nausicaa83: (<kingdom hearts> start a new journey)
Last entry before departure: I got my tickets, I got my passport, I got my suitcase. Hope I didn't forget anything important. I got a make-up bag full of medicines because I get super anxious everytime I have to leave the country. I'll take pictures on my phone because that camera is way better than the actual camera I bought in 2012.

The last few days were spent taking long walks downtown to build up my stamina, marathoning all the X-Men movies (except for the ones Days of Future Past made irrelevant, because those two suck anyway), going to the cinema to watch Beauty and the Beast, which I loved. Today we're going to visit Tati's sister and her baby, and then I hope I'll be able to sleep, because I'm always anxious the night before I have to take a plane.

See you on the other side! \o/
nausicaa83: (<x-men> logan & laura)
I've been back home in Venice for a couple of days. The weather is wonderful, as spring has finally arrived, and I feel at peace and relaxed. And yet I'm having problems sleeping, or to be more precise, I sleep just fine, but I wake up really early, even when there's no need to. It's like my brain suddenly needs fewer hours of sleep to recharge. I guess the sudden weather change is to blame, but it doesn't bother me, so we'll see how long it lasts.

Next week I'm leaving for London with Tati, where we'll meet up with my cousin, who's currently in Ireland with her boyfriend (who lives and works there). We'll stay there the weekend of Tati's birthday, for the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour concert, then we'll all come back here together, just in time for my next treatment. It was supposed to be on the day I had to take the plane, but my oncologist moved it to the following week so I could go see the concert. The plan now is to take a long walk every day until then so that my muscles and lungs can stand three days as a tourist. Obviously I'm going to be very careful, take frequent breaks, take cabs instead of the subway, to minimize the strain on my body. I'm equal parts excited and very nervous. And part of me still can't believe it's actually happening!

Speaking of, yesterday I went to the cinema by myself for the first time since the diagnosis. I've always loved going to the cinema alone, but ever since 2015 I've rarely left the house without a chaperone, for good reason. And even when I started coming back here on my own, I still preferred to keep my outings short, and always have the cellphone ready to call for help. So yeah, this was huge. I wore my cute red coat, took a commemorative picture, and then turned my phone off for two hours. And the movie I chose for this momentous occasion was Logan. Because I enjoy weaving metaphors in my life. :D

Joking about metaphors of rebirth aside, that movie was amazing. With the rating, and the Hurt trailer, I kinda had an idea of what it was going to be like, but holy shit. It was like Children of Men but it made me cry even more. I think I cried at least six separate times over the course of two hours, one of which was just because they used my favourite Johnny Cash song, The Man Comes Around. It was so good, and so well-acted, and so devastating. I've been watching X-Men movies since 2003, and I couldn't have asked for a better ending. They just peaked with this one, and anything after this would just be... less.

And now, I have to do laundry! I love how even the most mundane tasks take a whole different meaning now. ^^
nausicaa83: (<cardcaptor sakura> fangirling)
Just came back from watching Rogue One, so here's the obligatory spoiler-free entry: it was brilliant, in every aspect, the perfect blend of beautiful plot and character development, nostalgia and modern storytelling. I loved every character in that fantastically diverse cast, I loved Jyn to pieces, and Andor, and that scene with Vader in the hallway was worth the price of the ticket alone! I got chills, I cried, I squeed in delight. The cameos and nods to the original trilogy were handled amazingly well, perfectly woven into the story without being jarring. And those cgi characters were seriously well-done, kudos.

But most of all the story, the dialogue, the characters! The way they depicted the Rebel Alliance, in a way they'd never done before, and that I wasn't expecting at all. The beaches. Yavin 4. My new otp, which is incredibly easy to identify if you know me. The music! The fight scenes with the X-Wings, that looked even better than in The Force Awakens! The more I think about it, the more I love this movie. \o/

Comments will probably contain spoilers, so if you've seen this wonderful movie, come squeal with me!
nausicaa83: (<cowboy bebop> lazy)
A quick PSA, in case some of you haven't read, LiveJournal just implemented a 'like' feature. It's a heart that shows up on entries and allows you to like them, as one does on Facebook or Tumblr. This feature shows up only on entries, not on comments, and, crucially, only for those users who switched to the new version. I'm still using the old version of lj, so if you ever like one of my entries, I have no way of knowing it, especially since the email notifications can't tell you who did it. So there's that.

