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Belated review of the beautiful film Howl's Moving Castle (directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and based on Diana Wynne Jones' much loved novel of the same name). The film can be watched on DVD in Japanese (with English subtitles) or the English dubs/voiceovers.

Plot: 18 year old shy and lovely Sophie Hatter works in a hat shop and has a chance encounter with a dashing young man who turns out to be none other than Howl the wizard. The Wicked Witch of the Waste lays a curse which turns Sophie into an old woman, as she is jealous of the attention Howl bestows on Sophie. Sophie journeys to Howl's home (a metallic contraption with moving chicken feet), pretends to be a cleaner and fights to break her curse. Turns out that she has the brains and courage to break powerful curses placed on Howl and his cranky fire demon Calcifer...

Read more... )

It's the little domestic details (such as the bouncing scarecrow bringing Sophie her walking stick and Calcifer munching on coal to sustain himself) that are delightful.

A magical film for people of all ages.
sunlit_music: (esmeralda by crazy dd)
Invisible is a powerful anthology edited by Jim C. Hines on sexism, disability rights, gender and sexual orientation. All of the articles are thought provoking, eloquent and intelligent. They're all moving - sometimes funny and uplifting - sometimes sad and heartbreaking. My personal favourites were the ones by Ada Hoffman ( on autism) and Michi Trota (on race). You can buy Invisible on Amazon and on Kindle. Highly recommended!
sunlit_music: (esmeralda by heartilly)
SPOILERS below for Gundam Wing. :)




I've been rewatching the Japanese anime series Gundam Wing on DVD (which my horrifying iPhone Spell check repeatedly insists is "Fun Am Wing." What IS a Fun Am, exactly?")

Read more... )

The eccentric scientists cackling evilly crack me up. XD

Wu Fei screaming, "DAMN YOUUUUUUUU!!!!" Into the night has got to be the most hilarious thing. Ever.

Wu Fei: *screams at hyenas surrounding him in a circle* YOU ARE WEAK!

Hyenas: * slink away*

It would have been funnier at that point if the hyenas had chosen to eat him instead of leaving.

Also, there have been so many times the characters scream, "It's a GUNDAM!" I burst out laughing whenever I hear it.

Does anyone else have the version of Series/Operation Ten where the introduction (with the catchy theme song) shows Trowa silently screaming in anger at the viewer? Most. Hilarious. Scene. EVER. XD
sunlit_music: (esmeralda by heartilly)
SPOILERS FOR BOOKS BELOW.

My favourite quotes:

Read more... )
sunlit_music: (esmeralda by heartilly)
Hilarious BatDad video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlVi0noRr-o

What it says on the tin. ;)

And now for my favourite winning Youtube comments!

vor1010: "By the expressions on his wife's face, I'm thinking he'll soon be Single Batfather".

MICROmor: "Not the Dad that gotham wants, but the Dad that gotham needs."

sunlit_music: (esmeralda by heartilly)
So! Movies. Speaking of movies, here's a quote that's been lodged in my head for some reason...

"Sting. Sting is another favourite musician of mine. I don't listen to his music. But the fact that he's making it? I respect that." - Owen Wilson as Hansel, from Zoolander

This makes me laugh to no end when I hear stuff like this. I mean...you do need to listen to someone's music to be a fan! Just sayin'.

Looking forward to the upcoming movie Zoolander 2! :)

I've been planning to watch The Great Gatsby, but the weather is absolutely terrible here. It's been raining cats, dogs, budgies and you know what. Now this sentence puts me in mind of the sky raining sardine cans and cake in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Jingo. :p Superman: Man of Steel hasn't screened in Australia yet, but I am trying to decide whether to go and watch it. We'll see!
sunlit_music: (esmeralda by heartilly)
Many people are fascinated by Irene Adler, from the Sherlock Holmes canon. I love the most recent movies, but their portrayal of irene is completely inaccurate. First,let's get things straight. Irene Adler was *not* a villain. So who was she, do you ask? Well. She first appears in the short story A Scandal in Bohemia. The titular king hires Sherlock Holmes to steal a photograph of Irene and himself from Irene. Long story short, the King believes that Irene plans to use the photograph to ruin him and prevent him from marrying his fiance.

Irene eventually aquits herself through leaving a letter for Sherlock Holmes explaining her side of the story. She flees England with her husband Geoffrey Norton (it's hinted in the story that the King can be dangerous and vengeful, after all).

Watson has mentioned that Holmes spoke of love contemptuously, but the only person he came even *close* to loving was Irene. "To Sherlock Holmes, she is always THE woman." Holmes admires her for her beauty, intelligence, daring and generosity.

It makes me laugh when I see fanfics where Irene is Holmes'student. People, please! She needs no lessons from him. This is the woman who outwitted Holmes and convinced him that women can be as intelligent as men! Since he had met Irene, Holmes no longer mocks women's cleverness and refers to Irene's title respectfully as a married woman.

