Follow orphan Eva on a trip to mystical Prague in Alchemy Mysteries: Prague Legends. After a relative's mysterious death, Eva inherits an ancient house in Prague. Knowing nothing about her past, she goes looking for answers. There she uncovers secrets about the house, her family and an insidious plan of the black alchemist. A wonderful and dangerous adventure is about to begin. Are you ready?
Sounds pretty run of the mill, right? And then today I got around to playing it. ( Read more... )
by Pierre Christin, (based on the comic book series "Valerian and Laureline" by), Jean-Claude Mézières (based on the comic book series "Valerian and Laureline" by), and Luc Besson (screenplay) EuropaCorp
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is bad.
It is so bad that it made me actually angry.
It is so bad that I got bored and would have left were it not for my viewing companion who insists on never leaving a movie. Never have I been presented with something so visually enticing that is also so very, very boring.
When my husband came home and asked me what the movie is about, I told him that despite having spent two hours and seventeen minutes watching it I was not sure how to answer that question. I shall try to answer it for you, Dear Bitches, because that is My Job.
Valerian is loosely based on a comic book series called Valerian and Laureline, which is full of fun, humor, and excitement and, unlike this movie, totally devoid of workplace sexual harassment. In the movie, Valerian and Laureline are agents for some human military organization. They do daring things for reasons that are unclear. Eventually they have to save a group of pearlescent humanoids (whom I hereby name The Pearl People) whose planet was destroyed by an Evil Military. The plot is sort of like Avatar, only less subtle in its message (image that for a moment) — not that a message of “It’s wrong to commit genocide” is a bad message. It’s just obvious. Along the way there are a million tangents, none of which make any sense.
I truly thought that all I required from this movie was that it be pretty, but it turns out that I have to be able to care about someone or something in the movie to be entertained. Valerian is being compared to The Fifth Element and to Jupiter Ascending, two brilliantly beautiful movies that were as otherwise as dumb as a bag of hair.
However, The Fifth Element had the criminally underrated Milla Jovovich as Leeloo, a character who was both funny, a little scary, and incredibly endearing, and it had funny, memorable moments that have made it a long-term favorite.
Note: At this point, my dear friend Heather, who copy edits my posts, stepped in to say, “What? The Fifth Element wasn’t dumb – it was AWESOME. It was complex. It had MOOL-TI-PASS. It’s one of my favorite movies.” Discuss amongst yourselves.
Meanwhile, Jupiter Ascending was, empirically speaking, a terrible movie, but the actors hurled themselves into it with so much energy that it was fun. Of course mileage will vary here, but Mila Kunis attacking cleaning toilets and shooting bad guys with equal verve made the movie so bad it was wonderful.
In this movie there’s nothing to care about, although I was fond of The Pearl People because they seemed to be nice to each other. Valerian is supposed to be a rogue who later has a conflict where he’s all, “I’m a soldier and I follow orders” which…what? Since when? He’s supposed to be charming but alas he is not. He’s supposed to be hiding vulnerabilities but he must be hiding them pretty damn well. He’s not a brooding bad boy or a charming rogue. He’s just a very bland jerk.
Laureline seems to be going for deadpan but it just comes off as kind of dead. The bits that are clearly supposed to funny aren’t. There’s no excitement because there’s no reason to care about the outcome. It’s a romance, but the stars have no chemistry, not to mention the fact that Valerian basically sexually harasses Laureline all the time.
Fun fact: The Pearl People are introduced in an idyllic scene in which a character wakes up, pets her adorable pet, goes outside to the beach, and twirls around like a Disney Princess. My daughter leaned over and whispered, “If she starts singing, I swear to God…” Sadly, she did not sing, she just wafts about emanating “I’M SO HAPPY I’M CLEARLY DOOMED” signals.
The only people in this movie that seem to be having a great time are Ethan Hawke and Rihanna. Rihanna does a whole pole dance thing during which we can contemplate how hot she is (empirically speaking – very hot) but given that Rihanna is playing a sex slave named Bubbles, what the fucking hell with the sexy dance, people? Also, in the future, are we really going to have the exact same sexy nurse and sexy schoolgirl fetish outfits that you can buy today around Halloween? SEX SLAVERY IS NOT SEXY. It will shock no one to hear that Bubbles, who describes herself as an illegal immigrant, makes an epic sacrifice so that Valerian can get in touch with his feelings.
This is a movie in which a character has to stick a giant jellyfish onto her head for Reasons and is subsequently kidnapped by rainbow butterflies. You guys know I love shit like that, right? There’s a pirate named Bob who has a submarine. There are killer robots. The fact that someone put all this money and time and passion into a project which includes all these wonderful elements and then somehow made it boring enrages me. I feel personally offended.
