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Really enjoyed seeing this film, and it was a nice homage to the book - the characters are not screwed around with in their essence, which is a relief. I thought it could have been half an hour shorter - the book actually has more action (of a sort) and gives Therese more context at first - but it hits the main plot points well. The design and photography are gorgeous, and yes, a nice shout-out to 50's-style cigarette porn there as well.

I thought Cate's acting style was particularly mannered in this film, but given the context of 50's behaviour and film influences, it makes sense. Rooney Mara is perfect, although I was a bit irked that they changed her career aim from being a theatre set designer (since Carol instantly respected that in the novel, and it could not be construed as a cute little hobby like photography). They didn't make Harge an arsehole, which is great, and Sarah Paulson was perfect as Abby. I'm also glad they had a queer woman portraying one of the main characters. The scene near the end where Therese is being chatted up by a Patricia Highsmith lookalike at a party was an amusing touch.

This review pretty much sums up the rest of my thoughts on the film - not perfect, but it brings the period to life (even if ALL the cars are way too immaculate):
trixtah: (Default)
mmm mmmm Tina Fey.

And you know, I hope Lindsay Lohan pulls a Robert Downey Jr in terms of getting her shit together. But sooner. Hard to believe she's still only 24.

Geek fail

Jan. 17th, 2010 11:37 pm
trixtah: (Servalan)
I just watched the Star Trek movie, finally. Ok, I've never been a Trekkie, but I didn't mind the TV show as a kidlet (I liked it way better than Lost In Space). But am I the only person in the universe to think that the recent movie was essentially shite? Great cast, but the story sucked, the effects were trite and music was fucking annoying.

It was the story part that was the worst aspect - all the chicks in mini-skirts, James T Kirk driving sports cars (!) and futuristic motor bikes and being a Bad Boy™ until his True Worth™ is finally recognised and he is redeemed via the powah of finding his True Destiny™ as the Noble Captain™, because he Just Knows the Right Thing to Do At All Times™ (it's In His Blood™, don't you know). And he didn't even do the flirting with chicks thing well. Shatner at least managed to play the shagging-the-green-ladies bit with humour and actual panache, as opposed to the "How you doin'?'" style of this moron. And Shatner had better sideburns.

As for Spock and Uhura getting it on, WTF? And even more WTF without any backstory (or forwardstory) about their getting it on whatsoever (except for him getting a bit of a snog from her when Vulcan gets blown up - way to comfort someone) - so much for even bothering to try and sell that particular subplot. I've read fanfic from 17-year-olds that's more convincing in terms of character arc (and getting unlikely couples together).

Yeah, they threw in a couple of lines from the TV show and some visual gags (viz. green ladies), but it added up to a sticky half-melted mess of candy floss when you were hoping for nice buttery popcorn.

I'm even more amazed at the fact that this pile of crap was so highly rated. I think Roger Ebert's review was the only one that seemed near the mark, from my perspective. I would alter his final line: "If you want [shitty, bombastic, underdeveloped and unnuanced] space opera, you've got it." It's not even good sci-fi, even for the crappy standard of sci-fi in movies.

6/10, mainly for some good characterisation of everyone except Kirk (the Prodigal Bad Boy™ - there is a difference between pouty bad boy and proper mavericks) and Spock-the-younger (he's sooo emotional and conflicted and sad and girls want to kiss it better, gah!) and the baddie (let's get Eric Bana and waste him), and a couple of funny bits - Kirk running around an icy planet being chased by a giant bug seemed to be about the only scene that could have been seamlessly incorporated into the TV show.
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Albeit half an hour later than planned, which was already late enough. I went to see Inglourious Basterds while I was at a loose end in Goulburn. What an odd movie, and it didn't help that it's quite long, and I had to run out before it finished. Ah, 150 minute running time, and I thought it'd be over in 2 hours. Even if the train hadn't arrived 25 minutes late, I wouldn't have been able to see all of it (and it looks like the ending is crap, anyway). Still, Mélanie Laurent, the female lead, is very nice to look at, plays a kick-arse role, and doesn't end up anywhere near Brad Pitt. And it passed the time.

