Tags: cabin pressure


Star Wars + fic recs + Xmas

Saw Star Wars, like everyone else. I guess I enjoyed it? I'm REALLY not a Star Wars person - I remember falling asleep when I was taken to see the first one many years ago, and since then onscreen deserts always make me sleepy. Not even kidding *g*. There was a kid, some robots, a hologrammatic projection (help me Obi-Wan, you're my only hope!), possibly some light sabers, and I distinctly remember waking up at the end when people were flying around in little ships and the Death Star exploded (only I had no idea what it was at the time, let alone its relevance to the story. It was a thing that exploded). I also think it was one of my first exposures to movies not specifically made for children, and the cuts from place to place and the sheer variety of characters confused the hell out of me. I have seen the movies since, but on TV, where it's easy to drift into another room and neglect to come back *g*. I'm a Star Trek girl through and through.

That said - I probably enjoyed it as much as I could have done. It actually felt, oddly, like a 'remix' of Star Wars, in that every single component I vaguely remember from the original was present and accounted for, only in a slightly altered way. Same settings, same humans, same aliens, same planets, same scenes, same robots, same factions, same ships. Just... redressed. So that was a bit bizarre, but at least I felt like I was on familiar ground? Some general thoughts:

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I honestly haven't given it a great deal of thought, so if you'd like to talk to me about Star Wars, please go ahead!

And I've really been enjoying people's Cabin Pressure fic, because something about it really lends itself to that Christmassy feeling. It's probably because poor pitiable Martin is Tiny Tim incarnate. Or something. Anyway indybaggins has been writing a lovely five-part fic about food and friendship (and more?) called "To Think of Cinnamon" (posted up to 4/5), and splix has just written the one-shot Christmas fic "Mistel". Maybe I'm just in a particularly sappy mood - it's Christmas! - but they both just made me exceedingly happy.

Anyway, it's Christmas Eve here, and I'm off the computer tomorrow (family day), so if I don't talk to you before then, have a very Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays! I'll probably be back by the time everyone ELSE is celebrating, anyway - such is the magic of time zones *g*

Merry Christmas! (etc. )

Wow, it's been... weeks. I blame Christmas. And planning to move (again). And trying to write fic outside my normal sphere (aka PWP) which is like pulling teeth. Porn is easy. Plot is haaarrrd *g*

Listened to the first half of the last Cabin Pressure ep this morning. I'm not sad, exactly, but as I was saying to indybaggins, it kind of feels like the end of an era where BC is concerned. It's almost like drawing a line under "before he was famous" and moving on. I will say that like some other people on my f-list, I am not as enthused about the 'batch as I used to be, and it makes me sad. I never could watch him in interviews to begin with, but now I'm not even that keen to read what he has to say. I still adore him as an actor, though. Oh, the fickleness of fandom.

Saw the NT screening of A Streetcar Named Desire a couple of weeks back and enjoyed it. I was originally forced to read the play (and watch the film) for school, but it was one of the few texts I immediately loved. I've enjoyed all of Williams' plays that I've seen, but this one is special to me. However, I am not a big fan of Gillian Anderson, so I was a bit wary going in. I thought she was... good. Solid, and then some (and I know she won an award and all), but I wasn't blown away. I was impressed by her vocal ability in terms of strength and consistency of her projection and technique, but there was just something about her Blanche I couldn't relate to, except for her eventual breakdown right at the end. It may be a personal thing - she reminds me of the much-respected Meryl Streep in that sense. Technically proficient, but I get no real sense of spirit from her. I remember one scene where Stella's all "stop being hysterical" and to my ears Blanche had barely raised her voice. Too lazy to look up names, but Stanley, Mitch and Stella were also good to excellent, although I did find Stella's character played a little oddly. I thought the idea was that Stella had 'married down' and hence retained a little of that cultured air that Blanche exaggerates, but this Stella was indistinguishable from her "lower class" surroundings (tight pants, visible G-string, slouchy walk, lying sprawled with her legs apart on the bed). In spirit, though, she did have that sweetness that perhaps reflects her upbringing. Idk. The character still worked, I guess. Stanley and Mitch were pretty much perfect - Stanley got a bit melodramatic at times with the crawling around on the floor, but okay.

