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The more I hear about the literary novel A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, the more it sounds like beautifully written fanfic. It’s about four friends, but it centers upon one of them who has a dark past. I read the wikipedia entry for more plot details, and it's just…so….over-the-top. “spoilerish?” ) I might flip through the book at the bookstore one of these days just to see how the writing is. I’ve heard the author in interviews and she is a very pleasant interviewee. I was pleased that everyone I’ve heard say her name basically didn’t mangle it.

Read an article, Evangelion, Depression and Why Hideaki Anno is the Lars von Trier of Anime, that is exactly about what the title says. I'm assuming I will be disappointed (possibly enraged) by the last movie, whenever it comes out.

I’m sick and tired of hearing commercials for the sci-fi podcast The Message in the podcasts I listen to. When I came across the article Fiction Podcasts Are Trying Too Hard to Be Like Serial, I realized why. I heard the first episode of Serial way back when (before it got huge) and did not like the format. So The Message was designed to turn people like me off. XD

I particularly enjoyed the November 27 episode of the Empire Film Podcast because the hosts geek out on the Captain America: Civil War trailer and there's just a lot of hilarious inneundo re: Steve and Bucky.
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Ugh. I made some dry-rub chicken to take for lunch this week and had the most awful experience. Luckily the food turned out fine (despite some major mishaps along the way). First, I mistakenly used 1-1/2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper instead of chili powder and had to carefully scoop out most of it (I had other spices and things already in the bowl). I then sloshed the brining liquid around and spilled it all over the place, including on my iPhone which I was using to read the recipe. I don't get totally freaked out about raw chicken contamination, but I still cleaned everything that got splashed pretty well. Then I spilled a bunch of the cooked chicken juices all over the place, including on my clothing, so I got to clean greasy liquid from the floors/counters AND my clothes (as well as the dishes and utensils). The entire time I'm dying from the heat and humidity and I just want to flop over somewhere, but the only cool place is sitting on a pretty uncomfortable chair out on the balcony to catch the breeze (no AC in my house). I ate a thigh for lunch, tho, and it was good. I don't know what I would've done if I'd gone through all that and had crap food at the end. ^^;

Last night I saw Pacific Rim, which was about as fun as I thought it'd be. Giant robots battling giant monsters! Very, very anime-influenced, also very, very shallow and cliched, and with lots of stupid science. But it was fun!! The only thing I really disliked was the dynamic of the two main males and the main female. Wish she wasn't so…vulnerable. I understand that her backstory does support her being the way she is to some extent, but it was annoying. However, the Japanese spoken not only by the Japanese actress but by Idris Elba and by…er…the other main male amused me (also, why does the other guy even speak Japanese? I can understand Idris Elba's character speaking it due to his backstory). I definitely enjoyed this more than Monsters University (it wasn't bad, it just wasn't…awesome? Too cliched in a way I didn't love) and possibly as much as Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing (I liked the B&W modern updated setting, and the actress playing Beatrice was wonderful--plus Nathan Fillion was as funny as all the reviews said).

Saw the second episode of Free!, and am still confused as to what this anime is going to be like. I enjoyed the "build the club/team" thing in this episode, though. I almost always do like club/team-building (H2, Chihayafuru, Hikago, to name a few). And it continues to be pretty. We even get a female proxy ogling the half-naked men for the audience.
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Need to know who is who in Middle Earth? Check out the LOTR Family Tree Project and their handy-dandy Hobbit Dwarves Cheat Sheet. This cheat sheat is a thousand times more delightful than The Hobbit, sadly. They should've kept it at two movies, at the least. more complaining )
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Only two more days till the weekend! Yay! I spent all of Labor Day watching videos. I initially tried to watch the ROD TV show and had to give up after one and a half episodes because all the main characters made me want to spork them. My god, so irritating. I was told it was a good series, too. To cleanse my mind I watched Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth version, of course) and topped it off with a bunch of Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi episodes. Happiness!! I want more Nakamura Shungiku anime...Can we get another season of SIH or JR? Please?