Certainly not one of Tarantino's best, although chunks of acting and dialogue were excellent. It's the premise and plotting that were kind of bizarre, and not in a good way, and stupid mucking around with facts (leaving aside the ending, which I'm not going to spoil, but, Jewish dairy farmers in France pre-WWII?). 6/10, mainly for the first scene, which was excellent, Mélanie Laurent and Christoph Waltz.
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A few weeks ago, I watched Deliver Us From Evil, the movie about a priest in the US who serially-abused dozens of children, while the Church, in its wisdom, shuffled the priest around various parishes in something that looked very much like an effort to cover things up rather than fix them. So much for pastoral care, eh? It's not like the Church doesn't have an option, even if they don't want to go through the "embarrassment" of a priest going through a criminal trial - they can lock their erring priesthood up in monasteries, if they so choose (not that I'm actually endorsing that as a solution for some bastard who's already committed a crime, but it might be a solution for those who think they might commit a crime).

Other than the shameful behaviour of the Catholic Church authorities - the movie over-eggs it by including some quotes about the origins of celibacy, as if that explains child-molestation, and might be seen to imply that child-abuse is an institutional agenda within the Church rather than a cover-up - the thing that gets me is the depth of pathology of the priest concerned. The movie features lengthy interviews with him, which are horrendously creepy in his utter incapacity to acknowledge the damage he's done (he's fairly frank about what he did, up to a point. Somehow "clothes were undone" and orgasms were had without any actors) or the depth of culpability he had. There was some allusion to childhood sexual activity with his siblings (in the context of an older abusive sibling), and it seems that he feels that it didn't damage him, so how are others so damaged? He even goes so far as to suggest meeting some of the adult children that he abused in the supposed aim of "creating a dialogue" - and writes them letters to that effect, in a wonderfully pastoral manner - so the depth of what is described as "dissociation" (and I would simply describe as "brokenness") is breathtaking. He "didn't expect a hug" but they could "talk". Fortunately, the invitation is withdrawn later, although some of the adult abused children the movie followed thought of taking him up on it.

And he's a charming twinkly Irish chappie, who still - still - gets all cheery and frank about his desire for children. He's obviously mightily enjoys describing his love of children for the camera - the creepy cheerfulness of it comes across even during archive footage of his court case. Ugh.

It's an upsetting movie in many ways. There is a scene where the Korean father of one of the children who was abused for years cries aloud at the abuse of trust of the priest who would stay in their home some nights and creep into the kid's room. It was hard to watch. The weaselling of the local bishop (and cardinal, as he works his way up the chain) and outright enabling of the situation is frankly horrific. It's that thing about indifference being the greatest of sins - he went out of the way to protect the reputation of the Church, and not any of the individuals (children and parents) entrusted to the pastoral "care" of the fucked-up priest. Not to get all Godwin about it, but people like him helped Himmler, Goebbels and Hitler achieve their aims while not necessarily being directly "culpable". They simply didn't care about anything except their power bases and personal agendas.

The movie had some faults. There was the part about the history of the Church and an implied history of the Church covering up sexual abuse, although a psychologist makes an interesting assertion that since the Church considers all sex to be bad in the context of the priesthood, child abuse might be perceived as nothing more "bad" than that. What the movie didn't manage to express was the fact that the Church has a history of covering up or attempting to suppress every fucking thing that might impinge on its power. Child abuse - to the Church hierarchy, in the main - is nothing more or less than another annoyingly embarrassing fact, like Galileo and his planets revolving around the sun. There was also a completely fucking pointless journey of three of the adult abused children to Rome, to present their grievances. So, unannounced, they turn up to some Vatican audience day with cameras, and it's supposed to be all shock-horror when they aren't admitted. Then there's another cheap shot with their visiting a church to pray subsequently. That kind of thing annoys me when Michael Moore does it (as the AV Club review mentions), and it annoyed me even more here. Completely unnecessary. The Slate review gives a good overview, even down to the frigging annoying use of Hallelujah in the end credits. 

So, I'd give it an 7.5 out of 10, given the amazing footage of the priest, and some of the connections which get drawn. Not a date movie, though, as one of the reviews points out.

Then this weekend, I watched Jesus Camp, about the evangelical Christians who run brainwashing sessions evangelical study camps for young children. One of the first scenes in the movie involves a fervent prayer session with young children praying in "tongues". I almost turned it off then and there - just revolting. I am someone who very much dislikes parents who induce their kids to make overt political statements - yes, I get discomforted with kids wearing "My two mommies are gay" t-shirts, seriously. Yes, take them to the Pride parade, but don't frigging make them your little placards.

