la_belle_laide: (whatever YOU want)
They are remaking FFVII! I mean, you know, I've actually made posts like this before (“ARE THEY? THEY ARE HINTING...!”) but it's always been like, another stupid sequel or side-game or dumb commercial or thing with Gagkt/Genesis in it. But this time it is for real and I HAVE LOST ALL MY CHILL.

WITNESS MY ANCIENT LOVE FOR THIS GAME. (And witness me totally whitewashing Sephiroth and even the Turks to a point, LOL. I'm kinda over it? Maybe?)

By the time the game comes out, shoot, my son will be old enough to understand that Mommy is excited over a game. He might even be in school. O_O (Leaving me with some time during the day to play it. :D ) It's so weird, the way that turns out.

Umm. I can't think of anything aside from FFVII today.

Haku had a seizure this morning, though. So that is uncool.
la_belle_laide: (Mappy)



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I saw Looper on Friday and I'm only getting around to writing about it now. As some of you know, this is a movie I've been waiting for for years. I'm a weak person and I did a bad, naughty thing when I downloaded the script when it leaked a few years ago. I couldn't help it. It was like someone put a pint of Ben & Jerry's in front of me and said, "But don't touch this." It's just not going to happen. The day I read it, I couldn't put it down. And then I went back and read it again.

I'm not going to necessarily get into the timey wimey time travel parts of it in this post, because I'm actually gonna do that in a HitRECord video. (Well, maybe I'll get a LITTLE into it.) But, this post will have SPOILERS, so if you don't want LOOPER SPOILERS, then don't read this post full of LOOPER SPOILERS.

Okay, first, because I have to get it away, yes, of course there were some problems and issues with the script. Nothing is perfect. And I am a big believer in thinking critically about things that I love the most. Especially about things I love the most.

So yeah, the first thing Imma talk about here is the role of women in the movie. I might not even be going into it as much if Rian Johnson hadn't made a snarky comment about the Bechdel test on Twitter. I know that the test isn't always a great litmus for good representation of women in media (because some really good, pro-female works don't even pass it,) but at least take it seriously when someone brings it up. :/ I love Rian Johnson and he is currently my favorite director, so I always get eye-rolly when people I really respect have those human failings.

Anyway, the biggest problem with this script was that, like Brick, the women characters skirted the whole "whore/madonna" trope. Either they are whores who aren't emotionally available for the main character (JGL in both cases,) or they are his savior. Well, not so much with the "savior" in Brick. But definitely in this movie. One woman is literally a prostitute who breaks his heart, the other is a typical, virtuous wife who saves his soul. Old Joe actually even says this. Moreso, she has absolutely no lines at all. She's just there for him and nothing else.

FORTUNATELY, the movie is saved by Sara, who's tough as hell, has her own agenda, and could take or leave Joe. She decides on "take." Which is great, because it's her decision. She's the one who initiates the affair, basically just because she feels like it. He doesn't change her and turn her into "wife material," nor does she change him. They don't fall in love. She keeps her own agenda, which is looking out for her son. Young Joe does change, but it's not for her. His sacrifice is more meaningful than that.

I mean let's face it, it's a movie by a dude, about a dude, with some women in the story. That's just the way these things are. Movies centered on women are usually called "chick flicks" and movies centered on men are just called "movies." I'm not saying that it should stay that way, or that we shouldn't try to have a more even set of films – WE TOTALLY SHOULD. Movie writers should write movies with women characters doing all the normal (or abnormal) things, and have it just be a damn movie. But that is rare, and in the mean time, we have movies about dudes. They can still be good movies. And this was beyond good.

And by the way, Emily Blunt was fantastic.

Just because I knew I was going to love the movie way in advance, doesn't mean I didn't find new things to appreciate. So much of the movie was just how I pictured it. Of course, Joe looked different, wince he was in Bruce Willis makeup, but I got used to that quickly enough. After the first two minutes, it didn't seem so much like "JGL being Bruce Willis" rather than just two guys playing the same character.

There are a few things that Rian does in all of his films, one of which is the whole Tormented Hero thing. He even hung a lampshade on that in The Brothers Bloom. Which, I mean, I LOVE. That is actually my biggest fangirl button; I've said that so many times. Rian Johnson just has a sensibility about characters that really melds with my own. He knows how to write heroes that I pretty much have to enjoy.

And in both of his movies that feature Joe as the lead, he's definitely got this thing for breaking him up into tiny, bite-sized, heartbroken little Joe-bits and then throwing him into bed with The Bad Girl. I wonder why that is. Also, using Noah Segan as the Buttmonkey.

Props, by the way, to Noah Segan. His character Kid Blue had to go from being badass, to ridiculous, to pathetic, to sympathetic, sometimes all in one scene. Talk about whiplash. One second you loved him, the next he was the bad guy. One second he's awesome, the next second he's stupidly hilarious, the next second you feel profoundly sorry for him. Well played. That must have been hard.

Bruce Willis was Bruce Willis, which is to say, really badass, obviously. I saw him in some interviews and he seems really softspoken and nice.

Lemme talk for a second about the major difference between the (ILL-GOTTEN) script* and the movie.

SPOILERS )

Okay, aside from that. The scene with Seth, oh my god. That was creepy as hell in the script, but in the movie, it turned into HIGH OCTANE NIGHTMARE FUEL, wtf. I almost couldn't look, it was so horrifying. Extremely effective, just subtle enough that you didn't have to see everything. Any more would have been overkill. Oh man, body horror.

So there's a lot of Timey-wimey mindscrewing in this movie, but, for as much as I love the concept of time travel and could discuss it all day, (and have,) that's really not what the film is about. It's really just about making a huge sacrifice in order to break a cycle of destruction. I know there are some people who are taking a cynical standpoint and saying "I still think nothing changed," but to me that's pointless. To me, it's not that kind of nihilistic movie. It means something. That was the whole idea of it, I think: to do something with meaning. Otherwise, why bother?

Oh, and Joe was perfect for the role, since, duh, it was written for him. Still, there would have been ways to screw this role up, but he just gets better and better. It was hard to realize that I was even watching him, and that's not really because the makeup, either.

So, problems aside, not only was this my favorite movie of the year, but I think it's actually my favorite movie. I think it knocked The Usual Suspects out of its top spot, goddamnit. Which pisses me off, because that movie has been there for years.

On a side note, I knew there was going to be a HitRECord collab to put stuff on the Looper DVD when it came out. I got crazy excited and did a crapload of stuff about Time Travel. Because I mean, what a huge concept, time travel, there's so much you could say about it. And it's a time travel movie. How tremendous! But, no. They made the collab about LOOPS. Man, STFU and get out my face, both of you. I'm just full of piss and vinegar over that, I mean really, "loops," wtf even. >_< Now I have to do all new stuff and I don't feel like it. Dang.

But anyway, it's a great movie, and people, if you haven't seen it, do. You won't be sorry.



*Don't ask me for it. It was years ago, and now Rian is going to release the licensed version to the public soon. So if you want it, you'll get it soon enough. :D
la_belle_laide: (Default)



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A few days ago I posted to Tumblr a little thing about how Loki Laufeyson is like Raistlin Majere of Dragonlance. It got some reblogs and a little bit of meta about whether or not Loki is redeemable or if such a thing would mess up his character. And elsewhere, I saw some questions regarding the same thing.

So I decided to merge Fangirl Me and English Major Me to write up a little something-something about the idea.

The easiest answer to this question is, Yes, of course Loki is redeemable, because all movie/comic/literary/other fictional villains are. If you can bring Darth Vader back from the Dark Side, you can bring anyone. (And what was his punishment for all of his wrongdoings? His Force-ghost getting replaced with Hayden Christensen. All right, yeah, I guess that is kind of harsh.)

But of course, there are lots of different canons when it comes to Loki, and as many different interpretations, too. Sure, Loki is sympathetic and can be redeemed (if not become a "Good Guy,) but in what contexts? And how? And why do we want that, or not want that? And if that is what we want, what must his punishment be, first?

First context: The real world. Since Loki doesn't exist in the real world, why even bother asking this? Because I want to make it clear that we're discussing fiction, and that in real life, this crap don't apply.

Second context: Norse Legends. This is a weird one, because the legends are so bizarre. But we have to say, of course Loki is redeemable in Norse legends, because the Æsir keep taking him back anyway. In this context, Loki (a fire-god,) is just a trickster. One whose "tricks" involve setting murderous wolves on Asgard, eating people's hearts, having sex with horses and birthing mutant horse babies (and giving them to Odin, so hey, not so bad really,) and, you know, bringing about Ragnarok. So he's pretty bad, yet in the context of the mythology, he's kind of just doing what they do there. His various punishments include things like being bound with his son's innards, being chained up to rocks with venom dripping on him for millennia, and other such unspeakable tortures. That's just how they roll. And yet he's still an occasional ally to the Æsir, like when he and Thor dressed in drag together to retrieve Mjolnir. (Trying to get Thor chosen as a bride in order to infiltrate the Bad Guys: I could do a whole 'nother write-up about how much Final Fantasy VII is based on Norse mythology, but too many other people have done that already.) So anyway, yeah, in the Norse Mythology, Loki is both good and bad, and does terrible things and does good things, and has terrible things done to him, and is accepted and rejected in turns.

Third context: Marvel Comics. Let me take a moment to say, first, I'm not too familiar with the comics, so me writing about it is a little iffy.

Is Loki a redeemable villain in the world of the comics? The way that whole 'verse operates, its laws and logic and world-views? Again I'm going to have to say "Yes," for reasons similar to the Norse mythology ones. Because to me—and remember, I haven't read them, just seen a few pages—this is just how they roll. People turn bad, then good, and they do horrible things and have horrible things done to them. In a violent (fictional!) world, violence is just an accepted part of life. Like, hey, we've all killed a few people here and there, right? You pay for your sins, angst for a while, and move on. It's worth noting that the world Loki comes from in the comics is way harsher than the world of the films. And while in the film, we only see a preview of what his punishment might be (I don't want to spoil it for anyone,) it's a hell of a lot milder than what happens in the comic: )

Yes, I think that in this context, it is possible to not only see Loki as a redeemable character, but even to understand why he turned out the way he did. If his family is so blithe about torture-as-punishment, you sort of have to expect that kind of character development.

But the movies; now that's really what we're talking about here. The answer to "Is Movie Loki redeemable?" is as easy as it gets: Yes, of course he is. If Natasha is redeemable, Loki must be, too. She's the one who says, "But he killed eighty people in two days." Girl, your record isn't exactly pristine, either. Natasha was supposed to pay for her crimes, but was given another chance. And really, the same goes for Thor, in the first movie. Didn't he go to Jotunheim with the intention to commit genocide? Yes, he was being manipulated by Loki, but mass murder was still a part of Thor's process, and he still did kill a bunch of Jotuns who were just defending their territory when he showed up like Rambo without a jock strap. (I'm not bashing Thor, okay, I thought he was great. But this is his world-view for the first half of the film.)

But there's so much more to play around with in the movies. Would we even be talking about Loki's redemption if he hadn't been played in a specific way by Tom Hiddleston? Part of this is down to Kenneth Branagh's direction in Thor, and part of it is down to T-Hiddles' talent for conjuring empathy out of thin goddamn air. He's probably the most woobified / whitewashed character since Sephiroth, and let's not even lie about this, part of the reason is because he's pretty, and pretty people get away with more crap. All right, but he's not just pretty, he's good at it, and Branagh's decision to have him play like two-thirds of the movie with big, watery, sad eyes, always looking rejected and betrayed, has a lot to do with it.
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On the other hand, Movie Loki has much less of an excuse to become a Crazy Genocidal Hate Machine than other incarnations of Loki, because as far as we can tell, he was raised in kindness, for the most part. Odin seems a decent sort (if misguided, since I believe all parents should tell their children the truth of their lives and parentage from DAY FREAKING ONE if you want to avoid major issues, okay,) and Frigga clearly loves Loki, as does Thor, in his own arrogant, overbearing way. But I mean, there are plenty of folks who find out that their families weren't what they thought they were, or who live in the shadow of their hugely popular siblings, or who are outright abused, and those people don't generally turn into Crazy Genocidal Hate Machines. But it's the movies, okay, so that happens.

