WIPs

Jun. 24th, 2010 11:11 pm
glvalentine: (nerd alert)
Please note, I apparently don't have time to write about anything in depth, but plenty of time to make graphics about what I'm doing. Mmm, logic!




1. Reference image for a story I'm working on; originally was used for a story I just finished, but this image had another purpose. (It's a worker.)

2. If I am not writing a story about someone in a coat of some kind, then I am writing a story about a post-human singularity...in which robots wear coats.

3. This looks like a still from a fantastic movie. It is, in fact, a still from One Night with the King, which is an absolutely terrible movie you will be seeing more of shortly.

4. Ditto. This is from Bathory. Not pictured: Hans Matheson painting a portrait of a baby that's been stored inside the block of ice. (Oh, it happens.)

5. This is a picture of a juggler. Technically, he's from an Anthropologie catalog, and he's probably just a juggler because Hans Matheson found another stand-in. In my imagination, he's my imaginary circus boyfriend. His name is Ben. You will probably see him again.

6. The novel currently with my agent takes place in a river city. This picture was from [livejournal.com profile] vintagephoto, and the time between me seeing it and me right-click-saving cannot be measured with modern instruments.

7. My next novel is set in the 1920s. Researching dance crazes of the time is repellent, grueling work that I absolutely do not enjoy whatsoever, but it has to be done.

8. Because it's never the wrong time to watch Gleaming the Cube.

9. Inception. I have a piece about this movie lined up for Tor.com; in the meantime, just know that Joseph Gordon-Levitt must have signed an extra wire-work clause or something.
glvalentine: (omg no)


We know this movie is coming out. We all know how awful it's going to be. We know my capacity for bad movies is pretty elastic.

But for real. Look at that thing.


[Poll #1558438]
glvalentine: (omg no)
Over the weekend, I saw Clash of the Titans. As you might be able to tell from my review at Tor.com, things did not go so well!

Here's the thing about Clash of the Titans and all associated B-movies: I don't demand that they be something other than they are. I watch The Mummy whenever it's on TV, because it's a perfectly decent pulp film, and I don't require anything more from it.

However, I DO require of a B-movie what I require of most movies: that something, at some point, makes a modicum of sense, or is engaging, or is so over-the-top it's comedy gold, or something. It's not much to ask in theory, but it's really baffling how many movies march grimly through the motions, throwing in video-game-standard CGI and half-baked thematic elements and hoping no one will notice the lack of excellence in either. Clash of the Titans is a supreme example of this.

They did succeed, however, in taking one of the few Greek myths that didn't involve rape and adding rape to it. That's something to be proud of, I guess!*

However, Hans Matheson was in it, which was amusing for the duration of whatever cumulative milliseconds the camera accidentally caught him while panning over to Sam Worthington's single facial expression, so that was nice! (Bonus: he wasn't evil! Color me surprised! First time for everything, I guess. You go, Hans. Hope this helps you get a better role elsewhere.)

* It is not something to be proud of.
glvalentine: (costume)
So, last night was the Oscars, that gleaming bastion of class and merit, where they will give a woman an Oscar for directing the best film of the year and then play "I am Woman" before throwing to commercial. In keeping with this grand tradition, Hollywood takes the opportunity to go all-out, lining up for the fashion police in a glittery, flawless parade.

I am kidding. It was a disaster. This face says it all:



And when Kristin Stewart speaks for all of us, you know something is wrong.

It's a sad, sad day. )
glvalentine: (Default)
Beware: Fassbender Syndrome below.

So, a few people have asked if I'll be covering the red carpet for this year's Oscars. Answer: As long as people are looking good and/or sartorially embarrassing themselves, I will be there. However, I'm probably not going to watch the telecast. Partly, this is because the Oscars are boring. But mostly this is because the Oscars are so out of control that watching the show is just painful.

Frankly, the Oscars lost me the year Cate Blanchett lost the Leading Actress Oscar to Gwyneth Paltrow. (Just look at that sentence! Say it out loud! Then realize WHAT ARE YOU EVEN SAYING RIGHT NOW.) Obviously the Oscars are overtly political, but I hadn't realized that anyone in the Academy was actually willing to give Gwyneth Paltow an acting award under any circumstances, much less choose her on purpose while Cate Blanchett was in the same category. That's just embarrassing.

