This is why I watch the movie before reading the book

I read Ender's Game as a kid and really liked it. I didn't think it could work as a movie because 1) they couldn't cast enough children who wouldn't come across as just being ridiculous and 2) they would be skittish about children being killed.

But then Hunger Games came out and it seemed like everyone was okay with children being killed now. Hooray! As for the other thing, they just cast older kids, which I thought worked out okay.

Actually, given all the ways they could have totally screwed up the movie, there was really only one thing that I felt majorly changed from the novel, which was the kids at Battle School were genetically engineered and that's why they were all so weird. Having googled this topic, there are a lot of people saying that none of them were actually genetically engineered (perhaps selective breeding at worst) except for Bean, but they were just all so weird. Like, there is raw intelligence and that can certainly make a kid different, but that just doesn't change certain fundamental aspects of humanity, and intelligence doesn't necessarily imply the type of analytical, strategic or tactical thinking the kids displayed. And that didn't come across in the movie. They were just bright kids.

The trailer spoiled the entire movie, LOL. And it led me to think that they would not follow the book in a very important way, but they actually did. So the trailer screwed up, not the movie. And they included some stuff at the end which was really important and sort of the point of the entire book, but I thought they might not, because it seemed like a bit too much thinking for an action movie.

To be explicit, [Spoiler (click to open)]the trailer made it seem like the kids knew all along that they were directing the human battle fleet. In the movie, the kids think they're playing a simulation (like in the book). At the end, Ender finds the structure from the game he's been playing and finds the Formic egg. They actually address the issue of xenocide and how maybe they shouldn't have done what they did. They don't explicitly say that the Formics would never have invaded again, but I think they showed enough in the movie.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. I really liked the design of the glorified laser tag room in Battle School, although the overall feel of the station seemed small. All of the Formic stuff was absolutely amazing, from the design of the Formics themselves, to their hive ships and swarms and their alien structures. The child actors all did pretty good. I was a little weirded out by Petra being flirty with Ender, but she's like 10 years old in the book and she's about 15 here, so I suppose that's okay. I would have preferred kids to be killed in the movie, but *shrugs*

It's tough to think how I would have liked the movie without having read the book though. There were a few places where I think I might have been confused or thought something was stupid if I didn't have knowledge from the book. It's weird, I've always thought of it as a short book, but now I realize how much there was to cram in. There was enough material for a miniseries!
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Jack Johnson


From Penguins notebook: Blue Jackets newest rival? Not just yet:

Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson attended prep school together at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Minnesota and, in the process, became close friends.

Almost like brothers.

The kind of brothers who would arm-wrestle to see who gets the last strip of bacon at breakfast.

"We've always been competitive with each other, in a very healthy way," Johnson said. "We definitely don't let the other one win, as much as we can.

"Whatever it was, we'd always make a game out of it, try to beat each other in whatever it was. When we had a free weekend to go out and play a tennis match, you'd have thought it was Wimbledon.

"We're both probably not really very good, but it got really competitive. I think that's a cool thing, in a lot of ways."

I can picture this way too easily.
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    working working


I just got an iPhone 5s and I like it more than I thought I would. The HD aspect ratio is nice because my videos can now fill the screen without being partially cut off. It's noticeably faster and lighter. The fingerprint lock works decently so far, but it seems gimmicky.

One thing I was worried about was having to use the Podcasts app because podcasts are no longer part of Music. This is an app that has almost all 1 star reviews on iTunes. As it turns out, my control freak usage of podcasts where I download and pick the podcasts to sync to my iPhone means that everything works exactly the same for me as it did before! :D

The only unbeaten team left in the NFL is the Alex Smith-led Kansas City Chiefs. LOL and ♥ at the same time. I truly am happy for him.

I have yet to watch a Blue Jackets game this season. All I've seen of JMFJ so far has been 1) getting shouldered in the head by Kaleta and 2) being groped by Jagr and having his leg pushed out from under him so he couldn't brace for the boards. :( I'm surprised he didn't get a concussion from the Kaleta hit. There must be something to the theory that the ones without much going on upstairs are resistant to concussions.
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    geeky geeky

Chicago! And other travel

I'm trying to remember what I did this year, but I don't really know. :P Maybe as I remember things I'll post about them.

