rhoda_rants: (loki)
Unpopular opinion time: I do not like Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. Finally watching the Starz adaptation that began airing this week confirmed all my previous feelings about it: while the ideas and imagery are arresting and will get your mind spinning in a good way, the delivery and characterizations left me cold. Also Shadow Moon is a very passive protagonist, the kind of character things happen to, rather than the kind who takes charge of his own storyline. I will say that Ricky Whittle does a fantastic job bringing pathos and empathy to very little meat in the way of action or dialogue, and I already like him better onscreen than I did on the page. It’s an original story with a black lead character and a substantial amount of media buzz. We should be glad it exists. Also I can’t WAIT to see Orlando Jones as Mr. Nancy, who is my favorite character in the book and so awesome he got his own spin-off novel, Anansi Boys. So at the same time I’m fascinated by it and want to watch / read it again? I dunno, it’s weird, and it’ll probably always feel that way to me.

Why even bring this up? Well, the central conflict in American Gods is one that stuck with me, regardless of how distancing I find the source material: the idea that gods need belief and regular worship to exist. The old gods of ancient civilizations are dying out because people either don’t believe in them anymore, or don’t even know about them anymore. The gods of old need believers much more than the general populace needs them, and the general populace needs to see themselves in their icons if they're going to invest any spiritual energy into them.

As you can probably tell, I’m revisiting that “evolution of hero worship” post I hinted at here. But I’m not here to talk about American Gods. Not yet. Instead I’m talking about the Thor movies again, Norse mythology in general, and Loki in particular.


GIF of Loki taking over Hall H at Comic Con
w text reading “Say My Name”

Source


Trust my rage. )
rhoda_rants: (leia)
One of the many rights of passage for a Harry Potter superfan is Sorting. In the early 2000s when the movies started filming, I came across a few Sorting Hat quizzes online, and almost always wound up in Ravenclaw. So, over time, despite not having joined the official site, I just got used to thinking of myself as a Ravenclaw. All my friends, both online and in meat space, expressed very little surprise when I told them this. "Yeah, that suits you," or "Well of course you are," were oft-repeated phrases. And once, from a beta reader, "Either that or Slytherin, obviously," which . . . I'll come back to.


GIF of Harry under the Sorting Hat muttering “Not Slytherin”


So imagine my surprise when the official, J. K. Rowling-approved Pottermore site put me in Gryffindor. "B-but I'm a Ravenclaw!" I sputtered at the screen in disbelief. Why did this bother me so much, and what does it have to do with The Chamber of Secrets?

Well. . .

I Was Wondering If You Put Me In the Right House )
rhoda_rants: (hermione)
Possibly the most significant pop culture phenomenon that I watched unfold in real time is the Harry Potter franchise. This coming June marks the 20th anniversary of the first book coming out through Scholastic. And good lord, how was 1997 twenty whole years ago? So of course I had to do a retrospective. I hopped on the Hogwarts Express during what fandom calls the "Three Year Summer" - that painfully long stretch of time between the fourth and fifth books. During that time I started college, created an online handle that I still use to this day, and Warner Brothers began work on the movies, the first two of which I saw in theaters before the next book finally came out. So I was a little older than the target audience base in that first generation, but not by much. We early Millennials grew up with these characters, much like Generation X before us grew up with Star Wars.



You’re a Wizard, Harry! )
rhoda_rants: (heather mason)
PSA: This post is now Public. It wound up being more culturally relevant than I originally anticipated. Just an FYI to my regular followers.

Mrs. Jon Snow

Mrs. Rhoda Snow

Mrs. Nightingale-Snow

Rhoda Rant-Snow


I've had a revelation.

So, you know how I like to whine about how much I loathe love stories in general, and Romance (TM) in particular? Well, I don't think it's the genre. Or even my orientation, which I admit makes it damn near impossible to relate to the whole Love At First Sight thing (or the more common Lust At First Sight thing) that most pairings in romantic stories are built on. Or even the deliberately formulaic setup that most of the stories are forced to comform to, given the rigid structure and explicit rules laid out in genre romance. (Seriously, the rules and expecations in genre romance are amazingly stringent--I take my hat off to anyone who can write a compelling story while abiding by them.)

It's not any of those things. Not really. It's the fact that, no matter how many romances I pick up, the heroes are invariably not what I'm looking for in my unrealistic, idealized fantasy man and therefore I can't be arsed to care about the Happily Ever After. If you can't fall in love with the hero in a romance, you're not gonna get on board with the love story. What I've never been able to do (until now) is put my finger on what sort of hero I'm actually interested in. I just didn't put much effort into seeking out love stories after being disappointed, annoyed, bored, or just plain insulted by them over and over. Leading off that, I assumed the sort of character I could get really excited about and want a love story from just didn't exist.

