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If you want to talk to me you can find me on Dreamwidth or Tumblr, same name and journal name.

cmcmck has also migrated permanently to Dreamwidth, but cannot sign the TOS even temporarily. She has the same journal name there.
Flash

Catching up, slowly but surely

And on watching 'Rogue One' which we missed (like far too many things) at the cinema - this is much better than the overrated re-hash of 'A New Hope' that was 'The Force Awakens'. Sure, the characters are sketchy, but still likeable. Possibly considering the slaughter at the end, it might have been a good choice not to get the audience too invested in them.

Plot and action wise, it's excellent war movie. What's more, it held Ina's attention throughout, which action movies generally do not do. It also plugged a major plot hole in 'A New Hope' which was great. On the other hand, somehow Vader wasn't half as scary as he used to be/will be (depending on real life/movie timelines.) I didn't find Tarkin too 'Uncanny Valley' but, as the panel at Eastercon on the subject remarked, this is possibly because Peter Cushing had the sort of face that looks a bit not-quite-human to start with! Leia's de-aging, on the other hand, was pure Uncanny Valley.

On another subject, watching 'Tracks' ... there is a distinct style of Aussie film, at least the ones I see. This one, like 'Picnic at Hanging Rock', 'The Dish', 'Lantara', 'Walkabout' etc is beautifully shot, carefully characterised, respectful of the Indigenous Peoples, not so respectful of other Aussies and, you know, a bit slow, if thoughtful. (Fred to note this is a movie where the dog dies.)

This entry was originally posted at http://lil-shepherd.dreamwidth.org/700225.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Flash

No wonder the fanfic writers can't get this right!

Oh my aunt. Rewatching Iron Man - which I love - only to notice for the the first time that the headline on the Time cover for Tony's taking over Stark Industries says "takes the reigns". Arrrgh! I know Time wouldn't do that, but whoever mocked up that cover wants a sharp lesson in correct spelling. I mean, how can you take a verb!? Or mistake a strip of leather used for controlling an animal for the period a monarch rules? Even metaphorically? I mean, they have reins in the US, but they don't have a reigning monarch.
Flash

Has Marvel No Damn Sensitivity at All?

So, I am going to comment on Marvel's latest stupidity. I do not care that this is a spoiler. I really do not. So, while I will put in a gap, I am NOT putting this under a cut. I am too damn angry - and comics readers need to be warned, particularly if they are Captain America fans in any universe or medium.


Spoiler


In the main comics verse, they have decided to retcon Captain America/Steve Rogers so that he has been an undercover Hydra agent - a Nazi - since he was a child. (I have no doubt it will be taken back at some stage, but that is not the point.) The last panel of #1 of the latest Steve Rogers: Captain America series has Steve saying "Hail Hydra" unironically. (Please note that Hail Hydra is similar to a certain other "HXXX HXXXXR" and it is no coincidence.)

Now, Steve Rogers has been -- mostly -- a beacon of decency among superheroes in much the same way Clark Kent is. But, more to the point, he was created by two Jewish comic creators - Joe Simon and Jack Kirby -- specifically to be opposed not just to Fascism and Hitler, but to those in America at the time who were working to keep the US out of the war and turn American opinion in favour of the Nazis. They have stated this.

A lot of Jewish comics fans who I follow on Tumblr are not unnaturally, damn upset about this. A lot of Captain America fans -- and I have been one since 1962 -- are also upset about it. It was bad enough when they had Doc Ock take over Peter Parker's body, or when they turned Tony Stark into a sadistic supervillain, but this is, to put it bluntly, unforgivable.

In addition, there is some speculation that they have done this to de-rail Kevin Feige, who got the Marvel Studios taken away from the same control as the comics publishing and TV arms. If this is true it is amazingly idiotic, as it is likely Disney -- who have overall control -- will be very displeased.
Flash

Kingsman DVD

inamac loves this film, so it was definitely time to stick it in the player.

Perhaps we should have bought this on Blu-Ray because it has the most sumptuous wide-screen cinematography and colour palettes. Indeed, as a comic book movie, it should. The lead character, Eggsy, is a joy and well-acted by Taron Egerton, holding his own in an all-star cast who more often than not seemed a little lost in their one-note characters. There were some good visual gags (though few verbal ones) and the fight scenes were imaginatively choreographed.

