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Film

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

A hot mess of a film with too many characters doing too many things, great character moments, and a less than able grasp on things like plot structure—so, an X-Men movie. Definitely fun, definitely silly, and I definitely enjoyed myself.

Television

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “Bounty Hunters,” “The Zillo Beast,” “The Zillo Beast Strikes Back,” “Death Trap”

Here’s why Palpatine is the best: he’s flexible in his nefarious deeds! When he can’t kill the Zillo beast on his own in his secret evil lab, he allows it to be set loose so the Jedi can murder it for him. Whatta guy.

Project Progress

Parks and Recreation: 0% (0/7)
Sailor Moon: 23.1% (3/13)
Saturday Night Live: 22.5% (9/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Film

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Almost as ideologically chewy as Captain America: Winter Soldier, but definitely lesser than that film, because it’s both more of an Avengers movie and has to set up certain pieces on the great chess board of the franchise. The Russos do well—very well—with that, but it’s still not as tight.

Project Progress

Parks and Recreation: 0% (0/7)
Sailor Moon: 23.1% (3/13)
Saturday Night Live: 22.5% (9/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Film

Humpday (2009)

Well-executed… but very much navel-gazing white dude indie shenanigans.

Music

AWOL Nation, Megalithic Symphony

Hostile and earnest in equal measure, which certainly appeals to me. Stand outs: “All I Need,” “People,” “Jump on my Shoulders”, and “Wake Up.”

AWOL Nation, Run

Second verse, similar to the first, but more scattered on the edges. “Hollow Moon” is obviously the purest and most danceable distillation of this attitude, but “Woman Woman,” an otherwise lovely song about loving someone, is still dotted with melancholy and promises of a better future.

Television

Agent Carter, “Better Angels”

How is this show so aggressively good? Like. Criticizing it only makes the showrunners thoughtfully reevaluate and organically tool it to be better. All the characters are interesting (or have interesting hooks, like Jack, who is trying to do the right thing—in the power structure that rewards men like him because I’m assuming daddy issues), the dialogue is snappy and great, Dr. Wilkes and Peggy are amazing together, and somebody eats a Sklar brother. The hits just keep on coming.

Saturday Night Live, "Rhonda Rousey/Selena Gomez"

This happened, I guess?

Project Progress

Parks and Recreation: 0% (0/7)
Sailor Moon: 23.1% (3/13)
Saturday Night Live: 20% (8/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Film

The Princess Diaries (2001)

“Lilly, you are a terrible friend!”

Music

Asia, Aqua

“Crimes of the Heart” feels like the platonic ideal of soft rock anthem about crying over a girl. I like it.

Asia, Phoenix, XXX, Gravitas

…I definitely listened to these this week.

Television

Agent Carter, “The Lady in the Lake”

The greatest show on television is back and they actually listened to the fans when they said they wanted more diversity!

Agent Carter, “A View in the Dark”

I love Peggy and Violet being instant friends (because I’m so sick of women competing against each other for dudes); I think Wendy is going to be a really fascinating villain; and Dr. Wilkes is awesome. And ugh, Peggy and Jarvis’ perfect banter.

Saturday Night Live, “Adam Driver/Chris Stapleton”

…well, I guess I’m on the Adam Driver train now.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Drumhead”

A politically very interesting episode, with Admiral Norah Satie using a saboteur onboard the Enterprise to further her xenophobic goals. Jean Simmons crushes it.

Project Progress

Parks and Recreation: 0% (0/7)
Sailor Moon: 23.1% (3/13)
Saturday Night Live: 20% (8/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Fanfiction

Star Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi/Qui-Gon Jinn, “Hour that is mine” by randomalia (spilinski)

Looks like my sci-fi ships are all about the tragedy of surviving your beloved and living on a desert planet. Obi-Wan contemplates what he’s lost in exile, and I cry a thousand buckets.

Star Wars, “Hope’s Worth is Written with a Golden Quill” by akathecentimere

A fic about Obi-Wan rediscovering his purpose during his first year on Tatooine. Delicious feels.

Star Wars, “Reunion” by Nix (CrimsonQuills)

Force ghost kisses and Luke’s blessing. The only kind of fluff I will allow for this ship.

Fanvid

Agent Carter, “1941” by rhoboat

Snappy, fun, and features a honk sound for Peggy honking Steve’s pec. FLAWLESS.

Star Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi/Qui-Gon Jinn, “My Immortal” by sian1359

Tripping over this while rifling through the prequels fandom’s corpse’s pockets was monumental, to say the least. Oh, does this take me back.