So, yes, these kids are being encouraged to fight holy wars, and are being fed a diet of statements like "SIN=DEATH". Seriously, if you're showing kids a slideshow where you have five and six-year-olds in the audience, and you're giving them that message, you're fucked in the head. The woman pastor who runs the camps, though, is obviously very much a believer and is very good at what she does. It's very much the "love bomb" technique, complete with plenty of whiffs of brimstone just in case. Her convincing engagement contrasts with Ted Haggard, who is also briefly in the movie, and who comes across as a patronising fuckwad, which is no surprise. One scene that was interesting was with this poor kid (7 or 8) who confessed his struggles about believing all of the Bible (the scene is discussed in this review). The total incomprehension of most of his audience was - frankly - chilling. Then there was the 9-year-old girl who has a habit of evangelising people in public places - when a group of middle-aged black men relaxing in a park asserted that yes, they were certain of going to heaven, she speculated that they were "probably Muslims". Honestly.

What I could have done without in the movie was the really really crappy ambientish music - what is it about some indie movies and the electronic composers they hook up with? - and the annoying "liberal" radio host who was supposed to translate to us just how fucked up some of that stuff was. Thank you, I can make up my own mind. The AV Club review is one I pretty much agree with - 6 out of 10 for the amount of access they got to the subjects, but minus points for repetitiveness, the stupid radio host and the crap music.

But yes, both of these movies were interesting in how children can be there to serve the agendas of certain adults - I think the Jesus Camp movie highlighted it in particular. Sure, the kids seemed healthy and they were certainly engaged with the aims that the adults projected upon them... but how contingent do they feel that the love and approval they get now is? What are the underlying fears? Given the SIN=DEATH equation, that part seemed pretty obvious.

Two movies

May. 24th, 2009 09:13 pm
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I went to see Wolverine on Friday night, and was sitting there thinking that, despite the fact it massively FAILs the Bechdel test (ok, two sisters exchange a couple of sentences on how to escape the baddies), the movie was entirely about the female gaze. Hugh wearing his white tank, Hugh in uniform, Hugh wearing his nice-fitting jeans, Hugh bending over in his nice-fitting jeans, Hugh with no shirt on at all, Hugh completely naked (no full-frontal, of course). He had an attractive, but not super-gorgeous, girlfriend; she seemed to represent Every Woman. So, sure, there was a bit of homoeroticism in there, but they were definitely playing for the female market without it being a "chick flick". It was interesting.

I'm trying to think of other instances: Joss Whedon certainly has something to answer for, with Angel and Firefly/Serenity, although they were pretty even-handed with the genders of lust-objects. I'm racking my brains for other movies targeting females so obviously, without exactly being "chick flicks" - I'm not that up on popular culture, though. Oh, Troy and 300, but I thought they tipped the balance somewhat more towards homoeroticism.

On the "most definitely a chick flick" front, I watched The Devil Wears Prada just before. I enjoyed it, although most of the hm, cultural background went way over my head. There was some woman I thought, "oh, she's vaguely familiar", and it was Heidi Klum - all the other celebs mentioned in the credits were people I did not recognise at all. The only label I recognised out of the myriad clothes and accessories was the Chanel sunglasses that Anne Hathaway was sporting at one point.

Anyway, good movie with an interestingly feminist message. It definitely passes the Bechdel test, heh. Interesting defence of the role of fashion in the world - they made some good points about art being art, and why not have pleasure in it (it certainly didn't redeem the entire industry for me, but it's a good perspective). I liked that Anne Hathaway shagged another man than the non-entity kind-of-ex-boyfriend, and the world didn't end (ie. there were no consequences at all). I liked the fact that they pointed out that while the Meryl Streep character was hard and ambitious, neither of those things would be commented on in a man. As for Meryl Streep herself, is there anything the woman can't do?
trixtah: (Tattoo)
Haircut, yayaayay. My new hairdresser is such a dude - he put me onto a new musical genre called "Igloo", which I'm having troubles tracking down. He's an old dnb man from way back, so I would assume his recs to at least somewhat intersect with my tastes (although he doesn't like dubstep - too two-steppy for him, but I don't get that sense from it).

Rant about fuckwit at tattoo shop )

In more productive news, I got four cream coloured and nicely-textured cushions that won't clash with my couches. I also got a cocktail shaker and some Grand Marnier, so it'll be margaritas tomorrow, baybeh. Also, I got the makings for sangria, which I haven't done in ages. There was a NZ syrah (NZ-grown shiraz is often labelled thus, due to the more French style they tend to put out) I spotted at the booze shop called "The Underarm". This made me LOL; it's been a while. ;-) On a more serious note, it sounds like a tasty wine, so I'll get it another time. However, the $10 tempranillo for the sangria was what I was there for. Something cooling for this weather!

