26 May 2016


Twelve Things about X-men: Apocalypse

12. Half of everything you need to know about X-men: Apocalypse can be found in a gratuitous "meta" scene in which some characters discuss the original Star Wars trilogy. It is the early 80s, they have just seen Return of the Jedi, and one of them speaks for the rest when she says, "At least we can all agree the third one is the worst."

It's funny because the movie we are watching is the third of what we might call the "X-men prequel trilogy" and director Bryan Singer is calling his own movie terrible before any of us can. Hahahaha . . . I mean, get it??? Hahaha?

11. Seriously, the only reason this movie was made was to introduce new versions of the old characters from the "original X-men trilogy," which Singer also screwed up directed. So he could both "come full circle" and get a second chance to make the exact same mistakes. For instance, I hadn't thought it was possible, but here Cyclops is more impossible to respect than he was in the first trilogy. It's quite plausible that the character of Scott Summers reminds Singer of someone who made him feel inadequate in high school, and four unflattering movies in a row still isn't enough revenge. 

10. The other half of everything you need to know about X-men: Apocalypse is the dramatic opening sequence . . .

17 May 2016


Character Connection 53

Created by The Introverted Reader

If we have different personalities in different languages, are we also different readers? That is, if what we project outward changes depending on the medium of projection, does what we take in also change, for the same reason? I'm going to say yes, though this is one (more?) hypothesis I will never be able to test, because of my experience with the German translation of a novel I was already familiar with in English.

Since it is very likely that you are also already familiar with this novel, see if you can figure out which scene the excerpt is from before I reveal the answer . . .

12 May 2016


The Thirteenth Thing about The Matrix

Can I get distracted or what? When I started writing my review Twelve Things about The Matrix, I had no plans to get really philosophical about the blaue Kapsel and the rote Kapsel. But these two really do take over every discussion of the film (especially in deutsch? =P), and I hadn't realised that I totally failed to say what I had actually set out to say until, well, just now.

The gruene Kueche

I'm not the only one who isn't too impressed by those pills. The Oracle, magic mirror and lovely lady, shows us the truth about the red pill very clearly: it's nothing but a glorified oatmeal cookie . . . not very different from a glorified steak. If the condition for your happiness is a red pill that you think is being kept from you, how is that any different from the condition for the same being a blue pill that is also being kept from you? Accordingly, my defense of blue pill existence is not a defense of unconsciousness, but a defense of personal accountability. The idea of the red pill has unfortunately become a way for people to blame others for their own self-inflicted problems. Yet as true as this is, it does sidestep the essential question of whether or not the Matrix truly exists.

So let's go in the other direction now and see what happens when we have some hard evidence that the Matrix is real . . .

04 May 2016


Reading Diary: BSC #18 Stacey's Mistake by Ann M. Martin

Remember the Baby-sitters Club I used to belong to in Stoneybrook? Well, I sort of carried the club back to New York with me, except that I'm the only member of the city branch. For some reason, none of my friends here seem interested in sitting. On the one hand, this is nice, because there are plenty of little kids in my building, so I get lots of jobs. On the other hand, I have to turn down lots of jobs, too, and I always feel bad about that. Besides, I miss the meetings our club used to hold.

Well, anyway, a total of five parents called up a whole month in advance to ask me to baby-sit on the afternoon of the big meeting. I felt bad about turning four of the families down, especially when the parents were all going to be at the same place for the same time. If only--

And that was when I got my brilliant idea.

It looks as if Baby-sitters Club President Kristy Thomas isn't the only one who can have really brilliant baby-sitting-related ideas! But only Stacey McGill would think of mixing business with the pleasures of a weekend-long sleepover and a boy-girl party in New York City. It sounds fantastic, doesn't it? So why isn't the title something closer to Stacey's Great Idea?

My wild guess is that it's because the most accurate label for this book would be Ann M. Martin's Mistake. I refer, of course, to her late-rued decision to make Stacey move away in BSC #13: Goodbye Stacey, Goodbye--which she corrected as soon and as credibly as she could. But if there is a part of her that wishes she could go back in time and prevent herself from even needing to correct it, then there is a part of her that is open to a parallel universe in which this book never existed. In that universe, we'd still have all the subsequent Stoneybrook-set stories, since it would just be a matter of dropping Stacey back into them. But we wouldn't have this particular adventure at all.

And there really is an AU feel to the baby-sitting part of the story . . .