Sunday, December 26, 2010

Flash Fiction/Dawn Treader Review

Yay! Some people still read my blog!

I had two requests on the comments section of my last post, but I'm welcome to more!

First, Q said succinctly, "Flash fiction."

My opinion on flash fiction...I have to confess that I had to go look it up on Urban Dictionary because I had no idea what it was! defines flash fiction as "A style of fiction writing characterized by intensity and brevity. Usually under a page in length."

With that being said, I would have to say that my opinion on it would probably vary with the different pieces I would read. It would probably be similar to my love/mostly hate relationship with free verse.
I love the idea of telling a story in six words or less, so I might like some flash fiction, but I would have to read more of it before I could really have an opinioin.
(by the way Q, if you know some good flash fiction on the internet, I'd love to read it.)

Moving on to Countess Madeline's request: "Hello! I think you should write a full review of Dawn Treader. I'd like to see your thoughts on the film."

Countess, are you sure you want to open that floodgate? All right, here we go!

As I said in my last post to start out, I thought it was an all right film, but a terrible adaptation.
Going into the movie, I had a somewhat optimistic view. Though we had received conflicting reports in the news about making the movie, I thought that changes made to the film couldn't ruin it overall for me.
They could.
Watching the movie, I felt like the writers of the script were high the entire time they wrote it and didn't really care about the integrity of the themes of the book. The convoluted mess of an adaptation tried to go for a more "epic" Harry Potter type film, but in doing that, it felt like a cheap fantasy film made for young children with a mindless story and shallow characters. (for the most part)

This review by glumPuddle on NarniaWeb expresses most of my frustrations well, and though I wouldn't go so far to say that I won't look forward to the next film (if it is made) I will be more pessimistic about it.

With all that negativity out of the way, I will say there are some things that I did enjoy about the film.

(spoilers will probably follow)

1. The look of the actual Dawn Treader ship I really, really loved. The purple sail was all I had hoped it would be, and the whole ship was beautiful. With that being said, I wish they had had more sweeping majestic shots of it.
2. Will Poulter's performance as Eustace. Try as they might, they couldn't ruin him for me.
3. Eustace's relationship with Reepicheep.
4. Caspian with facial hair. (ok, that's not super important to the film, but I felt like it was one of the more redeeming qualities of it)
5. The one part in the movie I can think of with verbatim words from the book where Aslan says that in our world, he has another name, and that the children must learn to know him by that name. That part....made me cry. (in a good way)

There was probably more that I enjoyed, but those are the main good qualities. (in my opinion)
Now to the really bad....
The really bad, I thought, for the most part wasn't was they put in, but what was left out.

The whole "quest" thing....ok, I'm going to skip the whole part about the seven swords to defeat the green smoke thing. I wouldn't have minded it so much had there not been a total lack of the true purpose of the voyage. (in the book) The true purpose of the voyage in the book was about the honor of finding the seven lords and fulfilling an oath and about the longing for Aslan's Country.
In the movie...there was hardly any of that.

When I think about it, I can't understand the thought process for alot of the scenes that they ruined or left out entirely. For most of the instances, they took something incredibly clever and meaningful and dumbed it down to fit the formula of a typical action movie.
For excample, the whole scene at the Lone Islands and slave traders was completely ruined. Instead of the clever plot to reclaim power without any fighting whatsoever, what do the script writers do? Make it an action scene.
Another example: the irony about how Reepicheep figured out how to defeat the sea serpent? Completely lost.
And though the Dark Island was creepy and all with the poor spirits sacrificed to ol' Smokey, (good to know he lived beyond the crappy ending of Lost) it never truly scared me like the Dark Island did in the book. I don't remember exacly what they said in the movie, (something to the effect of thoughts becoming realities) but that doesn't have the psychological impact of this exchange: (this is not the exact exchange, but I don't have the book in front of me at the moment)

Lord Rhoop: We must sail! Turn back! This is the island where dreams come true!
Capt. Drinian: What could possibly be the matter with an island where dreams come true?
Rhoop: No, no, not dreams as in fantasies or daydreams, but dreams. Dreams! Nightmares!

Listening to the dramatized version when I was a kid, I remember there was a blood-curdling pause before everyone sprang into action to get the heck out of Dodge. It scared the living daylight out of me.
Whereas the movie, it was somewhat creepy, but then Edmund says something to the effect of, "Oops! I thought about a sea serpent! We're screwed!" and the scene goes right back to its intended direction of action, action, action.

