IT

Sep. 9th, 2017 12:49 pm
sareini: "It's been lovely, but I have to scream now" (Scream)
I saw the new IT at the cinema yesterday, which makes it three times in a week (5 days) that I've been out and interacting with people in public. No wonder I'm exhausted today. Also in this same week I've justified the monthly fee for my Unlimited card at the cinema, and there's still more films out this month that I want to see.

(It's always this way in late summer. Barely anything of interest for most of July and August, and then suddenly the distributors just throw a whole load of films that they didn't want to risk in blockbuster season or Halloween season out there and leave people scrambling to see them. Although IT doesn't really count for that.)

Spoilers, many spoilers... )


I'm also astonished that the filmmakers felt the need to tell people that that scene from the book (and if you've read the book, you'll know exactly what scene that is) wasn't going to be in the movie. I can't imagine anyone actually expecting that to be in the film, much less being upset over it. But apparently it was something that required mentioning. People are strange.
sareini: "chocolate: the other major food group!" (Chocolate)
Had my dentist's appointment this morning, even though none of my teeth have even twinged since I made the appointment, of course. Didn't have to sit it the waiting room for too long, thankfully, as the longer I wait in medical waiting rooms the greater the urge to just run out screaming becomes for me. Dentist looked at my broken tooth from all angles, then took an x-ray of it (and I nearly choked on the x-ray plate that had to be inserted into my mouth because, despite being told, my tongue wouldn't relax and things got rather crowded in there. Then I had to wait for the results of the x-ray, all the while thinking that, if we were at the stage of taking x-rays, then something was going to have to be done to my tooth.

Nope. Despite all outward appearances, my broken tooth is actually perfectly healthy. Yes, both I and the dentist were slightly shocked by this. But no work needs to be done; just keep up the Corsodyl and the teethbrushing.

I swear, even if nothing else gets accepted after I die, I think I should donate my teeth to a dentistry school for scientific research.

So after that, I went to lunch... and my tooth started hurting again. But since it's been x-rayed and such, I can now put it down to my teeth suddenly deciding, after 37 years, that they want to be sensitive now. Which is fine by me, I bought Sensodyne toothpaste.

After that, I went to see Annabelle: Creation at the cinema, mainly because my brother's been prodding me to see it for weeks now. I admit, I wasn't expecting great things from it, so to say it was better than I had expected it to be might not be the most glowing of praise, but there it is. 12 years after their daughter dies, a couple take in six orphan girls and a nun after their orphanage closes. They're allowed to go anywhere in the house, except the dead daughter's room. But something in the room has other ideas, and soon the girls are being terrorised by an evil spirit, particularly the one girl with polio who can't run away.

I was all prepared to yell at the film for inventing a new and completely different backstory for the evil doll that had no connection to the first film (I haven't actually seen the first film, but I watched the CinemaSins episode on it), but the film did throw in an epilogue that actually managed to connect the two films without working itself into a plot knot. So there's that, at least. And yes, the film was a jumpscare-palooza, emphasised by obvious camera framing and orchestra stings that sounded like someone was tasing the strings section while kicking the woodwind section down a spiral staircase, but I suppose as jumpscares go they weren't too bad. Oh, and there was a brief shot of Sister Skullface of the Church of the Eternal Waking Nightmare, just to remind us that the next film will be all about her. I'd give it 3 out of 5.
sareini: Five Exclamation Marks, the sure sign of an unstable mind (Five Exclamation Marks)
My brother came down today and we went to see The Limehouse Golem at the cinema. It's a period piece, set in 1880 where a detective (played by Bill Nighy) is investigating a series of gruesome murders committed by someone calling themselves the "Limehouse Golem", and finds that his case is intertwined with the case of a music hall actress, Lizzie Cree (played by Olivia Cooke, who really does do helpless waif well) who is on trial for allegedly poisoning her husband.

It's a horror/Victorian serial killer movie that - thank Eris - does things better than From Hell could ever hope to. It also reminded me somewhat of The Prestige - partly because of the setting and partly because of the music hall/performance aspect of the story. Also like The Prestige, I figured it all out a little over halfway through the film and was right in all but two of my guesses on how the film would end (my brother still can't quite believe I realised the twist in The Prestige, but that's what years of film and creative writing study gets you - the ability to use narrative theory to ruin movie twists...). It's still a very good film though, because the twist was good rather than something nailed on to the end of the film to make the audience gasp a bit.