When the King offers to pay Holmes for his assistance with an emerald ring, what does Holmes ask for instead?Irene's photograph.

One of my favourite parts in A Scandal in Bohemia is when the King says, "Oh! What a pity she was not on my level!She would have made a marvellous Queen!"(implying that Irene was inferior to him). Holmes,then defends Irene, saying coldly, "From what appears to me, she seems to be on an entirely different level to your Majesty."
sunlit_music: (esmeralda by heartilly)
Hi Hannah,

Here are some links which I hope you'll enjoy! :)

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=iroh#/art/Iroh-77608602?_sid=3d9fbdfb A lovely artwork of Iroh enjoying his favourite cup of tea.Maybe he'shaving it in the Jasmine Dragon tea restaurant... :)

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=iroh#/art/iRoh-20429391?_sid=7378c466 iRoh iPod art. Funny and simple. ;)

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=zuko#/art/Prince-Zuko-295777567?_sid=1724b468 A gorgeous and dark digital artwork of Prince Zuko from Avatar. It captures his trength and determination perfectly.

http://manga.animea.net/kurosagi-corpse-delivery-service-chapter-1.html You can read Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service manga online here! :)

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=silent+hill#/art/ye-old-silent-hill-17337079?_sid=613e6921 Hilarious medieval version of Silent Hill! :D

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=silent+hill#/art/Silent-Hill-4-Henry-and-Eileen-11093650?_sid=271a679fHenry and Eileen, from Silent Hill. These two kick arse. XD
sunlit_music: (esmeralda by heartilly)
SPOILERS GALORE. You have been warned. ;)

I love reading Les Miserables way more than The Hobbit (novel version). Les Miserables has a way better story. There is no point in comparing the two. But I enjoyed watching the movie version of The Hobbit better than the Les Miserables movie (which was brought down by mediocre singing and acting from Russell Crowe. I like Russell Crowe and I don't expect him to sing well. But come on. There is no excuse for his lacklustre acting in Les Mis. He's usually a brilliant actor! Why his acting was so flat in the Les Miserables movie I will never know).

Soooo...The Hobbit. It starts off slowly, and they only skim the world building (if they included all of it, the movie would have been longer than three hours. No thank you!).

I didn't like how elves were portrayed as the best race (it's a Tolkien thing). But I liked how the dwarves were portrayed with more dignity and intelligence. And Bilbo's fondness for good food and his pipe is adorable.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Read more... )
Verdict: Very good. Nowhere near as good as Lord of the Rings, but still worth watching (and re-watching). :)
sunlit_music: (esmeralda by heartilly)
First off: I love Les Miserables. I love the book most of all. I adore the musical. I adore the first half of the book and musical far more than the second half. The first half contained my most favourite characters: Jean Valjean, Inspector Javert, and Fantine. The second half contained Marius. Marius is a good character, but Valjean, Javert and Fantine are way more interesting.

The movie was a mixed bag for me. It's divided everyone's opinions. There are newspapers and cinemas online giving the movie anything from two and a half stars to five stars out of five. And that's OK! We all have different tastes. :) The movie is a musical. Most of the lines are sung, but there's quite a few spoken lines too.

SPOILERS!

I loved the bit where the Bishop Myriel tells the police officers that he gave Jean Valjean the silver, and advises Valjean to become an honest man. That part will always be one of my most favourite parts. :) The man who plays the Bishop in the movie (Colm Wilkinson) also acted/sung as Jean Valjean in the musical!

I enjoyed the movie's second half far more than the first half, as the first half had some mediocre to bad singing and acting from Russell Crowe. Normally, I like Russell Crowe. I don't expect Russell Crowe to sing well - he's an actor, after all. But I do expect him to act brilliantly. His facial expression was mostly flat, which was a disappointment.

Read more... )
I was watching youtube videos on the making of Les Miserables (the movie). They mentioned that the actors had to *sing* for every take. They sang so much that Sacha Baron Cohen (who plays Monsieur Thenardier and is famous for his alter ego Borat) lost his voice and couldn't speak for at least a week! The poor guy had to write whatever he wanted to tell people. Sacha Cohen also made up a line "crawling on all fours" for his song. He wasn't intimidated by acting with other stars or in a much loved movie, which I found impressive.
sunlit_music: (esmeralda by heartilly)
I was browsing gehayi's wonderful lj blog when I came across her post on The Simpson's hilarious Game of Thrones introduction http://io9.com/5890410/watch-the-simpsons-game-of-thrones-intro

LOL at Burns' Landing. And poor Moleman gets run over. As usual. Plus - the three eyed crows pop out of the nuclear power plant! I've watched this 3 times in a row. It is *that* good. Now I'm worried that I'll burst out laughing every time I see the actual Game of Thrones intro...