Film

Carol (2015)

Pitch perfect and lush, but Blanchett’s choices as Carol reminded me too much of my mom to be comfortable.

Television

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Night Terrors”

A pretty meh episode to ease back into the project, although Beverly in the morgue is a truly effective frightfest.

Project Progress

Parks and Recreation: 0% (0/7)
Sailor Moon: 23.1% (3/13)
Saturday Night Live: 20% (8/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Music

Kate Bush, Aerial

Notable tracks: “King of the Mountain” and “Pi.” “King of the Mountain” is amazing.

Television

Agent Carter, “Time and Tide”

IT’S THE GREATEST SHOW ON TELEVISION! Some nicely juicy backstory on Jarvis, Peggy coming to terms with the fact that she now has to work from the shadows (you’re a spy, Peggy!), and enough Krzemenski to make me like him as the Harvey Bullock of Agent Carter, but then he bites it. Also: Angie wanting to immediately get drunk, eat pie, and throw up with Peggy. She’s got it bad. I LOVE THIS SHOW.

Sailor Moon, “Protect Chibi-Usa: Clash of the Ten Warriors”

Usagi learns a little bit more about the future, but not because Chibi-Usa tells her directly; she overhears her talking to Puu.

Sailor Moon, “Awaken the Sleeping Beauty: Mamoru’s Distress”

THIS IS SUCH A STUPID SUBPLOT. Why is Mamoru staying away from Usagi? Okay, he’s having nightmares that tell him that she’ll die if they get married. Did you forget the part where she’s a superhero and you… you kind of do nothing? I assumed they would finally get back together at the end of the episode, since Chibi-Usa explicitly compares them to the fairy tale Usagi was reading her at the beginning of the episode, but no. Ughghghghg.

Sailor Moon, “Battle of the Flames of Love! Mars vs. Koan”

Here’s what I love about Sailor Moon—the sympathy of it. Koan—and her sisters!—are being heartily manipulated by Rubeus, but Koan stays because she loves him. When Sailor Mars realizes that Koan has been lied to and manipulated and has never had a chance at being an ordinary person, she takes it upon herself to try and help her. And the Guardians do help her, because that’s what they do. They help people.

Saturday Night Live, “Dick Cavett/Jimmy Cliff”

A decent show—Cavett is game, but has no range—but there’s something really fascinating about seeing little baby Lorne Michaels tie John Belushi’s shoes together during a sketch and failing to move out of shot in time. Lorne’s presence on the show in recent years has been as frowning authority figure—refusing to join in the “Chandelier” dance, barely having any patience with the “Lasercats” sketches—so to see him young and fresh and a bit of a scamp is so odd. The past is another country.

Also, “Dance to the Nation” is a fantastic sketch and I love Jane Curtin forever.

Saturday Night Live, “Peter Boyle/Al Jarreau”

Boyle is a very warm, sweet presence, which is perfect for Valentine’s Day. “All-Pro Wrestling” pits the bees against the WASPs (Chevy Chase, of course, wears Converse with his costume, because asshole can’t commit). “Dueling Brandos” is a fantastic concept, well-executed. “Household Orgy” is so deliriously and wonderfully weird—I just love Curtin’s character frantically spouting utterly nonsense that still totally sounds like a commercial to dodge suspicion.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Film

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

Muddy and overblown with all the weight of a bad video game cutscene, but the cast does what it can. A middling note for Jackson’s Middle-Earth to go out on.

Music

Kate Bush, The Red Shoes

Notable: “Lily” and “Big Stripey Lie.”

Television

Agent Carter, “Now Is Not The End”

IT’S THE GREATEST SHOW ON TELEVISION. It’s Peggy Carter doing awesome stuff for 44 minutes. It’s a superhero show without superpowers (mostly). It’s a show to quench the thirst of any Marvel-loving feminist.

Agent Carter, “Bridge and Tunnel”

IT’S THE GREATEST SHOW ON TELEVISION. Peggy in disguises! English people having polite fights! Jarvis gently offering his support to Peggy because she needs it! Playing with the cultural legacy of Cap! Peggy physically overpowering ANYONE! SCREAM.

Galavant, “Pilot”

A fantastic set-up, although it only sticks the landing about 80% of the time. Joshua Sasse, who plays Galavant, lacks a certain zing because he’s just so gosh darn handsome. CAMP IT UP, SASSE. Also: Karen David and Luke Youngblood and Darren Evans are fantastic.