This year, I've been spared the pain of watching the most deserving person lose an Oscar, because the most deserving person didn't even get nominated. (New and different, at least!)

Sorry, Sam Rockwell.

When Moon came out, I loved it. I reviewed the movie positively, but there's a reason I tagged it "Sam Rockwell Needs an Oscar." He delivered the best acting of the year, and it's a shame to see that he fell victim to the "only one newcomer every year in Best Leading" rule. They broke it for Best Actress, but apparently weren't willing to do for Best Actor, too. I mean, I saw Up in the Air, and I think that George Clooney, as usual, delivered a great performance...that does not deserve an Oscar this year. Plus, George Clooney will get another shot at it (probably next year!); Sam Rockwell is generally a character actor, and might never again have a leading role this visible.

I've loved Sam Rockwell since he was in Lawn Dogs. I've only grown to love him more since then: In 1999 alone, he was in Midsummer Night's Dream as a mechanical, The Green Mile as the worst person on the planet, and Galaxy Quest as Guy Fleegman. Anyone who aces all three of those knows what he's doing, you know?

Obviously, people are ignored for exceptional work on a regular basis; that makes the world go 'round! But I was so thrilled after I saw Moon, because it was the kind of performance that wins Oscars, delivered so beautifully that it never occurred to me that he wouldn't be on the ballot. Oh, well. Rockwell, you're on the ballot of my heart.



ETA: From the "Not a Moment Too Soon" Files: Gwyneth Paltrow to play Marlene Dietrich. Hollywood, we JUST talked about this. Come on.
glvalentine: (omg no)
The movie-savvy have 21 seconds to understand why this movie makes me so sad. The casual movie- watcher will probably figure it out around 1:02.




Oh, MICHAEL FASSBENDER.

You were in Fish Tank, then you were in Hunger, and then someone said, "Have you seen that guy who made Doomsday is making a movie where those poor, put-upon Romans are violently attacked by those nasty, ungrateful Picts whose land they're invading?"

And Michael Fassbender said, "I didn't! Pass me the script!"

Dear Michael: I'm not mad, just disappointed. It has nothing to do with my expectations; you should expect more from yourself. And you should breath five times into someone's airway if they're unconscious before you start compressions. (I dunno, I sort of run out of motherly advice in a hurry.)
glvalentine: (nerd alert)
That's what they recommend, so I spent the first day of the new year writing, hanging out at home, and watching things that made me happy.

(New Year's Resolution: either stop laughing like a Viking or be ready to apologize to the neighbors. Fassbender Syndrome Affects You and Your Loved Ones!)

I'm still working on Sherlock recaps, but in the meantime I have articles to write and a novel project to work out. The good news is that the guy's been around more than a hundred years, so he can probably wait another three days for a recap.

How was everyone's first day of the year?
glvalentine: (nerd alert)
Two Sherlock Holmes articles up today!

Fantasy Magazine has the review proper (beware minor spoilers, though the plot is so terrible that spoilers can only help).

The, at Tor.com, I talk about some other, better Sherlock Holmeses. RDJ actually makes the Best Of list, mostly because he's such an intense actor that he gives his all even when the movie makes no sense. Also on that list is Rupert Everett, back when he was a good actor and hadn't yet gone off the handle and gotten more Botox than Joan Rivers. (Oh, RUPERT.) Luckily, he is immortalized in The Case of the Silk Stocking, amidst Awesome British Actor Camp vets, doing a lovely job.

Sadly, that's not so with Christopher Lee, who remains one of the worst Sherlocks I've ever seen in my LIFE. I love that guy so much, but I do not know why he didn't cut and run when he saw that he was going up against MORGAN FAIRCHILD, oh my GOD.

