Blah.

Apr. 14th, 2017 06:29 pm
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
So a long time ago Dad wanted me to add a bunch of Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, and Gary Cooper movies to the Netflix queue. Naturally he wanted dramas, not comedies, so I looked through what they had and tried to add every drama that sounded interesting. Unfortunately, they had an incorrect summary for the movie Only Angels Have Wings and I thought that brief summary sounded so interesting that I got the thing without looking up more in-depth information.

It was ... pretty lame, honestly. Not super terrible, but not great either. It was just kind of ... there. And while the summary made it sound like Cary Grant's character had made some terrible error and was spending the movie trying to regain respect from the other pilots, that ... wasn't how it was at all. It was some other dude who made the error, and honestly, it really was a super bad one. He bailed out of a malfunctioning plane and left his mechanic to die (which he did ... die, that is). Apparently he deliberately left the guy to die because he was a coward. That was the impression given, anyway, rather than that he bailed out thinking the mechanic was bailing out too. And his wife had acted really awful with Cary Grant's character in the past, and she was supposed to be acting really awful about her current husband, but they didn't do a good job of showing that. She wanted to know what he had done that was so horrible it was causing everyone to shun him, which is a normal reaction for anyone. Apparently she wanted to know for her sake and not because of his, but they didn't really bring that out very well. So instead the movie came off looking like it was bashing the idea of a wife wanting to know the skeleton in her husband's closet in general. Naturally she should respect his privacy if there are things he doesn't want to/feels he can't tell her (which was something Barbara Keane on Gotham couldn't seem to grasp and was one of the main things that ticked me off about her), but sometimes if you really love someone you want to know everything that's going on in their life, especially if it's something that's bringing sadness. And honestly, this character was coming off as just being worried about her husband. If Cary Grant's character hadn't gone off on a tangent insisting she was only concerned about herself, I wouldn't have realized that was what they were driving at. It was still hard to believe it after he said it, because the woman just wasn't being portrayed that way.

There were a few moments of humanity, mostly involving the best friend of Cary Grant's character, and I did like that they showed Cary Grant's character felt things deep down but just tried not to show it. That was moving on some level. But mostly the movie felt very cold and emotionless and macho, really. And it was supposed to have a lot of exciting scenes of planes flying, and there weren't that many, honestly. Most plane scenes were close-ups that were filmed on a soundstage. I find it hard to believe that such a blah movie could have actually been the inspiration for a TV series like Tales of the Golden Monkey (which was the inspiration for TaleSpin, according to Wikipedia). TaleSpin, with all of its heart and soul, couldn't be more different from this thing.

And I had a dream today about Charles Nelson Reilly being dead (which he has been for ten years) and them doing some kind of tribute with his All Dogs Go to Heaven character feeling sad about him being gone. Also, H. M. Wynant was in it for some reason. That was a nicely depressing thing to wake up from, especially considering how special Charles Nelson Reilly and that character are to me. I became obsessed with All Dogs Go to Heaven during a very discouraging time in my life and the movie and that character really helped to buoy me up. I really didn't need to have his death fresh in my mind again right now.

I hope tomorrow's Pony episodes are good. I wasn't that impressed by the trailer, but I am remaining ... cautiously hopeful. I'm also not that happy that the main characters and Spike get transformed into sea creatures in the upcoming movie, but hopefully it's just for a scene or so. I am excited that we're getting Sea-Ponies in general. And all the merchandise planned for the movie thrills me and makes me very nostalgic for the G1 era.

Also, now I've gotten so far into my Turtles timeline and Barney has improved himself and his relationship with Baxter so much, it's kind of depressing reading back on the older fics where they're still having problems. I still feel kind of weird about the fact that I created most of the details of their problems, albeit they definitely had some in canon judging from Barney's episode. At least I don't feel outright guilty about it anymore. That dark and depressing and twisted fic I read certainly cured me of that.

It's strange when I have one thing planned for a character and something totally different happens. Both with Baby Face and Snakes, I never intended for them to be anything other than bad guys. Then I got intrigued with various elements of how I was writing them and that's what caused me to flesh them out. With Barney, it was sort of the same thing, as I started out planning to make him like the 2003 Baxter, albeit with a little more humanity. Then I decided that wasn't fair to the character when we knew so little about him in canon and I wanted him to be better than the 2003 Baxter, who was basically sane but evil. So Barney became much more troubled instead, and unlike the 2003 Baxter's idiocy, he regretted being with Shredder and Krang more and more until he started working against them at times and finally turned against them altogether. Now he's actually turning his life around and it's lovely.

Ugh, I hope I feel happier later today. That dream really did bum me out and I was also feeling a little depressed from looking in one of the earlier Turtles stories, as mentioned. And then other unhappy memories came to the surface again that I would rather not talk about.
ladybug_archive: (baxterstockman)
Frankie Valli released a Christmas album this year! Squeeeee. I saw it at Wal-Mart on Friday and I couldn't resist getting it. Somehow I resisted listening until after Halloween. It is awesome and totally puts me in the Christmas mood. And I adore that he's still working with Bob Gaudio after all these years!

I ended up doing three different things for costuming. At the party, I played Rouge. It was nice to pull out that old costume again, but I still wanted to try some new things too. On Friday, when Wal-Mart was having a party and costume event, I threw together a very bad costume of Lydia from Beetlejuice in her casual clothes. I never could find a pink sash I know we have, so I had to use a scrap of cloth left over from a sewing project. And my hair is too long to stand on end, so I had to settle for a ponytail on top of my head. At least the makeup was in both correct colors, but I had a terrible time getting the purple to show up well.

None of us could find those yellow clothes, so now I'm really worried wondering where they are. But I played April on Halloween anyway, doing a combo of the 1987 and 2014 versions. My aunt gave me some blue jeans for my birthday that are so soft and lightweight and comfortable, so I used those and my tan boots as the 2014 elements. Everything else was the 1987 version.

I'm so glad we went to the Trunk or Treat at the church; there were only two groups of kids who came to our door (aside from one or two that came so early they weren't expected and I couldn't get there in time). I think that's the slowest Halloween we've ever had. It's sad how things have dwindled in recent years. It's strange too, considering how much people are spending for Halloween stuff. You'd think the number of Trick-or-Treaters would increase, not decease.

I've started to warm up to at least one of the new Troll characters, as I figured I would. I like Poppy, who is the leader. She reminds me more of the classic Trolls than most of the characters do, so I would like to get a plushie of her, I think. Probably the Build-a-Bear one, as I'm not impressed by the "fur" softness levels of the more mainstream ones. I might even try to see if I can see the movie. I figured I'd really want to give it a try after all, since I've loved Trolls so much through the years. I've always tried any version of them I could find. I loved the computer game about finding baby Trolls (I was playing it just the other day) and the children's novels about a pink-haired Troll coming to the human world and making friends with a human girl, and I would have tried the series Trollz if I had been aware of it and had access to it when it was on. Regarding Poppy, from the trailers I've gathered that rather than being a naively cheerful idiot, she's a good leader who chooses to be cheerful even though she knows there's a lot of things to be unhappy about. I could be wrong, though.

I finally took some screenshots of Baxter and Barney from my DVDs and am continuing to work on my website. I think I almost have it to the point where I'll let it go live. I still need to decide what I'm going to do with my fanarts, if I should post them on dA and link them, or if I should post them on the website only. People on dA rarely seem to give a darn about stuff I post, so I'm pretty bored with posting there. That, and half the time when I try, dA ends up gobbling memory and I have a horrible time even getting stuff up. Ugh.

I'm still ordering Netflixes from that list Dad made of movies we'd seen many years ago and liked. A Mario Lanza movie came yesterday, That Midnight Kiss (ugh, what a stupidly mushy title). The music was beautiful, of course, and I was totally thrilled that Kathryn Grayson was the girl, as I adore her and her singing. But the movie itself was pretty stupid. Some guy convinces a temperamental tenor to trash his room when he's mad and tear up his contract, because they want to bring Mario's character in as the tenor instead and they have to get that guy to go. And it ticked me off how the girl just couldn't bring herself to sing the operas' love songs with the temperamental tenor, not because he's a jerk, but because he's fat, ugh. But that was the typical attitude of the day, that fat always equaled unappealing. Honestly, I liked the guy okay; in physical appearance he reminded me of Simon. And actually, in some ways he had a perfect right to be angry, considering the way he was being treated at different points in the film. And then there's a huge misunderstanding between Mario and Kathryn's characters and they're both acting stupid refusing to talk things out and she's doing the typical "I hate him! I hate him!" immature nonsense when he sends her good luck wishes and she stomps on the poor roses, yet for some reason when she sees him on stage instead of the other tenor, she's totally thrilled and happy and all anger is forgotten, even though they haven't talked anything out yet. Of course, you're supposed to take it that it's because she really loves him instead of hating him, but I was expecting an explosion on the stage before she calmed down.

At least it's just shallow, stupid fluff, though, and not rage-inducing like Kiss Me, Kate is. Ugh, I loathe that production. The guy is such a jerk I can't figure out what she sees in him. Such an egotistical, abusive creep.... And I hate the whole Taming of the Shrew plot in general. I know about the different alternate interpretations of the plot, that she's not really tamed and she's just letting the guy think she is, but to me it's still a really gross and disgusting story.

And then there's The Toast of New Orleans, which I love for the music while I'm unsure what to make of the plot. On the one hand, I think the idea is simply that the high society types changed the main guy too much and that by making him integrate into their world, they're destroying everything that made him unique, and that of course that's a bad thing. But when part of what they did was simply to teach him good manners, I kind of struggle with the whole thing. The character was very obnoxious and crude and annoying, and I found him far more appealing when he learned good manners. I suppose the idea was more that the girl loved him for his bizarre and unique personality and didn't like it being erased or seeing him stifled, instead of simply saying that him learning good manners was wrong, but I have a really hard time seeing the distinction. Of course, it's not a good thing for anyone to have to be stifled if they're not actually doing anything wrong, but eh, I don't know; the way the movie handled the whole thing kind of bugs me. At least she said "We changed him too much," implying that some of the changes weren't bad, but still.
ladybug_archive: (schrank)
... a movie and its corresponding TV series share music. I'm not sure why I think that's such an event, but I love that it's the case with Ghostbusters and also with Beetlejuice.

I was making a Halloween playlist earlier tonight, realizing again that there's actually very few Halloween-type songs, and randomly decided to see whether I could add the Beetlejuice TV theme to the list. Instead I stumbled into the movie theme and curiously listened and was pleased that it was basically the same music.

I actually never saw the movie (which is obvious), even though I was obsessed with the TV show. As a kid, I usually wasn't too interested in the movie versions of cartoons since the characters generally looked and sounded different from what I was used to and in the case of Beetlejuice, behaved differently too. Beetlejuice and Lydia were certainly not chummy in the movie. I still sort of wonder how one can connect the two verses, if one is of a mind to do so.

(Sidenote: The fact that I saw and adored the Turtles' first movie as a kid is kind of an anomaly. Then again, that was my main exposure to the franchise despite watching the cartoon too.)

I feel a little sad that some things can make me run screaming from Beetlejuice now, since I loved it as a kid. I just can't handle any head problems; it was one of those episodes that finally turned me off when I was about six. (And yes, I can never look at the movie DVD case too clearly when I see it in stores.) But I still am amused that when I dipped into a couple of the episodes I vividly remembered last year or so, I found the art/beatnik episode a real kick whereas I hadn't liked it that much as a kid. I guess with episodes like that one, most of the jokes are best understood when one is older.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
So I've always loved Trolls. I was so disappointed when the last revival of the figures didn't last very long. I had high hopes when I heard that we were going to get new Trolls thanks to DreamWorks.

Then I saw them.

Why, exactly, is their skin colored bizarre colors as well as their hair? Why can't DreamWorks make Trolls that, you know, actually look more like the dolls that have been around for fifty years?

And they made it so they have exclusive product rights everywhere in the world except Scandinavia. Not that the original company tends to make the bizarre hair colors that really made them popular in the U.S. They seem to stick more to logical colors like black and white.

I saw a trailer for the film some time back. As usual, DreamWorks had a lot of scatological humor in it. I hardly ever watch DreamWorks films because of that element. But I'd probably still bite the bullet and see the film if the Trolls actually looked like they're supposed to. I guess I could still be won over, but I'd always like the classic styles the best.