There's also a good amount of LGBTQ themes running through the film. Bill Nighy's detective had his career torpedoed by rumours that he was homosexual, and while it's never stated outright or hinted either way you get the idea that the rumours might have been true. There's also at least one other gay male character, as well as cross-dressing (I was also reminded of Tipping the Velvet there), and I don't know if we were supposed to wonder if Lizzie Cree was a lesbian or not, but it certainly crossed my mind. Definitely a film I'd recommend.

Edit: I should mention that there are scenes of gore and references and moments of child abuse and rape in the film, for those who are sensitive to such topics.

Unfortunately for me, my toothache returned. Well, it never really went away, but for most of last week it was more or less faint background noise, so to speak. Then today, while eating brunch before the film, it returned with a vengeance, and now I can say that I finally understand the phrase "throbbing like a sore tooth". I spent most of the afternoon holding mouthfuls of cold water in my mouth to try to soothe the pain, then taking painkillers and hoping for the best (It was good for a couple of hours, but the throbbing is coming back now.) So I've made an appointment with the dentist for Wednesday. Here's hoping that this either won't need very much treatment, or that said treatment will be easier than I'm dreading (between my severe needle phobia and a medical phobia, you could say I'm a little stressed out about it). But if it's this bad I need to get it looked at, and I can't just use it as an excuse to shift to a rice pudding and yogurt diet.

The Mist

Aug. 31st, 2017 12:07 pm
sareini: Bruce Campbell as Elvis from Bubba Ho-Tep (Bubba Ho-Tep)
Last night I watched the first two episodes of The Mist TV series that's now up on Netflix.

Now, before I begin I need to explain that The Mist is one of my all-time favourite Stephen King stories. I first read it when I was 14, and it hooked me so much that I was waking up at 6am in the morning to read it before school, and even then I was getting so distracted by it that I kept nearly missing my bus. I loved every part of it. Second year Film Studies at University, I took a Scriptwriting class for which the final assignment was to adapt a scene from a book into a screenplay, and so I chose the scene where the "Flat Earth Society" leave the safety of the store from The Mist. I had a very specific idea for just about everything for the scene, and the theoretical entire movie - one of which was the idea of the film being shot in black-and-white which occasional flashes of colour - the red of blood, Mrs. Carmody's yellow pantsuit and so on. Years later, when Frank Darabont made his adaptation of the novella, I was delighted to hear that he had had a similar idea and had made a black-and-white version as well.

I was far less impressed with the film's ending, which I still think is one of the most mean-spirited and misjudged endings in cinematic history, but everything up to that point was great. So basically what I'm saying is that I'm possibly a bit biased and picky about this particular story.

With that being said... (spoilers) )


So after two episodes I'm at least interested enough to keep watching, almost overloaded as it is with shitty characters, because I want to see where it's going with the creatures in the Mist and how they're going to continue with the basic plot while still carving their own path, so to speak.

***

In other news, I'm sot sleeping at all well right now, and it's starting to make me feel unwell on top of everything else. I may have to start taking afternoon naps to try to catch up at this rate.
sareini: (ringu)
FrightFest started in London yesterday and, as usual, I'm not there. FrightFest is a huge horror film festival that happens every year over the August Bank Holiday, and I've wanted to go to it for so many years now. Unfortunately things like cost, timing and my inability to even think about doing things like that by myself without combusting with panic and anxiety have all gotten in the way, so this year (actually just yesterday) I decided to hold my own mini-FrightFest, with movies chosen myself and with chocolate and pizza and cats.

Of course, me picking what movies to watch is never going to end too well.

1 - Armed Response. A collaboration between WWE Films and Wesley Snipes' film company. A team of soldiers head to a mysterious facility where some sort of quantum computer setup interrogates people and can tell if they're lying and read their minds through tasting sweat, biometrics and other fringe science things that were never fully explained. The team running this facility are all dead through mysterious means, and it's up to Wesley Snipes' team (including WWE wrestler Seth Rollins, who's half a head taller and about twice as wide as Snipes, and he's not even one of the bigger guys on the roster) to find out what happened. Of course, one or more of the team have done A Bad Thing in the past, and somehow the facility or ghosts or something (again, this is never made clear) know and are punishing them for it. Not recommended.

