agilebrit: (Numfar: Dance of Joy)
We headed out to the junkyard in Grantsville to pick up a new project car for the Hubby. It's either a '68 or '69 Mercury Cyclone fastback that he's going to turn into a street-legal 8-second drag car and also all-around racer. The project will be amazing.

While there, we wandered about and found that there are three Volvo 544s that would make a good start on a complete car, and also a bunch of Studebakers of the same model (not sure what they were, though; will have to go back and look). Hubby is open to building one for me. I would love to rescue something more from this yard, I really really would.

I also got some plotting done for the Pack Dynamics sequel. I've figured out most of the seven-point structure bits, at least, and I know exactly where I'm going to hit Ben where he absolutely lives because it's my job to be a sadist like that. So. I am making progress on that front, though not as quickly as I'd like. Noveling is hard, yo.

And then we went and saw "I Am Not a Serial Killer" on the big screen. Max Records and Christopher Lloyd do such a great job, and the movie is amazing. Definitely going in the video collection when it comes out. So much love, and congrats to everyone involved.

I am well pleased with my day.
agilebrit: (werewolf)
Because I always leave with more than I planned to.

I picked up four movies that were actually on my list:
Blood and Chocolate
Never Cry Werewolf
Casablanca
The Fugitive

And then two that weren't:
Blade Runner (which, let's face it, should have been on the list, and this one includes all three, no, wait, four versions: the original theatrical version, the international version, the Director's Cut, and the Definitive Version)
True Romance

I did not even know that True Romance was a thing until I saw it in the $7 bin. But, dude, that cast: Christian Slater (shut up), Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, and Christopher Walken. Directed by Tony Scott with a screenplay by Tarantino (who is admittedly not usually my thing, but, uh. DAT CAST). So. Anyway.

And, yes, before you ask, Blood and Chocolate and Never Cry Werewolf go on my Werewolf Shelf. Of course I have a Werewolf Shelf. You had to ask? To be fair, there are a couple of vampire and zombie sorta things there too, but it's mostly lycanthropes. You'd be surprised how many werewolf movies there are out there once you start looking for them...

Fortunately, they're having a special where if you buy a used DVD, you get a second one for half price. So all six of those movies cost me $32. Two of them were actually new and not used, and one was a bluray. So I'm not super distressed about the purchase, but it was rather more than I planned on.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to rearrange my DVD tower so that the new SF will actually fit on the shelves.

ETA: Argh argh argh. Casablanca was supposed to be a two-disc set, and only disc 2 is in the case. This was a new DVD in the half-price clearance bin, so, uh. I don't know if they had any others. I guess I'll take it back tomorrow and find out.
agilebrit: (Detective Hat)
I hied myself to FYE today to pick through their extensive collection. I picked up six movies for under $22. One of them wasn't on my list, but it's a Downey movie and it was a dollar, so... yeah.

To replace the VHS tapes, I picked up:
Bedazzled
Mystery Men
Bullitt
Batman Forever (this remains my favorite Batman movie. And the only one I actually own. Shut up.)

Along with a pair of Robert Downey, Jr., movies:
The Pick-Up Artist (which was a dollar)
The Singing Detective (which was new rather than used... and four dollars)

Win.
agilebrit: (harshing my squee)
We went and saw "Robocop" today. And it was cool. The actors (holy cow, whatta cast!) did amazing things with the material they were given. Full props for that.

But it sure didn't give me a protag to care about. It could have been way awesome rather than just cool, and it wasn't. Something like that, with ramifications like that, should be exploring what makes us human, what separates us from machines, and the cost of the tech they're throwing out into the field.

And, instead, it boiled down to a simple revenge plot spiced with an Evil Corporation. Or maybe an Evil Corporation plot spiced with revenge. Six of one. The characters were just... one-note, throughout, and really, only the doctor played by Gary Oldman had any nuances at all. And that's because Gary Oldman is amazeballs. Jackie Earle Haley's character was great too, but that's because he's got the "snarky little asshole" character sewn up tight.

I need more than "blow shit up" to enjoy a movie like that. Unlike something like "Pacific Rim," which is exactly what it says it is on the box and enjoyable on that level, "Robocop" needed to hit more than one mark. And, unfortunately, it failed.

