Latimer: I recently started watching True Detective, a new series starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. I was intrigued because they were in it, and it’s supposed to be a new ‘must watch show’.
They play two detectives investigating a murder – which appears to be satanic. The episodes swing back and forth between the present day and when the murder happened in 1995 (or 1992?), and it’s about what happened in the investigation and what happened to McConaughey and Harrelson’s relationship as partners.
Some of the weird, extensional monologues Matthew McConaughey gets in True Detective are incredible. They are pretty dark though, because his character is a dark person with no optimism about the world in general, or himself.
The series moves at, what I can only imagine is the pace of an actual investigation – really slow. I watched the first two episodes at night time (in the dark) and wow, did I ever freak myself out! I realised what a total wimp I am!
The murder is just the tip of the iceberg, and every time Matthew McConaughey finds another ‘satanic’ symbol linked to the murder (these homemade small wicker cages), I keep expecting that a monster is going to jump out – and I’m way more freaked out that the monster will be an actual person, not a boogieman! Yup!
Like in the recent episodes of the Walking Dead, while the zombies are still something to be scared of, it seems like rogue bands of vicious survivors looking for your share of supplies, or your weapons, are the ones you should be seriously afraid of!
Basically, I think I should now watch a Disney movie, to restore my faith in humanity!
Latimer: On Christmas Day, Spirited Away popped up on my television screen like the ghost of Christmas past. I paused in my chocolate-coma induced mindless channel hopping and smiled. It had been a long time since I saw Chihiro and Kohaku. Then I frowned remembering my fan-girl grudge against this movie.
It was the start of the movie and despite my grudge (which will become apparent), I decided this would be a nice movie to sit down and watch. On the first break, I went out to the kitchen to make some tea and about 30 minutes passed by – the Christmas Day time vortex appeared. It’s the weirdest day of the year where time speeds up; when even getting some tea manages to turn into twelve other things that zap all the time away.
I never got back to Spirited Away that day. But it popped up again recently, urging me to confront my grudge.
Jumping briefly into the ‘way-back machine’ of nostalgia, I remember when this movie came out (13 years ago this year). Spirited Away was the first anime I’d seen that had a proper Japanese feel to it; from the moment Chihiro and her family step into the spirit world town, you get immersed in the Japanese-ness of it all, the food, the mythology (radish spirit?! Really?! That’s cool…!)
Spirited Away was also the first anime I saw subbed (it was an extra on the DVD). I was a fool and turned up my nose and stuck with the English dubbed version at that point though (damn fool Latimer!).
I love the feel of Spirited Away, the view into Japanese culture and mythology.
The animation is wonderful too. There’s the wonderful, beauiful moment where Chihiro is crying, falling through the air with Kohaku, and her tears are breaking off the little mouse and bird.
The story between Kohaku and Chihiro is so sweet and lovely… and well, that’s where my ‘grudge’ comes in….I always have this moment of sighing sadly at the end, when Chihiro leaves Kohaku…. I am a fan-girl, so of course I would be frowning at this!
The ending is a bit ambiguous; you can read what you like into it. Hayao Miyazaki (the creator of Spirited Away) said that Chihiro has lost her memories after leaving the spirit world.
This time, I watched it I came to my own conclusion (after, what 10 years or so? ha). When Chihiro leaves Kohaku, she asks, ‘will we meet again?’ and he promises that they will. And then she’s gone. I block out having read once that there’s one way of looking at this; Kohaku is a spirit and so, Chihiro will meet him again when she dies and becomes a spirit…
Okay, that’s too sad, so this is the way I choose to look at it! Kohaku also says in the subbed version that, ‘I’ll go back to my world’ – which means that the spirit world might not be his world after all. He saved Chihiro when she fell into the river when she was a child, so to me, it means he’s going back to being a river god – and where are the rivers – in Chihiro’s world (if he saved her before in her own world, then that’s the world he belongs in).
As to memory loss… hmm, well she still has her magical hair tie in the end (which holds ‘everyone’s feelings’) – so I’m not worried about that 🙂 Thinking of this as the ending makes this ending nicer to me after all these years; I think I’m letting go of my grudge at last!
Ah, ambiguous endings – are they a pain or a pleasure?
Latimer: I’m so behind the times! Like Ridley, I recently started watching Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan).Being a newbie to the show, I thought it’d be fun to document my initial thoughts as I watched the first 2 episodes!
Okay let’s go-go….!!
