sabotabby: (magicians)
My last review for terror_scifi is—not coincidentally—my first review for [community profile] terror_sffa and is, accordingly, posted in both places. That's right, we now have a community on Dreamwidth! So go over there and join for more reviews, recommendations, discussions, and awesome people.
sabotabby: (jetpack)
It seems vaguely horrific to be writing about anything other than politics right now, but someone requested awhile back that I do a master list of all of the movies and TV that I watched so that you don't have to. And to be fair, we all need distraction now and then—perhaps now more than ever.

(All links go to LJ; sorry DW people, but there are a lot of reviews and I don't have time to do this twice.)

Current (good) TV reviews: I review The Magicians, Preacher, and Luke Cage for terror_scifi. My reviews are all tagged with my name there, but if you're looking for specific shows:

The Magicians (currently posting!)
Preacher
Luke Cage

Bad Movie Reviews: They are all tagged (along with the odd bad book and other things) under Cheatsheet of Freedom. If you're looking for specific things:

This Revolution (the one that started it all; a movie about anarchists that sounded really good and even starred Rosario Dawson, but spoiler, it is not very good)

Left Behind (Jesus takes all of the good Christians to Heaven, leaving Kirk Cameron to fight the Antichrist)

Atlas Shrugged Pt. 1
(John Galt takes all the good capitalists to Heaven, I mean capitalist paradise, leaving some actors you've never heard of to fight the socialists)
Atlas Shrugged Pt. 2 (second verse, same as the first)
Atlas Shrugged Pt. 3 (yes I watched the whole fucking thing, why do you ask?)

American Sniper
(smug jingoism with a fake plastic baby. I was super drunk the whole time.)

50 Shades of Grey
(bad softcore porn, but don't worry, I fixed it.)

The Fountainhead
(a rapey Ayn Rand movie about architecture)

Red Dawn
(communists invade middle America and are repelled by the high school football team. Note that I have somewhat revised my opinion of the film since I wrote this review, and now view it as a clever satire.)

Rambo III (the one where he joins the Taliban, who are the good guys.)

Battle In Seattle (it is about the Battle of Seattle and is exactly as good as you would expect a movie about the Battle of Seattle to be.)

X-Files Season 10 (okay, not a movie, and not a proper screenshot review, but it was really bad)


Good Movie and TV Reviews: I also sometimes review things I like that are kind of obscure, in the hopes that someone else will watch them and squee with me.

Enthiran (this is my favourite movie of all time and objectively the best movie ever made. It's a 3-hour-long Tamil musical about a killer robot and you should watch it at least 70 bazillion times)

Seventeen Moments of Spring (a Soviet-era miniseries about a Russian spy undercover in Germany during WWII)

Cambridge Spies (a BBC miniseries about the Cambridge Five, a bunch of upper class British kids who spied for the USSR for decades without getting caught)

Babylon 5 (some people found out that I had never seen the show and made me watch the whole thing, so I did. Spoiler: Vir is my favourite and Susan Ivanova is my other favourite)

So yeah enjoy.

sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
So the_axel and I are watching Sherlock. I don't think it's all that good, but it's visually cool and not very frequent, so I tend to watch it and then have Opinions that I want to share with the internet, particularly on the treatment of female characters.

spoilers for Sherlock S4 and also Black Sails and Hell on Wheels )
sabotabby: tulip pointing a gun (preacher)
Taking a break from updating my job application package to write about some more fun things, like the TV, movies, books, and music I have appreciated this year. Let's see how far I get.

Telly is the easiest to talk about because I'm a lazy bastard and I enjoy long-form narratives. In addition to things I've enjoyed in the past, like Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, and Peaky Blinders, here are some of the things that I got obsessive over this year.

Cleverman: The best show you've probably never heard of, unless you're Australian. Erroneously billed as an Aboriginal superhero show starring the whiny Nice Guy from Game of Thrones, it is actually a brilliant, subversive fantasy about racism, allyship, and indigenous identity. God, I made it sound boring and political, didn't I? It's very political, but it's also jam-packed with intriguing anti-heroes, redemption arcs, dystopian worldbuilding, and surprisingly decent special effects.

