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July 18th, 2010


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08:27 pm - Two Reviews and an Anecdote
Last year, I told Sandeep Parikh I would watch The Legend of Neil, so before I see him this year, I figured I would actually catch up on his webseries. Which is about—I kid you not, it is well described in the theme song—a guy who, while drunkenly playing The Legend of Zelda, masturbates to the fairy and asphyxiates himself with the controller and somehow gets transported into the game. Yeah.

I never played Zelda, I don't think, but I know the general gist of things and I'm familiar enough with various tropes of the genre to get most of the jokes. For a low-budget webseries, the costumes, makeup, and special effects are surprisingly good, especially in the second season, when I presume they got more money. And although you don't need money to be funny, the show is definitely funnier in the second season, although it doesn't reach Guild-level hilarity. I'm honestly not sure how funny the show would be to non-gamers, though. You can burn through the first two seasons in about ninety minutes if you want to give it a try.

Also, it features Felicia Day as a horny fairy.



Last night, after the Olympian show, I noticed a guy who looked familiar, but I wasn't sure why. He was with Marissa, the box office manager, at the White Horse afterward, and I went up to him and said, "You look really familiar." He thought I looked familiar as well. I thought it had to be a theatre connection, but he'd only moved here a month and a half ago. His name, Matt, didn't ring a bell. He was from Dallas, though, and I was from Arlington! But he didn't go to my high school. He did do some math-science and Academic Decathlon stuff, but that didn't seem to be it.

Marissa said we should go on Facebook and see if we had any mutual friends, but he liked this method better. I agreed.

And then we discovered we both went to Rice! Okay, now we were getting somewhere. He was at Lovett, and I was at Hanszen. He started naming people, and I didn't know any of them. I started naming people, and he didn't know any of them. He wasn't in the MOB. He was '06, and I was '03, so we only overlapped by a year. Could we really have just seen each other around on campus a lot? We both agreed the familiarity felt a lot stronger than that.

Then he asked me if I took any writing classes. Oh, I'd taken a bunch! The one I remembered in our overlapping timeframe, though, was the one I took my last semester, with Dr. Kathleen Cambor.

He was in the same class.

And there we had it. We had spent a whole semester reading each other's work, although neither one of us actually remembered what we'd read. But that explained why we were drawn to each other.

To add to the randomness of the encounter: he and Marissa were introduced by a mutual OKCupid friend. I love the world.



This morning, I saw Inception in LIE-MAX. Although I had to watch the trailers, I avoided as much as I could so I could go in knowing as little as possible, so I won't go into any specific plot details. The movie drops you right in anyway and lets you learn how the technology works gradually. There is a lot of exposition in the first half, but, honestly, I didn't mind or notice because it was handled so well and the characters were so compelling and entertaining (Nolan assembled a pretty fantastic cast). It's all a setup for the second half, which is a fucking thrill ride that occasionally manages to be three times as intense as any other action film and features an amazing, beautiful fight scene in the midst of all the chaos. As if all this weren't enough, the action, intensity, and suspense are rooted in character emotions. Plus, the score and sound design are great.

The movie is so good. So good. I don't know how Nolan manages to do it every single time. This movie is so good that I didn't even mind that basically every "cool" shot was in the trailers. Because they were all so much more powerful in context. It's a two-and-a-half-hour movie, and I never once wished for it to be over.
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(32 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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From:gymble
Date:July 19th, 2010 04:16 am (UTC)
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Huh. Oddly enough, I just tried the first episode of Legend of Neil. Honestly, I couldn't see the appeal. The humor was little too bathroom humor/frat boy-esque for me, but maybe it gets better. Also, I've never played Legend of Zelda, so I might not be enough of the right kind of gamer to get it.

I want to see Inception. I'm glad to hear it's good. Mr. gymble was resisting, but I might have worn him down.

Random note: a good friend of mine will be manning the Tor booth at Comic Con (his name is Steven) in case you happen to wander by. He's looking for authors/artists to generate new graphic novels.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:July 19th, 2010 04:23 am (UTC)
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Honestly, I couldn't see the appeal. The humor was little too bathroom humor/frat boy-esque for me, but maybe it gets better.
Yeah, it is in the beginning, but it does get better.

Mr. gymble was resisting
What is wrong with him???

Random note: a good friend of mine will be manning the Tor booth at Comic Con (his name is Steven) in case you happen to wander by. He's looking for authors/artists to generate new graphic novels.
Oh, neat!
From:toastandtea
Date:July 19th, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)
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This movie is so good that I didn't even mind that basically every "cool" shot was in the trailers.

I KNOW, RIGHT. As much as they didn't tell us about the movie, i was surprised that pretty much all the super fancy stuff had been shown already. I'm glad i never watched the final trailer; seeing it now, it has got a shot of the Penrose staircase payoff AND the whole moment of Eames with the grenade launcher, both of which i was delighted by while seeing them for the first time in the movie. Oh, AND what's in the final room! I was like, jeez. Spoiler alert.

Although, really, that visual stuff is pretty much all you CAN spoil about the movie. Everybody who hasn't seen it is freaking out about OMG DON'T TELL ME DON'T TELL ME, but it's like, what could you say that would spoil it? It was all a dream? HAHAHAHA.

Oh and speaking of spoilery trailers, did you see the one for The Town? That shit seemed like it showed the entire goddamn movie! Ridiculous.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:July 19th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)
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I'm glad i never watched the final trailer; seeing it now, it has got a shot of the Penrose staircase payoff AND the whole moment of Eames with the grenade launcher, both of which i was delighted by while seeing them for the first time in the movie. Oh, AND what's in the final room! I was like, jeez. Spoiler alert.
Oh my God, seriously! I never saw that trailer either; I watched it after coming home and was surprised that stuff was in there.