Galavant, “Joust Friends”

80s style training montages in a medieval musical? PLEASE AND THANK YOU. The best gag, however, is Isabella “horse riding” Galavant.

Saturday Night Live, “Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Neil Sedaka”

Neil Sedaka is a robot and Peter Cook and Dudley Moore are done professionally with each other.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Fanvids

Marvel Comics, Steve/Bucky, “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” by trelkez

It’s rare to see good fanvids made from comics, but Ken Burns, eat your heart out. Hilarious and heartwrenching.

Film

22 Jump Street (2014)

As I suspected, superior to the first! The fourth wall takes incredible amounts of abuse as tons of money is thrown into the Jump Street program in order for Schmidt and Jenko to do the same thing as last time, but the two idiots finally figure out that it isn’t like last time. I heartily appreciate the meta, but Lord and Miller do more visual comedy here, whereas 21 Jump Street’s pacing seemed to indicate that a lot of it was from the “film them improving!” school of comedy. (Hilariously, Jenko despises improv in this film.) Upon moving into their shared dorm, the boys inventory all the cool stuff they’ve gotten. Since Schmidt and Jenko go through a rough patch in their relationship, split screen is utilized brilliantly, especially with a contrasting drug trip (insecure Schmidt has a nightmare; oblivious Jenko floats around in sweats on a tiny Lamborghini) and Schmidt and Jenko simultaneously realizing that a life without each other kinda blows. (Fun fact: Schmidt isn’t celebrating his thirtieth birthday alone in a restaurant; he’s celebrating Jenko’s. A THOUSAND TEARS!)

And it’s a smidge… well, I want to say more diverse, because there’s more ladies involved, but it also contains a scene whose humor is derived from the fact that a once be-penised gentleman now has a vagina and is forcing Dave Franco into a sexual relationship. C’mon, y’all. You’re better than that. Literally: Jenko takes a course about human sexuality and actively stops using gay slurs and shames others for using them. (There’s also a blink and you’ll miss it moment when Jenko wonders if he and Schmidt have ever had sex while drunk; it’s buried in a joke about him misunderstanding the word “embed”, but he seems merely curious and not disgusted.)

Music

Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass

It’s a great song about body positivity—that also hates on “skinny bitches” and says it’s okay to be big because boys like it. I have a complicated relationship with that message, but it’s just so damn catchy and poppy and sweet. “Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top!” is just so cute, and the video is adorable. I am torn.

MS MR, Secondhand Rapture

I think of MS MR as the dark twin to “Hideaway”—faraway, posturing, and decidedly retro (although surely it would be early nineties?). Although it’s also of a piece with more recent stuff that I’ve been liking, like Midnight City and Lana Del Rey. “Think of You” is the pinnacle, but “No Trace” is lovely and self-determined, “BTSK” is a delicate love story, and “Ash Tree Lane” is the roundest the sound gets.

Vaudeville Smash, “Zinedine Zidane

Hilariously catchy. I have a new band to investigate.

Project Progress:

Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek Televisual Canon: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Fanvids

X-Men: First Class, Charles/Erik, “Heart’s a mess,” The god with a Laurel Crown

I’m not a huge fan of the coloring—it skews more filter than adding anything narratively or critically—but the attention to microexpressions, precise editing, and flawless song choices (“Let me occupy your mind as you do mine”) is magnificent. And the use of the deleted scene in the hallway to highlight their physical proximity (and lack)… this is so beautiful and tear-inducing.

Films

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Due to all the hype from those I respect—specifically, Empire—I was expecting a little bit more. But I think Pacific Rim, which even only approaches the diverse vistas being imagined in prose in sf these days, has spoiled me in every way, from characterization to plot to tension to escalation. (I still haven’t seen it since my first viewing, mostly because nothing can top crouching in my seat quietly muttering “oh shit oh shit OH SHIT!”.) BUT Edge of Tomorrow is still a pretty smart piece of work, from playing against Cruise’s type to playing with the timeline. I don’t know if I’m totally in love with Bill and Rita as a couple, although I adore Rita as a character. Again, spoiled by Pacific Rim: if they’d headbutted instead of kissed, and the last shot was Bill just happy to see her again, to have a shot at a relationship beyond “EVERYTHING IS ON GODDAMN FIRE.”

Also: then those two guys could have headbutted too. IT’S THE FUTURE, HOLLYWOOD.

Television

Jem and the Holograms, “Battle of the Bands”

This is my comfort viewing these days, even though it’s new to me.

