Things I Love Thursday

jennitalula harbour bridge

Summery days road tripping around Auckland.

Delicious food, look, my trip to Auckland was awesome for many reasons but the food was definitely a contributing factor. Denso at the chocolate boutique, dinner at Tanuki’s Cave, delicious breakfasts, fancy Ebisu dinner, ice cream. It was all good.

jennitalula sunflower

Gardening success in the sun room! I have blooming sunflowers and flowering swan plant, peas and the beans are trying to climb up all the other plants. The strawberry leaves are twice the size and there’s a heap of flowers there too.

Reading. I’ve been reading a bunch of great stuff lately, sadly a bit distractable and I’m technically part way through about 7 books, but the newest one I’m loving is called Why We Broke Up and it’s by Daniel Handler, who’s better known as Lemony Snicket. It apparently has a tie in tumblr, which is pretty awesome. (Heartbreaking and funny, like the book)

Honourable Mentions: Gelato, hot sunny days, catching a legendary bird pokemon, soft blankets, cake, hugs from friends and laughing.

The Sixth Sense (1999)

The Sixth Sense
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
(number 338)

I was surprised that neither Ellen nor Blair had seen this film before. I think there’s a lot of preconceptions around this film, and I think the two main ones are absolutely false. The main ones being: this film is only about the twist and the second: it’s M. Night’s best work.

I already spoke a bit about how I think it’s unfair that people judge his later films on this one. That people want to recreate the magic of seeing this for the first time – unspoiled. I dispute that because I think that this movie is amazing, regardless of the twist. The careful cinematography, the creepy atmosphere, the beautiful performances … these things are all greater than the twist in my opinion. That said, I don’t think that this film is necessarily M Night’s best film. I love Unbreakable but Signs is most likely my absolute favourite.

The scene at the end where Malcolm speaks to Anna, as she sleeps, is absolutely transcendent. So heartfelt and beautiful, and through it they both learn to let go and to move on. It gives me chills, honestly. The performances are gentle but they are no less strong for it.

Does it make me love the people? Absolutely. I love Toni’s Lynn, who’s so fiercely protective of her son and wants to help him so much, I love Malcolm – Bruce Willis does an amazing job in this role, warm and understated and of course I love Cole. Hayley Joel Osment’s performance is astounding, so strange and convincing. He’s utterly convincing and that’s why this film is heartbreaking.

Bechdel test: Sadly no. It’s just off the edge of passing it a few times. Lynn talks to Tommy Tammisino’s mother but she’s not named. Anna talks to a woman when she’s selling her a ring but she’s credited as ‘young woman buying ring’, and Kyra, her sister and Anna only talk to Malcolm or Cole. Kyra talks to her mother in the video evidence that Cole gives her father but her mother is only called Mrs Collins. It’s close…but not cigars.

Best line:

Kyra’s sister: “Is Kee-wa coming back?”
Cole: “Not anymore.”
(Heart shatters)

Cole: “Every day”
(heart shatters further)

State of Mind: Heart… shattered… needs more chocolate. OMG I love this film!

Things I Love Thursday

Tumblr. Tumblr is much easier than blogging tonight, heh.

Having someone be so excited to see me again 🙂

– excellent roleplaying
– intense emotions and lots of laughs
– catching up with old and new friends
– exploring new characters and new games

It’s all good, I had a brilliant time even if I was completely exhausted at the end of it.

Wellington waterfront summer market! In between Mac’s and Wharewaka today some food stalls and a couple of stores opened up. I’m informed it’s running through the next couple of months on Thursdays, 12 – 8 and I had a lovely lunch there today sitting out in the sun with Hamish. Pretty keen to grab dinner there next Thursday!

Honourable Mentions: Tacos, fresh burger fuel burgers, pokemon, sleeping, painkillers, nice big drink bottles which are easy to drink from, twitter, hand quilting when I feel like I’m getting somewhere, my plants growing and talking to people about my 500 movies project.

