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    • michelle

      Living Room Etiquette   07/25/17

      Welcome to my living room on the internet.   Let me talk a little bit about the history of my home on the internet. I started out blogging on LiveJournal, which is a blogging community. And I talked about publishing and process, but in a fairly general way.   And that worked for a number of years.   What I almost never talked about was my books. But over time, people found my LJ, and they wanted to talk about my books, and I felt a little self-conscious talking about my books on LiveJournal, where the community was more general and more social, and talking about my books felt a little conspicuously like shouting: Me Me Me!   So: I started my author web-site. I posted sample chapters. I talked--when I had any news--about my books. I didn't post often, because I didn't want to drive people who came to the web-site purely for news or information away.   And that seemed to work.   But a funny thing happened. I'm not, and have never been, Robert Jordan, George Martin or Patrick Rothfuss in terms of my reach. I don't have the kind of buzz they generate, and I'm fine with that. I'm not Misty Lackey or Melanie Rawn, either.   I write my books. I try not to say too much about them, because some people hate spoilers. I try not to complain too much about the process, because every job anywhere is difficult sometimes. But… I can't really talk about my books as if I were a reader, because I can't ever approach them as a reader would for the first time. Or even the twentieth.   And sometimes people want to talk about the experience of reading my books. But given my general invisibility on fantasy reader radars, they haven't found many places in which they can do that.   A few years ago, my readers began to talk to each other - on my web-site, because they found people who were also interested in talking about my books there. On a release-day post about the latest novel. This made some readers unhappy because of course discussing the books meant spoilers. I then made a separate SPOILER thread, which people could easily avoid.   That worked, and I made a spoiler thread for almost every subsequent book.   So readers who wanted to discuss the book with other readers spoke to each other on the spoiler threads. I stay out of the spoiler threads. I stay out of the discussions about my books. And I've been able to do that because, while people don't always agree, they don't descend into acrimony and flames.   But the spoiler thread for Cast in Peril was 369 comments long. And that's a lot of comments, and possibly a long load time.   And I thought: maybe it's time to try forums.   I wouldn't have considered forums at all if the spoiler threads had descended into invective and angry ranting; they never have. The people who post and discuss on them have been helpful and reasonable, even when they don't agree with each other.   And what I want out of forums is for that to continue. I don't expect my forums to be crowded; I don't expect that they'll need to be moderated or policed, because of the history of the readers who have posted on my web-site.   But forums in general have rules and policies, and it's best to be clear about those up front, in case of future need. So.   The Living Room rules:   1. Since it's my Living Room, there's a strong possibility that children and grandmothers will stroll past or stop in, since both frequent my house. So I'd ask you to keep that in mind when it comes to profanity. Swear as much as I do.   2. Door to door salesmen frequently interrupt social gatherings, and they're not there to join the discussion. So: don't be that person. This isn't a tupperware party, and I don't want anyone to attempt to sell things to my visitors. If you notice that someone is advertising cheap watches or winning lottery numbers or any variant thereof, report it - and ignore it. It'll be cleaned up and swept out the door.   3. No flaming. Which is to say: no personal attacks or insults. I don't expect this will be a problem because it hasn't been - and I'd really like that to continue. Also, and this is a personal thing: don't accuse someone of trolling just because they disagree with you. Sometimes people disagree; they're not doing it to enrage or derail.   4. Things NOT to discuss on these forums: Real-world religions (any). Real-world politics (any). Explicit sexuality (because: children & grandmothers. And, to be fair, me). There are many other places to discuss any of these things - and I ask that you discuss them there. Here is not the place. This is possibly the only thing I'll be draconian about.   If, in the opinion of the management, you break these rules, we'll probably ask you to sit out the topic. If you break these rules more than once, we may ask you to sit out the week. If you can't communicate without breaking these rules, this is not the forum for you; there are lots of forums on the internet that will be more to your liking.   Also: I believe that readers should be able to discuss what they want to discuss, even if what they want to discuss is how a particular book I've written didn't work for them. For obvious reasons, I would like to personally avoid those discussions because I don't want to be a damper, and because it's not possible for me to be consistently objective about my own work. It's not entirely possible to avoid these discussions on the web-site; on the forums it will be. I've asked Tchula Ripton to moderate, as she's been the list-mom on the Yahoo West list for a number of years.   So on those parts of the forum where the discussions are about my works, she wears the big hat where necessary, because I'm not there.   As for the forums: any member can create topics, and any member can read any forum and reply there. If, for instance, you want to get people's opinions on ebook readers, you can start a post in the “Random†category, and ask.
Ehtiar

Movies You've Seen Recently

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Ehtiar    106

Now You See Me.

I actually quite enjoyed this one a lot.

Four magicians receive a mysterious invitation and meet up at a creepy address. One year later they're headlining at a Las Vegas show as "The Four Horsemen" and end it with robbing a bank in Paris and giving the money to the crowd. (Jessie Eisnburg, Woodie Harrelson, Dave Franco, and the ever cute Isla Fisher)

This then spirals into Mark Ruffalo's FBI agent being tasked to investigate them alongside an Interpol agent and find out how they did it... but it turns out to be only the first step in one big magic trick...