Beyond that, the plot is ludicrous, and not half as clever as they (the writer and director) think it is. Eggsy is, to be honest, the only character I cared about in the slightest. And aspects of the ending, as pointed out by both professional critics and audiences, were vile and made me swear at the screen.

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This ending, described under the cut, has been excused by the director as being a parody of James Bond, Roger Moore era. Which is odd because in the unintentionally hilarious making-of documentary, which we also played, the director claims originality and lack of parody. There are other reasons why this doc is hilarious - in that Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman (we name the guilty parties) also claimed that the idea of having a secret organisation concealed behind a tailor's shop was 'original'. Fans of 'The Man From UNCLE' should boggle at this point. Also that the plot is 'feasible' (I don't know if the 'expert' they consulted was kidding them but no, just no. Gaia theory? Oh, I wish that was true. Unfortunately, all the evidence is against it. I haven't read 'The Secret Service', the book on which this script was (very, very loosely, according to the documentary) based but frankly, if you have a comic book by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, you should keep as much of their writing as possible. Because it is likely to be much better than yours.

So, very much a curate's egg of a film, though I can see why people (read Ina) liked it, though she remarked that it was a very different experience watching the TV with the subtitles than seeing it in the cinema where (having left her hearing aids at home) she couldn't hear all of the dialogue.

Addendum: I am reminded that the same team made 'Kick Ass' and, just for the record, I disliked that movie far more than I disliked this one. That time I was just bored out of my skull.
Flash

Ex Machina

I bought the DVD copy of Ex Machina last June, and we have only just got around to watching it, mainly because we were never previously in the mood.

It is quite beautifully photographed. One of those things that you really want to put some music on and just watch the pretty pictures. On the other hand, it is really unimaginative, a joy to the eye but not to the mind. We have been here before, again and again and again and again. I am deeply fed up with AIs wanting to be human and free in movies, and even more with them being sexualised (usually as female, as here.)

There's a desperate attempt justify this continual sexualisation of AIs (honourable exception for 'Iron Man' et seq.). It does not work. I blame Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou myself.

(Oh, and the person who actually got what would, in fact, happen if a man was faced with an intelligent sex robot is Fritz Leiber in 'The Silver Eggheads' which involves a fear of castration...)

It's directed by the chap who wrote the deathly slow (and scientifically inaccurate) 'Sunshine'. Why am I not surprised?

Oh, and we all know where this is going...
Bren adult

Update on Bren

Bren's skin has been particularly bad recently. We have taken to putting his T-shirt on each night to at least protect some parts of hid body from the damage his paws and teeth can cause. Unfortunately this does not include his paws, his hips and the skin round his eyes. Today we took him to the vet - not to the usual (and senior) vet (who is on holiday for another week) but to another member of the practice we know well. Not being as used to how Bren is he was shocked at his condition, and put him on trial to see if a new medication will help. (He's still on both the old medications.) Cross your fingers for my lovely boy...
byallthatcandyxprimevalmatrix

Watching Ant-Man

Watching 'Ant-Man'. Makes even less sense than the comics. Never have been able to stand Scott Lang - and Hope isn't a patch on Jan (who would have given this version of Hank hell for this caper.) It's also bloody misogynistic - "It proves that he loves you." (No, it proves that the people who wrote this script think women are only there as motivation for men. Fridging Jan, one of the best characters in the whole of Marvel, proves that.) Hank is even more of a selfish bastard here than in 616. What's more, there's only been one laugh and that one was in the trailer.

Some of the FX is nice, but the ants don't look real.

Incidentally, what is this thing Marvel have about bald villains????

Whoever wrote this had no idea that server farms are routinely protected against insects for good reason. (i.e. the original 'bug' was just that - an insect.)

Dear God, did no one do real research on flying ants? On how long they live? How far they can fly?

Ina has just describe this movie as 'an idea in search of a plot.'

This is supposed to be a comedy thriller! Not funny, not thrilling. I have no idea how much of Edgar Wright's script remains, though I suspect it is quite a lot. I'm so glad I didn't go with the blu-ray!

It also, like most superhero-movies, goes on for far, far too long.