Which makes me sad. I am the exact target audience for a movie like this, and they missed. Booo.
agilebrit: (Guri praying)
And I'd like a word.

I'm glad you've finally noticed me. That's awesome. I see that you're planning a bunch of Biblical epics for next year.

However, you'll pardon me, I hope, for being... wary. You see, I've rather noticed that not only do you have a distressing tendency to disrespect your source material for these epics, but many of you have an active antipathy toward it. And an active antipathy to me, for that matter. So, to be honest? I don't trust you to actually do this right.

And then, when we don't lap up whatever you decide to slap up there on the screen, and it bombs instead, you'll shrug and say "Gee, I guess these things don't pay after all." Let me disabuse you of that notion. These things will pay--as long as you give a bare nod to the accuracy of the text you're adapting. I know you guys hate Mel Gibson, but have a look at how he did, and then have a look at how Scorsese did. Which would you rather have?

Respect my faith, and I will reward you with cashy money, although you may lose cred with your liberal pals. Disrespect it, and you will see not a dime, but your cred will be intact and you won't have to tell people "no, I don't really believe all that stuff, I just did it so I could sleep on a big pile of hundred-dollar bills in a solid-gold brick house" at your Hollyweird cocktail parties. And, you know, I don't give a crap about your motives. I give a crap about the results. If your money-grubbing motive means I'm entertained for two solid hours without having my faith shat upon, I'm cool with that.

I hope you'll understand why I'll wait to hear from people I trust before I plant my butt in a seat. And, no, Rotten Tomatoes doesn't count in this case.
agilebrit: (Lion Plushie)
And, you guys know I love Hugh Jackman. I would watch that man read the damn phone book. I have looked up YouTube ads where he dances because of tea. Hell, I liked "Wolverine: Origins," which everyone else hated. And I really wanted to love this movie.

Alas.

I liked it. But I didn't love it. I won't spoil it for you by telling you anything plot-wise, I'll turn this into a Writing Thing instead.

There's a trick that writers do called Scene/Sequel. Basically, you have a big set-piece (either physical or emotional or some combination of the two), and then you give both the characters and the audience time to actually process that, and give the characters time to decide what they're going to do next. It makes for a richer, more emotional, more satisfying story.

And you don't exhaust your audience.

If all you have is Scene/Scene/Scene/Scene/Scene, yeah, okay, that's exciting, but... that's all it is. If your main character is just being swept along by events but never actually makes a damn decision, they're a weak character, and they're hard to root for.

And, I'm sorry. I like my protagonists to actually Protag. "Stuff happens" is not Plot and should not be mistaken for such.

On the plus side, we got to see a lot of Shirtless Hugh Jackman, and that's never a bad thing. I give the movie a B/B-. If it shows up in the $5 bin at Walmart, I may buy it just to be a completionist, but I do not have a Burning Need to see it again.

Today, I:

Jun. 30th, 2013 10:35 pm
agilebrit: (OMNOMNOM)
  • worked on edits for the Revelator story. It's much better now.
  • reduced the synopsis for Angry Bitter Angel to under 500 words.
  • helped the Hubby with his Mustang restoration project.
  • went over De-wolfed Ben.
  • exised 150 words from De-wolfed Ben in an effort to make it Suck Less.
  • watched a movie with my family (Oz, the Great and Powerful, or whatever it's called--we enjoyed it).


It was a productive day!

Tomorrow, I will wait for more input on Revelator, poke at De-wolfed Ben some more, and see if the Angry Bitter Angel synopsis is satisfactory. If it is, then I'll ship that off to a market and see what they think, understanding that it is a Very Niche Thing, and not expecting much from them.
agilebrit: (Picspam)
Now, don't get me wrong. I love me some superhero movies, and I think the DC vs Marvel thing is stoopid. "Lois and Clark" remains, to this day, one of my all-time favorite TV shows. I have seen the trailer for "Man of Steel" and am intrigued thereby.

However, I'm also looking at the people involved in this thing and squinting.

