tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
What a time to be a Lupin fan!

We recently got our first theatrically released Lupin film since 1996. It's another Detective Conan crossover, I haven't seen it yet but the fans (if not the critics) seem to like it. There's also a Japanese live-action movie in production right now (meh, boring). Maybe it'll be as insane as the seventies' live action film.

BUT THE MAIN THING: There's gonna be another animated theatrical release this summer, it's gonna be our first officially Jigen-centric movie ever, AND it's made by the same dude who made the 2012 Mine Fujiko TV series (which, okay, I had my problems with but the action and art style was uh-MAZING).

The title's gonna be The Tomb of Jigen Daisuke, and I.

I just love Jigen so much.

Look at that promo image oh my God.

There's a very adamant rumour that it's gonna be the send-off for Jigen's voice actor, who's famously held the role since 1969. I refuse to even think about, because obviously Kiyoshi Kobayashi is both gonna live forever and voice Jigen for all eternity.

No. Shush. All eternity.
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
Yes, time to confirm it: My newest obsession is definitely John Barrymore in his silent era. Which is a relief, I mean-- I've spent a couple of months just half-heartedly liking things. That's not me at all. Thank God something came along.

I don't want to burn through all his best silent movies in just a few days, so my rule is only one (...ish) every week, with some of his early talkies (I'm ignoring everything after 1934 because yeesh, his alcoholism and mental issues really took their toll) in between.

His silent films are great fun though, even the ones that aren't particularly good. There's a lot of action, and even more romance. I've been infatuated with lots of actors and obviously I always enjoy when they get a love scene, but Barrymore love scenes really are next level stuff; Hands trembling, chest heaving, eyelashes fluttering... If you're really lucky it's all shot in profile, like in When a Man Loves (I've never seen an actor shot as much in profile as Barrymore):

*

Congratulations, you've just seen Drew Barrymore's grandparents making out (they married the next year). Share my shame.

When a Man Loves, incidentally, is a ridiculous, melodramatic film (he plays a priest, but can suddenly fence like a champ in the last reel) and I wouldn't recommend it to anybody, but it sure has a lot of sweet scenes.


*This is the first time I've had to fix the image quality of a film before I could gif it. Usually I gif a video file exactly as-is, but my copy of this film is kinda blurry and glitchy. That said, giffing silent films, turns out, is a cinch compared to seventies' BBC video transfer.

Again

Feb. 9th, 2014 02:56 pm
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
I've had another go at reading Peter Milligan's comic Shade the Changing Man, a surreal horror title from the nineties. This time everything clicked.

Something about this comic really resonates with me. It's rare that I read a comic and think, "Yes. I get this. My mind works just like this"; I'm tempted to say I haven't really felt like that since I read Gaiman's Sandman comics a decade ago (there's a bunch of similarities between those two, actually). Like Sandman was perfect for the headspace I was in ten-something years ago, Shade the Changing Man really suits me now (and in an amazing bit of coincidence, Shade the character is exactly my age!).

It's a very surreal comic (which usually isn't my thing at all), as Shade has come to Earth to battle an epidemic of madness, which he continually gets pulled into. There's a lot of meta text and archtypes and complexity. At the same time I find Shade more relatable than for instance John Constantine; Shade is a shy and sensitive young man who's trapped on a strange planet; He falls in love and worries about his masculinity and sexual adequacy (and at one point, transgenderism).

I've only read the first twenty-something issues so far (DC has failed to rerelease the entire run in trades), but I'm enjoying the hell out of this ride. Here's a cool little presentation from Cartoon Network:

tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
My failure to see the appeal of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. had me thinking maybe swashbuckling movies weren't as good in the silent film days as they would get in the Tyrone Power and Errol Flynn era.

But no more.

See, I used to think John Barrymore was exclusively a talkies (and stage) actor, with his sing-songy delivery and sonorous voice. Not the case, as I found out.

In talkies, he's pretty entertaining. In silent films he's an absolute delight -- agile, flamboyant, sexy, and with one of the best-looking noses I've ever seen captured on film (they didn't call him The Great Profile for nothing).

Tonight I watched Don Juan from 1926 and apart from being a surprisingly sophisticated film, you cannot convince me this wasn't made primarily for a female demographic. From the moment Barrymore first appears as the Don exiting his bedroom, post-coitus and half undressed, the camera doesn't so much capture him as suggestively linger on his body. There were no women in the movie as revealingly dressed as Mr. Barrymore. What a silhouette!

vlcsnap-115755

A lot of pre-Code movies strike me as sort of lewd (and very male gaze-y), but this was an elegantly suggestive movie even though it mostly centered around sex.

