularly surprising, since we tend to be a couple degrees warmer here in the valley than in the surrounding areas.

Yesterday, we went to the matinee show of Vermont Vaudeville. We loved it. The show was held in the beautiful still-undergoing-restoration Hardwick Town House. It was hilarious. I think they cross-pollinate a lot with Bread and Puppet; I recognized some of the actors from B&P shows.

It was a really miserable day yesterday: in the mid-40s F (about 4C) and this constant, omnipresent, drizzly rain. We decided to pack it in for the evening. We'd had a stupendous and large lunch at Positive Pie in Hardwick, so we grabbed some Chinese food at the Wok 'N' Roll in Newport and rented three movies from the video store.

We moved up here for a variety of big reasons related to lifestyle, ideals, and emotional health, but we constantly discover little things that we love and never expected. Having a video store is one of them. An old-school, locally owned video store, not a Blockbuster, certainly not a RedBox. Bobby and I love movies, and one of our favorite ways to spend an evening is seeing a movie in a theater or renting one at home. Yet neither of us are particularly wild about streaming movies. The reality is that we live in the middle of nowhere and have satellite Internet, and the nights when you most want to watch a movie at home--when it is raining or snowing--are the nights when the satellite Internet is least reliable or, during storms, may not work at all. We also like having the cases to hold in hand, to read the reviews and the blurbs, look at the cover and the stills that have been chosen, see if the movie was presented at any festivals or won any awards, etc. Discovering we had a video store up here was an amazing find for us.

During October, we rent mostly-to-all "scary" movies. New England Video has a special where you can rent three non-new releases on Saturday night for three bucks and keep them for three days. Since we're expecting poor weather this weekend and three bucks for three movies is an amazing deal, then we rented three scary movies. Last night, we watched one called Frozen--no, not THAT Frozen--about a trio of college kids who get stuck on a high ski lift after hours. It was the stupidest thing ever! It appeared they were citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (I will avoid using the term that Vermonters use for this particular type of tourist from that particular state), skiing/riding at a fictional resort in Massachusetts, but there managed to be man-eating wolves? It was awful! But of course, the awfulness is part of the fun for scary movies a lot of the time. All the same, this wasn't the kind of awful that I recommend watching.

We've rented a few this month that I've really liked. Dawn's 2016 Haunted October Movie Recommendations )

So speaking of Haunted October, my own Haunted October is going well and so not-so-well at the same time. It's going well because I am still hooked on the story and write at least a little of it every day. I don't think I've had a 5000+-word day, but I've had a handful of occasions where I manage a few thousand in a sitting, which is good. But it's nowhere near being done, which looks like it won't be ready to post even part of on Halloween (since I don't like to post unfinished work), and at this point, it also threatens my NaNoWriMo aspirations, since I'm not going to put it on hold to start something new. So at this point, I probably need to just call it "Tamlin" and forget about the Haunted October piece. I can't bring myself to be disappointed in myself, however, for missing a self-imposed deadline because of my enthusiasm for a story that has been in my head for years.

Last night, I finally got to some sinister supernatural monkey business. Yes, JUST LAST NIGHT. I still have a lot of story to tell.
Last night, Bobby and I went to see the new Hobbit movie for the second time (in England! which makes it extra cool!), so I am now prepared to review it properly. The first time we watched it was at the Mythmoot screening, so it was 1) at 9 AM after waking up at 6 AM, 2) in 3D, and 3) I was all O.O about the upcoming conference. I understandably missed a lot and didn't want to be unfair and/or look like an idiot by reviewing a movie that I nodded off during at a few points (because of the early hour and cozy darkness, not because of the quality of the movie).

Like the first installment, I enjoyed the movie. This is also the point at which I will make my requisite preface that I treat PJ's Tolkien-based movies much as I would a work of fanfiction, i.e., I need to try to enjoy someone else's vision of Middle-earth rather than to expect that PJ will have magically created mine. So I will not argue about breaking canon so much as I will analyze how his decisions worked on their own merit.

Spoilers Ahead )
Bobby and I went to see The Hobbit last night at a midnight show. Midnight shows aren't something we get to indulge in often, but we decided quite a while back to make an exception given someone's *ahem* Tolkien obsession. We bought our tickets as soon as they went on sale and took the next day off (today) from work. Admittedly, last night, I wasn't feeling very awesome by the time it came to leave, but arriving at a theater packed with fellow Tolkien geeks had a revitalizing effect, and at 11:59 PM, the show began.

