October 11th, 2015

wood cat

The Martian (movie)

We saw this last Friday and I haven't had the time to write it up, but honestly I'm doing more so out of obligation/putting things on the record: it's very enjoyable and I've barely thought about it since.

Okay, that's not true, because I am an analytical type when it comes to my entertainment, but much less than some other things.

In short: very entertaining; successfully adapts the book in terms of streamlining and making emotions more present (Mark is a very peculiar brand of unreliable narrator, in that he says "I cried" and you don't really feel it on a gut level); surprisingly resists the urge to Hollywood it up until the end; could've done better on casting in terms of racial representation, but it could've been worse, too; whoever did the soundtrack was having a lot of fun.

As for the casting bits: Kapoor is Hindu in the book and is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor in the movie; he does have a line about his father being Hindu and his mother being Baptist in the movie, but when Irrfan Khan turned them down (h/t [personal profile] musesfool), well, it's nice they didn't go with a white guy, but it's not like there's only one Indian actor out there in the world, you know? With that casting, the only visibly Asian main characters were of East Asian ancestry. On a similar note, point for casting Rich Purnell (race not specified in book) with Donald Glover, and minus for not casting Mindy Park with an actress of Korean ancestry. (Point for making one of the guys in China a woman, as well.)

Finally, I don't know what Sean Bean and his non-American accent were doing in this movie. I am entirely willing to believe it was solely in the service of a particular meta joke that had the entire theater laughing uproariously, but I shamefully admit that I think it was worth it: Collapse ).

And now, some spoilers about the adaptation and ending:

Collapse )

I dipped into the fandom tag on AO3 and was depressed to find it was full of Watney/Beck (a.k.a. the power of two vaguely conventionally attractive white dudes—seriously, they have minimal interaction in the movie, and if you must break up canonical m/f pairings, Martinez is his best friend in the book), so I will take any gen recs from you all, but I can enthusiastically recommend the Interstitial series by Lanna Michaels, which is a book-style continuation (so far two short-ish pieces) that's perfectly in character and just terrific. Also, for the brilliant crack, Lanna also did a fusion with Jonathan Strange. And now the kids' morning TV is done so I will save the trailers until later.

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wood cat

trailers with The Martian

I didn't take notes, so this is reconstructed by scrolling through IMDB (and thus is in order of release date).

  • Crimson Peak. Still wish I watched horror, which I do not, because look how pretty they all are/this all is.
  • In the Heart of the Sea. Thanks, but I think Master and Commander has filed my lifetime quota for all-dude maritime period pieces. (It does have the actress who played Arabella Strange, Charlotte Riley—who, whoa, I did not realize was married to Tom Hardy!—as Chris Hemsworth's long-suffering wife waiting at home, though.)
  • The Big Short. So let me get this straight. This is a movie about four white dudes who profited off the 2008 housing collapse and we are supposed to ROOT FOR THEM?! Fuck off and die. (Also, two women speak in the trailer: a complicit banker and a stripper. I am not joking.)
  • Joy. Biopic starring Jennifer Lawrence (who at some points looks so much like Renee Zellweger that it distracted me). I have no interest in it but hope it does well.
  • Concussion. About the doctor who first published research on CTE in NFL players. Nice subtle makeup job of making Will Smith just enough different-looking that he's not immediately Will Smith!! when you first see him. I decided before last season that I could no longer care about the NFL, for this among other reasons, so I also hope this does well.
  • The Revenant. Does this fridge Leonardo DiCaprio's brown son as part of his motivation for vengeance against Tom Hardy? Sure looks like it. Pass.
  • The Forest. Starring Natalie Dormer (+), horror (-), set in Aokigahara (-).

And I think that's it. So, so many trailers.

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wood cat

OTW elections

The Organization for Transformative Works, which among other things runs the Archive of Our Own, is having Board elections from November 6-9.

If you're not already a member, you can't vote—they changed it this year so that the October 2015 membership drive would not count toward membership for the 2015 elections, unlike in past years. This is frankly pretty shitty: "hey, give us money because you care about the direction of the organization, but if you're new, you'll have to wait a year to give actual meaningful input into that direction!"

In addition, as has become clear to me over the last year+ worth of reading newsletters, the organization is painfully slow (the strategic plan has been in the works for literally years), and from reading the candidates' manifestos (here's a summary), it seems the OTW doesn't have any planned budgets and generally seems to have focus problems.

Finally, the Board's removal of one of the candidates during the election process seems like, at best, a tone-deaf ill-timed adherence to hypertechnicalities—and that's just from reading the Board's own announcement. There's also no information on whether the current Board member who is standing for election was recused from this decision. I am perfectly happy to believe that that Board member acted ethically, but it's troubling that the Board didn't think to address that concern preemptively.

Voting is in preferential order; I haven't decided my order yet, but based on reading statements (principally), as well as endorsements (some public), I will be voting for Alex Tischer, Aline Carrão, Atiya Hakeem, Katarina Harju, and Matty Bowers.

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