(Another silent Barrymore vehicle I've seen, The Beloved Rogue, features Conrad Veidt in his first Hollywood movie, and is hands-down the most homoerotic silent movie I've ever seen. You just won't believe how much pawing, caressing and embracing those two get up to in between Barrymore's fencing sequences.)

Ah, swashbucklers. Proving that all you have to do is don some tights, swing on a chandelier and leap on a table, sword in hand, and I'll love you unconditionally (except Fairbanks).
tilly_stratford: (Deadpool day)
Finally got around to watching Thor: The Dark World and oooooh that was fun! Definitely one of the stronger Marvel films to date, and superior to the IMHO kinda boring first Thor film (which, granted, had a wonderful final act). I'm so glad I got to watch it at the movie theatre, there's something magic about the audience reacting with spontaneous applause to Stellan Skarsgård not wearing trousers. I generally laughed harder at this film than I've done in a while. That quick little cameo by a certain member of the Avengers had the whole audience rolling in the aisles.

Also, God, so many delish men! Which is a thing Marvel movies tend to be so refreshingly upfront about (slow pan over Hemsworth's abs, the lighting and angles highlighting Hiddleston's cheekbones just so), so I'm going to be too. Just yum. When Idris Elba finally got to remove that clunky helmet I was all "Yessss".

And man, how great was Christopher Eccleston? I loved his character design too; To be honest the Dark Elf design was my favourite thing about the entire movie. Like this dude:

Algrim_DarkW

If I'm gonna criticize anything it's that it's like the movies have taken another step further into scifi cliché land. Laser guns that go pew pew. The space ships. I thought that was trite in The Avengers, it disappoints me even more in Thor's world which had this fun half fantasy, half scifi setting going on. And the movie didn't really waste any time explaining what all the science meant; It wasn't a dealbreaker, but I still like to have some concept of what I'm looking at (even if it's just explained by Skarsgård knocking two shoes together).

But all in all, a pretty good Marvel movie! (And don't worry, I'm definitely going pick it apart and look at the Norse mythology references in another entry -- it actually had some pretty obscure details in it).
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Curious collection)
Just as sure as summer will follow spring, I'm pretty sure I will always return to Sherlock Holmes stories. Even if I forget how much I love them years at a time. Usually my infatuation with specific fiction abates after a while, either because I've run out of material or because I've gluttoned myself and had too much at one time -- but Holmes? That's an inexhaustible love of mine, even though I sometimes plain forget just how happy those stories make me.

A few months ago I was in a thrift shop where I spotted a particularly hideous Norwegian edition of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes -- the exact edition I first picked up at the library when I was ten, and which introduced me to the Canon! (It doesn't have a print year listed, oddly enough, but I'm guessing eighties/early nineties from the cover design). So I bought it out of sentiment and put it on my shelf and forgot about it.

And then I was out walking today because I wanted to give Welcome to Night Vale a listen (mostly to fill the temporary Zombies, Run!-shaped hole in my life, my knee is still a wreck), but the file was corrupted and I had to find something else to listen to. I always have one of the BBC Holmes audios stashed away somewhere on my phone, so I thought "Ah, for old time's sake" (the episode happened to Scandal in Bohemia, the first story I ever read). I spent the rest of the walk grinning from ear to ear.

Not just because BBC radio Holmes is by far the best Holmes adaption I've ever come across (I have nothing new to say about Merrison's Holmes, other than that he's wonderful in the role and has the most infectious laugh), but because, goshdarnit, I just love these old stories and characters. Even though I've read them, watched them, and listened to them countless of times, and I always know exactly who did it, and what challenges will be thrown Holmes and Watson's way, I just can't stop loving them.

So now I'm sitting here leafing through that book I bought at the thrift store, feeling like I've slipped on an old comfy sweater. I think this Christmas I'll bring back my tradition of reading that great pastiche story where Holmes is hired to stalk Santa Clause.
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Curious collection)
I've discovered the Metal Gear Solid games, and I'm hooked. I'm forever cursing having the play them out of order (I've played three games, but not the first one which sets everything up), but a minor issue like fully understanding the plot isn't going to stop me from enjoying these games!

See, prior to this my knowledge of the MGS franchise amounted to: The protagonist is named Solid Snake (and after a while you forget to snicker every time it's sasid aloud), he's a clone, he's a spy, the cut scenes are longer than the gameplay parts, the auteur behind the games is kind of pompous and insane, and characters pee their pants a lot.

Okay so none of that is incorrect, but it's really the insane, convoluted story that has really grabbed hold of me. Also the fact that the game designers have put a lot of work into making the characters attractive to both sexes, so for once in a game the male characters serve as much as eye-candy as the female ones (Snake's lovingly rendered ass is a sight to behold).