Also!  Artist Sanjay Patel's adorable and hyperactive article about his past art exhibition is here. The exhibition was about Indian Avatars: http://www.asianart.org/maharaja/avatars.htm

Here's a sample of his zaniness: I recently received such an email; it went something like this. 'Hey it's the SF Asian Art Museum. We're hosting an exhibition called Maharaja: Splendor of India in the fall. Would you be interested in activating the exterior of the building based on this exhibition?' Did I mention that I'm an Aries, first sign of the zodiac, with the special ability to charge ahead and fall flat on my face? My colleagues responded to my news with a very sensible question: WTF does activate the exterior of the building mean? Did you hear that sound? Yeah, that thud was me falling on my face...

Whew! I was exhausted just by reading that. But in a good way. :) I get the impression that he's very charming to listen to, but devilishly hard to interrupt!
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Hi all,

My thread for the Fandom Aid is here: http://fandomaid.livejournal.com/52858.html?thread=759674#t759674 Feel free to bid for fic from me. Donations will go towards supporting people affected by Hurricane Sandy in the US.

http://fandomaid.livejournal.com/profile Fandom Aid is a fandom community supporting people worldwide affected by natural disasters. Please feel free to donate. If you don't have any money, then boosting the signal will help trememdously. Every bit of support *really* counts. Thank you all so much. :)
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http://www.collegehumor.com/facebook-history Hilarity! Facebook History of the World. It stuffs up loading the pictures once you get to the Middle Ages section though.

I am reading the manga (Japanese comic) One Piece. One Piece is an enormous ball of crazy! It is ten different kinds of heartwarming. The characters all have huge dreams, passions, enormous flaws, insane powers and terrific strengths. They're totally fierce. The only issue is that the manga is incredibly long (It started in the eighties and it's still ongoing). Oda (the creator) is a true eccentric. This is the Ultimate Manga's Manga. One of the most popular mangas of all time. Be warned, the characters overreact, it's melodramatic and over the top, and the art might look strange to some (especially if you're new to manga). You can read it in English here: http://www.mangareader.net/103/one-piece.html

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3784000/1/The_Scarlet_Pimpernel  Harry Potter fanfiction that portrays Percy Weasley as the heroic protagonist (and a sympathetic one at that). Hilarious, sad and touching. It teaches how to offer emotional support to people experiencing traumatic situations, and the characterisations of characters was spot on (especially of men). I liked how nerdy and serious, studious men with obsessive interests were portrayed as being intelligent, humane and sympathetic people here (nerds and socially awkward, serious people often get a bad rap in fiction and real life, so I like it when they get the credit they deserve). And the French characters were awesome in the story. Best line? "He (Harry Potter) may have saved the world, but he's still a seventeen year old drop out. There's no way I'm letting a seventeen year old drop out become Head of the Aurors."
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcHZF32PysQ&feature=feedf

Oh. My.

This is the best flash mob singing performance EVER.

I had the biggest grin on my face for ages afer watching this. I actually re-watched this THREE times in a row.

It takes place in a shopping mall in Poland, and random people start singing One More Day. You don't need to understand the lyrics to get chills down your spine (as one Youtube commenter said). But I've listened to the English version of this song for so long, I actually get the lyrics. The singers have *so* much passion! They seem as if they ARE the characters they're playing. I thought it was adorable when the elderly woman was patting 'Cosette' on the back. And it was pretty cute/hilarious when several fangirls started screaming from excitement when Enjolras started singing!

This really is a feel good moment, and I only wish I could have been there. One More Day is such an inspirational song, filled with passion and colour.
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Hello everyone,

 I am offering ficlets in exchange for donations at  help_japan.

My thread is here: http://community.livejournal.com/help_japan/2978.html?thread=2171554#t2171554
 
I'm offering to write for obscure fandoms (like Symbionic Titan) and also well known ones, too.

ETA: The winter_queen email address listed in the thread is my alternate one (my hotmail address with my actual name is only given to a few work colleagues, really close friends and family to protect my privacy). You can either message or email me if you're interested in donating for my fic. Thank you!


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Hello everyone,

Below is a sample of my fanfiction, if you're interested in bidding for my writing at gulf-aid_now. Study and Home (the Wildmage fics) were written for misura, for an auction at the help_haiti lj community. I'll keep you updated! The fanfiction below is from these fandoms: Tamora Pierce's Wildmage quartet, and the Kingdom Hearts video games (by Squaresoft and Disney).



Read more... )

 


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Sooo...

I've come across stories where the socially awkward guy redeems himself, as his bigotry cost him the safety/friendship/life of a friend who was beautiful and well loved. Case in point - Severus Snape and Lily Evans. It's no secret how much I love this pairing.