I just imagine the massive Titan looking over the wall and saying – “Hello dere!” All the Titans have faces that suggest they are about to say; “Hello dere!” instead of eating you. But in all seriousness, hell no would I still be alive in that world – as with zombie apocalypse I’m in the ‘first wave of non-survivors’!
I want one of the weapon rigs! Ah they’d be great – but I know I couldn’t use it properly!
They have such a cool opening song!
This world looks very German, style-wise – I think it would be really cool to see this anime dubbed in German!
It really is suicide being a soldier in ‘Attack on Titan’!
Eren (the main character) said living behind the wall is like; “living like livestock for the Titans” – hmm, yup, that about sums it up all right!
Okay so there’s different soldier ‘corps’, with different crests – like Hogwarts houses… err… not really… well sort of; survey corps = Gryffindor (bravery); military police = Slytherin (smart, stay inside, let the Gryffindors do the hard graft :))… and garrison = Hufflepuff (who knows what you really do – who knows?!).
So the survey corps came back after their ‘trip’ (ha, their mini-break!) beyond the wall. There’s a guy with bandages around his mouth, ekk! Lots of soldiers were eaten; oh… one of the commanding officers is handing a bundle back to a crying mother…
Jaysus… it’s…. an arm?! What…!
God Eren, I’ve been here in your world 5 minutes and I don’t want to leave the walls (the outside world be damned I tell you, it’s not worth it! Sand and the sea, it’s not that impressive!). Why do you want to go outside Eren, you’re crazy!
Whooh, a big Titan just appeared (looking over the wall… ‘hello dere’)
Oh noo, he destroyed the wall, other Titans are coming in and eating people….. oh it’s on! IT’S ON!
My immediate thought to describe Titans – “leering grins and naked arses!” I know all you people looked, they are giant naked people (where do your eyes go first?)!
I love how in animes (this used to happen in Bleach too) there’s always cool-looking baddies (the big Colossal and Armoured Titans in this case; they are the important ones), and then there are the weirdest, oddest, bubble-headed, comical-looking strange ones, that you know the artist was like; “Bored now! Bring on the weird!”
Ah, Eren’s house was crushed by stone from the wall – his mam is stuck under the house!
She told them to run away and save themselves (a Titan is coming!). I’d have asked them to kill me before they ran away – “I’m doing you guys a solid by letting you go; the least you could do is kill me before you run away!” (I don’t want to be eaten by a giant).
I wonder will Eren eventually befriend a Titan and that’ll be the turning point… – Oh holy hell… no he won’t!
Hannes the soldier – running away from the Titan instead of engaging – I feel you Hannes, you’re a soldier, but you’re afraid. Of course I never would have become a soldier because I’m afraid. Just sayin’
“Hurry if you don’t want to be eaten…” I never want to hear someone screaming those words at me. Ever.
All those people living in that city are traumatized. The gate’s closed, leaving them behind to die by Titan, that’s horrible. But, well, maybe it’s for the best; like everyone in Game of Thrones… maybe it’s better to go out now, happy one day, eaten the next! I mean the soldiers are happy, then traumatized, then eaten!
Hannes, the soldier, is screaming at Eren that his mother died because he’s weak. In fairness the mother’s not gone because anyone’s weak, she’s gone because a massive man-eating monster ate her!
Eren’s having all these flashbacks of his Dad injecting him with something (he’s been acting the maggot!). I wonder… that dark-haired titan I’ve seen around on pictures and tumblr… is he a genetically engineered titan – from Eren’s DNA?
And… end 🙂
Update: I finished the series, I won’t ruin anything – only to say it’s as good as everyone says it is!
I noticed that… well, a lot of the Titans run… a little like I do…? (the fat, or short ones, not the cool ones) it’s sad, disturbing, but true… I run like a Titan… wow, wow… ah geez…
And then, Just to say, my favourite character is Jean Kirstein… and I leave you with this epic gif of him fighting a Titan…
‘Death comes to Pemberly… This is the story of how I died… Who am I? I’m Denny… What do you mean ‘Denny who?’? You know… Lydia said my name once – no? Okay, so I told Elizabeth that Wickham wasn’t coming to the Netherfield ball because of a certain person…? Yeah, that Denny!’
Latimer: Okay admission time, I have a major addiction to Pride and Prejudice (P&P).
Yup…! I also have a minor addiction to Pride and Prejudice variations and sequels.. ahem, yes…
Basically these (variations really) are self-published stories where people use the P&P the storyline but tweek it; for example, say there’s a storm after Darcy proposes to Elizabeth for the first time and he gets stranded at the parsonage and the story just continues onward, with parts changing due to that incident… yup.
