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I am taking a break from all internet projects for now.  Too much going on, too many irons in the fire.  I will be back.  I will remain on twitter, though I mostly lurk, and am reachable through there.

This isn’t permanent, and I will be back.

I have a bit of a busy day ahead of me, but I think I have just enough time to put a post together before I have to go.

I have a home, I have a job, and I have a stable life.  I have a boyfriend who is more like a husband (damn the paperwork) and has been with me for really close to 8 years.  I still love him to pieces, and thinking of his smile makes me smile every time.

My cats are pretty good as far as cats go, and Bats is a smart little gal with a lot of personality.  I have a sweet, awesome, hilarious, nervous, neurotic dog who I found on the road a few years ago.  I opened the door to make sure I hadn’t hit him and he jumped into my car and into my life, and I haven’t looked back.

I have a job I’ve held steady for over a year, I’m back in school, I have a car I love (my Mazda is so awesome it rocks your socks off) and few complaints about life. We’re still stretching for money but that will change.

I have a lot of awesome internet friends and I have plenty of awesome real life friends, including my boss from work.

We both have families that care about us and love and support us.

I’m not particularly religious and I’m not the kind who believes in luck, but I do think it’s good to get perspective by making sure you know damn well what’s going right.  The answer to that right now is plenty, and I hope that’s true of everyone who reads this.

Stuff yourselves silly.  ❤

It is probably too close to seeing the movie to talk about it, but whatever, it’s not like I’m gonna sleep for the next three hours anyway.

What I’m about to write is going to be specific details about the movie, including bits they left out and other things that occurred during the course of the film, and how I feel they did on making the first part of the final bit of the Harry Potter book into a movie.   If you want to be surprised by any of that stuff, don’t read this.  (So I guess this is your spoiler alert, eh?)

I’m going to give my thoughts as I think of them.  Next week, at some point, I’ll watch it again and maybe be able to be a bit more coherent.  But I’m high on Wizard right now, so screw it.

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So occasionally when I’m on twitter and feeling bored I’ll live-tweet watching really bad horror movies, mostly for my own personal amusement.  Last night someone recommended that I archive them someplace, and thought: Well, why not?  So here we are.

Last night’s feature was Chain of Souls.  It was a movie about a Satanic Cult posing as a movie casting company who would hold auditions, and then kidnap young girls and kill them as part of some ritual or another, claiming it gave them power over life and death.  And trust me, that’s a lot more interesting than the movie actually turned out being.  There was some side-plot stuff, about one of the girls and her sister finding her, but the pattern was: girl enters theater, girl gets captured. Girl escapes for a moment, girl gets captured again, girl is killed by cult.  That happened about 8 times during the course of the movie, maybe more.

Anyway, here are the tweets from last night.  Since I feel like this is a lazysauce way to go about it, I’m going to go ahead and provide additional commentary at the end.  Because that’s how I roll.  I also will be working on some of the others I can find, and may turn this into a more common feature.  Because I’m not using this for anything else.

MartianBethany: it is once again time for shitty horror movie night with your favorite martian

MartianBethany: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0289108/ The movie is called Chain of Souls.

MartianBethany: I’m pretty sure the project movies we made in high school had better production.

MartianBethany: I’m pretty sure that I’m a better actress than this lady. And, no kidding, that’s SAYING something right there.

MartianBethany: This movie apparently uses the finest of Geocities ‘97 midis for the soundtrack

MartianBethany: “No one in Podunk, Texas cares about my acting.” Lady, I don’t care about your damn acting.

MartianBethany: Also FAKEST TEXAS ACCENT EVER Y/Y/Y? Jesus. I lived there for ten years.

MartianBethany: HEY THE BIG GUY KEEPS GRABBING YOU MAYBE YOU SHOULD LEAVE DUMMY

MartianBethany: Bad Guy: How many people know you’re here? Nobody? Why that’s exactly what I want! Girl: What? Does that mean I get the part?

MartianBethany: Audio sync is way off.

MartianBethany: These badguys can’t tie a knot worth a good god damn.

MartianBethany: Oh god, I thought she was joking. The town she’s from is actually supposed to be “podunk”

MartianBethany: Like, literally.

MartianBethany: You know a movie is classy when one of the girls has a light blue latex top. #classy

MartianBethany: That actress could ALMOST act. It’s so sweet.

MartianBethany: The lead bad guy looks like some guy who owns and runs a gym. Fake tan and all.

MartianBethany: The sound is REALLY bad. She’s running and there are all these panting noises. You know how in some porno movies, they insert fake moans-

MartianBethany: -over whatever sound is going on? All of the sound in this movie sounds like this. It’s badly synced, and it’s too loud for the situation.

MartianBethany: I’m pretty sure that this girl is stealing my style from when I was in the sixth grade.

MartianBethany: Oh my god the necklace looks like some toy that came in a princess dress up set.

MartianBethany: Oh, btw, plot: girls try out for parts with a certain director, girls get killed. There’s other stuff but I can’t be assed.

MartianBethany: And now we have requisite ‘police are unhelpful bastards’ scene.