Tom Hiddleston said that part of Loki's development in Avengers came while he fell to Midgard at the end of Thor. He said that Loki "saw things" that made him go mad. Okay, Hiddles, I'll accept that if you and your blue eyes say so, but Loki is still not off the hook. There are plenty of "mad" people who don't go around subjugating planets. Those who do are still generally frowned upon. "There are always men like you."

Another theory I hear around is that Loki is being manipulated by (redacted for spoilers.) Loki, the God Of Lies, being manipulated? I don't buy it. Okay, you say, but he's obviously been tortured and coerced. Well, I'm willing to give you that one. Yes, it's clear that Loki has been through some kind of horror at the beginning of the film, and there's no question that he's at least operating under the threat of torture. That scene is in there for a reason. That's not even up for debate, BUT, that only goes for him retrieving the Tesseract. The idea to subjugate Earth is his own. No one forced him to do that.

So what changed him so fundamentally? In Thor, at least in the beginning of the movie, Loki was just a bitter little brat, who, though willing to "ruin Thor's big day" (at the cost of letting a few people die,) still actually loved Thor, and his family. And even after he found out the secret of his birth, ("By the way, Loki, those really awful monstrosities that you've been taught to fear and hate all your life? You know, basically the vilest thing that exists in your world? You're one of them, sorry kiddo,") Loki still maintained that he honestly didn't want to rule Asgard. He only ever wanted to be Thor's equal. He says this, and I'm inclined to believe him because A) why even say it, at that point, when you're already seething with madness and willing to fight to the death? And B) because of the deleted scene. FFS, why did they shorten this? It's so important, and so well-acted! OMG, his face when he's offered Odin's spear. It is literally like O_o;;

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He legitimately did not see this coming at all. Odin going all Odinsleep was never part of the plan, and it's like it didn't even occur to him what would happen next. He's playing Frigga a little in that scene ("How long will Odin be asleep? Why would Thor come back?") but at that moment, no one's looking at him aside from the audience. I think that's such an important part of the direction. And then once he gets the spear in his hand and Frigga says "Make your father proud," he's like, "Aww hell yeah, now it's my turn." It somewhat explains his arrogance when Sif and the rest find him on Odin's throne. "Mom told me to make Dad proud, so I'm going to act like a King to you now, with the added benefit of the power to really screw with everyone. You guys have always thought I was sly? I'll show you sly."

I think that at the end of the movie, he still loves Odin, Thor and his family, even as he resents the hell out of them. And by the beginning of Avengers, he probably still does, although by that time he's completely around the bend and in way too far over his head to admit it, even to himself. His surrender at this point would be far too costly for him in every way; the only thing he could possibly afford at this point is victory. But as Tony Stark (and another character) both tell him, victory was never an option for Loki. Logically, as Stark tells him, there is no way he can come out on top. And (redacted) tells him, even more importantly, "You lack conviction." Loki is so riddled with self-loathing, even he doesn't believe in himself.

Not that any of that excuses his actions, or the pleasure he takes in tormenting beings he thinks are beneath him. If he himself is being tortured, one would like to think that he wouldn't do it to others, and yet he's just as merciless as (redacted) have (most likely) been to him.

But at the end of the film/mythology/story/this bit of fangirl rambling, YES, Loki is still redeemable. Likable? Maybe not. A "Good Guy?" Probably not. Relatable? Maybe sort of. Sympathetic? Yes, of course, because GOOD ACTING. But will he, and should he have at least a few moments in Thor 2 to redeem himself? Of course! Everyone else gets to!

ON THE OTHER HAND, we all know what happens to villains when they get their moment of redemption, don't we? Oh yes we do. Redemption = death. So maybe it would be better for all of us if Loki stayed naughty.

I've never been good at the "in conclusion" part. Suffice to say that I might have run out of thoughts on the subject, but I have not run out of feels.


la_belle_laide: (blue-eyed beast)
I just finished Skyward Sword and now I'm mad that I finished it. I know, I know, it took me forever. I could have finished it back in December, really, but I wanted to savor it because Zelda games are so far between.

Can't even lie about the fact that I cried at the end, too. Link and Fi! Zelda and Impa! And the music of my childhood!

But why is it that boss battles are pretty much the easiest in the game? I had stocked up on potions and set aside a whole hour to try and try again. But in the end I didn't use the potions, and I beat Demise in about five minutes, doing the second round without my shield (I looked away for a second and he broke the shield. Didn't end up needing it.)

I don't have a lot of deep, profound thoughts about it; LOZ is just an emotional thing for me, having played it since childhood, every major console game. (I've never done the DS ones because I don't have a DS.) Graphics, music, gameplay, characters I grew up with, and one of my favorite heroes ever. All in all, it was another very satisfying LOZ experience.

When's the next game?!
la_belle_laide: (yanyan)


I DON'T KNOW! I HAVE A LOT OF FEELS ABOUT KENSHIN, OKAY. And this trailer gives me a lot of thinks to go along with my feels!

So I'm not sure yet. The cast looks very beautiful, and the action looks pretty badass too. I could love it, maybe, but it had better be damn effing good. You can't mess with a thing like Kenshin. And I hope they don't mess up Kaoru because she was pretty hardcore. So, we'll see about this!

Fangirling aside for a sec, I have a full schedule tomorrow which is rad, because it's been really freaking slow around there. I have one appointment on Christmas Eve and we're closing early, so I'll be losing most of that day, too. Hopefully I will get some good tips tomorrow.

Today I sent out three more queries. I sent them with mucho excitement and high hopes. Fly, little queries! Fly and find us a home!

All right, really I just wanted to put up that trailer. Time to go watch some Torchwood at Mom's, and then chill out here for a bit and get to bed early for tomorrow's appointments. I start at ten, because that's the earliest we ever start there (the owners, two sisters, are so NOT morning people for which I am profoundly grateful,) but with having to take care of the dogs etc. in the morning, I still have to get up at 8:15. Still! That's the earliest I ever have to get up for work and that's really nothing to complain about, is it? Especially after getting up at 6:45 for so many years working for The Bad Place, and at 6 AM on some days when I was in school over an hour away. God DAMN how the hell did I even do that? Eff that.

You know what occurred to me just now? I need some new icons.

Well, yeah. Okay, ta!









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la_belle_laide: (yanyan)
Rurouni Kenshin Gets New Anime

WHAT. WHAT. *sputterflail*

The widely popular franchise Rurouni Kenshin will get a new anime, according to the June issue of Shueisha's Jump Square magazine. This is a busy time for Rurouni Kenshin fans, as Blu-rays of the first two OVAs and the feature film are scheduled to hit stores between August and October -- as well as a new PSP game, Rurouni Kenshin, Meiji Kenkaku Romantan Saisen, which is already in stores.

The samurai story by Nobuhiro Watsuki originally debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1994; Viz Media is the North American publisher of the manga. More information about the new anime will be published in future issues of Jump Square magazine.


AHHHH!

Of course, my first thought went to [livejournal.com profile] lisa_s. ^_^ And pretty much all my other fandom pals too.

KENSHIN! WHAT!
la_belle_laide: (ShinRa slut)



statistics for vBulletin



Last night was what we had been looking forward to for months: Distant Worlds! It was a little nerve-wracking with catching all the different trains, esp. the Atlantic Terminal which has a tendency to shut down at random times etc.

Jo-chan and I left at around 3:45 and were at Syosset train station around 5. SB wasn't far behind and we got some snacks and water from Dunkin Donuts, got our train tickets, and were on our way. (Note to self: That nice conductor was right: when in doubt, get off-peack tickets. DO NOT listen to the idiot woman on line in front of you and buy PEAK tickets when you're going west in the afternoon. *Kicks random woman*)

Train rides were pretty quick and went smoothly, and the BAM center was literally right around the corner from the Atlantic Terminal. It was a 3 minute walk, 5 at most. We got there, had a look around, and then had another snack upstairs at the BAM cafe, which was really cool. That done, we got our awesome orchestra seats by raound 7:30, and waited, chatting with the folks around us who were just as excited and geeked out as we were.

Jo-chan and I were the only ones in any sort of costume. I'm glad we went subtle. Actually, in the bathroom, two girls were like, "Oh my god, Raine! And Edea!" We were like, "Oh yeah, score. Someone got it, at least."

We all somehow expected Nobuo Uematsu to be the maestro, the MC, really anything. But instead, he came out on stage, took a bow to thunderous screaming and applause, and then took a seat in the audience next to some very lucky fans. He's so cool, with his musical note doo-rag and his long, floofy hair.

They opened the show with the general theme to Final Fantasy, and went right into Liberi Fatali. It wasn't the kind of show where you could be screaming and stomping and cheering, like Video Games Live, so reactions from the audience were limited to whispered "ahhs!" and "OMGs!" and quiet squees. I saw a lot of people hand-flailing just to contain their excitement during their favorite numbers. Personally, I would have gone for Liberi Fatali alone. As I mentioned in a past post that song and I have history.

History. )

The live version is, of course, amazing.

The show went really heavy on FF7 and FF8, for which I was personally so thrilled. They did a little FF13 too, and some Chocobo stuff which was awesome. And the live version of JENOVA blows away about any version I've ever heard.

I have pics and videos of much of this, but they are mostly crap, since filming and photographs were prohibited, and everything was done on the sneak.

At the end, though, I just shamelessly started recording. I couldn't not, because Uematsu came on stage to sing One Winged Angel with the choir. I can't even tell you how epic that was. (Of note: The choir was singing the words "ira vehementus" when I'm sure the actual words are "ira vehementi. And I saw Uematsu singing "ira vehementi" also. I just thought that was weird.) I swear I also still hear "haryuu no hanekata the last two times, instead of "Gloriosa Generosa."

The ended the show with One Winged Angel, of course, because you can't follow that. It's impossible.

We had our meet+greet tickets, which was part of what the ridiculous extra cost was for. It was mad expensive, but we all thought, really, when else might we get a chance to talk to Nobuo Uematsu? Maybe even never. But we were concerned because the last train out of Brooklyn was 10:55 unless we wanted to either get a cab to Jamaica and wait until the 1:38 train (and if we missed that one, the next train out was 3:20. WTF. No one wants to sit in Jamaica station at 3 Am.)

So even as the orchestra started leaving, we jumped out of our seats and to the one, teeny tiny elevator. We were actually the first ones to the meet and greet. Uematsu came up at around 10:30. Well, I guess we all kind of lost our cool for a bit then. I wanted him to sign my soundtrack. It's the original, from ages ago, which you can't really find anymore, or so I'm told.

So I went up first, and I forgot the word for "sountrack." I just went, "Uematsu-san, thank you so much, could you sign my, my, my, my.... my thing, my soundtrack paper thing?" He was like, Sure, sure! And I was all "oh, thank you, thank you!" He asked if I spoke Japanese (I might have gotten totally ridiculous and stuttered out an "arigatou gozaimasu!") and I was trying to remember how to say "a tiny bit," (chiisai, chiisai!) but couldn't remember, so I just said, "a tiny bit. BUT I TRY VERY HARD."