Jem and the Holograms, “Starbright, Part 1: Falling Star”

Jem and the Holograms, “Starbright, Part 2: Colliding Stars"

Jem and the Holograms, “Starbright, Part 3: Rising Star"

This is a three-part story, about the Misfits screwing over Jem and the Holograms’ movie (turns out Pizzazz is secretly loaded!) and one of the foster girls going blind. Boasts a handful of moments of the girls telling off people for judging other people and telling them what to do. Specifically, Jem continues to play Rio like a fiddle. Their love life is complicated.

Sailor Moon, “Usagi Learns a Lesson! The Road to Stardom is Tough”

…this happened. Yes. It happened.

Sailor Moon, “Is the Genius Girl a Monster? Brainwashing School of Terror”

And finally, we get another Sailor Scout. Sailor Moon, in my memory, is all about the many, many characters, because it’s about friendship.

Sailor Moon, “Usagi's Misfortune! Watch Out for the Rushing Clocks”

Tuxedo Mask crosses dimensions to show up to inspire Usagi and then leave. Whatta babe.

Sailor Moon, “Cursed Buses! Fire Senshi Mars Appears”

Rei, you glorious badass. I remember being impressed by Rei fighting in heels as a kid, but now I’m really fond of her status as a shrine maiden. I don’t watch enough anime for it to be an overused trope for me, and it does give Rei the interesting ability to fight demons while not a Sailor Senshi. I love characters who choose to go out and fight evil, which doesn’t—or at least, hasn’t—happened so far. Usagi actively rebels against it and Ami seems to approach it like she does school—something to excel at.

Project Progress:

Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek Televisual Canon: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Fanfiction

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve/Bucky, “Steve Rogers at 100: Celebrating Captain America on Film,” by eleveninches, Febricant, hellotailor, M_Leigh, neenya, tigrrmilk

GENIUS. From the casting to Ron Livingston’s dark mutterings to Steve and Bucky’s reactions… it’s hilarious. And Steve and Bucky getting together is nicely done.

Film

Maleficent (2014)

Oh, honey, this was in production forever, wasn’t it? The voice over speaks to a lack of footage, despite the film’s fleet runtime, and its attempts to adhere to the original film feel like railroading. But when it does its own thing, finally, it tells a really interesting story about Maleficent and Aurora becoming a unique family, female power, body horror, and how dudes are basically just bonuses. Shame that’s only twenty minutes.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

A flawless adaptation is not the same thing as a pure adaptation. Never broadcasts its time period, but oh, Charlie. Perfectly captures Charlie’s blend of social isolation, trauma, and attempts to deal with it, and his journey from wallflower to fully realized human being. I wept.

(Also: this features Ezra Miller in a corset. You are welcome.)

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Never successfully marries together the timelines to the degree it thinks it does, and the ending does require you to have really, really liked the original X-Men films. (Which I did, but I just liked First Class so much more.) But the character stuff, despite being a little truncated due to its CAST OF THOUSANDS, holds beautifully: witness Erik roaring at Charles for abandoning everybody but Hank, because they’re dead without him. Erik and Charles making up in the future. Logan (despite his overuse) struggling with playing mentor to Charles. And, surprisingly, Quicksilver as a little kleptomaniac shit. The “Time in a Bottle” sequence is golden, as is his careless but quick defusion of an inherently tense situation between Erik and Charles. I wish we’d gotten more time with him (although we undoubtedly will).

Television

Sailor Moon, “Learn How to Be Skinny from Usagi”

This does go hand in hand with the show having the villains exploiting what our culture considers feminine concerns, as Jadeite preys on the girls’ fear of being fat. This one, though, does take a crack at Usagi, with Luna tossing sketches of a chubby Usagi at her to motivate it. Even the mostly good-natured joke—Usagi takes to combat as soon as she realizes it totally counts as exercise!—feels mean when we end with Usagi crying over her weight. Not my favorite of the first four.

Project Progress:

Saturday Night Live: 13.1% (5/38)
Star Trek Televisual Canon: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Fanfiction

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, “Parallel Constructions” by freshbakedlady, Bucky/Steve

A thousand tears. Really gorgeous hurt/comfort that focuses on how Bucky doesn’t know how to be Steve’s Bucky anymore and how Steve is still suffering himself. Plus, awesome Natasha.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, “Almond, Clavicle, Orchid” by kvikindi

I usually loathe second person perspective, but it works here, as we follow Bucky’s internal monologue from after the film to learning how to smile. Putting himself back together, piece by piece.