This probably sounds more like a rant than a review, so if it's not your cup of tea, I apologize.

Closing thoughts: for me, the bad outweighed the good. Prince Caspian managed to be a great adaptation (with its few quirks) as well as a great film, and I felt that Dawn Treader had so much potential to be great (it is, after all, one of my favorites of the books) but as a building is only as good as its foundation, to some extent, a movie is only as good as its script, and this one was bad.

If anyone would care to give his opinion, please comment! Once I wrote a controversial post about Lord of the Rings that had about twenty comments of back and forth debate, and I loved it.

Next time on Cease Repining: to balance out a negative review with a positive, Lady Brainsample will write about Tron: Legacy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Poor Blog.......

....has been abandoned for months. I know.

I have excuses, but probably nobody wants to hear them. College, theater, tae kwon do, etcetera.

Assorted thoughts:
Mockinjay was great, but I liked the first two books better.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie was a TERRIBLE adaptation of the book, but an ok movie.

Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead=Awesome movie.

Wonders if putting the status, "I really miss being a hooker..." would result in something bad.
Those of you who don't know, I played Violet in the play It's a Wonderful Life last month. You say, "I didn't think she was a hooker!"
Well, in the play version's alternate world she is. And it was very fun/challenging to play a sexy character and actually get to attempt to seduce George on stage.
Hence the status.

I would really like to start writing on my blog again, so if anyone has any requests for rants, reviews, or other such scribblings, please comment!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


"Getting Married Today" from Company....I need to learn this.

This version with Madeline Kahn is also excellent.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A New EJC Film...

When a witch gets into trouble with the IRS, what lengths will she go to in order to pay off her debt?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Rant about Twilight.....

I found a new aspect of Twilight to....dislike.

For years and years, we geeks have always had mixed feelings about books being made into movies. We're picky about how something is adapted, and often have rants about how such-and-such aspect was not true to the book, and how they really didn't need to cut whatever scene, or how they ruined some sort of character.

Now, the people that told us to shut up about things that could have been better about Lord of the Rings (movies) because they were so busy with Orlando Bloom's dreamy eyes are the same people who get annoyed with the Twilight movies because they omitted certain scenes or didn't portray a character "properly."

Good. Grief.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Few little issues...
1. What's up with lightsaber version of Rhindon?
2. What's going on with the shots of Peter and Susan seemingly in Narnian gear?
3. Oh, no...don't give us another deal like Peter in PC with Edmund. You do NOT mess with Edmund.
4. The White Witch where she doesn't belong...again? Hmm.....
5. Caspian with a beard: I like.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Character Interaction Thingie

Those who are long-time readers of my blog may recognize the main idea of this post, because I've posted this interaction exercise thing before.
But hey, self-plagiarism is style as Alfred Hitchcock said, and I felt like doing it again with different characters.

Write down the first ten book characters who come to mind. Try not to use more than one character from any given book.

Character 1: Sam from Lord of the Rings
Character 2: Caspian from PC and VotDT
Character 3: Ender from Ender's Game, etc.
Character 4: Peeta from the Hunger Games
Character 5: Justin from Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Character 6: Charles Wallace from a Wrinkle in Time
Character 7: The Scarlet Pimpernel from...well, guess
Character 8: Archie from the Nero Wolf books
Character 9: Jo from Little Women
Character 10: Erik from Phantom of the Opera

Now answer the following questions, based on the characters you wrote down above. Absolutely no going back to change the characters you've chosen!

Characters 4 through 10 are on Survivor. Who gets voted off the island first? Perhaps Archie because no one appreciates his witty commentary on everyone else.

What are the chances of characters 1 (Sam) and 8 (Archie) falling in love with each other? Nil to none.

Character 2 and character 3 get into a cat fight. Who wins and why? Though I can't imagine why Caspian and Ender would get into a fight, I would say Ender.

Of the other nine characters, who is character 7 (The Scarlet Pimpernel) most likely to have a crush on? Probably Jo.
What would happen if character 4 (Peeta) got turned into a vampire? Well, then the Hunger Games books wouldn't be the Hunger Games books, they'd be called Twilight...