Umm, then I moved aside from SB who went, "Umm, wow, thank you for the music, umm, HAHAHA!" and shoved his ticket to be signed. Uematsu was very obliging and he was like, "Oh, you're welcome," and SB was like, "THANK YOU FOR COMING TO NEW YORK, HAHA."He couldn't stop grinning. Then he said hi to the conductor, Arnie Roth, who also signed his ticket.

Jo-chan came up next, and she had the presence of mind to actually FORM WORDS to him and have an actual conversation. She told him that Final Fantasy came out when she was five, and that his music had been a part of her life since childhood. He asked her, "Did Final Fantasy come out when you were five, because I doubt that," and she said, "No, Final Fantasy VII, my favorite." He asked her if she had played when she was a child and I jumped in and said, "They both played Final Fantasy since childhood, I insisted." Everyone got a laugh out of that.

We got our pics, thanked them both again, and then sort of floated euphorically out of the building.

Outside, Jo-chan said she'd been close enough to smell his hair, and we decided that he smelled like the Promised Land, or newly formed Materia.

When we got to Atlantic Terminal, they had a gate across the entrance. I pushed it aside and went inside anyway, where some guards were like, "No, no, you have to take the elevator, the stairs are closed!" I was like, "Umm, why are the stairs closed? And there had better be a train at the bottom of the elevator."

Fortunately there was, and we caught it in time. We made the 10:55 train by a ten minute margin; that's how quickly it was all over. We were laughing and ridiculous for the entire trip back.

We got back to Syosset at 12:15 AM. Jo-chan got a sandwich from Dunkin Donuts, while SB headed back to campus.

We were back at my house at 1:15 AM, which was such a relief, when my worry was that we wouldn't even catch the 1:38 train.

But anyway. Oh my gosh, what a beautiful concert, what a fantastic experience. We got to talk to Uematsu-san, and Jo-chan expressed for all of us what we wanted to say to him.

Pics, of course! )

Too cool to cut!
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Squee, squared. Pun more or less intended. :)

Today is much less awesome, but that doesn't belong in a post about things like this – I don't want to cheapen or lessen the thing that happened today by mixing it in with my fannish joy, because it's, sadly, too serious in nature for this stuff.

More later, but for now, I'm going to hold onto lsat night's joy for a while.
la_belle_laide: (ShinRa slut)



statistics for vBulletin



Last night was what we had been looking forward to for months: Distant Worlds! It was a little nerve-wracking with catching all the different trains, esp. the Atlantic Terminal which has a tendency to shut down at random times etc.

Jo-chan and I left at around 3:45 and were at Syosset train station around 5. SB wasn't far behind and we got some snacks and water from Dunkin Donuts, got our train tickets, and were on our way. (Note to self: That nice conductor was right: when in doubt, get off-peack tickets. DO NOT listen to the idiot woman on line in front of you and buy PEAK tickets when you're going west in the afternoon. *Kicks random woman*)

Train rides were pretty quick and went smoothly, and the BAM center was literally right around the corner from the Atlantic Terminal. It was a 3 minute walk, 5 at most. We got there, had a look around, and then had another snack upstairs at the BAM cafe, which was really cool. That done, we got our awesome orchestra seats by raound 7:30, and waited, chatting with the folks around us who were just as excited and geeked out as we were.

Jo-chan and I were the only ones in any sort of costume. I'm glad we went subtle. Actually, in the bathroom, two girls were like, "Oh my god, Raine! And Edea!" We were like, "Oh yeah, score. Someone got it, at least."

We all somehow expected Nobuo Uematsu to be the maestro, the MC, really anything. But instead, he came out on stage, took a bow to thunderous screaming and applause, and then took a seat in the audience next to some very lucky fans. He's so cool, with his musical note doo-rag and his long, floofy hair.

They opened the show with the general theme to Final Fantasy, and went right into Liberi Fatali. It wasn't the kind of show where you could be screaming and stomping and cheering, like Video Games Live, so reactions from the audience were limited to whispered "ahhs!" and "OMGs!" and quiet squees. I saw a lot of people hand-flailing just to contain their excitement during their favorite numbers. Personally, I would have gone for Liberi Fatali alone. As I mentioned in a past post that song and I have history.

History. )

The live version is, of course, amazing.

The show went really heavy on FF7 and FF8, for which I was personally so thrilled. They did a little FF13 too, and some Chocobo stuff which was awesome. And the live version of JENOVA blows away about any version I've ever heard.

I have pics and videos of much of this, but they are mostly crap, since filming and photographs were prohibited, and everything was done on the sneak.

At the end, though, I just shamelessly started recording. I couldn't not, because Uematsu came on stage to sing One Winged Angel with the choir. I can't even tell you how epic that was. (Of note: The choir was singing the words "ira vehementus" when I'm sure the actual words are "ira vehementi. And I saw Uematsu singing "ira vehementi" also. I just thought that was weird.) I swear I also still hear "haryuu no hanekata the last two times, instead of "Gloriosa Generosa."

The ended the show with One Winged Angel, of course, because you can't follow that. It's impossible.

We had our meet+greet tickets, which was part of what the ridiculous extra cost was for. It was mad expensive, but we all thought, really, when else might we get a chance to talk to Nobuo Uematsu? Maybe even never. But we were concerned because the last train out of Brooklyn was 10:55 unless we wanted to either get a cab to Jamaica and wait until the 1:38 train (and if we missed that one, the next train out was 3:20. WTF. No one wants to sit in Jamaica station at 3 Am.)

So even as the orchestra started leaving, we jumped out of our seats and to the one, teeny tiny elevator. We were actually the first ones to the meet and greet. Uematsu came up at around 10:30. Well, I guess we all kind of lost our cool for a bit then. I wanted him to sign my soundtrack. It's the original, from ages ago, which you can't really find anymore, or so I'm told.

So I went up first, and I forgot the word for "sountrack." I just went, "Uematsu-san, thank you so much, could you sign my, my, my, my.... my thing, my soundtrack paper thing?" He was like, Sure, sure! And I was all "oh, thank you, thank you!" He asked if I spoke Japanese (I might have gotten totally ridiculous and stuttered out an "arigatou gozaimasu!") and I was trying to remember how to say "a tiny bit," (chiisai, chiisai!) but couldn't remember, so I just said, "a tiny bit. BUT I TRY VERY HARD."

Umm, then I moved aside from SB who went, "Umm, wow, thank you for the music, umm, HAHAHA!" and shoved his ticket to be signed. Uematsu was very obliging and he was like, "Oh, you're welcome," and SB was like, "THANK YOU FOR COMING TO NEW YORK, HAHA."He couldn't stop grinning. Then he said hi to the conductor, Arnie Roth, who also signed his ticket.

Jo-chan came up next, and she had the presence of mind to actually FORM WORDS to him and have an actual conversation. She told him that Final Fantasy came out when she was five, and that his music had been a part of her life since childhood. He asked her, "Did Final Fantasy come out when you were five, because I doubt that," and she said, "No, Final Fantasy VII, my favorite." He asked her if she had played when she was a child and I jumped in and said, "They both played Final Fantasy since childhood, I insisted." Everyone got a laugh out of that.

We got our pics, thanked them both again, and then sort of floated euphorically out of the building.

Outside, Jo-chan said she'd been close enough to smell his hair, and we decided that he smelled like the Promised Land, or newly formed Materia.

When we got to Atlantic Terminal, they had a gate across the entrance. I pushed it aside and went inside anyway, where some guards were like, "No, no, you have to take the elevator, the stairs are closed!" I was like, "Umm, why are the stairs closed? And there had better be a train at the bottom of the elevator."

Fortunately there was, and we caught it in time. We made the 10:55 train by a ten minute margin; that's how quickly it was all over. We were laughing and ridiculous for the entire trip back.

We got back to Syosset at 12:15 AM. Jo-chan got a sandwich from Dunkin Donuts, while SB headed back to campus.

We were back at my house at 1:15 AM, which was such a relief, when my worry was that we wouldn't even catch the 1:38 train.

But anyway. Oh my gosh, what a beautiful concert, what a fantastic experience. We got to talk to Uematsu-san, and Jo-chan expressed for all of us what we wanted to say to him.

Pics, of course! )

Too cool to cut!
Photobucket

Squee, squared. Pun more or less intended. :)

Today is much less awesome, but that doesn't belong in a post about things like this – I don't want to cheapen or lessen the thing that happened today by mixing it in with my fannish joy, because it's, sadly, too serious in nature for this stuff.

More later, but for now, I'm going to hold onto lsat night's joy for a while.
la_belle_laide: (yanyan)
Tom Hardy's new short film, 12 minutes long! IT IS VERY PEENFUL, you should know this.



So like I don't even have WORDS, do you understand! I laughed, I cried, I went like this
Photobucket

and like this
Photobucket

sort of like this
Photobucket

and like this
Photobucket

And I will watch it again and again! It was better than LES MIS.

Because the peen has rendered me dead! I feel like I know Tom Hardy so well now which is only appropriate since he is my husband! That's two of my husbands who like to whip it out in films and show it at varying angles and doing different things in different situations (the other being Ewan McGregor, I know what his looks like upside down, pretty much.)

I mean there was also a movie and whatnot and he's honestly I can't even make a joke about it such a terrific actor with everything he does but IT'S HARD FOR ME TO GET PAST THIS. So bear with me! Because also look at his beautiful face! That jaw? OMG, how do people get so hot?

I'm happy tonight because Tom Hardy lives on the same planet as me, at least I think he does, and this short film is like a piece of cake for me to eat.

I AM HAPPY TO HAVE SEEN THIS FILM is the gist of what you should be taking away from this post.





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la_belle_laide: (yanyan)
Tom Hardy's new short film, 12 minutes long! IT IS VERY PEENFUL, you should know this.



So like I don't even have WORDS, do you understand! I laughed, I cried, I went like this
Photobucket

and like this
Photobucket

sort of like this
Photobucket

and like this
Photobucket

And I will watch it again and again! It was better than LES MIS.

Because the peen has rendered me dead! I feel like I know Tom Hardy so well now which is only appropriate since he is my husband! That's two of my husbands who like to whip it out in films and show it at varying angles and doing different things in different situations (the other being Ewan McGregor, I know what his looks like upside down, pretty much.)

I mean there was also a movie and whatnot and he's honestly I can't even make a joke about it such a terrific actor with everything he does but IT'S HARD FOR ME TO GET PAST THIS. So bear with me! Because also look at his beautiful face! That jaw? OMG, how do people get so hot?

I'm happy tonight because Tom Hardy lives on the same planet as me, at least I think he does, and this short film is like a piece of cake for me to eat.

I AM HAPPY TO HAVE SEEN THIS FILM is the gist of what you should be taking away from this post.





statistics for vBulletin

la_belle_laide: (ShinRa slut)



website statistics



This week has been such a stupid amount of awesome, I'm actually concerned. There was a brief writing thingie-bit-of-awesomeness, and Kung Fu awesomeness, but I'll save them for another post.

This post is just for the awesomeness that was Video Games Live.

SB, Jo-chan and I have been planning this trip since around summer time. This was like, our BIG THING that we all got to do together. In the fall, SB wrote an email to Tommy Tallarico (VGL creator) saying that he was also a composer, and that he really hoped his future would be in video game music etc. Mr. Tallarico wrote him this really nice email back, giving him tons of links to work from. Eventually SB got a really sweet, short-term internship out of it. He did some voiceover work for an MMORPG (but I forgot which one.)

SO! Saturday comes along, and we're all peeing our pants because we've decided that we're going to show up to the venue early, stake it out a little, and maybe, if we're lucky, get to meet Mr. Tallarico.