There was a huge shitstorm over on the [livejournal.com profile] news community after the announcement, which is funny, because I remember how most people used to request a 'like' feature for years everytime LJ made an announcement. Personally, I have no interest in using it, as I'm still haunting this website because I like talking, and I like reading what my friends have to say, and one of the reasons I dislike Tumblr is because interactions are basically only likes and reblogs, and there's no way to communicate efficiently. But on the other hand, if others like this feature and want to use it, it's no skin off my nose. ^^

In other news, the other day I finally watched The Big Lebowski. I remember a friend back at uni recommending it to me, and I have no idea why it took me so long to watch it. but hey, better late than never, it was great and I loved it!
nausicaa83: (<hot fuzz> true love)
Just like I hoped, my birthday has been a turning point for me. I tend to fixate on dates and anniversaries, even too much, but sometimes that obsession does help. I feel like my birthday ended the awful year of illness and pain, and now I've started a new year of healing. I know it sounds a bit weird and new-ageish, but you know what I mean. I've spent a great week at home, I've made some wonderful new friends (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] capracotta, who is amazing), I've been to the bank and the restaurant and I've done laundry and everything feels normal and new at the same time. I feel like I'm taking control of my life once again, a life that includes monthly trips to the hospital, but also hanging out with my friends, going to the cinema, making marmalade with my aunt. I can do it. ^^

And in this spirit, here's an old meme because I need to start posting regularly here again, instead of only when I got news about chemo. New leaf.

day one • a song
day two • a picture
day three • a book/ebook/fanfic
day four • a website
day five • a youtube clip



And now, some fandom news! I finally watched that new Shane Black movie, The Nice Guys, and I loved it. It was funny as hell, the mystery was intriguing and had me on the edge of my seat trying to figure it out first, and Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe have excellent chemistry. Plus the little girl was amazing, I can't wait to see more of her. I wish Shane Black did more movies, and that they did better at the box office. I think I liked this one even more than Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and that's one of my favourites. Highly recommended.

Brooklyn Nine Nine and Star Vs The Forces Of Evil are back, and they're both still amazing. I know I'm overdoing it with that adjective, but it's true, they're both objectively amazing shows. I still have to watch that new Once Upon A Time episode, mostly because I got derailed by Final Fantasy Type 0: I played it for a month more than a year ago, then stopped just before leaving for the final dungeon. I can't remember why. Then last weekend I finally finished it, witnessed the incredibly depressing ending (even sadder than Crisis Core's, come on!), and now I'm replaying it from start because I'm not ready to let go of these characters. And I love the gameplay. ^^ Also I hurt my shoulder playing drums. Probably the most metal thing I did all year.

So that's it for me today, but I promise to be back tomorrow.
nausicaa83: (<cardcaptor sakura> wind on the roof)
First things first, I want to thank you all for always leaving me comments on my entries. It's sometimes really hard to answer because I get all wrapped up in my own head, but I cherish them all so very very much. It's hard to explain how important it is to know you're still in your friends' thoughts. So, thank you. ♥

Brief medical update: this new medicine seems to be working. It's only been two weeks and not full dosage yet, but it looks like it's doing his job. I'm being cautiously optimistic. Yesterday I was supposed to have the usual pet scan to check things out, but the super expensive machine broke, and they called me to say they had to postpone my appointment. So there's that. Either way next tuesday I'll do the first full dose of this new awesome medicine, so I'm very excited. Then it's my birthday, and after that I wanted to go back home for a couple of weeks, but now with having to wait for them to fix that machine all my plans have been derailed. We'll see.

And now fandom update because I do tend to only talk about my illness and meds and I need to work on that. So, let's see. I read Gone Girl, got traumatized. It is a great novel, although I'm not sure if it's really misogynistic or not. Some parts definitely are. But it's true that we never get true sociopathic female villains either. I don't know, it is confusing. I think... it is feminist to want female villains instead of always good, always kind, always nurturing women, but the way this particular character is evil is deeply feminine, in a way that's very misogynistic. At least that's what I got from it.

Last weekend we took a trip to the Alps! It was so foggy it looked like Silent Hill, but I was super excited because I hadn't been so high up (1880m!) since I was a kid, and I took lots of pictures with my phone that ended up looking like location scouting for a Wuthering Heights movie. It was fun though. :D

And I had a haircut! My hair has been growing like a pumpkin patch, so it was time to give it a proper shape. I really love how it looks, it's short and spunky. And even a bit curly in the back, which is completely new. ^^

I've been watching a few movies off my To-See folder (Argo, Spotlight, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zisshou, Lars and The Real Girl), but they were all sort of really depressing. I need to scout Netflix for something lighter and funnier! Suggestions are always welcome. ;)

I promise I'll try to update more often, and keep my life front and center, and not let the illness always take the spotlight. Love you all!
nausicaa83: (<cowboy bebop> lazy)
Managed another update before the next chemo, go me! I'm so lazy when it comes to updating, I know.

