Wednesday, November 30, 2011

*palmface*




Don't get me wrong, I love my library site and the ability to request things online, etc. 

But when I put in this: 



Emphasis:


And I get:


I just gotta wonder.....

*headdesk*



No, I did not mean a typo. 

Thanks anyway.....? 

Script-A-Month: The Chess Edition of Your Move




^^ That has absolutely nothing to do with this post. It just made me laugh.

************

Thank you everyone so much for your script ideas!!! I loved them all, and want to develop the other ideas (like the psychopath one) in the future and make it real polished... maybe even film-able :D

But for now, you'll have to settle with November's short.

Completely unedited, off-the-top-of-my-head, fresh off the press.

(I literally just finished it, too..... I haven't even read the finished product, I just hit "save" and went straight here to publish it.)

If anyone is on this post looking for an exact replica of the idea they commented with.... just know, that's not happening. In fact, I took little bits of most of the ideas that were thrown out there and just threw them together instead of sticking to any one idea given.

******

One more thing to preface this with:

Because of the rush I wrote it in, the names are super lame, monosyllabic things like Gan, Zur, and Ket.

In fact, that was just about it.

I know, lame. But what was I to do??? Egh.

Also, with shorts, you can do a lot of things that wouldn't fly in a full-length feature.

That in mind, because it was a short, I decided to experiment, and I actually ended the story where most "feature" films would start. Just so you know.

And it was a pretty ambiguous conception. We don't really know why there is a seemingly eternal game of chess going on, or how the intricate details work, like the correspondence between the board(s) and the battlefield. You just have to accept it for what is shown.

Another thing: I know the characterization and character development/backstory could be way, way better. And I'll want to go back and edit/polish it up when I have a chance.

But for now, you'll have to make do with knowing what a rough-draft of a short film looks like :P

And you'll have to make up your own score and special effects, I'm afraid ;)

Cool?

On with the show, then! :D

{Oh, and I apologize in advance for any typos...}














*winces*

I just read it all the way through. That was really rushed..... geez.... that was terrible. :| 

But what did you think? Hope it wasn't too awful for you o_O

As always, I'm open for any words of wisdom (aka critique). But bear in mind everything I said before the script. 

Look out for next month's title sometime next week :)

Btw, how are the NaNoers?? Have you all survived? Please inform me if you haven't. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Movie Review: Hugo (2011)




Hugo 

The Rating and Cautions
Rating: PG (for mild thematic material, some action/peril and smoking)

Objections:
Violence- practically nil
Language- nonexistent (amazing!!!)
Sexuality- one mature-ish conversation and a mildly awkward reference to a cow's anatomy. 

Also- suspense in several places, and one brief nightmare sequence that may bother some young kids. 

The Credits

Based on the book, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" by Brian Selznick. 

Screenplay written by John Logan


The Summary
Set in 1930's Paris, the story is about a young orphan named Hugo, who has a broken automaton his father was fixing before he died. When not managing the clocks in the train station where he lives, Hugo steals food, avoids the orphan-catcher/inspector, or is fixing the automaton. Along the way he meets a girl named Isabel, who has a key to the puzzle of the machine..... which unlocks something more wonderful than either of them thought. 




The Director's Take
This film is a little piece of wonderment. 

It was funny, it was enchanting, it was moving, it was thrilling. (and it was clean!!!) 

Frankly, it was beautiful. 

From the first time I saw the trailer, I knew it was going to be good. 

Not only was it an offhand tribute to the early ages of cinema, it was masterfully told, perfectly cast (anyone else in love with Asa Butterfield? The kid is amazing! and adorable...), totally lovely, and one of the most unique, heart warming stories ever. 

In specifics: first off, the film academy library in particular was gorgeous. The cinematography was incredible. 

The score was perfect. (Done by one Howard Shore :D). While still a grand, sweeping score, it had a marked French sound about it too, which was lovely. 

There was a lot of mystery around the automaton and the message it would write once fixed properly-- but the film didn't "anticipate" or promise anything it didn't deliver, which made me very happy. It could have easily gotten our hopes very high only to have them be unsatisfied- but it didn't and I'm glad. 