I was wrong. Technically this character is not a romantic hero, because the universe he inhabits is a grimdark epic fantasy. But he does exist. His name is Jon Snow.

tumblr_llzqu8d56K1qdwjb5o1_500

Spoilers, Speculation and Gushing below. . . )

On a completely different note, for those of you who didn't see my ETA last time: I am caught up on Hannibal. We'll talk about it LATER. Because I have QUESTIONS. About stuff that happened LAST SEASON. (I'm not angry, just bewildered and slightly traumatized.)
rhoda_rants: (john carter)
In this entry: Ilfayne's Bane, Wild Cards & Iron Horses, Night Shift (Saintcrow's, not King's), Personal Demons, A Great and Terrible Beauty, Equations of Life, Theories of Flight, Soulless, Blood Ninja and A Princess of Mars.

Yes, I picked that icon for a reason. ;)

Reviews under here... )
rhoda_rants: (heathers)
Greetings! This is what I'm doing for the 100 Things meme. Since I don't want to take up too much, or too little, space here, I'm A) not including the book covers under the cut, and B) spacing the entries out to 10 books per post. That'll give me ten days to get the whole thing wrangled, I think.

FYI: These posts are going to be public (not f'locked) at least until/unless I wind up with any spam or other such nonsense in the comments.

This entry includes: Half World, Libyrinth, Passion, Treasure Island, Minion, Parable of the Sower, The Keeper, A Monster Calls, House of Leaves and Hollowland.

Reviews under here... )

Randomness

Mar. 4th, 2010 12:06 am
rhoda_rants: (Default)
I has a new theme! (By the way, if anyone knows a simpler way to figure out which themes will allow you a header, please let tell me. What I'm doing now is just trying on different ones and crossing my fingers, going back each time if I don't get a "Enter Image URL Here" option.) I know I've said it before, but Emma Watson sure is growing up nice. In fact, if she's still able to pass as a teenager when I sell the movie rights to my WIP, she'd make a great Rachel. (That's my MC.)

Speaking of which, I finished Draft 1! *happy dance* It's called "Hoppers" by the by.

Let me lay a synopsis on ya: )

(I'm including that blurb in Draft 1 of my query. Whaddya think?)

So, I've been noticing all the books slowly but surely piling up around me, waiting to be read. Does anyone else have that problem? I do have a book report pending, and I know that I don't tend to read a lot when I'm working on a novel, but still--when I look at the sheer size of this stack, it feels like I haven't even made a dent in my overall reading.

Here's what's in my stack at this very moment: )

And that's not even counting the comic books and other crap I picked up at MarsCon two months ago. Eeeesh. It looks even more daunting looking at all spelled out like that.

In addition to the book report, I'm planning a big fat post of several capsule reviews to put up on the Movie Buffs community. One thing I always seem to be able to make time for is watching movies. I'm not sure whether that's good or bad.

In the meantime, it's a new week over at Halloween Candy, and now we're talking about funny horror movies. Not comedy horror, necessarily, but anything that makes you laugh--regardless of whether it's meant to or not. Come play with us!
rhoda_rants: (lost boys)
So, as you may or may not know, things are going very much "blah" with Drummer Boy. He's a nice guy, he means well, but there's just nothing going on there. How exactly do you tell a guy, "I'm just not that into you?" without saying either that, or "Let's just be friends?" *sigh* Dating is a pain the ass. I mention this only to attempt to explain why I find myself suddenly lusting after a German synth-pop band who collectively all look like sixteen-year-old girls. 26 solid years of celibacy must be getting to me.

Cinema Bizarre, "I Came 2 Party"

There are two types of people in this world, folks--those who possess the fangirl gene, and those who don't. In my defense, I still hate Twilight. (Well, lolfan hate, anyway. It goes back and forth a bit.) Don't judge me, and I won't judge you.

Elsewhere in the Rhoda-verse. . .  )
rhoda_rants: (romy)
Hey gang! First, a bit of shameless promotion:



That there's [livejournal.com profile] unsp0ken_fear's new review community, for movies, books, and TV shows. Check it out--we need members! Also, my Halloween Candy community, while good fun a couple months ago, is slowing down a *lot* during the holiday season. Which I expected, and I'm not gonna whine or mope about it, but I'm still a review junkie so I'm glad there's a new place to chat about stuff.

Elsewhere on LJ, I reviewed Ninja Assassin for the Movie Buffs community; reviewed Blood: The Last Vampire for Halloween Candy; reviewed Laurell K. Hamilton's Guilty Pleasures for Read and Watch; and put together a Top Twenty for my favorite films of the decade (also on Movie Buffs).

