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Messages - JMack

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6676
I've just watched How to train your dragon :D
I *know* it's a movie for children, but I just loved it sooo much :-[
It is awesome. You should see if you can find Dragons: Riders of Berk, which is a cartoon series based on the movie. It's lightweight, but quite fun. The second season was called Dragons: Defenders of Berk. I'm not sure what the events in the second movie will mean for the TV show if they make another one.
Loved both movies.  Saw the second just recently.  I had three quibbles that really didn't spoil the story, but oh well.  Quibble away, says I:
Spoiler for Hiden:
1. The only really bad charcater is the only dark-skinned, kinky-haired one.  And played by (I think) the only actor of color.  2.  After 15 years separated from her family, Mom just sort of immediately decides she'll leave her dragon community, no regrets.  And 3. After establishing how wonderful the huge Alpha is, when it dies, everyone gets over it really fast.  Now yes, there's a battle raging, but Dad gets a huge funeral, while the great dragon is pretty much forgotten.
But hey, great movie for kids and adults.

6677
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: December 27, 2014, 03:48:01 PM »
Glad to hear about the sleeping and eating.  ;D
Man cannot live by book alone. (Though we can try.)
Yeah, Lejays17 and I have an entire room full of books that says we try.

And the other smaller room with the littler bookcases... And the 3 bookcases upstairs... and the umpty-ump tubs of books currently living in the garage... We're going book shopping on Monday (cos we don't have enough in the house already  ;) :o ) so that may change.

My father used to say that some people keep count in life by how much money they have, or how many trophies... but that I must keep count by how many books I own.

That was many years and many "book-thinning" projects ago, but there are still 3 bookshelves in the study, four in the basement, the cupboard underneath the window seat, the books my grown children have stolen and moved to their apartments or bedroom here at the house, the little shelf in my closet, the other slightly littler shelf in my closet, the bookshelves in my office at work, and the 226 items in my Kindle library.  The really embarrasing thing is how many of these books have not and maybe never will be read.  Which will lead inexorably to the next book-thinning project.  (The best thing about Kindle is that no one but you knows how many books you've bought and not yet read.)

6678
.
Person of Interest S3 (well, Elfy doesn't watch this, crime procedurals bore him a bit).  It's lost a bit of something since one of the main characters departed mid S2, but I'm still watching
The Flash (only a couple of eps into this, enjoying it so far)
Penny Dreadful - really liking Eva Green's character, am inrerested to see where it's all going
I've been an avid Person of Interest watcher, but the dialogue has been really weak recently, even as the story line has been pretty strong.  Finch: "But can we trust the Machine?  Think of a world where the machines run everything!  It will be awful."  Other character: "Um."  Finch: "We can't trust the Machine!  Think of a world where the machines run everything!  It will be awful."   Other character: "Er."  Finch: "Stop thinking we can trust the Machine.  Think of a world where the machines run everything!  It will be awful."

Flash is also great fun.  I don't have to e to catch up on Arrow, but did enjoy the first season very much.

6679
General Discussion / What was under your tree?
« on: December 25, 2014, 08:10:24 PM »
"As You Wish" inconceivable tales from the filming of The Princess Bride, by Cary Elwes
Two l"and of stories" YA books; never heard of them but my wife thought they looked fun. Written by one of the actors from Glee
"Rogues" edited by GRRM
"Chronicles" first volume of Bob Dylan memoir
"Lands of Ice and Fire" by GRRM, huge fancy tome of Westeros history, etc.

We also bought "7Wonders" table game to play as a family.  I won the first game :-)

Our son is making various foods as his presents to us. I get Vietnamese chicken wings in fish sauce.  He says they're the most awesome wings I'll ever taste.  I will report back if true. ;-)

Merry Christmas, everyone.

6680
Another really interesting post, Jonathon.  I tend to get lost in the movies and not think too much about them, so like going back with you over key points like this.  I also tend to not distinguish Marvel's movies of their universe from the other companies'.  So I think about how really good Magneto is in the movies.  Green goblin was pretty good too.  (I try not to think about the Fantastic Four movies and refuse to be bothered about the new Spider-Man ones.)

But, sticking to Marvel-on-Marvel, I'd have to agree with pretty much your whole article. I'd add in that Robert D Jr. probably made it hard to share any real limelight in his movies.  Meanwhile, the nrelative newbie lightweight blondes inThor and Captain America don't have the personality to completely dominate those films.  Other actors, actresses and characters can have their day.