I want to see the live action Rurouni Kenshin movie after seeing the trailer. He says "oro!" and "gozaru!" I know, I know, it wouldn't be Kenshin if he didn't...But it still trips me out. There's apparently a channel on Youtube with lots of videos.

Apparently mocking Bic for Her pens are a thing, and I've read some funny and some not so funny stuff out there. I enjoyed the reviews on Amazon UK the best, though.

And now a random list of books I noticed is coming out/already came out...

Books coming out I won't bother reading:
Fei-Long centric Viewfinder novel
Yet another Deadlock spin-off
I am just not a fan of spin-offs. *shrugs*

Book I plan on reading when I finally catch up:
Last volume of Fujimi! It's finally ending!

Book I am so excited about getting:
Ameiro Paradox 2
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A ringing endorsement of the movie Weekend made me want to watch it. It's about two guys who meet and hook up over a weekend, and it's apparently very real and very sweet. It's a gay love story that isn't a gay love story, though it does address some specifically gay issues without being totally political. I'm kind of sold on the real and sweet part. I am a bit over mega-angst lately, unless it's tempered by a good amount of comedy.

Entertainment Weekly did a reunion shoot of the cast of The Princess Bride! Photo here, on the EW site there's a cute short vid of the various actors as well as short written blurbs here. While the book will always be nearer to my heart as I read it first, I do have a fondness for the movie.
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I watched the 1996 TV adaptation of Emma starring Kate Beckinsale as Emma and Mark Strong as Mr. Knightly this weekend. I now feel a lot more positive about the book. I found Emma (the character) hard to stomach in the beginning, but Kate Bekinsale does a great job (her expressions are priceless) and I quickly softened towards Emma. By the end I really enjoyed the story...Though seeing Frank Churchill in action made me really wish something bad happened to him in the future. Ugh, what a slimy, icky ass. I'm a bit curious as to what was cut out and what was changed, so I might someday pick up the book and try to read it again. ^^;

Could Mansfield Park be made palatable when turned into a film? I'm a bit tempted to find out....

Seeing Mark Strong makes me want to rewatch Stardust, in which he is an awesome villian. Now that was a really good adaptation of a book.

I am terribly disappointed that Jane Eyre is currently limited release. I have a perverse desire to see the movie, perhaps because I don't care for the book.

I was eating lunch at a local udon restaurant today when the Korean actor who was in Lost and is now in Hawaii 5-0 came in to eat. I had to snort at my attempts to NOT stare at the guy even though I'm not that into celebrities in general and didn't watch either show. The girls at the next table were adorable, though, whispering about trying to get autographs and/or pictures. I wish I could've seen them do it, but I left before they did. :P

I've been rereading old BL novels and manga the last month or so. I had initially been looking for a particular book, but I couldn't find it*. Instead I started reading stuff I hadn't read in a while. Talk about a mixed bag. I own some truly crappy books as well as some really good books I don't reread enough.

I reread a book about best friends in high school in which one has loved the other since forever and finally confesses, turning his friend's world upside down. Sadly, the best part of the book was the art. I was trying to remember books about best friends with sekrit unrequited love on one side because I'm sure I've read tons of them. I could only think of two involving working adults and one with students off the top of my head, which isn't that many...Any recs? I like the premise a lot if done well. I can rec the two working adults books: Slow Rhythm by Sugihara Rio and illustrated by Kinoshita Keiko (♥ her!) and Tadashii koi no nayami kata by Watarumi Naho and illustrated by Sasaki Kumiko. I can't find the student one, but that one wasn't that great anyway. :P

Two books I truly enjoyed rereading: Sono otoko, toriatsukai chuui! and Sono otoko, shinyuu kinshi! by Narumiya Yuri and illustrated by Sakuragi Yaya. They are about a young road construction worker Saeki Keisuke and the guy who becomes his boyfriend in the first book. The blurb for the first book says that Keisuke is a loose guy who will sleep with any guy or gal. He becomes friendly with a government worker who moves in next door, Ogata Mizuki. When Ogata confides that he's in love with some other guy, Keisuke offers to teach him how to sleep with a guy. He's always been the one doing the fucking with guys, but he ends up being fucked by Ogata. The book also has some yazuka (and random criminal) action, but the main point of it is the disgustingly sweet yet adorable relationship between Keisuke and Ogata. Keisuke is tall and decently built, looks a bit intimidating, and is good in fights, but is like butter in Ogata's hands. He's a bit embarrassed, but isn't too full of pride/tsundereness/whatever to hide it constantly. The second book has the insecurities and misunderstandings that seem to show up a lot in second books with established relationships (go cliches!), but in the end the sweetness makes it all okay to me. It helps that I love the art. XD;