Terrible sex scenes. This is an excellent article about terribly written sex. Hilarious.

More Belle and Sebastian, because I find their stuff beautiful and soothing.

Kapcon 2014 – day one

Round one. I ran my Soldiers of Fortune LARP which was something I was a little concerned about since it’s the first round of the con and people aren’t always in a space to game or to throw themselves into things just yet. I needn’t have worried. My group of players were excellent, hitting all kinds of emotional notes and I think my casting led to a new outcome for the game which is something I had hoped would happen when I was writing the thing. I can’t go into much because spoilers and I intend to publish this game, but suffice to say.. I really was pleased with the game even if I was emotionally wrought after it. A huge thanks to everyone who signed up for this, I hope you enjoyed it. (Not to self, having bubbles in game was good, use better bubble mix next time)

2014-01-18 10.56.37

Round two. I went into the Games on Demand room half prepared to run something but it wasn’t needed so I sat on the players side of the room and ended up in a game of the Firefly roleplaying game run by Steve. I wasn’t too fussed on characters, so I waited until most other people had chosen and then picked up Simon (although I was equally tempted by Wash). I had an excellent time being Simon and was super impressed with the performance of the other players – portraying canon characters can be quite scary and tricky but I think we were all super good 🙂

Round three. True Love Match.

I went into this because Morgue was running it and I love his games. I thought it would be a bit of a laugh. A silly examination of reality tv and the silly people who go on them. With this in mind (and still feeling a bit masculine from playing Simon) I volunteered to be the ‘lovely guy’ who is the bachelor, which left two men and two women to play the ‘girls’ competing to be chosen as the True Love Match.

It ended up being far more intense than any of us had expected. We all dove into the scenes and the mechanics of trying to do better that it become severely emotional and when it came down to me having to choose between the girls it became so intense… I dunno. It’s one of those things where you needed to be there, but suffice to say that we had a 15 minute debrief afterwards and it was severely needed.

jennitalula true love match

Shelter from the storm (the big LARP)

I was really excited to play a cop in this game, it’s not a role or a type of role I’ve ever been given before and I really enjoyed it. Especially playing so closely with Norm (senior officer) and with Tigger (fire chief) and Courtney (little sister). The game was very stressful, first from not having enough information and then from having way too much to do and people questioning me when I knew I was taking the right actions. Stressful in a good way, and I’m very pleased to have won a prize for this role, this game.

Jennitalula officer

My only frustration was not being able to call people out, or do anything to force them to tell me the truth. It wasn’t the kind of game where I could lapse into police brutality or anything like that.

But it was an excellent game, and that gripe is a small one. A++ would cop again.

Speed (1994)

Directed by Jan De Bont
(number 450)

I always forget how strong the opening to this movie is. The elevator sequence is intense and fast and it’s excellent for building up the characters of Jack and his partner Harry. The absolute trust they have in each other and more importantly the way they work as cops.

According to imdb, Keanu punching the door and cracking the glass was an accident, but they kept it in. I like it, because it conveys his urgency and his dedication to getting onto the bus to help the people – to diffuse the situation.

The down time between the elevator and the bus is minimal, just enough to introduce us to Sandra Bullock’s Annie and to show Jack celebrating and having friends. Once the stuff with the bus starts it’s not actually super fast paced. There are plenty of quiet moments on the bus where they talk about what’s going on, or relay information to the police Jack is radioing.

I love the soundtrack which is relatively subtle about ramping up the already tense scenarios and I really think Keanu is brilliant in this role. It adheres to my theory that he’s great when he’s being the straight guy, the one that crazy shit happens around and he has to react to.

Does it make me love the people? It actually does. I love Jack, he’s such a superhero and I do love me some maverick cops. Annie is not only adorable but she’s tough and she spends most of the movie driving the bus under a huge amount of pressure which is a nice change for a woman in an action film. She does get used as a standard damsel in distress in the last third though which is sad-making.