Jo-chan got there around 3, and we left by 3:40. (She was Link. I was Raine from FFVIII again.) SB left from his school and was going to meet us there. Jo-chan and I had a ridiculous amount of fun driving there, singing along to J-pop video game music and generally acting like geeks. We got there at around 5, found a prime parking spot right directly in front of the venue, and headed on in.

As we were going inside, who walks by but Mr. Tallarico. I recognized him right away and I was like, "Jo-chan. Jo-chan!" And she got all, "OMG. No way." He came over to us, complimented her on her Link costume and told her to enter the contest, then he went on his way. She immediately called SB to tell him that we'd already met the dude. SB turned into Rage Guy for a few seconds on the phone there, and then he hurried on down.

Then, Jo and I went to search out some kind of sustenance. We ended up crossing behind the truck with all the orchestra's gear in it. We joked for a minute that if this was a video game, there would be an item in the truck that we'd have to retrieve to unlock a side quest. We stood there staring into the truck, doing sound effects and music for various "YOU GOT THE ITEM" scenes. Some guy saw us lurking around and asked, "Are you with Video Games Live?" We were like, "Umm. Well we're here to see it," and other babbling suggesting that we were not, in fact, trying to get back stage or take something out of the truck; we were just looking for a restaurant or cafe or something. He told us where the cafe was, and off we went. We paid $25 for two sandwiches. O_O

SB showed up at around 6, and we went to meet him, and then went back to the cafe so he could get a sandwich too. On our way back to the venue, we went around the backstage area again. And who was hanging around out there but Mr. Tallarico himself. I had to restrain myself from shoving SB in front of him and going, "And this is my cousin, and he's a composer, and he's really awesome, and, and, and..."

So we went up to him and SB thanked him for his email, and said he'd gotten a sweet internship out of it. Mr. Tallarico actually remembered him, and they spent a few minutes talking about the internship. Then some other guy was hanging around with us, and he joined in the conversation which veered off to things like Hot Topic and how Twilight had ruined everything. Yup, we totally hung out with Tommy Tallarico for a good fifteen minutes talking about how awful Twilight is.

Then I asked if I could get a pic of him with the two kids, and we thanked him and went on our way.

Jo-chan and SB were so freaking happy, it honestly made my night more than anything else.

Some other folks started following us around too. I have no idea why. People kept coming to us and saying, "Can I hang with you? My friends aren't here yet." We got the heads-up that there was a free dinner in with our ticket to the show (hi, thanks for telling us after we spent over $30+ on sandwiches?) and by the time we got to the dinner, a group of people pulled an entire table over to where we were sitting so that they could hang with us.

I kind of started to think that maybe we literally felt like good luck, and people wanted in on that.

After dinner it was time for the concert, which was its usual geeky awesomeness. It touched me, like it did last time, with its reverence for gaming, and for gamers. This concert makes a point of how relevant video games are, and how the music that goes to games has become the kind of music that used to be odes to gods. It's not 8-bit bleeps and bloops. Characters get their own choirs. Video game music can stand alone as brilliant pieces of art. And video games themselves are as artistic, thoughtful, and relevant as movies, as theater, as great novels. They're stories – just interactive ones.

VGL has moments of irreverence and it doesn't take itself seriously either. (Little side-segments on big screens, about the Top Ten Worst Voiceovers Ever, the Top Ten Worst Titles ever etc. [A game called "Irritating Stick" and one called "Touch Dic". O_O ] ) There's a Guitar Hero playoff, like there usually is, a costume contest, audience participation, and retrospectives on gaming history. All sorts of games are included. Big, huge titles like Mario, Zelda, God of War, Halo, WoW; lesser known ones such as Afrika, and older ones like Pac Man, Space Invaders, Tetris, and yes, Tank and Pong.

And again, they did One Winged Angel. ^_^

Oh, and of course, acting as conductor this time around was Wataru Hokoyama, the composer for Resident Evil 5 and Afrika. He was adorable and amazing.

So, yes, this was just a day and evening made of awesome and win and success and geekery.

Next up?

DISTANT WORLDS, THE MUSIC OF FINAL FANTASY, WITH COMPOSER NOBUO UEMATSU. MEET AND GREET AFTERWARDS. April 1st, Brooklyn.

There's so much I can say about Uematsu and what his music means to me, and also to SB and Jo-chan. I could talk about how in '00 we all discovered Final Fantasy VIII and the song Liberi Fatali, and all the memories that go with that. How it led to an admittedly ridiculous and unrelenting Final Fantasy fandom, and all of the things that it brought to me. How, when they were little kids, 8 and 11, I'd set up the video camera in the back yard and let them have sword fights with Uematsu's music blasting in the background. They were my wee little fankidlets back then, growing up with Uematsu as their number one composer, and now they're brilliant young adults still just as smitten with the games and the music that goes to them. There is so much I could say, but it wouldn't even begin to cover it. We always swore that if we ever got the chance, we'd have to go and see a concert where they would perform our music, and if we ever got to meet Nobuo Uematsu, it would be A Very Big Deal. They actually are performing Liberi Fatali that night, so yeah. I grabbed the tickets yesterday. :)

I know this is all really geeky and I don't expect most people to understand. I can't even put it into a perspective that a non-gamer would get. I get judged a lot for being a gamer, people thinking that games are some sort of time vampire, that you get nothing at the end of a game, and that everything you win is meaningless. Just, how is that any different from reading a novel, watching a play, or a movie? You don't "win" anything after that either, except for the memories of something well-enjoyed. What, honestly, is the difference? If anyone can tell me, I'd love to know.

Anyway. Pictures and videos.

Video Games Live! )

I can't wait to see what pics and videos I'll have after the Uematsu one. April can't come soon enough! ^_^
la_belle_laide: (ShinRa slut)



website statistics



This week has been such a stupid amount of awesome, I'm actually concerned. There was a brief writing thingie-bit-of-awesomeness, and Kung Fu awesomeness, but I'll save them for another post.

This post is just for the awesomeness that was Video Games Live.

SB, Jo-chan and I have been planning this trip since around summer time. This was like, our BIG THING that we all got to do together. In the fall, SB wrote an email to Tommy Tallarico (VGL creator) saying that he was also a composer, and that he really hoped his future would be in video game music etc. Mr. Tallarico wrote him this really nice email back, giving him tons of links to work from. Eventually SB got a really sweet, short-term internship out of it. He did some voiceover work for an MMORPG (but I forgot which one.)

SO! Saturday comes along, and we're all peeing our pants because we've decided that we're going to show up to the venue early, stake it out a little, and maybe, if we're lucky, get to meet Mr. Tallarico.

Jo-chan got there around 3, and we left by 3:40. (She was Link. I was Raine from FFVIII again.) SB left from his school and was going to meet us there. Jo-chan and I had a ridiculous amount of fun driving there, singing along to J-pop video game music and generally acting like geeks. We got there at around 5, found a prime parking spot right directly in front of the venue, and headed on in.

As we were going inside, who walks by but Mr. Tallarico. I recognized him right away and I was like, "Jo-chan. Jo-chan!" And she got all, "OMG. No way." He came over to us, complimented her on her Link costume and told her to enter the contest, then he went on his way. She immediately called SB to tell him that we'd already met the dude. SB turned into Rage Guy for a few seconds on the phone there, and then he hurried on down.

Then, Jo and I went to search out some kind of sustenance. We ended up crossing behind the truck with all the orchestra's gear in it. We joked for a minute that if this was a video game, there would be an item in the truck that we'd have to retrieve to unlock a side quest. We stood there staring into the truck, doing sound effects and music for various "YOU GOT THE ITEM" scenes. Some guy saw us lurking around and asked, "Are you with Video Games Live?" We were like, "Umm. Well we're here to see it," and other babbling suggesting that we were not, in fact, trying to get back stage or take something out of the truck; we were just looking for a restaurant or cafe or something. He told us where the cafe was, and off we went. We paid $25 for two sandwiches. O_O

SB showed up at around 6, and we went to meet him, and then went back to the cafe so he could get a sandwich too. On our way back to the venue, we went around the backstage area again. And who was hanging around out there but Mr. Tallarico himself. I had to restrain myself from shoving SB in front of him and going, "And this is my cousin, and he's a composer, and he's really awesome, and, and, and..."

So we went up to him and SB thanked him for his email, and said he'd gotten a sweet internship out of it. Mr. Tallarico actually remembered him, and they spent a few minutes talking about the internship. Then some other guy was hanging around with us, and he joined in the conversation which veered off to things like Hot Topic and how Twilight had ruined everything. Yup, we totally hung out with Tommy Tallarico for a good fifteen minutes talking about how awful Twilight is.

Then I asked if I could get a pic of him with the two kids, and we thanked him and went on our way.

Jo-chan and SB were so freaking happy, it honestly made my night more than anything else.

Some other folks started following us around too. I have no idea why. People kept coming to us and saying, "Can I hang with you? My friends aren't here yet." We got the heads-up that there was a free dinner in with our ticket to the show (hi, thanks for telling us after we spent over $30+ on sandwiches?) and by the time we got to the dinner, a group of people pulled an entire table over to where we were sitting so that they could hang with us.

I kind of started to think that maybe we literally felt like good luck, and people wanted in on that.

After dinner it was time for the concert, which was its usual geeky awesomeness. It touched me, like it did last time, with its reverence for gaming, and for gamers. This concert makes a point of how relevant video games are, and how the music that goes to games has become the kind of music that used to be odes to gods. It's not 8-bit bleeps and bloops. Characters get their own choirs. Video game music can stand alone as brilliant pieces of art. And video games themselves are as artistic, thoughtful, and relevant as movies, as theater, as great novels. They're stories – just interactive ones.

VGL has moments of irreverence and it doesn't take itself seriously either. (Little side-segments on big screens, about the Top Ten Worst Voiceovers Ever, the Top Ten Worst Titles ever etc. [A game called "Irritating Stick" and one called "Touch Dic". O_O ] ) There's a Guitar Hero playoff, like there usually is, a costume contest, audience participation, and retrospectives on gaming history. All sorts of games are included. Big, huge titles like Mario, Zelda, God of War, Halo, WoW; lesser known ones such as Afrika, and older ones like Pac Man, Space Invaders, Tetris, and yes, Tank and Pong.

And again, they did One Winged Angel. ^_^

Oh, and of course, acting as conductor this time around was Wataru Hokoyama, the composer for Resident Evil 5 and Afrika. He was adorable and amazing.

So, yes, this was just a day and evening made of awesome and win and success and geekery.

Next up?

DISTANT WORLDS, THE MUSIC OF FINAL FANTASY, WITH COMPOSER NOBUO UEMATSU. MEET AND GREET AFTERWARDS. April 1st, Brooklyn.

There's so much I can say about Uematsu and what his music means to me, and also to SB and Jo-chan. I could talk about how in '00 we all discovered Final Fantasy VIII and the song Liberi Fatali, and all the memories that go with that. How it led to an admittedly ridiculous and unrelenting Final Fantasy fandom, and all of the things that it brought to me. How, when they were little kids, 8 and 11, I'd set up the video camera in the back yard and let them have sword fights with Uematsu's music blasting in the background. They were my wee little fankidlets back then, growing up with Uematsu as their number one composer, and now they're brilliant young adults still just as smitten with the games and the music that goes to them. There is so much I could say, but it wouldn't even begin to cover it. We always swore that if we ever got the chance, we'd have to go and see a concert where they would perform our music, and if we ever got to meet Nobuo Uematsu, it would be A Very Big Deal. They actually are performing Liberi Fatali that night, so yeah. I grabbed the tickets yesterday. :)

I know this is all really geeky and I don't expect most people to understand. I can't even put it into a perspective that a non-gamer would get. I get judged a lot for being a gamer, people thinking that games are some sort of time vampire, that you get nothing at the end of a game, and that everything you win is meaningless. Just, how is that any different from reading a novel, watching a play, or a movie? You don't "win" anything after that either, except for the memories of something well-enjoyed. What, honestly, is the difference? If anyone can tell me, I'd love to know.

