Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wtf that typeset is huge!

I just started reading Night of Knives on the bus the other day. I am over halfway through this thick, thick book now, with just a few hours reading, purely because the publishers felt the need to make the book look bigger by increasing the typeset size.

I know it's a fantasy book, whichever publisher you are. (I can't be bothered to go find the novel or look it up, so fuck you.) And I know the main-line Malazan books are uberthick, but for fuck's sake, don't deceive me into thinking the book is going to be superdense. If it's only half as thick as Toll the Hounds, don't increase the size of the text to make it the same thickness. That's just fucking stupid. It makes me feel like I'm reading a book for morons, the typeset is just that goddamn big and spacious.

Did I mention the inch of empty margin at the bottom of each page? Shit, son.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Book Drive

Current status of books:

Sharpe's Eagle: DECEASED, Awarded Posthumous Medal of Valour
Sharpe's Rifles: DECEASED
Old Man's War: DECEASED, Awarded Green Heart
The Lies of Locke Lamora: Missing In Action
Night of Knives: Active
Watchmen: Discharged, S.8 (re: Kovacs, W.)

I've recently picked up the following:
Judas Priest: Heavy Metal Painkillers - I love this band. However, I've actually had this book since July and haven't done much with it. Silly of me, but it's BIG and UNWIELDY.
Toll the Hounds - Jesus, I had no idea this was out so soon. I go to see Judas Priest in concert, and while I'm killing time at Chapters, I see this book, let out a yip of delight, and buy it on the spot. It is a deadly, blunt-trauma tome. I plan to muscle through it this long weekend. Motherfucker, is Steven Erikson ever a goddamn writing machine. Christ. And he puts out good novels, too, which is the incredible part.
Bauchelain and Korbal Broach: Volume 1 - So... instead of getting two books, I got one compilation with a third book I didn't even know existed. Sweet deal. Thanks, overly generous father-in-law!
Shake Hands With the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda - I have been looking for this book since the dawn of Time. It's a huge seller here, and bookstores can't keep it on shelves long enough for people to find; so of course, when I'm not looking for it, there's a fuckton. Of course. BUT NOW IT IS MINE.
How to Lose a Battle - Seemed funny, like a more historical, less absurd-tech based My Tank is Fight!, which I loved. I enjoy reading about peoples' stupidity.
The Volunteer: A Canadian's Secret Life in the Mossad - I don't know why I got this, honestly. I'm not Jewish, and all I know about the Mossad is from Steven Spielberg's Munich, which was a good movie up until the part where the Israeli athletes turned out to have been killed by Greys. Also, Eric Bana neglected to Hulk out when he smashed the terrorists. Puny human.

All I can say about my book haul is that, so far, I have enjoyed the books I read. I did read part of Old Man's War from the eBook, because I didn't feel like getting out of bed.

Also, cosplayers scare me. If I ever see a 13-year-old dressed up as Sora from Kingdom Hearts again, it will be far too soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's curious...

Watching the sheer volume of pornography that I do, I have noticed a curious thing. Female stars are expected to perform with other female stars, i.e. lesbian action. In a hetero movie, there is almost always one scene with two chicks, sometimes also a man, who all get it on. If two male actors are in a scene together, they're on opposite sides of the woman, and the closest they get to gayness is sticking their dicks in the same hole.

Now, this is not a complaint by any means. I am not saying I want to watch men fuck the shit out of each other. However. It is patently unfair to the women in these films. Maybe Brooke Haven doesn't WANT to fuck a woman. But to make it in porn, she has to. It's part of the job of a porn starlet. (I bring up Brooke because she has, apparently, vowed to no longer do scenes with men anymore, presumably because she doesn't like being CHOKESLAMMED and GAGGED WITH MONSTER COCKS all the time. But working with other women won't change this; the monster cocks will become monster strap-ons, and Nicki Hunter will still chokeslam the shit out of Brooke, so nothing has really changed.)

Basically, what I'm saying is... if Lee Stone is in a scene with Jean Valjean, they should at least kiss, or fondle each other. They don't have to suck each others' cocks, but at least acknowledge one another in a orgiastic way. Because, frankly, I've watched enough gay porn to know how shoddy a lot of it is, and a quality straight actor like Lee would do a ton to improve those films. A bunch of twinky Czech guys just don't put on a good show, I'm sorry.

Pay attention to the men the next time you watch a skin flick. They studiously ignore each other. Even when they're banging the same girl, they never look at each other, never speak to one another, nothing.