MGS3: Snake Eater is by far the best of them I've played so far. It's set in the sixties so it doesn't feature Solid Snake -- instead it's the original super spy (who they cloned later) Naked Snake (pfffhahaha) who has to go to Russia to stop World War 3 from happening.

And so fanart happened and I am much ashamed.

Non-gory torture scene because this is MGS )

Haha wow, this is a terrible introduction to the MGS franchise. Just trust me, it's good.
tilly_stratford: (Blue & Gold)
So I finished reading 52 late last night. And I might have been in such an emotional state it took me quite a while to calm down enough to fall asleep. Good golly what a ride that was.

52 is the first comic I've read all through on my phone, via the Comixology app. I still prefer physical copies, but buying and downloading one issue at a time means that I can pace myself in an entirely different way than when I buy trade paperbacks.

And you can't beat that handiness: I've been able to read comics wherever there's been a wifi setup. I've read 52 in hotel rooms, draped over strange beds and shouting "Oh my God" to myself at random intervals.

So yes, the plot of 52 itself - THIS is what huge events and dire consequences look like in a comic book world! Dear Lord. And so many characters I'd only had a passing knowledge of becoming so dear to me: Black Adam (which I always regarded as an evil, colour-swapped Captain Marvel), Dr. Will Magnus (who lives and copes with bipolar disorder! Who uses psychopharma and isn't demonized for it!), The Question and so many more.

And Booster Gold. Oh God. The only thing I knew going in (and the main reason I started reading it), was that Booster Gold had a massive role to play in the event. And I wasn't disappointed.

I don't think I've ever been as upset at a comic book cover:

What a ride.
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
Apparently my late grandmother had quite the weakness for Errol Flynn. She would say my late grandfather's mustache made him similar to the swashbuckler and that was a factor in my grandmother's attraction to him, my grandfather. So in a roundabout way I guess I owe my existence to Errol Flynn.

As a child I was very close to my grandmother, but she hardly discussed handsome actors with my eight year-old self, so these bits of information come to me from my mum.

I've recently been on a Alan Ladd binge, and don't you know, I learn he was one of my grandmother's favourite actors. I wonder what kind of discussions we would have had if she was still alive. I'd ask her if she liked This Gun for Hire as much as I did, whether she preferred Ladd in his Western or noir roles.

In any case, it seems I am genetically predisposed in these matters. I was pondering these thoughts as I made this GIF (which turned out to be WAY too big for Tumblr) of a scrumptious Ladd from his uncredited cameo in the Bob Hope vehicle My Favourite Brunette:


(Well now I know who my favourite blonde is.)
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
This is a fairly old internet bloggy thing, but I haven't done it so I'm bringing it back out of the internet depths.

The rules are malleable, so here's my take: Twenty actors I will watch in anything, whose names inevitably give me that little jolt of delight when I spot them in the opening credits.

They're not the greatest actors of all time, some of them are more like guilty pleasures of mine, yet not all of them are great delicious hunks. I just love them. Also because it's their acting I love, I've chosen to present them through screenshots where they're in-character, rather than in beautiful promo shots - some from movies I love dearly, some from trash, but they all feature at least one memorable performance.

And because just naming twenty was so hard, I decided to not include actors I mostly known from television (which means no Patrick Troughton, DeForest Kelley, Michael K. Williams, etc.).

Some beyond obvious, some new additions )

Haha, fooled you! Couldn't keep it under twenty-five. You probably wouldn't have noticed if I didn't tell you though.

As for the actors who very nearly made it: They were Hugh Jackman, Lee Marvin, Joseph Cotten, Knut Risan, Hiroyuki Sanada, Dirk Bogarde, Kevin Kline, Raymond Massey, Bruce Willis, James Macavoy and Christopher Lee. Then of course are the ones that I love dearly but I honestly can't say I'll watch in anything - Buster Keaton's talkie sex comedies, any Bing Crosby Technicolour venture...


I plan to do the Twenty Actresses challenges some day, and I've been toying around with some kind of favourite supporting actors list. Meanwhile I've just recieved my very own PVR, and I've already have a massive movie backlist to get through thanks to TCM. Time to get watching!
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
I went to the movies and saw Les Misérables with my mum.

I've mentioned it before, I'm a recovering Les Mis obsessive (both book and musical). So when friends who've never cared one jot about musicals suddenly got obsessive about this one movie I was puzzled. Was it because the performances in it were so mind blowing, or just because the musical is so darn good?