2 - The Monster Project. A small group of indie filmmakers decide to make a documentary about "real" monsters. They put out an ad on Craigslist asking for monsters, and somehow only get three responses, all of them genuine. (This is where my suspension of disbelief fell flat - where were all the otherkin, at the very least?) So they go to an old, creepy abandoned house to interview a skinwalker, a vampire and a woman possessed by a demon, duing a lunar eclipse. Of course, everything goes pear-shaped and the crew are trapped in the house with the monsters, and the recovering drug addict PA has to fight to save them. A found footage film, which means of course lots of shaky cam and night vision (and to think, once upon a time I liked found footage movies). Had a semi-interesting twist at the end and was at least more recommendable than Armed Response, but not by much.

3 - Demonic - I'm actually only halfway through this one but I can already see where it's going. A crew of paranormal investigators go to an abandoned house in Louisiana where a woman went crazy and killed a bunch of people then hanged herself 25 years previously. One of the people in the group is the son of the sole survivor of the murders. The film flits between events in the house and the police investigation after the inevitable finding of the dead bodies of the crew, where the sole survivor is the son of the first survivor. We've just gotten to a bit where the guy has revealed that his missing girlfriend is pregnant, and suddenly I'm pretty sure I know how the rest of the plot will go. I'll report back tomorrow as to whether or not I'm right. Also stars Frank Grillo, aka the Purge Punisher.

***

In other news, Lily is making me share the chair with her. And by "share" I mean she has 80% of the seat.
sareini: "I'm sorry, I'm having a bad century" quote from Neil Gaiman's Sandman (Bad Century)
With The Howling: Reborn I have finished the July Howling Franchise Marathon and can now go back to slacking off and watching films I actually want to watch (until November when Shark Week 2 comes around). To be fair, Reborn was a marked improvement over some of the previous sequels (admittedly that wasn't exactly hard) and it got me thinking about a werewolf apocalypse. World War Werewolves, if you will. Hmmm...

In other news, the text telling me my prescription was ready came through, so I took myself into town for that and my monthly crochet magazine. The whole trip wouldn't have been too bad despite the heat and the Saturday shopping crowds, but the pharmacist decided to spring one of those Medicine Checks" on me, which involves being locked in a small room with the pharmacist while she goes through all your meds and asks if you're okay on them and are they working, etc. I already had one of these two months ago so I wasn't too happy to begin with, but I did my best to put on my best smile and went along with it.

...until she asked me if I was "happy" now I was on the antidepressants. Now I've been on these drugs for well over a decade at this point; tried weaning off them with the doctor's permission several times, but each time I'd get to below 150mg and everything would go to hell. And since Nick died it's been more of a case of them just keeping me going from day-to-day, never mind making me "happy". I consider it a good day if I get myself out of bed sometimes. So I tell her that, and she immediately feels the need to inform me of all the extra ways I can work to "fix" my depression.

I know she meant well. I really do. But in the 18 years I've been diagnosed with depression, I've heard of, read up on and tried many things as well as the medication to try to help my condition. And I've come up with several things that I know help, through trial and error, and I do them whenever possible. I don't go out very often because the outside world scares me and makes me anxious enough to be physically sick sometimes, so going on a half-hour walk every day probably isn't going to help, and it's probably not the first time I've had this suggested to me either. The pharmacist then went on to tell me that she feels anxious too, as she's originally from Spain and she has to come to work every day in a strange country, so it's okay! Don't feel so anxious! And all I can think is, "Oh great. Now I feel bad that I have uncontrollable anxiety and panic attacks because this woman's come to a whole other country with a whole other language to work and she worries about what other people think of her."

I told her she was really nice, caring about me like that and wanting to help me, and I'd definitely try to do what she suggested. Then I slunk away feeling like pond scum. But I really wish people wouldn't tell the mentally ill to exercise to"cure" them. We don't tell people with physical illnesses to "walk it off" (well, we do for some of them, but that's not the point here).

