Monthly Archives: June 2015

Trying Netflix Again…

Daredevil

With the arrival of Geek Baby and some need for potential additional entertainment, David and I decided to try Netflix for a while (online only). We were able to do the one month free, and are paying for it now. One of the really great things about Netflix is being able to watch the original content (Daredevil, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, etc.); as well as access to a lot of shows that we have not been able to watch yet.

We both had Netflix early on and dropped it because we just were not using it that much. In getting it again there are some things that we are excited about as listed above, but it does not seem as good as we remember. One thing in particular that has been difficult is how much data it uses, but the other piece is that it just is not as user friendly as I remember. We are still trying to evaluate whether we want to keep Netflix or not, but can say that we are not thrilled with it.

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Did I Build This Ship to Wreck? Part 1

Source [Image of Oscar the Grouch holding a sign that says

Source [Image of Oscar the Grouch holding a sign that says “I heart trash.”]

Or, “Why is Florence + the Machine’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful the soundtrack to my trash ship?” a guest post by fandom correspondent LM, author of The Lobster Dance, a blog about about geekery, Japan, and gender, and I’ll Make It Myself!, a blog with a lot of fandom cakes and gender analysis of food marketing. Find her work on Comparative Geeks here.

Spoilers for X-Men First Class (major), X-Men Days of Future Past (moderate), NBC Hannibal (mild), and Battlestar Galactica (mild). Contains gifs; discussions of music and films featuring abusive relationships, alcohol abuse, and moderate violence; links to music videos with disturbing imagery of the same nature. I’m sure that Florence Welch actually wrote her music about her experiences and not about fandom, but seriously, have you seen the X-Men prequels? Or NBC Hannibal? Do you see?

There appears to be no one definition of a trash ship*, so my definition is a ‘ship that you know is objectively bad, either because the characters bring out the worst in each other or because one of the characters is literally a cannibal serial killer (or somesuch). Cherik (Charles Xavier/Erik Lensherr)? Trash ship. Starbuck/Apollo? Trash Battlestar. Hannigram (Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham)? Trash spiral-galaxy.

And yet, they’re strangely compelling: in the case of both Cherik and Hannigram, you have two gifted but flawed (some more than others) people drawn together because of outsider statuses and who bounce between love and hate, collaboration and war, admiration and loathing. That kind of relationship is what How Big depicts: it’s a literary, intellectual break-up album about being in relationship where the narrator and the narrator’s partner both hurt and abuse each other–and sometimes kind of like it. These are songs of revenge, angst, lost chances, doomed love, blinding hatred, and obsession.

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Big Game – Ridiculous Looking Movie

One of our favorite movie going experiences ever was Snakes on a Plane.
Not because there was any great cinematic anything in that film, but because it owned the fact that it was utterly ridiculous. Also, we were the only ones in the theatre (a group of us) and we got to interact with the movie more that way.

Well, it looks like Samuel L. Jackson, the BAMF himself, is doing it again. We saw the add for this movie – Big Game – and it just looks ridiculous. But in that great way. And they’ve figured out how the fun works, too – the movie is coming out in theatres, and on iTunes, the same day. Today.

So grab some friends, leave your serious side behind, and check out Big Game this weekend. I know we’re going to try to!

Summer of Sandman: Favorite Places

Gaimain’s Sandman series is built as much in image as in word, the artistic renderings of characters and places adding texture and depth to the story–as is the nature of a good comic series. And the material is what Gaiman and the artists excel at: constructing fantastical worlds.

We are always aware of *where* we are in the series. Setting matters, and it’s exquisitely rendered. Sometimes, the space is terrifying: it’s the depths of Hell or the worst of nightmares. But sometimes it’s beautiful, intoxicating, and uncanny. Here are some of my favorites in the series:

Sandman covers by Dave McKean. Collage discovered at The Book Wars

Sandman covers by Dave McKean. Collage discovered at The Book Wars

1. Fiddler’s Green.
Fiddler’s Green is both a place and a person (you’ll find him as Gilbert on my list of favorite Sandman characters).  As a place in the Dreaming, Fiddler’s Green recalls the maritime folklore of a place for sailors, a beautiful, pastoral resting place for those who’ve sailed the seas.