Meanwhile in Real Life: I've been seeing this boy, who I'll be calling "Drummer Boy" in these posts because I don't use real names when I can help it, for the past two months. (This is the guy I met at the Psycho screening during my horror marathon.) He's nice, a perfect gentlemen, calls me almost every day, Mom seems to like him (he teaches at the university where he's going--I didn't have to work hard to "introduce" them) and yet . . . I don't know. I'm just not feeling it. I can tell he's way more into me than I am into him, and I'm not sure how to feel about that. It's incredibly frustrating. I hope I'm not one of those people who needs drama in a relationship to take it seriously.

Also, the holidays are almost upon us, and it's been a chore and a half figuring out what days off I need and splitting myself into three hundred directions to make sure I see all my family as much as I need to. I love my family, of course, and this is the time of year to be hanging out with them even more than usual, but this is also the first year that my dad's been two states away, so I need an extra two days just to travel. The good news is my shopping's almost done, my favorite cousin is coming to visit all the way from Arizona, and I still managed to get my car insurance paid on time.

Oh, and I printed out a hard copy of my NaNo at Kinko's and brought it to a friend of mine from church for review. She's a freelance editor, and one of my favorite people in the universe. I also know she won't judge me for writing about nasty things like zombies and vampires, which I think freaks out my family members a little.

*phew!*

How're y'all holding up?
rhoda_rants: (death)
So guess what I did this week? I FINALLY FINALLY FINISHED EDITING THE LAST CHAPTER OF MY NOVEL, HELL YEAH!!! So now, the easy part's over. I've typed up three or four query letters, each complete with chapter samples of varying lengths (depending on what the agency asks for), and I'm bracing myself for the shit storm of rejection letters that will no doubt come my way before I get someone to say "yes" to my little dragons-and-vampires story. I have a list of about a dozen potential agents (which will be added to before the week is out), sorted according to how likely I think they'll be to take me on, and I'll just keep clicking through until something awesome happens. I'm not knocking my own writing, by the way - that's just what happens, unless you're very very lucky or know someone in the publishing biz. The rest of the world makes it through on their own blood, sweat and tears (oh, so many tears, I'm not even kidding) and eventually gain success through iron-clad persistence. It's gonna be a long haul, but I'm ready. BRING IT THE FUCK ON!

In other news: applied to a webmaster position for a university library, haven't heard back yet, but I'll keep my fingers crossed. I do know someone in this field, so I'm hopeful, and the position doesn't start until January so I'm not figuring on them getting back to me for a while.

And apparently, my ex-boyfriend lost his job. Part of me is shocked, because I always thought he was good at his job, regardless of my personal distaste for him and his lying, cheating ass, and no one in our company seems to know what he did wrong to bring about sacking. The other part of me, however, is thinking, "Karma's a bitch, isn't it?" and feeling gleefully smug right about now. I know, I know, I'm going to hell.

I finished reading Water for Elephants, the first of two books for the October book club, this morning. Wonderful - just wonderful! I keep thinking how great it would be as a movie, and I'm somewhat pondering having a bash at a screenplay. Just to shake things up. Speaking of which, I have a friend elsewhere on the internet who's interested in bringing yet another vampire series (not saying which one, because I don't want to jinx it) to the small screen, and she wants me to do the writing for it. Not sure how I feel about that yet. It would be fuck-awesome if it actually works, and damned if it won't be fun to at least try, but good lord. This is a HUGE undertaking.

My next project: Battle Royale fanfiction. I'll keep you posted. (Although I'll probably wind up posting on FF.net rather than here. Just....stay tuned.)
rhoda_rants: (kiriyama)
This is for [livejournal.com profile] stormkpr, because it's her birthday this week, and also she keeps telling me I ought to do one of these things. Full reviews and book covers under the multiple cuts. (Book covers ganked off of Amazon and Google Images, respectively.)


The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

When the young, handsome Dorian Gray meets Lord Henry Wotton, he adopts a philosophy of constant pleasure and style, and a life of hedonism and excess. But he also makes a terrible oath involving a stunning portrait done by the painter Basil Hallward, an oath that costs him his humanity and ultimately his life. Before vampires arrived in popular culture to make immortal damnation sexy, there was Dorian Gray and his cursed portrait.
So you think that it is only God who sees the soul, Basil? Draw that curtain back, and you will see mine. )




The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens is orphaned as an infant, and the residents - meaning dead folks - of a nearby graveyard take him in and care for him. You've heard the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child" - in this story, it takes a graveyard. But of course, there's a reason that Nobody's family was killed, and the man who did the deed knows his work isn't finished yet. Now a Newbury Winner for children's literature.
The dead should have charity. )