Also went to see Annie, which was a lot of fun, and pretty much did exactly what I expected from the trailer. It probably helped that I actually have no particular fondness for the musical, which I've only seen once and thought was bizarre. So I thought updating it to a modern setting could only improve things, and for the most part, it did. I've never seen her in anything before, but Quvenzhané Wallis was perfect as Annie; cute and spirited without making me want to slap her. Jamie Foxx was solid, and I loved the whole thing with his smartphone company and running for mayor. Cameron Diaz was hilarious - I haven't seen her in anything for ages, and thought she managed to make Hannigan both horrible and sympathetic. It was also great to see Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Oz) being lovely and not killing anyone for a change, and David Zayas (Dexter) doing... something else. I've heard a bit about Rose Byrne (mainly because she's Australian) but hadn't see her in anything before, and she was adorable as well. She reminded me of Emma Thompson in being able to play stiff-upper-lip and comedic-free-spirit in the same character. Loved her. It did drag a bit towards the end, and I HATED some of the newer songs, which were incredibly tedious things in which people sing slowly and at excruciating length about their feeeelings. But the reworkings of the old songs were great and on the whole, it was well worth a watch.

Anyway, it's Christmas Eve here, and I have a no-internet policy on Christmas Day (which will actually be severely bent because the second half of the Cabin Pressure ep is non-negotiable *g*). So a very Merry Christmas (or consumerist non-denominational Thursday) to all of you, and I'll be back on Boxing Day to watch the celebrations. And see the last Hobbit movie!

Fannish miscellany

Cabin Pressure is back! And for those of you odd people who maybe rather quite like it but whose lives don't revolve around fangirling BC (what is wrong with you...), it's available to listen to worldwide for the next 7 days at the BBC site here.

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Quick fic rec: I've been developing a small thing for Sherlock/Lestrade (yes, in addition to everything else), and am hopelessly enamoured of Consolation by mildred_bobbin (LJ/AO3). I've read it three times in as many days. I think that every time I first get into a pairing I long for a single fic that captures exactly what I wanted to see from them, and for Sherlock/Lestrade, this one is it. The trickiest thing for Sherlock/Lestrade for me is that John is an immovable part of Sherlock's universe. I don't have a problem with this for Mycroft/Sherlock, because the two of them have a long shared history John has had no part in. Sherlock/Lestrade pre-John is also quite plausible. But a post-Reichenbach one has to work for it, and I love the way Sherlock and John end up fully acknowledging what they are to each other without betraying the people they've in effect 'chosen' to love. Lestrade is perfect here - he understands he's a substitute for John, at least to begin with, but refuses to let Sherlock have it both ways, so to speak. No-one gets particularly sappy or overly possessive, or acts in a way I find unlikely - Lestrade simply gives Sherlock the freedom to work out what he really wants, but insists that he acknowledge it as well. I just loved it; I suppose I do have a weakness for this kind of emotional complexity in fic.

Also spent time watching the Rupert Graves highlights of Maurice on Youtube. For reasons. I've always loved that movie - I saw it at the cinema when it was first released, bought the book, later the video. At one point I could probably have outlined it to you scene by scene. It's still gorgeous, after all these years (as is Rupert Graves).

I think there are a few Bowie peeps around - what did you think of Where Are We Now? I like the overall sound of it but am a) seriously weirded out by the video and b) find the lyrics veering wildly from 'vaguely interesting' to 'banal'. I still love his voice, though.

Finally got hold of a library copy of Deep Blue Sea (Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston). I realised last night that I hadn't quite finished watching it, but thought I had. That probably sums it up for me. TH is obviously very pretty, and the acting was excellent all around, but there are times when 'slow' in movie reviews actually means 'deep, contemplative, thoughtful', and times when it simply means... slow. Hester (Rachel Weisz) is torn between her stuffy middle-aged judge husband (Simon Russell Beale) and a wild young RAF pilot (Tom Hiddleston) who treats her badly. It's the kind of thing I think I would normally enjoy, but in this case I just wish I cared more.

