mellicious: "I'm bored. Episode 1 bored." (star wars)
 I made a list of what I've been reading lately, and I was going to talk about several different series that I've been reading. But I'm in the middle of the latest Shadowhunters book, and I seem to have Feelings about it. So I don't figure I'll get much further than this tonight.

I used to say "I'm reading a Cassie Clare book" or "I'm reading a Mortal Instruments book" but Shadowhunters is the name of the TV series (on Disney, switching to Netflix, I hear) so I figure they're all Shadowhunters books now. I'm sure not everybody has read these books and not everybody even knows about that series, either. (it's on Disney, after all - if you don't have kids you don't necessarily follow what's on Disney channels, at least I don't.)

"The Mortal Instruments" was the name of the first six books - or was it only the first three? I forget. I can't keep all the series names straight, anyway, which is why I'm perfectly happy to switch to a nice simple(-ish) name like Shadowhunters. I can remember The Mortal Instruments for some reason but I can't ever remember the name of the series that was set in the 1800s or the one I'm reading now. It's "The Dark Artifices" but I only know that because I looked earlier today, and who knows if I'll remember by tomorrow. Maybe I will, because I was thinking about why it's called that. This is the set of books that's set (generally) in California - although really only the first book stayed put in California, and since then they have bopped around and large parts of it have taken place in Europe and some in Faerie, too. I decided that Dark Artifices makes sense because it has running plot-lines about necromancy and there's a physical Book of the Dead that everybody keeps looking for. (And also a xeroxed copy of it, which I was amused to find that the Fairy Queen doesn't know what to make of.)

(I just took a detour of an hour or so over to my old Livejournal because I was pretty sure I remembered talking about Shadowhunters, and I found it. It was at the time - almost three years ago - when the Shadowhunters series was starting up, and I went on at some length about the casting with reference to the book and also the very bad feature film (City of Bones) from a few years back. That's here, and also a little bit in the entry before that, here.)

Well, so anyway, the third book of the fourth trilogy about Shadowhunters has just come out (Queen of Air and Darkness). So there's an actual dozen books - not even counting the short story collections about Magnus and Simon and the one reference book. I'm about a third of the way through, I think, so nobody tell me any spoilers. (I was thinking that the one thing I really miss about reading physical books is that you can look at where you are and make a good ballpark estimate of how much is left and how long it might take you to finish. "34%" tells you that you're a third of the way through but not how long the damn thing is.) I re-read the two previous books plus the last Jace-and-Clary book (City of Heavenly Fire) because that's where these characters were introduced. I realized that I found the previous book (Lord of Shadows) a long slog, in particular. It's very talky. I enjoy the plot, when it finally happens, and it's not that I hate the rest of it, but I think it could have stood some editing down. I'm kind of impatient generally with the whole Emma-and-Julian doomed lovers business. Maybe it's partly because Cassie Clare has kind of worn that trope out, really. We were in the car the other day and for some reason I started trying to explain the whole thing to Rob about how Jace has had about three or four different last names and he was Clary's brother - no, he's not! - and all of that stuff. (I never believed that he would turn out to be Clary's brother for a minute.) Anyway, I like the characters of Emma and Julian aside from the whole romance thing but man, is that one plot that I'm bored with. (The romance that I'm really feeling is the whole Mark-and-Christina-and-hot-fairy-prince threesome thing.)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (m15m - polarbear)
Let's just start right out with this: no, Beauty and the Beast didn't really need to be remade. I adored the old cartoon version. What I read about that was that Disney is apparently making tons of money overseas on all these live-action remakes of the old cartoons, so these movies aren't really being made for American audiences at all. It's the best explanation I've heard, anyway.

I guess this one was the first of those remakes I've seen - what else is there so far, just Cinderella and Jungle Book? but there was nothing else we wanted to see last weekend, and I thought if we were going to see it, seeing it while it's still in the big theater seemed like a good idea. Rob hadn't been dying to see it but he liked the old one too so he didn't gripe.

(My mother and I also went to see the Broadway-bound musical way back in 1993, I guess that was. See here. I know I saw it but it didn't make a big impact, to tell you the truth. The most famous person in it, at least then, was Tom Bosley, and I remember being slightly impressed by that part. And it had pretty impressive staging but that's really about all I remember.)

And I have to say that I liked the new movie more than I expected to. I didn't love love love it like I did the older one, but it was still pretty good. The love story works, and a lot of the changes worked at least reasonably well, and... it was pretty good. I do have a tendency to compare it to all those retellings I've read in the interim, like both of Robin McKinley's versions, in one of which the Beast does stay a Beast at the end. But I don't really feel like that would have worked here. This Beast wanted to be a boy again.

I ended up watching a bunch of interviews and stuff on YouTube when I got home, and a bunch of interviews with Dan Stevens (I didn't watch Downton Abbey so I didn't particularly know who he was) and the upshot of that was, that I watched the beginning of Legion - he stars in that also, in case you're not getting the connection there - and I liked it. So then I made Rob watch part of the first episode also, and I'm not sure if he saw enough of it to get hooked but I definitely did. It's interestingly trippy and not at all like what I'd think "Uncanny X-men" would be like even though that's what it's based on. (I haven't read any of those comics but I guess I would expect something more like Doctor Strange, to the extent that I'd thought about it at all.)

(But we also are still watching Daredevil Season 2 and Iron Fist, etc, so we are getting more and more backed up with the TV stuff, and now baseball season has started so there's another thing to compete for our time. So I don't know when we'll get around to that.)

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