Also-- Asa Butterfield's acting was phenomenal (he was also Bruno in The Boy In The Striped Pajamas). He cries really well. Just sayin'.... 

Objections? None at all. Except the title font was different than on the poster-- which bugged me. xD

On a serious note, though, there was that one aforementioned conversation which was about the... questionable parentage of the guy's child-- it was worded so it wasn't ick though-- and no one will even remember it by the end of the film.
(The inspector also said something about "perfectly formed udders" which was borderline inappropriate, but again-- no one will remember by the end of the film.)


The Cameos (Biblical Application)
From a vantage point at the top of a tower, Paris looks like the clocks Hugo takes care of, with the streets as gears and cogs. Showing this view to Isabel, Hugo says something like, "It's like the world is one big machine." 
And he goes on to say that in a machine, there are never any spare parts, which means that he's not a spare part-- that he is on this earth for a purpose. And they had a little conversation about trying to know what their purposes were.

I was really, really blessed by that scene. In fact, I had a whole sermon running through my head just because of that scene ;)

Anyway, continuing on Hugo's thought that we each have a purpose because there are no spare parts-- my extended thought is:

The way to know what our purpose is, is to find out who the maker of the machine is. Then you know what He made- and why He made you-- and what you're meant to do. 

And if you're broken, do not fear; the Maker can fix you. 



10 Things I Learned from Hugo:
  1. A movie can actually be funny, clean, and amazing all at once. No language or violence required.
  2. In the early days of cinema, splicing film together was very much like the work of any craftsman, because you're actually touching the film and cutting it and taping it together. It's cool.
  3. Everything created was created for a purpose. 
  4. Inception isn't limited to Nolan's work. You can have a nightmare within a nightmare. (See: nightmare sequence in the movie.)
  5. Asa Butterfield is awesome.
  6. It stinks to be an orphan in 1930's France. 
  7. Broken instruments are one of the saddest sights ever.
  8. The Lumiere Brothers, who invented the movie camera, considered movies to be a passing fad of the time.
  9. Saruman is actually a librarian.
  10. Making movies is really, really fun. 


The Closing Line 
It is with the barest possible of objections and the highest regard for a wonderful story and storyteller, that with great pleasure I recommend this to anyone and everyone


Seriously! In need of something to watch? Quick! Go watch Hugo. (3D not necessary- I saw it in 2D and it was great. )

I'll leave you with this thought:

What's your purpose? 


Friday, November 25, 2011

In Which Dantere Has His Way.


"Okay, fine, go and brag about it to Keziren and Chance. I see that smirk on your face. But it's only a Chapter One trial, you hear me? Don't get too excited!"



Such was the nature of my conversation with Dantere last night in my writing notebook.

You see, POV was never a big issue in my writing. For me, third person is fantastic. Particularly for fantasy. Like, third person limited-- meaning, we're always with one character but never in anyone's head.

(I've actually been mildly anti-writing-in-first-person since I started writing-- it took books like The Hunger Games, etc., to make me appreciate first person.)

RCK is written third person 'limited.' I've juggled omnipresent limited and third person 'limited' for Dantere's Story-- but since I haven't gotten past the prologue yet, it's been no big deal.

That is, until I started fleshing out Dantere's character.

You see, ever since undertaking this newest version of my fantasy story, the thought has crossed my mind several times to write it in first person.

I entertain that for about two minutes. In those two minutes I see the beginning of chapter one exactly (I see it the same way every time I think about doing it in 1st person), and I can hear Dantere's voice in my head. It's totally perfect.

But then the two minutes are up.

And I go back to writing in third.

Until just the other day.

I was needing a good reason for the reader to like Dantere, and like him the best. Also, I needed him to have something to do during the middle of the story, an area which is rather... uncharted. But I needed a drive from him from the start of the story, something that will carry through the whole book.

And it suddenly occurred to me that this is virtually impossible, for his character, unless he's telling the story.

And, finally, finally..... I gave in.

I swear I could sense his "I told you so" smirk through all that gray matter in my skull.

It was irritating.... but made me thrilled, too. Because the world is going to see just how sarcastic he is xD

So, readers, this is me starting the grand adventure of writing a book in first person.

Gulp.