I’m going to give this movie a total pass on the basic laws of physics and astronomy and biology, but I still have questions. For starters, why must Laureline’s boobs, whether in a bikini top or in the stupidest armor ever, constantly be in the center of the screen (compare to how women’s faces are in the center of the screen in Mad Max: Fury Road). Why are two agents who are supposed to be great at working with aliens so fucking racist all the time? Why does everyone, even CGI characters, seem slightly sedated? Why aren’t Valerian and Laureline even a little bit upset that their colleagues are eaten by a giant space dog?
Here’s my advice. Save your two hours. Time is precious. Watch the teaser trailer, which is incredible and also short. Look at images online. Check out a behind-the-scenes art book. Read the comics. Also, if you can, watch the opening of the movie, which takes the viewer through the early days of space exploration by humans to the time period in which Valerian is set. This sequence is simple, yet cleverly done, and truly moving. It also manages to convey a lot of information simply. If only the rest of the movie had accomplished the same.
I have one thought about the trailer for the upcoming movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and that thought is: “Dat is purty.” I’ll be reviewing the movie, and I know it’s important to approach the film with an open mind. However, I strongly suspect that my movie review will also boil down to: “Dat is purty.” In keeping with this theme, my review of the first Valerian graphic novel The City of Shifting Waters, originally printed in installments starting in 1968, is “Dat is purty.” Also, this comic is seriously and delightfully insane.
Valerian and Laureline is a French comic book series that was first published in 1967 and ran until 2010. The City of Shifting Waters is the second story arc, but the first to be collected in graphic novel form. This story is without a doubt the most late 1960’s thing in the history of all late 1960’s things (Laureline literally wears flowers in her hair), but it’s also eerily appropriate to 2017 since it deals with global warming (caused by the explosion of a hydrogen bomb depot at the North Pole) and a flooded, tropical, abandoned New York City.
I’ll let Valerian’s boss explain the plot:
Galaxity’s only political prisoner, the dangerous Xombul, has escaped. That madman who wanted to dislocate our society to become its dictator is now free. The worst thing is that he got his hands on one of our spatio-temporal ships and is moving around history freely. If he gets it into his head to modify our past, our civilization’s very existence is uncertain…He showed up in New York in 1986…and you’re going to follow him there.
Either phrases like “spatio-temporal ships” are music to your ears or they aren’t, and if they aren’t, this is not your series. It seems that the years from 1986 to the 24th century are “a mysterious era.” Most of civilization was wiped out in the disaster caused by the hydrogen depot’s demise (which happened in 1986). So Valerian and Laureline, two spatio-temporal agents, have to head into the unknown of past Earth to capture Xombul. This involves a tsunami, killer robots, and a guy named Sun Rae who runs a criminal organization and plays the flute. At one point Laureline gets shrunk (she gets better), and at another point everyone ends up running through Yellowstone National Park while yelling, “THE ROBOTS ARE COMING!” It’s space opera crossed with, one suspects but cannot confirm, a lot of LSD.
The art is both busy and stunning. Prepare yourself for sensory overload. The images of a New York strangled with vegetation are haunting. The hovercraft escape from New York looks and feels like it’s actually in motion. Yellowstone is a hellscape of bubbling lava. Youdon’t get nuanced facial expressions, but you do get exquisitely detailed and surrealistic landscapes.
This is not a romance comic. Valerian and Laureline have a strictly platonic relationship and as far as I know their relationship stayed that way all the way through the comic’s run. According to Wikipedia, the longer the comic ran the more progressive it became. “The City of Shifting Waters” has a shrinking, furious Laureline saying “This kind of thing always happens to the girls!” but it also gives her a lot to do, including being a crack shot. According, again, to my beloved Wikipedia without which I’d have no career, Laureline advances from sidekick to a more equal footing in “The Land Without Stars.”
I can’t review the entire series based on one story arc, because the series evolved over time. What I can say is that “The City of Shifting Waters” is goofy fun in the old Buck Rogers sense. The plot isn’t very interesting (they chase a bad guy), and the characters are pretty basic, but the visuals are incredible. It’s a joyride through space and time made excellent by fine art!
At long last, the new LoK graphic novel that picks up directly where the animated series left off.
This was meant to arrive at my local comic shop on Wednesday, and I had basically blocked off a whole evening to have FEELINGS ... only the shipment was delayed, so I wound up staying longer than planned at a work function, accordingly drank more wine than intended, and ended up listening to Hamilton and texting my mother about the American Revolution.
Then the book arrived yesterday Thursday, and I'm not saying I was so excited I had a blood sugar crash as soon as I had finished it, but I did have to make an emergency stop at my local for a burrito and a pint of cider, and spent much of that meal frantically texting my friends.
