I need this.

No really.

I need this.


That’s right, folks. A tauntaun sleeping bag.

If you don’t know what a tauntaun is/why this is awesome, you may not be nerdy enough to be reading this blog.

free book! Soulless by Gail Carriger

So sometimes I do this thing where I don’t pay attention and accidentally buy two of the same book from amazon. Like, I click it twice or something. And if I were paying attention when I hit “Submit Order” I would notice the 2 next to the book, but yeah, I don’t.

So anyway, now I have two copies of Gail Carriger’s Soulless. I could just return it, but I decided to give it away instead. Because hey. Why not?



Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire — and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

Feel free to judge me for thinking this book sounds like the shit. I make no apologies.

So, hm, what should the question be this time? AH! A simple one:

Werewolves or Vampires?

Post your answer in the comments to enter the drawing!

I will randomly choose a name* sometime next week. I pay shipping!

*I mean it’s not totally random. If your name is something like Cillian Murphy or David Tennant, you will probably win.

movie review: The Dark Knight

Yes, this review is waaaay out of date (from the blog cleanup I’m doing), but I want to keep it around so here we go. Originally from blogger gracetopia.


Introducing… a movie about the Joker with appearances by that bat guy.

So, um, yes. The Dark Knight is pretty much worth exactly as much hype as it has received.

It is mislabeled, however. It is less a Batman movie than a movie of Gotham City and of madness. Batman gets no more screen time than Gary Oldman’s Detective Gordon and much less than the star of the show, Heath Ledger’s Joker. This makes the movie stronger, though, as it interweaves the story of Batman with the story of the city he protects, and explores the effect that protection has on both the city and the man behind the mask.

But let’s get to everyone’s main question.

It seems a shame that discussion of this movie is going to always end and begin with Heath Ledger, because there is so much more to the film—on the other hand, this is one of those roles that is going to go down in history. Heath Ledger’s Joker. Like Hannibal Lecter or Norman Bates, this is going to be a villain people talk about for a long time. Ledger played him so beautifully mad, I was transfixed every moment he was onscreen. He made the pure madness of the character plausible and enjoyable.

The main plotline is—well, chaotic. The Joker is mad. He does mad things. There seems to be reason behind it, but then there doesn’t, and then there does again. Batman tries to stop him and gets a new suit. A lot of bodies fly—I lost track of how many cops are killed. Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) shows up and may be the answer Batman is looking for—a White Knight to take over his duties, to give Batman a chance to be Bruce and live happily ever after with Rachel (a role taken over by Maggie Gyllenhaal). (which I almost spelled properly without IMDb.)

Let me give you a hint: it doesn’t work.

The Dark Knight is dark. You thought Batman Begins was dark, you ain’t seen nothing yet. TDK is a study of insanity and desire and fear, Batman’s and the Joker’s and the city’s. The writers tear apart everything these characters hold dear (and Gotham is very much a character) and lets them loose to pick up the pieces as best they can. Batman and Gotham and the Joker–and all the other characters–are pushed to their limits and back again. It is almost painful to watch sometimes, but so riveting.

It is hard to call out actors for commendation because everyone was so good across the board. Maggie Gyllenhaal wasn’t quite as young and perky a Rachel as Katie Holmes was, which is probably a good thing; her world-weary edge fit this new movie. Gary Oldman, as usual, just showed up and increased the fabulous factor of the movie by about 100%. Aaron Eckhart didn’t have as much to work with character-wise but did a good job with it. And even Christian Bale didn’t bother me as much as he usually does, though his “raspy voice” thing did get old after a while.

TDK wasn’t all made of perfection, though. The body count was ridiculously high, even for me, and some of the technological whizzies were over-the-top in a “really? are you sure about that?” kind of way. Really a lot of the movie was just unreasonable. Way too many times a car flipped over and someone important just strolled out of the wreckage. And–don’t want to give anything away—but the shiny gidget at the end—wtf? And I began to get antsy towards the end—there were a lot of storylines, and they were all tied up more-or-less cleanly, but there was a while there when I was a bit bouncy.

Also, I don’t know if it’s just me, but about half a dozen of their “wow, plot twist!” things totally weren’t twisting me. Didn’t really detract from the movie, though, and it was funny to watch the rest of the audience’s shock when—well, you’ll see.

Also, Cillian Murphy was only in the movie for a grand total of 5 seconds, which was unfortunate.

But overall, complete wowness. What a ride.

bring out your dead!

If someone were to set out to make my ideal movie, they would probably include some or all of the following:



Victorian England

gothic horror

bizarre comedy


Dominic Monaghan



When I walked by the poster at the fabulous-go-there-if-you’re-in-Cambridge Brattle Theatre (a different poster than this one, but the same general theme) I did a double-take because I saw Merry’s fa–Dominic Monaghan’s face. And then I realized what was going on and just about died right there. Vampires. Zombies. Victorian England. My God. Someone read my mind and made a movie from what they found.

So I went to see it last night and I loved it.

I mean, let’s be honest, it’s not going to win any Oscars, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s just bad enough to be good. It’s bizarre, oddball, and wonderful. Obviously low-budget. There’s some beautiful animation interspersed; sometimes shots would just end and turn into artwork, kind of looking like a graphic novel. The plot is pretty simple, and uh big plot twist for the duh? But I was entertained.

So if you get a chance, go see this quirky little horror flick. Click here to find out when it’s coming to a theater near you.

today in Gracetopia

Currently playing the Star Wars drinking game. :) This is the game where I watch all three movies back-to-back-to-back and drink. I don’t drink to specific rules (“Drink whenever C-3PO gives a statistic” or “Drink whenever anyone says ‘May the Force be with you'” etc.), I just drink whenever the situation seems to require it. Whenever a major character is introduced, whenever one of the famous lines happens, whenever a line I recognize happens (and since I’ve seen the trilogy like 500 times, this is frequent), whenever the droids make me laugh, whenever Han is a charming cocky asshole… so basically non-stop, I guess.

The great thing about this game is that by the time you get to Return of the Jedi you’re so drunk you barely notice that the Ewoks are there.