As to Guardians, I stopped reading Marvel actively in the early ''80s and Guardians was something that barely registered.  (Though the cosmic sex with Thanos scene in one issue was pretty awesome.). So I don't really remember the personality to Ronan and didn't catch the differences in the movie.  That said, I sort of see many movie villains as the one-dimensional evil baddy.  Ronan in the movie was close to stock footage.  In Fantasy, I used to think of this as YADL (yet another Dark Lord).  Same goes for many movies across the action, scifi, superhero, etc. spectrum.  YAMEV: yet another mindlessly evil villain.  I'm the epitome of evil: just cuz.

One of the nice things about having young or relatively unknown actors taking key roles in the recent movies and on Agents of Shield is that I think it frees things up to add the depth you're looking for.  And for those marquee names who do take Marevl roles, let's hope they all want to let the stories take over.

6681
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: December 24, 2014, 04:13:11 PM »
I've had an odd little tradition in recent years of reading one book of ASoIaF each Christmas.  This year it's the turn of A Dance With Dragons (Part 1: Dreams and Dust).


Because deceit, death, dismemberment, and great heroism fit the Christmas spirit.   ;D

6682
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: December 24, 2014, 01:25:58 AM »
Glad to hear about the sleeping and eating.  ;D
Man cannot live by book alone. (Though we can try.)

6683
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: December 24, 2014, 12:59:15 AM »
Elfy, do you eat?  Sleep?  Work?  Is there a recently published book you haven't read?

6684
Introductions / Re: I've never said much but I'm sayin' it now!
« on: December 23, 2014, 04:58:45 PM »
I don't know, Reece.  5 Karma and 50+ posts?  Doesn't sound like next to nothing.  But welcome! (Sort of).  ;)

6685
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: December 23, 2014, 01:50:35 AM »
I got interested in Abaddon's Gate publishing and downloaded a compendium of four books in their Kerboros series, titled Thief of the Ancients by Mike Wild.  Straight, simple dungeon crawl fun.

6686
I also think it's useful to talk about science fiction vs. space opera.  Lots of really fun, exciting space opera.  Not so many true "hard" science fiction" movies.  So, yes, I'm glad for Interstellar.  I did enjoy it, and hope it will lead to more.

6687
I just five minutes of writing wiped out by ipad freeze.  Argh.  And what I wrote was so interesting  8)

Um.  Loved many things about Interstellar, but found plot hole after plot hole.
Loved Matt Damon as coward and psycho!
Generally really enjoyed the movie, but the plot holes were bad.  Next post for that maybe.

Not a top 10 Sci Fi movie of all time, shall we say.

6688
Writers' Corner / Re: Magic + Science = :(
« on: December 22, 2014, 11:55:04 AM »
And one more!  Another old one. "Lord of Light" by Roger Zelazny.  Again, not magic per se, just whiz bang technology, but what a ride!  The main officers of a colony ship (if I remember this correctly) control the technology on the planet, and it's so advanced that are like gods in comparison to the colonists.  The officers take on the personas of Hindu gods and goddesses and duke it out.  Again, maybe not what you're looking for right now, but READ it.  Zelazny's stories are awesome.

6689
Writers' Corner / Re: Magic + Science = :(
« on: December 22, 2014, 11:48:36 AM »
There are two series I can think of,Mand they share something in common. 

The first is old: C.J. cherryh' Morgaine books.  There is no magic per se, just fantastically advanced science that is used by people who don't know much about how it works.  Maybe not what you're thinking of, and sort of a common practice. Mkts just these books are such a great version of it.

Maybe more to the point, C. s. friedman's Black Sun Rising.  Secret in the spoiler.
Spoiler for Hiden:
The planet is a sentient being, a Gaea.  When a human ship crash lands on it, the planet tries to help the survivors by looking into their minds.  But it misunderstands and creates all the monsters of our nightmares.  None of the humans know this is happening and lose any memory of a different world. "Magic" works through sacrifice, because that's what will create enough emotional intensity to get the attention of the Gaea.  Our anti-hero begins the story by making a horrific sacrifice in order to live forever.  He ends by making another sacrifice to save humankind from its nightmares, so to speak.

So, my point really is that the nature of the magic and science is central to the concept of the book, the charcater development, the emotion, everything.  But there is no system of spells except what humans have invented as a way to focus and obtain results that could be obtained in multiple ways.

Meanwhile, I agree with Russet.  I like my magic systems (and techno-magic systems) to be there, just there, not explained, and not constant.  I found the end of Harry Potter irritating in the extreme because of the almost clockwork nature of how spells were working on wands and wands on spells.

Ah, one more, the Mageworld scifi series.  Check it out.  Very Star Wars-y.



6690
Started watching last night, but it got late and I was bushed.  Very good so far.  Will be high on my list.

But... 2001:  A Space Odyssey.

Just sayin'

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