The Rest beneath the Cut for Spoilers Sake )
Bobby and I went on a date last night and saw Hugo. He's been itching to see it since we saw a preview before, I think, J. Edgar that somehow completely evaporated from my mind. (We went to see J. Edgar mid-week and I was very tired--the likely explanation.) So I took him at his word that I told him that I thought the preview looked promising, at the time. He conveniently failed to mention that it was 3D until we were walking up to the theater and I saw "Hugo--3D" on the marquee and whined a bit; 3D movies (even when the 3D is used for spectacular effect, as indeed it was in Hugo inevitably look rough to me. I don't know if it's because I have preternaturally good vision (I do) or what; I know no one else who experiences 3D movies like I do. They're distracting and prevent me from becoming fully immersed.

Nonetheless, Hugo was a damned fine and absolutely beautiful movie, although I do not agree with it on all points. (Do I ever??)

Spoiler Alert )
Jenni ([ profile] digdigil) recommended that we see Children of Men, an adventure movie set in the not-too-distant future and so, at her request, I am reviewing it!

Children of Men--Spoiler Warning! )
Let me say that before I meander off behind an LJ-cut that Pan's Labyrinth made up for the soul-shattering awfulness that was Primeval. If you are a fan of fantasy with a darker edge who either speaks Spanish or does not mind subtitles, this movie is well worth a look.

Pan's Labyrinth )
I would like to issue a dire warning to all movie fans out there before I confine the rest of my ranting behind an LJ cut: Big Animal Movies™ are on the loose, masquerading as normal movies that you think you might want to see. It behooves us all, as moviegoers who demand quality entertainment, to visit our local IMDB to verify that there is no risk of a Big Animal Movie™ attack in the show we are about to see. Big Animal Movies™ are not a joke and they are not funny--they are dangerous. And only you can protect yourself. Remember, the best thing to do when faced with a Big Animal Movie™ is to back away slowly, don't make eye contact, and always keep your distance.

Soooo...Primeval )
I didn't have the best day diving, the Ravens are losing to the Stain (a.k.a. the Cleveland Browns--though the Ravens are at the moment driving, w00t), and I am contemplating Mexican food atop a stomach full of tank air that I swallowed while struggling at diving this morning that I cannot burp out because I am an abnormal freak. Gah. So pardon any snarkiness because my most recent movie viewing experiences haven't really been sublime.


Per usual, I am too lazy to bother cloaking my spoilers in euphemism that will confuse the hell out of anyone who's seen these movies and seeks to confabulate about them, so if you plan to see it and want to be surprised, I do not recommend reading these reviews.

Little Miss Sunshine )

The Illusionist )

The Grudge (yep, a relative oldie on DVD )

The Black Dahlia )

Flyboys )

ETA: I started these reviews yesterday. Since then, the Ravens have beaten the Stain with a late field goal, I have overcome my scuba-induced panic and feel confident to pass the last of my confined-water tests, and I managed not to barf despite the balloon in my stomach. Yayness.

And the Saints are beating the Falcons for their first home game in the Superdome since Hurricane Katrina. If this was a movie, I'd probably be complaining about the predicability of it! :^P

One last note and then I'll stfu because I need to go to bed: I am waaay behind on comments and emails. I haven't forgotten y'all. It was just One of Those Weekends, and today, I simply lacked the strength even for online communication with another human being. But I feel much better now and will send out my replies tomorrow.
Before I get down to business...

Happy birthday, [ profile] frenchpony!!!

(I know you weren't around yesterday on your actual birthday, so hopefully you'll get my belated wishes!)

We've actually seen four movies recently, but I find it impossible to review comedies, and two of the four were comedies. Funny movies seem too...personal somehow. A lot of what is funny (or not) to a person depends on their experiences, and what I find funny as a twenty-four-year-old recent college graduate and liberal who likes to write and play with Elves is going to be very different from what a fifty-four-year-old male banker and Republican who likes golf and wine thinks is funny. And I'm no good at analyzing what makes comedy work or not. So I decided to leave those two movies alone.

For the record, they were Talladega Nights and Accepted. I liked Accepted the best--but naturally, having graduated from college recently and getting ready to go back, this "college comedy" genre appeals to me. (Never mind that I do tend to have a crude sense of humor.) Talladega Nights was pretty good too--probably the best that Will Ferrell has put out in a while, imho--but yet he doesn't make me laugh like he did on Saturday Night Live. I don't know why. He was my favorite on there, but most of his movies simply aren't that funny.

I give Accepted 3.33 E.L. Fudge "Elves Exist" cookies out of four, and Talladega Nights gets 2.75, both of which are fairly good scores.

Naturally, the two that I am going to fully review are horror/suspense movies. Pretend to be shocked.

Both reviews may contain spoiler stuff, so tread with care if you are planning to see these movies and want to be completely surprised.

The Night Listener )

I am putting this part outside the cut for the benefit of my sister, since I don't know if she reads my movie reviews:

Do not see The Wicker Man. It includes as its premise an idea that--given your phobia--will cause you to not sleep well at night. If you want to know more, you can read the review, but I am keeping spoiler stuff under the cut.