On the other hand, while walking to the bus stop to get into town I met this handsome fellow, who was sunning himself on the pavement when I saw him. He came running up to me meowing happily and gave me a good sniff, but then decided he didn't want a fuss and so just sat watching me and meowing. Maybe it was because I smelled of GIRLCAT. He was perfectly happy to have his picture taken though.


Headache

Jul. 7th, 2017 05:01 pm
sareini: (hiding)
I think Howling VII: New Moon Rising broke my brain. That's about the only reason I can come up with as to why I developed a headache after watching and reviewing it.

Well, it could also be a thunderstorm headache, but that doesn't bring across quite how bad Howling VII is, so let me hyperbolise for a bit.

30 Days of Music Meme - Day 4! )
sareini: Bub from Day of the Dead (bub!)
It's been a quiet couple of days, which I have spent primarily watching Howling V: The Rebirth (in which the Kool-Aid Man may be a werewolf) and Howling VI: The Freaks (werewolf vs vampire, tonight, in Hell in a Cell!); I've also been continuing work on Ross's birthday present and playing EVE Online.. Actually, I quite enjoyed Howling VI; it's a fun b-movie romp.

I need to stop trying to multitask when I'm off exploring in EVE though. I've lost two ships this week through overconfidence and switching between so many chat channels that I forget to scan for hostiles near me. Granted, it's more the annoyance factor than anything else - I already have a spare Stratios ready to be fitted to get back out there - but I do also feel like an absolute dimwit when I get caught just because I've been dumb enough to not hit dscan every 20 seconds and be ready to cloak up.


30 Days of Music meme - Day 3: A song that reminds you of summer )

30 Days of Music meme - Day 5: A song that needs to be played LOUD )

Ehhhhh...

Jul. 4th, 2017 08:12 pm
sareini: "I'm sorry, I'm having a bad century" quote from Neil Gaiman's Sandman (Bad Century)
Howling IV: The Original Nightmare - I have seen a lot of bad horror movies over the years, but this has to be in the bottom 10.

One of the reasons my depression is so strong right now, I think, is because I'm once again waiting for my social worker to contact me. The original plan was that she was on holiday for a week at the beginning on June, and then she'd call me when she got back. After I didn't get that call I rang the mental health centre asking about her... and found that she's on sick leave again. I've now called once a week for three weeks and she's still on sick leave (and was on sick leave for a couple of weeks before her holiday as well) so I'm now quite concerned about her. Is she in an iron lung? To have to take this much sick leave in such a short amount of time suggests something quite serious... but while I worry about her health, I'm also left with no-one to contact when things are bad for me.

There's an out-of-hours line that I've used a couple of times in emergencies, but there's only so much that can be done on that line, and at some point the conversation always rolls around to, "Well, you can sort things out when your social worker calls..." I've been waiting for referrals for several things since March or April now that my social worker was supposed to do, and which apparently no-one else can do in the meantime. One of these referrals is over whether or not my medication doses need to be adjusted because the anti-anxiety meds don't seem to be doing their work at the current dosage any more. Another is a check-up on my general mental condition, to make sure I'm not in need of any extra help. These and others are just left hanging in limbo right now, and it's all building to a point where my mind starts to tell me that they're just lying to me and don't want to help me any more; that if they really wanted to help me someone would have come out or phoned or written a letter by now explaining the situation.

I ended up spending the afternoon in bed today to avoid doing anything rash that would only make myself feel worse afterwards, and while the immediate urge has passed I'm still feeling pretty much abandoned and ignored by the service that's supposed to be helping me. Bleh.
sareini: "Things need not have happened to be true." - Dream of the Endless (Dreams)
Howling II, wherein Sir Christopher Lee looks like he's coming up with ways to kill his co-stars and make it look like an accident.

Howling III. Were-marsupials. Dressed as nuns. There's an image that may never leave you.

My mood has been up and down the past couple of days, with an unfortunate emphasis on the "down". I'm trying to combat that by keeping my mind as busy as possible so I can try to keep my thoughts away from the things that make me worse, make me panic and worry for no reason at all. So on the plus side, Ross's cross stitch present is getting a lot of work done on it right now.

I also figured I'd try one of those 30-day music memes, not least because I'm curious as to what my all-over-the-place musical tastes will do to the answers. so without further ado...