First things first, last sunday I managed to take a shower all by myself! My aunt left for the week to take care of her parents (who are over 90, have dementia, and live a thousand kms from here). She was so worried, but I felt like I could do it. I also asked my uncle to sit outside the bathroom in case I tripped and fell, because I'm not dumb. Luckly it all went fine, and I was so proud of myself.

On sunday we had the first snow day of the whole winter! Which is weird considering we live on the mountains. I was so excited I sat for hours at the window taking pictures while everyone else made fun of me. I was born and raised by the sea, snow always fascinates me, I can't help it! Today it's already melting, which is a good thing because on friday I have to be at the hospital by 8 am, and it's already a one-hour-long trip without the snow. I'd rather not show up looking like a zombie because I had to get up at 4 am.

What else? I watched all of Mr Robot in two days. I liked it, although not all of it. I still don't understand what the point of Tyrell even is. Like, why is he in the show at all. He doesn't contribute anything to the plot. I don't get it. And I wasn't expecting them to focus so much on Eliot's mental illness by the end of the show, to the point that all the hacking and revolutioning plot was left off screen. Also Angela was way out of character by the end of the show. I really loved the soundtrack, and the acting.

Yesterday I watched Won't Back Down, a 2012 movie about public school with Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Oscar Isaac. I found it hard to follow at times because even after all this time the Americal school system is still hard to understand to me (I just couldn't understand why they couldn't change the school and keep the Union at the same time), but other than that it's a really beautiful movie. Great acting from Ms Davis and Ms Gyllenhaal (like, really stunning), and Oscar Isaac plays an elementary school teacher who plays the ukulele and sings and dances with the kids. He short-circuited my brain everytime he was on screen. I'm trying to focus on the movie, stop being so adorable!

I'm very excited about the Gravity Falls finale next week, I just finished watching the special and I'm trying to prepare myself, but who am I kidding, I'm definitely going to cry like a baby. ^^
nausicaa83: (<star wars> rey)
Sorry for the delay! Health update first: the side effects this time around were a lot milder, which apparently means my body is handling the meds really well. Everyday it hurts a little less, and it makes me want to test my limits (that's usually when my aunt tackles me with a blanket and sends me to bed). Last week I went to the local fair and walked around for two hours, and last saturday it was five hours of christmas shopping. When I came back home I was exhausted, but in a good way: no horrible pains, it just felt like I'd been to the gym too long, and the next day I woke up feeling great. In other news, the hair is finally falling. It was a great idea to cut it short as soon as I started the chemo, so it wasn't an awful experience like it could have been. My aunt cut it even shorter, and then tucked me in bed and made me eat an awful lot of chocolate. It's still falling, but at a slower pace, and since it's so short now I almost don't notice it.

Yesterday my oldest cousin and I went to the cinema to watch the new Star Wars movie. She isn't much of a fan, but she knew how much it meant to me. She's a Sith supporter (she always cheers for the villains), and I'm a Jedi all the way, so we kept cheering at completely different parts of the movie. :D

I want to keep this absolutely spoiler-free, so this is all I have to say about it: I loved this movie to pieces, loved the new trio, the nostalgia and the plot, the old characters and the new characters, and I feel like it captured the atmosphere and the feeling of a classic Star Wars movie perfectly. The one thing I didn't like was the villain: didn't like the actor, and I found his backstory to be really weak. But that's a minor flaw in a movie that I loved, so it didn't bother me that much. Plus by the end of the movie I had a new OTP, which apparently is the most popular one and really obvious if you know me, but hey, I'm a predictable gal. :D

If you want to talk about the movie, just put "spoilers" in the subject line in the comment, so others can avoid them. ;)
nausicaa83: (<007> m)
Guess what? It's movie review time! Yesterday I was feeling so much better my uncle decided to take us all to the local cinema to watch Spectre. Two weeks ago, before chemio, my back hurt too much to even consider staying in a sitting position for more than ten minutes at a time. Yesterday I managed to watch the whole movie, and today I even went out shopping with my aunt and bought a new pair of shoes! The second appointment is on friday, and I have to say I can't wait: if this is how I feel after 1/8 of this cure, I'm excited to see what the second dose will do!

