katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Default)
[personal profile] katsaris
The past year I started watching many series that previously I had only been hearing about: preeminent among them Battlestar Galactica and Supernatural, but also Farscape, Medium, Jonathan Creek, and the more recent Mentalist and Sarah Connor Chronicles.

In December I saw the whole of "Death Note" and the first three seasons of "Dexter" (only the first two seasons of the latter were any good, btw). Both these series were vaguely depressing, with the serial-killer protagonists and all, so near the end of December I decided to switch to something lighter and checked out "Kim Possible" instead. But Kim Possible won't be the one animated series to stick to my mind from this past season.

- Most people in my friendlist already know that Avatar the last Airbender is gonna be made into the most blatantly whitewashed adaptation in the history of movies, surpassing the previous champion, that one being the adaptation of EarthSea.

The grand achiever of this will be none other but Shyamalan, the same director who made Lady in the Water, my personal all-time Worst Movie Ever -- and which ought have convinced everyone to keep Shyamalan as far away from moviemaking as possible.

In retrospect he had already revealed himself to be a little racist gnome from back then: That movie used made-up Korean myths, and the funny foreign-speaking people were depicted as even more Other and hard to communicate with (more varelse to use a Speaker for the Dead expression) than the actual non-humans in the story.

But that's not really what I wanted to talk about. What I wanted to say is simply this: After the initial fuss was made about this whitewashig, I had a look at the Avatar the Last Airbender series, which I had not seen up to that point. It's absolutely fabulous, among the two best animated series I've ever seen (the other one being Gargoyles): and I'm not sure which of the two is now my all-time favorite. Its style is actually very different from Gargoyles, that one having been much more episodic and open-ended despite its long character arcs, while Avatar is a single finite story told in 61 episodes. But in worldbuilding and characters Avatar excels, same as Gargoyles once did.

Since, I'm not likely to find the series in DVD stores here any time soon, I thought of subtitling it in Greek myself, but happily just yesterday I saw Greek fansubs for it starting to appear in www.tvsubtitles.net -- in turn that led me to www.subs4free.com where I saw pretty much all the episodes having been subtitlesd There's some issues with the synchronization in some eps that will have me need to partly correct them or figure out the correct rip before I can use them, but still: great coolness.

- Speaking of the benefits of the modern anarchist economy, I had my first real encounter with DRM when I decided this weekend to use Fictionwise to download three books. I'd already used Fictionwise to buy e-versions of Analog and Asimov's magazines, but this times the only formats available were ones secured with DRM. Having bought them, eReader needs my credit card to allow me access, and Microsoft Reader not only needed me to register and then "activate" but Microsoft's activation services are "down for maintenance".

So I did what every good conscientious citizen ought do, said "Bollocks on that", and then used EMule to download unlocked versions of the books in question for free. Good job encouraging me to buy more books, DRM. Next time I'll be just downloading DRM-locked books for free from the start: there's no moral sense in rewarding people that go out of their way to increase the levels of annoyance in the world.

- I saw City of Ember with my brother during the Christmas holidays. Kinda liked it. It didn't ever "wow" me, but it was quite pleasant. One thing I rather agreed with him was that it seemed almost incomplete: The point they end it could very well be the beginning of a book, not the end thereof.

Of course the reason for that ended up being that it's based on a series of "Young Adult" books, and there are indeed sequels to the story. And that's why one of the books I bought/downloaded for free being the first in the "Books of Ember" series, by Jeanne DuPrau.

The other two books I bought/got for free were Nation by Terry Pratchett, and Freakonomics by some people I never heard of.

- Last but not least: fanvidding. I've been getting into it, right now only as a watcher, hopefully eventually as a creator thereof. I've already got some ideas, but I've been hitting barrier after barrier software-wise, and it's frustrating that I won't have the time to do anything until at least after February. Either way I'm guessing it'll be be many many months before I have something watchable.

I'll need do a separate post with vids I recommend people watch for their sheer awesomeness.
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katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Default)
Aris Katsaris

July 2011

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