Looks like if I want more classic Trolls, I still have to either turn to buying MIB Trolls online from the last wave and paying S&H costs or else picking up the loose Trolls I've seen at the antique mall. Or both.
ladybug_archive: (scofield)
I haven't spent much time posting lately. I've been so busy writing things that for the most part, if I want to say something that I might ordinarily say here, I say it one-on-one to someone instead.

I've been working on the next Turtles fic, which is a light-hearted oneshot. I found it difficult to go from a more serious tone in the multi-chapter to a lighter tone in the succeeding fic and not have it look strange or mismatched, but after I fleshed some things out it looked better and flowed better with the multi-chapter. One problem with lighter ones is that it's harder for character introspection and development, so it's a challenge finding ways to work that in. I really want the stories to be like seasons 3/4, although they will definitely dip into season 7-ish territory sometimes.

I've been tinkering with a website to talk about my Turtles verse, the proposed "episode" ideas, and other things. I wrote a long essay on why I think 1987 Baxter should be able to be redeemed and I'm quite pleased with it. The site isn't live yet, although I've given a couple of people the link to examine assorted things on it.

I finally started that fic I wanted to do detailing Illya being haunted by Mr. Ecks. So far I have two vignettes done and at least two or three others planned. I don't want the story to wear out its welcome, but with a character-developing series of vignettes, it could technically go on and on. I shouldn't have it get too long, though, or it might be harder to align it with later fics in the timeline.

I've also got the WWW fic going again. I'm going back and forth among all of these fics and also hope to work more on Ginger and Lou fics and that Real Ghostbusters fic. (And that Equestria Girls idea I still haven't started.) It's definitely nice to be able to flip from one fandom to another, writing-wise.

I saw some pieces of the new Equestria Girls movie. Honestly, I love Sunset Shimmer more with each film. She and Twilight are definitely the best things about them. From what I saw, though, my fears about this film feeling like Winx Club were not far-fetched. I want to see this film in whole, and I'll probably buy it, but I don't think I'll re-watch it much. I do not like that it looks like Spoiler )

Had a wonderful birthday! I was very touched by all the warm wishes through here and Facebook and other places. Got some lovely gifts, with some belated ones still on the way. And the shopping spree went swimmingly, better than it has a lot of times. I found some things I wanted and some surprises and it was delightful to have money to get them. Somehow I managed to collect a pretty good amount of money for the shopping spree just in the month of September. Usually I start saving in the summer months, but that didn't happen too much this year because of surprise sales and clearances.

I had intended to get a Fashion Style Pony, but while I love them dearly, I still can't seem to justify paying $15 for one of them when it comes right down to it. Sigh. I want a sale. Meanwhile, I found Indigo Zap on clearance for $4.98. Yessss! I am sad that apparently I missed other things clearancing at Toys R Us, but at least I grabbed something before they were all gone.

I also found volume 7 of The Real Ghostbusters for $9.99. The standard price is $14.99, so I wasn't passing that up. I didn't think I'd find it at Toys R Us, but it was an idle hope, and then there it was. I got it mainly for the Egon's Ghost episode, and thankfully, this time I was not disappointed! It was sooo good. So intense and so much friendship squee! Unfortunately, another episode I'd wanted, Slimer, Is That You? turned up in the re-dubbed version with Dave Coulier as Peter and Kath Soucie as Janine. I love Kath's work, but not as Janine. And Dave Coulier was absolutely teeth-grinding. The Time-Life version has the original voice actors for that episode, so now I have one more reason to try to get hold of some of those older DVD sets. It was a really fun episode and I want to hear it with Lorenzo Music and Laura Summer.

At Target, I found season 1 of TMNT 1987, which thrilled me. Wal-Mart doesn't have it anymore and Amazon upped the price, but Target was only charging a few cents more than Wal-Mart had had it. Now I have all the human Baxter episodes. I've watched his season 1 episode twice on YouTube in the past. When comparing it with season 2, it is pretty heartbreaking to see how much he cracked.

Also at Target, I discovered that Tracey West is still active in the kids' anime scene and she has written a YGO anime guide. I have no idea why they put that out this year, unless it's to prepare newcomers for the movie. But it was great! I longed for something like that when the show was airing. Oh, there were some things kind of like that, but I didn't like them as much as I liked this one. And it covered all seasons and characters. I probably shouldn't have, since it was just basic information that a diehard fan would already know, but I couldn't resist and it had to come home with me. I feel like a kid again, going through it.

I bought season 4 of TMNT 1987 at Wal-Mart. I also wanted volume 2 of Miraculous Ladybug, but they apparently sold out after finally getting some in. Sigh. I should have bought it at Target. But oh well; I'm sure there will be other chances for it.

(Oh! Oh! Speaking of Ladybug, I saw a doll giftset at Toys R us with her and Cat Noir! Squeeee. Naturally it was $30, so I am hoping for a Christmas sale. I must have it.)

Between my purchases and gifts, I now have all 1987 Turtles seasons except 9 and 10! I'm less interested in them, since they're darker and someone else takes center stage as the villain, but I'll probably try to get them sometime for completeness' sake.

I made one other purchase that night: another plushie base at Jo-Ann's. As much as I hate sewing, I absolutely love being able to create the characters I want in a couple of weeks instead of commissioning someone for a lot more money and waiting several months for the product. Now I just need to decide whether I'm going to use this plushie base to make Snakes, 1987 Baxter, or a Richard character (probably Steve Drumm). I want to make all of them, so it's mostly a matter of which one first. I kind of lean towards Baxter. It would be a fun challenge working out the hair and the glasses. It's making the clothes that drives me up the wall for any plushie. I shouldn't start any new one until I've finished Barry's shirt and made Mike's jacket, but uggh, I keep dreading working in silk with Barry's shirt. And I hate sewing in sleeves in general. Definitely the most maddening part.

I have an Amazon gift card and I'm having my usual debate on what to buy/when to use it. I could get $25 worth of books, as there are some I want, and then maybe get one other thing to go with them. Or I could bite the bullet and do a splurge and add $29 in cash to my $20 gift card. Ultimately, I'd rather wait until I can get another gift card, but by that time, some of the stuff will have probably changed prices. Uggggh. I hate so much that Amazon changed the rules for free shipping. $49 for free shipping is just outrageous! The only other way to get it (without getting Prime) is $25 worth of books and anything else ships free with them.

Then I have my usual dilemma of what to be for Halloween. Every possibility seems to fall through. I wanted to try being a Ghostbuster, but I can't fit into Mom's (non-Ghostbuster) jumpsuit and I'm not crazy about the idea of spending a lot of money on an official costume. Even if I wanted to try that, I can't find any women's costumes (which is weird, considering the new movie had women Ghostbusters) and the men's ones only turn up in sizes too big. I've also considered either a Turtle or April O'Neil. For April, I'd base her mostly on Megan Fox's April because of the hair, and then she has the classic yellow of the 1987 cartoon April. I have yellow tops, but no yellow trousers. Sigh. For a Turtle, green clothes would be good. I do have green pants, and I could probably dig up some kind of green top. Then I could buy a Turtle shell at Dollar Tree and a blue mask/headband thing and whee. A cheap ghetto thing, but good enough for a church Halloween party.

I've also considered trying to dress up in Ghostbuster Abby's casual clothes, since I probably could find stuff around here that looks somewhat like what she wore. Abby wasn't at all my favorite in the movie, although I warmed up to her before the film was over. But she is the one I could pass myself off as the easiest.

Today I even had the thought of wearing my long green coat, my fedora, and my sunglasses, and saying I'm a random spy/secret agent/whatever. Heh.

Most likely, I'll go with ghetto Turtle. But Dollar Tree was out of blue headband things this past night. Sigh. Hopefully they'll restock.
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
... not to avoid something that everyone and their dog hates.

Over and over, I find that if I avoid something because of negative reviews, I almost always end up loving it. It happened with season 3 of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., with season 9 of Perry Mason, with TMNT 1987, with Equestria Girls, and with many other things. I also in general love things everyone hates, regardless of whether I initially avoided it myself or not. The Batman series is a good example of that. I enjoyed it from the start, compared to everyone who tears their hair out over it.

I finally got around to buying/seeing Ghostbusters 2, mainly because of the two cartoon episodes it comes with. One of them is a favorite. (The other was WTH territory and I sincerely hope that it isn't typical of the later seasons.) Honestly, I ... ended up loving the movie much more than the original. I think there were only four instances of swearing and a couple of naughty comments, compared to swearing practically every two minutes in the original (or it felt like it, anyway). It was creepy but wacky, had many more character-developing scenes, and Winston had a lot of good screentime. It felt much more like the series, and that may have been the point. They probably knew a lot of kids would be watching it because the series was running right then. Also, the plot point I really wasn't crazy about before I saw it, them being discredited and having gone their separate ways at the beginning, ended up in practice feeling a lot like TMNT, especially Ray and Winston at that birthday party. LOL. So I actually ended up not being too bothered by that after all. I can see myself rewatching this movie and enjoying it, whereas I'm honestly not sure I would rewatch the first movie, at least not in full. I have rewatched my favorite scenes from it.

I can't remember if I mentioned, but Build-a-Bear had a 30% off deal the weekend before this one and I was able to get Michelangelo with that. We were finally going to be in the area and I couldn't pass up a chance to get that much off of him. Then I discovered that the big Slimer plush was on clearance at a Wal-Mart other than ours. I couldn't get him then, but the other day I was able to go back and get one. Our Wal-Mart still isn't clearancing them. It was awesome to get him for $7 instead of $15!

It felt so good to get my [livejournal.com profile] 31_days challenge done last week. Some pieces I really enjoyed writing, but others were puzzling, and it was definitely frustrating to have to worry about the day's piece each day when I really wanted to be writing my Turtles fic. But I kept on because I wanted to do the challenge too; it was a story I'd wanted to tell for some time. I still think I'll also write the original Snakes and Chita story I was going to tell, though, which was a third-person narrative oneshot involving one of the last times Snakes put up with looking all over town for Chita when she deliberately ran out to make him find her after an argument. I have a very distinctive image of the opening lines of that fic and they have never gone away, so I need to write it.

I tried to basically keep to the prior versions of the Snakes and Chita tale that Snakes related in two earlier fics. When I realized I had some details wrong in a couple of pieces, I went back and redid those parts. For a couple of other parts, however, I decided that I wanted to tell it slightly differently and that would either make more sense or be closer to what I wanted, so on a couple of points I deliberately made it different from the earlier accounts. Like, I didn't have Snakes and Chita go gambling all night long the first night they met. I mean, they'd been beat up in the first casino when Snakes tried to defend her. It seemed much more likely that they'd go try to take care of their battle wounds. And then at the end, I changed the point where Snakes lost track of Chita's trail in 1910. I wanted Chita to turn up again, but not decades older. I drew inspiration from both a role-play where I'd used her and from the fact that she was always intended to be characterized as sort of a flapper wannabe, and had Snakes lose track of her trail in the 1870s. She found a portal to the 1920s, where she fit in and was happily staying for the most part. (I will speculate that the portal was another result of Dr. Faustina's experiments.) But then she returned to the 1870s once, heard that Snakes was alive, and found the portal to the present-day to see him again. They were able to converse and have some closure at last.

Chita was very interesting to characterize in that last piece. Unlike other versions of her, including the role-play version, this Chita actually did mature a little bit. She wasn't as superficial, was willing to touch the scar that she had always avoided before, and felt badly for how her past cruelty had negatively impacted Snakes. But she wasn't ready to settle down and she recognized it; she had finally opted to stay single. She wants parties and material objects and yet she knows they're not what truly bring happiness. Still, she can't make herself not want them. I drew some inspiration from my own feelings regarding her love of material things and not feeling ready to settle down.

She was never meant to really be a likeable character, so I am amused that I kind of got fond of her and developed her a little. Even some of her superficialty is endearing to me. But since she has plenty of negative characteristics, I would totally understand anyone not liking her. What she did to Snakes was horrible. Not that it was worse than things Snakes did canonically, of course, and so there is definitely the possibility of redeeming her. That was kind of where I was going with the final piece.