But for the same reason that I told you not to see Silent Hill, you'll probably want to skip this one too.
~Your Loving Sister

The Wicker Man )
It is the summer movie season, which is a favorite time of the year for Bobby and me. We are movie enthusiasts and like to see a movie in the theater each week, filling in between with one or two rentals of those we might have missed earlier in the year or older movies that we feel we need to watch for one reason or another. We've been busy at the movies in the past two weeks, and I offer my reviews and opinions on three of the summer blockbusters: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, The Lady in the Water, and Miami Vice.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest )

The Lady in the Water )

Miami Vice )
Cut for spoilers...if you've been living in a cave for the last thirty years, that is ;) )
By request of my sister, who I talked to on the phone today (*squees!*), I am posting this movie review that was in fact written two weeks ago. I wrote it in pieces, being too busy to chug it all out in one fell swoop, but wanted to get my thoughts on paper. Those of you who know my writing know that I have a penchant for horror and darkfic, so scary stories and scary movies are my proverbial bread and butter. Understanding what makes them scary (or not)...that's tough. Fear and horror are often such personal experiences, yet there are some buttons just begging to be pushed. And that is why I write horror reviews, this one in particular. I simply never bothered to unlock it from p-lock. Well, Sharon was curious, and I told her that I'd post it for her.

Introductory Schtuff from 27 April 2006 )

Before I go any further, though, there is something that I want outside the cut: Sharon, do not see this movie. There are some very squicky fire/burning scenes that you will not like. Others on flist, if you do not like fire and burning, do not see this movie either. You will be squicked.

And you have been warned. Now onto the review, which contains potential spoilers. But I'll try to keep this to a minimum. (And isn't knowing that a movie is "horror," in itself, kind of a spoiler?)

Movie Review: Silent Hill )

Now, because I like to discuss writing and I know that some of you like to discuss writing, I will ask: What scares you in fiction? It could be movies or stories...but I think that we all have that one thing that frightens the bejesus out of us. So how did that writer do it? How can we--as authors--write convincing horror stories or scary scenes when we need to?

My Thoughts on Writing Horror...or Even Just Scary Scenes )

I am interested to know, for those of you with an interest in such things: What horror tactics (movie or book) have worked for you in the past? Do you have a secret for writing horror in your own stories? Or any definite no-no's? I'm interested to know, so leave as short, long, rambly, or irrelevant comments as you'd like.
Last Friday, Bobby and I needed a movie to see, and we ended up at The New World.

'Hey! We're making a Serious Movie (tm) here!'...The New World (*spoiler warning*) )

Then last night, Bobby and I wanted something silly and not requiring too much thought, and so we rented Waiting.

Sad...but true. What REALLY goes on behind the lines at your favorite hometown restaurant. )

Lastly, before I stopped rambling and try to capitalize on my last hour of peace and quiet (alone!) here at the office, I am getting ready to start up a new character in my original fantasy RPG. He is three-quarters Elven (so he looks rather Elfy) and has just come of age, with brown hair and green eyes. (But the eyes aren't important, as even I can doctor them in Photoshop, I think.) I've yet to find a suitable picture for him, so if anyone knows of any cute, brown-haired Elfy-looking guys, I would be much obliged! They can be photos or drawings. Simply point me in the right direction, and I will handle it from there.
Back in the day before I decided that my grubby little fingers belonged being in some way involved with everything Silmarillion-related on the Internet, I used to do movie reviews in my LJ weekly. Sometimes they were so long that they took hours to do. This was also the days when I used to go to Pit of Voles daily and whine if there were less than five new stories posted. Needless to say, I'm not sure I want to take that sort of time now, but I will give what amounts to short-n-sweet reviews, for me.

Since I wasn't allowed on the computer this weekend for reasons of hopefully stalling my slow descent into insanity, I had to do something. So I did about two dozen monster blocks for my D&D group (yes, really), finished Oryx and Crake, and watched four movies.

Grizzly Man )

Munich )

Youngblood )

Dukes of Hazzard )

And...a meme! Gakked from [ profile] digdigil and seen also at [ profile] isil_elensar and [ profile] rhapsody11. Now it's time to see exactly how much of a freak I am!

Copy and Repost. Place your score in the subject line. (Well, I'm not exactly following the last bit....)
Put an X next to every movie you've seen---if you have more than 70're a movie junkie. (I'm bolding those that I've seen.)

Movie Meme )
Grand total: 119

Jenni has me beat by a lot, but I still meet the "freak" classification by quite a margin!

[ profile] isil_elensar, it might amuse you to know that literally one minute after putting Incubus as my current music, my iPod chose "Wild Boys" for me to hear next. I think the thing likes playing tricks on me, really....

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