Sorry, back to the movie. As some of you may recall, I'm not a Bond fan. I watched most of the classics, but I didn't like them. Not my kind of humour, I guess. Then I watched Casino Royale, and I loved it. And when I watched Skyfall, I fell head-over-heels madly in love with that movie, watched it four times in the cinema, and countless times at home. Needless to say, I was very excited about a sequel from the same team. As it turns out, I found Spectre to be deeply disappointing.

Spoilers to follow because I want to rant a bit, and I'm the last one to see this movie anyway.

Sure, there are things that I liked, like the locations, the London team, the cast. But the plot was all over the place. Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux have zero chemistry, and the villain's motivations were ridicolous. We're supposed to believe that James Bond leaves his job for a woman he met two days before, had almost no dialogues with, but for one rushed sex scene because they were high on endorphins from a recent brush with death. I get it that they wanted to retire this incarnation of 007, but this was a very messy way to do it. There are a lot of movie couples who fall in love in the span of a few hours and are perfectly believable (Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese, anyone?), but by god this was not the case.

Waltz's character was so petty and ridicolous I was shocked it was written by the same guys who gave us Silva. Apparently "for a couple of years when we were kids my dad liked spending time with you more than with me" is a villain origin story now. And this is supposed to be the guy who controlled all the previous villains - and cursed Bond's dick too. His words, not mine. :D Plus the only thing that was fascinating about him was his Terminator ability to survive death in the most absurd ways. Not really what I was expecting from the boss of Spectre.

The whole villains' plan was rushed and messy, and the way the good guys won made zero sense. By killing the guy who proposed the law, it would seem that law would be automatically made null and void. They crashed a chopper into downtown London, and yet the double-O program is supposed to be safe by the end of the movie? Shouldn't their actions convince the public even more that they need that surveillance program? I know it's a spy movie and everything, but things need to make a bit of sense, or the whole thing crumbles down like a house of cards.

I loved seeing more scenes with Q, but I was so sad they wasted the character of Moneypenny: she followed M around and googled things for Bond when he was busy. They could have done so much more with her.

I'm so going to watch Skyfall again in the next few days, and remind myself of how much I love these characters.
nausicaa83: (<ghost protocol> team)
It's been a couple of nerve-wracking days, because yesterday I had my annual mammography, and I was super worried about it. Cue nightmares, anxiety, driving my friends insane with my fears. Then yesterday I went, and I'm completely fine! Nothing wrong whatsoever! They also did an ultrasound, and found nothing but a little inflamed lymph node: completely innocent, except for the fact that last year I thought it was a tumor and got scared shitless until I could find a doctor to tell me that yeah, it was nothing. So apparently the asshole is going to make a few more appearances. But yep, completely fine. I walked out of the clinic skipping and jumping and listening to Dean Martin, then two buses later got home and crashed on my bed for five hours. Goodbye adrenaline. :D

In fandom news, the other day I went to the cinema to watch Mission Impossible Rogue Nation with a friend. Ghost Protocol is one of my favourite movies ever (I've probably seen it a hundred times) but I had no hopes about this movie after I'd learned Brad Bird had dropped the project. Boy, was I wrong, because it was absolutely amazing. I loved every minute of it. The story is very fascinating and intriguing, and the way they kept the focus on the friendship between the main characters, and that all their actions come from how much they care for each other, halfway through it it felt like my heart had grown three sizes. Plus Ilsa Faust is a fantastic character: she's competent and smart, she has her own storyline and motivations, and she's equal to Ethan, saving him in more than one occasion. And yet they never comment on the fact that she's a woman, not even as a stupid joke: she's an agent and that's it. And the best part is there's no romantic nor sexual subplot whatsoever. I loved that!

I loved all the locations, especially the Opera scene in Vienna (I love Turandot!), and the fact that it was an homage to The Man Who Knew Too Much, one of my favourite Hitchcock movies, was the icing on the cake. There was also a lot of London (yessssss), and a nice nod to the Sherlock series, although I think they resolved that scene much better here than in Scandal In Belgravia, just saying.

And everyone was so shippable, holy shit. Even my friend, who's definitely not a fangirl, was making cooing noises and "awwww, they're adorable"-ing every other scene, while I was sitting next to her trying very hard not to shout "OTP!" every other minute at the screen. :D

So in conclusion my breast isn't trying to kill me, I have a new favourite movie, and now I should definitely go have a shower because it being saturday I may have overslept a tad and I'm still in my pyjamas. :D
nausicaa83: (<kingsman> perfect day)
Lots of things happened last week. Mainly, I had a very important medical exam, where at first they told me the situation had gotten worse, and then they told me nope, it was all as before. Cue panic attack, visions of my own mortality, and then murder plans. Thankfully I had therapy right after, and I felt a lot better after that, but still. Some doctors aren't just meant to interact with human beings at all.