Throw in Michael Caine's smirky CEO, Morgan Freeman's former magician turned "Magic Debunker", and it all turns into a nice series of illusions, dark secrets, set pieces and bizarre investigations all carried out at a fairly smooth pace and slickly done.

And the nice tag line: "Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see"

Some of the in-film suggestions for how various "tricks" are performed do get just a wee bit silly, but overall it's quite smooth and entertaining.

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Genna    4

Now you see me look like a fun movie. I will probably get it when it comes out on DVD.

 

The last movie I saw was RED 2. Just as fun and mindless entertainment as the first one. 

 

I plan on seeing Riddick this weekend. Got to love some Vin Diesel. :)

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Andruid    22

Unfortunately cinemas and cabbage mobiles do not mix..............I am kinda a book and DVD person myself........okay more of a book person.... :D :D

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Ehtiar    106

Re-watched Chronicles of Riddick...

 

Now, no matter what critics have to say about it, I enjoyed that film. It might be a little bit bombastic in places, but I applaud the attempt to make a sequel movie that's about the characters and the universe and not just re-treading the original film with "more".

 

It was entertaining enough that I actually watched through all the dvd extras which add a lot of amusing things themselves.

 

Although I do have to say, every-time I've seen it I get the feeling that the Necromongers are a strange mix of the Necrons and Chaos Space Marines from the WH40k universe....

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Andruid    22

Managed to get a couple of the worst films ever.......................

Solarbabies(Solarwarriors is the UK title),

Wild Thing,

Biggles - An Adventure in Time

and.......

Spaced Invaders (This isn;t that  bad but some of the lines are pure gold)

 

This weekend is a torture weekend........ :P :P

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Ehtiar    106

Hey, no hitting down on Biggles - An Adventure in Time.

 

That was a classic, and it had Peter Cushing in it!

Plus, the ending in a cooking pot.  "Get us out of here before they realise you're NOT a God. You're JUST an American!"

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Andruid    22

Hey, no hitting down on Biggles - An Adventure in Time.

 

That was a classic, and it had Peter Cushing in it!

Plus, the ending in a cooking pot.  "Get us out of here before they realise you're NOT a God. You're JUST an American!"

Classic quote there from Peter Cushing's last film.......yeah, still not sure why a sequel was never made......and yet films like Twilight and Daredevil are made...... :ph34r: :ph34r:

 

Late addition to the Torture Weekend.......

 

Misfits of Science

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Ehtiar    106

The Philadelphia Story.

 

There are reasons some films are just absolute classics. Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and James Stewart are just a great mix with the dialogue.

Dang, now I feel in the mood to chase down some more of the 40's screwball comedies and light rom-coms.

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Ehtiar    106

The World's End.

 

It got quite a few light chuckles out of me. SImon Pegg and Nick Frost working their usual magic and pulling in elements from assorted pop culture. Plus, it does have some quite amazingly well done fight choreography for bar fights with alien invasion...

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Ehtiar    106

Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing.

 

I quite enjoyed it. It's mostly low-key, although I think the fairly intimate setting of Whedon's house along with the black and white style pushes that along. It's an interesting way of handling the setting of the play, even if they've kept the original Shakespearian dialogue. The actors for the most part do a pretty damn good job, although I think more gets conveyed with the physicality and expressions then the way they speak the words.  I can't quite make up my mind on Alexis Denisofs "Benedict", for the most part he's good and especially for the physical pratfall aspects he plays up nicely, but there are a few moments he doesn't quite fit. Clark Greg's "Leonato" and Amy Acker's "Beatrice" pretty much rock out.  Nathon Fillion's "Dogberry" pretty much comes out as that idiotic ass. The musical score is quite understated, but the moments it does kick in, it really hits the right emotional note.

 

It's the little touches that really bring it out when you notice them. Sean Maher's villain, after successfully breaking up the wedding walks out... and casually snatches up a cupcake from the wedding tables. It's like "I am Evil. I deserve a cupcake!"

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Ehtiar    106

It'll be interesting to see Harrison Ford return to sci-fi, but I'm not sure about the film in general. I mean they've pretty much thrown mass spoilers into the trailer of the film for anyone who hasn't already read the book (which will be most of the viewing audience). I'm curious how they'll handle the adaption in general. But Ender's Game, and the follow-on book shave always been one of those odd groupings for me. I read it once and quite like it, then I re-read it and find things feel odd and out of place or don't seem to mesh as well as they did the first time I went through.

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Andruid    22

Yeah......I am uncomfortable with the fact they made Ender a lot older for the film.....and I have avoided the trailers because I do not want a half-assed opinion before I actually see the film.  I have read the book and the series that follows and whilst Ender's Game was written for an adult readership it was openly embraced by school children..which unfortunately means that the subsequent books are not what the children expect.  However the book is fairly 'old' now......and one I find truly scary, even after all this time, all three of the Wiggins children are terrifying in their own right......Peter is the obvious terror but Ender is subtler than that. 