And, let's be honest. Men aren't the only consumers of pornography anymore, if ever they were. Why should women who don't like girl/girl have to deal with it? I say, put some boy/boy in the hetero movies to make the men uncomfortable, too. Or just remove the girl/girl stuff to its' own films.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Books for the Book Throne! BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!

I bought a handful of books today.

Old Man's War, by John Scalzi - I've had the eBook of this for months now, and never fucking touched it. Not for lack of interest, just... I hate eBooks, generally. I like having the book in my hands, yet I download all of Tor's eBook offerings. Someday, perhaps, I will give a shit and read them. I ended up getting this purely off how much I enjoy Scalzi's blog.

Sharpe's Eagle & Sharpe's Rifles, by Bernard Cornwell - I enjoy the terrific Sharpe movies produced by the BBC what seems like ages ago. I adored Sean Bean long before I saw them, and Sharpe didn't hurt that at all. So I got these; Eagle is the first published novel and second film, and Rifles is the first film, and like... 7th novel published? It's fucked because Eagle is supposed to be Sharpe adventure #7, and Rifles is #5. Or something. I just hope they don't suck.

Night of Knives, by Ian C. Esslemont - Mmm, Malazan goodness. In lieu of a new book from Erikson (Toll the Hounds cannot come out soon enough,) I get to read a sidestory by the other guy who invented the Malazan world. Is this sweet? Seems likely. One day, I will actually receive my copies of Blood Follows and The Healthy Dead, but I'm not holding my breath.

The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch - My favorite author of all time says this book is good. Who am I to argue? And with a title like that, you know the potential for awesome "comedy of errors" is lurking in every blast of dialogue.

I'll post more about them as I finish each book. But first, I have to finish rereading Heroes Die. I only have a few months until Caine Black Knife shows up in my mailbox, and I still have to reread Blade of Tyshalle first!

Oh, and because I've just got a seriously unfunny post about Hellboy II sitting unfinished in Blogger's queue, and I can't figure out a way to salvage it, let me just say this. It was decent, but not something I think I'd ever buy or see again, if I could help it. (My clever title for the post was "Au-rmy.") I'll just watch the first film again if I ever require more Ron Perlman.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Wallcock? Han-E?

I've seen two movies of late. Both very good, but I don't have a lot to say about either, so I'm slappin' em together!

First up, Wall-E. A clever movie, all in all. I liked the absolute minimalism of it. Let this be a lesson to you, Hollywood! Lots of dialogue does not a great movie make! You can have a compelling story with tons of emotion without people barfing up dialogue all over the place.

Wall-E himself hardly says more than "WALL-E", "EVA", "DIRECTIVE". Eve says hardly more than that, herself. And yet they're incredibly captivating characters. The animators deserve awards upon awards for creating this wonder. The story was so wonderful, the characters so real, that by the end, I was moved to tears.

However, being a Manly Man, I refrained from public weeping. I believe my Manly Response to this movie was breaking the front legs of a homeless man's dog, after gouging out the man's eyes in an alleyway. Then I engaged in a three-way with prostitutes whom I promptly tortured and murdered.

Anyway, loved it. Expected a good movie, was satisfied by it being such a thing. Yay!

Next, Hancock.

This one is strange to me. I Am Legend looked like a really great movie, with a lot of drama and cool stuff. Hancock looked like a "turn off brain, recieve bacon" kind of movie, with awful writing and bad acting. Little was I to know, but my impressions of both Will Smith movies were actually for the other!

Hancock is actually a good movie. (I know, believe me. Just as surprised as you.) The movie was well-written, Smith delivered a nuanced performance, and the plot twists were nice instead of fucking dumb. Easily seen ahead of time, but still nicely done and inoffensive. The kind of plot twist which is required to make the story work, and that's welcome from the "Well, we need to put one in now. It's 70 pages in, and the formula says so!" style of plot twist.

I love the idea of a superbeing who doesn't want to be a hero in a costume and shit. Marvel movies pretty much always have the people instantly jumping into costume and Fighting Crime. Hancock just seems to want to be alone, but can't not save people. And he's a drunken asshole, so people hate him. It's a nice twist on the usual stuff.

I realized just now I keep using the word "nice." Well, Hancock IS nice. It's a nice break, both for superhero movies and for Will Smith's career. Superhero movies are taking themselves too seriously, and so was Willie, despite his increasingly-bad acting choices.