1. A song you like with a colour in the title )

30 Days...

Jul. 1st, 2017 06:23 pm
sareini: "Made a note in my diary on the way here. Simply says, 'Bugger'." from Blackadder (Bugger)
So it turns out that I don't know that old children's rhyme nearly as well as I should. Woke up this morning all ready for a relaxing, low-effort day, turned on the computer, went on the internet... Hey, why is everyone talking about it being July? It's June 31-Oh. Right. 30 days have September, April, June and November. Better get on with stuff then.

Still, I think a turnaround time of 3 hours isn't bad at all for watching, writing and publishing a movie review, especially when one cat is trying to catch a moth around the desk and the other wants to sprawl across your desk and headbutt the monitor with happiness. So The Howling is in the bag and the marathon is started. Seeing Robert Picardo with hair was strange though. I mean, I've seen him in other stuff like The 'Burbs where he has hair, but the image of him in my head now is always going to be the Star Trek: Voyager Doctor.

In other news, RIP Barry Norman. I think he was the very first film critic I ever watched or read, before I was even old enough to properly entertain the notion of being a film reviewer/critic myself, but even then I remember being quite fascinated and enthralled by him and the Film '[year] show (when I was allowed to watch it, because it was on at about 10:30 at night). He knew his stuff.
sareini: A Procrastinator's work is never done! (Procrastination)
I figured I needed to make a list and plan out which of the many, many projects I'm currently working on need to be done first and in what order.

Knitting/Crochet/Cross Stitch:

- Ross's birthday is on July 12, so of course his cross stitch project is the most urgent to be finished, although that won't be too difficult.
- Next up is my niece's cardigan and my brother's cross stitch birthday present, which will both need to be done by mid-August when (theoretically) I'll next be visiting.
- Everything else (Horror Movie Villain cross stitch, cardigans and scarves and other things for me) is for me and can therefore be worked on whenever.

Movie Reviews:

- July is time for my twice-yearly Franchise Marathon, and this time around I've picked the Howling franchise to work my way through, because I've been neglecting werewolves for a good while now (mainly because very few werewolf films have ever truly grabbed me). So starting July 1 I've got the eight movies in the series to go through, which also means sourcing them (and two of them have already proven to be remarkably difficult to find, even with all the resources I have at hand), watching them ahead of time and writing the reviews. As long as I can keep at least a day ahead of the current film, I'll be fine.
- I've also got a couple of other movies heavily noted and ready to be written up, but they won't be needed till after the 8th, so no rush there.
- I really need to watch some more movies from my Huge Pile O' DVDs/Blu-Rays before they become sentient and start eating the house.

Writing:

- I need to write more stuff. That's all. Worldbuilding, character stuff, fanfic, whatever.
- I might want to stop grabbing bingo prompt cards... but nah.
sareini: Bub from Day of the Dead (bub!)
There was supposed to be thunderstorms and (at the very least) rain today. When I briefly left the house this afternoon I could even feel it in the air. I could smell it in the air. But it never happened. So right now we're still sitting at 24 degrees C with the hope of it dropping again tonight like it did last night for a while, allowing Lily and I to sleep and feel a little better today. Although there's a possibility I'm getting either a kidney infection or a kidney stone now. Ow.

Today I finally managed to watch The Belko Experiment, having finally tracked down a decent copy. Its poster has a quote describing it as "Battle Royale meets Office Space!" and honestly, I take that as a challenge. It's a basic story: 80 employees of the Columbia branch of the Belko Corporation find themselves locked into their isolated office building and told that they have two hours to kill 30 of their fellow employees or 60 of them will die. Oh, and they all have mini-bombs implanted in the back of their skulls that explode if they try to escape or break the rules (they were told they were GPS trackers to guard against kidnapping). We then see the different reactions of several of the staff as they try to survive, with it ranging from the one guy who wants to try to save everyone without killing to the inevitable guy who would have eventually gone on a killing spree anyway (played by Dr Cox from Scrubs!), to the COO who decides that it's his responsibility to save as many people as possible, and the only way to do that is to execute 30 employees.