I also went to see Milk this evening. It's a good movie, and Sean Penn was great. I'll give it a B+, because the pacing was kind of strange. I'm glad it's getting prominence, because I think it's important for people to know their queer history. Harvey Milk was obviously of his time and place, but he certainly influenced the gay rights movement and its level of political engagement in many countries, including my own.

I had a woman sit next to me in the movie theatre, who I had a brief chat with (she asked if the seat were free and what I was reading), and who looked very stereotypically straight - very slender, trendy clothing, very done hair. However, she was extremely engaged in the movie, to the point of quite earnestly crying in the final scenes. Perhaps she does that with all movies, but it certainly made me wonder what it was about the movie that spoke to her. Hm.

Then sushi at Tasuke and home to melt a bit more.
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bold the ones you've seen, underline the ones you've started and didn't finish and asterisk the ones you own.

I'm also going to italicise the ones I really like, since I only own about a dozen DVDs.
Read more... )

47/100 that I actually finished watching.
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Yes, it's very sad: I'm actually looking forward to the new Get Smart movie. I loved the original TV programme when I was a kidlet (hm, gadgets and Agent 99... I wonder why?), and it looks like they've managed to update it without losing the fun silliness of the original. As long as it doesn't tip over into outright stupidity, I'll be happy. I like Monty Python, Mel Brooks, and, um, Leslie Nielsen movies, though, so my "stupidity tolerance" is probably reasonably high.

Also, Malcolm McDowell Terence Stamp and Anne Hathaway dressed up as a Catholic schoolgirl. And gadgets. What else does one want?

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[ profile] stormkpr indirectly reminded me that part of the reason I don't like fairy tales in general is their often moralising tone. I don't like parables either.

The moral of Stardust, as presented in the movie, is that love is unconditional. You know, you don't make the young suitor go off and bring you back a fallen star so as to "prove" his love.

<rant on> I hate that. Of course love is fucking conditional. There are personality quirks and behaviours that make you fall in love with that person. There is the underlying sense of passion, shared goals and compatibility that makes you stay in love with that person. There is the avoidance of unrecoverable fuck-up behaviour or too-divergent paths on both sides that don't kill the love. If those aren't conditions, I don't know what are.

And yes, love does have to be proven. Not necessarily by way of showering gifts or doing X thing (like standing in a church while a strange ritual is enacted over you). But love needs to be demonstrated in such ways that the demonstrator truly feels and that the demonstratee can truly perceive. If that doesn't happen - in whatever way works for both participants - love is not sustainable.

If those feelings and willingness to enact them only go one way, then it's sure as hell not love, it's infatuation. And even that is conditional on the object of infatuation maintaining whatever it is that is so attractive - good looks, "coolness", whatever - or the infatuated person remaining in their state of mental aberration.

So, yeah, each time that particular line came up in the movie, my eyeballs went into a spasm of rolling around in my head for five minutes, so it was distracting. If they were saying, "love isn't selfish", well, ok. It wasn't framed that way, unfortunately.
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Damn, sucked in by the reviews. I don't like Gaiman, and I don't like fairy stories, but since all the reviews hyped this "wonderful fantasy film", I thought it might be worth seeing. Alas, no. It's still a fairy story and it's still Gaimanesque (although I'm sure with way less of the creepy stuff he would have included in the novel, which I didn't read). Meh.

Evil witches and (not-quite-so) innocent maidens to rescue. >yawn< There were a few vaguely entertaining moments, including Robert De Niro as a screaming queen, although I note he failed to get properly "dressed". The movie hit a lot of fairy story tropes, but didn't play with them. And, you know, it felt like the same old tired sexist shit. Even Shrek manages to put much more amusing spin on all those things.

I still haven't put my finger on why I like fantasy and yet not fairy stories. Speaking of fantasy movies, I love The Princess Bride. But it's not a fairy story, although it's still boy-gets-girl. Westley doesn't discover he's really a prince. It's not magic that drives the plot. And it is actually funny, and does actually play with the tropes too. Hm.

Stardust wasn't a complete waste of money, but I would much rather have waited for the DVD, if I had to see it at all. Some nice cinematography, though.