I went to Chicago in August with abby20, lastcatastrophe and joolzie (and mini-Joolzie)! I haven't seen joolzie since Vegas in... 2009? and this was my first time meeting her kid. Who is taller than me!!! She is adorable and very Joolziesque. backcheck worked a bunch before we showed up so she could hang out with us. And she scored the most amazing seats (first row field level!!!) ever for the Cubs game! ♥ We had many epic meals, the most epic being Girl & the Goat. The waitress recommended eight dishes for us, we ordered twelve and ate everything muahaha! We went to early_afternoon's place for an authentic Midwestern BBQ with mommy and daddy SDQ and I got to meet her fiance! He doesn't understand why we all hug so much. :P

Sadly, tamiflu couldn't make it because she was busy in France or something at the time but I did get to see her in May when I was in San Diego for the week. We went to the USS Midway and took a surfing lesson together which mostly involved us getting knocked over by waves. I was there again early this month and we went to Disneyland and Legoland. Disneyland makes me want to borrow someone's kid so I can go on all the rides. Or it doesn't have to be a kid I guess. Does anyone want to go to Disneyland with me?
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Mutants, alphas, metahumans, etc.

I've always enjoyed TV shows about people with special abilities. A bit odd given that I'm not really into superheroes. I guess the difference is in the superhero genre, somebody gets special powers and then they decide to slap on a costume and become either a hero or a villain. But there are so many other paths they could take! I find exploration of that territory more interesting.

My favourite take on the subject is The 4400. It's not the best written, doesn't have the most compelling characters, doesn't have great production values, but it had the most interesting idea (and a great theme song). People who have disappeared at different times in the past 60 years all return to one place simultaneously; they haven't aged and they all have special powers.

This is just such an amazing idea full of rich storytelling opportunities. Not only are the people dealing with having suddenly developed superpowers, they're also dealing with appearing in a time that's not their own; their relatives and friends have all aged and assumed that they're dead, and the ones who disappeared the earliest have nobody left at all.

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The Tomorrow People is the newest incarnation of the subgenre. It's a remake of a '70s British show that I never watched, so does that make the original the first series of its type? It's okay so far. I'm liking Jacob from Lost/Lucifer from Supernatural as the big bad, although the lead actor is not very attractive and seems especially old (even considering they usually use much older actors to play high school students). His cousin (Stephen Amell from Arrow) stole all the looks, I guess. The Tomorrow People leader is pretty cute, or at least more charming.

The tone of this show is similar to The Nine Lives of Chloe King although it's probably closest to the X-Men movie franchise.

Mr. Pavelski had a great game tonight! It makes me happy. He's probably the most consistent forward we have in terms of effort and effectiveness. Or maybe that's Logan. Err, they're tied! I'm happy with all of the players we have! Usually, there's at least one person on the team I don't like, occasionally someone really gross like Heatley (so happy every time I think of him... not being here), and I look at the guys on the ice and I'm mostly happy or at worst neutral.

Oh wait, we have Raffi Torres. Well he's on the IR. Won't see him for a while.
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This is pretty much exactly how I pictured their relationship was like

It's been a long time since I've posted or even read LJ. No big changes or anything, I just... stopped doing it. Laziness.

I was wondering what Petr is up to and he's playing in Switzerland, which is probably a good situation. In the process I found an article from his Pens days and I had to archive it somehow, which is where LJ comes in. :P

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Man, how fucking weird that Petr and Marian were briefly on the same team. And that Petr and Marty were on the same team. We really do control the league, eh?

I haven't seen JMFJ's big, stupid face all summer so I haven't really thought about him that much. Instead, I've been watching TV like Bates Motel and Under the Dome and swooning over beautiful, beautiful Mike Vogel!

Not that I haven't watched stuff with him in it before. He was in Pan Am but I think he was too pretty and his character was a little irritating so he didn't really register with me. But he was so cute in Bates Motel! I really liked him! Right until [SPOILER]he was uncovered as a pervert with an Asian sex slave in his basement. Then I couldn't wait for him to be killed off.

And he's super, super cute in Under the Dome. Perhaps 50% of the appeal is that his character's name is Barbie, LOL. And while obsessively searching YouTube for him, I found out he was in some terrible horror movie The Deaths of Ian Stone (with Jaime Murray, H.G. Wells from Warehouse 13!) and his character plays hockey!!! I don't know if there were any hockey scenes in the movie, or if he plays hockey IRL, but... *unintelligible noises*

I've also gotten really interested in board games. By interested, I mean my shelves are filled with board games.
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Hockey is back. Hooray!!!

I had a very low-key Christmas/holidays that involved a lot of Elder Sign (the dice/card game). Christmas Eve tradition of going to Roz's place. Elder Sign was a big hit! Then watched The Hobbit with lastcatastrophe. The higher frame rate was kind of jarring at first and gave the movie a video game look but I got used to it and thought it worked well for the action scenes. But perhaps detracted from the whole impressive cinematic look that was there in the LotR movies? I also saw it in 3D, so I don't know if that made a difference. Then we went back to her place and played three games of Elder Sign, hehe!

In celebration of the end of the lockout, I bought a new computer! Well, actually it's because I haven't upgraded it in 6 years and it's been spontaneously shutting down more often, so this seemed like a good time to do it.

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