Thursday's headlines about Trump and the military made for a fairly hellish day in the old brain weasel cage. I want to say that I love and support all my beautiful trans and genderqueer friends. You are valued and your friendship is treasured, and I am glad that you're here. I am proud to know you. <3
multifandomdrabble was so much fun! I posted my fics yesterday but I wanted to also link my gifts. I got lovely stuff!
Royal Circuit (100 words) by Trismegistus Chapters: 1/1 Fandom: Captive Prince - C. S. Pacat Rating: General Audiences Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply Relationships: Damen/Laurent (Captive Prince) Characters: Damen (Captive Prince), Laurent (Captive Prince) Additional Tags: Teasing, Established Relationship, Fluff Summary:
A New Hobby (100 words) by Isis Chapters: 1/1 Fandom: Lord John Series - Diana Gabaldon Rating: General Audiences Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply Characters: Lord John Grey, Stephan von Namtzen Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Fusion, Stealth Crossover, Drabble Summary:
Lord John Grey visits Waldesruh again, and learns about Stephan von Namtzen's latest obsession.
Never alone (100 words) by Kayim Chapters: 1/1 Fandom: Warehouse 13 Rating: General Audiences Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply Relationships: Claudia Donovan/The Warehouse Additional Tags: Drabble Summary:
Claudia can feel the Warehouse wherever she is.
That was a seriously fun exchange - low-key, easy to fill, easy to treat, easy to read. Would definitely drabble again.
Thanks to nanodownunder and Camp NaNo, I've got a first draft of my wipbigbang. It came in at 48K (of POI Sentinel/Guide AU) Now I need to squish out the word bloat, edit it, and, um, find an Ameripicker. (Any volunteers? It's Root/Shaw, Harold/John, and my basic plan was this: "There are sentinels and guides. They touch each other on the face gently. A lot.")
I've been writing and writing and writing, and I'm 3K away from my 25K Camp NaNo total, but I'm floundering because I finished my main project, and my back-up project. I guess I should write some more 15kisses fics.
Also, I am trying to do nominations for femslashex. Nom nom nom!!
Writing! It's haaaaard but somehow words keep coming out of my fingertips like silly string.
- from rahirah, Photobucket alternatives. (Omg, my profile is a mess. I need to fix it. Not that I've been using photobucket of late, but I don't change my profile much. FFS, photobucket, did you learn nothing from the delicious debacle?)
- From Mental Floss, 15 Things You Might Not Know About Nighthawks. (The painting, not the bird. This was interesting to me, but there's weird capitalisation of headers in this article. I can't stop looking at it now that I've noticed it.)
- Migaloo the white whale is back on the east coast of Australia. He has a twitter! migaloo1. I'm always glad when he shows up, because it means he's evaded whaling ships again.
Speaking of mocking insta-culture, I was struck by the algorithm, and now my insta is No. Fun. At. All. I know why they did it, and if I were a business using Insta to promote myself, the algorithm would be great. I could overloook the ads, but the lack of chronological feed is killing it for me. I like the posts of people I know, because I want to say "Hey, I like this!" but then that prioritises their posts over the stuff I just ogle for teh pretteh. And it's kinda creepy the way the thing is measuring the time I spend looking at stuff. Though I did find this article interesting, about the formation of insta-pods to game the algorithm: Instagram influencers use comment collusion to game the algorithm.
- Five ways with pesto (For all you people overwhelmed with basil. Or beetroot. The beetroot one is so pretty!!)
- International Drone Photography contest. (There's not much info about the individual photos, unfortunately. There's an image in here that looks like animal harm - men with spears surrounding a fleecy thing - but I did a bit of research and it's from this festival in Spain: La Vijanera. It's a guy dressed up as a monstrous bear aka the embodiment of evil.)
At some point in your life you're given a choice. It's a pivotal choice. You can change the entire course of your life with it. Life or death, glory or ruin, good or evil. Which will you choose? Hopefully it's the right decision.
This meme is for the concept of choice and your characters making decisions. Say there's a point in canon where they're given a choice and they take one. What would happen if they took the other? What would change? Would things go better or worse? Explore at your leisure. Alternatively, come up with a new choice to make. Which is more likely? Which is more exciting? Explore both in different threads if you want! No one can tell which is the right decision but you.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
• Top level your character. Include any details you might think are relevant. Or don't. As always, we're not the cops. • Reply to other people's top levels! • Have fun!
The stakes, whatever they may be, are high. Most likely, the apocalypse is looming on the horizon: giant aliens are attacking, giant monsters are attacking, an oppressive government is threatening a rise, or game with real-world consequences. Humanity has only one hope in the form of giant robots. Somehow, it's been decided that you are one of the choice few who will be able to pilot such a massive machine, whether though destiny, skill, or birth.