Two of the characters are twins separated at birth. Which two are they? Erik and the Scarlet Pimpernel
Characters 1, 2, 3, and 9 are stuck in an elevator. What do they do to pass the time? It'd be very uncomfortable for Ender and Caspian, considering they were in a cat fight earlier. Because of that animosity, Sam would get fidgety, and Jo would just read a book.

What would happen if character 8 and character 5 were roommates? Justin is a I don't think Archie would even realize he was Justin's roommate.

What do character 10 (Erik) and character 6 (Charles Wallace) have in common? they are both very, very smart.

I tag...whoever wants to do this.

Monday, June 14, 2010

54~Emily Dickinson

I should not dare to leave my friend,
Because - because if he should die
While I was gone - and I - too late
Should reach the Heart that wanted me -

If I should disappoint the eyes
That hunted - hunted so - to see -
And could not bear to shut until
They "noticed" me - they noticed me -

If I should stab the patient faith
So sure I'd come - so sure I'd come -
It listening - listening - went to sleep -
Telling my tardy name -

My Heart would wish it broke before -
Since breaking then - since breaking then -
Were useless as next morning's sun -
Where midnight frosts - had lain!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A New Blooper Film! Late, I Know...

I finally uploaded our blooper film from the day we shot Doting on Your, presenting,

The Annoyed Director Episode III: The Phantom Minutes.

DISCLAIMER: As always, I'm never quite sure if putting the video on the blog is going to squish it, so it's probably a good idea to click on the video to view it in a new window.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Lameness of LOST

First a general note, if there's anyone left who actually reads this blog, I apologize profusely for not staying regular on my blog. I've noticed that I've lost about five followers, probably because of this fact. I wish to get back in the habit of posting stuff, so even though most of my readers don't watch Lost, I will post about the finale because that is what has been on my mind recently. If you don't watch Lost, skip to the end of this article because I discuss some other stuff that has nothing to do with the show.

The finale of Lost....oh.....dear.........
The week after the finale aired, every day our family would stomp around, then jump on a soapbox and make a loud tirade about some aspect or another, and then make the resolution to stop thinking/talking about because it was making us mad.....this article is bascially a compilation of our best tirades. (except for a bit at the end that has to do with EJC and blogging issues/reader involvement.)

Spoiler alert, as always...

First, the positive. I really enjoyed the episode as an episode. I really loved the character resolutions, and I loved that the great couples (i.e., Charlie and Claire, Sawyer and Juliet, Sayid and Shannon, Desmond and Penny, and Daniel and Charlotte) had a resolution, and they ended up together. I also loved that in the "sideways" (second life, heaven before heaven, whatever the frak you want to call it) Ben had a great relationship with Alex and his father, and he had a happier time of it than in the....pre-life, or whatever you want to call it.
Basically, I enjoyed all the individual character driven moments and strory arcs of the episode.

Now, the bad.....
The writers lied to us. They said at the beginning of the series when everybody theorized it was purgatory that the Island had nothing to do with purgatory. So now that the whole point of the show is that they make a new afterlife and then pass into "nirvana" together or whatever, it makes all the great science-fiction of the show pointless!!!!!!!
What's the point?!
What's the point of the electromagnetism?
What's the point of the time travel?
What's the point of the Dharma Initiative?
What's the point of pregnant women on the Island dying?
What's the point of moving the Island?
What's the point of having Jacob and the Man in Black?
What's the point of the hieroglyphics and all the Egyptian mythology?
What's the point of Walt's "powers"?
What's the point of Jacob's cabin?

"Ok," you may answer, "but the show was never about that. It was always about the characters."

Yes and no....yes, the show was about the characters, and that was a major draw for the series, but if you're going to make a character based drama, don't add all the cool sci-fi stuff to hook in the geeks (like me...) then not come to answers or a point with it.
If Lost were a character only based drama, they could have made it in one or two seasons. Put 'em on the Island, resolve their problems, either get rescued or not. End of story. But instead they made all these awesome mysteries which then became immaterial.
Like Dad said, "They ditched the sci-fi crowd and hung us out to dry."
And who was it that stuck with them during the tedium of Seasons 2 and 4??? The geeks. Because we thought they knew where they were going and that how they got there would make sense in the end.

Now I can't go back and watch the whole series and see how the finale makes sense with the rest of the series, because it doesn't!!!
If I may compare the ending of Lost to Battlestar Galactica, Battlestar was a great story that made sense the entire way through. They were humanity fighting to survive against the cylons, and they were always searching for Earth to settle. That was always the overlying story arc, and the finale MADE SENSE to support that story arc.