Oh, and I loved this pic, firstly because the green is gorgeous, but also because, lol, antlers. Fine, I'm 12 :P

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Frankenstein, Fat Swan, Cabin Pressure vid rec

1. I finished reading Frankenstein. Weirdly, it was pretty much exactly what I expected - my only real exposure to the story apart from, you know, pop culture images, is from seeing Branagh's movie when it originally came out, which is mostly told from Victor's perspective, and then more recently the National Theatre filmed production, which leans more heavily towards the Creature's side. And between them I thought they did in fact give a fairly faithful representation of the story. It was almost like reading a highly overwrought novelisation, in a way; there wasn't really anything that 'surprised' me as being very different from what I already 'knew' (I'm comparing this to when I read Dracula, which was not at all 'I vant to suck your blood'-like *g*).

And as a bonus, the preface, where the ship bearing Pole-bound adventurer Robert Walton picks up Victor Frankenstein from a passing floe, amused me greatly. The words are indistinguishable from someone with a serious Cumbercrush, quite frankly:

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2. Saw Fat Swan last weekend, an 'adult pantomine' starring Trevor Ashley, who I first saw in the Edna Turnblad (drag) role of Hairspray last year. It follows the story of Natalie Portly (an anorexic ballerina played by the rather rotund Ashley, naturally), who seeks the coveted role of the White Pig/Black Pig in the upcoming production of Swine Lake (yes, we're not talking highbrow comedy here *g*). She faces competition from her rival Mila Kuntz - cue audience participation - unwanted attentions from her choreographer (Brendan Moar), brittle affection from her mother (Genevieve Lemon), and dire warnings from the ex-dancer Winona Writeoff (Danielle Barnes, also playing Kuntz). It looks terrible on paper and is the kind of thing that could easily get very old very quickly, but I have to say it was actually really well done and a lot of fun - the writing was sharp and funny once past the pun-laden set-up, and the actors all in good form. It used the basic plot of Black Swan to keep the action moving, right down to the finer plot details, while throwing in a lot of silly and camp riffs on A Chorus Line, Flashdance, Dirty Dancing, Fame, Mary Poppins and so on. At one stage Winona Writeoff, in full Helena Bonham-Carter 'crazy lady' get up, ended her dire warnings with 'city on fire!' which greatly amused the third of the audience who were Sweeney Todd fans.

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3. Cabin Pressure - YOU GUYS THIS VID OMG. If you ship Martin/Douglas you need to see it. It intercuts pilot/airplane footage with Roger Allam stuff from somewhere and scenes from The Last Enemy (the gift that keeps on giving for slash vidders) and Wreckers and it is just GORGEOUS. It's by TheKaskProject.

I will probably crosspost the vid to cabin_pressure; it deserves a lot more views than it currently has. I've just messaged them about it in case they were planning to, but it's been up a month already.

(Non-)Vid: Cabin Pressure - Xanadu (Martin/Douglas)

Not long after I became a fan, I swore that one day I would vid Cabin Pressure. Yes, I know. Challenging. But rationality has never stopped me before!

So, accordingly - have a Cabin Pressure vid. Without the moving pictures. Or anything in the way of lyrics. Or indeed, music. Actually, it's more of a badly mutilated sound file paired with a static image so that YouTube will accept the upload. Cup.

direct link: youtube

Title: Cabin Pressure 3.i - Xanadu (A Travesty)
Pairing: Martin/Douglas (...ish)
Length: 3:53
Notes: Thanks to evila_elf for beta/repeated previewing and to all those who contributed to the Cabin Pressure transcripts, which were heavily utilised. This is very silly, but I hope you get a smile out of it. It's not technically ideal, but it's as smooth as I could get it - trying to work around the varying microphone positions, background noise levels, overlapping dialogue and audience laughter proved to be... not as easy as it sounds *g*

