labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
[personal profile] labellementeuse
Happy New Year! You can check out my annual stuff I read last year post if you want.

In other news, Yuletide is upon us once again! I had a really really fabulous time doing Yuletide this year actually, including a couple of desperation writing parties with the Yulecops of Twitter that were both delightful social occasions and also really good at cudgeling me into action. I ended up being really proud of the thing that I wrote, not that it's necessarily all that great shakes but it was something new for me - new fandom, new pairing I'd never really thought about before, and new sensation of ... feeling like I could really see the development in my writing from my older Yuletide fic?

Dispatches (4644 words) by labellementeuse
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Dorothea Callum/Nancy Blackett
Characters: Dorothea Callum, Nancy Blackett, Peggy Blackett, Titty Walker

Do come up and visit me next time you get a bit of leave. Love, Nancy.

I received two fics that I really loved in Gentleman Bastards, an incredibly tough fandom that I'm truly awed anyone could offer. The two pieces are very different, which reflects the breadth in tone of the canon and also obviously makes for a couple of awesome gifts.

a glass poured to air (1717 words) by Raven
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Gentleman Bastard Sequence - Scott Lynch
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Sabetha Belacoros/Locke Lamora, Locke Lamora/Jean Tannen
Characters: Locke Lamora, Sabetha Belacoros, Jean Tannen,
Additional Tags: Spoilers, The Republic of Thieves
Summary: Redacted for spoilers

This is very spoilery for Republic of Thieves and I don't want to cut this so I'm not going to say much more but a great follow-up to that book if you needed a breather after it. It incorporates a number of things about the Jean-Locke and Locke-Sabetha relationships that I really love and has a brief passage about one of the things I find most intriguing about Locke, his relationship with religion.

The Goddess of Suffering Scam (4266 words) by Edonohana
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Gentleman Bastard Sequence - Scott Lynch
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Jean Tannen, Father Chains, Locke Lamora, Calo Sanza, Galdo Sanza
Additional Tags: Don't Have to Know Canon, No Spoilers, Con Artists

In the early days of the Gentleman Bastards, Locke impersonates a self-flagellating acolyte of the Goddess of Suffering, and Jean stands by as the muscle in case the mark catches on. You know what they say about the best-laid plans.

Completely different in tone to the other fic and yet, like the other fic, also totally like canon! This is a fun little caper fic, not at all spoilery, set during the gang's childhood/teenage years in Camorr. It's vicious, violent and fun in just the way canon can be - I particularly loved the flagellating apparatus, which fits SO seamlessly into Camorr.

For other recs, I'm still barely anywhere with my reading (I have about fifty open tabs in a special Yuletide window) but my recs I'm bookmarking on the AO3 here. I particularly commend the Rivers of London fic, which is excellent, and the Merlin Conspiracy fic, which had one thing I really disliked but was a very interesting and thoughtful fic that you definitely need to know canon for but is very rewarding if you do. I'm really impressed by people's ability to add to that canon which I think is awfully tricky.

Finally, I saw Desolation of Smaug the other day.

I liked this much more than An Unexpected Journey although, where with An Unexpected Journey there were several bits that I thought were great adaptations and several bits that I thought were awful, with DoS there was nothing that I thought was really good but also much less that I thought was really bad. Overall, I just think Peter Jackson added too many fistfights and extraneous plotlines. Of the extra plotlines (Tauriel, Tauriel/Legolas, the Laketown politics, the necromancer plotline) I would have kept a good bit of Tauriel and most of the Laketown politics (which are in the book but sort of sketched out retrospectively), cut the necromancer down a shitload (reduced it to hints and mysteries) and, honestly, reduced Legolas to a cameo. I like Legolas a lot, I really enjoy the way you can see how he's going to develop into the person he is at the beginning of Fellowship of the Rings, but the extended fight scene/revenge plot with the stupid orc drove me mad. Getting a named/recognisable orc or two in LOTR really worked; I just find it frustrating in the Hobbit because SO MANY EXTRA UNNECESSARY FIGHT SCENES. The Hobbit isn't an action movie; it's a heist movie! Or, well, it should be, but PJ is definitely, definitely making an action movie.

It's also frustrating to me to see Beorn reduced to a confused thirty seconds while introducing, e.g., the twenty-minute dash-around inside the Lonely Mountain. I understand that Beorn, like Tom Bombadil, is basically extraneous to ... everything (actually he's probably super crucial in the Silmarillion which I haven't read whatever) ... but, well, so is Tauriel. And Legolas' orc grudge match DEFINITELY is. Tauriel at least adds something (ovaries). The Beorn passage is probably my favourite bit in any Lord of the Rings book and it chafed at me a bit to see it done so very badly. The way he's introduced, Gandalf just straight-up expositing his entire story ... ehh. The barrel-roll fight scene (which while so super Jacksonian I still kinda liked) could have lost a few minutes to do Beorn properly.

Smaug. I liked Bilbo with Smaug a lot. I thought the Smaug fight scene was entirely unnecessary and I didn't understand why the timeline was SO compressed. They can take a couple of days to sneak around, for crying out loud.

Bard. He was fine.

Tauriel. What a babe. Romance plotline is idiotic. Did you notice that when she's holding hands with Kili her hand is half the size of his? HELLO. HE'S A DWARF. HER HANDS ARE BIGGER THAN HIS.

The additional Kili plotline ... just ... why ...

tl;dr I'm frustrated at the extraneous crap Jackson is putting in these movies in order to justify the fact that he turned my favourite childhood book into three movies of Greek tragedy when really it's a heist book with a Greek tragedy underpinning its plot. I understand that to Jackson the Hobbit is a Lord of the Rings prequel; but to me, the Lord of the Rings is a Hobbit sequel. You can have the tragic elements without adding in what he's adding in, the Lord of the Rings are already very very long movies, they didn't NEED a nine-hour prequel, damn.

Date: 2014-01-04 11:46 pm (UTC)
genusshrike: Icon of a magpie perched against a backdrop of the stars. (Default)
From: [personal profile] genusshrike
They can take a couple of days to sneak around, for crying out loud.

That's one of the things I find so frustrating, that they feel the need to compress the timeline as well as make it non-stop action. You don't actually need to show everything – you can skip the boring bits, sure. But let things take their time.

Otherwise the viewer starts to wonder when the characters get to go to the toilet. (Or maybe that's just what happens when you're stuck in a movie theatre for three hours ...)


labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
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