I would never have her and Snakes get together again, but they parted on civil terms, and this past night I ended up drawing a cute picture meant to take place around that point where Snakes is standing watching her dance as she whips her boa around him. I sketched the whole thing out very quickly and I quite love it. I might ink it before I scan it, though.

Apparently I had Snakes on the brain after that themeset, because yesterday I had a weird dream involving him. It seemed to take place in the Old West, before The Poisonous Posey episode, even though some things ended up not making sense. Dr. Loveless was there too, and Snakes seemed to be working for/with him and there was some explosion planned for Jim West. Snakes seemed all into that, the little weasel (despite the fact that he seemed to not know Jim in the episode, so there's where it doesn't make sense). Then the tables were turned when Jim escaped and Dr. Loveless chained Snakes to a bomb that was set to go off in a couple of minutes. He was begging and pleading to be set free, and finally someone did. His characterization felt very similar to what's seen in the actual episode: pretty much a pathetic coward who likes to set bombs as ways out of his problems and ends up digging his own grave by doing so.

I never at all intended to become intrigued by him with that characterization, and yet it happened when I was fleshing out his character out of necessity in The Night of the Deadly Codename. And of course, that also led to Christopher rightfully taking his place as one of the darlings when I studied the episode more. I wonder if there's any chance at all that I could have seen that episode when I was very young. Mom insists that Dad used to watch WWW in reruns, so I wonder if there's any chance I saw it back then. That would be hilarious. And it would mean I did encounter Christopher years ago, just like all the other darlings. I want to say I have a vague memory of watching that episode in bits and pieces when I was a kid, but I'm probably just inventing something in my mind because I want so badly for there to be a time when I saw Christopher years ago. Still, wouldn't it be interesting? Snakes is one of my favorite characters to flesh out and develop, and if I actually saw him many years ago and just don't remember it now, that would be rather intriguing.

I also started thinking again about maybe making a Snakes plushie. I'd have to learn some basic embroidery so I could make the scar raised up, but that would be an interesting challenge. Now that the weather's cooled down, I feel like working on my other projects too. Maybe I can finish Barry's clothes at last and also make Mike's jacket!

I just love autumn so much. As always, I celebrate meteorological seasons and not calendar seasons, so for me Fall started on Thursday. It was a beautiful cloudy day too, perfect for the first day of Fall. When the sweltering heat of summer fades, my sewing creativity seems to wake up again. I am excited for what this autumn will bring and hope that it will be happy and enjoyable.

I think I'm almost done with the Turtles fic. I have the climax largely written, or all written, unless I add more to it. Then I just need the epilogue stuff. The story will definitely end where I decided it should. And I may or may not continue it in oneshots or other multi-chapters. We'll have to see. One thing I do know is that while I'm totally cool with watching the series in all its formulaic glory, I don't think I could make myself write stories that are all so formulaic like the series' nonsense, with Shredder's crazy plans failing, etc. I think I could only do a handful before it wouldn't feel believable to me any more. It's easy to watch nonsense; not so easy to create it yourself time and time again.

I kind of have a vague idea of the alien computer still being around after all and discovering that Baxter is finally human again. That would be kind of cute. And it would be interesting to see how Baxter would react to the computer while sane, and whether the computer would want to help him like before. That might be one of my oneshots. And if I do continue things, Baxter and Barney need to have a proper conversation again. Maybe Baxter can finally tell him that Krang was trying to murder him when the cross-fusion happened.

One problem I discovered while writing is trying to keep Barney from feeling too much like a Kylo Ren trope of wanting to go to the dark side/not caring if he has to kill a family member to do so. I fleshed out some of his scenes in chapters before I put them up and had him monologue and have doubts and wonder if he's just acting tough to impress Shredder when he appears as though it doesn't bother him, what he might have to do. I don't really want Barney to be sympathetic, exactly, because really, how much sympathy can you have for someone who willingly joins a megalomaniac while sane because he wants power and recognition? But when he's only in one episode and we just don't know much about him, I don't think it would be fair to paint him as irredeemably evil just to contrast him with Baxter being redeemable because of wanting to be honest at first and then having gone nuts. (Seriously, compare him in season 1 with the season 2 opener. He is sane in season 1 and just wants to invent something that would be helpful to the city's population. He really doesn't know what Shredder's up to. He thinks the guy just really hates rats in the city. He doesn't know Shredder is marketing the Mousers in order to murder someone, nor that Shredder is stamping Baxter's name on them so he'll take the blame. And Shredder is going to kill him just because he saw Shredder and could say that Shredder offered to market the Mousers and was using an old house as a hideout. By season 2, after he's been framed for attempted murder, blamed for the damage the Mousers caused, and thrown in the insane asylum for talking about the Turtles, Baxter is cackling madly about giant talking Turtles and is clearly insane. It is very sad, actually.)

So anyway, this story already inadvertently inverts pretty much all the angles of the other Baxter fix-it fic. I also hope to invert the Kylo Ren trope when it actually comes time for Barney to follow through on his vow to kill Baxter if he interferes. I really like how I've written the climax.

Then I drew Leonardo for the first time since my childhood, and this time he actually looks pretty good! I think I'll be able to draw those Turtles pictures for my "opening" clips that I wanted.

And I always meant to muse on this thought: Coming back to things I like that everyone hates, I actually liked when there was a girl who was part of The A-Team. She seemed to be a reporter if I recall correctly, so I kind of equated the situation as April O'Neil and the Turtles. Heh. The girl seemed to fit just fine into the A-Team's plans and it was nice to have someone around that I could more easily relate to.

Along those lines, I also tried comparing members of The A-Team to the Turtles, but that didn't go so well. Naturally I got B.A. and Raphael, but then I kind of stalled on drawing any other logical parallels. I guess Murdock could be equated with Michelangelo, since they're both the most out there members of their teams. But Hannibal and Leonardo and Face and Donatello don't seem to make very good parallels. And I keep wanting to equate Murdock with Donatello because of their mechanical know-how. So ... heh.

Ah, fics.

Aug. 11th, 2016 11:50 pm
ladybug_archive: (joe_lew)
So writing time in August has been very occupied, both with the [livejournal.com profile] 31_days challenge each day and the 1987 Turtles fic involving Baxter Stockman. I'm in the middle of chapter 6 of the latter. The chapters are short, but still. I love how this story is flowing!

I decided to bring his twin brother Barney from season 4 into the action, and while an early, long oneshot draft of the fic included an ending scene where they reunite, that has ... pretty much been changed and scrapped. I knew that I couldn't really tell the whole story in a long oneshot, and I knew I wanted it to all be one story, so it became a multi-chapter. And then I decided that there would be a rift between the brothers that wouldn't be so easily overcome. Canon slightly indicates it's a possibility. Then Shredder got into the act and decided to recruit Barney to work for him. Barney accepted.

The first draft of that plot twist involved him finally getting out of it at the end and reuniting with Baxter, who had tried and failed to convince him not to work for someone abusive like Shredder. But I'm seriously thinking I won't do that. I kind of like the idea of one of those guys working for Shredder indefinitely; Baxter was really underused in the series and transformed too fast. It could have been really interesting if he'd been there longer. It probably wouldn't have worked, though, because Shredder seemed to hate him more than Bebop and Rocksteady, and unlike those idiots, Baxter soon had enough of the abuse and just wouldn't put up with it anymore. I don't want him to go back with Shredder in the story, both because I really don't think he'd do that after everything he's been through and because it's canon that he originally tried to work honestly. I want to give him a break now.

Barney, on the other hand, we know very little about. He throws fits if people think he's Baxter and he's only ever seen working for a gangster. If Shredder liked his work, he could easily stick around indefinitely. So now the story is set to end with that still as the case, but with Barney occasionally trying to help Baxter if he's in trouble from one of Shredder's plans and/or from trying to talk to Barney. There's a years-long rift between them, yet Baxter still hates to see his brother work for Shredder. Ending the story with Barney still working for Shredder opens the door for many possible stories in the future. Depending on how it goes, I might write some short episodic-type fics continuing the concept. It was kind of fun how each season of the 1987 series did employ some level of continuity by the Technodrome being stuck in specific places each season and such.

I'm also debating how permanently scarred Baxter is from what happened to him. I previously explored the effects of extended cross-fusion with Yami Bakura and Zorc, and they are probably the grand-masters of it. But Baxter was cross-fused with a fly for months, if not years, and that canonically took a serious toll on his mind. Each time he appeared, he'd regressed further and become more fly-like. It was quite tragic, really.

In the story, now that he's finally free, I decided it wouldn't be logical for him to be able to quickly bounce back, like April did after being cross-fused with a cat for just a few hours. After a spell of fever and delirium he seems to come back to himself and is definitely more sane than before, thanks in part to the kindnesses shown to him by Splinter and the Turtles. But I'm thinking he has what will be lasting fears of both flies and spiders, and that for at least a while he may unconsciously exhibit fly-like behavior on occasion, such as grabbing somebody's fruit off the table to eat or as Crystal suggested, rubbing his hands together. When he realizes what he's doing, he hates it and wants it to stop, and he will probably eventually be able to get it under control.

I've also been involved with Ghostbusters stuff. My movie-going friend and I finally got to see it on Tuesday, following a disappointment where the theatre claimed they would air it at the time we could see it on the previous Friday but then changed their minds and the times when we got there. WTH. (I'm blaming Suicide Squad for that....) Immediately after seeing the movie on Tuesday, we had to stop at Wal-Mart, and that was great for me because I wanted to get the original film and take it home to compare.

My end determination is that both films have pros and cons. Each has a specific type of crude humor and I don't like it in either film (scatological stuff in the new one and other rude comments and a creepy succubus bit in the old one). Both also have more swearing than I'd like, particularly the old one. The new one, however, has much character-bonding, something the old one doesn't have a lot of. The old one has Janine, who is awesome. She really didn't deserve having her male counterpart in the new one be a complete moron. What a slap in the face! I also like the library ghost scenes more than their counterparts in the new film, and I adore chasing Slimer through the hotel. Classic! But Slimer stealing the car for a joyride in the new one is priceless too. LOL.

I like the cartoon best overall, really. It has ghost-busting, friendship squee, and family-friendly content. I wonder if they're going to try to make a new cartoon based on the reboot. I'd probably give it a try if they did.
ladybug_archive: (coley_lafe)
So I'm still on a Turtles kick. I watched the very first movie and still loved it. I also wanted to see TMNT, but I wasn't sure I'd still feel the magic for it since there are things I don't like about it. But I did get caught up in the magic again and I was thrilled. It really is a very good, very powerful movie. And the whole thing with the 3,000-year-old warriors and the man cursed with solitary immortality for his mistake and the portals to different dimensions and escaping monsters all reminded me of something out of a YGO film. I think that was part of what excited me so much before.

Also, while I still wish they had actually had Leo apologize to Raph for the nasty things he said to him, they did have quite a touching make-up scene. It wasn't enough for me before, but this time it seemed to mean more (maybe because of Crystal's enthusiasm over the subtleness of Napoleon and Illya). Raph comes and helps Leo up as the drug wears off and hands him some new katana, saying he'll need them if he's going to lead them out of there. Leo smiles and says he'll need Raph too and they smile at each other. Not exactly "I'm sorry" on either of their parts, but it really was a beautiful moment with each acknowledging they had been wrong.

And while I still think the problem was on both sides, I really was horrified at how far Raph allowed his anger and hurt to go, actually fighting with Leo quite viciously and eventually breaking the original katanas and pinning him down. The moment where Raph comes back to himself and realizes what he could have done is very powerful. He can't even stand to be there and turns and runs. And Leo is so drained and shaken from the episode that he isn't paying attention when a tranquilizer dart is shot at him. Raph hears him cry out and runs back, but he's not able to stop the bad guys from kidnapping Leo.

I watched a lot of the bonus material and while I'd seen some of the scenes before, I didn't see all of them. And I didn't remember that originally they were going to have Leo and Raph talk at the end. There was still a lot they needed to talk out: Raph's feelings of abandonment and how he had to take over when Leo was gone, Leo's feelings that he just wasn't good enough to be the leader and the brothers would be better off without him.... I wonder if that scene would possibly be in the novelization. I always wanted to get it, as I knew it had stuff that was left out of the movie. If it's not in the novelization, I'm really tempted to write my own version of it. That movie has so much pain and hurt, especially on Leo and Raph's parts. It seemed to be Raph's movie in a lot of ways, and we didn't really get in-depth on Leo's issues.