*Has anyone read a BL novel about a salaryman with an actor boyfriend whom he supports financially? The boyfriend is on the verge of getting his big break and their relationship becomes destabilized. I hope I find it one day... ;_;

Random news:

Ugh, I hope the rumor that Robert Pattison may play Tetsuo from Akira is wrong. Putting aside the "why is a white guy playing a character who is sooo NOT WHITE" thing (which is neither here nor there as it doesn't apply in this case as per the article the location will be "New Manhattan" instead of "New Tokyo"), I have an aversion to the actor (thanks to how awful he looked in the Twilight promo material).

For people in the US: Costco has a printer cartridge refill service!

Odd, possibly bad: Brooklyn Rundfunk Orkestrata rearranges the entire score of The Sound of Music on their newest album.

I kinda want to see the Priscilla Queen of the Desert musical just for the cupcake scene.

Amazon is shutting down ebook lending sites.
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Wow. I idly checked on Abe Miyuki's current status and found out that a very old manga of hers, Kimi wa boku wo suki ni naru, is being reissued under Ciel (Volume 1 is out already, apparently the entire series will come out in three volumes)! According to one review Hakkenden will also come out under Ciel??? I have no idea if this is true. I just want new Hakkenden! I am still completely baffled by Super Lovers and want my supernatural gorgeous guy harem back! >_< Though, I have to agree with this blog post in that if the series is coming out under a BL label could they actually turn the damned thing into full-on BL? I also would love to see a continuation of Komatta Toki ni wa Hoshi ni Kike that is also out-and-out BL, if we're throwing out wishes. :P But going back to Kimi wa boku wo suki ni naru, I feel sorry for anyone who started reading Abe-sensei from her recent works because the cover is her new art but the inside is her very old art. Some of the reviews on amazon were quite put out! I own the original series so I don't have a reason to buy the rereleases...Unless the review that mentioned an extra book for those who buy the releases are correct. I'd like to see the characters from KimiBoku drawn in her new art!

It's been interesting reading the reactions to HarperCollins new ebook for libraries policy (One link round-up here. I liked the discussion at Smart Bitches in particular). These kinds of things are why I haven't jumped on the ebook bandwagon yet.

I am not much of a perfume-wearer, but I am tempted by the Jo Malone tea fragrance blends. You can smell like Assam (& Grapefruit) or Earl Grey (& Cucumber) or (Fresh) Mint, and layer (Sweet) Milk or (Sweet) Lemon over either. Most reviews are pretty positive (such as this one). I'm going to have to check these out.

Loving the pretty shelving in best of book storage at interior design blog Design*Sponge.

I finally saw the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice and liked it! It didn't have horrible changes like the Persuasion movies and the additions made me laugh. WTF is up with Darcy taking a dip before meeting up with Elizabeth?!? Lady Catherine and Mrs. Bennett were amazingly well acted. Seriously, though, what really made me enjoy watching the series was just how lovely Jane and Elizabeth's relationship seemed on screen. I did catch a tiny bit of the recent Keira Knightly movie and was repulsed from what little I saw. She's waaay too unsure of herself and the scene where she gets the letter from Jane re: Lydia and Wykam was greatly altered. I already didn't think Keira Knightly made a good Elizabeth, but seeing just a little bit of her in action did not make me want to see the entire movie.

Speaking of movie adaptations, I think I want to see the upcoming Jane Eyre movie despite the fact that I dislike the book. The trailer just made me want to watch it, even though Mr. Rochester totally doesn't match my mental image of him at all.

more GH...