Speaking of therapy, my therapist asked me if she could write about my case, keeping it anonymous, for a medical study. My first reaction was to feel very flattered. As in, my problems are worth studying, that makes me feel important! It's dumb, but sometimes that's the way my brain goes. :D



For the "A Book Outside Your Comfort Zone" square, I read Joyce Carol Oates' 1992 novel Black Water.

I went with that square because while stream-of-consciousness novels aren't outside my comfort zone per se (that would be biographies, my least favourite genre), this particular one hit all my triggers. I still went with the "I liked it" stamp, because it is beautifully written, but I wouldn't have read it if I had known more about it beforehand. It is a fictional retelling of the Chappaquiddick incident, so for those who already know about that, that's basically it.

One night at a party, a young woman meets a Senator she's always admired, and after some flirting they decide to leave the party together. Some reckless driving on his part gets them into an accident, and the car ends up in the water. He manages to escape, while the woman is stuck inside, with the water slowly filling the habitacle. Terrified and in pain, she thinks about her life, how she met the Senator, and about the pain and terror she's in, and her faith that he'll come back to save her. Her thoughts get more and more splintered and chaotic the longer she's stuck in there, with the black water slowly drowing her.

In a word, it's brutal. It's powerfully written, a fascinating insight on that period, but holy shit, it's not for the faint of heart. It gets more and more realistic and disturbing the longer she's stuck there, and quite frankly I don't feel like recommending it to anyone. Hey, you're my friend and I love you, read this traumatic novel and have nightmares about it! You're welcome!

In other news, I finally watched Interstellar, and I loved it! I know, I'm incredibly late to the party. :D But hey, what a fantastic movie! The science was so accurate for a sci-fi movie, the acting was great, and Nolan finally abandoned his trite depictions of female characters, and went in a completely new (for him) and wonderful direction! Could have used more diversity, but other than that it was a truly wonderful movie. ^^

I also watched the Shaun The Sheep movie, after a friend of mine, who has a little niece, recommended it to me, saying it was fun for all ages. She was right! It was cute and funny, and the choice to have it basically silent was a lovely touch. I must check out the tv series now! *____*
nausicaa83: (<gravity falls> mystery twins)
What a day, what a lovely day (shiny and chrome)! Two new episodes I'd been waiting for for months were waiting for me when I woke up! That, and I found a lot less ants than I feared: there's been the usual infestation, as they do every summer without fail. This time though I've been battling it with poison spray and vacuum cleaner for three days and they still haven't left the house! The neighbour was completely useless, even if he has the infestation as well, so I've been fighting on my own. Maybe, just maybe, I've finally won. We'll see tomorrow, though. There's also been a lot of printing papers and documents and calls from the hospital and usual depressing guardian stuff. I've been doing it for years, doesn't make it any easier.

But at least on the fandom side I got both Gravity Falls and Steven Universe to cheer me up! A Tale Of Two Stans was so good by the end I was almost hyperventilating. Theories confirmed, theories squashed, so much new information, it'll take me a lot of viewings to digest it all. What a fantastic episode! Cry For Help featured a new character that had been spoiled for me all weekend, because people on tumblr are incapable of using tags, and they enjoy leaks for some reason. I shall never understand the fascination with learning spoilers beforehand, instead of waiting for when the episode airs in all its high quality glory and context. Bah. I've been unfollowing people left and right, so at least now my dashboard looks a lot cleaner. Anyway, Alexia Khadime was wonderful (and I do hope they'll have her sing in a future episode, she's a wonderful Elphaba, it would be such a missed opportunity for her not to!), but the episode was a lot more depressing than I expected. These kids' shows don't mess around. O_O

Yesterday I also watched the X-Men Days Of Future Past Rogue Cut: it's a new version of the movie, with 20 minutes of added scenes and, as the title subtly implies, the return of Rogue. I adore this movie, but I thought this new cut was completely useless: all the added dialogues were redundant, and it made sense to leave them on the cutting room floor. The Rogue's scenes had no point, as she actually doesn't do or say anything, and she's basically a prop. The added scene at the house, with Raven and Hank, was a mess: cringe-worthy and embarassing all around. The only thing I took from this movie is a sense of gratitude that they cut all this stuff out in the original version, which made for a much more coherent plot with great pacing.