Anyway. Pictures and videos.

Video Games Live! )

I can't wait to see what pics and videos I'll have after the Uematsu one. April can't come soon enough! ^_^
la_belle_laide: (I SHIP IT)



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Right, so I've never "'shipped" anything in my life, really. I have pairings that I like, romances between fictional characters that I enjoy. And while, back in the day I wrote my share of fanfic, I never really thought "OMG OTP" ("one true pairing") about any two characters. That kind of thing can be fun, but is way not SRS BZNS and in fact is still not.

But this. This is fun. Inception's list on TVTropes, which is an amazing and inclusive list, spoiler-free because you'd have to highlight to read the spoilers. :D

Remember when I first reviewed Inception and I thought, "Well, that was nifty, but I don't see why everyone is freaking out over it." Well, I still kind of think that. In fact you could say that my reaction to the movie was pretty similar to this comic )
I don't know who did that; wish I could give credit. It's so true, though. My thoughts exactly.

As I also said back then, what really appealed to me about Inception wasn't that it was "mindblowing" or anything; it wasn't. What I liked was the characters, and the fact that there was really no bad guy. (Aside from the mostly faceless Cobol baddies that chase Cobb. But I mean, do we really even care about them?)

I've read some complaints that the characters weren't really fleshed out, that they were kind of left open in favor of the big huge fight scenes and effects. Maybe, maybe not. It's true that the script leaves some serious gaps that the actors had to fill in just by being sympathetic or funny. I do agree with some of the criticism leveled at the movie; I think it's fair. And I see the actors struggling (and succeeding) to breathe life and fun and motivation into their characters, often with intriguing success. That's why I'm babbling about Arthur and Eames today. To me, they were the most fun.

However, the fandom, that's a whole 'nother story for me. I find it massively entertaining, amusing, hilarious, fun, and hot. It was Joseph Gordon-Levitt and and Tom Hardy that really made me prick my ears up during the film, and it was the two of them that the fandom predictably ran off with. It's easy to see why, and no, it's not because they're hot. Although I guess that does help. ;D ( Bicycle!Arthur, (everyone gets a ride,) the movie's Little Black Dress, (looks good on everyone,) the Launcher Of A Thousand Ships. And burningly hot Eames who plays it Ambiguously Gay or straight gay. Okay, so yeah, hotness matters. Sorry.)

To me, they were the most easily relatable. I realize that the most sympathetic storyline was between Dom and Mal Cob, and really between Dom and his kids, but there was something about the whole "I'm using everyone in order to get home, also my dead wife isn't really a bitch; that's me attacking you all" angle sort of made me feel more for the other characters than for Cobb.

We get that Dom misses his wife and kids, and he does his share of angsting. In fact, he does it through the whole film, to great effect. But it's Arthur's perspective of Mal Cobb that really stood out for me, with just that one line: "She was lovely." We get that Cobb loved his wife. Why did Arthur? There's some history there that we're left to wonder at. Arthur was sympathetic to the whole family.

Otherwise, it was hard to understand some of the motivations sometimes. Dom wanted his kids back. Ariadne risked her job, her future, and her life because she was at first curious, and later on concerned (for this man she only just met.) I almost didn't buy her "I'm coming with you to protect everyone" thing. In my mind, she wanted in because it was cool and dangerous. And she didn't know the risk. (I also need to point out that I felt a little tug between Ariadne and Cobb, maybe more on her side than his. It's something about the way she looks when Arthur tells her, "No, they're not divorced" and "she's dead." And the way she looks when she asks Arthur, "What was she really like?" Well, why do you care what she was really like, Ariadne? OTOH she also looked really flattered when Arthur kissed her. I thought that was cute of her.)

Saito was on board because he wanted to protect his investment – and he didn't know the risk (and suffers the most because of it.)

Yusuf the chemist was in because he wanted the money; and it must have been a lot for him to risk his life when he was the only one aside from Cobb who truly did know the risks.

Cobb lied to everyone else, or at least lied by omission. And the only two characters who call him out on his lie are Eames first, then Arthur.

Why are they on board?

Arthur, I guess, because he's Cobb's partner. Yet, Arthur could have said no. Even if he didn't know what sort of danger they'd be going into, he disapproves of the whole scheme from the start. So why does he stay? Fandom sometimes paints Arthur as Cobb's lapdog, but I don't see any evidence of that in the movie. He is the only one who seems to put Cobb in his place most of the time.

So why does he follow Cobb into this project that he doesn't believe in?

Hmm. Maybe because he liked Mal – he states this in the movie. Maybe he likes Cobb's kids, or maybe he realizes it's unjust for Cobb to be separated from them and he wants to do the right thing, even if he doesn't agree with the method. JGL said in an interview that his interpretation of Arthur is that he loves the work. Maybe he does it just to see if he can.

Ahh, Mr. Eames. The one character who laughs, reasons, jokes, fights, and shows any sympathy at all to both Saito when he's dying, and to Fischer when he's suffering. Eames gets people; in his line of work, maybe he's got to understand them. Maybe his empathy is what makes him the best forger. Saito is dying in the dream; while everyone else is all up in arms, Eames is the only one who thinks to help him. ("He's in agony; I'm waking him up.") And he carefully defuses Cobb when Cobb freaks out on him and starts throwing him around. He is clearly no dummy; maybe the smartest guy in the movie, the way he handles situations and easily deals with people's emotions. He's a Guile Hero but is still the most empathetic one.

So, why is Eames on board? One has to figure that Mr. Eames does things because he wants to, and never for any other reason. The script has Cobb "selling" the job to him; the movie makes no such offer. The movie dialogue deviates from the script (which I downloaded,) sometimes drastically. In the shooting script, Eames mentions that the price on Cobb's head is pretty high, and that he'd sell him out – although he's clearly bluffing, because he hasn't. Why not? If Eames does things for the money, he could have sold Cobb out when Cobol came for him. Instead, he helps him escape. So, what are Eames's loyalties, and why are they currently to Cobb?

Eames never gives a reason why he joins the team; he's just automatically signed up once Cobb approaches him.

I am so not setting up to say that Arthur and Eames decided to do the job because of each other. Well, not Arthur, maybe. ;)

In the movie, Cobb tells Arthur he's going to talk to Eames, and Arthur's reaction is automatic:

COBB
I’ve got to talk to Eames.
ARTHUR
Eames? But he’s in Mombasa. Cobol’s
backyard.
COBB
Necessary risk.
ARTHUR
There's plenty of good thieves.
COBB
We don’t just need a thief. We need
a forger.


Blah blah blah setting up who's who and why they're necessary. My question—and indeed fandom's question—is why Arthur immediately knows where his least-favorite thief is. Bang, off the top of his head: Eames is in Mombasa; Arthur keeps tabs.

Well, it's his job to keep tabs, I guess. And perhaps he especially keeps tabs on what's going on in Mombasa, which is, as he states, Cobol's back yard. So he needs to know who from the dreaming world is hanging out there, ready and willing to sell out his boss. Why does he jump to "thief" for Eames, when Eames is clearly a forger first and foremost? (What did Eames steal, that he knows of?) Why is he so eager to use someone else? Why is his reaction so immediate?

Eames reaction to being told he's working with Arthur is similar in the script, but Tom Hardy decided to add his own flavor to it – as he did throughout the movie, as I understand. However it is still an instant, "Oh, him."

From the movie, not the shooting script:

COBB
Inception. Now before you tell me it's impossible...
EAMES
No, it’s perfectly possible. Just
bloody difficult.
COBB
Interesting. Because Arthur keeps telling me...
EAMES
*Filthy laugh* Arthur. You’re still working with
that stick-in-the-mud?
COBB
He’s good at what he does.
EAMES
Ahh, he's the best. But he has no
imagination.
COBB
Not like you?
EAMES
If you’re going to
perform inception, you need
imagination.


It took me two viewings before I noticed that filthy evil chuckle he decided to throw in, before he says, "Arthur" in the same way that I say "ice cream." Once you hear it, you can't unhear it.

But then, why does Eames insist that Arthur has no imagination? Especially when Arthur later proves to the audience that he has more than anyone in the entire film, when he handily saves everyone's ass by creating gravity out of zero gravity? Is this some kind of oversight in the script? In a novel, the exchange between Cobb and Eames about Arthur and his lack of imagination would have to be explored; otherwise it would look like a huge plot hole. Eames is clearly wrong about Arthur. So, what is it that Arthur did, or didn't do, to make Eames think that?

Arthur also does not come across as a stick in the mud: he's actually one of the more fun, daring, and humorous characters. In fact, Eames, Arthur, and Yusuf are the only ones who seem to have any kind of fun at all in the otherwise serious mind-heist. Among the three of them, they provide the only humorous lines and gestures in the entire film.

Arthur does come across as buckling down to business when it gets hairy, but he also steals a kiss from Ariadne, keeps this semi-wicked, knowing smirk on his face for most of the movie (he's more or less an elite spy; he knows everyone's secrets,) and puts up with Eames pulling his pigtails throughout the film with relatively good grace.

Clearly, though, in their past together, Arthur gave Eames the impression that he wasn't any fun, and was lacking in imagination. So, what's the history there?

Why is Arthur's totem a loaded die, and Eames's totem a forged poker chip? Are / were they both gamblers? Did something happen in Vegas and stay in Vegas? Or did it not happen?

And Eames does spend a goodly amount of time pulling Arthur's pigtails, clearly trying to get him to react. This is something the entire fandom picked up on. Every time they're in the room together he's "I'm not touching you, does this bug you?" and Arthur is, "COBB, get him to stop, he's on my side of the seat!" Ridiculously, the most famous scenes in the movie aren't the crumbling buildings, the explosions, or the city block folding like a taco: the ones that fandom ran with were the pigtail-pulling scenes between the two of them: Eames kicking Arthur's chair, Eames giggling whenever Arthur gets pushed over, and of course the famous "dream bigger, darling." More on that later, too.

I read somewhere that "Word Of God" (meaning Nolan) said that Arthur and Eames were past rivals. I have no idea where this interview is or where I could find it; wish I did. But I have to wonder, rivals for what? They work in the same business, sure; but their job descriptions are vastly different. Arthur is a point man (if you don't know what that is, here is a good description of Arthur's job.) And Eames is a forger; he creates other identities to infiltrate dreams, which Arthur never does. And we're led to believe that it's A) either a rare position or B) Eames is the best at it, since Cobb goes all the way to Mombasa to collect him, when Mombasa is the worst place for him to be. The two are completely different. I'd love to know what their rivalry was.

Okay, I'm getting too meta here and getting away from my point: I am not certain why Eames joined the team, not certain why Arthur and Eames were rivals, not sure why their reactions to each other were so immediate. These are things that fandom can only speculate at (and write fic about. It's fun when it's fun.)

So I've established why I think that Eames was the most sympathetic and fun, why Arthur was the most interesting and imaginative (to me, anyway,) but haven't really touched upon why I think it's so easy to ship them and why it seems so natural.

At least a bit of credit for this, I think, must go to Tom Hardy, for changing the script. Or actually, he changed it once, and I think Nolan changed it the second time.

Obviously, what is the most famous line in Arthur/Eames fandom:

You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling~ Pictures, Images and Photos

"You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling."