Television

Once Upon a Time, “The Jolly Roger”

Snow and Charming want to prove that they’re not regular grandparents, they’re fun grandparents! Meanwhile, I hate Hook. He is gorgeous, but oh how I loathe him and wish Graham was still around.

Once Upon a Time, “Bleeding Through”

Oh, Cora, evil queen of my heart, turning everything she touches and everyone she meets into one thread of her master plan. Also: Regina and Robin finally make out. FINALLY.

Once Upon a Time, “A Curious Thing”

Henry gets his memories back and has two mothers. Regina snarking “Where you come from, people bathe in the river and use pine cones for money” at Robin is pure, Once Upon a Time gold.

Project Progress:

Saturday Night Live: 13.1% (5/38)
Star Trek Televisual Canon: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Fanfiction

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, “untitled” by stele3

An itty bitty cute ficlet that will, nonetheless, make you tear up. I just need all the fic of the Winter Soldier attempting to reconnect with his past life.

Television

Elementary, “The Man With the Twisted Lip”

Joan and Sherlock struggle over boundaries, which I always appreciate, especially Joan’s laser-focused takedown of Sherlock’s heartfelt apology. And I am pretty okay with Joan and Mycroft getting together—they like each other in a nonromantic context as well, and they discuss boundaries! I assume this is part of Mycroft’s larger play, however, so boo.

I am not one hundred percent on Joan getting kidnapped. I think they’ll pull it off well—hell, Liu directs the next episode!—but it could go wrong. The teaser seemed to focus on Sherlock attempting to function with Joan, which I kind of like. But I hope that Joan rescues herself.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Transfigurations”

Fair enough story, but, of course, I particularly adored Worf’s love advice.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Best of Both Worlds Part I”

Man, the summer of 1990 must have been insane, waiting for this to resolve. That ending? Riker finally showing his true command potential in this awful, awful situation? Harrowing. I also really enjoyed Riker trying to get to the bottom of his own insecurities about taking the captaincy because Shelby—who is girl original flavor Riker—is there to remind him of where he’s come from.

Project Progress:

Saturday Night Live: 13.1% (5/38)
Star Trek Televisual Canon: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

These notes include Saturday Night Live and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

WEEKS FOURTEEN, FIFTEEN, AND SIXTEEN ) Project Progress:
Saturday Night Live: 13.1% (5/38)
Star Trek Televisual Canon: 30% (12/40)
eralkfang: (Default)

This week's notes include Elementary and Star Trek: The Next Generation
 

WEEK THIRTEEN )

Project Progress:

Saturday Night Live: 13.1% (5/38)
Star Trek Televisual Canon: 30% (12/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Alright, so I’m very, very behind. It’s been a pretty rough month, I’ll be honest, but now I’m back on track. So instead of doing the daily log, which I do prefer, I’ll just list what I’ve watched over the last month that is of note, organized by medium, because Lord knows I can’t remember the order I watched them in. Back to normal next week.

WEEKS FIVE TO EIGHT )

Project Progress:

Saturday Night Live: 13.1% (5/38)
Star Trek Televisual Canon: 30% (12/40)

eralkfang: (Default)
 This week’s notes include The Legend of Korra, Sleepy Hollow, and Star Trek: The Next Generation.  WEEK FORTY-SIX )

Project Progress

Saturday Night Live: 13.1% (5/38)
Star Trek Televisual Canon: 27.5% (11/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

This week’s notes include Sleepy Hollow and Agents of SHIELD.

WEEK FORTY-FIVE )

Project Progress

Saturday Night Live: 13.1% (5/38)
Star Trek Televisual Canon: 27.5% (11/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

This week’s notes include Once Upon a Time, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Agents of SHIELD.

WEEK FORTY-TWO )

Project Progress

Saturday Night Live: 13.1% (5/38)
Star Trek Televisual Canon: 27.5% (11/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

This week’s notes include Saturday Night Live, Elementary, and Once Upon a Time.

WEEK FORTY )

Project Progress

Saturday Night Live: 13.1% (5/38)
Star Trek Televisual Canon: 27.5% (11/40)

eralkfang: (Default)
This week's notes include The Legend of Korra and Star Trek: The Next Generation

 

WEEK THIRTY-SEVEN )

 

Project Progress

Saturday Night Live: 13.1% (5/38)
Star Trek Televisual Canon: 22.5% (9/40)

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Eralk Fang

July 2016

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