ETA: Fixered wonky HMTL!


Aug. 11th, 2007 04:17 pm
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[ profile] dot_queer_snark has broken the 100 user threshold! Unfortunately, it hasn't updated in a few weeks, since all the fodderqueer communities I follow have been relatively sane lately. Damnit. Some of those 100 other users had better start coming up with the goods! :-)

What I also need to do is start posting some content in [ profile] queerly_open, since I haven't really gotten the ball rolling there yet, and there have been some het-poly assumptions that have given me food for thought lately.

Also today, I reactivated an aborted gym membership (hassles with direct debits got that mucked up) and went and tortured myself a bit today. It was fun. Also, without particularly trying, I've somehow managed to lose about 3 kilos in the last few months. Tai chi is helping, I'm sure, and limiting the amount of eating out I was doing undoubtedly has too. I'm not focussed on weight per se, but I do like feeling strong and somewhat muscular. It's unlikely I'll lose much more weight with exercise - in fact, I'll probably gain it again once I build up a bit (I've hovered around 80kg for the last decade) - but having a bit of sleek definition (if that's not a contradiction in terms) isn't such a bad thing either.

Also regarding tai chi, it has really helped my knee get back into shape. I've been striding along when I walk in almost my old manner. It is still a bit tight around the ligaments down the side and gives me the occasional twinge, but it's much much better.

The interesting thing is that now my knee is getting nicely strengthened, my right ankle is feeling quite a bit more delicate. I've badly sprained it a number of times in the past, and it's part of the reason I fucked my knee in the first place - if I place my foot the wrong way, the ligaments are so lax (and were lax even before the sprains) that I a) don't notice the fact I'm going beyond the point of no return as quickly as most would; and b) recovering from when I do notice is pretty much impossible. If my foot lands even slightly badly, I go over. So, I've been feeling aches and tension in my ankle ligaments, and I'm hoping that means I'm using it better now that my knee is more normal, and the tai chi is doing its thing there too. Fingers crossed!

Also apropos of nothing at all, I finally ripped my Region 2 copy of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (more than 3 years since I last watched it, agh), only to find I'd selected the English soundtrack (and the subtitles)! Heh. So wrong! So, another three hours reripping to Mandarin. ::sigh:: My next project is to rip D.E.B.S. (so sue me, I like the occasional cheezy movie), and edit in the sexy scene that got the chop. If anyone wants to check out the somewhat more edgy short that the feature movie was based on, it's here. That is lesbo movie-making and dyke drama that makes me laugh (faults n all).

Oh, and if you want to look at more short movie-making by Angela Robinson - amusing "noir" stuff, although one of the leads annoys me - check out Girltrash. They're 3 minute clips, and it's up to episode 9. There are some fun lines, and Episode 6 with Rose Rollins in the laundromat is priceless. Due to the "bitty" nature of the episodes, it's not exactly high art, but it's pretty fun.
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Well, I just got to see Itty Bitty Titty Committee. It's a "look at grassroots-style feminist groups and the feisty young women who run them."

It follows a bunch of lesbo-anarcho-feminists in a group who run around shagging each other and carrying out "actions". I would probably have loved it 15 years ago, and it's kind of cute and amusing with the mild piss-takes of earnest queer/feminist politics. But it felt incredibly dated. Well, ok, there is a t/g character, and they have a website and mini camcorder. But they are listening to riot grrl punk (does anyone who wasn't around at the time actually buy Sleater-Kinney nowadays?), buying and making zines, reading 70's and 80's rad fem works, and not looking at anyone's website except their own. Oh, and they text each other as well. But does anyone have a standalone answer machine that's not their mobi's voicemail these days?

Really, it added up to adolescent dyke drama, lots of outmoded politics and passé music to me. The director, Jamie Babbit, is nearly my age, and I liked But I'm a Cheerleader. The humour about the "scene" was very reminiscent of that movie. But something supposedly situated today should actually be situated in the present. Or, if she had made the movie about the Queer Nation days of the early 90s, it would have been fine.

The cast were good, and quite a lot of the stuff portrayed was excruciatingly familiar. Maybe that's part of the reason I really felt like Jenny Shimizu's grumpy eye-rolling character throughout - been there, done that, and I don't need to relive it again (what was done at the time politically was valuable in many respects, and the whole ACT-UP/QN thing was very energising, but strategies and politics evolve, even if many of the issues haven't). And the interpersonal fuckups were too horribly real - amusing at times, but also cringeworthy.  God, maybe I am getting middle-aged. Unfortunately, Jamie Babbit's attempt to shoehorn nostalgia into a modern setting didn't really work for me.