How many times have I seen this movie? I don’t even know. I remember talking to Regan about it when we were 15 and suddenly scared of taking the lift XD

I love that someone put together this locations list… I was thinking a map of the route the bus takes would be awesome, but of course it’s not a linear thing, they filmed it all over the place.

Bechdel test: Yeah, Annie very briefly talks to Helen… um. Along the lines of ‘hi’ ‘good morning’. Does that count? I feel like I’m reaching with that one, but…Maybe? Maybe that’s enough.

Best line: “Pop quiz, hot shot!”

Harry: “I’m gonna go home, and have some sex!”

Ortiz:”That guy sure has a hard on for this bus”

Jack: Fuck me!
Stephens (translating for the police on the other end of the radio): …. oh darn.

State of Mind: Hell yeah. Ace actiony fun.

Enter the Dragon (1973)

Enter the Dragon
Directed by Robert Clouse
(number 474)

The final film that Bruce Lee made before he died, apparently he died three weeks before the movie premiered.

It has a cameo from Jackie Chan in it, but besides that a lot of stars of the time. It has a definitely blaxploitation vibe, despite being set in Hong Kong and this is emphasised by the presence of Jim Kelly as Williams. That dude rocks an afro and has some of the best lines.

It was filmed without sound, so all the dialogue and sound effects were dubbed over later. I think that’s kind of interesting. It’s more interesting than a lot of the movie.

It was a great way to see 70s China, and the fashion and stuff, but.. I just didn’t get into it.

Does it make me love the people? I don’t think so… it’s very much a by the numbers kind of movie, the kind you can imagine they churned out a dozen of in a year. I mean, there were a bunch of fancy set pieces, impressive athletics on display, but there’s not that much story or characterisation.

Bechdel test: Nope, not that I noticed.

Best line:…

State of Mind: I feel like I’ve seen this movie before, I haven’t, but I feel like I have. I’ve seen so many of this kind of film. I guess I don’t really see what the big deal is, unless it’s just watching Bruce Lee kick things and in that case, it was awesome. Bruce Lee kicks well.

Things I Love Thursday

Sunshine I’m gonna keep on putting this in here as long as it’s summer because I can’t get over how lovely it is to come home to sunshine on my bed, or sunshine on my new desk at work in the morning. Just being warm is wonderful.

Books I’ve been reading some excellent books. Perks of Being a Wallflower, Boy Meets Boy and now the book about Aro Valley that Steve is in. Loving it!

Kapcon to look forward to this weekend. I am feeling rather exhausted, but it will be wonderful to see all my roleplaying buddies again. Plus I’m running two (maybe three) games, playing in some awesome stuff and playing a cop in the big LARP on Saturday night. I think it’ll be fun 🙂

500 Movies project. I enjoy ticking movies off, I enjoy watching the movies, I enjoy people commenting on them and I love it when people ask me about it in real life. It’s a fun project!

Honourable Mentions: Gelato, lovely feedback from workmates, new ep of Wolf Among Us coming out soon, the new series of Sherlock, tacos Thursday and Belle and Sebastian.

Small or Far Away?

True Grit (2010)

True Grit
Directed by Ethan and Joel Cohen
(number 482)

When I first saw this movie I loved it instantly. I told my mum about it and she said the original was one of the movies she went on a date with my dad too… so good. I love this movie because it’s a fantastic Western with a kick ass young female lead who takes no shit from the males. Well, unless she’s forced to.

Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges do excellently in this film but it’s Hailee Steinfeld who carries the movie, and she does it in an extremely competent manner. Her character is driven by revenge and she hires Rooster to come along and help her, LeBeouf comes along because it’s his job to track down the criminal as a Texas Ranger.

The film is an adventure, a journey, and beautifully filmed, beautifully acted. It’s melancholy but it’s also extraordinarily funny, lots of good lines. Especially once LeBeouf gets a tongue injury and Matt Damon has to act around the speech impediment.

