Captain Horatio Hornblower
Gregory Peck 1951 movie. It seems like Star Trek: TOS swiped some of the theme music and sound effects from it, as well as the concept of "Hornblower in spaaaace.") Pretty good sea adventure. I found the romance annoying.
Denzel Washington plays a conservative businessman who happens to deal heroin; Russell Crowe plays a painfully honest cop who is out to get him and also all the corrupt cops. Based ever so vaguely on some real people. Directed by Ridley Scott. Not a paragon of social awareness, but not totally faily either.
The Dark Knight
Batman with Heath Ledger playing the Joker. Ledger is fabulous—the only Joker I've ever had feelings about other than *cringe*. It was his last role.
Finding Vivian Meier
There's a wonderful movie called I've Heard the Mermaids Singing which is about a young socially awkward queer woman who works as an assistant in an art gallery and secretly takes bazillions of wonderful street photos. Turns out it's sort of true, except the woman worked as a housekeeper/nanny in the 1950s–70s in Chicago and New York City. This documentary lets you see a lot of her photos, but spends more time on interviewing people who hired her or knew her and trying to trace her ancestry. The interviewees proffer theories about Meier that usually say more about them than about Meier herself.
The Lives of Others
Story of an East German secret police agent assigned to spy on a popular writer. At one point I thought "one could segue from this into Der Himmel über Berlin without even realizing it." But that's just the atmosphere; this one has a more solid plot.
Various folks have been after me to watch this forever. A couple of the main characters are supposed to be based vaguely on David Bowie and Iggy Pop. The costumes are beautiful (it was nominated for best costume design in 1998). It's got this nostalgia-for-glam-rock feel that I can relate to. I was kind of meh about the plot though. (I have to admit, I felt the same way about Citizen Kane, which this movie is supposedly basing its narrative structure on.)
Agents of SHIELD
Watching the second season of this Marvel Comics creation...out of inertia, mostly. A whole bunch of changes went down at the end of the first season and I have yet to sort out all the new characters.
This was the first TV series since Heroes that sucked the OH into binge-watching (we watched 4 episodes back to back). The actress who stars is very talented.
I watched about 20 episodes in two or three days (since the OH is not watching it with me) and finished the series. I probably shouldn't have, because I got kind of inured to Jack (spoiler) being buried alive when it happened in several episodes in a row. I wasn't crazy about the last two seasons, "Children of Earth" and "Miracle Day," although they had some good moments. But although there's plenty that's problematic about it, I really liked that almost everyone on the team was some flavor of bisexual.
Some rebels/terrorists and a policewoman travel back in time to the early 21st century. We have watched several episodes and can't decide if we like it enough to keep going. I find it hard to sympathize with any of the characters.
Kerry Greenwood, Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher #1)
Thriller/mystery series set in the 1920s. This one was set in Australia. I listened to the audiobook and liked it quite a bit. I really like the protagonist. I guess I'd describe her as "if James Bond were a woman working independently instead of being a government agent."
Vonda N. McIntyre, "The Adventure of the Field Theorems"
Novella/short where Sherlock Holmes meets Arthur Conan Doyle, who is in his "believing in supernatural phenomena" phase. VERY well written, true to Doyle's style, and very funny. Also, a clever mystery.
Nora Roberts, Morrigan's Cross (Circle Trilogy #1)
I got about 3/4 of the way through, and I liked most of the characters OK, and I liked that two of the main characters were witches/sorcerers. But they all spent far too much time LAMENTING everything and not enough time fighting or strategizing, and also there was too much "plot advancement by means of stupidity." And the black guy was the vampire's servant, and he ended up getting killed before anyone else. And the narrator — DICK HILL, who is AMERICAN — uses a really fakey and overdramatic Irish accent, which was too dramatic much of the time. Also, he uses the same whiny voice for women that George Guidall uses, which was a really wrong voice for the witch protagonist. Anyway, I gave up on it because of those things.
Karl Schroeder, Pirate Sun (Virga #3)
Hard SF with a swashbuckling edge. I love the narrator and the Vanera Fanning character.
Indie iPad game created by women in which all the characters are either female or robots or both. Really fun. I played it 3 or 4 times in quick succession to get different endings. In this article the developer apologizes for making all the female characters skinny.
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