2. Dream’s Library.
As a book lover, there are few things in the world of the Dreaming that have more pull for me than Dream’s library. Inside the library are all of the books that have been dreamed but never written, and they are cared for by Lucien. I’d love to pick a cozy chair and just read and read and read.

3. World’s End: A Free House.
In the frame story for World’s End, travelers are drawn to a mysterious inn and, like Chaucer’s Canterbury travelers, they begin to tell tales. The inn itself is a sheltering place during reality storms–this one ushered in by the death of one of the Endless. The array of people and the old-world feel make this one of my favorite spots in the series.

4. The Boarding House.
In The Doll’s House, the second Sandman collection, we spend much of our time in a boarding house with an eclectic set of inhabitants: the dream vortex Rose Walker, Gilbert (aka Fiddler’s Green), the Havisham-like Chantal and Zelda, Hal (who is both the landlord and a nightclub performer), and Barbie and Ken. The boarding house works as a way to bring together a diverse and fascinating set of characters.

5. Faerie.
We don’t actually see much of Faerie, but what we do see is beautiful. It’s largely based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with Titania as its queen and gift-giving as its currency. Like the best of faeries, the realm and its inhabitants are magnetic and dangerous.

6. The White Horse.
In 1389, Dream met a man named Hob Gadling who swore never to die . The White Horse became their annual meeting place. We see the place change, take a few new names, and eventually deteriorate, reminding us of the breadth of the story and the longevity of the enigmatic Hob.

7. Dream’s Castle.
Dream’s throne room is beautiful—and so is the rest of his home. It’s guarded by a gryphon, a wyvern, and a hippogriff, and it is the heart of the Dreaming. Like its owner, the castle is but an aspect of dreams, if a beautiful one.

8. Death’s Apartment.
Death is perhaps the most human of the Endless, and though we don’t see her domain, we do see her apartment. Yes, Death has an apartment. There’s a floppy hat collection, goldfish named Slim and Wadsworth, and a big comfy couch. It sounds a lot like a place I’d want to have coffee.

9. Barbie’s Dream World.
Barbie is one of the residents of the Boarding House. Later in the Sandman run, in the collection A Game of You, the rich fantasy world that Barbie creates in her dreaming takes front and center. Barbie’s dream world is a fantasy land threatened by the villainous Cuckoo and inhabited by some of the most interesting characters in the series.

10. The Soft Places.
Soft places are spots where the boundary of dreaming and waking are malleable. They are places where Marco Polo can encounter inhabitants of the Dreaming, where historical figures meet dream figures and nothing is terribly certain.

11. The House of Mystery.
The House of Mystery is both in the Dreaming and the waking world, somewhere just north of Louisville. The architecture of the house and its interior change from time to time. It’s the home of Cain, and it sits close-by The House of Secrets, the home of his brother Abel.

12. The House of Secrets.
The House of Secrets is the domain of Abel, and like his brother’s home, it exists both in the Dreaming and the waking worlds. The house moved itself to the other end of the graveyard where The House of Mystery sits, and the two houses are mirror images of one another.

13. The Garden of Forking Ways
This is Destiny’s realm, and we’re not there often—but when we are, it’s phenomenal. Blind Destiny walks the labyrinthine paths of the garden continually, and there seems to be no end to its paths.

Time Runs Out – A Spoiler-ific Comics Review

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Jonathan Hickman’s comics – even if there is a strange obsession with the Illuminati in them… Last week, the two main Marvel comics he had been writing, Avengers and New Avengers, had their last trade paperback come out. Having devoured that, and done some digesting, I thought I would share some of my thoughts on the action and reveals therein.

I opened with a review today on Sourcerer, where I gave some broad strokes about Hickman’s two comics, and about the last four trades and storyline – Time Runs Out – in particular. Well, I haven’t spun much theorycraft about these comics for a bit (not much since Infinity!) but that works, because many of the answers have only come recently.

So if you’re wanting a low-spoilers comics review of Time Runs Out, check out my Sourcerer post. If you’re wanting spoiler land and to talk about these comics, then this is the post for you! Read on, and some images to follow as well!

Val's Note

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