Does it make me love the people? Definitely. Despite rocky beginnings the actions of Rooster and LeBeouf to protect Matty are heartwarming and Matty herself is an epic character. I adore her.

Bechdel test: Yeah, Matty speaks to the Boarding House Landlady about needing somewhere to sleep and later, complaining about Grandma Turner’s snoring.

Best line: “Never doubt a Texas Ranger! Ever Stalwart!”

State of Mind: Satisfied indeed. This movie is excellent on every viewing.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Directed by Alfonso Cuaron
(number 472)

I like to watch all the Harry Potter movies over Christmas/New Year anyway, so it was nice to be able to tie that wee tradition into this project as well.

Widely regarded as the best story, and therefore the best movie, the main themes are the kids getting old enough to deal with pretty serious things. Plus there’s time travel and Harry gets a relative and crazy Gary Oldman is crazy and yeah. This movie is awesome.

The only movie I’d ever seen before this one directed by Alfonso Cuaron was Y Tu Mama Tambien which is a slightly queer sex comedy so I was curious to see what he’d do with the boy wizard. The answer is that he’d direct the leads in a brilliant way and the whole movie is really interesting visually and engaging. The pacing isn’t as weird as the two previous films and it’s just downright enjoyable.

Does it make me love the people? Well, I come in with the love already, because the books. But here we see pathos and confusion, Hermione being awesome and leading Harry in most of the climax, and Ron getting a lot of good lines. Plus Hermione punches Draco which is very satisfying.

Bechdel test: Yes it does, Hermione and Trelawney talk about divination. There’s been a bunch of talk about how Harry Potter fails these, so I want to put in the quote..

Hermione: [gazing at a crystal ball] Can I give it a try?
Professor Trelawney: Yes, sure!
Hermione: The grim. Possibly.
Professor Trelawney: You know, my dear, the moment I looked into your eyes I knew that you did not have the mind for the noble art of Divination.
[looking at her palm]
Professor Trelawney: See? Right here. You may be young in years but the heart that beats beneath your bosom is as shriveled as an old maid’s, your soul as dry as the pages of the books to which you so desperately cleave.

Best line:
Ron: [sitting bolt upright in bed] Spiders… the spiders… they want me to tap-dance. And I don’t want to tap-dance!
Harry: You tell those spiders, Ron.
Ron: Yeah, tell them… I’ll tell them…
[falls straight back asleep]

State of Mind: Content. Comforted after watching The Impossible.

Antidotes to Monday

I’ve had such a Monday-ish Monday

I tried to go back to sleep after my alarm, I spilled my hot chocolate, I’ve dropped food on the floor and on myself. And… I’ve had my underwear on backwards all day. I thought there was a chance that you may have had a similar kind of day, so here are my antidotes and possible suggestions for salvaging the last of the day.

Yank something out of the ground! I came home and went ballistic on the parsley in the herb garden. I yanked plants right out of the ground and chucked them away. I could see a gap, where I’d removed the gorram parsley. Success! Destruction! Contained kaiju-ing! well, maybe that last one is pushing it but… it felt good, is what I’m saying.

Music! Put on the album you most want to listen to right now. It’s as simple as that. Listen to the music you want to listen to right now.

Comfort food! Look, it’s okay to indulge yourself as long as you’re not doing all the time. For me comfort food is a soft boiled egg and toast soldiers. Simple! That’s my dinner tonight :3

Self esteem boost! Take a picture of yourself looking as good as you can, and send it to someone who thinks you’re amazing. Or! Post it online, maybe you’ll get some nice comments. Again, I really don’t think there’s any problem with this kind of thing as long as you don’t do it too often.

comfy clothes! Get into pajamas stat! Or whatever your most comfy slob about the house clothes are. It feels so much better…

Be still! depending on your circumstances this may be easier said than done. But even if you can get a minute to yourself, close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply and just think about nothing. Think about the sound of your breathing and let go of any tension in your body.

Let it all go.