 

I just want to know if the producers had the backbone to include the killings, I say killings but they could so easily be murders/manslaughters, Ender is responsible for...but they I remember this is Hollywood and they can leave nothing alone...... :rolleyes:

 

Roll on October 25th..... :)

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Ehtiar    106

John Wick.

 

I have to say, it's one of the better Action/Revenge flicks out in the last few years. I wouldn't say that it's out and out amazing, but its pretty damn good for the genre. Helped along by a lot of very good supporting actors in bit roles. It's chock full of "thatguy / thoseguys" - faces you'll know because they're always in the background roles, but you hardly ever see their names all doing very good work.

 

It also fits Keannu quite well, since the John Wick character is very self-contained and controlled for the majority of the film. Even in the start when he's suffering loss and grief, it's a good showing for him, and I was definitely impressed with the angry outburst sequence he managed towards the end of the film. You rarely see him having to work that sort of emotional sequence and he handles it quite nicely.

 

And of course, the variety of action sequences are all very nicely choreographed and smoothly done. Plus, no shakey-cam.

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BR60103    12

We saw Paddington.

I haven't read the books, but we wanted to leave by the middle. I think the added plot elements were unnecessary and disturbing -- not suitable for the same age range that the books were aimed at.

The production values were good, Paddington was great and the Brown family appropriate. They could have made a lot more little misunderstanding vignettes rather than putting Paddington in deadly peril.

About half of it needs to be edited out.

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michelle    51

I feel so out of it. 

 

We are going to see a movie on Saturday - but I have no idea what's actually out there. I like Keanu Reeves (mostly for off-screen interviews/reasons) - but I don't always love revenge movies >.>. I am torn.

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Tchula    16

I haven't even gotten to the theater to see the third Hobbit movie yet.  T_T

Besides that, I would like to get around to seeing Selma, because it's about an important time of change in American history and it looks like an uplifting film.  I'd also like to see American Sniper, because I have yet to see a Clint Eastwood-directed movie that I didn't like.  Despite controversy about the "American hero" aspect of the film, I've heard it addresses PTSD, which I feel is important for people to see and understand.  Our government (we, the people) asks these young men and women to go overseas and kill for us, so we should at least try to comprehend the psychological damage it can cause, not just to the individual, but to their families, too. My dad's a Vietnam veteran who suffered from PTSD, so these topics always draw my interest, because I want to understand his experience better. 

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Ehtiar    106

I will warn you, John Wick starts in that very slow and mournful place. His wife dying from disease, his reactions, and then getting a puppy delivered to him that his wife set up.

 

Then (since it's in most of the trailers I don't think it can be considered a spoiler), some guys break into his house, beat him up to steal his car, and kill the puppy on the way out.  Which is a rather sudden jarring tonal change, and sends it into the more normal revenge flick. But that scene can hit quite hard. It's kind of amusing that a lot of people can find it easier to accept on-screen violence to people more than on-screen violence to animals.

 

 

For the more amusing turn - There's already been a fan-edit of the Hobbit films. They've taken them, cut out what they think isn't part of the book, and put it up as one single film online.

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Tchula    16

Finally got out to see both The Hobbit #3 and American Sniper.  The Hobbit was entertaining, although I feel it was the weakest of the three movies, with more implausible action scenes (especially for Legolas, who seems to defy gravity, lol).  CGI Smaug was particularly awesome though, and as fierce as a dragon should be when angry. Overall, it was enjoyable, but the Lord of the Rings series was better, imo.

American Sniper was excellent, as most of Clint Eastwood's movies have been.  It's a serious look at one soldier's life during 4 tours of duty in Iraq, and his family struggles with PTSD when he is stateside.  It is a nuanced and thoughtful film, althought the focus is largely in theater.  The battle scenes do an excellent job of making clear how confusing engagements can be, and how soldiers must make quick, and often difficult decisions under stress, from which they will carry the guilt and burden of forever.  The clearly uncomfortable expression Bradley Cooper's Chris Kyle has when other soldiers come up to him and call him a hero, I would imagine is a common feeling among veterans. They don't feel like heroes, they just did the job they were assigned to do, and they couldn't save everyone.  I think this is an important film, with a sobering epitaph, and I feel it should be seen by all viewers of the appropriate age, because it bears thinking about.

 

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Ehtiar    106

The Eichmann Show.

 

 

 

BBC dramatization of the Eichmann trial - When Adolf Eichmann was captured and taken to Israel to be held accountable for planning the final solution - as shown from the perspective of the producer and director of the television documentary following it. Martin Freeman and Anthony Lepaglia playing those parts respectively, along with a strong supporting cast. It follows the initial struggles as they try to get permission from Israel and the judges of the trial to have cameras there, and the issues with the networks. The daily footage of the trial is generally considered to be the first global television documentary.

 

 

 

Starts slowly, but when the trial begins they blend in actual footage from the events, especially with the witness accounts, and those pile on the feels. Kind of highlights how so many people, even large swathes of the jewish population in Israel, didn't really believe the holocaust happened and how the trials global nature and show on television changed that perspective.

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