Also, Jesus Christ! Charlize Theron really blends into shit, doesn't she? I didn't realize she was in this until the credits ran at the end.

So, uh... arbitrary movie rankings?
Wall-E: 4/5.
Hancock: 4/5.
Conan the Destroyer: 5/5.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Terrible Movie

It's another installment of "D Bitches About Some Fuckin' Movie". Today, the latest Indy, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Before I get to fine detailed points, however, I just want to give a shout-out to the Greys. You big-headed, googly-eyed alien motherfuckers get a lot of currency out of looking as unthreatening and awe-non-inspiring as possible in this cynical movie-going age, and I'd like to congratulate you on this. Scary movie monsters have come and gone, some have come around again, and some are even still scary. Some have transcended their origins as "scary" and become "cultural" and "significant," which is a hilarious way to describe Wolf-Man, but ok, AFI; we'll roll with that one.

Anyway. The Greys. Since the whole "Roswell" thing, the idea that aliens are bipedal like us, but with a big head, big glossy black eyes, and no external features has become pretty common. It's everywhere. Hollywood loves those guys, and Steven Spielberg is no exception. He loves them, perhaps, more than he loves appropriate characterization and coherant plot lines. But they have never been scary. Not in even the awesome flashback during Fire in the Sky, where everything else in that scene was creepy and frightening, were the Greys remotely scary or inspiring-of-awe.

Steven. Pal. Buddy. Please. I get it, really, I do. You like the idea of Greys. Every alien that appears in your movies is some minor variation upon them. Christ, even the fucking robots from A.I. were goddamn Greys. The Martians in War of the Worlds? Greys. Close Encounters? Greys. The Precogs in Minority Report? Greys. Seriously, Steve. You're actually worse than Jim Cameron and his hard-on for WATER. I never thought I'd say it, but someone is more irritating than James fucking Cameron. Go figure.

Anyway. On to me bitching about the movie, which is what you came for. When I first read about Crystal Skull, I read an interview with Spielberg. He said that he had to study the old films to get back into the head of the man he was 20 years ago, so that this new film would stylistically mesh with the old ones. I don't know what old Indy movies he studied, but this new Indy stunk of modern-Spielberg bullshit shenanigans. CG everywhere! Unrealistically-moving cameras! Motherfuckin' aliens! An insistance on style over substance!

Seriously, this is the movie we've been waiting for twenty years to get? This wasn't an Indiana Jones. For fucks' sake, the relic wasn't even magical; it's a fucking alien skull that somehow gives you mental powers because OMG Greys are a hivemind or something. The fact that Steven felt we needed to know exactly the mechanism behind the relics' power shows just how far he's moved from Last Crusade. In Last Crusade, we were told it was the Cup of Christ. It was his drinking cup at the Last Supper and held his blood after the Crucifixion. Christ being Christ, his cup is gonna be magical. Magical rocks from the gods ruled the day in Temple of Doom. The Ark contained the remains of the Covenant, which was touched by God Himself. Powerful stuff. No more explanation than that. So why the modern-scifi compulsion to technobabble an explanation out? Fucking idiots. Grow a pair and count on your audience to accept it without wasting my time.

But Spielberg isn't all to blame. I blame George Lucas just as much. These two yutzes came up with this movie themselves. (David Koepp may have written the script, but he did so with their outline in hand.) Lucas seems to have this ruining-a-classic-trilogy thing down by this point, and it showed.

Art is a funny thing. When you're suffering, art comes easy. It's full of your agony and pain, and good art shows that struggle. By now, George and Steven are fatcats. Huge success, huge money, no problems doing whatever they want. No edge. No hunger.

No good movie. This wasn't an Indiana Jones. This was bad fanfic, and I'm ashamed of Lucas and Spielberg for trying to pull the wool over our eyes on this.

Also, Shia LaBeouf? Fuck off.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Gaped Crusaders!

So, I have been working in the pornographic film industry for almost two weeks now. Interesting? You bet.

For those interested, this is a rundown of my day: I arrive at my place of employment. I grab some DVDs off the shelf, place myself at my too-small station, and begin (or resume) watching PORNOGRAPHIC FILMS for, most likely, the next eight hours of my life. Because of how small my station is (I am tall), by the end of my shift, I have developed intense backpain that no amount of Aspirin can quench. Which leads to headaches. Which leads to me passing out when I arrive home, no matter how little I do in the day.

That's all I got to say right now. Thinking about my job while I'm not there causes me pain.