Black Sails: I just started watching it this year, although it's been going since 2014. I started watching it because it was apparently a decent pirate show with Anne Bonny as a major character, and I guess it's sort of marketed as a prequel to Treasure Island, but neither of those are things that I fell in love with. It's jaw-droppingly good. Michael Bay is the executive producer and this show singlehandedly makes everything he's done, including all the Transformers movies, okay, because it balances them out. It is as good as Transformers is bad; that's how good it is. Think of all the things we don't get to see often on television: intelligent, complex political maneuvering, well-written, complicated female antiheroes, queer characters, poly characters, lesbians who don't die horribly, anti-imperialism. I almost want to stop there because there are a whole bunch of reasons I like it that would give away critical plot points. Non-spoilery reason to watch it: Jack Rackham as a pirate Nick Cave—once you see it, you won't be able to un-see it. Season four airs soon and I'm a wee bit scared because the fates of most of my favourite characters are a foregone conclusion.

Class: I started watching this because, as a result of this being the Darkest Possible Timeline, there was no Doctor Who in 2016 other than the Christmas special. The trailers made it look like utter crap and no one was talking about it, but Peter Capaldi was in the first episode, so I gave it a whirl. It is 1000x better than the trailers would lead you to believe—hidden in the Monster of the Week premise is a surprisingly intelligent take on trauma, abuse, war, and genocide. The teacher character has to be one of my favourite fictional teachers and she is basically my Id that I shall carry around in my heart for particularly rough days at work. Also, joy of joys, there are no straight white guys in the main cast.

The Get Down: I'm not even sure why I started watching this. I'm not super into Baz Luhrmann but multiple people told me it was good, so I checked it out and then binge-watched it in like two days. It's a semi-fictional semi-musical about the birth of hip hop in New York, and the story and characters are so compelling that I ended up caring about disco. Disco. It's a story about how new art forms get made, and challenged, and co-opted. I take some issue with Luhrmann's editing choices; he needs a lighter hand, since the acting, music, and writing all really speak for themselves, but overall amazing.

Better Call Saul: The second season aired, and I'm pretty sure that it's ultimately going to be better than Breaking Bad. It's a smaller, quieter story, and again with a forgone conclusion, taking the comedic side character from Breaking Bad and giving him a backstory and inner life that is as wrenchingly tragic as it is darkly comedic.

Ash Vs. Evil Dead: I'm really shocked that like two people I know watch this. Didn't we all love Evil Dead? It's like that, only a little more heartwarming. Ash Williams is overweight, aging, and has done nothing meaningful with his life—except saving the world. Which he has done a lot. The second season sees much, much more Lucy Lawless, and also one of the grossest and funniest scenes I've ever witnessed on telly, which I watched with my hands over my eyes.

Black Mirror: I was into this show before it was cool. Thanks to #piggate, Netflix realized that Charlie Brooker was right about everything and revived the show for a third season. Aren't you glad David Cameron fucked a pig so that you could get quality TV? The best episode, of course, is San Junipero, which manages to do what Black Mirror does best—examine the societal impact of technology—while also making me cry like a wee girl.

Westworld: Yeah, everyone watched it. I also watched it. It was wonderful and gripping and upsetting and I can't believe we have to wait two years for another season, WTF?

The Magicians, Preacher, and Luke Cage: I can probably go on and on about why I loved these shows...or you can just read my reviews of each episode at [livejournal.com profile] terror_scifi.

What am I leaving out? What did you love this year?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (luke cage)
• I'm going to be reviewing Luke Cage over at [livejournal.com profile] terror_scifi. I just posted the first review, and I'll try to keep it to a weekly schedule if school permits. Incidentally I'm only two and a half episodes in and trying to avoid spoilers, so if you binge-watched it this weekend, try to keep schtum, okay?

• It's been an epic time of concerts. There are more concerts than I can reasonably attend given that I have this annoying need to work for money and such, but I am still managing to hit a lot of concerts. Legendary Pink Dots last Tuesday, the Levellers on Friday, Billy Bragg next Tuesday, and Stiff Little Fingers, Tanya Tagaq, Peter Hook, and Dido and Aeneas all in the near future.