Battle Royale, Koushun Takami

Anyone who's been following my Halloween Candy comm lately knows the basic plot of this story: in the not-so-distant future in the Republic of Greater East Asia, a horrible rite of passage is placed on the nations youth: to be unwillingly taken to a remote island, armed to the teeth, and forced to kill each other over a period of 24 hours. If anyone tries to escape, that person dies. If they try to remove the electronic collars around their necks, they die. If there's more than one survivor after the 24 hours are up, they all die. Why? Read on to find out.
We won't stop till we win. )




Hunted, P.C. and Kristin Cast

The fifth book in the House of Night series, Hunted is the one that finally reaches the real plot. It's easy to be hooked by the premise - a Vampyre finishing school that's part coven lair, part Hogwarts, and part ancient pagan community - but this is where the story really gets rolling. Neferet, the High Priestess and leader of the school, has turned to the dark side by summoning an ancient evil: the fallen angel Kalona, a demonic and enthralling being that was once held captive by a tribe of Native American wise women called the Ghigua. And now, not only is he back to start a reign of darkness with Neferet at his side, but he wants our narrator, Zoey Redbird, to join him as his consort. So it's up to Zoey and her talented friends to stop him.
I'm seventeen! I can't save the world--I can't even parallel park! )

rhoda_rants: (frank iero)
When all else fails, use a Monty Python quote.

So! August kicked my ass, but September's been treating me okay. Well, more or less. I got back to work on my novel, and I think I'm rolling again. We had our book club meeting at work, everyone loved The Graveyard Book, but they didn't all get through Dorian Gray because it was, like, too hard. Sigh. Oh well. I tried. Next up: Water for Elephants. I also picked up a couple things that I've had on hold forever at the library: Hunted, the most recent installment of the House of Night Series; and Loop, the final part of Koji Suzuki's Ring cycle. I'm excited about having time to read again.

Over in the Halloween Candy comm, one of our users posted a challenge that I think looks really fun. I haven't quite finalized my list yet, but I am going share it once I do.

Also: the Vampocalypse Continues. I'm all over Cirque du Freak, because if John C. Reilly's in it, you know it's good. The other one? Not so much. (Well, at least True Blood's over. For now.)
rhoda_rants: (louis)

QUEEN OF THE FAIL DAMNED

 

Inspired by Cleolinda's "Movies in Fifteen Minutes"

 

Author's Note: I'd like to preface this by saying that, while scandalized by how poorly (oh, so poorly) this adaptation went, I was thoroughly and consistently entertained by this movie. I had hoped to be distracted enough by the eye-candy that whatever egregious changes were made to the story, I wouldn't mind too much. Yeah, that didn't happen. So I felt I had no choice but to snark the hell out of it, and perhaps earn some laughs at the filmmakers' expense.

 

My problems with it in a nutshell: No Louis, No Twins, No Gabrielle. Oh, there a couple of thrown-in-because-we-had-to bits to explain who exactly the titular Queen is and why she has a jones for Lestat (although, to be fair, every one in this series has a jones for Lestat), and to reestablish the Rules of Vampirehood in case any one didn't watch the other movie, but it's all horribly cobbled together and not in the least bit accurate. The thing that really, really bugs me is that most of the stuff that was cut/changed seems to have been erased solely for gay and/or incestuous overtones. And that's pretty much the only reason. I don't really miss the incest, to be fair, but honestly.

Disclaimer: This is NOT fanfiction; it's a recap of a movie based on a book (sort of) but written in such a way as to poke fun at both.

 

Enjoy!


this scene/plotline/character has been cut for gayness )
rhoda_rants: (jackson rathbone)
Ah, nothing like summer to pimp my local library for all it's worth! (And nothing like an economic recession to point me towards the library rather than the bookstore for a change. Saving is good!)

Just finished: Charlaine Harris's Dead and Gone, the latest installment of the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire novels. It actually came out two months ago, but I didn't get around to reading it right away because A) no money, no time, etc. and B) it's been so long since I read the preceeding books, I decided to do a reread of the whole series before picking it up. I was not impressed. There's way too many fairies in this "vampire" book for my liking, and it still left me wanting Moar Eric. I may be ready to throw in the towel on this series for good.

HOWEVER, I have more plans for the reading I feel I should do this year.

The list thus far: )

Of course, on top of all this is my constant rereading and editing of my novel; my work on various other stories in various states of completion, including fanfiction; my quest for a library school not too far from home that will both accept me and teaches in-class, rather than by computer; and of course my existing chores, debts, and full-time work stuff. Wish me luck!
rhoda_rants: (death)
I've mentioned once or twice how much I love, love, love to read. And how diverse - almost to the point of schizoid - my interests are. I also believe that knowing what a person is reading can give you a healthy insight into their personality. So I've decided this might be a good time to introduce you to the books strewn about my room within easy grabbing distance.

Words, words, words. )

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