Cabin Pressure random

For those not on the cabin_pressure comm - I don't even wear T-shirts (because a high rounded collar with short sleeves is possibly the most unflattering look ever on me *g*) but I may still have bought this (designed by northerlywinde). Because it's lovely. It's only available today and tomorrow (slightly cheaper today than tomorrow):

Also, because everyone else was doing it, my lemon pics. Sadly, I believe someone has already sent in Bridge and Opera House pics, so I don't know how they're going to allocate landmarks, or have repeats, or not put them in at all, which I hope doesn't happen. Sigh. Anyway:

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Also, a gorgeous pic from that new Jaguar Cumberbatch shoot (that... sounds vaguely obscene, doesn't it?). Just because:

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Holding Patterns (Cabin Pressure/Sherlock, Mycroft/Martin, R, 1/2)

Haven't written much fic lately and am a bit nervous about the larger fandoms, particularly Sherlock, so I'm just going to leave this here for a day or two while I contemplate them. If you should happen to notice I've really screwed something up, please do let me know *g*

Title: Holding Patterns (1/2)
By: daasgrrl
Pairing: Mycroft/Martin (implied Mycroft/Sherlock, Martin/Douglas)
Rating: R
Word count: 9,800
Summary: Martin receives an unusual request from an MJN client, which he handles with his usual... dignity and aplomb. Notionally takes place after The Reichenbach Fall, although the references are minimal.
Beta: Thanks as always to the steadfast evila_elf for beta and a special thank you to xanthe for coming to the rescue with britpick and general encouragement. Anything you continue to disapprove of is mine.
Notes: I have no idea where this fic came from. One day it just walked in, loudly announced itself, put its feet up on the coffee table and demanded I write it. So I did.

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No, Prime Minister

Went to see Yes, Prime Minister yesterday, with the lovely-but-sadly-non-singing Philip Quast as Sir Humphrey. Granted, I've never seen the TV show, but I figured a cult British comedy would at least spawn an entertaining stage production featuring all the elements that demonstrated its original appeal. It was dismal. I can only gather that someone badly missed the mark - whether it was the adaptation, the original show, or my own sense of humour is debateable, but I did spend a lot of time waiting for it to be over. I mean, get this:

"[About a climate control plan] It should appeal to Germany. They have a large Green movement."
"Euww, sounds rather like dysentery."

Uproarious laughter from people who were not me. Tremendous political humour there - what next, fart jokes? Neither did I find amusing the running gag where the PM continues to refer to other European countrymen as Dagos, Wops, Polacks, etc. in the face of warnings from his private secretary. I mean, never mind whether or not this is 'politically correct'; I understand humour often bends the rules on this, and I've seen much worse. It's just not actually funny. Maybe it was, oh, THIRTY YEARS AGO. Oh, how about that incredibly side-splitting plotline where, where, okay get this. See, the British government needs this treaty signed in order to receive a cash infusion of millions of Euros. The diplomat responsible (from the country of 'Kumranistan', another invention from the cutting edge of wit) demands sex with an underage girl or he will not sign on the morrow. This subplot literally takes up MOST OF THE PLAY and leads to tedious, distasteful and borderline-if-not-outright xenophobic discussion about relative cultural moralities, ages of consent, illegal immigration, and the like. Like, it'd be fine to get a child from another country to service the diplomat, but god forbid it should be a BRITISH child. Hey, how about the underage daughter of the illegal immigrant cook? I spoke to her and she's totally up for it - she's not even a virgin! And we can deport her afterwards if necessary! I'm not making this up; this is ACTUAL PLOT. I mean, are you even listening to yourselves, people? Even setting aside the dubious nature of the subplot, which is a big ask in itself - this is something that could be solved in about two seconds with a legal prostitute who looks much younger than her age. You're in politics - do you not understand the concept of lying? Done. Two. Seconds. Now, could we move onto a part that is actually funny? I'd take anything at this point. Maybe a cream pie in the face? Pratfalls? GAH.