Feb. 12th, 2011 08:39 am
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A Civil Contract is a very odd book. I thought it was good, I really enjoyed reading it, but I don't love it. It's about a guy in the army fighting Napoleon who goes back to England when his father dies. He inherits the title and all, but finds out that his father had been very, very bad with the money and that he was basically ruined. Instead of selling everything, including his beloved ancestral home, he decides to marry the daughter of a very rich merchant. It's a loveless marriage of convenience, but the guy makes a good go at it. The book isn't a romance romance, as he's actually in love with another woman whom he can't marry due to his craptastic financial situation. It's very...domestic. The woman he does marry is very good at the home stuff and is very good at making him feel very comfortable. The problems come from the love he has to forget, as well as trying to repress his ingrained snobbery and dealing with the culture clashes when dealing with his wife's father. (The father loves things to be new and shiny--blingy! While the husband is much more into tradition and elegance.) My problem with the book? I didn't get into the wife. She's not a bad character and really is rather admirable, but...just not exciting to me. I felt invested in the husband's feelings, but the wife's were so concealed I couldn't feel anything remotely similar for her.

Speaking of romances, has anyone watched The Inheritence, a made for television piece loosely based on a novella by Louisa May Alcott? Sounds somewhat cheesy, but it may be somewhat good cheese...
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I rewatched Up, teared up at the beginning montage of the life of Carl and Ellie as well as the moment much later when Carl flips through Ellie's adventure book and finds the to do part actually filled out. I also forgot how awesome Doug the dog is. So cute! So dumb! So cute! "I do not like the cone of shame." ♥♥♥ The DVD extra re: Doug actually made me feel sorry for Alpha et al. If I was a dedicated and serious kind of dog I'd want to send him on an extra special mission too. ^^;

Onto more GH....OMG I tried to read April Lady and failed. It's like the worst of Friday's Child and The Convenient Marriage blended together. The main character is a married lady who adores her much older and very rich husband, but has been told by her mother not to expect such things as love so she hides her feelings. Her husband had fallen for her but doesn't really express his feelings. She ends up in all kinds of scrapes partly because of her (totally worthless and irritating) wild young sister-in-law and partly because she's an idiot who lies and makes things worse. One or two lies, okay, but...she just takes it too far. I couldn't sympathize with her at all. Basically, I was not charmed by anyone. And the half-sister should've been put down.

Bath Tangle failed for me as well. It's about the daughter and wife of an Earl who unexpectedly dies. The daughter's considerable fortune is held in trust by her father's old friend whom she had been engaged to marry but had jilted quite close to the wedding date. The widow is young (younger than the daughter) and sweet. Frankly, I liked the widow better. The daughter is supposed to be all strong-willed and high-spirited, and she is, but not in a way that I liked. I was like, just get together with the guy already!! And the guy, the old friend...is a jerk. I really got the impression that he really wallows in privilege. He can act like an asshole because he's rich and high-ranked, he doesn't even bother to be superficially civil. I liked the widow and her beau so much better.
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I went to the library to pick up two more GH novels (The Masqueraders and Regency Buck, I hope I like them...) and ended up borrowing two movie adaptations of Jane Austen's Persuasion (the 1995 Amanda Root and 2007 Sally Hawkins versions). Oh man. I can take some changes. I can take some differences. But why oh why did they fuck around with the end? The changes in the best scene in the whole book! And the running! And the KISSING IN THE STREET! *gags* I liked both versions okay up to the very end, though I thought the actors were better in the 1995 version (2007's Elizabeth was just...wrong. I liked Amanda Root's Anne better, but Sally Hawkins did grow on me) and 2007 was just so pretty. And 2007 did much better in providing more information and background for those who didn't read the book. But overall I'm just pissed off. THE BOOK IS BETTER. SO MUCH BETTER.

(I know, I know, this is not news. But it must be said! Again and again! SO. MUCH. BETTER.)

Period Piece by Gwen Ravert sounds fun, has anyone read it?