It's worth noting that A) Tom Hardy changed this line, as originally it just said "Arthur" and not "darling," and B) Eames saved Arthur's ass in this scene. Maybe this is why he thinks Arthur lacks imagination. Maybe Arthur doesn't dream big enough, and makes things tougher for himself. However, Arthur does, later, easily navigate the dreamscape; in fact he makes it his bitch with his Penrose steps and gravity/zero gravity. So, again, what did Arthur not do at some point, to give Eames this impression?

This is where fandom loves to fill in the gaps.

And the second scene so beloved by the A/E fandom was another one not originally in the script. The script had this:

Arthur hits buttons on the mechanism. The team goes out one
by one. Cobb is last.
COBB
Fischer’s subconscious is going to
run you down hard.
ARTHUR
I’ll lead them on a merry chase.
COBB
Be back in time for the kick.
ARTHUR
I’m on it.


It is completely noteworthy that it is now Eames who's the last one awake with Arthur, Eames giving Arthur this warning. And while the dialogue has changed in subtle ways, and even more worth noting how the two actors play this scene: Arthur hooking Eames up to the PASIV device, confident; Eames seeming suddenly very trusting of his "rival." Everyone else is already out; it's just the two of them. There's no pigtail-pulling here, when they're alone.

Photobucket

Why the hell is Arthur hooking him up? I find it hard to believe that Eames can't do it himself. Ariadne, who is totally new to this, Saito, who's been shot, they would probably need help hooking themselves up, if anyone. But he's only shown helping Eames, who's been in the business since forever.

And what became of "I'm on it?" I mean, yeah, as dialogue goes that's kind of flat, and changing it to something with a little more voice was obviously a great idea. Of course, "Go to sleep, Mr. Eames" seems to be enough for fandom to throw them into bed together. It alone is not enough for me to buy it, though.

What does make me buy it comes later, when it gets really rough and it's starting to look pretty bad, like maybe everyone will end up in limbo with their brains fried, because time is running out before the last kick. Eames, down in the third level of the dream (Arthur still in the second,) warns Ariadne and Cobb that if the kick comes, it sucks to be them; he's leaving (waking up) without them. He's a little harsh about it, too. He's clearly somewhat pissed about the turn of events. Yet it's Arthur he warns: "Just be back before the kick." None of this "I will so totally leave you behind to slowly go insane."

However, Eames ends up doing no such thing, and while Cobb, Ariadne, and Fischer are working through their various demons and issues, Arthur is kicking ass in zero gravity in the second level and Eames is playing one-man-army in the third. Eames isn't the one with anything at stake, here.

Also note that in the first dream level, after the mad cab-ride shoot out is more or less over, Arthur leans over the seat and asks Eames, "Are you okay?" Are you okay. Not is Fischer okay, on whom the mission depends. Not is Saito okay, on whom Cobb's happiness depends. You, Eames. Yes, yes, I highly doubt that too much thought went into who he was talking to when the script was written. BUT. This is what fandom is for. Overthinking these things and enjoying the hell out of the process.

You can also pin at least some of this shippiness on Tom Hardy, I think, for making stuff up during the filming, for being fun and laughy and snarky and hot in an otherwise effects-driven drama, and for later saying that he felt that Eames was supposed to be similar to the sympathetic and fun gay character Handsome Bob in RockNRolla ("[Nolan] liked what I did in “RocknRolla” and wanted to keep it as close to me as possible in many ways...) and "a little bit of Farley Granger." Thanks T-Hard, you likened Eames to two gay men. Well played, cagey boy. Just how much does he really know about fandom? Judging by his occasionally overbearing/camwhoring internet presence, I've got to guess "quite a bit." ^_^

Also, T-Hard, for coming forward to say, in essence, "Yeah, I've done guys too, so what? It was cool." Especially in the current climate with the LGBT community struggling lately, and with all the hateful things being said about them, that never seem to go away. Tangentially, it killed me how headlines insisted that Tom Hardy had "admitted" to homosexual experiences, as "admitted" implies that the LGBT people are doing something wrong, which bears confession – and they're so not.

Tangentially too, I want to add that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has also come forward to stand up for LGBT rights on quite a few occasions, and bravely portrayed an abused homosexual boy in a movie that very few people would even think of touching.

NONE OF WHICH HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH FANDOM. I want to be clear on this. I do not fangirl or fetishize homosexuality in and of itself. If I find anything wrong with fandom at all, it's that occasionally it does fall into this trap, of turning gay men into objects, fetishizing them. There are two sides to this slashy blade, you see. One side is acceptance and normalcy, and the other is objectification, and that's a line that I think you can't even straddle in good taste.

What I love about it, though, is its ability to explore characters who might be gay, which is only ever interesting to me if the characters are fascinating to begin with, or faceted. "Gay" alone does not a story make. "Gay" alone does not hotness make. Good characters, good stories, good taste, and being aware of what real LGBT people go through, as opposed to fictional ones: this is important.

Take your two shippy characters and write about who they are and what they do together: gay, straight, both, neither, and have a blast, I think. But this is something to think about, maybe.

/tangent

But with that in mind, yeah, ship 'em, I say, ship 'em hard!

Anyway. I think it's fantastic and hilarious that this movie cast freaking Leonardo DiCaprio and Cillian Murphy in the same movie, and everyone went to town on a former child actor turned indie community director and a relatively obscure but hot British guy in a patterned shirt. (Which was nice. Eames's clothes are not hideous, okay?)

ILU, fandom. ^_^ You hinged an entire world on the word "darling." ♥

EAMES!

ARTHUR AND EAMES (Warning for male nudity and other such stuff, my dears, but I know you are all adults.)

Oh, fandom. It's been a while. :D
la_belle_laide: (I SHIP IT)



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Right, so I've never "'shipped" anything in my life, really. I have pairings that I like, romances between fictional characters that I enjoy. And while, back in the day I wrote my share of fanfic, I never really thought "OMG OTP" ("one true pairing") about any two characters. That kind of thing can be fun, but is way not SRS BZNS and in fact is still not.

But this. This is fun. Inception's list on TVTropes, which is an amaxing and inclusive list, spoiler-free because you'd have to highlight to read the spoilers. :D

Remember when I first reviewed Inception and I thought, "Well, that was nifty, but I don't see why everyone is freaking out over it." Well, I still kind of think that. In fact you could say that my reaction to the movie was pretty similar to this comic )
I don't know who did that; wish I could give credit. It's so true, though. My thoughts exactly.

As I also said back then, what really appealed to me about Inception wasn't that it was "mindblowing" or anything; it wasn't. What I liked was the characters, and the fact that there was really no bad guy. (Aside from the mostly faceless Cobol baddies that chase Cobb. But I mean, do we really even care about them?)

I've read some complaints that the characters weren't really fleshed out, that they were kind of left open in favor of the big huge fight scenes and effects. Maybe, maybe not. It's true that the script leaves some serious gaps that the actors had to fill in just by being sympathetic or funny. I do agree with some of the criticism leveled at the movie; I think it's fair. And I see the actors struggling (and succeeding) to breathe life and fun and motivation into their characters, often with intriguing success. That's why I'm babbling about Arthur and Eames today. To me, they were the most fun.

However, the fandom, that's a whole 'nother story for me. I find it massively entertaining, amusing, hilarious, fun, and hot. It was Joseph Gordon-Levitt and and Tom Hardy that really made me prick my ears up during the film, and it was the two of them that the fandom predictably ran off with. It's easy to see why, and no, it's not because they're hot. Although I guess that does help. ;D ( Bicycle!Arthur, (everyone gets a ride,) the movie's Little Black Dress, (looks good on everyone,) the Launcher Of A Thousand Ships. And burningly hot Eames who plays it Ambiguously Gay or straight gay. Okay, so yeah, hotness matters. Sorry.)

To me, they were the most easily relatable. I realize that the most sympathetic storyline was between Dom and Mal Cob, and really between Dom and his kids, but there was something about the whole "I'm using everyone in order to get home, also my dead wife isn't really a bitch; that's me attacking you all" angle sort of made me feel more for the other characters than for Cobb.

We get that Dom misses his wife and kids, and he does his share of angsting. In fact, he does it through the whole film, to great effect. But it's Arthur's perspective of Mal Cobb that really stood out for me, with just that one line: "She was lovely." We get that Cobb loved his wife. Why did Arthur? There's some history there that we're left to wonder at. Arthur was sympathetic to the whole family.

Otherwise, it was hard to understand some of the motivations sometimes. Dom wanted his kids back. Ariadne risked her job, her future, and her life because she was at first curious, and later on concerned (for this man she only just met.) I almost didn't buy her "I'm coming with you to protect everyone" thing. In my mind, she wanted in because it was cool and dangerous. And she didn't know the risk. (I also need to point out that I felt a little tug between Ariadne and Cobb, maybe more on her side than his. It's something about the way she looks when Arthur tells her, "No, they're not divorced" and "she's dead." And the way she looks when she asks Arthur, "What was she really like?" Well, why do you care what she was really like, Ariadne? OTOH she also looked really flattered when Arthur kissed her. I thought that was cute of her.)

Saito was on board because he wanted to protect his investment – and he didn't know the risk (and suffers the most because of it.)

Yusuf the chemist was in because he wanted the money; and it must have been a lot for him to risk his life when he was the only one aside from Cobb who truly did know the risks.

Cobb lied to everyone else, or at least lied by omission. And the only two characters who call him out on his lie are Eames first, then Arthur.

Why are they on board?

Arthur, I guess, because he's Cobb's partner. Yet, Arthur could have said no. Even if he didn't know what sort of danger they'd be going into, he disapproves of the whole scheme from the start. So why does he stay? Fandom sometimes paints Arthur as Cobb's lapdog, but I don't see any evidence of that in the movie. He is the only one who seems to put Cobb in his place most of the time.

So why does he follow Cobb into this project that he doesn't believe in?

Hmm. Maybe because he liked Mal – he states this in the movie. Maybe he likes Cobb's kids, or maybe he realizes it's unjust for Cobb to be separated from them and he wants to do the right thing, even if he doesn't agree with the method. JGL said in an interview that his interpretation of Arthur is that he loves the work. Maybe he does it just to see if he can.

Ahh, Mr. Eames. The one character who laughs, reasons, jokes, fights, and shows any sympathy at all to both Saito when he's dying, and to Fischer when he's suffering. Eames gets people; in his line of work, maybe he's got to understand them. Maybe his empathy is what makes him the best forger. Saito is dying in the dream; while everyone else is all up in arms, Eames is the only one who thinks to help him. ("He's in agony; I'm waking him up.") And he carefully defuses Cobb when Cobb freaks out on him and starts throwing him around. He is clearly no dummy; maybe the smartest guy in the movie, the way he handles situations and easily deals with people's emotions. He's a Guile Hero but is still the most empathetic one.

So, why is Eames on board? One has to figure that Mr. Eames does things because he wants to, and never for any other reason. The script has Cobb "selling" the job to him; the movie makes no such offer. The movie dialogue deviates from the script (which I downloaded,) sometimes drastically. In the shooting script, Eames mentions that the price on Cobb's head is pretty high, and that he'd sell him out – although he's clearly bluffing, because he hasn't. Why not? If Eames does things for the money, he could have sold Cobb out when Cobol came for him. Instead, he helps him escape. So, what are Eames's loyalties, and why are they currently to Cobb?

Eames never gives a reason why he joins the team; he's just automatically signed up once Cobb approaches him.

I am so not setting up to say that Arthur and Eames decided to do the job because of each other. Well, not Arthur, maybe. ;)

In the movie, Cobb tells Arthur he's going to talk to Eames, and Arthur's reaction is automatic:

COBB
I’ve got to talk to Eames.
ARTHUR
Eames? But he’s in Mombasa. Cobol’s
backyard.
COBB
Necessary risk.
ARTHUR
There's plenty of good thieves.
COBB
We don’t just need a thief. We need
a forger.


