Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Avatar Runemarks

It's past 1 a.m. and I just got home and my parents aren't killing me. I feel old.

I just got home watching Avatar and it was awesome. I love the world, and I loved how the visual effects really brought out the world of Pandora. Missed the opening minutes though, so I'm not sure if Pandora is on another planet or an alternate dimension or what. I'm guessing planet. I thought the helicopter-lizards were quite cool. Oh, and I don't really understand the biological or evolutionary advantages of moss luminescing with applied pressure. Wouldn't that just attract predators (or herbivores)? But the effects were awesome, really loved the glowing mushrooms and the Tree of Souls. Interesting ecosystem there, interesting world. I wouldn't mind watching it again. Oh and since the movie ended past midnight, it was a race against time to the MRT station to see if we could catch the last train, and another race to the bus stops to catch the last bus, frantically scanning the large maps along the way. I felt rather Bourne-ish as I was doing that. Quite an exciting little adventure.

A couple days ago I finished reading Runemarks by Joanne Harris, and before that, Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve. Awesome books, awesome storytelling. A peculiar connection between these two books is that they are (possibly) meta-commentaries about stories in general. Actually, Reeve's book probably had more of it. Here Lies Arthur is a tale about King Arthur, Lord of the Britons. Except this wasn't the honourable Arthur from legends; he was nothing more than a gang boss, offering protection from the Saxons to the settlements scattered across Britain and demanding protection money in return. And the stories of Arthur's good name was spread by his trickster and bard, Myrrdin (sound familiar?). I knew enough about the legend of King Arthur to know that this was an excellent story. You have a well-known tale and you subvert it using easily-recognizable characters in a whole new setting (much like Marvel: 1602).
There was an undercurrent of tricksters in Runemarks as well, with Loki. Another book with the same vein, and another brilliant world with excellent storytelling. The only thing I found annoying was that the author didn't really focus on the "main" character throughout the whole thing, but it was possibly due to the type of story the author intended to write. Still good though.

The other medium I have recently discovered is The Onion News Network. It is HILARIOUS. I love the subversion, and I absolutely love the way they do it so professionally and so deadpan. It is brilliant. What it must be to work there.

"That's what we need. Another bloody oracle."
The Edna Man.

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