I can't stress enough how completely brilliant the Levellers were. I've never seen them live before, and they were just incredible. I ended up right at the front and danced for like two hours straight.

• Went to the big $15 and Fairness demo on Saturday. It was worth attending.

• I think the pedometer on my phone is fucked. It's seriously undercounting my steps compared to what I'm used to, except for at the Levellers show, where it thought I somehow walked 7000 steps during the time I was inside the Opera House. I checked all the things that it could possibly be and they were all functioning normally, which lead me to the conclusion that Apple wants me to buy a new phone but since I don't want to do that, Apple's going to end up with me buying a Fitbit instead.

• L'shana tova to everyone celebrating it.
sabotabby: (magicians)
My latest review, which is basically 1500 words of me squeeing over another minor character who makes an appearance, is up at [livejournal.com profile] terror_scifi. Also hinted at in said review is my next set of reviews, which will be of Preacher, in yet another attempt to get everyone to watch this new show that I'm really into.

Also, you guys should just all be following [livejournal.com profile] terror_scifi and then I won't make these annoying weekly nag-posts. :)
sabotabby: (magicians)
My latest review, in which there is a threesome and a magic missile spell, is up! Gosh, I'm almost at the end of this thing: two more episodes to go.

In IRL news, talk about food/diet )

Tonight I'm hopefully going to see the Cure for free. They're playing not far from my house, at an expensive music festival that I have no desire to see, but apparently if you're outside the park, you can hear everything just fine. If we can't, or we get chase off, there's also the option of going for a pint. So, regardless, a win.
sabotabby: (magicians)
My latest review, a day late due to being excessively social this weekend. This was probably my second-favourite episode of the season and by far the funniest.
sabotabby: (magicians)
My review is up! If you want to talk about haunted houses, dead children, and the Dead Lesbians trope: over this way. Also there are adorable talking animals.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (champagne anarchist)
My latest review is up!

In other news, I did birthday festivities this weekend. It involved Ethiopian food and fancy drinks at Shore Leave. Here is a punch bowl that is on fire:

13230188_10156883296460612_209224663394731409_n

Okay, it's not a lot of fire. But it was still on fire.

The despair about aging lifted a bit in the presence of good friends, a number of whom I hadn't seen in ages. So that was lovely. Also I got incredibly drunk.

Did a bunch of gardening. I now have almost all of my vegetables in. I'm keeping it simple this year: lots of tomatoes, basil, scotch bonnet peppers, and one experimental ghost pepper. Planted marigolds to help the tomatoes along. Going to pick up some pickling cucumbers tomorrow. The kitten frolicking through the periwinkles is Merlin, one of the tinykittens. Both the two remaining tinykittens and their tinycat mom have claimed my backyard as their territory.

appleblossomsbackyard
flowersmerlin

Bonus pictures of my cats, taken with my portrait lens.

cocoasabot

And I got boots! They are like this but more black than red, so essentially the same finish as the boots they are replacing, except that a) they are Docs, not Fluevogs, and b) they do not have massive holes in them. So that's good, too.

The best thing of all is that it's a long weekend and I can actually catch up on my sleep and such!
sabotabby: (magicians)
My latest review is up! It's of my favourite episode, so go check it out.

Coincidentally, it's up late because I was at the Historical Materialism conference all weekend. Had a great time, much of it spent hanging out with the Red Wedge people, but now I'm horribly tired and you would be amazed at just how much my email and laundry piles up when I have the audacity to be away from my computer for three whole days. To make matters extra fun, I have a grand total of one introvert night this week, the rest being consumed with various after school things that will no doubt leave me exhausted and behind on everything.

Ah well. The long weekend cometh. Thank fuck, because I haven't had a proper night's sleep for days and won't get one until then.
sabotabby: (magicians)
Review is up! Two words: Cancer Puppy.
sabotabby: (magicians)
My latest review is up! Quentin gets his comeuppance for being a neckbeard by getting trapped in a psychiatric institution that's—gasp!—all in his head.
sabotabby: (magicians)
My latest review is up. NGL, I am unreasonably happy with the gif I made at the end to sum up the whole series. So go check it out!