So it's an edgier version of Battle Royale but with adults and with a tacked-on "social experiment" explanation. And because nothing will ever beat Battle Royale in my heart, of course it's not as good. I mean, it's not bad, but it's not better than its obvious inspiration. There's moments of black comedy throughout - some moments are good, while others are too obvious and fall flat. I found myself more attached to incidental characters rather than the protagonists and antagonists, and I found the ending to be (a) predictable and (b) rather trite in one big way. But hey, James Gunn and Greg McLean (of Wolf Creek infamy) certainly tried hard. And it's very bloody - splattery, even. So in the end I guess I recommend it - just don't expect sublime things from it.
sareini: (hiding)
The continued heat, even at night, has started to cause me another problem: I can't sleep. Last night I tried using Nick's old room fan to cool things off a little, and while Callie was enthralled by it and the very concept of "wind inside a house", it came at a price: I couldn't hear my music over the noise of the fan, which meant I still couldn't sleep. So that, coupled with worried about Lily who's having a flare-up and several personal things getting to me and weighing down on me, left me feeling very depressed this morning. I tried calling my social worker, but even though she's back from her holiday she's now off sick, so I'm still left twisting in the wind and that only made me feel worse.

So, after curling up in bed with Lily who senses when I'm bad like this and came along to purr on me for three hours so I got some sleep, I decided to take quiet day today. Worked on Ross's birthday present, drank raspberry lemonade water and watched random stuff.

One thing I watched was a J-horror mockumentary found footage movie called Noroi The Curse. It's one of those movies that holds your attention for the near two-hour run time, but then when it ends you have to rush off to Wikipedia to work out what you just watched. I enjoyed it greatly - like I said, it held my attention for the whole thing, and was just the right amount of creepy without any overt jump scares - and with notes of Ghostwatch, The Blair Witch Project and a kernel of what would become Paranormal Activity but I also strongly suspect I'd have understood parts better if I had a better understanding of Japanese and Shinto customs.

Now I'm playing League of Legends (because what better thing to do when feeling low than play Abuse Simulator 2017?) and drinking yet more raspberry lemonade water, because that stuff is like crack.
sareini: Bruce Campbell as Elvis from Bubba Ho-Tep (Bubba Ho-Tep)
I went to see The Mummy this afternoon, fully expecting it to be a hot steaming pile of poop considering the pounding it's been taking in the press since its release.

It was not quite as bad as I'd been expecting, mainly due to the presence of Russell Crowe as Dr Henry Jekyll and Sofia Boutella as the evil Egyptian mummy princess. The former managed to pretty much steal the show for me and the latter was both pretty to watch and had that quality of looking waif-like but being able to knock people around the room at a moment's notice.

On the other hand, it's never good to remind your audience of other, better films that they could be watching, and yet that's what this film did (An American Werewolf in London, Hellraiser, any of the Blind Dead films, any of the previous Mummy films except possibly the last one... any film with Michael Caine in it...). And it was most definitely a Tom Cruise Movie - as in Tom Cruise played a Tom Cruise character and the film was set up around him so that he could look, say and do badass things (like the bit where he pushes the blonde protagonist/love interest out of the way of a careening-on-its-side London bus and then leaps perfectly through its shattered windscreen to land effortlessly in a seat a few rows back). Johnathan Coulton's Tom Cruise Crazy kept playing in my head throughout the film. And when it wasn't, I was wondering if Tom Cruise's character could have been replaced with Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series and if anyone would have noticed.

Of course, any and all credibility went right out the window when the protagonists went into a chamber where liquid mercury was literally dripping from the ceiling, and none of them died of mercury poisoning within hours.

But to be fair, I am interested where they're going with this whole "Dark Universe" franchise. Especially with Dr. Jekyll. I could see something interesting coming from that...
sareini: "Zombies are a girl's best friend" quote with a picture of Julie from Return of the Living Dead 3 (Zombies!)
Yesterday pretty much got written off as being too sad. I spent most of the day in bed with Callie and Lily or talking to my niece on the phone. But today I managed to drag myself out of the house to go and see Alien: Covenant at the cinema.

Now, I've still not seen Prometheus because way too many people whose opinions I trust said it wasn't very good at all, so I suspect I missed some of the film's callback moments because of that. I mean, I knew David was in the previous film, and he was a little bit snooker loopy, and that apparently we didn't get to see an actual xenomorph in Prometheus, but I knew little beyond that. I don't think it affected my enjoyment of the film though, but who knows - maybe I missed some subtle nod that broke the whole story open in a new direction.