I've gotten some recap requests, so in the next few days I'll be running down the two recent BBC adaptations with their one-off Sherlocks, and possibly the Livanov version of Hound of the Baskervilles, in which Sherlock Holmes is cooler than you, even if you are also Sherlock Holmes.
glvalentine: (Default)
Wow, it's been a long time since I visited a Catherine Cookson!

Ladies and gents, welcome to The Round Tower. It's a sweet little romance about an upper-class girl, a middle-class boy, and the bairnsketball that comes between them!

The Round Tower probably Cookson's most in-depth look at class differences in mid-century England and the turmoil caused by the idea of someone wanting to change their socio-economic strata through hard work. However, since most of those parts were filmed with the light from a single desk lamp, you can't really tell.

It also has some of the skeeviest lines of any Cookson. Just...wow. This poor, poor young lady.



Vital Stats:

Era: 1950s. And 1960s. And maybe 1970s. Also maybe 2150. They’re in some time warp where they never age and yet five hundred years of the viewer’s lifetime pass before their eyes as they watch!
Heroine: Vanessa Ratcliffe.
Siblings that require looking-after: Nope!
Illegitimate (Self or sibling): She gets a bairnsketball thanks to her father's skeevy friend. Does that count?
Asshole Father?: Oooh yeah.
Romantic interest(s): Angus Cotton, an employee of her dad's who marries her to save her reputation.
Bairnsketballs: Check. Thanks, creepy neighbor!
Fistfights: I started counting, but gave up. I think this entire movie is one huge slapfight.
Assaults: On our characters, no. On our patience, yes.

That was back when she was pure. Untouched. )
glvalentine: (Default)
Well well, looks like Michael Fassbender is moving up in the world now that the new Tarantino movie is out!



(717%, people. Either that movie was much, much better than it looked, or he was not popular at ALL before this.)

You go, dude; I hope this makes up for being ousted from Wuthering Heights because of the unforgivable decay time has visited upon your dessicated corpse.
glvalentine: (Default)
[Previous episodes of The Catherine Cookson Experience here.]

This week, the CCE delivers my biggest letdown so far: Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root, stars of the Persuasion (best Austen adaptation ever), team up again!

And man, they suck.

Welcome to The Man Who Cried, which is about a good-looking dude (Ciaran Hinds: well cast, casting person) who keeps tripping and falling into ladies, which disgusts him, just disgusts him. Why won't these women stop getting with him, damn? He spends four hours being emo about how he just wants to be Left Alone with some other woman than the one he's with at the moment. (Doesn't matter which woman he's with; he wants a new one.)



Vital Stats:

Era: 1930s, just before WWII
Heroine: Ciaran Hinds.
Siblings that require looking-after: His ten-year-old kiddo.
Illegitimate (Self or sibling): He begets one! Nice job, Ciaran.
Asshole Father?: Yeah, Ciaran.
Romantic interest(s): Every woman on the planet.
Bairnsketballs: Yup...CIARAN.
Fistfights: Largely nonviolent, except for ladies lunging at Ciaran and attempting to climb him like a tree.
Assaults: See above. SIT DOWN, LADIES.

Even the CREDITS are crying, you guys. )
glvalentine: (kitty the typewriter girl)
I kept it light this year, to maximize my coffee-consuming schedule. You can probably harass me behind the Prime table for a little while on Sunday, and then I have this panel in the evening:

Netbook Show and Tell

Asus EEE, Acer Aspire One, HP Mininote ... do those names sound familiar? What are those wee laptops around the size of a hardback book? Bring your netbook and show it off! Discuss the pros and cons. Q&A for those looking to purchase their very own netbook.
Location: Conference 5
Schedule: Sun 10:00 - 11:15PM
Panelists: M: K. Tempest Bradford, Shaun Kelly, Rowan, Genevieve Valentine

Fun fact: My Acer Aspire battery is dead. As of Friday morning, I have two batteries (one from Acer HQ and one I bought from a third party) on their way to me. It's a race to see if anything comes in time, or if I have a cute little paperweight to wave around at the panel!
glvalentine: (Default)
So, after last week's happy-go-lucky tale of nice girls with the memory capacity of a goldfish, we get into the gritty reality of what life was like for the ladies of the 1850s. (Answer: sucky.) Behold, The Girl!