Several weeks ago I read through all my journal entries tagged with TMNT (which is the general Turtles tag, not just for this movie). I found that one of the movie's creators had said that he wanted to show that animated movies didn't just have to be about characters running into each other and passing gas. LOL. But yes, it really is a very deep, very serious movie with moments of humor here and there. It's a beautiful film and I love it again and want to see it again very soon.

I decided to follow it up by watching an episode of the 2003 series. I have the first 12 on DVD. So naturally I started with the first one. Mikey was a little more tolerable this time around, but still kind of too much. I seem to like him everywhere else, but I don't know, he just comes across as so obnoxious and frustrating in this incarnation. And Raph ... yikes. He really could be pretty nasty in this version. I forgot that in addition to Leo, he also seemed to have many problems with Mikey, to the point of hitting him and trying to fight with him. I did remember how upset Raph was when Mikey beat him in some tournament thingy later on in the series (and how obnoxious Mikey was about winning and kept rubbing it in everyone's faces). I'm so used to Raph in the movies, who never seems to have any specific problems with Mikey and actually "teamed up" with him in the newest film, that this was kind of a jolt. I had other issues with the 2003 series in the past, and I wonder if I won't like it much at all this round. I was thinking that I seem to prefer the Turtles in movies, any of the movies. I grew up with the first movie more than the original series and I'm absolutely nuts about the current movies while I still don't know if I want to touch Nickelodeon's TV series. Nick seems to have a concept of Raph being rather protective of Mikey in all their stuff, though, so that would be one adorable thing in their TV series.

Another thing I've never been able to make peace with is Nick's decision that April should be a teenager too. They felt it was too illogical for an adult to want to be friends with teenagers. Actually, there's probably not that much difference in their ages. Maybe five, six years. And I never found it illogical that April had made friends with them; I always thought it was beautiful. I like that Nick found a way to make things work in their movies without resorting to making April younger. In the movies, the backstory is that she was the one who owned them before the mutations. That is seriously adorable and I am all for it. And it would totally work in any branch of the franchise. After all, the story is that they were pet turtles that were lost. Somebody owned them. But I don't think April would have to be the previous owner in order for it to make sense that she made friends with them. To me, it still makes sense in every branch of the franchise. April was never conventional and was always open-minded; even though she generally freaks out in every initial meeting with them, she warms up pretty quickly once she knows they're friendly. She was probably always a little strange/different from everyone else. Having unusual friends just doesn't seem such an odd thing for her. And after all the crazy things she went through with the Turtles in their early adventures, it makes a lot of sense that a lasting bond would form and she would want to stay in touch.

I was also thinking about The Next Mutation, which is the bane of the franchise. It was finally released on DVD a little while ago and you can find it at places like Wal-Mart or K-Mart for $5. For that price, I've considered buying it, but I don't know if I want to touch it, either. I'm not that crazy about the idea of a fifth Turtle, or that April and Casey are bizarrely absent, but what bugs me more than anything else is that in this thing, the Turtles are not biological brothers. By all indications, this was done just so that there was a possibility of any of them hooking up romantically with the new Turtle. Um, that is seriously beyond lame. Actually, if the series had instead kept the brothers angle and the storylines were all "Hey, we have a new sister! Yay!" I would probably think it was seriously adorable and would be very enthusiastic about trying it, even if I still wouldn't want the girl Turtle to be canon in any other branch of the franchise. But getting rid of the brother thing was sacrilege, and doing it for the possibility of romance is utterly unforgivable. Why does everything always have to be about romance? The Turtles were always more about platonic relationships. It should stay that way.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
The A-Team is such a cheesy, silly, ridiculous show. But still probably way better than almost anything currently on TV. It's so outlandish, how there's so many wild crashes and bullets flying and no one even gets hurt. But it's escapist entertainment. The good guys win, the bad guys lose. And I have to admit to having a soft spot for it because my brother apparently liked it. He had an activity book for it that he gave me. I used to like having Mom read it to me. No, I don't know the logic of reading an activity book like a storybook, but there you go. Also, apparently at least some of my other siblings liked it; Dad has a book of it that I think is an adaptation of the pilot and probably belonged to one of them. I'm sure it wasn't Dad's book. LOL. But he seems to have a soft spot for the series too; he'll let the TV stay on it when it's on Cozi and sometimes he'll even watch it.

I don't like George Peppard much, though. He seemed so juvenile! When he got invited to some thing in ... Hungary, I think it was, he thought he was the only cast member invited. When he knew the others had been invited too, he refused to attend. WTH. And then he had problems with Mr. T at times and wouldn't even talk to him except by other people relaying messages. **headdesk.** That's what children do when they're mad at each other! It did sound like maybe he matured later in life, though, so I'm trying to give him the benefit of a doubt. Anyone can change. I liked when I read that he overcome his alcohol problems and tried to help others do likewise.

Also, I always thought the pilot was ... well, not very "with it" since the poor guy has so many screws loose. But he really shined in the episode I saw on Monday night. And it was one of those kind where the character is on a game show, and usually I hate those because they think it's funny to have the contestant lose everything, but he won and he also apparently got the girl of the episode. The show's standard Casanova looked pretty frustrated that she was more interested in the pilot than him. LOL.

The Casanova is played by Dirk Benedict, whom I know from the original Battlestar Galactica. And then of course Mr. T. Everyone knows Mr. T ... right?

I don't think I'd ever watch the show religiously, but I do like having it on while we're putting groceries away. Classic '80's.

Also, I always thought it strange that plushies weren't made of the ghost character in the Ghostbusters' logo. That would be a really cute plushie! I'd much rather have that than one of the Stay Puft thing. The mascot itself is innocent, but since the evil ghost used its form to try to destroy the world, I'd always be thinking of that. A Stay Puft plushie would hence creep me out.

I realized that the logo ghost is actually in Build-a-Bear's new Ghostbusters plushie collection. It's a ghost bear and it's actually way cute. And I don't understand the logic of dressing it in the Ghostbusters' uniform. (Or the logic of Stay Puft being online-only. WTH? He's probably what most people would want the most!) I kind of want that ghost bear. And I think the Ghostbusters uniform is clothing I might actually buy. Not for the ghost, but for one of my other plushies.

Also, I apparently have a Slimer fingerpuppet. I always wondered what that thing was; my brother gave it to me and I liked it, but was puzzled by it. When I saw pictures of Slimer in the first movie, I realized that's what it was. I also have a pinball game based on the TV show, which is weird because I don't think I ever saw the TV show. I really want to see the reboot movie when it comes out next month, and that will be my first time seeing any of the media for the franchise (unless I watch the older movies between now and then).
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
Yesterday was a long and interesting day that started with horrible, horrible insomnia. Ugggh. I was so tired I actually felt ill, and yet when I was able to lay down to sleep I didn't even get three hours worth of sleep! WTH? I rolled around for a long while, gave up, and watched the rest of something I was recording before it was time to get ready to meet a local friend for the new Turtles movie!

Honestly, I loved it overall. I kind of might love the first one a little more, but I don't know. They are both great. Like the first one, there was really only one crude moment. There was a little bit more swearing, but pretty much only at the beginning and then there wasn't any more. (YAY!)

Mild spoilers )

We also went shopping a bit. I'd called Toys R Us and asked if they had Sugarcoat dolls and the guy couldn't find any. They had a whole bunch. **headdesk.** But she wasn't on sale, so I'm glad I went ahead a couple of days ago and bought her at Hasbro's eBay store. She was only $9.99 there and they have FREE SHIPPING. Also, people told me that they've shaped up and their shipping is faster than it used to be. As I'm watching the tracking information, I see it looks like that's true. I think she'll get here before the estimated date of June 16th, and even that isn't bad. One week is about what it takes for Amazon's free shipping.

I bought Charlie's Angels season 1 at K-Mart. I should have got it two weeks ago when I bought a present for my movie-going friend's birthday, but I held off because I wasn't sure I'd like season 1 as much and I wanted to review the episode guide again. I regretted not getting it the instant I got home and read it, ugh. It's been driving me nuts that it's taken so long to be able to get back up there to get it. We watched one of them already and it was fun. I love 1970's cheese.

Wal-Mart is having a sale on their basic Equestria Girls dolls, or rather, I think the price has just lowered to get rid of the stock so they can start getting in stuff for the new movie this year. I'm hoping to at least get Lemon Zest; I decided the expression on the basic doll is way cuter and more fitting for her than the expression on the deluxe doll (which can't seem to be found in the States anyway, oy vey). I was willing to pass on Sunny Flare, since she wasn't very nice through most of the movie, but I still think the post-movie novel didn't do her justice at all, and when I think about how she was really upset and shocked that Principal Cinch wanted to get away from "that monster" instead of trying to help Twilight, considering Cinch manipulated her into unleashing the magic in the first place, I think that Sunny Flare is probably really a pretty nice person. Plus, I love her color scheme. So I might end up getting her doll if I can only get one.

Each one has some flaws, though. Lemon Zest doesn't have her bangs, which is weird since Hasbro has been so good about giving bangs to the dolls whose characters have them. Her forehead looks so unflatteringly big without the bangs. (I think they used the Rainbow Rocks-era head for her that has a really high forehead.) And Sunny Flare's hair is long when it's actually short in the movie. I don't know why Hasbro wouldn't let her have short hair when the DJ doll has accurate, short hair. I could cut it, of course, but it's so beautiful that I hate to do that even for the sake of accuracy.

Of course, I'd really like to have them both, but I don't know if I'll be able to with money tighter than usual lately. It's been slow going on TextBroker for weeks. Sigh. I want to get at least one of them on Monday, though. Hopefully Wal-Mart will still have them; they have for the past couple of times, even with the price drop.

I've been planning for the Equestria Girls fic I want to write with the Crystal Prep girls. My next fic for that was going to be the one where Sunset Shimmer learned what happened to her naturally human counterpart and I was outlining some of it last week, but after reading that novel and feeling like the Crystal Prep girls just weren't portrayed IC, I really want to try my hand at writing them and see if I can do it better/more canon-accurate.

Sugarcoat will be portrayed as probably the only one Twilight really associated with in any kind of a friend capacity. Of course, they won't have been very close, but considering that Twilight reaches out to Sugarcoat and says her name, and Sugarcoat is actually the only Crystal Prep girl who calls Twilight by name anywhere in the movie, and since she sounded like she might have been trying to help Twilight improve herself in the early part of the film, I do kind of like to think that they had some connection. It might have just been that Sugarcoat was almost the only one willing to talk to Twilight at school, or maybe they were also at each other's houses a time or so. Still thinking on this.

Lemon Zest likes Twilight just fine; she never acted mean at all until the climax, when Cinch led all the students in ganging up on Twilight to unleash the magic. I think I'll portray her as friendly, but probably not really into the science scene like Twilight is. She's one of the top students, so she can likely do the work, but has no interest in it (like me with math). She wanted to share her music with Twilight, and maybe that happened semi-frequently. Twilight definitely didn't like her pounding rock music, or trying to be polite in listening to it, but in hindsight I think she would appreciate that Lemon Zest was generally nice to her. Usually, however, I'm guessing that Lemon Zest was lost in her own world of music and probably didn't approach Twilight except to get her to hear things.

Indigo Zap probably thinks Twilight is kind of an idiot after her awkward response to Indigo's "Are we gonna win?!" exclamation. She was also irritated when Twilight bumped into her and caused her to drop her glass. But she's loyal to Crystal Preppers. It was right after that irritation that she jumped to Twilight's defense when Canterlot High students wanted to know what she was doing. Whether her loyalty extends to former Crystal Preppers who transferred to another school, however ... good question. The movie did end with the schools on better terms, but she still might not like that Twilight left Crystal Prep and wonder why Twilight would do that. On the other hand, maybe she would have some level of understanding about it, after everyone ganged up on her and it resulted in her transformation once she unleashed the magic.

Sour Sweet was definitely the nastiest in the movie. But again, since it ended with everyone on better terms, figuring out exactly what to do with her will be a little hard. I think she still won't like Twilight, but she won't be as hostile as in the movie. She also, however, won't try to say some nonsense like that she was Twilight's friend at Crystal Prep. She clearly didn't want to associate with Twilight at all, and only did when circumstances forced them together. She and Sunny Flare seem to be friends in the movie and they seem to get along great, unlike the portrayal in the book.