There's a new heatwave here, but thankfully it's not as vicious as the last one. Sakura is suffering the heat a lot, though: she sleeps on the marble floor, all spread out like a dog would, and even longer than usual. Poor baby!
nausicaa83: (<007> death)
And I finally watched Jurassic World! Super late to the party, I know, but I got scarred for life by those awful sequels, and the trailer for this one left me all kinds of meh. So I waited for an HD copy online. Sorry.

In conclusion? If the original one is a 10, this one is a 7. Really worth watching, but definitely not as good as the original. When the kids entered the park for the first time, and the music started, I had big fat tears rolling down my cheeks. I loved that they kept a lot of references to the original, but they didn't build the whole movie on them. The dinosaurs were cool, and the fight scenes were great. And thank god Owen's sexist remarks were no more than what we had already seen in the trailer. I liked Claire a lot, her and her indestructible shoes. Seriously, I gotta get me a pair of those. And the way they used the T-Rex was fantastic.

I think the main problem is, that we don't have any bonding. In the original movie the characters spent a lot of time together, falling in love with the dinosaurs who weren't trying to kill them, exploring, running for their lives, and they grew to love each other, and we them. But in this case they sacrificed all that for cool chases, and for the evil guy's plot. Which were really interesting, and cool to watch, don't get me wrong, but by the end of the movie I didn't really care at all if the humans survived or not. And it still irked me that they tried to humanize the raptors. That's because I first saw that movie 20 years ago, and to this day that kitchen scene is still one of the best scary sequences I've ever witnessed. You desperately want the kids to survive, because you care about them, but at the same time you're in awe at the raptors' intelligence and hunting abilities. Bringing human emotions and puppy eyes in all that, meh. It didn't work at all for me. Thank god they did that wonderful final shot of the T-Rex. Hell yeah, that's the queen of the island!

In conclusion, good movie, thrilling ride (ah ha), and I'm definitely going to watch the sequel, but it was only my brain that enjoyed it. My heart was only involved when the original theme played. I get teary-eyed just thinking about it! Hope they'll hire a better screenwriter for the next one. Especially for poor Owen. He's the most one-dimensional character ever, and it's only Chris Pratt's acting that makes him a bit sympathetic. The way he's written, he has as much personality as one of those holo-dinosaurs.

I'm going to listen to the soundtrack some more now. ♥
nausicaa83: (<just dance> shake it)
Just got back from watching Mad Max Fury Road, and holy moley, they weren't joking. It is indeed a fantastic feminist movie, probably THE most feminist movie I've seen in forever. I read someone was comparing Furiosa to Ripley, and they weren't wrong. Except this movie is a celebration of matriarchal values, so there's also that. They should have called it Mad Max: Long Live The Matriarchy. Plus the cinematography, the special effects and the music were fantastic. I came out of the cinema with a huge grin on my face, and a crazy crush on Charlize Theron. ♥

And when the credits rolled the twenty middle-school boys in the last row stood up, cheered and applauded. It was awesome. :D
nausicaa83: (<kingsman> eggsy)
Tomorrow is the 14th anniversary of my sister's death. Anniversaries hurt me an awful lot, that's usually when panic attacks happen. I have always had this fixation with dates, which helped a lot with exams back at uni, but which doesn't help at all with overcoming traumatic experiences. So since this time it falls on a Sunday, I'm planning on spending tomorrow hidden in a blanket nest, forcefully ignoring everything and everyone. Here's hoping the plan works, but if I disappear for a few days you'll know why.

And now on to the non-real life part of the entry, my favourite part. Yesterday I had a wonderful Kingsman evening just like I planned: I made an enormous bowl of popcorn, wore my new Kingsman necklace, and watched it in all its 1080p glory on my tv. I fell in love with it all over again. And I also finally, truly understood all the My Fair Lady references in it, because Eggsy's chav accent was freaking incomprehensible and I had to stay so focused to grasp what he was saying that I gave myself a headache. And I had no problems with the thick New Zealander accents in The Almighty Johnsons, nor Gene Hunt's in Life on Mars! South London, you have bested me. *shakes fist*

We had another season finale, with Elementary. It was a subdued finale to a somewhat disappointing season. It wasn't a bad season per se, but there was really too little character development, in favour of the case of the week. A sad step back, considering how much I loved the first two seasons. I'm crossing my fingers the writers will go back to their roots next fall, and spend more time on the main characters. There's much room for improvement, guys.