Note: There are Cooksons worse than this, but few Cooksons duller. We will be skipping over large portions of repetitive, depressing malarkey. The point Cookson is trying to make: sucks to be a lady in the 1850s who had to make a good marriage Or Else. Point we take away from it: sucks double to be a lady whose only options are your rapey husband or that dude down the street who gets drunk and insults you. (Also, you fall in love with the second guy, which means in this scenario you probably have a concussion. I'm sorry to hear that.)



Era: 1850
Heroine: Hannah Boyle, the young illegitimate daughter of gentleman Mr. Thornton. OR IS SHE?
Siblings that require looking-after: She has three half-siblings who mostly suck, but in case she's the one that requires looking after, because oh my lord, girl gets beat on.
Illegitimate (Self or sibling): Hannah. Sort of. Whatever.
Asshole Father?: Uh, not to Hannah, but uh, wow.
Romantic interest(s): Ned. Fred, who marries Hannah, is not a romantic interest. It gets gross. *shudders*
Bairnsketballs: Hannah gets one, though technically it's legitimate since she's married. Even though it's not her husband's. It's all very Jerry Springer.
Fistfights: Yep. And caning. And bear traps! And they burn someone's finger off.
Assaults: Innumerable; we see one, and one other that's interrupted by one of the best conversations the world has ever known.

You're trouble! )
glvalentine: (Default)
I should have never watched those Chuck/Blair clips!

So, I did another movie news roundup over at Tor.com. Most amusing news story is everyone who's bulking up on their Star Trek fanfiction (no lie) to get ideas for the new movie, which is basically AU fanfic to start with. In the sequel, Spock's going to look in a mirror and the whole ship will explode from the time-space-meta disturbance.

However, in far more disturbing movie news, Michael Fassbender (b. 1977) and Abbie Cornish (b. 1982) were both fired from the new Wuthering Heights movie for being too old. They will be replaced by Ed "Chuck Bass" Westwick (b. 1987) and Gemma Arterton (b. 1986), who are, presumably, slightly farther back from the vast, howling chasm of decrepitude that threatens to overwhelm the aged Mr. Fassbender and Ms. Cornish, who must not be able to sleep for fear the Angel of Death will come to carry their geriatric corpses to the next world.
glvalentine: (Default)
Michael Fassbender is a Basterd.

Movie poster, you're late to the party, okay? I have been telling people this for a long time. He's a beautiful jerk, and when you speak his name your voice goes up to 800 decibels. If you see him, you slap him once for me, okay, movie poster?
glvalentine: (Default)
Not a great weekend for yours truly.

My ankle turned last night when I was out dancing and I got to hobble home looking like John Malkovich in MARREHREILLEH.

Then, this morning, I saw that even after being plugged in all night, my little Acer, Fassbender, still had the No Battery Power light blinking. This is, of course, because the battery is dead.

So, I will be shopping for a new battery today! Thrilling.

P.S. I'm on a netbook panel at WisCon, and I was like, "Ugh, what will I even say about this computer that makes it different?" Answer: totally unreliable battery! Smooth move, Acer.

Oh, KEANU.

May. 8th, 2009 10:46 am
glvalentine: (omg no)
Keanu Reeves to Star in Adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

KEANU CHARLES REEVES, YOU PUT THAT MOVIE DOWN RIGHT NOW.

(Seriously, K - can I call you K? - no one likes you more than I do. You are hilariously Zen all the time. Also, you have amazing bone structure and a soothing sleepytime voice, which never hurt anybody.

HOWEVER. You are not meant for this sort of thing. Surely you learned that from Dangerous Liaisons!

...and Dracula.

...and Much Ado About Nothing.

...oh, Keanu.)
glvalentine: (Default)
So, there are two or three more really dismal installments of The Catherine Cookson Experience coming up, and I thought that before I hit all the marital rape and spouse-slapping, everyone could use one that's pleasantly absurd. Behold, The Tide of Life!