Everybody who hasn't seen it is freaking out about OMG DON'T TELL ME DON'T TELL ME, but it's like, what could you say that would spoil it? It was all a dream? HAHAHAHA.
Ha ha ha ha, seriously. But really, I loved not knowing anything, even that the movie was so focused on Cobb and his issues. I just loved experiencing the movie as it happened.

Oh and speaking of spoilery trailers, did you see the one for The Town? That shit seemed like it showed the entire goddamn movie! Ridiculous.
I KNOW RIGHT. I mean, I really hope that reveal is, like, not a reveal in the movie. Because it seems like a pretty big thing to spoil in a trailer, Christ.
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From:equustel
Date:July 19th, 2010 08:28 am (UTC)
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omg, you said everything I am feeling about Inception but can't articulate properly right now because it is 1:30AM. What an experience. I'm glad I'm not the only one that was STRESSED by the intensity level at certain points. I also did not expect the events to be so rooted in the inner lives of the characters. I was expecting a really sweet trippy heist flick with some philosophy thrown in for kicks but I got SO MUCH MORE. Holy shit was Leo captivating. And Cillian's character!

So many of the final moments made me marvel not only at the feat of expert writing, filmmaking and editing that went into making them work, but the amount of guts, too. You can tell Nolan believed in this thing completely, and that in and of itself is amazing (to me). I get so gun-shy with my own ideas, only seeing where they'll fail.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:July 19th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad I'm not the only one that was STRESSED by the intensity level at certain points.
I literally started cringing and going nnnnrgh as the security started closing in on the hospital.

I also did not expect the events to be so rooted in the inner lives of the characters. I was expecting a really sweet trippy heist flick with some philosophy thrown in for kicks but I got SO MUCH MORE.
Yeah!

Holy shit was Leo captivating. And Cillian's character!
I know! The latter was unexpected.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:July 19th, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
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it was a fantastic action movie that made you use your brain instead of putting it to sleep (I'm looking at you, A-Team)
I still want to see The A-Team, though. Sometimes you just want a mindless action movie.
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From:punzerel
Date:July 19th, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
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Every time I said I wanted to see Inception, Joey made a face, and now that I've made plans with my sister to see it, he wants to come too and has no recollection of ever resisting. BOYS. Or maybe just, JOEY. But anyways, we are ALL going to see it later this week, and it will be delightful.

Also, I totally had the same experience with a high school best friend - after we started BFFing after meeting in high school (I was in grade 8, she was in grade 7 - I know for y'all this isn't high school, but in Quebec it is), we figured out that we had attended the same writing workshop the year before and liked each other's stories. FATE!
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From:roxybisquaint
Date:July 19th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)
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Oh yay. I'm happy to get a review from you about Inception. I don't trust trailers anymore because it's just too easy to make a movie look good when in actuality, it sucks. But now that you've praised the film, I'm pretty sure I'll like it.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:July 19th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad my opinion holds such weight! :-}
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From:sisterjune
Date:July 19th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
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I love The Guild and it's nice to have a gamer series about gamers that is NOT told strictly from the POV of a guy/guys. I heard of Legend of Neil and wanted to give it a shot since I LOVE Legend of Zelda but I am pretty wary since it sounds like it'll have THAT kind of humor I really hate, the frat boyish/adam sandler type humor that is often not just gross but offensive to anyone who isnt white and or male. So yeah, I'm on the fence about that one. Do you think it would really try my patience in that respect? I mean a little potty humor here and there wont ruin it for me but if that's like th entire basis of humor for the show...then yeah pass :(

Edited at 2010-07-19 06:18 pm (UTC)
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From:spectralbovine
Date:July 19th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
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There's a fair bit of ribald humor, but there's also a lot of gamer humor. As I said above, some of my favorite scenes are between Wizrobe and Gannon, where Wizrobe is like, "Maybe you shouldn't leave helpful items lying around for him." If you're really wary, I would suggest skipping to the second season, which is better, funnier, and more creative, and then watching the first season. Since you love Zelda, I do think you'll enjoy it.
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From:thetheatremouse
Date:July 20th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
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I never played Zelda
WHAAAAT? Did I know this already? I almost think I knew this already...and yet I am still boggled. For example, my eyes bugged and I felt the urge to insist you come to my house immediately to be Zeldaficated. Except I'm not there so that would not be productive. One of these days, Cow.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:July 20th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
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My brother was more into those sort of games than I was. I watched him play various fantasy RPGs.

I did play Dragon Warrior, however. TAKE THAT, RED SLIME!
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From:ethanvahlere
Date:July 20th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC)
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I actually was a little disappointed in Inception, but that may be a case of my high expectations. On an entertainment level, it certainly succeeded, and I was never bored. But one of the reasons why I revere Nolan as a director is his movies always have something else going on underneath them (particularly Memento, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight), and this time, I didn't sense anything going on underneath. Maybe when I see it a second time, which I do want to.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:July 20th, 2010 01:03 am (UTC)
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I didn't sense anything going on underneath
Seriously?? I think half the movie is underneath. I'm particularly intrigued by the idea that the movie is actually a meta-commentary on movies themselves.

Maybe when I see it a second time, which I do want to.
As do I. I may actually pay to see it again, which is rare for me.

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