Anyway, I thought the episode was good, but terrible for an ending. It was a cop-out that left me underwhelmed and disappointed because it went in a completely different direction than the rest of the series.

So, if there's anyone left reading this article at all, because I will now have no reason to post about Lost, does anybody have any suggestions or requests of stuff they would like me to post about? I'd like to get back into blogging seriously again.
Namarie, dear blogger friends,
Lady Brainsample

P.S. By the way, if any of you are on facebook and watch my films, we have a fanpage/like page, whatever it's called these days; just search for EJC Productions, and it should come up. Danke!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Nice Going, Big Brother

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lost: Reduced

The Reduced Shakespeare Company (if you haven't seen the Complete Works of William Shakespeare Reduced, you MUST) did a promotional video for Lost: Season 6 and it ROCKS.
It's five seasons of Lost done in 10 minutes. With that said, if your internet stinks, you may not want to try to watch this video because it's very long.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dream Roles/Other Theater Stuff

Stolen from the lovely Aria of an Amateur:

Dream Roles I Could Play (conceivably)
Jane from the Jane Eyre musical
the Lady of the Lake from Spamalot
Essie from You Can't Take it With You
Lucy from Jekyll and Hyde
Fantine from Les Miserables
Mrs. Lovett from Sweeney Todd (I'm not sure whether this goes on the list under this because I'm not old enough for Mrs. Lovett, but I'll leave her here for now)
There are more than that, but those are the main ones.

Dream Roles I'm Not Right for but I'd Love to Play
Christine/Carlotta from Phantom of the Opera
Eponine from Les Mis

Dream Roles I've Played
Miss Hannigan in Annie
(there's only one because I'm counting a "dream role" as a part I've wanted to play before I knew of a production somewhere I could audition for. If that makes sense.)

And I'm adding a new category:
Roles I've Played that Became Dream Roles
Helen Smith from Reserve Two for Murder
Myrtle Mae Simmons from Harvey
Alexander from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

In other theater news, Harvey is over, (*sigh*) but I am on the play selection committee for the next season and might also possibly get to assistant direct something.

Does anyone know anything about the Crucible (Arthur Miller) or Picnic (William Inge, I think)? And does anyone have opinions on a Streetcar Named Desire?

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Ranty Post About Star Trek and Spiderman

So....yeah...remember this movie? Star Trek: The Reboot? Which was so brilliant because instead of having die-hard fans annoyed at any detail that wasn't correct, just had a time-travel alternate universe thing so none of it mattered? Yeah.

Apparently, Sony is trying to make Spiderman 4 into a "Reboot." Which, I might add, was ORIGINALLY an idea from Damon Lindelof and J. J. Abrams!!!

And besides, the idea of a reboot MADE SENSE for Star Trek because of the story with the alternate universe concept. What are the Spiderman people going to do? COMPLETELY COPY THAT???

Plus, they're not planning to use Tobey Maguire, which is a BIG mistake in my book. I mean, he IS Peter Parker. Getting someone else to play Spiderman would be like getting someone other than Harrison Ford to play Han Solo.

(please excuse this ranty post. I had to get it out.)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunset Boulevard

One of my favorite actors sings one of my favorite songs from what is becoming one of my favorite musicals based on one of my favorite movies.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Complete and Utter Brilliance

These kids prove, as my mother said, that there may be hope for my generation after all. They did what we've thought about attempting to do. I'll first show the real version, then the video I'm talking about.

*Dance of Joy*

LOST defeated the State of the Union.

Damon and Carlton interview.

I can't wait for the premiere....

If only I didn't have rehearsal that night...

Let's just say I'll be getting out of there pretty quickly as soon as it's over...

In the mean time, I'll listen to Pop! Goes My Heart, Wonderwall, and X-Files theme song remixes to make me feel better.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Doting on Your Absence

EJC's most ambitious project to date is finally complete!!! What starts off to be a serious filming of Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again soon turns into a fiasco in this two-part piece featuring the return of the Famous Producer, Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, and lots of humor!

EDIT: My films are filmed in widescreen, so they may show up squashed on the blog. Clicking again on the video to view it directly on youtube is recommended.

In other news, whilst accomplishing the above project, we finally had the Official EJC convention, which was the first time that all of the current members had ever gotten all together. We also got a cool picture....