Here's the thing about this miniseries; Gillian Kearney is a really good actress. She worked her ass off in The Forsyte Saga, and I really love the sort-of-documentary biopic she did on BBC, and – she's not the poor soul who played Cissie Brodie, is what I'm saying. She has genuine charisma, and you root for her.

The problem with The Tide of Life is that while she seems perfectly sweet and capable of making normal-person decisions, she agrees to go steady with any dude who enters the frame, so you end up wondering if she has a concussion. Also a problem: the title sounds like a tampon ad. (Not Cookson's fault; just saying.)

Era: early 1900s
Heroine: Emily Kennedy, housekeeper and concussion victim
Siblings that require looking-after: One sister, also a concussion victim
Illegitimate (Self or sibling): Shockingly, all the major characters are legit.
Asshole Father?: Nary a dad in sight.
Romantic interest(s): Sep, her first employer; Larry, her second employer; Nick, who wanders into frame in the last twenty minutes.
Bairnsketballs: One for our heroine, one from an extra, plus a tumor everyone thinks is a bairnsketball. (Nobody in this movie is very bright, come to think of it.)
Fistfights: Hell yes. Also, murder, pistol-whipping, chasing someone into the ocean, and lighting a houseful of stuff on fire.
Assaults: Two (attempted)

That's what you are - NOWT! )
glvalentine: (Default)
This week, I tackle the seemingly endless and screamingly worst of all the Cookson adaptations I have seen, The Dwelling Place.

Brief note about the Experience: I don't think I'll be recapping each one. Some of these are deadly dull stuff. However, I'm starting out with some of the really terrible ones to build appreciation for the ones that aren't so bad. It's like Stockholm Syndrome involving overwrought, cheaply-made period dramas of the 90s. By the time I hit The Wingless Bird, you'll think I'm screencapping Citizen Kane.

So, The Dwelling Place is about the fiercely beautiful and clever Cissie Brodie, who marries her rapist.



I'd like to say this is an unusual screencap, but it's not. We just sort of have to take the movie's word for it that she's smart and pretty, since she spends most of the movie staring blankly into space and marrying rapists.

Anyway, after her parents' death, Cissie packs up her passel of brothers and sisters and moves them all into a cave to prevent them having to go into the workhouse. Life sucks, and then it sucks more when the lord's son rapes her and she comes down with a case of bairnsketball. It's a searing commentary about the plight of the poor! Also, Cissie marries her rapist.

Era: 1830s
Heroine: Cissie Brodie, hardscrabble young lady who marries her rapist.
Siblings that require looking-after: Innumerable downtrodden siblings played by varyingly-talented child actors.
Illegitimate (Self or sibling): Her bairnsketball.
Asshole Father?: Check!
Romantic interest(s): Matthew Turnbull, the local carpenter; Clive Fischel, rapist.
Bairnsketballs: Oh, is there ever.
Fistfights: Does it count as a fistfight if you shoot your own sister?
Assaults: One rape, by a man she MARRIES LATER. OH MY GOD.

Maybe if our Joe hadn't set a trap for the rabbit… )
glvalentine: (Default)


We begin The Catherine Cookson Experience with "The Glass Virgin." This miniseries was the one that started it all - and stopped it all, since I didn't go back to another one for over a decade. By the end of my re-watch, I knew why.

The Glass Virgin is about a young girl, raised as gentility, who finds out she's actually the daughter of a whore and therefore socially untenable. Distraught, she leaves the house with estate groom (and total hottie) Manuel in tow. Will she make it in a cruel working world? Will he make it into a life as his own man? Will they, you know, Make It?

NOTE: These screencaps are awful. I can't do better. Think of it as part of the joy, like that soundstage echo in the 1970s Masterpiece Theatres.

Era: 1870s
Heroine: Annabella LeGrange, gentlewoman, seventeen, dumb as a sack of hair
Siblings that require looking-after: None, unless you count Annabella.
Illegitimate (Self or sibling): Self.
Asshole Father?: Check!
Romantic interest(s): Manual Mendoza, the groom at her estate
Bairnsketballs: None
Fistfights: Four

MANUEEEEEL! )

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Genevieve Valentine

September 2010

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