The Keanu movie about the ronin was not as bad as the trailer led us to believe it would be. I saw it in a theatre with an aikido afficianado and she was also somewhat shocked by its overall quality, some aspects of the plot, and the treatment of the end of the story.
The second Hobbit movie is very good though I don't really enjoy the roller coaster sequences, as impressive as they are. I don't think the old don would know what to make of them... still it is nice to have more screen time and more of the concurrant stories. Oh and the synthetic elf captain is an interesting character and quite fetching.
American Hustle was really good. Some tremendously sexy bits and a lovely twirling plot. If you at all enjoyed any of their previous work, you should not miss this. And if you aren't already slightly obsessed with, say, Jennifer Lawrence you should watch Silver Linings Playbook. and The Hunger Games movies. But not Winter's Bone.
I quite recommend the Divergent trilogy of post-apocalyptic juvenile novels. In fact I like them more than The Hunger Games overall. This is entirely due to Katniss and Tris, in that I didn't like Katniss anymore after part way through book two but I was with Tris all the way through to the end.
Speaking politically about the characters and stories for a moment: Katniss starts off with some agency and sheds most of it through the course of the story. Tris starts off with only a little and takes more and more onto herself. Katniss sacrifices others, often unintentionally. Tris sacrifices herself throughout her story (while sometimes putting others at risk).
Leaving the soapbox I am apprehensive about the Divergent movie coming out soon. I got bad vibes from the trailer .. like The Golden Compass bad.. *shiver*.
The Wolverine and the X-Men show (Netflix) from earlier this century was pretty entertaining, once you give up any thoughts of canon (Since any fan (past or present) of X-Men or superhero comics know canon and continuity only as cruel jokes this should be easy). I actually liked the story they told and mostly buy how the stitched the various characters into it (except Erik who [spoilers redacted]). The only really bad spot is the Japanese visit ... instead see The Wolverine movie which is more fun, and slightly less insulting to intelligence (generally) and Japan's culture.
We haven't finished Hobo With A Shotgun (Rutger Hauer) but it is truly a remarkable thing. I rewatched Four Rooms and even skipping a lot of bits regretted the time overall. Farscape is back on Netflix and so I put it on as background sometimes. Hikaru hasn't come back s no progress there but Trigun is available with real audio and subtitles, fond memories (fan subs were better).
I tried Hulu. It has commercials and the video quality was worse than expected. No sale.
Thanks to an Amazon card (from vendor's Christmas guilt) I've been indulging in Kindle purchases and catching up on my Stross.
I finally read Neptune's Brood and am two-thirds through the re-issue of the first part of The Merchant Princes. In both cases Stross is not only a thrilling and sneaky writer but a terribly educational one .. especially about economics and finance, though certainly political science, history, technology, nuclear physics, and of course the complexities and contradictions of the human condition. Oh and I read Rule 34 the follow-on Liz novel to Halting State which trilogy will not be completed as intended. that one teaches you about depravity and Scots slang, along with the rest.
I made a bit more progress on the Kate Daniels novels by Illona Andrews. They are so much fun and quite clever. Some near-Jim Butcher levels of sneaky seeding of the major plot has been going on ... (I refer to the Dresden Files. Read 'em. Next book is out in May so you have a few months to catchup.) and Kate has ended up with a family whether she wanted one or not.
Courtesy of a silly promotion in October I found out that Audible has some of the The Great Courses series from The Learning Company (as advertised in expensive magazine) and I've been slowly working my way through their mythology lectures: first a relatively quick survey of classical myths and now I'm getting towards the end of a longer, more in-depth course called "Myth in Human History". It's really interesting stuff not only with the individual myths and goddesses but the themes he draws from are wonderful. This course contains units on creation myths, gods and goddesses, heroic mono-myths, and tricksters (so far). Really excellent and thought-provoking. The discussion of the effects of nomads on agricultural societies, and their gods and myths are wonderful and all but forgive the time wasted on Freudian and Jungian 19C gender politics.
Telly? The third American Horror Story is really fun. They seem to have no shame and are taking full advantage of their setting (New Orleans). Lost Girl continues to be more amusing than expected (Netflix through season 3). The Witches of East End
was better than expected and Devious Maids was pretty fun with a few rough spots. We really liked Continuum and are looking forward to more turning up on Netflix. The cop mystery show Life only has two seasons but it is brilliant and ends well .. really well. You should watch it all. Fringe ended up rather well, though it is pretty hard to get through parts of season 4 and5 (She couldn't stay awake to get the intro to the future storyline).
We see almost every episode of the Stewart and Colbert news hour (if not quite on time) and @midnight is actually pretty fun. It's a bit too lively for bedtime, really.
Who? I really enjoyed the 50th anniversary "Day of the Doctor" show and all the little homages and touches. I liked the Christmas special well enough and am curious to see what the new chap will be like and where the writing is going after all of the build-up and , well, timey-whimey plots of the last few companions... We'll see how they do.
How about you lot? What have you enjoyed reading, watching, browsing, or falling asleep to of late?