And today I found out that next july they're releasing a bluray boxset of The Third Man, full of special features, and I rushed to pre-order it. I adore that movie. Mom and I bought a vhs tape of it something like 12 years ago; it was from a series meant for people who wanted to learn the language, so it had the original audio and italian subs. We knew nothing of the plot, and we were completely blown away. I remember screaming in surprise more than once. Now, I strongly disagree with people saying that "old movies were better", or that "they don't make them like they used to"; much like with everything, blind nostalgia is never the right approach, and like with modern cinema, back then there were masterpieces and there was garbage. That being said, in every genre there's one particular movie that encompasses and sublimates everything that is great about that genre, making it the best possible expression of it. This is what The Third Man is for the noir genre. It came out in 1949, and it's already absolutely perfect, the platonic form of the noir film. I can't recommend it enough. Everything about it is mindblowing. Wish I could say more of what it is about, but for those who haven't seen it yet, the plot twists are so amazing you'll kill me if I spoil anything, trust me on that.

And there's that soundtrack. Man, the soundtrack. It would be worth watching only for that.

In other news, I've been watching Arrested Development on Netflix. Most of the time it's me going "ooohh, that's where that joke is from!". It's really funny, but it's also very dated, in a way. The first three seasons are from over ten years ago, and sometimes it takes me a while to realize what they're talking about, to pinpoint what exactly was going to shit in the world in that particular moment. I just started the fourth season, the 2013 Netflix one, and I'm more on solid ground. :D Still enjoying it a lot!

And now off to dinner I go!
nausicaa83: (<hot fuzz> all on my lonesome)
A couple of new movie reviews, because I had a very shitty day and I want to take my mind off it.

The first movie is a classic, John Hughes' wonderful 1986 movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I know, I'm incredibly late to the party, especially considering I adore The Breakfast Club, and I've been meaning to check all of Hughes' filmography for years. Nothing really much to say: I loved it, it made me remember why I had such a huge crush on Matthew Broderick when I was a kid, and Hughes confirms himself one of the very few directors who actually managed to write realistic, believable teenagers.

And as a huge Blues Brothers fan, having seen what happens halfway into this movie, am I correct in assuming that if I went to Chicago and started randomly singing in the street, people would just flock to me and start dancing along in wonderful choreography? Is this your secret, Windy City? Have I cracked the code? :D

The second movie was a disappointment, for the most part. I finally got around to watch The Book Of Life, the 2014 animated movie by Jorge Gutierrez. I had read wonderful things on tumblr, and was very excited to watch it. Now, the animation is great, the backgrounds are stunning. The mexican theme, the Dias de los Muertos, the whole part in the underworld, it's all splendid. But I was expecting a lot more from the story. While Maria gets a lot of quippy lines, she's basically the prize to win for the two male protagonists. Who we are told are best friends, but we are never actually shown. By the end of the movie I was reminded of that saying "in the game of patriarchy women aren't the opposing team, they're the ball", and that's exactly what Maria is. She's the ball. She doesn't choose anything, nor do her actions affect the story in any meaningful way. Even La Muerte keeps forgiving a cheater and a liar just because she loves him and that makes it fair.

Now, don't get me wrong, there's a ton of movies who have the exact same issue, and I'm not saying this movie is bad for choosing to tell the same old story. But in 2014 it's definitely ridicolous to write characters and relationships like that. I thought we were past that, especially when it came to smaller productions. So yeah, watch it for the colourful Mexican setting and mythology, but be prepared to grind your teeth at the lazy sexism.
nausicaa83: (<elementary> moriarty)
Yesterday I spent the day with Tati. The weather was wonderful, warm spring weather, and we went to the cinema and had ice cream. This is definitely my favourite time of the year. Summer here is usually hot and humid, but spring is absolutely perfect. ^^

In the evening I watched Birdman on my laptop, really late to the party. I did like the first half of it, and the actors were all really good, but I have to say by the end I thought it was very disappointing. There was no growth in the characters, one way or the other, the story went nowhere, and even if on paper filming it all as a tracking shot, or at least making it look like one by cleverly hiding the cuts, works, after a while it was too obvious: the actors were obviously sidestepping the camera, pirouetting like ballerinas, and it was very distracting.

I think what ruined it for me was the ending though: it tried too hard to be artsy, that it forgot to say something, anything at all. What a shame, because it looked like the kind of movie I usually would love. Oh well.