6½ out of 10, for the sharply-observed characters and interpersonal stuff, even if I thought throughout, "Thank god I'm no longer 19!!" And, actually, the portrayal of the political shenanigans too, even if it is 15 years late. But I had to subtract 2 points for outdatedness and at least half for the movie name: " on-campus group called the Itty Bitty Titty Committee, whose focus is to empower women who suffer from D-cup envy." Obviously I've been a little too subsumed in some of those retro values when I find it not at all amusing from the viewpoint of someone suffering from less-than-D-cup envy. Or maybe real feminists really do have small tits. (I know, I know... it made me grumpy, as I say).
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The latest POTC is a pile of pants. I laughed precisely twice in the entire bloody drawn-out mess. Lopping off an entire hour would not have been wasted at all... and speaking of waste, what possessed the cast to do it? The joys of contracts, I suppose. I actually didn't mind the resolution, but the whole lead-up was crap with a big crap on top. (Oooh, I said crap, again!)

[ profile] saluqi had some questions about people's perceptions of owners of pure-bred dogs (as she is), and elicited some interesting results. Firstly, the old chestnut that mutts are in some way "healthier" than pure-breds. Well, no. Look at elementary genetics. Let's say one dog is perfectly healthy, and the second dog has hip displasia, and the hip displasia is controlled by a recessive gene (I'm assuming). To actually suffer from the displasia, the second dog needs to have both bad genes. If the two dogs breed, all their offspring will have one healthy gene and one displasia gene, but won't show any symptoms (if it's recessive). If two of those offspring breed, they will have 25% chance of a pup with the displasia - it will have inherited both bad genes. 75% of the offspring will not develop the problem, although 50% can still pass the bad gene on.

(ETA: I buggered up the second row with my IIs and iis - the middle two white ones should be around the other way. Duh.)

Now, in the next generation, there is a chance of "outbreeding" the bad trait, by selecting only the 25% of offspring with the good genes to breed from, or breeding that good 25% with the 50% that have a mixed inheritance, and thus reducing the incidence of the mixed-gene strain to only 25% of the offspring. And so on. Of course, you can do the opposite and "inbreed" an undesirable gene in exactly the same way.

Breeding everything in sight to a poodle and calling it a "designer" dog is just bollocks. Assuming that the hypoallergenic coat (one of the things these *oodle mixes are promoted on) is a dominant trait, your first generation will be ok in that respect. After that, who knows what you'll end up with? The only advantage with cross-breeding dogs is that the German shepherd cross is perhaps less likely to have a displasia gene if perhaps the other parent comes from a breed that doesn't usually manifest the problem. Tough shit if your cross is with a golden retriever (just as much chance of it being there).

To evolve a breed's characteristics, some inbreeding has had to be done, of course, to "fix" the qualities that are being looked for. And given the health and/or skeletal problems some breeds have, like bulldogs, bassets, pugs and so on, I wouldn't own one of those. But that is due more to mechanical problems (the basset's back is often too long to support its weight comfortably, for example) resulting from bad design, and not paying attention to side-effects. With the Victorian craze for "dominating nature" in every respect they could come up with, no wonder some stupidities resulted. Responsible breeders these days will only select from the animals who are healthy and epitomise the breed.

With responsibly-bred purebred dogs, you at least know what you're getting. A proper breeder knows the parents' lines, and will not be breeding dogs with any inheritable issues. I would never buy an animal from a pet shop ("pure bred" or not) because you don't have a clue what you're getting. A responsible breeder does not sell their prized animals to a shop for $50 where any Tom, Dick or Harry can buy one with no vetting. They will only sell to a responsible person who will invest several hundred dollars in their pet. Such breeders will always insist that the animals are returned to them (not dumped in a shelter) if the owner can no longer take care of them.

Personally, I'm not so invested in a particular breed (yet) that I'll go out of my way to obtain a purebred pup. I'd probably take a rescue dog that is of a mature age. Preferably something like a retired greyhound, or an adult that has had a decent home life and has had to be surrendered for a specific non-behavioural reason. I will not adopt "cute puppies" that some idiot has allowed his mongrel bitch to give birth to (and which are often the cull animals that some backyard "breeder" hasn't been able to foist onto a pet shop).