Also if anyone has feels and/or theories about the season finale, let's talk, because I can't wait however long to put up the review of that episode.
sabotabby: (magicians)
Interrogations, zombies, and test anxiety! My latest review is up.
sabotabby: (magicians)
Hey kids! I'll be reviewing The Magicians over at [livejournal.com profile] terror_scifi on a probably-weekly basis, real-life depending. I was going to review it here, but it's not really a Cheatsheet of Freedom-type deal, given that the show is actually good and I want people to watch it (please watch it!), and there's just too much of it to do screenshot recaps. And it turns out they needed someone to review it, so it all worked out well.

My recap and review of the first episode is up. Check it out!
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (teachthecontroversy)
Imagine you have a mother, and you love her very much. Imagine there’s a zombie uprising and she gets bitten. For slow, excruciating hours, you try to convince yourself that maybe she’ll be okay, that the bite isn’t that bad, that this time it’s going to be different. But she turns into a ravenous zombie anyway, hungering for your brains. You can’t bring yourself to kill her, so you chain her up and lock her in the shed.

Occasionally you dare to open the shed door, hoping to see a glimpse of the woman you once loved. You never do.

Then, years later, you hear a noise in the shed. You think you hear your mother. You think she’s calling your name.

You run, breathless, and fling the door open. “Mom?” you whisper.

But she’s not your mother anymore.

This clumsy analogy, in a nutshell, is my relationship with the X-Files.

tumblr_inline_o0kdskhWdi1qz5s08_500
An Abridged History of Sabs the X-Phile )

Accordingly, I did not want a reboot, because I remember the last few seasons. But okay. There was reboot. I figured I’d give it a chance. After all, what if I liked it? What if it rekindled my love for the show? It had been a huge part of my life!

And if worse came to worse, I could always hate-watch it, right? Plus I’ll watch Gillian Anderson in anything, let’s be honest.

Needless to say, if I had liked it, this post would be a lot shorter.

How much, you might ask, did I hate the reboot?

Not enough to do a screenshot recap of every episode (don’t think I wasn’t tempted) but so much that I watched the whole fucking thing so you don’t have to.

Sabotabby’s 2016 X-Files Episode Guide )

So that's it! Leave your outrage, reaction gifs, and fond memories of 90s X-Files fandom in the comments.
sabotabby: (furiosa)
Okay I watched the whole thing and can now engage in spoilery discussion.

Have at it!
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (champagne anarchist)
I could not resist doing this again.

1. Comment to this post with "I surrender!" and I'll assign you the basis of some tv show idea. (Science fiction show, medical drama, criminal procedure, etc...)
2. Create a cast of characters, including the actors who'd play them
3. Add in any actor photos, character bios and show synopsis that you want.
4. Post to your own journal.


[livejournal.com profile] smhwpf gave me period drama and initially specified pre-1815, but my burning period drama idea takes place in 1907, which is nearly 100 years ago so ought to qualify in terms of lavish costumes and set design.

Apologies in advance for the profusion of British white dudes playing Russian white dudes. This is a Beeb production. It's 90% dialogue and largely an excuse to get really talented actors to shout at each other. Russian and French dialogue is in English with the actors' actual accents; dialogue in German and Polish is subtitled.

The show is called Common Cause (Общее дело).

It's 1907. The first attempt at revolution in Russia two years ago was a miserable bloody failure; the movement's surviving leaders are scattered in exile throughout Europe or rotting in Tsarist prisons. Lenin's just declared that it'll be twenty years before they have another shot at overthrowing the Tsar. Some elements are trying to reunite the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, as well as the Social Revolutionaries and anarchist groups in a common struggle; other forces work behind the scenes to undermine any cohesion or unity.

The one group that does take the revolutionaries seriously is the Okhrana. In an attempt to prevent a repeat of 1905, the Tsarist secret police has dispatched agents and infiltrators to destroy the various revolutionary movements from within; in fact, as in Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday, the Parisian emigré community has more informants than actual activists, and they've been entirely successful in hobbling the movement.

Until now.

based on a true story )

I expect it would run for two or three seasons (with six episodes each) and then get abruptly cancelled. There is also a made-for-TV movie, set during the Berne Trial, that reunites the surviving characters and ends the series.

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sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
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