The reason I like them, is because I love Darcy and Elizabeth. As long as Darcy and Elizabeth fall in love, then it’s all good.
My love of all things P&P meant I was really happy to see a three-part drama, ‘Death comes to Pemberly’ advertised on BBC over Christmas. It’s a P&P sequel (not quite a variation, but someone’s take on ‘what happened next’). It’s a murder mystery story. We meet the characters six years after P&P. Darcy and Elizabeth are hosting the annual Pemberly ball and Wickham and Lydia (not actually invited) arrive in Pemberly causing all sorts of trouble.
On the way to Pemberly, Wickham and Corporal Denny (Denny NOoo!) have a fight in the carriage as it clip-clops through Pemberly forest. Denny jumps out of the carriage and angrily storms into the forest, Wickham following after him. Denny is then found dead in the woods with Wickham as the prime suspect.
These were roughly my thoughts on watching the series…
Denny… Denny… who… oh yeah, Denny… *ahem, yes of course*
Wickham, you are a perpetual arsehole!
Lydia… the impossible girl, ha
Why does Elizabeth continue to call Mr Darcy… ‘Darcy’? Not even Mr Darcy, just Darcy… hmm.
Is their son, young Fitzwilliam (original) going to speak at all in this? (no not really)
Matthew Rhys is a fine Mr Darcy (and a fine Russian spy – when is The American’s starting back?!)
Miss Elizabeth doesn’t have very many gowns considering Darcy’s 10,000 a year, what’s going on?
Someone online said; “why is Elizabeth wearing a Georgian shoe buckle in her hair?”, now all I can see is a shoe buckle every time she turns around!
Out loud I’m saying; “Mr Darcy don’t go being an arsehole again and ruining your relationship with Elizabeth (again)!”; (in my head though: “Mwhaha, yesss, be an arsehole again, hehe… excellent…”)
There’s some fan-service, which would have made Austen blush *hehe*
Ah, it’s over, what can we watch now?
This was a fun period drama that fills the period drama void!
I love the BBC P&P with Colin Firth (its epic)… but you know *whispering for fear of being attacked by inner fan-girl*… it might now be time for the BBC to make another adaptation of P&P!
There is always room in the world for another …. always!
Latimer: I don’t think a Christmas holiday is complete without watching at least one of the Indiana Jones movies! They are all shown on television over the holidays.
This year I noticed that the fourth Indiana Jones movie (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) has been added to the marathon. To me, there are only really three Indiana Jones movies.
I’ve been watching Indiana Jones since as far back as I can remember. It started my obsession about wanting to be an archaeologist. I thought being an archaeologist was being Indiana Jones. For most of my childhood that’s what I was going to be, an archaeologist/Indiana Jones.
I was definitely going to go on adventures and find artefacts stuck in booby-trapped tombs. Yet, in spite of all the ways I would definitely die adventuring through Indiana Jones style tombs, I was convinced that was the life for me! I would have needed a lifetime of parkour, self-defence and weapons training for that career path.
I’m now convinced I would have died trekking to my first tomb!
Thankfully, I’ve grown out of considering that life (for my own health and safety!), but still love Indiana Jones! Out of the three movies (yup three!), my favourite has always been Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I watch it once every Christmas. I’m always happy to see it; I know it’s Christmas and it never fails to make me smile.
I love that movie because it’s just so much fun and not serious, and so 80’s – it’s pure nostalgia!
It has the never-ageing Sean Connery, the zeppelin, the quick detour to Berlin, tombs, the leap of faith I never would have taken, the old knight of the crusade, the face melting scene (that always scared the crap out of me)… and you learn that Indy’s named after the dog 🙂
I think everyone has a favourite Indiana Jones movie – Ridley’s is Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom! What an epic movie series it is… cue music…
Also Happy New Year to everyone! Hope you all have a great 2014! MLR 🙂
Latimer: Somehow I’ve found myself on an indie odyssey through the internet recently, stumbling over people making really amazing art, from conception to end-product. As Ridley and I are indie writers ourselves, it’s always great to see what other indie people are up to around the web!
There are some amazing artists out there, doing really cool innovative things. The invention of Kickstarter also means that more and more people are finding ways of getting their ideas out to bigger audiences. It’s really inspiring and I’ve stumbled across some great finds as I’ve wandered and bounced around the wide-open spaces of web-land!
Here are a few of my new, sparkly treasures!
Podcast: Welcome To Night Vale (created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor and voiced by Cecil Baldwin), this really cool podcast about a fictional town somewhere in America, where strange things are happening, almost always… they have hooded figures, mysterious dog parks, vanishing interns… it’s all very random, but brilliantly random!