Sunny Flare is the real puzzle. Since she's Rarity's counterpart, I might give her an interest in fashion. Or maybe she's a little vain. Or both. Maybe more stuck-up than just vain. She certainly won't be portrayed anything like the book portrayed her, what with being scared that Twilight will turn into a monster again. They all know it happened because she did what everyone was pressuring her to do and unleashed the magic, and Sunset Shimmer saved Twilight, so there's no real reason to believe that she'll turn into a monster again.

I'm really excited to try this fic out.

Musings.

Jun. 3rd, 2016 07:47 pm
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
So a couple of weeks ago I finally solved my dilemma about the Amazon books. I really wanted to get a manga in the order, but I couldn't figure out how to make everything come out to exactly the cost of the gift card. I really felt I couldn't pay any cash with that order, so finally I had to set the manga idea aside and I got the two Pony-related books and two Nancy Drews.

The package was delayed because of weather problems and other such things. I was worried it might show up waterlogged. Thankfully it didn't, but whoever packed things couldn't do a good job. The one paperback in the order, the Pony U.N.C.L.E. parody, showed up completely dog-eared on one corner. Half the pages in the book were also bent at that corner! WTH? I don't know whether it was packed stupidly and happened then or if the book was damaged to begin with. I was absolutely furious. I'm still not sure what to do about it. Returning and replacing things online is such a pain, and that was probably the book I was looking forward to the most, so I hated to think of waiting even longer to get to read it. But I don't like always having to settle for damaged merchandise when I order paperback stuff from Amazon, either. I really chewed them out when I bought comics from them and they were packaged really stupidly and all showed up bent. I wonder if Barnes and Noble packs things better. They also have the free shipping with $25 of books deal. The problem there is that I don't have B&N gift cards, so I'd have to pay cash.

(Oh, I miss Borders so much. I was actually in the area where it used to be a couple of days ago and I spent some time just staring out the window at its location across the street. They were so much better than B&N. They actually had discounts in general and coupons for more than 15% off. And they generally had a bigger selection of stuff, except Nancy Drews, but now B&N's selection of those is lame too.)

I ended up reading the book last night. Of course it was a quick read and meant for kids, so it didn't get too deep, but I was intrigued that it touched, albeit briefly, on Bon Bon being weary and wanting to leave the secret agent stuff behind and have a peaceful life now. I would kind of like to expand on that in a fic sometime. And it ended happy, with her and Lyra still in the organization but being able to stay in Ponyville when not on missions. Also, the secret agent place was in New York (well, their New York) and it was accessed through a fridge in a pizza parlor. LOL.

The Equestria Girls book was really interesting. It takes place after the third movie and a large part of the plot is the human Twilight trying to befriend the girls from her old school. At first I was puzzled that it only focused on Sunny Flare, Sour Sweet, and Sugarcoat. But then I realized that the other girls, Lemon Zest and Indigo Zap, were already pretty nice people and probably didn't need any serious help turning their lives around. Lemon Zest is seriously adorable, definitely among the most normal of the girls at Crystal Prep, and so is Indigo Zap, basically. The other three are all kind of dysfunctional in various ways.

I don't think the author really captured the girls' personalities well, though. Sunny Flare was depicted as the nastiest of the bunch and the one most unkind to Twilight and worried about her turning into a monster again. That just doesn't fit to me, because while she was definitely nasty early in the movie, she was the one who called out Principal Cinch for trying to run away, and she looked really horrified and upset when Cinch said she was trying to get away from "that monster" and Sunny Flare should do the same. Sour Sweet was really the nastiest to Twilight in the movie.

Not once did the author do Sour Sweet's trademark of first saying something fake and nice and then following it up immediately with her true feelings, always a burn. She did occasionally do Sugarcoat's trademark of being very blunt, but it seemed more like she gave that trait to Sour Sweet.

I also didn't agree with the author writing that either Sunny Flare or Sour Sweet said they were Twilight's friends (and they were also apparently on her Friends list on Facebook). Not once in the movie did they ever act like they were interested in being her friends; they only interacted with her when circumstances forced them together. Sugarcoat was really the only one of those three who acted like she might be what Twilight considered a friend. And then Lemon Zest was really nice and didn't seem to have anything against Twilight at all. Indigo Zap kind of thought Twilight was an idiot, but she "defended" Twilight when the Canterlot High students started wondering what she was up to, which was kind of cute. (Although she probably only did it because Twilight was a Crystal Prep student, not because she really cared about Twilight personally.)

The author also set it up that Sour Sweet, Sunny Flare, and Sugarcoat were supposedly friends, but weren't happy together. The first two hung out together in the movie and really seemed pretty chummy to me. Sugarcoat, on the other hand, really gave the impression of being a loner.

I did love that Twilight eventually did make friends with them in the book and things ended happy for all of them, instead of them just being portrayed as one-dimensional characters that wouldn't change. But to be honest, I kind of think I could write a better story with that basic plotline that would stick closer to canon regarding personalities. I'll admit that Sunny Flare's personality is the most underdeveloped in the movie, but I don't think it was fleshed out in the book in a manner that fits with what we did see in the movie. Maybe I can try to start writing a story like that and see what happens.

Then last night I started randomly singing Unleash the Magic to myself. It's sung in the movie by Cinch and the Crystal Preppers as they try to tempt Twilight to, well, unleash the magic she's collected in her mystical pendant. I was considering maybe trying to record it and do all the voices. Cinch would be a blast to voice, although I probably wouldn't be able to sound as nasally as she does. But so I got to the line "I understand you have your reservations/it's hard to have a brain as large as yours" and suddenly I wondered if it wasn't just a line of manipulation, but something Cinch personally understood. I finally listened to the commentary track for that movie and they were wondering what her backstory is. Now I'm wondering if she was a smart outcast like Twilight growing up and if in some way, she is a dark version of what Twilight could have become had she remained an outcast. She certainly is smart and calculating and loves knowledge. And even though she seems to be very arrogant and egotistical and is worried above all about her reputation, I'm not entirely sure she was worried for completely selfish reasons. As she told Twilight, it was her reputation, and the school's, that was responsible for everything they had to work with. If the reputation dropped, they might not have all the funding and other things they needed to function properly. So honestly, I could understand her worrying about keeping up appearances to some extent, although of course she took it way too far and her manipulation of Twilight throughout the movie was horrid.

Another thing the commentary track mentioned was that an early draft of the script had Cinch fall through the gaping portal hole created by Twilight when she flipped out and became Midnight Sparkle and Cinch ended up a horrible monster in Equestria. They changed that because it seemed too mean. I agree, honestly. Maybe it would have been poetic justice, especially after how she ostracized Twilight's transformation considering she encouraged her to use the magic, but I wouldn't have wanted her to stay like that permanently or be stuck in Equestria. That's more like what a show like TMNT might do, or maybe even the U.K. Pony comics of the '80's and '90's, but it doesn't fit for something sweet like the current My Little Pony series and movies.

Speaking of TMNT, though, the new movie came out today! Eeeee! And hopefully I'll get to see it next week! I actually really loved the movie two years ago; I thought it was great overall and I loved that there was scarcely anything crude and it was largely absent of swearing. I was very surprised and impressed by that. And to be honest, I really think I liked that movie better than the one called TMNT that came out about nine years ago. (Oh gosh, that long ago? Seriously?) While that movie was cute too, it had some things I didn't like, such as April and Casey living together while not married, and how they made it look like only Raph did something bad during the fight between him and Leo. Honestly, it was kind of interesting how they had Leo finally snap and say something really awful to Raph ("I'm better than you"), but it was spoiled by neither Leo nor the script acknowledging that Leo did something wrong as well as Raph. That was just seriously WTH?

Well, at least that film contributed to my loving Raph more. He scared me as a kid because of his bad temper. That still scares me a bit, but I'm mostly seriously intrigued by him and he's replaced Donny as my second-favorite Turtle.

I still need a Mikey figure. Even though he's my least favorite, I want to have a complete set of Turtles. I just wish the figures weren't so expensive these days. It costs almost $9 for one from any current Turtles line! And that's the cheapest price, since it's Wal-Mart's. I've checked other places before and they've been worse.

(Amusing note: just about each Turtles figure I have is from a different line. My Raph, and my Fugitoid, are from the 1987 TV series. My Leo is from the second movie. My Donny is from a line that looks more like the comics. And my Casey Jones is from the 2003 series. I need an April too. Not having her is sacrilege. And Splinter. Actually, I'd kind of like another Raph too, since my Raph is a space suit Raph and even though I love him dearly, I'd like one that's just normal Raph. But then I'll probably feel guilty to have two Raphs and not two of everyone else. Heh.)

I also want Mikey and Donny plushies. I had thought of getting Build-a-Bear's Mikey, but their new Mikey has a different face than the old one, I think. The old one was just cute, but this one's expression is seriously obnoxious. And then with Donny, I always planned to get him from the same line as my Leo, since I'm not crazy about Nickelodeon's redesign of Donny and it's less obvious with those big pillow plushies. But I didn't want Mikey from that line too, since they all have the same expression and that's kind of WTH. That was why I got Build-a-Bear Raph instead of pillow Raph.

And then I was thinking that while the 1960s and 1970s fascinate me, it seems to be the 1980s that I have some serious nostaglia for. Which is funny because I don't even remember the 1980s. By the time I was old enough to remember much, it was 1990. But so many things I loved from my childhood are from the 1980s to begin with: Ponies, Mario, TMNT, DuckTales, Gummi Bears, Pound Puppies, Care Bears, Garfield (well, he started in the late 1970s, but he sure got popular in the 1980s), Baby-Sitters Club, Alf, the latter two Star Wars original trilogy movies.... Most of my paper dolls had 1980s fashions. We had a couple of huge catalogs, a Sears Wish Book and a J.C. Penney's equivalent, both from the 1980s, that I just adored looking at again and again. And when I go to antique malls, it's the 1980s toys that send me into serious nostalgia trips. Sometimes I remember happy times of playing with 1980s toys with friends in the 1990s. When I see shows from the 1980s, especially family or kids' shows like Punky Brewster or the Pony or Care Bear cartoons, the nostalgia continues even though I never saw those when they originally aired. There's just something innocent and sweet and fun and cheesy about that decade. Then there's things that started in the 1990s: TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, Sonic.... I love those too. And I'm trying to remember when Trolls got a resurgence of popularity, the 1980s or the 1990s. I think the 1990s, but they've existed since the 1960s. Gomer even had a pink-haired one in his foot locker, which Sergeant Carter threw a fit about. ROTFLOL. ("A Troll doll is a non-regulation item!") But I just don't seem to be nostalgic about the 1990s like I am about the 1980s. Weird. I almost wonder if that's because I actually don't remember the 1980s and so it carries a sense of mystery and the ability to place it on a pedestal, whereas I remember the 1990s very well and it just doesn't hold the nostalgia/pedestal factor. I don't think there's one decade I remember that I feel nostalgic about, really. I get nostalgic over experiences and shows, but not decades as a whole.

Waaaah....

May. 22nd, 2016 02:33 am
ladybug_archive: (duke_fallen)
And now Alan Young is dead, as of Thursday. I just learned this past day. He was 96 (!!) and still doing some acting and voice-work.

I think this death hits me the hardest this year. Such a good, full life, but he was so much a part of my childhood with DuckTales. I loved Scrooge McDuck so much. I wanted a plushie, but wasn't able to get one. I doubt I'll do much, if anything, with the reboot, but I'm really hoping it causes new plushies to be made so I can get one. I do have a couple of figures, a tiny one from Kellogg's mail-in thing and a bendable one.

Alan Young was also in The Cat From Outer Space as a veterinarian. That was probably the first time I ever saw what he looked like. It's a hilarious movie filled with wonderful character actors and an adorable cat. (And you get Harry Morgan and McLean Stevenson in the same place. It's a must for M*A*S*H fans!)

And then I discovered a whole new side of Alan Young several years ago when I watched Mister Ed. I honestly thought the horse was pretty mean sometimes, but I did love it whenever he showed that he really cared about Alan Young's character. And I totally ate it up when Alan played Wilbur's father in one episode and used his Scrooge McDuck voice. Epic.