I did get confused by Walter for the first part of the movie. It doesn't help that I get occasionally face-blind while watching movies, and so for the first 30 minutes or so I was sitting there thinking, "Is that even Michael Fassbender? Am I getting confused like I do with Mads Mikkleson again?" (It was Michael Fassbender.) Eventually I figured things out though, but that also leads into a gripe I had with them film that I'm pretty sure I and only I will have: what happened to the naming convention? Ash, Bishop, Call, David and... Walter? Yes, I am irrationally bothered by this.

It's got some very splattery moments - not so many as some early reviews had led me to believe, but the ones that were there were very bloody and visceral. Aliens bursting from backs (as seen in the trailer) and other body locations and xenomorphs killing people messily are the order of the day here. And of course it's got its strong female lead with a gender-neutral name who kicks arse like there's no tomorrow.

Also, nice use of Chekov's Nail.

A couple of spoilery points here )


Overall, I recommend it. Definitely brings the prequels of the franchise up to speed with the xenomorphs we know and love.
sareini: (cat)
I woke up this morning to find Callie licking my closed eyes. Apparently my role in life now is to be a salt lick for a kitten. It's the hay fever, of course; now that it's May and the weather is grudgingly admitting that it's springtime the pollens are really getting started, and of course I was already allergic to all of them even before the news of "super pollens" (pollens that have mixed with diesel fuels to be extra sticky in the mucous membranes) hit last week. Already my nose is getting runnier, my eyes more sore and prone to sticking closed in the morning (cat licks aside) and most annoyingly, the roof of my mouth itches more and more of the time. At least my life as it currently is minimises my contact with random free-floating pollen in the outside world.

In other news, I managed to be relatively productive around the house today. Did some small amount of tidying, typed up and published a review for the movie blog (The Void, in case you were wondering) and got as far as I currently can with the Shawl of Secrets. I'm now at the point where I have to buy the missing ball of yarn before I can continue, and depending on how things go on Thursday (another vet visit for Lily) will determine whether I can get that this week or at the end of the month. Still, it's a good thing it's not able to distract me right now, as I still have to finish that cardigan for my niece.

Possible Criminal Minds spoilers if you've not seen Season 11 yet )

Knitted shawl in browns, reds, oranges, yellows and greens
sareini: ('everything is true')
I've been tired all weekend and I'm not really sure why. Either I've been sleeping badly and not noticing (I'm one of those people who sometimes dreams of not being able to fall asleep, thus completely confusing the fuck out of my already addled brain and leaving me exhausted in the morning), or Friday's cinema trip was more emotionally draining than I realised (it was a pretty busy screening for 1pm on a Friday). Either way I've spent a fair amount of time in bed, doing very little and/or dozing.

***

One thing I did do yesterday was watch a horror movie called The Dark Tapes, a found-footage anthology movie that felt to me like it was trying to fill the void left by the V/H/S series. Apparently it's been winning awards on the festival circuit and getting good reviews in lots of places... which makes me feel slightly guilty that I really didn't like it.

Probably some spoilers here )


***

Despite knowing better, I continue to play League of Legends on weekends. At this point I think I deserve every bad game I get just because I won't follow my own advice and not play. There is little more frustrating than going 4/0/1 in your lane making sure your lane opponent can do very little but lament his choices in life, then have your team come mid and feed him kill after kill so that he ends up carrying his team to victory.

***

I am vaguely toying with the idea of some Loki: Agent of Asgard fic stuff. It's kind of nibbling at me right now. We shall see.
sareini: "Zombies are a girl's best friend" quote with a picture of Julie from Return of the Living Dead 3 (Zombies!)
I broke my DVD-buying fast today with a copy of Train to Busan.

I've not bought any DVDs for myself for several months now, for several reasons. The simplest reason is cost - even if I'm taking advantage of "4 for £20!" deals that's still £20 that could have gone on something else, like proper food or into a savings account. Another reason is that I've well and truly lost count of the number of DVDs (and the occasional Blu-Ray, for they have deals as well) I now have lying around the house that I've not gotten around to watching yet. I could probably host a film festival at this point. And finally, I haven't really needed to, what with Amazon Prime, Netflix, Shudder, the BFI Cinema Collection and the nebulous grey area that is Kodi TV and its add-ons. All of these combined are more than enough to ensure that I should never need to buy a physical copy of a film ever again.