In unrelated news, they released the first trailer for the second season of True Detective, and it's one wonderful minute of Fiona Apple wistfully singing what I hope is the new opening song, and a collection of scenes that tell us nothing but that it looks amazing. June can't come soon enough. *_____*
nausicaa83: (<into the woods> the witch)
I'm feeling better! My back still hurts, but not as much as it did before, and I can move more freely. I still can't lift stuff heavier than a mug of tea, and this is annoying Sakura a lot, as I haven't lifted her in my arms for almost two weeks. The other day she got so pissed that she just started screeching at me and making little hopping movements. It was kinda hilarious. :D

The other day I finally watched Into The Woods. I knew absolutely nothing about it beforehand, except that it was a Broadway musical and there was Meryl Streep in it. Good enough for me. And I absolutely fell head over heels in love with it. The music, the story, the characters, I loved everything. All the actors were great, and great singers too. I've downloaded the original musical on my ipod, and I can't wait to listen to it, although from what I read the changes they did were very minor. I like how they decided to fuse The Witch and The Narrator into one character, but that's probably because of my insane love for Meryl Streep. ♥

Yesterday was Tati's birthday, so the two of us and her sister went to the cinema to watch Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella. We were all a bit sick, so I'm planning on doing another, proper birthday celebration as soon as we're all feeling better, but we still loved the movie. I'm not sure I'll watch it again, though. There's a reason why every Cinderella movie starts a couple of days before the ball: her story is too depressing, and it should be only told in a very quick voiceover. Branagh chose to devote half the movie to how the girl got to become an abused slave in her family home, and it is heavy. The magical parts were lovely and funny, but the rest of the movie was very dark, even with that joyful colorful cinematography.

And we also made a lot of whispered jokes about Robb Stark being the Prince. Who's escaping an arranged marriage. And wants to marry the peasant girl he met on a field. Come on! I think everyone in the audience who's over 18 was hearing The Rains of Castamere in their heads everytime he was on screen!
nausicaa83: (<the hour> cooking hour)
I'm quite proud of myself this week. Even with no therapy (no sessions last week), I feel like I'm making a lot of progress: I did some baking for the first time in months, and yesterday I went to the cinema all on my lonesome for the first time since last summer. I did a couple of errands, and arrived at the cinema just in time for the 5pm screening of Kingsman The Secret Service. And I loved that movie to pieces. Which isn't actually a surprise, because Matthew Vaughn is one of my favourite directors ever, and everyone on tumblr was posting reviews about how much they loved the movie, but still. There was a lot of squeeing on my part, it was even better than I hoped!

It's basically to old Bond movies what Kick-Ass was to superhero movies. It's thrilling, funny, fascinating, and the soundtrack is awesome. The fight scenes are edited in a way I'd never seen before, and that's saying a lot. I didn't think it was possible to do something original there, but they managed to create a editing style that's so quick the gory stuff flashes by and your brain keeps catching on half a second later. Also bonus points for Gazelle, a disabled fighter who uses her disability as a unique way of fighting and is never sexualized. Didn't think it would be possible (especially after seeing the poster), but turns out I was wrong. She's basically the Toph of the movie. Great job there, guys!

(God, Free Bird is never going to be the same)

If I have to find one flaw, it's the final shot. I get the joke, but I think it falls flat. It could have worked better if there had been a few more scenes after, dealing with the aftermath of the movie, but as a final scene it doesn't work. Other than that, no complaints at all. Except that it loses a lot in translation. The Italian voice actors are great, as always, but there's no equivalent for the cockney/posh talking, as everyone is speaking in the same perfect, polished Italian, and some jokes make no sense at all. Hope we'll get a decent version on the net soon, I don't want to wait months for the dvd before I can watch it as it's meant to be.

And now it's time for some baking! I'm making cookies, so this afternoon I'll have one batch ready for my therapist, and one for Tati. *_____*
nausicaa83: (<hobbit> going on an adventure)
I just came back from watching the final Hobbit movie. I feel the same way as I did with the other two movies: I think they took everything that was great about the book and made it better. All my favourite scenes were there, and they hit me even harder than I thought possible. I cried and sobbed a lot more than I did with Return of the King. I loved every minute of it, and I'm so grateful to Peter Jackson for taking one of my favourite childhood books, a book that shaped my imagination and sense of adventure as a child, and sewing it together with the Silmarillion, the Lord of the Rings appendices, all the Tolkien masterpieces I read and loved as a young adult. Then he took characters who weren't more than a name in the original book, and gave them voices, and backgrounds and a soul. He made me fall in love with the characters I already loved since I was a child, Thorin, Bilbo and Gandalf, and then made me fall for his version of the other characters. He took the dwarves' passion for the gold, and wrote an epic poem of longing for a lost home that brings to mind Verdi's Va' Pensiero. And then he gave us Thorin and Bilbo's relationship. I sincerely have no words for how grateful I am to him, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens for giving us these characters and these movies.

And now I can't wait for the extended edition, so I can cry even longer. ^^

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