Christopher Nolan--I know people think he hung the moon or something, but he just doesn't do it for me. I absolutely adore "The Prestige" and "Memento," but "Inception" and his Batman trilogy leave me cold. And it comes down to characters. Someone needs to tell Christian Bale that there's a difference between "stoic" and "wooden," and no one should cast Leo DeCaprio in anything ever.

Zack Snyder--also hit and miss. "Watchmen" isn't the kind of movie you actually like, but I respect what he did with it (for the most part). But I almost wonder if my feelings about that film are based more on Jackie Earle Haley's performance than anything else, because that dude was amazing. I liked "The Owls of Ga'Hoole," but... it's animated. I never saw "300" because it just looked like an overblown war movie. I missed "Sucker Punch" out a sense that he was handling delicate material like mental illness in a both ham-fisted and flippant manner.

David S. Goyer--I just looked up his writing credits. Oh, God.

And see, these guys make movies I should adore. I proudly wear my geek cred on my sleeve for all to see. Their movies are right up my alley--

Or they should be. But they're not. It comes down to characters for me. Give me a character I care about and I will follow you all the way down the rabbit hole and come out smiling on the other side. Or, hell, you can leave me there, I don't care. But something about the material that these guys put out just bugs. Either they can't wring decent performances out of their actors, or the writing itself doesn't let the characters shine. It's telling that I care more about Gordon and Alfred than I do about Bruce. Oldman and Caine shine even with bad material.

And I swear to God that if they give Supes the same treatment they gave the Bat, I'm going to scream.
agilebrit: (wolf eyes)
"Life of Pi" today. Understand that I haven't read the book. When I mentioned to my RP partner that it's rated PG, her reaction was a disbelieving "Really???"

Having read the reviews of the book, I now understand that reaction.

Fortunately, the movie didn't have... that stuff... in it. The survival story was engaging and interesting and heart-wrenching, and then the end--

Well. Anyway. Yes, I liked it quite a bit. And now I guess I ought to find the book and read it.

In writing news, I haven't touched a thing, other than to open my "tattoos that come to life" story and realize that I abandoned it only 3700 words in. I have mixed emotions about that. On the one hand, I wasn't nearly as far along as I thought I was when I stopped, so I don't feel as bad about stopping when I did. On the other hand, that means I've got much longer to go before I actually finish it.

But that will probably be the next one I tackle.

CONFIRMED:

Nov. 19th, 2012 05:19 pm
agilebrit: (Numfar: Dance of Joy)
Target has "Cabin in the Woods" on blu-ray for $8 in their pre-Black-Friday sale. The price isn't on the shelf, necessarily, and you might want to confirm it via scanner, but I did and am now holding my copy in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers.

And if you don't have a bluray player, well, this comes with an ultraviolet download, too, so you can have it on your computer or other device of choice. And, let's face it: You're going to get a bluray player sometime, right?
agilebrit: (Facepalm2)
We saw Wreck-It Ralph today, and it was just as awesome as advertised. My Inner Storyteller sat up and begged. I really can't turn that part of me off, and I loved how it brought together all the elements and plot points and things that didn't seem like plot points but actually were at the end.

I recognized both Pinch Points when they occurred. And that, once I got home, brought to the fore the current (second) Pinch Point I'm at in the steampunk werewolf western. Understand that, in my own writing process, I often (usually) start a project with no idea how it's going to actually end. I am a pantser by nature and that's how I like it, although it can be hair-pulling-out frustrating waiting for my brain to figure it out.

And I'm thinking that I may have to kill my preacher off. I've established that he Failed in Some Big Way in his past, and we're sitting at about 20 years after the US Civil War as far as my timeline goes. And I hadn't quite figured out what his Big Fat Failure actually was, but.

What if it was running off the battlefield and leaving his comrades to die.

And, right now, he's got my protag urging him to run off and get the sheriff, but the thing is, he doesn't have time to do that before the villains murder the guy, or do something awful to him, anyway. And his failure has been eating him for ten or fifteen or twenty years, whatever, I haven't picked an actual year, and at this point he may be constitutionally unable to leave.

Which means my villains certainly can't let him live and be all preachy at them. Hell, they might even kill him by accident. Or... the actual villain might kill him on purpose and the contag will be all "DUDE WHAT DID YOU JUST DO. JUST. WHAT."