This gon' get wordy )

So when the DVD comes, yeah I guess I'll have to splurge on it, even if there were elements that annoyed me to hell and back. In the meantime, mum has said we need to watch "the real one" (the tenth anniversary concert, you can't beat that Dream Cast) soon, and trying to remember the names of the ABC students made me realize it's high-time I reread the book (How many times have it been now? I stopped counting after the fourth read-through).
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
I'm trying to get back into the habit of taking daily strolls, you know; my constitutionals. I haven't done those regularly since I moved from Bergen. The most important thing though, apart from good shoes, is good audio dramas. I can't listen to audio dramas without going hiking, and I can't go hiking without listening to audio dramas.

Fortunately, exploring my external hard drive I found almost a hundred episodes of The Adventures of Sam Spade (all legal too - they're in public domain). I remember listening to maybe a dozen of them back when I lived in Bergen and even though I'll admit the actual whodunnits never particularly interested me, I love this show simply for how every episode is constructed:

Sam Spade always dictates his newest case to his long-suffering secretary Effie, usually after entering the office and scaring Effie with his newest wound or torn suit. And as I said, the mysteries don't interest me. I spend the main part of each episode admiring Steve Dunne (or earlier on, Howard Duff)'s great performance as Sam Spade. Quick-fire delivery, slightly nasal gumshoe voice, and Dunne in particular stood out among all the posh radio actors of the era simply for always saying "yah" rather than "yeah".

My favourite part is always the end of the episode, after Sam has wrapped up the case, because from then on it's always about his chummy relationship with Effie (or "Eff" as he calls her). Even if she's a bit of an airhead Sam always encourages her ("THAT'S my girl!" in a such a heartfelt way that not even my feminist core finds anything patronizing about it), and they joke and laugh and are such pals. Then they close up the office together and every episode ends with the exact same words:

"Goodnight, Sam."

"Goodnight, sweetheart."
tilly_stratford: (HB: Steampunk Bush)
Found a new home, thank God. That last place may have had nice cupboards, but I've hated just about everything else about it. I refer to it as "that hole". Could hardly even get cell phone reception in there, and the landlord and lady were driving me up the wall.

So, my new digs: A groovy apartment from the sixties (Not a bedsit, a real apartment with two rooms!) that's newly had a lick of paint. Lovely, worn hardwood floor (none of that cold stone floor in my last home). Nice view of the (surprisingly large) garden. And the whole thing is not too far away from the train and bus station, which is really what sold me on it. I'm so utterly in love with it I don't even mind having the refrigerator in the living room (on account of the tiny kitchen).

I'm still mostly living out of boxes and bags, but more second-hand furniture should be arriving this weekend. I've got the TV in place anyway, and officially broke in my new apartment watching a musical last night: Call Me Madam - an Ethel Merman vehicle (blah) featuring Vera-Ellen (double blah) but with Donald O'Conner (who got the best number of the film), and George Sanders (dreamy sigh) in his one and only musical film performance. Whoa whoa whoa, did he have some pipes on him!

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Excuse me, got more unpacking to do!
tilly_stratford: (Fred and Cyd: Don't mind you watching)
I've finished this aboslutely amazing animated TV series (haha look at me still uncomfortable with the term "anime") called Baccano! and it was so wonderful and perfect and good. I haven't been this excited about storytelling in a TV format since The Wire. Aaaah, the plot, the characters, the setting (1930s America!), the music (OH GOD THE MUSIC), I loved every minute of it!

If you'd told me "hey watch this anime about gangsters fighting over a wine that gives immortality to the one who drinks it" I'd probably be all "uh, maybe later?" but I just went for it because I thought the art style looked cool and then it turned out to be fabulous.

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And perfectly contained in 14 episodes, Baccano! was so good I really don't want them to ever bring it back or revive it. I'm gonna rewatch it at some point though, definitely!
tilly_stratford: (Fred and Cyd: Don't mind you watching)
I was pining for the great selection of pre-Code films at the library in Bergen, when I decided it was time to make the best of the situation: Namely, start exploring the many Indian films in stock at the Lørenskog library (they weren't there when I was growing up here).

I have seen maybe two films in Hindi in my entire life, so I had no idea where to start. I picked one that looked vaguely old and that advertized its many hit songs (I know Bollywood =! musicals, but being a Hollywood musical nut, I thought it was a good place to start). My pick turned out to be the 1965 musical Guide, which I learned was one of the milestones of Indian cinema!

It was great, and it certainly surprised me at every turn. Like, after Boy meets Girl, and Girl has captured Boy with her dance, and Boy has wooed and won Girl through his song, Boy then becomes an alcoholic with a gambling problem. Halfway through the movie. Did not see that coming. We get one of my favourite songs of the movie out of it though.