Webcomic: Ava’s Demon – oh wow, this webcomic by Michelle Czajkowski, is just fantastic! It is semi-mixed media, in that for each chapter, there are a number of beautiful single panels, and then the very last part of the chapter is a short animation. The story is set in outer-space and on different planets, but it also has this cool fantasy feel to it. It focus’ on a girl called Ava who is possessed by a demon with a mysterious/bloody past.
The artwork is beautiful and after running this really successful Kickstarted campaign, the artist now has the money to update the comic twice weekly and add lots more fun stuff! (Currently the comic is updated every Thursday! Check it out! It’s great!)
Webcartoon: Bee and PuppyCat, a really cool webcartoon. Bee has been fired and as she walks home, a puppy-cat falls out of the sky. This is so brilliant, hilarious and just… it’s so strange that it draws you in and you are hooked wondering – what on earth is going on?
The artist and creator of Bee and PuppyCat (Natasha Allegri) works on Adventure Time (she created the female/genderbender version of Finn and Jake – Fionna and Cake!). And Frederator Studios, the indie studio that makes Bee and PuppyCat (and the other shows on the channel), also made Adventure Time (so there are similarities). I’ve never watched Adventure Time, but I feel like I should now!
Currently Bee and PuppyCat is only one episode, but after a Kickstarter campaign she got enough money to make a series! Not sure when it will be out, but I’ll be subscribing to keep track!
Webcartoon: Bravest Warriors (by Pendleton Ward, creator of Adventure Time), this is also on the same channel (Cartoon Hangover) as Bee and PuppyCat and made by the same people. It’s actually really, really funny. I love the humour in these cartoons, it’s so unbelievably random and quirky!
I can’t wait for the next find! There are some amazing people, doing really cool things out there 🙂
I really adore them. They are also the means through which I’ve developed, rightly or wrongly, my view of Japanese, and to some degree Korean, culture!
I’m a fangirl, so I love shoujo – the girly manga! I love the ones set in schools; the drama between the school president and the yankee, or the shy girl and the cool guy.
In Korean ‘shoujo’ manhwa there’s always (ALWAYS) a jjang (leader of the gang), in the story. Sometimes it’s the girl, and sometimes it’s the boy. So again, I know I’m misguided, but I just assume in every Korean high-school there are warring factions of gangs, and everyone can fight and kick-ass! And everyone is angry… so angry!
I wouldn’t be able to hide my disappointment if I turned up (very randomly) at a Korean high-school and I wasn’t caught in a show-down between two rival gangs from opposing schools. Even though I don’t speak the language, I’d know… I’d just know what was going on. I’d know the first jjang had kissed the other jjang’s sister, or belittled her… and I’d stand there fists waving in the air screaming.
“Oh it’s on! FIGHTING”
Then if I ended up at a Japanese high-school, I’d be looking for the yankee (the bad boy, delinquent) and the bookish girl – or the tsundere (initially cold character who shows their good side in time – a staple of the shoujo!) school president and the silly, but kind-hearted girl… and I’d be chuckling to myself thinking; “Oh how is this going to turn out!”
Ah, manga (and manhwa), you really distort reality for me (but in a way that makes me so happy)! Reading them is a roller-coaster ride of emotions!
Pandora Hearts, confuses me, makes me gasp in awe, then confuses me again…
Naruto always makes me emotional – it’s the best manga for making you empathize with the baddies, because they were good once… or they have these tear-inducing back-stories…
Kamisama Hajimemashita makes my fangirl squee – such a lovely romance story!
Anything by Minami Maki will make me laugh and wait desperately for the next chapter; her stories and artwork are sweet and cute and hilarious…
Then, recently (and as it’s a week for pets!), I came across this webcomic (they seem to be v.popular in Korean – at least to my untrained eye). It’s called My Young Cat and My Old Dog (by Cho) and it is… wonderful…
If you have a pet, it will make you cry.
At times the issue/episode/chapter is about the young playful pet and all the silly things they do. Then at times it’s about the old pet, who isn’t quite as fast as they used to be, or sleeps more than they used to. It’s those one’s that grab your heart and squeeze the feels out, leaving you gasping and in tears (I am an emotional being!).
I have an old, old dog, and those episodes make me pause and think of him 😦
Well, but there’s lots of joy to be had in the series too, things that make you remember how wonderful your pet is. How selfless and how they love you unconditionally; they love you for you, no other reason and we love them too..
Ah, manga and manhwa, you give me so many different feelings – and I love you for it 🙂