But you won't be alone. These mechs require two pilots - two pilots in complete compatible tandem or "drift," and not just anyone will do. So there is only one perfect match for you. This process cannot be a blunder. The lives of billions are counting on it.
The mech is a part of you both, becoming this way via neural interfaces and tech, so you must be in synch perfectly in thoughts and memories...and in physicality. You see, the robots run off the power of sexual contact between pilots, in the cockpit. The two must become one. Training, of course, is encouraged; you must get used to being with each other and with getting residual emotions, fantasies, and feelings. Outside sex and intimacy is expected, though you may not have the same equipment or suits on your person as you do in your mech.
Still, whether you're finding your perfect co-pilot, training, in the heat of battle, or taking care of each other after the fight, all moments matter. One wrong step, and your apocalypse will be right as scheduled, right on the dot.
How to Play
Comment with your character, information, preferences, and any ideas you have.
The prompts are in the meme.
You can play it as straight or fast and loose. Feel free to be inspired or use other tidbits of mecha tropes.
So, if you will recall, I am still learning Attic Greek.
All the chapters have stories, and the chapter I have just gotten to has the story of Odysseus and the cyclops. And I was excited because, hey, I know where this is going, right? Wily Odysseus is going to tell the cyclops that his name is no one, so that when he stabs him, and the other cyclopses (this just in: I don't know how to pluralize this word) ask him who did it, he says no one did it? Right? Right? It's the sort of story that leaves an impression on you when you are a small child learning about the classical world and you are also a giant language nerd and therefore it sticks with you that he says his name is no one ahahaha so great. Right?
The book had previously taught me possessives. It had previously taught me the word for "name" (onoma). And THIS VERY CHAPTER it taught me how to say "no one." (Apparently not the right word for "no one," Lysimache is telling me, but I didn't know that at the time.)
So I was excited. I thought I knew what was coming. It had given me ALL THE WORDS. I was READY for MY FAVORITE PART OF THIS STORY.
And then it... didn't happen.
The cyclops (and for some reason there is only one cyclops) asks Odysseus who he is and where he's from. He says they're Achaeans sailing home from Troy. He... doesn't give him any kind of name. When he stabs the cyclops, there is no clever dialogue. It's just a fight! The book thought it was important to tell me the gruesome way the cyclops murders some of Odysseus' companions by bashing their heads in, but not this.
(Seriously, I can now say "and the brain flows out and wets the ground" -- ho de engkephalos ekrei kai deuei tên gên -- because apparently that's important (and also ewwww), but not THE ONE LINE ANYONE REMEMBERS FROM THIS MOMENT, the line that THEY HAD ALREADY GIVEN ME THE WORDS FOR.)
(He does still sneak out with the flock; I guess that's something notable.)
You know the trope. You probably know the song! No need to explain here. Now, you can play out your student/teacher desires!
"Student/teacher" is used very loosely here. You could play out someone getting with their tutor, a player wanting their coach, or even a person who's been lusting after somebody who taught them how to macramé.
Usually, a certain amount of ageplay is implied with student/teacher, but it's not necessary! Anyone can teach another person of the same age, after all.
Comment with your character and preferences. Be sure to be specific with said preferences by including exactly what side you want to play or some possible scenarios. How serious or dark or fluffy or sexy the threads are depend on you.
An unusual relationship of any kind of fandom (i.e. books, television shows, movies, ect.) that is unlikely to happen.
Randomly take two characters… they don’t have to know each other, they don’t have to show ANY signs of a relationship, and hook them together. That is a crack pairing.
We all know them. Fandoms have fostered these little gems of shipping since the early days, and now, they can even be serious contenders in even the most hostile of shipping wars. Maybe they're absolutely ridiculous and only "for the lulz." Perhaps they make perfect sense...if you squint. Whatever the case may be, these so-called "crack" pairings are not canon and they're nowhere near as popular in fandom as the big fanon pairings.
Most of the time.
Of course, it's important to note that a lot of the time in RP, pairings are always crack pairings. Especially crossover ships, which canon purists would deride purely for being impossible. Still, in memes, that's less likely to happen because people either stick with canon ships, fanon ships, or close CR because of the lack of opportunities for development that games offer.
Not here. This meme is for ALL your ridiculousness, all your high school fangirl dreams, and just plain not being sorry for your ships. Think these characters would be cute together? Go for it. That character have adorable icons and that all you know about them? Ship it, by all means. Here, the reasons come after the desire.
RULES - Comment with your character and preferences. If you want, you can include a one sentence or so blurb about your character. But blank comments are fine. - Tag to others. - RNG for prompts. Prompts cannibalized from random memes. ( PROMPTS )