PQ looked lovely in a suit; his eyes are still a compelling blue. He blazed his way through two massively circumlocutious speeches, which was amusing the first time around and just tedious the second, although he got a round of enthusiastic applause for both. And he was very slightly amusing tucking in his pocket handkerchief to demonstrate Sir Humphrey's idea of 'casual dress'. Yes. That was literally the funniest part of the show, I'm afraid. Although not so much the second time, because, you know, if a joke's even mildly amusing it's worth repeating so that it becomes less so. The actors were fine; I'm not sure if there's anything they could have done to improve the play. And the crowd feedback seemed to be overwhelmingly positive, so I'm clearly in the wrong demographic or something. I was kind of wishing someone would just come onto the stage with a script for Cabin Pressure and they could just sit around in chairs and cold-read it. It would have been far funnier.

But speaking of Cabin Pressure, the day was a success for I took my lemon picture! Sydney is jaded enough that no-one batted an eyelid at the crazy person photographing the lemon. I was more worried someone would spontaneously decide to grab and run off with it, just for kicks. LOL.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. This is your captain speaking!


What is it? A BBC radio series. Yes, I know. I was astonished to discover they still existed actually. Someone should tell them we have pictures now.

Why on earth would I want to listen to it?
Look, I feel your pain. I am not an 'audio' person. I loathe audio books and will not listen to them; I don't care who's narrating. If I can hold out against RSL and BC I can hold out against anyone. So the idea of a radio series on the face of it is about roughly as attractive as listening to really textured paint dry. I only gave it a try a because (a) I like the jargon of civil aviation and meals on trays and the little bing-bongs before cabin announcements; don't judge me and (b) fine, it has Benedict Cumberbatch in it. But I swear it's so much fun that it's the kind of thing I would have become a fan of even if (b) had not been in play. However, I would never have bothered listening to the series to begin with if (b) had not been in play, so... I guess it's one of those vicious circle. Thingies. Or not.

Who's in it?
Stephanie Cole
as Carolyn Knapp-Shappey, tough and uncompromising matriarch and owner of MJN Air (It's not an airline, it's a single plane. It can't go in a line. It's more of a point.)
Benedict Cumberbatch as Captain Martin Crieff, the hapless, insecure and only marginally competent captain (qualified on his seventh attempt!)
Roger Allam (who I remember as Javert from my Original London Recording!) as First Officer Douglas Richardson, a much better pilot but a rather superior and sarcastic human being. But there are Reasons why the flight deck looks the way it does.
John Finnemore (writer/creator of the show) as Arthur Shappey, eternally sunny flight attendant and Carolyn's even more hapless son

But why? Why? I mean, why? Why? Four excellent questions. "Because it's pretty damn funny" should really be enough, but here are some more novel reasons. Roger Allam and Benedict Cumberbatch together are so reminiscent of Fry and Laurie to my ears it's scary. I actually derive entertainment value by pretending they ARE Fry and Laurie and only noting the parts where they diverge from what I would expect them to sound like. Suffice to say they are both in full-blown English comedic mode - Allam is like a slightly meaner Jeeves and Cumberbatch is... kind of like a cross between Bertie and Rimmer, although they do let him fly the plane. Most of the time. And if you're a Cumberbatch fan it's really such a fabulous change from sociopathic genius/angst, although he is still fairly aesexual. Poor Martin. All of the cast are brilliant, though. And... it's pretty damn funny?

Episode names are in the form of destinations, and my favourite to date is Qikiqtarjuaq (Kik-kik-tar-joo-ac, because I know you're wondering) which manages to be both poignant and epic. The whole ep is worth a listen, but the highlight is Martin's French-accented polar bear story, which (together with other 'French' highlights; as epitomised by redscharlach's glorious icon above) is HERE and the full half-hour episode begins HERE. I have also embedded the former excerpts under the cut firstly because I love you, but also for convenience because I've been listening to it at least once a day for the past week and walking around muttering 'le bear polar' and giggling to myself like a slightly deranged wilderness guide.

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Also, the (spoilery) Sherlock/Cabin Pressure crossover vid of evil (by MoonaLovegood). Oh, come on. It's only 8 seconds long XD

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