I watched a couple of my favorite DuckTales episodes tonight in tribute. I don't think I've ever actually crushed on Alan Young or his characters, but I loved him and Scrooge McDuck about as much as I can love actors and characters without actually crushing on them, and that's a lot.
ladybug_archive: (scofield)
I have just watched Raid on Rommel. I always knew Christopher was in it, but I thought it was a bit part. And I knew he died, so that made me reluctant to try it. But tonight I was fiddling with the antenna to get the GritTV channel to come through so I can record a Darren movie tonight and I caught the last part of Raid on Rommel. I remembered they were going to air it a couple of times; the next airing is Sunday at 6 AM.

I decided to try to find the movie and see it to see whether I'd want to own a copy. And YES, I DEFINITELY DO. Christopher does not have a bit part; he's very prominent all the way through. He's adorable and precious and this lady he's trying to look after knows it too. LOL. She's all over him, cooing, squeeing, trying to hug and fondle him, and it's very awkward because he's driving the truck. He doesn't know how to handle it at all. But I am so psyched to see someone else knowing what a treasure he/his character is! I want to get the DVD and take pictures and caption one of them "This girl knows where it's at."

Also, of course I must find a way to save him. I refuse to let him die. And unlike with Don Knight's poor Little House character, I think I can do it.

It was a very poignant scene, gah. It was the climatic battle and the main character had just been wounded. Christopher's character, a medic, comes to try to help him and he's cruelly and deliberately gunned down with a handgun, despite the shooter apparently knowing he's a medic. The main character is absolutely furious, picks up his gun, and unloads it into the shooter. Then he looks at Christopher while he remembers what Christopher's character told him about being in the Medical Corps because he's a Quaker and a conscientious objector and that he couldn't help in a mission where he would have to kill anyone. GAH.

**hugs him.**

I hope I can get the next showing recorded. But regardless, I really do want the DVD.
ladybug_archive: (duke_fallen)
So yesterday I suddenly remembered the new YGO movie opened in Japan over the weekend, so I hurried to see if a detailed summary was up anywhere. I couldn't find a complete one at the time, but this one told a lot of it up to a point: http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Yu-Gi-Oh!_The_Dark_Side_of_Dimensions

It definitely is manga-based, and after I learned that months ago I was never sure I wanted to consider it canon. Now that I know more about it, I realllly don't think I want to consider it canon. I want to like it, but some of it sounds so weird and OOC. Spoilers! )
ladybug_archive: (scofield)
Last week was interesting. A couple of weeks ago I'd contacted the script people to see if they had scripts for Riptide's The Pirate and the Princess and Rockford's The Hawaiian Headache. I heard back several days ago and they have both. I ordered the Riptide one, since Christopher's character is a main guest-star in that instead of being regulated to two scenes in the Rockford episode (and since that episode is a complete mess. I know the series wasn't cancelled because of bad scripts, but you can just tell so much that the quality had gone down in that last season).

I didn't like to have them wait on my decision once they replied, and I sort of felt like having asked in the first place committed me to get something immediately following their reply, which is the same way I feel about buying Ponies from people on the Arena too, but I probably should have waited until this weekend to get the script. My sister finally cashed the check I gave her for the Sunset Shimmer plush, and even though she turned out to have cost less than I thought she would at her size, that left me $10 shorter than I thought I had. And I'd been spending most of the week trying to figure out how to get to Build-a-Bear, because they finally sent a coupon like I've been waiting for since January and it was for $10 instead of $5!

It was only Saturday when I saw that the check had been cashed, and I knew that getting the plushie would then drain most of the account until I get paid this weekend, so I really knew I should give up on the plushie since Dad didn't want to go anyway, even after I offered to pay the $2.79-ish it would have cost in gas money. But since I had almost $15 in discounts (including the last bit of one gift card), I figured that even paying the $5.99 for shipping on the site would still make it worth it in this case. After all, it was only about $3 more than the total would have been with gas money included. (The Build-a-Bear website has to charge state sales tax, ugh. So I wouldn't save anything in that respect by ordering online.) I just couldn't bear to waste a $10 coupon, especially since I'd been waiting for months for a coupon and since I wanted it to get something specific.

I had earlier tried to get Muffins with the coupon, since she's online-only anyway (grrr). But I couldn't do it, because they decided to run a sale on Ponies that wasn't as good as my coupon and I couldn't combine my coupon with it. Then I searched a couple of times for the cheapest plushies possible, but nothing really appealed to me like the other Lalaloopsy doll I'd wanted. So I decided that if I was determined to get something online so as not to waste the coupon, I should just get what I really wanted.

I got the order all set up and still hesitated, since I really knew I shouldn't do it, but about five minutes before the coupon expired I took the plunge and clicked the Complete Order button. And then spent the next several hours worrying about having done it and wondering if I could cancel the order. I searched all over the website and finally found that it could be cancelled by calling them, but only if the order hadn't already gone to Processing. And it already had! I really didn't want to cancel despite my worries, so I switched to hoping that they would ship quickly.

After a good sleep, I wasn't worried about having ordered the plushie, but I did start worrying about having ordered the script several days earlier. I really should have waited on that, at least, but I had thought it would look bad if I had told them I needed until next weekend. Hopefully it will be worth my while. I certainly got a lot of mileage out of The Queen of Peru script (missing and altered scenes, first draft characterizations that were changed later, what Ginger calls Mike (I don't know why it didn't occur to me before reading it that he would probably say Michael. It just sounds so right), and the original physical description for Ginger that clearly showed David Chase had Christopher in mind for the role all along ... or possibly Don Knight, but I lean towards Christopher since Ginger is described as a physically small man and Christopher definitely was). I'm hoping for more goodies in this Riptide one that didn't make it to the finished episode.

I just hope the script won't disappoint me instead. In the episode, they never actually said in the end what the deal was with Captain Scofield. You were left to puzzle out for yourself whether he was honest or if he'd been mixed up with the bad guys. Taking all the evidence into consideration, I determined that he was honest and that he had been trying to find out who framed him for starting a fire when the real traitor surprised and shot him. Later, when he struggled up and stabbed that guy and took the knife to the main characters, I assumed he was bringing it so they could get untied. I did wonder why the bomb was left armed, but he was hardly what you'd call completely conscious and I assumed that he just hadn't realized it was armed and he thought that stabbing the traitor would prevent him from arming it. But normally they spell it out for you in an episode regarding whether a character is good or bad, so when they didn't, I was perplexed.

Also, Interrupted Melody arrived last week and I loved it! Roger had much screentime and there was sibling squee and overall depth and it had a lovely ending. So happy I was able to get it!

Gah.

Mar. 29th, 2016 07:59 pm
ladybug_archive: (persuaders)
Patty Duke is dead at age 69. And from something apparently unexpected and sudden. That makes it even worse than ever. It's so sad to think of her being gone and so sad to think of her loved ones grieving. I was thinking how sad William Schallert must be, since he really ended up like a father figure to her, and then of course Sean Astin and her other kids must be so sad.... I should do some kind of a Tumblr tribute.... I wonder if I have any pictures of her already taken from my DVD sets.

I spent the afternoon filling out our Netflix queue.... I added a lot of Hawaii 5-O, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and Hart to Hart, although Mom's probably already seen most of the latter episodes. They come on Monday evenings on Cozi and she watches them while Dad and I are getting groceries. I wish I could see the show more often because it's adorable and generally clean. I love cute 1980's series. I think that was the last decade when we really had a lot of nice and safe live-action TV shows, and of course even then, some of them were starting to get kind of bad sometimes.

Among the Scarecrow discs I added was the one with Luke. It's been years since I've seen it and since he was the main guest-star, I wanna see it again. I was thinking the other day about when I got my first Equestria Girls dolls, the original two-pack with Twilight and the Sunset with incorrect hair. That was in November of 2013. I had a big, fun de-boxing session that night and then set them on my desk while I watched that Scarecrow episode. Then I made a silly Tumblr post commenting that I was playing with dolls of Ponies as people and watching old shows with middle-aged men ... and loving it.

PAX TV used to air Scarecrow around 2000, right before Remington Steele. I hardly ever got to catch it, but weirdly enough, the one with Luke was one that I saw at least part of. I distinctly remember the epilogue. And that means I at least was introduced to Luke's name in the credits, even if I didn't see any of his scenes. Kind of eerie.

Wal-Mart currently has season 1 of Remington Steele available for $10 and I've been debating getting it. I loved that show back in the day and saw almost all of them repeatedly, but I wonder if I would still love it today. My only semi-recent experience with it was when I caught one episode on Halloween night on MeTV several years ago, the one about the stolen dog with Tom Baker guest-starring, and I loved it just as I had before. That was season 2, though (I think). I'm wondering if I'd like season 1 as much as the other seasons. Season 1 didn't have Doris Roberts, and one of the things I loved the most was her interaction with the others. Still, after reading over the season 1 episode summaries, it still sounds like a blast.

Among the stuff I added to the queue today were several things with Don Knight. I tried to weed out a few where he either might not be playing bad guys or where he at least wasn't playing the Big Bads. I'll get around to seeing everything I can with him eventually, but when possible I like to start with things where the actor plays nicer people. I didn't add the Little House disc, though, or even see if Netflix has it. I'm still displeased by the sound of his character's needless death. Anyway, I probably have the Little House thing around here somewhere, as I think my sister gave us all of her Little House tapes when she graduated to DVDs. Ten to one I actually saw that episode years and years ago, as I grew up often watching the show on our local PBS station (which lost the rights to it only a couple of years ago or so, after airing it for decades, gah). I liked it okay, especially as a kid, but I don't know if it would have the same appeal for me now since I really prefer shows with more action. I remember being surprised one time when I saw a Little House episode with bad guys invading the town and holding people hostage and somebody (Laura, I think) bonked one of them with a frying pan. Buwahaha.

I also tried adding The Apple Dumpling Gang and was told it's on Very Long Wait. **rolls eyes.** Not encouraging; that usually means it will end up lost. I wonder if the library might have it....

Also, this morning I decided to look for cheap copies of Interrupted Melody, a movie I want to see with Roger in it. I've been trying to get it for a couple of months and finally just decided to wait and get it with my next Amazon splurge. Only problem is, the survey company is taking forever about giving me my gift card. Uggggh. It's been almost two months now. That occasionally happens with them and it's really frustrating when it does. A while back I got Gold of the Seven Saints on eBay when its price came down, so now I decided that if I could find a cheap copy of Interrupted Melody I'd do the same with it.

I ended up finding a sealed VHS for only $6 and free shipping! I had really wanted a DVD copy, but oh man, it is hard to beat a price like that! I opted to grab it up. At the time I was stressed about stuff and worried that maybe getting a VHS wasn't a good idea, since that means I can only watch it in the living room. But after a good sleep and a dream involving the actors in it, I woke up ecstatic to have finally got a copy. I can hardly wait for it to get here. Also, I love the picture on the VHS copy, as it looks like it's probably Roger's character bending down to the leading lady. He plays her brother, so now I am hoping there will be some sibling squee.

In any case, I hope I will like this film way better than Gold of the Seven Saints. That was ... probably one of the stupidest things I have ever seen. I knew I shouldn't expect too much from it, but I was expecting a little more than I got. Still, Roger was cute and there was hurt/comfort and friendshippiness, so it was worth watching.
ladybug_archive: (nancy_peter)
A couple of weeks ago in Wal-Mart I saw the most awesome playset: a Scooby-Doo haunted mansion! There were trapdoors and ghosties everywhere and a falling chandelier.... I don't have any place to put something like that, but I sure want it. That is epically awesome. It's one of the most creative playsets I've seen in a long time.

There's also a new line of Scooby-Doo figures. For some reason, there's two Scoobies in the line instead of there being a Fred. They'd better still make Fred! All the other original characters were there. Each one comes packaged with one of the supernatural creatures they unmasked on the show. And even though there's two figures and they're around 6 inches tall, they only cost around $7! I so want those, too. So do lots of others; there were three full pegs of those figures two weeks ago, and last week there were only two figures left.

So I had a very interesting and odd Once dream today. It was similar in nature to some LOTR dreams I had years ago, in which I and Mom and other people were acting out the character roles. And there was snow on the ground. I'm not sure why that's a feature of those dreams, but there you go.