But sometimes you just need to support a film with some actual money. Train to Busan was one of my favourite films of 2016, and it pretty much came out of nowhere and had a "limited release" so limited I didn't even hear about it until afterwards, at which point it was great fun to try to track it down. And I loved it not just because it was a zombie film, but because it did something original with the zombie attack scenario, was fun, high-energy and kept you guessing as to at least some of the eventual survivors. And if you enjoy a film enough, you should shell out some actual cash as a thank you to the filmmakers so they can make more films that you'll probably enjoy.

So after heading into town to get some cat treats (we were running low and they're an essential part of the pill-giving process, the cats will tell you), I ended up in my local branch of HMV. Whereupon it took me 10 whole minutes to actually find the DVD, hidden away in "World Cinema". I fail to see why we need a seperate "World Cinema" section in stores now, especially physical ones - it's really effectively just saying, "Films With Subtitles And Themes That You May or May Not Understand And Which Probably Have More Nudity". And most of the time no-one's going to go looking there unless they're like me and already know about the film. There's always at least two or three people blocking the aisles in front of the Horror section, trying to decide what vacuous straight-to-DVD movie they've been told is "Scariest Film of the Year!" to buy, but World Cinema is wide open (also as a side note: I wish HMV would widen it's aisles a bit; it's getting so I've seen people in wheelchairs just have to sit in the entrance and shout what films they want, which is hardly disability-friendly). If nothing else, mixing in World Cinema with the regular genres could at least give some people an education.

...I'm being pretentious film nerd again, aren't I?

***

Bonus! For those who were wondering, my Top 5 Films of 2016 were:

5) Blair Witch
4) Train to Busan
3) The Girl With All The Gifts
2) Don't Breathe
1) The VVitch
sareini: "Made a note in my diary on the way here. Simply says, 'Bugger'." from Blackadder (Bugger)
I had plans for going out on Friday. Nowhere special, just to the cinema that's 15-20 minutes from where I live, because a new film was coming out and I really wanted to see it.

The film in question is The Belko Experiment, and I've been excited about it since I first heard about it last Christmas. It's written by James Gunn (yes, that James Gunn) and directed by Greg McLean (of Wolf Creek infamy) and it's basically a Battle Royale clone - a few score workers for Belko Industries find themselves locked in a building and told to kill each other or be killed. Frankly, they had me at "Battle Royale clone", if only so I could throw things at it if it turned out to be not so good. My local cinema had had posters up for it, and last time I was there (seeing Free Fire with my brother) they even had a trailer. It's coming out this Friday, April 21. But yesterday when I went to look up the times it was showing, there was nothing there. Further digging revealed that it's not going to be shown at my cinema at all.

So I girded my loins and messaged the cinema on Facebook, asking them just what was up. To their credit, they got back to me within three minutes and were very informative... But it turns out The Belko Experiment is on a "limited release" and so the distributors get to choose what cinemas get to show it. And my cinema wasn't picked.

This is the second time this has happened this month as well. At the beginning of the month they had adverts up for the French cannibal/coming of age film Raw that I also wanted to see - even though I'm not that big a fan of cannibal movies - but when the release day came around the nearest cinema to me that showed it was 25 miles away. So I'm not at all impressed by this idea of "limited release". In this era of digital and with the big movie companies so psychotically pearl-clutching over piracy, you'd think that they'd be getting films out to as many cinemas as possible to get people to pay instead of heading online for the film. Even if I was able to travel the 25 miles minimum to see a film I wouldn't, unless it was the best film in the history of humanity or I was being paid a very large sum of money to do so. The other cinema in my area is showing it, but only in the evenings when I'm not comfortable travelling further than the corner shop and it would cost me a hell of a lot more as well (taxi fare, plus I have a card for my preferred cinema). You'd think the competition would also encourage them to show the film in more cinemas, but apparently not.

So my Friday afternoon has suddenly become free, and I'm rather annoyed by it.

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