The one thing I have to ask is: those of you who've done that before-- how do you avoid having the character say "I" and talking about themselves the whole time?? I mean, I'm sort of figuring it out, but it would be great to hear advice from other people before I finish the prologue.

Also, if anyone comes across any good articles on writing in 1st person I will be indebted to you forever....

*************

In other news: giveaway winners Hannah Joy and Josiphine, I am still compiling the shipping items with which to ship your prizes. I apologize sincerely. They should get out of here sometime this year :P

Also, I watched Cloak & Dagger tonight, and I think I'm going to be seeing the new Scorsese film Hugo tomorrow-- exciting! :D

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Thanksgiving Post Of Sorts.


I'm not good with holiday posts.

And I'm sure you have a great wealth of other posts to browse through on other blogs.... deep and meaningful posts with quotes and verses and happy music.... or something.

So I'll just say: thank the Lord-- and thank Him not only for the things He's done, but the things He will do, and the things that never change about Him.

Because-- random thought-- we all know how much the Israelites praised the Lord after parting the Red Sea..... but think how much sweeter Exodus 15 would have been if it had happened before the sea had been stirred. Before they were safe.

Oh, us of little faith.......

Just don't forget Him.

***

And to completely change tracks....

Happy Thanksgiving from the Star Wars universe, all!!!














Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Glorious Poetry of Moby Dick




"... praying God for annihilation until the fit be passed; and at last amid the whirl of woe he feels, a deep stupor steals over him, as over the man who bleeds to death, for conscience is the wound, and there's naught to staunch it;....."

Herman Melville's Moby Dick, Chapter 9: The Sermon


screencaps from Moby Dick, 1998 version (a TV miniseries)

(to make up for the gross post)


In other news, I finished Moby Dick last night! It was great..... but the ending left me thinking and pondering and well...... sort of........ eh. It was a great ending, just not er... cheerful or extremely concise.

But the terrific news about this is that now I can watch this:


Which is going to make me very happy I think. :)

(For those who have knowledge-- what is your favorite film version of Moby Dick??)


And, the Netflix package arrived in the mail....

with this.....!!!!




Also very much happiness :D

(Sorry Spook, probably not the sort of cloak & daggering you were thinking of....)

And I will leave you with happy thoughts as found below because I am ADD, pressed for time, and have no other good ides right now:












(warning: slightly disgusting post)


Right before bed.

It is not fun.

To have to crawl under your bed.

Flat on your stomach.

With your face practically in the carpet.

Armed with a trash can, paper towels, flashlight and baking soda.

To clean up your sister's pet ferret's mess.

That consists of both the liquid excrement and solid-ish excrement.

One word.

Yuck.

There is no faster way to put yourself in a bad mood.

Trust me.

Because I am in a very bad mood.



Please do not laugh.

Because it is true.

I am in a very bad mood.

And now I must go to bed in a very bad mood knowing that there are remains of ordure under my bed.

Christmas Wish List: a deep carpet cleanse. Thank you. 


Please note, this is not the first time this has happened. It has happened many times. And it has never failed to make me extremely upset.

The end.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The LOTR Award :D


To accept the award, I must answer these three questions:


1) Who is your favorite LOTR character and why?
Ah, shoot. It's really, really hard to choose because I love everyone for their quirks and personalities...... gosh, but top of the list is always Frodo, if I have to make a choice... 'cause he's the main character and he's awesome :\



2) If you were in Middle Earth, what species would you be?
What would I most likely be, or what would I want to be?

I'd probably end up as a Hobbit, but I would love to be one of the Dunedain and be a Ranger *epic stance*


3) If you were in Middle Earth where would you be from?
Eh? How about....... the Lonely Mountain? xD

I dunno, somewhere random and obscure.



Now I shall award five other bloggers.

Helen at Life of a Musician and Dancer

Arda at In Western Lands

Lauren at Bits and Pieces

Jake at Pen In My Hand (If you have time/internet ;)

and

Celtic Traveler at The Grey Traveler's Inn

I'm also adding two other questions you have to answer if you accept this tag ;)

They are:

4) If you were with the fellowship in Lothlorien, what gift would you have wanted from Galadriel?


5) Which language out of Middle-Earth would you want to learn? 