I haven't come across a story where it's gender flipped - or where a beautiful and well loved person redeems themselves as their bigotry cost them the life/safety/friendship of a socially awkward person they loved. Does anyone know of any stories like these?
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Here is the part where I go gooeey about my love of all things Severus/Lily. If you don't lik this pairing, by all means please skip this.

Why I love Snevans:

- They're so cute as children! XD

- Because they're both flawed people. Perfect people are great to meet, but boring to read about.

- They're both strong people. Pairings where one person is weak don't interest me.

- I have a soft spot for pairings where one person sees the beauty within the other person. I reckon Lily saw the beauty within Severus as a friend - so his looks don't matter to her. I know JKR sees Snape/Lily as always unrequited. My view? If she wants it to be seen as always unrequited, she should write it in.

- Severus changed his racist beliefs and allegiances for Lily. He truly became less selfish and more concerned for others due to his love.

- True love is about sacrifice. Tragedies and struggles make love stories seem more interesting to me. Severus sacrificed his safety and risked being tortured and killed when he changed his allegiances for Lily. Lily dies as a consequence for his actions. He shows his love through being a spy for Dumbledore (who manipulated and used him) and protecting Harry.

Snevans shippers, let me know why you ship them! :D
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Valid Criticisms of Severus Snape

 

-          That he was racist. He called Lily a mudblood. If he didn’t want her to get hurt by Slytherins as a result of trying to defend him, he could have said “I don’t need your help, you creep!” (or he could have called her another non bigoted slur). He dismissed Lily’s concerns over the Slytherins doing something horrible to Mary McDonald. It took him SWM to finally apologise to Lily. By then, it was too late.
 

-          That his becoming a Death Eater was monstrous and reprehensible. Obviously.
 

-          He was a bully. Period. He bullied and humiliated Neville and Harry (this is especially reprehensible, because Neville and Harry are children. He’s abusing his power as a teacher by bullying them). He said he “saw no difference” when Hermione’s teeth had been lengthened in GOF. He ordered around Peter Pettigrew and humiliated him. This is still disgusting and inexcusable. Even though Severus has been bullied by Peter. It doesn’t matter whether you’re bullying someone who bullied you in the past or not. Bullying is still a form of abuse. It is always wrong, no matter who does it or who you’re bullying.
 

-          He’s narrow minded in his own way. He can’t bring himself to see that Harry is different from James.
 

-          His blatant favouritism towards Slytherin House is obscene. Understandable, given Dumbledore’s disgusting favouritism towards Gryffindor? Yes. But still inexcusable.
 

-          He’s a verbally abusive teacher. Seriously, his put downs and insults of non Slytherin students are way out of line.
 

-          He can be selfish. Like when he riffles through Harry’s belongings in DH and rips the part of the photo with Lily in it. 
 

Read more... )

 


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My thoughts, let me show you them. Feel free to skip on by if you're not interested.

Okay! So you all have probably heard anti Snape or anti Lily stuff flying around, if you’re in HP fandom. Some Snape supporters place all the blame on Lily. Some Lily supporters place all the blame on Snape. Here’s what I think:

Unfair accusations against Severus Snape:

-          That he was a stalker because he looked at Lily greedily. Seriously, WTF? He’s just a little kid! Maybe he was looking at her like that, because he was excited to meet a kid his age who could perform magic?
 

-          That he never changed or redeemed himself. He went from someone who was a Death Eater to a spy for the Order. He used to be someone who threw around the word Mudblood. In DH, he ended up saying, “Do not use that word!” when Phineas Nigellus called Hermione a Mudblood.
 

-          That he only cared about Lily’s wellbeing, and nobody else’s. He starts out like this. But he changes. This is the guy who gripped his chair when Ginny Weasley was dragged into the Chamber of Secrets. He gave Ginny and her friends detention with Hagrid in DH as a measure to protect them. He protects Harry and the trio in PoA. He risks life and limb to protect Draco in HBP. He comforts Narcissa when she’s crying in the 1st chapter of HBP.

 

Unfair accusations against Lily Evans

-          That she never cared for Severus. I think she *did* care for him a lot initially, when she was little. She left the train compartment with Severus when Sirius and James were being bullying arses. She smiled sadly at him when they were sorted into different Houses. The smile could be interpreted to mean she’s trying to put on a brave face at being separated from Severus.
 

-          That she was a social climber. Seriously, WTF? She might have married James because she loved him. We’ve got no concrete evidence that she was a social climber.
 

-          That she was only using Snape. Again, we’ve got no concrete proof of this.
 

-          That she didn’t care about him when they were 15 years old. She cared about him enough to defend him when James was bullying him.  She didn’t always care about him enough, though (when she dismissed Severus’ being upset over the marauders’ bullying. More on that later).


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