MartianBethany: This lady needs pants that actually fit.

MartianBethany: I’m pretty sure I could pull off better video with my camera and a set of barbie dolls. No, really.

MartianBethany: Everyone in this movie suffers from assholeitis.

MartianBethany: Oh and idiot-itis. Jesus why am I watching this again?

MartianBethany: OH HAI CAMERA GUY’S SHADOW.

MartianBethany: Satanic cult? What?

MartianBethany: Oh, wow, she’s a good web-surfer! She has clearly conquered the tricky world of GOOGLE!

RiathePinkie: @MartianBethany Well you know how hard Googling is. It takes forever to figure out because it’s just so complex.

MartianBethany: @riathepinkie She r smert

MartianBethany: Also haven’t we gotten past the whole ’satanic cults are evil’ thing? Because I’d buy a cthulu cult over this.

MartianBethany: I call bullshit, it’s easy to escape from the trunk of late model ford.

MartianBethany: Modern cars have emergency trunk releases.

MartianBethany: The costume department of this movie should probably be taken out and dragged through the mud.

MartianBethany: This movie has been a long succession of: enter theater, get captured by goons, die.

MartianBethany: YOU’RE BOTH FREE RUN YOU IDIOTS

MartianBethany: Man if they were gonna stick around that long they shoulda picked up the cinderblock and finished off Thug #1 before they left.

MartianBethany: The power of this pact is apparently power over life and the heavy use of polyester.

MartianBethany: Least convincing hospital ever y/y?

MartianBethany: Oh wow it is a real hospital, it’s just the set stuff they put on it that made it fake. Wow.

MartianBethany: Obvious twist ending is obvious. /sigh

MartianBethany: Okay, well, that movie was awful. I believe it is time for me to retire and get some rest.

So, having done some research I have found two astoundingly good reviews of this movie: astounding because the acting was less convincing than most bad softcore porn movies.  The ‘Texan’ accent on what’s-her-name was terribly fake sounding.  The actress who played the older sister pulled it off a little better because she wasn’t trying quite so hard, but there were moments where it was clear that either the older sister was being played by someone who A: wasn’t entirely sure what a Texan accent was or B: is from Europe.  (I checked IMDB- definitely the first one.)

There was one actress in the movie who actually seemed to have talent- she went full on snotty bawling when the bad guys had her tied up, and looked genuinely in distress- but overall the acting varied from ‘meh’ to ‘bloody awful’.

The sound in this movie was awful, if I hadn’t mentioned it for the 800th time.  The sync seemed just a little off, and there are one or two places where I’m certain that they filmed a scene and when they went to do ADR (and the whole movie was ADR I swear to god) they changed the line.  The sound balance was bloody terrible.  I know they did this on a pretty non-existent budget but I’m still pretty certain I could have produced better quality stuff.

The movie tries to pull off several twists, but I knew they were occurring before they actually happened.  I didn’t even mention them because they were so lame.  The diner that the actresses tend to gather at, right next to the theater the cult maintains, is full of cult people.  One of the cops is a cultist as well.  And the guy in all black, who pretended to not know anything and then did know something and is ‘accidentally’ responsible for half of what happened in the movie.  Surprise surprise, he’s a cultist.  I wouldn’t have been surprised if the surviving ‘working actress’ had ALSO been a cultist.

I am also unsure as to what the aspiring actresses actually, like, do.  I mean, I get that they are auditioning and crap, but it’s pretty clear that they’re not getting work.  One of the girls was a waitress in Texas, but none of them seem to actually have jobs.

I do take it back about the soundtrack- they were composed as midis and someone decided to class it up and use that music, but played it on a piano (or fed it through a filter to make it sound like a piano- in fact, that’s more likely).

The plot itself seems like it could have a few moments- outsiders claim the cult is Satanic, but the cultists never say for sure, so it could be a Lovecraftian cult as well.  However, the cultists are extremely incompetent.  Almost every woman they kidnap gets up and runs away at one point or another, and every time she’s kidnapped by a cultist who moves faster than possible.  Which would be a bit creepy if any of that mystique was expanded upon.  Instead it just comes across as plot convenience.

PS: I used my awesome web-surfing skills, and there is no Podunk, Texas. There are a billion other tiny Texas towns to use, so they MADE UP one.  Cool.

When we look at the way the Ministry of Magic informs the Muggle Prime Minister about Lord Voldemort’s return, we are introduced to how powerless Muggles are in the face of magic.  Wizards have exemplary powers- we know this from the beginning.  Hagrid scoffs at the idea that a mere car wreck could kill James and Lily Potter, Neville informs Harry that they discovered he had magic because he was dropped out of an upper story window and he bounced.  So we know pretty early on that normal, ordinary Muggle deaths do not occur in the Wizarding world.

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So my thoughts on having finished Order of the Phoenix:

A lot of people dislike all the man rage that Harry doles out during this book, but quite frankly, I think it’s natural that when you’ve got a steady stream of Voldemort coursing through you, you’re liable to be irritated.  And while he felt a sharp pain when the Dark Lord’s emotions changed sharply, he has a direct link with the most powerful dark wizard alive at the time.  Liable to make one tetchy.