Some people might make the argument that there are too many dogs in the world, and we should only be adopting the rescue ones. Well, the same thing could be said about babies - there are a hell of a lot of those, and perhaps we should only be adopting the abandoned ones? Actually, I think many people would agree that there are too many babies and pets being born without the appropriate consideration and care. I'd rather have a carefully bred pedigree dog or cat that has been nurtured every second of its life, and which was bred to highlight and maintain the qualities of a particular breed, than any neglected and ill-bred mutt that happens to end up in a pet shop. It's not "rescuing" one to buy from those places - people get paid, and so they produce more to exploit the market. And what do you think happens to those cute puppies that don't sell?


Jan. 7th, 2007 09:08 pm
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Ok, has finally succeeded in killing me. Ducklings! Little flappy wings! David Attenborough! Hilarious music!

On the other moving pictures front, I went to see The Queen today. It's about the reaction of the Royal Family to Princess Di's death, and the manoeuvrings of the newly-elected Labour government at the time. What an excellent movie. Helen Mirren just gets better and better. And the guy who played Tony Blair, Michael Sheen, was perfect too. I was the only person in the theatre who laughed when a flunky told Blair that Gordon Brown was on the phone, and he said, "Tell him to wait". Ho ho.

But there were a number of funny moments throughout, as there were poignant ones. I liked the Queen's interaction with the king stag, and all the associated symbolism. I also liked how her handling of her dogs and her vehicles compared and contrasted with her handling of human beings and the situation. The photography was awesome, with some great shots of the Highlands.

I didn't really like the way that Cherie Blair was played as a bit of a smart-arse. While she's always been reasonably frank about her political opinions, I think she's way too intelligent to have been such a smirking schoolgirl about them. Prince Phillip is played perfectly by James Cromwell, in that I wanted to shoot him with his own shotgun. Prince Charles was played by Alex Jennings, who gave him possibly a bit too much of a wimpish affect, but he handled the emotional stuff well.

The Salon review is actually one of the few of Stephanie Zarcharek's where I think she mainly hits it on the head. The Guardian fills in more of the gaps from the UK perspective. It's definitely worth heading along to. It's sympathetic, but not sycophantic, and is an interesting look at the possible behind-the-scenes events relating to those mad times in England.
trixtah: (Default)
I finally went to see Shortbus at the movies while I was up in Sydney yesterday. If you haven't heard about it, it's notable for featuring real sex (and it's not a porno).

You know, it was alright. I liked the way that the sex was integrated into the story, and the acting was pretty decent. However, I think that fact that it was created improvisationally detracted from the plot (of which there is bugger-all, but you can have good movies despite that - look at Aliens) and characterisation.

Cut for spoileries and sexinesses. )

In sum, it was kind of cute, I liked the integration of sex and story, there were some very amusing bits, but the gaps in storyline/character development didn't work for me. B-, mainly for innovativeness and cuteness.
trixtah: (Default)
Jesus fucking christ.

No, really. Jesus fucking christ.

If anyone can sit through that movie and be unaffected, there is something seriously wrong with them.

I thought it'd be not too far away from yer usual Hollywood treatment - following the Heroes through their last hours, noble speeches, cloying sentimentality, heavy-handed politics, yadda yadda. There was none of that. None at all. No speeches, no heroes, no cheesy dramatics. In short, restraint. Not that the subject matter wasn't shocking in itself.

For me, it was after lunch at work when we learned what was going on. One of the guys in the next office was looking at the Beeb website and saw the news come in. We promptly fired up CNN (which was amazingly quick - one advantage of working at a university on the London MAN), just in time to see the next plane hit the other tower.

If you saw it live, you know exactly what you felt then - this movie's impact is an order of magnitude higher.

And it's a good time of year to go see it, if it's still on where you are.
trixtah: (Default)
As I mentioned, I saw the X-Men movie on Sunday evening, and did my usual perving over Famke Janssen.  It galled me that Wolverine wimped out from his manly duty when she jumped him (and I did like seeing Hugh Jackman with his shirt off again, but I wish he'd get better haircuts in RL). But maybe I have a thing for (not too) castrating bitches. Speaking of lust objects, I don't normally do the androgenous thing, but I certainly got my drool on for the actress who played Arclight (second from right, here) in the movie, Omahyra Mota. mmm hmmm.

