Posts Tagged ‘movies’

I’ve been trying to get Beneath the Floating City into print. With generous help from friends I have lodged the files with Createspace. However, Createspace threw a spanner in the works and I haven’t been able to proof the file until I can prove I own the copyright of my stories. I understand the precautions, I really do. But I was kinda in hurry because post takes ages from the USA when you can’t afford express international etc. So the odds of the book being here in time for the awards is fast disappearing. Oh well.

I received my first pay from tutoring. A small amount this pay, but it paid me back for the uni fees I had to pay out last week. Next pay I have probably already spent too. Just a whiff of money and I go cray cray!

My draft of Sihe continues. I was going to say apace but nah that’s not true. Although I hope to get the MS to 60,000 words today. I’ve skipped ahead and am writing the ending without having written the crisis. It seemed like a good idea because the ending was pushing against my mind and so on.

Today I have to work on the analysis of my surveys. We have transferred the responses to the Uni’s IBM SPSS program. That means a lot of manual stuff from me to get the files ready for showing me stuff. So I’ll do that today. I had to wait to get the program installed on this Mac and the Mac randomly freezes still. I have no idea but I’m over it. It’s been so unreliable. Different things get blamed. The updates. The Endnote. I have PC native files. Or something else goes bang. Picture me rolling my eyes and being very unimpressed.

I’ve been reading up for one of the tutorials I’m doing. So far in the last few weeks I’ve read, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger, Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence, Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan and I’m currently reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Phillip K Dick (very different from Blade Runner). I’ve also started on American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I have more books to read, but I feel a lot calmer now about teaching. None of this reading is for my PhD, just for teaching.

Teaching is a bit distracting. I hope I calm down a bit. Lots of little things to do and being across things. You get paid like an hour to prepare which is nice but it takes a lot more. I’m also delivering a lecture next week and that took ages, like 6-8 hours to prepare. Although money is good to have, it will all get spent. Hopefully I will do something useful with the money like pay for the cat run.

I have stockpiled book earnings to pay for edits of Skyfire and Moonfall.

I saw Black Panther last night and had nice cosy dreams about Chadwick Boseman. I have no idea what they were but  they were pleasant. The movie didn’t finish until after midnight so no time to wind down. I loved so many things about that movie. I wished that Wakanda was a true place. It’s a really lovely fantasy. I also liked the Africaness of the place and the movie was so owned by African -descent peoples. I also loved the women. Proud, strong, capable women. All of them were my favourites. Just awesome. Michael B Jordan was really something to see as the villain, great performance and well as Winston Duke-totally cool. Well done Ryan Coogler. Awesome movie. I hope to see many more like this. I’m also hanging out big time for Avengers Infinity Wars that I hope Matthew takes me to see for my birthday in the premium lounge (hint! hint!)

In other Dweebish news, Star Trek Discovery kept me thrilled to the end. Some great performances and favourite roles and great writing in places. I loved that I was shocked and awed and kept on the seat of my pants. My youngest daughter checked online and apparently we will see more of Lorca and  Ash Tyler in the next series which doesn’t drop until 2019!

I’ve also started on Altered Carbon. It helped that I finished the audio book. There’s a lot of action in the second half of the novel that will probably be better visually. It’s the second time I’ve seen Purefoy’s member and I was equally stunned and impressed as I was when he played Mark Anthony in Rome.

The Good Place is really a good mood lifter and I started on IT Crowd which I had heard of but had never binged watched before.

I’ve run out of detective series (not really) but I binged watched Wallander-loved it. Finished Shetland (first two seasons), watch River twice. Finished Whitechapel ages ago. I found Luther excellent but way too intense for me. I may go back to it. I had tapped out the Hinterland series on Netflix but I’m hoping for more. With the second season of The Crown consumed and Victoria I need more recommends.

Anyway, back to the novel. I’ve been procrastinating enough.


Read Full Post »

I had other posts planned, but then I saw the movie, Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, written and directed by  Burr Steers. I missed this at the cinema when it was out and was annoyed at that, but didn’t think too much of it. Just added it to my secret desires of DVD purchases’ list.

Matthew read Pride, Prejudice and Zombies (by Seth Grahame-Smith) to me. We read about half way and thought it was kind of cute. My recollection is that the zombie stuff was written around the Austen texts, inserted here and  there. We sort of lost interest. Probably because when Matthew reads to me I fall asleep. Just the other night I was snoring quite embarrassingly by the time he got to the second page of the short piece he wanted to share with me. It’s not his voice. I think it’s being horizontal or just plain tired.