Friday, November 18, 2011

Movie Review: Percy Jackson & The Olympians


Percy Jackson & The Olympians

The Rating and Cautions
PG; for action violence and peril, some scary images and suggestive material, and mild language.

The Credits
Directed by Chris Columbus, starring Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Sean Bean, Kevin McKidd, and Steve Coogan. 

The Summary
It's the 21st century, but the gods of Mount Olympus and assorted monsters have walked out of the pages of high school student Percy Jackson's Greek mythology texts and into his life. And they're not happy: Zeus's lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Even more troubling is the sudden disappearance of Percy's mother. As Percy finds himself caught between angry and battling gods, he and his friends embark on a cross-country adventure to catch the true lightning thief, save Percy's mom, and unravel a mystery more powerful than the gods themselves. Written by 20th Century Fox

(courtesy of imdb.com)

The Director's Take (Pros and Cons being technical things.)
Okay, okay. 

Even though I've read all the books, loved the books, and knew that the movie was a fail of an adaption, I still had to see it. 

And to be honest........ I know someone out there's gonna kill me for saying this....

...I mostly sorta liked it. 

-Pros 
For starters, I thought the scene in the garden emporium with Medusa was brilliant. Even though I knew how it turned out, when Percy, Anaabeth, and Grover are running around looking for each other, I totally was on my toes, freaking out like I was there with them. :P

I also really dug the capture the flag game sequence, particularly the start of it- that was the closest connection to my memory of the book and it made me smile. 

Another scene I particularly liked was right when the Fury flies away in the beginning in the museum. I seriously liked Percy's reaction. It tickled me.

In fact, I think I burst out laughing a total of five separate times- which I wasn't expecting to do. I don't remember when, though, except for when Grover's mocking the ferryman about "dying and coming back" and "burning money, we're in a recession, it's treason" line. *laughs*

Also, the CG, while a little obvious, wasn't in-your-face and distracting. 

Honestly, I liked the casting as whole: I was surprised by Logan Lerman and Jake Abel (who played Luke), I thought they were great- and Brandon T. Jackson's character reminded me of an old friend from school, except for the... um..... womanizing thing.... *disgusted face* Yeah. I can't remember how close that was to the books, but I wasn't cool with it. 

But back to the positive things. 

The scripting has some great strengths: one of them was the dialog. Except for Persephone's, though part of that may have been delivery, the dialog wasn't cheesy, overdone, or underdone for that matter. 
Another was pacing. It kept me on my toes, and I felt like it wasn't too rushed. 

-Cons
The casting except for McKidd and Coogan I didn't like for the gods- and even Poseidon could have been better cast I think. Basically, I thought the overall representation of Olympus and the gods in general was a fail. 


Yeah. I liked these guys:



These guys?



Yeah, didn't do so much for me. 

Except for the underworld- it gave me the creeps- probably because I was able to put those images into the context of real hell- and I swear, right in the middle of that movie, seeing that first sequence in the underworld, I started praying for people I knew were unsaved because it freaked me enough. 

Yes, as a matter of fact I do have an evangelical gift :P

I also felt like there was ample room to divulge deeper into 1) character and character development 2) all the intricacies of being a demigod and little quirks that made the books special (i.e., I was waiting for Percy to experiment with his pen/sword, and maybe chucking it off into the forest and then reaching into his pocket and pulling it out and making some "This is awesome!' face :P), and 3) keeping the plot closer to the book, that they didn't use. It would have still worked, people.

There was a lot that made it through the translation from page to screen- and I'm grateful for what did. But it could have definitely been more. 

It helped to have read the books because I could fill in so many gaps xD

Last thing: I didn't like Persephone's outfit. Too revealing. *blech*


Oh, last last thing: I didn't really dig the (brief) suggestive humor in the Parthenon in Nashville. (I'm talking about Percy climbing up the statue, for those who have seen it.)
I mean, I could deal with it because hey, did seem like a plausible occurrence in that instance, but still....  so not necessary.  

The Cameos (Biblical Application)
The parallels between the gods and the true God were few and far between.... but I could find a few, and were encouraged by them. 