I'm now thinking of other actors I have the hots for (not in any particular order):

Pascale Bussières (from When Night is Falling, but she is just as stunning in anything. Phwooar.)
Jodhi May (brains AND gorgeousness, who can resist?)
Jada Pinkett-Smith (for general cuteness and attitude)
Karina Lombard (who played Marina in The L Word). The only thing I think when I look at that woman is "Holy hell".
Daniel Day Lewis (when he and I were both younger)
Michelle Yeoh (not only does she look good, but she can move)
Joseph Fiennes (ok, one of the few men at whom I went "mmm" at first sight. Such a pretty mouth and eyes)
Natalie Portman (she's just getting better as she gets older)
Ziyi Zhang (while we're talking seemingly-ethereal-but-core-of-steel)
Matthew Macfadyen (he's got a nice accent, although I do prefer him with his hair a la Darcy)
Jessica Alba (alright, alright, pure eyecandy).
Rachel Weisz (only reason I went to see Constantine)
Keanu Reeves (ok, I lied about Constantine. I just wish he would never open his mouth. Ever.)
Drew Barrymore (do I need to say anything here?)
Gina Torres
(Zoe from Firefly. But I think every single female character from that series is delicious. Amazing).
Lucy Lawless (my one claim to ...something was that I met her at a party in Auckland in the late 80s. There you go)

Honorable mentions:

Like everyone else in the world, I wouldn't chuck Angelina Jolie out of bed. And Sean Maher from Firefly gets the award for best shirtless male EVAH.

Le weekend

May. 28th, 2006 08:52 pm
trixtah: (Default)
Well, I had a delightful weekend. Bought some new jeans, very exciting. Although they only seem to do black jeans with the stovepipe legs these days. Since I'm not a boy with hips narrower than my waist, I had to forgo them. Still, the kind of not-quite-black bootcut boys' jeans I ended up getting are pretty comfy. I just have to get 6 inches of excess trimmed off the bottom. *sigh*

I also bought some foam to stick under my fucking useless futon mattress. If you're after a good-quality, 5-layer futon (wool/cotton/foam/cotton/wool), do not go to Futons Express in Canberra (no linkie for them). The super-duper expensive "sumo" mattress hasn't even lasted a year - I can feel the slats when I lie on my side. And yes, I turn it every week and give it a thump.

Actually, I just looked at their site, and they do have a diagram of the 8" sumo mattress. There is only 2 inches of foam (which must be the crappiest kind), "4 layers" of cotton, and what looks like a miniscule layer of wool (an inch in total)? I didn't see that diagram before I bought it, or else I wouldn't have got it. Serves me right for not asking at the time.

When I got it, I was thinking of a certain brand of futons they sell in NZ, where the primo 6" mattress has a 2" coco fibre core, surrounded by an inch of latex on each side, and then an inch of  wool for the final layers. Maybe I should just get another bed - and I've found a new shop in Canberra that appears to do decent bases, with rubber mounts for the slats - but the only decent mattress manufacturer here appears to be in Melbourne. I'll try the shop in Sydney next time I'm up, but they look as dodgy as the Futons Express ones.
Cut for Saturday night date trivia )

Today, I drove around some obscure country towns - I felt like a scenic drive - and went to see X-Men, which wasn't quite as fun as I was hoping it to be. The ending was frankly stupid - I don't know how they got from the chaos of the 5 minutes before to all the lovely hearts and flowers at the end. What was stuck in as "light relief" was irritating, and Vinnie Jones should hold his fucking head in a bucket of water (or perhaps concrete would be better) for at least the next decade or so. There was maybe 15 minutes' dialogue in the whole thing? No character development to speak of, except Jean's (and "development" is kind of relative, here). Although I laughed at the part with the Golden Gate Bridge. Hm, entertaining, but I liked the last one better.

Also, the person the row behind me who ate her fucking popcorn with her mouth wide open throughout the entire movie - one kernel every 20 seconds, audible in the noisy parts, like a fucking overgrown rodent nibbling celery stalks - should be forced to eat it through her nose next time. God, it was irritating, and something I couldn't tune out. She'd eat faster in the exciting bits. And in the few times there was dialogue, she would punctuate it with her fucking crunchcrunchcrunch. Oh, and to all the people who laughed uproariously at the promo for the sexist retro bullshit that's Adam Sandler's latest vehicle (Click)? You're all fuckwits. So there.

But, you know, I had a great weekend.


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