Best headline for a movie review: "'Witch' manages to waste zombie ninja monks" about "Season of the Witch"

Pure awesome: Hirai Ken sings the Uruseiyatsura theme song (while I've never liked the anime/manga, the original OP animation is fun)

Hirai Ken also covers First Love and Automatic by Utada Hikaru

So cute: Harry Potter pup

I actually read some fics! Some I enjoyed:

I somehow missed a new fic in The Paradox Series by [livejournal.com profile] wordstrings: New Days to Throw Your Chains Away. John sorting through Sherlock's lists is pure gold. XDXD She also hosts a holiday meme. I haven't gone through it yet, but I did catch a hilarious and perfect pic.

The dangerous book for boys. by [livejournal.com profile] orange_crushed is very AU and very odd and so cool. Yay for not being able to describe it!

A Priori and White Noise by rubberbutton, vampire as masters/humans as slaves AU, looks to become a series. I dislike humanity enslaved stories, but Moriarty (as well as Sherlock, naturally) is wonderfully odd. I particularly like this scene:

“But I'm sure you'll try,” Sherlock sighs. “John. I'll always come for you; I don't know why you're so upset.”

“It's not enough for you to come,” John says. “You've got to come in time.”

Sherlock opens his mouth to say one thing but his expression goes queer and inward and he doesn't say whatever he had meant to. Instead he looks at John for a very long time and then finally says, “Yes, I always forget how important time is to humans.”


Shadows on the Wall by AraSigyrn features a rather bitter pyschic!John as The Great Game unwinds. Haven't decided wether I think it's good, but it is interesting.

Also came across a great Generation Kill Brad/Nate fic: Life in Abeyance by [livejournal.com profile] vegarin. It simmers, it aches, then it explodes! ♥

Tangled

Dec. 12th, 2010 04:09 pm
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I saw Disney's new animated movie Tangled today. It was shallow and full of holes and the music was insipid, but I enjoyed it a lot. I thought the changes they made to the original fairy tale worked. Maybe I just have low standards, but having been subjected to pointless or illogical changes in other retellings of classic stories I felt it was nice that the story made sense (as much as these types of movies come together). I also liked the main characters. Rapunzel is spunky (but not too spunky!) and has agency. I felt like in many ways she played the "hero" part while Flynn played the "damsel" part.

some spoilerish comments )

A++ for the Tangled: Grounded for Life trailer. Also enjoyed interviews of Zachary Levi (Flynn) and Mandy Moore (Rapunzel). They are both very charming. Note that Mandy's interview has spoilers.

NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour is a great weekly discussion of pop culture I look forward to listening to every Friday, and I became really interested in watching it because of their lengthy discussion about the movie several weeks ago.
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Wow. "The Last Airbender" is getting a bashing from the critics. I spent some time reading a bunch of the reviews, and now have a morbid curiosity to watch it. In 2D.

I spent some time after work getting lost looking for a particular library branch to borrow a particular book (Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, as I'm interested in trying to eat a lot less meat but have no clue how to cook meatless non-salad meals). First I was on the wrong street. That was easily solved with a quick look at the map and two right turns. But then even on the right street I couldn't find the dang thing. I finally saw a small sign on a fence, "Library Parking -->." I passed it and had to turn around to get back to the sign. I realized when I went into the parking lot that the library branch is actually two portables on school grounds. One portable is for staff. The other is the "library." So small! But I still ended up borrowing five books, including the one I wanted to borrow. Going to a new branch is dangerous since it's so easy to randomly find interesting books. :P
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I saw bits and pieces of Watchmen, the movie adaptation of the seminal eighties comic book about the dark side of superheroes, at a friend's house. I was repelled by it, and I didn't even see the parts with all the gore and sex because my friend knew I wouldn't want to see them!! The end was stupid, too. I just felt gross afterwards, though I couldn't articulate my feelings at the time. Luckily we then saw most of the Merlin episode in which Gwen is mistakenly kidnapped, which helped get the icky taste out of my mouth. It's a silly but entertaining show, but damn are the fanworks so much better written. I'd never actually seen any episode of the show, so I was really surprised at just how overwhelmingly geeky Merlin is. If I hadn't already had a mild attachment to the character via fandom, I actually think I'd have been repulsed. This is very similar to my reaction to Rodney on SGA, actually. ^^; The banter between Arthur and Merlin were quite amusing. The funniest (and most painful) thing was Launcelot, though. OMG that man spouts the most ridiculous noble romantic crap ever! I'd rather just mute the sound when he's around and look at him because he's certainly easy on the eyes. XD;