Umbridge is a vicious callow irresponsible cow who should have been sacked years ago.  However she retains her job with the Ministry of Magic, which tells you all you need to know about the ministry.

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Okay, so I’m just gonna point a few things out here:

We’re introduced early in the series to memory charms- Gilderoy Lockhart reveals that he’s been using them to ill effect at the end of Chamber of Secrets, and he fires one off using Ron’s broken, spellotaped wand.  This backfires totally and destroys Lockhart’s memories entirely, but can be attributed to the wand being broken.  However, early in Goblet of Fire the guy who owned the campsite had his memory damaged by a memory charm.  This is foreshadowing.

Oh- when you read what everyone says about the egg sounds, Seamus mentions banshees (which we know from the boggart he’s terrified of) and Neville says it sounds like someone is being tortured.  That makes me very sad.

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So we all know that I dye my hair on a somewhat regular basis.  And I get accosted fairly regularly with comments, all the time.  “Oh, I love your hair.”  “I wish I was brave enough to do that.” “What does it take to get your hair that color?” And the like.  It’s not even when my hair is freshly dyed and nice looking.  Even two months old, with long roots showing, I get compliments on it.

I think there are people who are shocked I’m bold enough to strip all the color out of my hair and dye it pink.  What happens if it goes wrong?  What if you need a job and they won’t let you dye your hair that color?  What if you have to go to a formal event?  The answer to the first two: dye.  Dye is easily obtained and a good dark color would look awful on me but it would cover the pink.  The answer to the third: hat.  Hats are formal.

I enjoy my hair being pink.  Even though I never liked pink as a little girl, having pink hair feels ‘natural’ to me now.  Feels like me, is what I mean.  So I will continue to dye it pink until I no longer derive any enjoyment from it, where I will switch to another color.  I work at a place that allows me to dye my hair pink, and I am not likely to leave that job any time soon.

As far as being ‘brave’ about it- hell, it’s only hair.  I know there’s some ‘your hair is your crowning glory’ nonsense that goes on, but the truth is, that shit grows out.  Your hair will, in fact, get longer and you can cut all the rest off and go back to your natural color.  I have cut my hair short (not quite Rosemary’s Baby short, I don’t have the face for that) and I have dyed it many colors, black by far being the worst of them.  It still grows in it’s same profusion, in the same light brown color it has been since I was 12.  Short actually looks pretty cute on me, but I prefer being able to put it up or braid it (I just got it to the length so I can make a decent french braid out of it).  Matter of comfort over fashion, I suppose.

Also, it’s really only brave the first time you take the plunge.  The more you do it, the easier it gets.  Promise.

Oh man I forgot how much I loved this book.  Siriusly. (That never gets old.)

This is where I feel Rowling really introduces one of her main themes: the dead don’t come back.  They don’t always leave, but we still don’t get them back.  This is really strongly brought across in this book, and is (quite possibly) the strongest theme in this book.  Harry even says it to himself, when he’s learning how to produce a Patronus charm.  I don’t have the book with me, but it’s something like “she’s dead and hearing her won’t bring her back.”

Harry thinks he sees his Dad creating the Patronus at the end of the book, but it’s really himself he sees.  He knows it’s impossible, but thinks it anyway.  After all, who else could it possibly be?  Only one other wizard looks that much like his dad.

This is recurring, after Sirius dies Harry seeks out Sir Nicholas and asks him if Sirius could be/would be a ghost.  Sir Nicholas told him, very sadly, that he had already moved on and you don’t come back from that.  Death, in other words, is a one way trip.  Nicholas is not alive, of course, but he’s never been truly dead (nor is he likely to be).  Also, the scene where Harry finds the mirror and starts trying to get Sirius to answer pretty much broke my heart.

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I decided not to do this one in parts since I finished it in one fell swoop.

I didn’t see much of it in the first book, but we have got clear beginnings of the relationship between Ron and Hermione.  When Malfoy picks on Hermione, Harry gets angry and Ron tries to clobber him.  The difference between a friend and a ‘wants to be more’ kind of thing.  There were multiple instances of this type of thing.

Oh, and things that shocked me just a bit whilst reading.  Hagrid was in his third year when his wand was snapped, which means he was probably 13 or 14 at the time.  Which means that in Chamber of Secrets he’s 63 or 64.  Does that blow anybody else’s mind?  Sure blows mine.  Speaking of age, that makes Voldemort either 65 or 66 and it makes Dumbledore much older than that.  Surely in his mid to late 80’s at the earliest.  I mean, holy JEEZ.

Anyway, so there’s a lot of the relatively subtle romantic subplot being set up (which, considering how long it takes for that all to come to fruition is somewhat impressive) and a bit more setup for Voldemort.  Dumbledore reveals that he thinks Harry was granted powers by the same token he received his scar (which we later find out is way way way true).

I don’t know that I noticed much else.  This book was very similar to the first book.  For some reason I thought Ginny was much younger than him but of course they’re not much more than a year apart.

BethanytheMartian

Bethany says:

The Past