I was playing Rumpel (and Regina, apparently, as there weren't enough people for each to take one character). It was around season 2, and the entire cast had been sent to some weird, snowy place with a huge castle. Rumpel was walking with Belle and they were talking about the problems in their relationship. They seemed to be at a rocky stage. One gave the other some kind of native little white flower before they separated. I was having a blast figuring out how to talk with a Scottish accent.

Belle was then walking with one of the girls, and I think I narrowed it down to Ruby. They were talking and seemed to be upset with Mary-Margaret about something, but the details of that conversation have faded. They were climbing up snowy hillsides that were like steps and heading for the castle. Everyone seemed to be going to a funeral, but I don't know who was dead. They walked along the outside of the castle, which weirdly seemed to have different entrances with numbers corresponding to season 2 episodes. Most were bizarre crooked stairs that were at unclimbable angles. They finally found a way up via the stairs marked for episode 2.

Regina was walking down the corridor, heading for the room with the funeral. For some reason, she ended up casting a spell on herself that made her appear as Rumpel to everyone else she passed in the corridor. It was not shape-shifting, like Cora could do, but it was expressly just a spell that warped how everyone else saw her. She got to the room and ... apparently laid down on a low table/slab in front of a row of people. Then she was ... either faking being unconscious or there was some other spell. Everyone thought it was Rumpel and was confused as to why they couldn't wake "him" up. Rumpel was supposed to appear in the doorway and be all "WTH is going on here," and I think he arrived and was trying and failing to get people's attention, and I woke up around then.

A very weird dream. But actually rather enjoyable while it was being had. I woke up missing the good times on Once before the writers decided that Rumpel wasn't allowed to continue his progress being a good guy. I should write some more in my vignette series again.

I wonder if another reason I'm worried about posting it on FF.net is that I'm afraid some people won't like that I'm unhappy with the direction the show took starting with 3B. But there's quite a lot of us who feel the same way, so that probably wouldn't really be much of a problem.

Recently I re-watched the season 3 Mannix episode with Don Knight, another British actor with lovely blond hair. He reminded me a little bit of Christopher, while at the same time definitely being his own person. He played the only survivor of a shipwreck, and he knew the truth about the wreck, that it had been hijacked and everyone else deliberately murdered by being thrown overboard to the sharks. He himself had been permanently mutilated; his left arm was gone and he had a limp. He was being sought after by the bad guys to kill him, but he refused to come forward and tell the police what he knew because they were threatening to kill a girl he loved. In the climax, he discovered that the girl was actually one of the bad guys. Heartbroken, in a moment of rage he started choking her, but Mannix rushed in and stopped him. When he calmed down, he insisted that the girl must have been coerced into being a part of things, because she was just too sweet to really be bad. The girl told him that she hadn't been coerced, that she wanted to be there because the Big Bad saw her as she really was instead of putting her on a pedestal. It was heartbreaking, gah. The guy didn't have anyone else in the world and he lost the one person he thought cared about him. Mom wondered if he might end up committing suicide, feeling like he had nothing left, but I hope not. Maybe I will write something about him and see what he's up to.

I remember liking that character and the actor before, but I didn't follow up on it. I wanted to this time, but I didn't get around to it until I discovered him in a Hawaii 5-O episode quite by accident over the weekend. That time the character was a bad guy, but he was in danger being kidnapped by the psycho Big Bad of the episode and I hoped the taskforce would save him in time. They did, and I decided to look up the actor. He had turned out an amazing performance and had broke down in hysteria because he was terrified of heights. So very different from the Mannix character. Like all good character actors, he really slips into whatever part he's got.

I found a list of credits and saw that I have one of his Virginian episodes, so I watched that this morning. He was a bad guy again, but he survived the episode. It was a pretty depressing episode, though, called The Mustangers. I don't think I want to get into it right now, but it seems like many season 7 Virginian episodes are depressing. I remember that while many season 6 episodes were high drama, they generally seemed to end well. I'm not sure what was up with the seeming change.

I also found a website run by Don Knight's son, which is awesome. I'm going to go back there and see if there's a way to contact the son. And I'll probably keep looking up his father's credits; I think one of his Charlie's Angels episodes is already on one of the discs I put on the queue.

Don Knight sounds like a sweet man in reality and I know I definitely loved his Mannix character. Apparently he also played a beloved character on Little House on the Prairie, so if I end up deciding I like him enough to make him one of my darlings, finally there will actually be one of them who has appeared on that show. Heh. I've always wondered why none of them ever guest-starred on that. Or at least if any have, IMDB doesn't have a record of it (which is possible).

His character on that has a very famous and tragic death. He works with dynamite, and he's watching some contest that includes his friends Charles and another guy. When they win, he's so excited for them that he doesn't remember he has a lit dynamite fuse that he was dealing with.

They invited Don Knight back for another episode as a different character, but when he got there they paid him and then fired him. They felt that his character's death had been so poignant that the audience would not accept him as another character.

...

Is it just me or was that a really lame and jerky thing to do? Once they hired him for the episode, they should have followed through with it. And isn't it just a little bit arrogant to think that their show's character death is so powerful that he could never return as someone else? I've watched lots of shows with powerful oneshot character deaths, and very often the actor will be allowed to return later as another character. I never see any problem with that.

Also, speaking of his character's death, it just sounds so pointless and needless that to me it almost seems like they killed off the character for the sheer shock and tragedy factor. Unless the episode was based on something Laura Ingalls Wilder really wrote about as having happened, it seems to me it should not have been done that way. I don't like character deaths that are pointless and needless and exist just so they can point to their show and say, "Look how dark and gritty we made it! It's some kind of artistic achievement!"

And as a closing note, eerily enough, Don Knight follows the pattern of being someone I saw in something many years ago. Apparently he was in The Apple Dumpling Gang. I actually wasn't crazy about that movie; I'd gone in looking for a hysterical comedy and it honestly didn't strike me as being very funny in most parts. The big funny scene seemed to be where Don Knotts' character was being accidentally choked by a rope up the side of a building, which ... really isn't very funny. But maybe if I go back to it and watch it not looking for anything specific, I'd like it.

I know it's stupid, but it still kind of troubles me that I can't think of anything I saw Christopher Cary in many years ago. He's the one darling that doesn't fit the pattern. I did see him on Rockford before I was interested in him, and I did like him, so I figure I've got to accept that as the time I saw him years ago. But it wasn't in the long-ago past, like all the others. I keep thinking there must be something I saw him in years ago and that someday I'll pinpoint what it was.
ladybug_archive: (yamiM_artichoke)
So I learned a few interesting things today.

I already knew this is YGO's 20th anniversary. I found out now that it shares its anniversary with Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?; the manga was first printed on September 30th. (The anime, which I love much more, celebrates its 16th anniversary on April 18th.)

The 20th anniversary celebration movie releases in April. I thought it wasn't coming until July, for some reason. But it's saying that the movie takes place six months after the end of the original manga. For some reason I had thought it took place in anime-verse, but it kind of sounds like it doesn't. If it takes place in manga-verse, then I probably won't consider it canon unless it's really amazing; the anime is my preferred YGO canon, with only the substitution of Duke's manga introduction instead of the anime one. And the more detailed manga conversations between Atem and Thief King Bakura from the Memory World stuff.

And then this summary that Shounen Jump released has me puzzled to the extreme:

In the past Yūgi Yami and Kaiba have clashed many times!! Yami Yūgi, who resides in Yūgi Mutō's body, and Kaiba will have a duel that bets their prides and accepts each other's mutual experience.

Ummmm.... So it takes place after the end of the manga, when Yami Yugi had gone on to the afterlife, but they're still talking about him like he's there? What?

I know it seems strange to think of a YGO anything in the original verse without Yami Yugi around, but he's kind of not supposed to be there now. The whole point of the finale was to show that Yugi can stand on his own and Yami Yugi's destiny lay in finally being able to rest in peace. So right now I am left seriously scratching my head and wondering if something was mistranslated in that summary.

I look forward to April 23rd with great interest. And a bit of trepidation. I don't mind Yami Yugi being back, if there's a logical explanation for it, but I'm not too thrilled at the thought of the film being manga-based. And I wonder what will happen with Duke and Bakura, who have been my favorite YGO characters and story subjects for several years now. (Ironic, since in the past I used to struggle with writing for both of them....)

Also, I finally finished chapter 5 of my Riptide fic. I am thrilled. I think it may be starting to take better shape now; it's leaning towards a combination of The Hardy Boys and The Saint in plot structure, with a dabbling of old adventure quest movies like Mara Maru. Which makes total sense since the Riptide episode that inspired the fic made me think of The Hardy Boys and since there are some really fun Saint episodes set in tropical areas. And since movies like Mara Maru also have some similar plot elements with what I'm doing: ship settings, smuggling, maybe a crook in a white suit....

I finished that Saint book, too, and thoroughly loved it. The TV adaptation of it was kind of a mess; probably not one of the better episodes. It changed drug smuggling to art smuggling, which just wasn't as intense, and it had a bizarre subplot of an old girlfriend of Simon's being manipulated by a hypnotist who was obsessed with her. She couldn't make herself break free of his control, no matter how Simon pleaded, but at the climax she sees the hypnotist about to shoot him and she runs out to try to save him and gets shot herself. The episode ends with Simon holding her as she apparently dies. It was heartbreaking. Even moreso since the girl really was innocent and hadn't ever willingly participated in the hypnotist's crimes.

I'm torn between writing a fic of Simon at her grave after the funeral or saving her life instead. Apparently Simon didn't break it off with her; she left him three years ago. Simon still cared about her, and she him, although I think Simon had really accepted that it was over between them. If I save her, which I certainly lean towards doing because it was just too sad, I'd still have to have them decide not to renew their romance, at least not at that time. But Simon would say he would always be there for her if she needed him. Only that all opens another can of worms in that she would likely be suffering a lot from trauma after finally breaking free of the hypnotist's control, and the road to recovery would be long and I don't think I'd be able to write that kind of fic; I stalled on more than one about recovery from trauma (including the Detective Conan fic Breakdown). I guess I could still just make it a oneshot and have Simon planning to stick around during her recovery and let it end there. Either that or timeskip to when she's better and they talk then and decide at that point not to renew their romance. They really have to decide that, as the episode aired at the end of the second season and even if she didn't die in canon as she seemed to, she certainly isn't around for any of the remaining four seasons.

Anyway, of The Saint episodes I've seen that were based on stories I've read, I wasn't so keen on this one or on the adaptation of The Gentle Ladies, but I like the book version of The Gentle Ladies even less. By contrast, I absolutely loved the adaptation of The Ever-Loving Spouse, in contrast to my thorough dislike of the book version. I believe I squeed over it here around the time I first saw it. Most episodes I have not read the book version of, and in general I imagine I would prefer the TV episode, if I liked either one. And then there's episodes that have no book counterparts, particularly a lot of the color ones. I kind of really love those, as they get into espionage and other exciting spy things like that. Many of the book-based ones are more about running cons, and while it is delicious to see con artists get some of their own medicine back at them, I love spy episodes the best.

I added another wartime-era Saint novel to my Amazon wishlist. I really wouldn't be surprised in the least if that ends up my favorite Saint era. I just love the idea of The Saint as an undercover government agent, especially if he tends to behave as he did in the novel I just finished. In any case, I'm just thrilled to have read a Saint book I really enjoy and that didn't make me uncomfortable in any way, as several of the short stories in The Saint to the Rescue did. I'm glad I didn't give up completely after being disappointed by the short stories. I was certainly tempted to. But I kept wanting to read that one particular book regardless and now I finally have.

And speaking of writing character death fix-it fics, ugh, I also must write one for a Charlie's Angels episode. I was so bummed by the episode in general, as Dan Tanna from Vega$ was in it and I got it in my head that it was a full-blown crossover. So I immediately sent for the disc, as I like Vega$ and I adore Dan Tanna; it's so intriguing that instead of a Las Vegas private eye being a really wild sort, Dan is very morally upright. (Maybe that was to try to make Las Vegas more appealing to conservative 1970s TV viewers?) But then he only has a tiny cameo appearance at the very end of part 2. It was so lame. I wanted to see him and the Angels solve a case together! I suppose the shows airing on different networks was what prevented a real crossover, even though they were both Aaron Spelling shows, but it was still disappointing.