The absolute goosebump-inducing highlight of the movie though, is after Boy is mistaken for a monk and does all he can to end the drought that's killing the village (I told you this movie throws you a few curveballs). The prayer song that gets more and more and more intense absolutely kills me:

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(Around the four minute mark it segues into a battle between Boy's egotism and religion which doesn't make a lot of sense without the sub, but the song preceding it is still absolutely heartbreaking). Definitely going to have to scope out more Dev Anand flicks.
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Curious collection)
Yes here I am again. There've been some troubles with unstable internet access, but things are getting better all the time, and I'm switching companies tomorrow.

So what do you do in the evenings without internet when there's nothing but boring Olympic Games on the telly?

Games. You do games. Gaming.

Personally, I just finished Dragon Age II!


Also I played and completed L.A. Noire!


Right now I've gone on to the first Mass Effect game. I'm really intrigued by the "your choices carry weight in the sequels too" thing (which was very neatly done in Dragon Age 2), but eh, I really don't like those kind of dour grey sci-fi settings. I'm nine hours in and so far I just feel like I've done nothing but gotten lost in a lot of grey corridors, and done a lot of cover-based shooting at Geths.

Sometimes when I'm not gaming I'm reading. Right now it's The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht, and a massive one that I bought for my bachelor research but never read, about the plight of the common woman throughout Norwegian history.

Oh, and I'm still reading Justice League comics. Still early nineties issues, oh dear.


Oh wow, it's been so long since I wrote a long, random post just because I'm bored. And I'm not used to sitting on this hard sofa like this, ow ow ow.

Woooo!

Jul. 20th, 2012 11:27 pm
tilly_stratford: (Kaizer: Humping Terje)
Hey here I am blogging from my new apartment (okay; room. With a bathroom and an entrance hall. It's small but newly renovated)! It's got its own bathroom! It's got its own kitchen area! For the first time since I moved out of my mum's house, I don't have to share any rooms with strangers*! I have cupboards and a wardrobe and my own shoe rack!

This proves my theory that it always feels way more satisfying to begin at the bottom and accomplish things one by one. This is thrilling! Cupboards! I live a life where it's emotionally satisfying to open a cupboard!

It's my first night staying over, and of course some things are in order and others aren't. I've got my X-Box set up, but no controllers. I've got my loofah, but no towels. I've got cat food, but no cat (hopefully we'll get Linni over tomorrow). Going to be interesting setting up my nest here.

And now I'm really tired so I'm going to go sleep. In my new apartment. That has cupboards.

*Well I don't have my own washer, but the family who owns this apartment (yes I insist on calling it an apartment) and who live in this house, are kindly going to let me use their washer once a week - way preferable to my clothes washing situation in Bergen where I had to use a laundromat on the other side of the city.
tilly_stratford: (Astaire: Wry smile)
Agh, finally managed to fall asleep sometime around five in the morning (in part because I couldn't stop myself from finishing the second season of Game of Thrones, fair enough), and at seven the construction workers across the street started with their pneumatic drills and angle grinders. I could just cry. There must be something about things like that in the Geneva Convention.

But Game of Thrones, oh my God. Quality television. 2013 can't come fast enough. I know there are quality books too, of course, but for once I'm reveling in the fact that I haven't a single clue how the story is going to unfold. Every death (I understand there are going to be a lot of those) comes as a complete surprise to me. I love stories where no one is safe, no matter how loveable.

And ooh that nigh-perfect marriage of actors (Peter Dinklage! Charles Dance! Michelle Fairley!) and editing, and sets, and ooooh costumes! Every episode I pray for more Littlefinger, because I'm a sucker for all his outfits. Seems like I'm not the only one. Daenarys has also been sporting some badass clothes lately, mmmm.

And obviously my desire to rear baby dragons is at an all-time high.


I want one.
tilly_stratford: (Deadpool day)
Ah, that's Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney FINALLY finished! The franchise never made it to Norway (and so the hunt for the next game begins), which means it was the internet that brought it to my attention - for better or for worse. I remember my preconceptions (ca. 2005) about the setup pretty much went "There's an attorney with spiky hair who yells "Objection!" a lot, and then there's a fop who's some kind of villain, and they're gay for each other? Also there's a detective named Gumshoe who's a complete and utter moron."

And that was pretty much it.

Reaction post and stuff )

In summary: Gosh this game was fun, I need to find a job so I can get money and order the sequel.

tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
A.K.A THE ONE WHERE LUPIN AND JIGEN FINALLY MEET. WOOOO.


Ep. 5: 'Bloody Triangle' )

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