Anyway, what a revelation the movie is! Steers did an amazing job. There may be spoilers here so look away. I’ll try to mark or avoid spoilers but it is P&P essentially so hard to spoil.

First up, I loved the whole recasting of the Regency period and the faux history of the plague and the little nods to mad King George and the Royal canal and the bridges to the In-Between. It was a delightful reimagining that didn’t quite come across in the novel.

The fact that rich, upper class women go to Japan to train and the poorer middle class train in China. Brilliant master stroke.

Possible spoilers!

The scene where the five Bennet sisters strut their stuff at the ball was sexy, surreal and utterly awesome! I know this because Matthew liked it too!

The idea that a woman can be refined or a fighter but not both. Totally fab.

The zombies were awesome and the whole Wickham plot a piece of genius.

Colonel Darcy comes across as severe and immutable. For different reasons or at least added reasons than in the original in Austen’s story. He fights zombies for England! I quite warmed to Sam Riley in this role. Was the doctor perving on him in the opening. I caught a naughty aside there.

The proposal scene. OMG! That was sheer brilliance. I laughed the second time I watched it. There are no repressed feelings here. I loved Lily James in this role. I love how Steers combined action and dialogue and even dropped in some from other Austen novels.

The confrontation with Lady Catherine, sheer brilliance. I loved Lady Catherine, just the right amount of tongue in cheek and humour. Matt Smith as Mr (Parson) Collins was fun. At first I didn’t recognize him and then the penny dropped.

Douglass Booth as Bingley was a divine choice. (He was Titus in Jupiter Ascending) His beauty was all the more in a Regency setting. Also I must say Bella Heathcote, Australian actress, made a lovely Jane.

I also should add that this re-visitation of P&P certainly excited the feminist in me. Jane’s rescue, Lizzy’s uncompromising stance to …well…everything.

If you haven’t seen it and you like zombies (I don’t much myself but in this instance (nods)) and P&P then this movie is for you.


Read Full Post »

I watched Jupiter Ascending (2015) again last night, possibly for the third time. it took our minds of the Australian census drama. A number of my friends hate this movie. I’ve always liked it. I like SF romance and this movie sort of fits the bill. Jupiter Ascending is a beautifully rendered movie visually. From the design of the space ships to the guns and boots ahh sigh. My partner and I agree it was very well done. We both thought the flying dragon-lizard things in leather jackets was way cool. Also pig tailed gothic bounty woman on the scooter! Ooh yeah.

I have read that Channing Tantum’s performance was wooden and flat. I don’t agree with that either, well only because that fits with his character. He is a bioengineered soldier who is not meant to be emotional so it totally goes that he is not over demonstrative. When he gets to the kissing part, he seems to manage that okay!

What struck me last night though was Titus holding a container of the youth elixir. He tells Jupiter that 100 people died in producing that one container. He also says that being human is an act of consumption. This morning I’m thinking that Wachowskis were being deliberately allegorical. Who knows how many people had to die to keep me in pizza for six months? How many people die because they don’t live in a society that is equal to mine? Countless. I also think there is commentary here on the Western’s world’s pursuit of longevity. We spend a lot of money on research to extend our lives (those of us who can afford it) but what about the people who die of everyday, treatable diseases or from lack of medicine and health care or even appropriate or sufficient food? So we in the West, the lucky ones live at other people’s expense. That is if we truly believe we are all equal. Equality is very geographically determined concept.

Then there is Jupiter Jones, played well by Mila Kunis. She’s no ass kicking super hero, or overly educated privileged white woman. No, she’s a migrant, poor, working in the most shit job imaginable. Cleaning other people’s loos! What is interesting for me is that she goes back to that job after everything and she goes back to it happy, taking pleasure in her role and service. For the life of me I can’t parse that in some ways (I was weaned on princesses), but in other ways I can. She’s a every person’s heroine. She is not glamorised, despite the costumes and the beauty and the power she is offered in her galactic existence. She’s happy to just be the cog in the wheel appreciating the simple things in life. She is happy knowing that the world is safe.

I’m not saying the movie doesn’t have some flaws. Sean Bean doesn’t die. Totally threw me that. Lol. Okay I’m kidding. The bees, while spectacular the bit about them recognising royalty not so much. I also noticed that Jupiter is called your majesty and then your highness, which are different. I thought the whole royal house thing was a bit hazy, but that didn’t bring it down for me.

Hate me if you dare! I give Jupiter Ascending four out of five stars.

Read Full Post »