Which creates even more conflict.

Hm. Me likey.
agilebrit: (Over My Head)
And now I want a bacon-wrapped Snickers bar. I hate my brain.

In other news, it is snowing like a right bastard and has been for over two hours. And I got (yet another) rejection today, so I shipped the thing off to the place that's going to publish me soon. Now, Sold Soul is very very different from Zombies!, but I hope the editor likes that one too. Enough to buy it.

Of course, I hope that every time.

Words? What are these "words" to which you refer?

We're going to see Wreck-It Ralph this afternoon. Everyone I know who has seen it has loved it, so.
agilebrit: (Tony: Actual Anteaters)
Okay, so we saw "Brave" today, and it was awesome. Beautiful animation, fantastic story, hilarious and poignant, with a good lesson in there about trying to "fix" people by taking shortcuts. Bring a hankie, and stay for a scene after the credits. The Boy loved it, although the Hubby didn't like it as much as we did.

In writing news, I haven't scribbled a blessed thing for way too long. However, the prompt at Writing Excuses this week was "Your characters need to perform a reverse-heist, putting jewels into a safe without getting caught." Well, I've taken that idea and tweaked it my way, and I'm working up characters and plot for it as I type this. I believe I will call it the "Cat-Hoarding Dragon" story for tagging purposes, which should give you some notion of where my very strange brain went with it.

Please, God, let this come in around five thousand words. I do not need to write another Epic Tale.

Also, if you don't listen to Writing Excuses every week, and you are a writer, you totally should be. Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells, and Mary Robinette Kowal do it, and no matter what they say, they really are that smart and you are not in too much of a hurry to dedicate fifteen minutes a week to it.
agilebrit: (Headdesk)
...still have not rebooted my writing brain. This is getting ridiculous. This morning, I looked at the notes the Hubby made for the ghost ship story and I'm just... bleh. I know how to fix it, but fixing it is going to require a good two thousand more words and I'm kind of tired of writing fiction that's not marketable because it's too damn long. It's already at 5500 words and I don't see how I justify another two thousand for a story like this unless I can turn it into some kind of commentary on the human condition instead of a rather silly and fun ghost story.

*headdesk x1000*

In other news, we saw "Madagascar 3" the other day and enjoyed it thoroughly. Anyone who's seen the Cirque du Soleil will recognize the set-pieces, which are visually gorgeous. Now I want to go to Vegas and see another show. The Hubby and the Boy have never seen it, and they need to.

Today, we're going to see "Brave." Which looks awesome. Pixar has yet to disappoint. And, I don't care what anyone says, I also need "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" in my life and will go see it next week when Hubby and Boy are at Scout Camp, because it's rated R and thus inappropriate for Boy, and Hubby doesn't want to see it. Horror's just not his genre. I may inflict "Cabin in the Woods" on him when I get it on DVD, because I thought it was brilliant.
agilebrit: (Schlock Overkill)
I spent my morning with the lovely and effulgent [livejournal.com profile] sandratayler and her handsome and hardworking husband [livejournal.com profile] howardtayler helping them pack and ship the new Schlock Mercenary book, which is out now. Sandra is amazing and has this packing thing down to a science--so much so that we actually finished an hour earlier than we had planned.

My writing brain has not rebooted itself from the last project yet, apparently. Nothing in the bunny hutch is pinging me and Ghost Ship still sucks. I created a new RP character yesterday--because I needed a ninth, amirite? Yes, you read that right, NINE. Most of them are rarely played. We'll see how much this one gets. Considering the utter crap I'm embroiled in, RP-wise, right now, he might not get a whole lot of screentime. I'm very wary of test-driving an intro post for him right now, so I may settle for just tagging others until I'm comfy in his skin and the stupid wank dies down.

My main RP partner and I are in the midst of wrapping a plot we've had ongoing since February, so that's cool. We'll see where we go from there.

Just... not a whole lot going on right now. Saw Avengers for the fourth time the other night, as a double feature at the drive-in with MiB3, which was quite enjoyable. Avengers never gets old, folks, and I feel vindicated as a Joss Whedon fan.