For instance, all the times the demigods can hear their parents speaking to them, and the possible paralleling of the spiritual battle to all the stuff that they encounter like the Minotaur and the Lotus Casino- things that aren't in order with normal life- things that could be examples of challenges in the spiritual battle. Of course, that may be going a little too deep considering...


Of course, I was even more encouraged by the things that were not similar between the Olympians and God. 


It is noted by Luke, I think, that the gods are selfish and are only care about themselves. Our God died to save us :)


These gods can fall for the same fleshly lusts that people fall for: that's why there are demigods. But our God is righteous and cannot sin. 


And as I noted before, the sight of the underworld in the film made me think of two things: the reality of hell, and the fact that in that Greek mythology universe (among others), you had to work and be good to achieve an afterlife better than that hell- and that even now, people believe that lie. 


Boy, am I grateful that my salvation isn't in my hands. And the one marked thing this movie did for me was to remind me that I need to make today a day of salvation for someone, be it by prayer or direct evangelizing. 

-Overall Opinion
Truly, I was glad I watched it, and while it's not a movie I would want to watch all the time, I definitely wouldn't mind seeing it again in the future. 

However, I have a serious issue with what they did to Grover's character- he was epic except for the womanizing thing (NOT COOL). 

The language was definitely way less than I was excepting, though, which was a plus. 

The fact that they were toting Medusa's head along everywhere may gross some people out. I personally am a strong objector of decapitation and avoid seeing it if I can, but because it was Medusa and all, I was actually able to deal with it this time. 


It was pretty exciting overall, though was a bit of a letdown at the end. The climax was rather.. un-climax-y. :|
And they could have at least hinted at a "to be continued" like Eragon did, and Jurassic Park and other films. I was waiting for the "Yes, there's a sequel!" hint, but it never came. 


And also, I felt like even though the reactions of our demigods (especially Percy's) were realistic, and they did a fair job of portraying our heroes in general, I wasn't reeled in and thrust into the shoes of Percy and his comrades. I felt like an outsider watching instead of being with them and feeling their emotions. I only felt nervous when they were running around avoiding Medusa xD

The Closing Line 



Against the movie: lame adapting, shallow backstory/plot, weak ending; plus extra-lame scene in the middle of the credits (it shows how Gabe got turned to stone by Medusa's head: the one thing I strongly objected in the book. I skipped through the credits so I wouldn't have to watch that part. -_-).

In favor: great pacing, definitely action packed but not overwhelmingly so; great score and overall casting; generally strong dialog and editing. The SFX weren't bad either. 

So, while I wouldn't recommend to just anyone, and it's certainly not a remarkable film in any respect, those that are interested in this sort of thing would like it. And if you like an action/fantasy-ish movie, and you can get past the irritating flirt-aspect of Grover and the Gorgon head being toted around, then you'll probably enjoy it. 

Success and other things.



 and also.....

When you finally have some semblance  of an idea of what you were looking for.

Or in other words: When you write something that clicks. 


Note: the following is under copyright. No stealing.


"His stomach turned as the Nhefar morphed into a figure resembling the Kina beast. It leveled it's head, aimed at Tiril. Dantere panicked.
   "No!" the cry tore from him, and he sprang in front of her, every eye pinned on him. He stood for a moment, staring the Nhefar down, as the Solid World started to fade, until it was no more in his vision than smoke from a cooking fire would be.
   In that instant, he felt the slight, warm touch of Eldar's presence, and the words came.
   Throwing one arm out to shield Tiril, Dantere turned to the Nhefar with fury in his eyes.
   "I am a servant of Eldar- in His name, begone!" 
                                                                    "
*lets the epic music sink in*

Well, to be truthful it's far from perfect, but it accomplished something very important: it was the first establishment of a concept for Dantere's Story. And that brought needed relief and encouragement.

In other writing news, the Chess Version of Your Move is coming along great! In fact, here's a short peek:






Smash Cut to me giggling and laughing because that's all you get to see right now! Muaahahaha....


Apparently this illness makes me nasty too :P

Other randomness:

I'm working on a Tangled fanvid, too, using the song My Destiny by Katharine McPhee. Here's a screenshot:

























Curiously enough, this picture makes me smile:


And this video is very, very insightful:



Well, enough about me.

What are YOU guys up to??