Making it worse, there was an adorable character in the episode played by Scatman Crothers who had a pet cat that he carried everywhere with him. He was the best friend of a character played by Dean Martin and the villain was trying to take away everything that Dean's character loved. That included running down Scatman's character. Gah, it was heartbreaking. The cat jumped out of the way, thank goodness, but then it ran over to him and got on his chest, so worried. And then he survived the car crash, but the crummy villain came in through the window of the hospital that night and gave him a drug that killed him for real. I just hate when a character survives something horrible and you're so happy and relieved, and then they throw in the twist of them dying anyway. That is also lame. And sadistic.

But so anyway, I must figure out some way to save that character, because him dying is just unacceptable. I hate when one half of a great friendship (or for that matter, an enduring romance) is killed off, and it's so sad thinking about not only Dean's character being so sad, but the cat. Gah.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
And so after a month we come full-circle. I went to F.Y.E. at the end of January looking for some type of James Bond figure in Roger's image. That wasn't the only reason I was there, and I would have likely gone anyway even if it hadn't been a reason at all, but I was still very upset when I got sick after that excursion and got everybody else in the house sick. I can't prove it came from there, but it must have been either there or Wal-Mart, since I got sick before anybody else and therefore most likely did not pick it up at my aunt's. It had to be a place where I was the only one going around and coming into contact with people. But it was highly aggravating and upsetting that it happened, especially when the shopping was fruitless.

I was upset for weeks feeling like I should have gone to Build-a-Bear instead and got the other doll I wanted. Then I probably wouldn't have got sick/got everybody sick. And I was frustrated that I didn't get to go last week because of the lingering cough problems. Now, however, I'm grateful I didn't make it. Hopefully I'll get another chance for the doll, but meanwhile ...

I finally found a figure online for a decent price. Not one of the 12-inch figures, sadly, but about half that size. I spent days debating whether to get it and trying to see if it really looked enough like Roger to make a purchase worth it. There were four people watching it besides me; it was a Buy It Now listing. I felt a little bad to suddenly pull it out from underneath them, but any of them could have bought it at any time if they had felt so inclined, and apparently they didn't by the time I made up my mind, so no regrets. These figures usually seem to go for much more than I got mine for, so I'm doubly thrilled.

I did immediately feel guilty to purchase something James Bond, since neither Dad nor Mom like that franchise (and I'd be all over it if it wasn't for the bed times; I loved Moonraker except for what amounted to two minutes or less of bed times/implications of bed times ... and I still kind of want to see more films, too ...), but of course it was more for the actor than the character, and my idea was that it could be whatever character I wanted it to be at any given time. I stayed in that more excited mindset and didn't feel any more guilt.

Ohmygoshsquee, it shipped Monday and came this past day! And, as I determined before taking the plunge and purchasing, it does look sufficiently like Roger to be worth it! And it's so nice with fabric clothing.... I adore fabric clothing! It shows real thought and attention went into the crafting, instead of just putting molded clothes on. (Not that some molded clothing can't be amazingly detailed too, of course. But it upsets me that fabric clothing is not really a thing like it used to be.) The card is also very nice, with many pictures of Roger all over it. I have it sitting next to the card from my Oscar Goldman figure so I can see the pictures. The figures themselves are on my desk.

So I have what I set out to find a month ago and I am very pleased.

I've also been reading that Saint book I got with my last Amazon order. I've got to say, I like this one way more than that short story collection I tried a couple of years ago. Even though that was written after this novel, I like Simon's characterization in the novel far more. It's one of the books written around the WWII era, The Saint Sees It Through, and Simon is serious like his television counterpart. I haven't seen one aggravating, dirty-minded crack in here like there was in the short story collection. I also haven't seen any instances of Simon taking the law into his hands more than I find comfortable (no burying bodies in gardens to keep the people involved from going to jail, oy vey). I may want to try some other books from this time period. And if I like them too, I will be highly amused, as of course the WWII era books are largely hated among the book purists. They usually prefer their Saint much more playful and mischievous and naughty, as he is in the earlier books. I prefer him more like the character in the TV show. Which of course immediately makes me a bizarre wild card in the fandom, as I am almost everywhere. Can't break with tradition, after all.

I'm also writing a sci-fi Maverick fic, as of course the fic where Snakes reveals himself to be alive has to include some sci-fi elements. And with encouragement, I'm continuing it to show Snakes taking Beau through the portal to visit the present-day. It's mostly a character study, though, as both Snakes and Beau have issues to work through at this point. It probably won't be more than a two-shot, but who knows.

I am vaguely considering that maybe Beau could be visiting in the Count Manzeppi fic I wanted to write, and that might give me a little more motivation to go ahead with it, but I'm not sure. I was just burned so seriously with The Deadly Codename that I'm honestly afraid to start a new WWW fic. I don't want to be involved in any more drama in that fandom. Beau around would just be one more thing for that person to complain about, should he decide to complain again. I might actually have more luck writing that fic for the Maverick fandom instead. **headdesk.**

In any case, there is the problem that by playing so much in Snakes' past, it kind of turned a few things in my original timeline for him on their heads, as I knew would happen if I kept playing. But I really liked the things I was coming up with and didn't want to let them go. Now I do have to wonder how to re-align things again, since Snakes wasn't supposed to have any friends before going to the present-day and now with the Maverick branch of the timeline he has Beau. I'm trying to rationalize it by him saying that Pinto broke him so much over three years of torture that he wasn't sure Beau really would still care and want to be his friend, since they didn't even really know each other that well. But I'm not sure that's a good enough fix.

There's also the issue that in Airship it's a plot point that Snakes hasn't been back to the past before and goes back only to find Jim and Arte. After I brought in the idea of Snakes and Beau, I knew Snakes wouldn't want to leave Beau hanging, so in the Maverick timeline, the first time he goes back is to find Beau and let him know he's okay. I don't know whether to leave things as they are, apparently two similar but different timelines, to try to reconnect them by explanations from Snakes, or to reconnect them by tweaking some things in the older stories.

Another idea I had was that maybe the time re-set Duke caused in the YGO branch of the timeline screwed a few things up that he hadn't intended on, including Snakes and Beau, and that perhaps when it's said that Snakes didn't have anyone, that's because he doesn't remember Beau with the time re-set. That gets fixed at the end of the story, so if there was any trouble, Snakes remembers the truth now. But that gets sticky too, as it would mean that the original WWW time-travel fics were written with the time re-set in mind and they're Snakes' incorrect memories of how things happened.

Confusion, thy name is time-travel. Confusion, thy name is also retcon.

I've gotta say, I have to sympathize with George Lucas in a situation like this. When you start playing in the past, you find new ways of telling things that you like better than the original way. And then naturally you want to tweak the originals to fit the new ideas. But that's an unpopular thing to do. And I still don't agree with him booting out the original actors for Boba Fett and Anakin Skywalker in the original trilogy DVDs. But still, I can understand why it happened.

What am I gonna do?
ladybug_archive: (persuaders)
So this morning I finally got around to looking up what the heck The Lion Guard is about. The concept sounded ludicrous to me in the past (a Prince running security? WTH?), and learning more about it is not helping me think it sounds any less ludicrous. In addition to that weirdness, we've got him with the absolutely bizarre ability to ... channel his ancestors' roars? What? And since it takes place around halfway through the second movie, I have to wonder, why was there no mention of him in The Lion King 2 (other than because of course the character hadn't been animated yet)? It makes very little sense to have him absent throughout that entire film. (Now I can't remember if he was the character they used in some kids' books long before The Lion King 2 came out. If he was, that's cool that they finally animated him. But it doesn't help the series sound any less weird.)

I actually liked The Lion King 2, so I do like the idea of getting to see those characters some more. But I don't like that they never use the original hyenas from the first film, except in that silly, generic Timon & Pumbaa TV series from the nineties. Why create new hyena characters? What's wrong with the original ones? I do love the concept of having one hyena in The Lion Guard be nice, though. It's about time there was a protagonist hyena.

And then I have to admit that while even though the original Lion King featured a smidgen of scatological humor, it at least wasn't a plot point. Apparently in The Lion Guard, we've got the Prince's security team saving Kiara from a stampede because ... the honey badger passed gas? What? **headdesk.** That is so stupid. About on par with The Lion King 1 1/2 saying that the animals bowed not because Rafiki was holding Simba up, but because they were all fainting from the smell of Pumbaa passing gas. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I've never wanted to see The Lion King 1 1/2 because it sounds like it deconstructs the original movie and I loved that film. I rarely like parodies or satires because I don't like to see things I like being made fun of.

(Then a minor quibble with The Lion Guard is the character's name. Kion ... really? It rhymes with lion. Why, why, why would anyone want to name a lion character Kion? How can you take that seriously?)

I'll admit that perhaps the show looks better than it sounds on paper, but overall I am not that impressed by what I've learned. I suppose sooner or later I'll give it a try, but I'm not looking forward to that so much.

I also learned that this year's Equestria Girls movie will have a camp theme. I can't say I'm excited. I'm not an outdoorsy person and camp is not my thing. I can't imagine it would be Rarity's thing, either, for that matter, although the Pony Rarity went glamping once. LOL. Anyway, though, it seems like the movies just keep getting better and better, so I'm going to keep hoping for the best. Rainbow Rocks didn't sound like much at first, but then it ended up being wonderful. As long as there's lots of Sunset and naturally human Twilight character development in the camp movie, I'll probably love it.

And then Muffins is finally being re-released as Build-a-Bear promised. But she's still a web exclusive! **cries.** Why? Uggggh. I was hoping so much they would put her in the stores this round, like they finally did for Zecora and Shining Armor. I just don't know how to buy from Build-a-Bear online. You have to get $40 to get free shipping, or else shipping is about $6, and Muffins is $30 instead of $25 for some mysterious reason, and it's all a big mess. I just can't afford to buy from them online, but it doesn't look like they're going to put Muffins in-store, so if I want her, I'm probably going to have to get her online somehow.

Also, I finished watching The Persuaders! tonight. I am sad that there are no more new episodes to see. I stretched the last few out as long as I could. I will definitely start re-watching my favorites now. I've already seen some of them twice, as I've been introducing Mom to the series and showing her the best episodes. She likes the series, which I'm thrilled about. But I regret that we'll soon have watched all of the really friendshippy ones together, leaving the earlier ones where they're not as close. I'm not as anxious to show her those or to see them again myself.

I can't understand why they didn't air the episodes in the order of filming, since that makes so much more sense regarding character development. In the earlier ones, you have things like Danny questioning why Brett is even concerned about his safety. (And Brett just makes a quip about "Maybe I'd rather hate you alive than dead", heh. Not my type of humor, but at least I know he doesn't mean it. I've never been a fan of the insult humor that heavily populates male buddy stuff.) But by the later ones, you have Danny telling everybody that Brett is his very best friend and they never question each other's concern; they have complete trust in each other by that point and know that they can rely on each other. And you have things like Brett growling furiously that he will take an old house apart brick by brick to find the missing and hurt Danny. (And he also says things like that he's terribly, terribly hurt that Danny hired his housekeeper from under his nose. He wouldn't have expressed hurt in the earlier episodes. Not knowing Danny very well, he wouldn't have had reason to feel hurt then. I didn't like what Danny did, but I did love what Brett's reaction says about him and their friendship.) The progression of them as people and as friends is just so beautiful. But by airing them out of order, some of that gets lost in the translation.

I think my very favorite episodes are The Time and the Place and Someone Like Me. Those are two gems just overflowing with friendship squee. They're the first ones I showed Mom. And Someone Like Me also has the distinction of being very much like some of my fics. Heh. Other big favorites are Someone Waiting, The Ozerov Inheritance, That's Me Over There, Chain of Events, Anyone Can Play, and The Old, The New and the Deadly. And while I didn't like the black humor of A Death in the Family (which was based on Kind Hearts and Coronets, oh my), there are some great friendship moments in it. It was the first episode I saw. I had previously been led to believe that the characters were not that close throughout the entire series. Imagine my surprise when I watched that episode (one of the later ones, naturally) and saw many expressions of close friendshippy concern and even some hurt/comfort! I was immediately in love.

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