I had a silly, momentary dilemma at the farmer's market the other day. There are a bunch of flimsy foldable plastic benches set up for people to sit and eat. They are clearly labeled "Do not sit at end" on each, probably because they'd tip over since they are so flimsy if there was no counterbalancing weight. I sat in the middle of an unoccupied bench and enjoyed my beignets with lilikoi (passionfruit) sauce. Just as I was finishing up a woman sat at the very end of the bench I was on. I was paralyzed for a while trying to figure out if I should tell her she needs to scoot in so that I could stand up without fear of making the bench tip over, just stand up and walk off without saying anything, or just sit there being the counterweight. Luckily she got up fairly quickly so I was freed from making a choice. I can't express how relieved I felt and how silly I felt feeling so relieved. ^^;
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I saw How to Train Your Dragon, an animated movie about a misfit Viking teen who encounters and tames a dragon, last night and rather loved it. It is very cliched, but it is sweet and very, very enjoyable.

What I loved:

1. The characters are all good-natured at heart. Totally unrealistic, yes, but it meant there was not much in the way of true meanness. It was rather refreshing.
2. The dragon! Looks kinda cat-like, his (her?) behavior was a mix of cat and dog. And there is "dragon-nip!" ♥♥♥
3. The flying sequences are lovely. I didn't see it in IMAX or in 3D but it was still very nice.
4. The teen doesn't wallow in anything. He's awkward socially but fairly realistic and not without confidence in himself.
5. Craig Ferguson as the trainer of the kids. Very cheerful even when throwing the kids into dangerous situations as part of their training.
6. The voice acting was very good overall.
7. Didn't go overboard with snark or attitude.

The not-so-good:

1. Adults have Scottish accents, the kids have American. WTF? I was confused for a lot of the film.
2. Er...that's about it. Besides being unrealistic. But that's a given, right?

I also saw another trailer for Avatar The Last Airbender movie. It looks so impressive, but this time it made me sad. It really struck me in this viewing just how Asian the clothing, actions, and settings are...And yet the actors' eyes are not Asian. It's funny that this really hit me now since I've known about the casting brouhaha and in concept didn't approve even before seeing a single shot from the film. Maybe seeing it on the big screen really brought it home for me.
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I saw the Percy Jackson movie and it didn't suck! My coping mechanism to protect myself from the pain of bad movies is to expect crap and be pleasantly surprised, and once again it worked. I had to completely shut off the parts of my brain that like things logical and making sense, but in this movie it wasn't too hard because they kept the important characters pleasant and not-stupid. Not too much whining or angsting or whinging. Or girls and boys acting like they have cooties and/or hurting each other in tsundere style. Yes, things moved along very fast and jumped some important bits (like mourning or changes of hearts?), but I have a feeling they just cut out those parts for the movie. I hope. (I really hope the book explains A LOT MORE than the movie, though, because the movie lacks a lot of explanations for ALL kinds of things. ^^;)

Basically what made the movie enjoyable was that they made Percy pretty likable. So it was unrealistic. So things were kinda really stupid at times. At least Percy and his friends weren't totally stupid and clueless!

And Persephone was fun. *Really* fun.

the new hp?

Feb. 8th, 2010 06:38 pm
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Has anyone read the Percy Jackson series? The first book, The Lightening Thief, is coming out as a movie next week. The trailer was, frankly, a turn-off...But I'm wondering if the books be worth checking out...

!!!!!

Jan. 7th, 2010 06:47 pm
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Live action Space Battleship Yamato (aka Starblazers) movie out in December 2010!! Japanese wiki article here. I was HIGHLY amused to see Kimura Takuya from SMAP playing the main character Kodai Susumu. XD;

In any case, I must see this!! May it not suck...

O_o

Jul. 27th, 2009 08:29 pm
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I had no idea that there is going to be a live-action Alice in Wonderland coming out next year...The trailer repels me. And is Johnny Depp trying to corner the market on foppish weirdos?

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