Blah blah blah setting up who's who and why they're necessary. My question—and indeed fandom's question—is why Arthur immediately knows where his least-favorite thief is. Bang, off the top of his head: Eames is in Mombasa; Arthur keeps tabs.

Well, it's his job to keep tabs, I guess. And perhaps he especially keeps tabs on what's going on in Mombasa, which is, as he states, Cobol's back yard. So he needs to know who from the dreaming world is hanging out there, ready and willing to sell out his boss. Why does he jump to "thief" for Eames, when Eames is clearly a forger first and foremost? (What did Eames steal, that he knows of?) Why is he so eager to use someone else? Why is his reaction so immediate?

Eames reaction to being told he's working with Arthur is similar in the script, but Tom Hardy decided to add his own flavor to it – as he did throughout the movie, as I understand. However it is still an instant, "Oh, him."

From the movie, not the shooting script:

COBB
Inception. Now before you tell me it's impossible...
EAMES
No, it’s perfectly possible. Just
bloody difficult.
COBB
Interesting. Because Arthur keeps telling me...
EAMES
*Filthy laugh* Arthur. You’re still working with
that stick-in-the-mud?
COBB
He’s good at what he does.
EAMES
Ahh, he's the best. But he has no
imagination.
COBB
Not like you?
EAMES
If you’re going to
perform inception, you need
imagination.


It took me two viewings before I noticed that filthy evil chuckle he decided to throw in, before he says, "Arthur" in the same way that I say "ice cream." Once you hear it, you can't unhear it.

But then, why does Eames insist that Arthur has no imagination? Especially when Arthur later proves to the audience that he has more than anyone in the entire film, when he handily saves everyone's ass by creating gravity out of zero gravity? Is this some kind of oversight in the script? In a novel, the exchange between Cobb and Eames about Arthur and his lack of imagination would have to be explored; otherwise it would look like a huge plot hole. Eames is clearly wrong about Arthur. So, what is it that Arthur did, or didn't do, to make Eames think that?

Arthur also does not come across as a stick in the mud: he's actually one of the more fun, daring, and humorous characters. In fact, Eames, Arthur, and Yusuf are the only ones who seem to have any kind of fun at all in the otherwise serious mind-heist. Among the three of them, they provide the only humorous lines and gestures in the entire film.

Arthur does come across as buckling down to business when it gets hairy, but he also steals a kiss from Ariadne, keeps this semi-wicked, knowing smirk on his face for most of the movie (he's more or less an elite spy; he knows everyone's secrets,) and puts up with Eames pulling his pigtails throughout the film with relatively good grace.

Clearly, though, in their past together, Arthur gave Eames the impression that he wasn't any fun, and was lacking in imagination. So, what's the history there?

Why is Arthur's totem a loaded die, and Eames's totem a forged poker chip? Are / were they both gamblers? Did something happen in Vegas and stay in Vegas? Or did it not happen?

And Eames does spend a goodly amount of time pulling Arthur's pigtails, clearly trying to get him to react. This is something the entire fandom picked up on. Every time they're in the room together he's "I'm not touching you, does this bug you?" and Arthur is, "COBB, get him to stop, he's on my side of the seat!" Ridiculously, the most famous scenes in the movie aren't the crumbling buildings, the explosions, or the city block folding like a taco: the ones that fandom ran with were the pigtail-pulling scenes between the two of them: Eames kicking Arthur's chair, Eames giggling whenever Arthur gets pushed over, and of course the famous "dream bigger, darling." More on that later, too.

I read somewhere that "Word Of God" (meaning Nolan) said that Arthur and Eames were past rivals. I have no idea where this interview is or where I could find it; wish I did. But I have to wonder, rivals for what? They work in the same business, sure; but their job descriptions are vastly different. Arthur is a point man (if you don't know what that is, here is a good description of Arthur's job.) And Eames is a forger; he creates other identities to infiltrate dreams, which Arthur never does. And we're led to believe that it's A) either a rare position or B) Eames is the best at it, since Cobb goes all the way to Mombasa to collect him, when Mombasa is the worst place for him to be. The two are completely different. I'd love to know what their rivalry was.

Okay, I'm getting too meta here and getting away from my point: I am not certain why Eames joined the team, not certain why Arthur and Eames were rivals, not sure why their reactions to each other were so immediate. These are things that fandom can only speculate at (and write fic about. ;D )

So I've established why I think that Eames was the most sympathetic and fun, why Arthur was the most interesting and imaginative (to me, anyway,) but haven't really touched upon why I think it's so easy to ship them and why it seems so natural.

Credit for this, I think, must go to Tom Hardy, for changing the script. Or actually, he changed it once, and I think Nolan changed it the second time.

Obviously, what is the most famous line in fandom:

You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling~ Pictures, Images and Photos

"You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling."

It's worth noting that A) Tom Hardy changed this line, as originally it just said "Arthur" and not "darling," and B) Eames saved Arthur's ass in this scene. Maybe this is why he thinks Arthur lacks imagination. Maybe Arthur doesn't dream big enough, and makes things tougher for himself. However, Arthur does, later, easily navigate the dreamscape; in fact he makes it his bitch with his Penrose steps and gravity/zero gravity. So, again, what did Arthur not do at some point, to give Eames this impression?

And this is where fandom loves to fill in the gaps.

And the second scene so beloved by the A/E fandom was another one not originally in the script. The script had this:

Arthur hits buttons on the mechanism. The team goes out one
by one. Cobb is last.
COBB
Fischer’s subconscious is going to
run you down hard.
ARTHUR
I’ll lead them on a merry chase.
COBB
Be back in time for the kick.
ARTHUR
I’m on it.


It is completely noteworthy that it is now Eames who's the last one awake with Arthur, Eames giving Arthur this warning. And while the dialogue has changed in subtle ways, and even more worth noting how the two actors play this scene: Arthur hooking Eames up to the PASIV device, confident; Eames seeming suddenly very trusting of his "rival." Everyone else is already out; it's just the two of them. There's no pigtail-pulling here, when they're alone.

Photobucket

"Go to sleep, Mr. Eames" seems to be enough for fandom to throw them into bed together. It alone is not enough for me to buy it, though.

What does make me buy it comes later, when it gets really rough and it's starting to look pretty bad, like maybe everyone will end up in limbo with their brains fried, because time is running out before the last kick. Eames, down in the third level of the dream (Arthur still in the second,) warns Ariadne and Cobb that if the kick comes, it sucks to be them; he's leaving (waking up) without them. He's a little harsh about it, too. He's clearly somewhat pissed about the turn of events. Yet it's Arthur he warns: "Just be back before the kick." None of this "I will so totally leave you behind to slowly go insane."

However, Eames ends up doing no such thing, and while Cobb, Ariadne, and Fischer are working through their various demons and issues, Arthur is kicking ass in zero gravity in the second level and Eames is playing one-man-army in the third.

(Also note that in the first dream level, after the mad cab-ride shoot out is more or less over, Arthur leans over the seat and asks Eames, "Are you okay?" Are you okay. Yes, yes, I highly doubt that too much thought went into who he was talking to when the script was written. BUT. This is what fandom is for. Overthinking these things and enjoying the hell out of the process.)

You can pin a lot of this shippiness on Tom Hardy, I think, for making stuff up during the filming, for being fun and laughy and snarky and hot in an otherwise effects-driven drama, and for later saying that he felt that Eames was supposed to be similar to the sympathetic and fun gay character Handsome Bob in RockNRolla ("[Nolan] liked what I did in “RocknRolla” and wanted to keep it as close to me as possible in many ways...) and "a little bit of Farley Granger." Thanks T-Hard, you likened Eames to two separate gay men. Well played, cagey boy. Just how much do you really know about fandom? ;D Judging by his occasionally overbearing/camwhoring internet presence, I've got to guess "quite a bit." ^_^

Also, T-Hard, for coming forward to say, in essence, "Yeah, I've done guys too, so what? It was cool." Especially in the current climate with the LGBT community struggling lately, and with all the hateful things being said about them, that never seem to go away. Tangentially, it killed me how headlines insisted that Tom Hardy had "admitted" to homosexual experiences, as "admitted" implies that the LGBT people are doing something wrong, which bears confession – and they're so not.

Tangentially too, I want to add that lovely Joseph Gordon-Levitt has also come forward to stand up for LGBT rights on quite a few occasions, and bravely, bravely portrayed an abused homosexual boy in a movie that very few people would even think of touching.

NONE OF WHICH HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH FANDOM. I want to be clear on this. I do not fangirl or fetishize homosexuality in and of itself. If I find anything wrong with fandom at all, it's that occasionally it does fall into this trap, of turning gay men into objects, fetishizing them. There are two sides to this slashy blade, you see. One side is acceptance, and the other is objectification, and that's a line that I think you can't even straddle in good taste.

What I love about it, though, is its ability to explore characters who might be gay, which is only ever interesting to me if the characters are fascinating to begin with, or faceted. "Gay" alone does not a story make. "Gay" alone does not hotness make. Good characters, good stories, good taste, and being aware of what real LGBT people go through, as opposed to fictional ones: this is important.

Take your two shippy characters and write about who they are and what they do together: gay, straight, both, neither, and have a blast, I think. But this is something to think about, maybe.

/tangent

But with that in mind, yeah, ship 'em, I say, ship 'em hard!

Anyway. I think it's fantastic and hilarious that this movie cast freaking Leonardo DiCaprio and Cillian Murphy in the same movie, and everyone went to town on a former child actor turned indie hipster and a relatively obscure but hot British guy in a loud shirt.

ILU, fandom. ^_^ You hinged an entire world on the word "darling." ♥

EAMES!

ARTHUR AND EAMES (Warning for male nudity and other such stuff, my dears, but I know you are all adults.)

Oh, fandom. It's been a while. :D
la_belle_laide: (yanyan)
Yeah, totally having to own the Wuthering Heights DVD. I watched the second half last night (with a quart of Cherry Garcia,) and I about died in many different ways.

Aside from the WTF ENDING, seriously, what the hell makes anyone think they can change Heathcliff's death?

I tried to close his eyes: to extinguish, if possible, that frightful, life- like gaze of exultation before any one else beheld it. )

Okay, he does not pop a cap in his ass and lie there still managing to look inexplicably hot. Yeah, so aside from that. We'll just pretend that never happened.

Digression: While searching for Heathcliff's real death scene so I could C&P without having to type it all out, Google had a suggestion for me: No, Google, I did not! )
WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. The other thing I didn't like was that they made Linton the younger sort of likeable. In the book he was a whiny bitch.

However, the rest of it was so true to the spirit of the book that I loved, it was, yeah, a litgasm. I was so glad they gave Cathy her head-bashing cray-cray scene, and I got honestly teary-eyed into my empty ice cream vat during the "CATHERINE!" "HEATHCLIFF!" scene on the moors.

So, last post I was raving about how T-Hard had the grace and restraint to play Heathcliff with such quiet, seething menace which he can express with just his eyes. Or crushing betrayal, without even using words. And that he can gorgeously deliver dialogue that could sound dated and cheesy but instead just flows from him. He did most of the movie in a low rumble that seriously gave me a ridiculous voice kink. You know, where I get all effusive and start saying junk like "his voice is like melty dark chocolate, or a big sweater, or a stiletto through the heart" etc.

SEVEN MINUTES IN, LISTEN.



UNNNFFFF. He is just so creepy, horrible, irredeemable, but as Heathcliff should be, you have to love him anyway, even though you hate yourself for loving him, the puppy killer.

So he did most of the movie with that kind of intensity and restraint, but after Catherine dies he has a moment where he just screams and I was like, ARRRRRGGGHHH along with him.