...anyone want wallpaper? Anyone? Bueller?
agilebrit: (Urge to bitchslap)
Seems like whenever a Christian stands up on their hind legs and says "I'm not going to see this movie/read this book/partake in this particular form of entertainment because it attacks my faith," some friggin' idiot spouts back with "Well, your faith must be pretty weak if it's threatened by entertainment."

Yeah, no. That's not it at all. But that's a nice way to attack my faith further. Bravo. *golf clap*

I have limited entertainment dollars. We all do, right? I am not entertained by movies, books, and music that attack my faith. I'm actively repelled by them, in fact. Therefore, spending those limited entertainment dollars on things I don't find entertaining is stupid. I didn't get where I am financially by being stupid with my money. I don't go see Adam Sandler movies either. Not because I'm "threatened" by him, but because I find him incredibly annoying and dreadfully unfunny.

I would really love to see this ridiculous argument laid to rest once and for all.

This post brought to you by the comments on a review for "Prometheus." Jury's still out as to whether I'm seeing it or not. I will wait for a review from someone I actually trust before committing to go.
agilebrit: (Giggle)
Well, not weather-wise. I did not get my hundred-dollar hamburger today because it's rainy and icky and who wants to fly in that? Not I, and not the Hubby.

However, we went to Red Robin and snarfed out on hamburgers, fries, and zucchini sticks, and I had a couple of tropical Mai-Tais (which were fantastic and changed my brain chemistry), and then we went and saw "The A-Team."

And OMG, y'all. THERE IS NO BAD THERE. Bradley Cooper is a beautiful, beautiful man. And they let him keep his chest hair for all those lovely shirtless scenes. Yes, please and thank you.

The set-pieces were awesome. Dude. Just...dude. I will not spoil it for you, other than to say that there's a scene with a container ship that was utterly mind-blowing. Also, a tank. They were ridiculous. I DON'T CARE, the same way I DON'T CARE that "Human Target" is ridiculous. I do not expect a single nod to physics in a movie like this. Nor should there be. This is about blowing shit up, not physics.

Also, if you go, stay for the end of the credits. You'll be glad you did.

What's hilarious is that I don't think I saw a single episode back when it was airing. Not one. Now I want to.

The Hubby got me a fantastic, tiny pair of binoculars that zoom from 8x to 24x and will make birdwatching so much more fun.

Tonight: Burn Notice. We're re-watching s2 before we watch s3. Because we can.
agilebrit: (Giggle)
Well, not weather-wise. I did not get my hundred-dollar hamburger today because it's rainy and icky and who wants to fly in that? Not I, and not the Hubby.

However, we went to Red Robin and snarfed out on hamburgers, fries, and zucchini sticks, and I had a couple of tropical Mai-Tais (which were fantastic and changed my brain chemistry), and then we went and saw "The A-Team."

And OMG, y'all. THERE IS NO BAD THERE. Bradley Cooper is a beautiful, beautiful man. And they let him keep his chest hair for all those lovely shirtless scenes. Yes, please and thank you.

The set-pieces were awesome. Dude. Just...dude. I will not spoil it for you, other than to say that there's a scene with a container ship that was utterly mind-blowing. Also, a tank. They were ridiculous. I DON'T CARE, the same way I DON'T CARE that "Human Target" is ridiculous. I do not expect a single nod to physics in a movie like this. Nor should there be. This is about blowing shit up, not physics.

Also, if you go, stay for the end of the credits. You'll be glad you did.

What's hilarious is that I don't think I saw a single episode back when it was airing. Not one. Now I want to.

The Hubby got me a fantastic, tiny pair of binoculars that zoom from 8x to 24x and will make birdwatching so much more fun.

Tonight: Burn Notice. We're re-watching s2 before we watch s3. Because we can.
agilebrit: (harshing my squee)
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Casablanca, Singin' in the Rain, and Gone With the Wind. If modern Hollyweird tries to remake them, it will just screw them up. NO TOUCHY. NOT THE MAMA.
agilebrit: (harshing my squee)
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Casablanca, Singin' in the Rain, and Gone With the Wind. If modern Hollyweird tries to remake them, it will just screw them up. NO TOUCHY. NOT THE MAMA.

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