OMG, he should be in every single movie. I mean this. Every. Single. Movie.

I don't even care that they didn't bother to age him eighteen + years through the movie, just WHATEVS, he stays beautiful, I love him at 5:00 on, or really through the whole thing:



Ahhh he's so pretty, I can't even.

So, okay, I'm done for now.




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la_belle_laide: (yanyan)
Yeah, totally having to own the Wuthering Heights DVD. I watched the second half last night (with a quart of Cherry Garcia,) and I about died in many different ways.

Aside from the WTF ENDING, seriously, what the hell makes anyone think they can change Heathcliff's death?

I tried to close his eyes: to extinguish, if possible, that frightful, life- like gaze of exultation before any one else beheld it. )

Okay, he does not pop a cap in his ass and lie there still managing to look inexplicably hot. Yeah, so aside from that. We'll just pretend that never happened.

Digression: While searching for Heathcliff's real death scene so I could C&P without having to type it all out, Google had a suggestion for me: No, Google, I did not! )
WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. The other thing I didn't like was that they made Linton the younger sort of likeable. In the book he was a whiny bitch.

However, the rest of it was so true to the spirit of the book that I loved, it was, yeah, a litgasm. I was so glad they gave Cathy her head-bashing cray-cray scene, and I got honestly teary-eyed into my empty ice cream vat during the "CATHERINE!" "HEATHCLIFF!" scene on the moors.

So, last post I was raving about how T-Hard had the grace and restraint to play Heathcliff with such quiet, seething menace which he can express with just his eyes. Or crushing betrayal, without even using words. And that he can gorgeously deliver dialogue that could sound dated and cheesy but instead just flows from him. He did most of the movie in a low rumble that seriously gave me a ridiculous voice kink. You know, where I get all effusive and start saying junk like "his voice is like melty dark chocolate, or a big sweater, or a stiletto through the heart" etc.

SEVEN MINUTES IN, LISTEN.



UNNNFFFF. He is just so creepy, horrible, irredeemable, but as Heathcliff should be, you have to love him anyway, even though you hate yourself for loving him, the puppy killer.

So he did most of the movie with that kind of intensity and restraint, but after Catherine dies he has a moment where he just screams and I was like, ARRRRRGGGHHH along with him.

OMG, he should be in every single movie. I mean this. Every. Single. Movie.

I don't even care that they didn't bother to age him eighteen + years through the movie, just WHATEVS, he stays beautiful, I love him at 5:00 on, or really through the whole thing:



Ahhh he's so pretty, I can't even.

So, okay, I'm done for now.




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la_belle_laide: (Mappy)



tumblr visitor stats



SWEET PYGMY JESUS, TOM HARDY AS HEATHCLIFF.

I've been jonzing to look at something else with T-Hard in it, since Inception and RockNRolla. Inception, which was really kind of just nifty for me, obviously ate my entire soul with its glorious cast, enough to make me fanpoodle. RockNRolla, tons of fun. Tom Hardy, sex even when he's camwhoring like a moron.

Wuthering Heights, I say without shame, is one of my favorite books ever written. So rarely done well on screen.

Thank you for not making Heathcliff some sympathetic victim. He killed puppies, okay, let's not get too far away from that. And while I can totally do without puppy-killing in a movie, I mean, the fact remains that Heathcliff was really kind of a monster. Obviously he didn't have too much of a choice and all (if you go by cycles of abuse and the nonexistent recourse that abused people had in that setting) but seriously: unrepentant.

OMG, thank you, T-Hard, for giving Heathcliff such quiet menace and thinly controlled rage, unnnnnffff, thank you for not having to yell and scream in order to convey that kind of wrathful heartbreak that we all wish we could act on. Umm, sometimes.

I think it's sad that people miss the point that Wuthering Heights makes about the cycle of abuse, the idea of which was so ahead of its time. It saddens me that people just see it as some kind of early romance novel. The book was so difficult, brutal and heartbreaking. And so, at its heart, about child abuse. (I'm getting repetitive; sorry. It's late? Long, emotional day, topped by this film?)

I remember my professor from college, she was mad awesome and I valued her so much, and her opinions which I either agreed with naturally or quickly adopted, because she was just right most of the time and because she had such passion for literature. We used to have these endless conversations about the assigned books, in her office or after class, and one time she had a tea party at her house where a bunch of other English majors sat and geeked out for hours. We'd hang around and talk about who we'd cast as our heroes and villains.

Once, she told me that she could only picture Catherine as me, since she'd met me. Another professor disagreed, saying I wasn't insane enough. (He was lovely, I doted on him. But he didn't quite get me. ;D ) In fact when she said that, we were discussing the scene where Catherine flips her crap and starts bashing her head in (I haven't seen that part yet; the movie is a two-parter and I really, really hope they go there.)

I know I could never do any kind of justice to something like that, but it was fun to speculate. Catherine was insane; she was so maladjusted, manic, depressive, violent. My professor's favorite line in the book was when Catherine says, "I am Heathcliff. Like, she's so passionate it consumes her entire identity.

I remember another student positing that Catherine and Heathcliff had never banged, because, she said, if they had, "The moors would have caught fire!" I begged to differ; of course they banged, jesus. It's not like they were just crushing on each other.

I'm not yet sure how I feel about Charlotte Riley as Catherine, though. She's beautiful and has the best hair I've ever seen. The costume design they did for her was pretty cool. But she came across as kind of funky, edgy and free-spirited, rather than the BITCH CRAZY I've always preferred her. Why do we not push the envelope with Catherine? Though like I said, I haven't yet watched part two. She's still got time to be all head-bashing and baby-shaking. (Although, they gave the head-bashing scene to Heathcliff already, so.)

UNNNNNNGGGG Tom Hardy is so hot and scary in this. He plays it real quiet but that makes him more intimidating. He's all "Beeatch you'd better get used to appeasing me" and I'm all, homeboy I'd appease you like a screen door in a hurricane, shyeeet.

One other thing I notice about this is how easy it would be to get the dialogue all damn wrong. When you read it on the page, it could easily come across as stilted and false. This movie suffers no such flaw. It just flows. There's something about—yes--Tom Hardy's delivery that's really, really simple.

If anyone here hasn't heard him speak, do so.

Anyway, I am so floored when people make acting seem so effortless. You have to be really unselfconscious, that's for sure. I mean you totally have to utterly, without reserve, completely not care wtf anyone thinks of you at any time, ever. I hope that by my use of many adverbs you can understand how true that is. It seems such a simple thing, but it isn't: to let go of that "but what if someone judges me?" and "how do I look when I say or do these things?"

(This is why I could never really act. Not in a dramatic role, I mean. Making people laugh or whatever, that's different. When they laugh, it's because you're doing it on purpose. Umm, my own issues. Anyway.)

Okay, I've already gone on like thirty paragraphs longer than I meant to. This has made me want to dig up the paper I wrote on this book. I know it's in a drawer somewhere with the rest of all my damn papers I wrote for my BA.

So, yeah, Tired!Effusive!me has gone on way too long.

Everyone should look at Tom Hardy. I want to share him like Christopher Nolan seems to want to. He's brilliant, to use an already overused word for actors. No, but he really is.
la_belle_laide: (Mappy)



tumblr visitor stats



SWEET PYGMY JESUS, TOM HARDY AS HEATHCLIFF.

I've been jonzing to look at something else with T-Hard in it, since Inception and RockNRolla. Inception, which was really kind of just nifty for me, obviously ate my entire soul with its glorious cast, enough to make me fanpoodle. RockNRolla, tons of fun. Tom Hardy, sex even when he's camwhoring like a moron.

Wuthering Heights, I say without shame, is one of my favorite books ever written. So rarely done well on screen.

Thank you for not making Heathcliff some sympathetic victim. He killed puppies, okay, let's not get too far away from that. And while I can totally do without puppy-killing in a movie, I mean, the fact remains that Heathcliff was really kind of a monster. Obviously he didn't have too much of a choice and all (if you go by cycles of abuse and the nonexistent recourse that abused people had in that setting) but seriously: unrepentant.

OMG, thank you, T-Hard, for giving Heathcliff such quiet menace and thinly controlled rage, unnnnnffff, thank you for not having to yell and scream in order to convey that kind of wrathful heartbreak that we all wish we could act on. Umm, sometimes.

I think it's sad that people miss the point that Wuthering Heights makes about the cycle of abuse, the idea of which was so ahead of its time. It saddens me that people just see it as some kind of early romance novel. The book was so difficult, brutal and heartbreaking. And so, at its heart, about child abuse. (I'm getting repetitive; sorry. It's late? Long, emotional day, topped by this film?)

I remember my professor from college, she was mad awesome and I valued her so much, and her opinions which I either agreed with naturally or quickly adopted, because she was just right most of the time and because she had such passion for literature. We used to have these endless conversations about the assigned books, in her office or after class, and one time she had a tea party at her house where a bunch of other English majors sat and geeked out for hours. We'd hang around and talk about who we'd cast as our heroes and villains.

Once, she told me that she could only picture Catherine as me, since she'd met me. Another professor disagreed, saying I wasn't insane enough. (He was lovely, I doted on him. But he didn't quite get me. ;D ) In fact when she said that, we were discussing the scene where Catherine flips her crap and starts bashing her head in (I haven't seen that part yet; the movie is a two-parter and I really, really hope they go there.)

I know I could never do any kind of justice to something like that, but it was fun to speculate. Catherine was insane; she was so maladjusted, manic, depressive, violent. My professor's favorite line in the book was when Catherine says, "I am Heathcliff. Like, she's so passionate it consumes her entire identity.

I remember another student positing that Catherine and Heathcliff had never banged, because, she said, if they had, "The moors would have caught fire!" I begged to differ; of course they banged, jesus. It's not like they were just crushing on each other.

I'm not yet sure how I feel about Charlotte Riley as Catherine, though. She's beautiful and has the best hair I've ever seen. The costume design they did for her was pretty cool. But she came across as kind of funky, edgy and free-spirited, rather than the BITCH CRAZY I've always preferred her. Why do we not push the envelope with Catherine? Though like I said, I haven't yet watched part two. She's still got time to be all head-bashing and baby-shaking. (Although, they gave the head-bashing scene to Heathcliff already, so.)

UNNNNNNGGGG Tom Hardy is so hot and scary in this. He plays it real quiet but that makes him more intimidating. He's all "Beeatch you'd better get used to appeasing me" and I'm all, homeboy I'd appease you like a screen door in a hurricane, shyeeet.

One other thing I notice about this is how easy it would be to get the dialogue all damn wrong. When you read it on the page, it could easily come across as stilted and false. This movie suffers no such flaw. It just flows. There's something about—yes--Tom Hardy's delivery that's really, really simple.

If anyone here hasn't heard him speak, do so.

Anyway, I am so floored when people make acting seem so effortless. You have to be really unselfconscious, that's for sure. I mean you totally have to utterly, without reserve, completely not care wtf anyone thinks of you at any time, ever. I hope that by my use of many adverbs you can understand how true that is. It seems such a simple thing, but it isn't: to let go of that "but what if someone judges me?" and "how do I look when I say or do these things?"

(This is why I could never really act. Not in a dramatic role, I mean. Making people laugh or whatever, that's different. When they laugh, it's because you're doing it on purpose. Umm, my own issues. Anyway.)

Okay, I've already gone on like thirty paragraphs longer than I meant to. This has made me want to dig up the paper I wrote on this book. I know it's in a drawer somewhere with the rest of all my damn papers I wrote for my BA.

So, yeah, Tired!Effusive!me has gone on way too long.

Everyone should look at Tom Hardy. I want to share him like Christopher Nolan seems to want to. He's brilliant, to use an already overused word for actors. No, but he really is.

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