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About john

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    Unknown. Maintain vigilance.

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  1. The scene in the junkyard was designed to show that he’ll go to any lengths for his principles. I don’t think he’s a psychopath, although it would’ve helped if he’d shown a moment of regret for anything other than his dads death. In the end his argument, which seems solid from most angles, came down to a means vs ends scenario and we all know how those work out in blockbuster movies. They could have been more subtle about it, maybe having Kaluuya’s character as a more thoughtful exponent of expansionism with Killmonger as his mad dog operative.
  2. Yeah, it was good. I enjoyed the James Bond elements, the epic fantasy style elements and the blending of the two. The sequence in Seoul was particularly good, though I thought the ritual combat scenes were a bit lame and the final fight scenes with the battle rhinos were pretty silly. The performances were strong (Martin Freeman’s American accent was a bit off I thought but that’s a minor quibble) and thematically it was heartfelt and relevant, if a big vague. so, it probably is one of the top three marvel movies (but the marvel movies aren’t that good, sorry guys). I preferred the thematic musings of both Winter Soldier and Civil War and the fun and frolics of the first GoTG.
  3. Actually, I read Shutter Island after seeing the film and thought film was better. Maybe that’s just how it works.
  4. I pretty much agree entirely with Ran. They made the wrong choices with what they wanted to explore in this setup. Not entirely, the empowerment of Lizzie Elliot was good, if a little trite in how they did it. And most of how they made it a multi cast story was interesting. But a lot of the other stuff was very basic Power of Love type crap that i’d rather see on Doctor Who than a supposedly sophisticated SF series. And besides that, it wasn’t very well made - plodding plot, overuse of exposition, clunky dialogue, ridiculous voiceover. However I did enjoy it, it was entertaining enough. Its interesting that Kubrick was mentioned upthread. Kubrick’s vision of the Shining was better than Stephen King’s vision. Kalogridis’s version of this material never even really had a chance to be better than Morgan’s because it was so tame. She seemed to grasp on to the immortality idea (which I don’t think is the main theme of the book but others may disagree) but didn’t say anything much interesting about it. And she’s previously done Shutter Island, which I did think was better than the book. And Night Watch, which I don’t remember enough about but I do recall it being a good film. So it’s not like the talent isn’t there but I didn’t see much of it.
  5. It’s not impossible to depict, it’s just difficult. Here’s two more ideas, to add to the ones Ran already suggested - Have Kovacs sitting motionless, his eyes closed and we just hear the torture going on in his head. Or show it from his POV, seeing it through his eyes, the blood flying, blades cutting or whatever. Good TV should avoid showing special converted-into-woman torture, fair enough. It should also avoid treating viewers like simpletons. Maybe the scene isn’t necessary and they’re going to dive into the theme of bodies as commodities in other ways, which is fine. But it’s already kind of worrying that they have a main actor in a role that shouldn’t have a main actor, I’m not getting that they’re particularly attached to the main premise of the story.
  6. She said the scene does work as written, they just can’t depict it properly, apparently. It’s not that I disagree with her particularly, I just don’t believe it’s a creative decision.
  7. I'm not sure I agree with those arguments. She's basically saying "my writers aren't good enough to convey the nuances of the scene." They could've at least had a crack at it and seen if it wasn't possible (Ran's solution seems perfectly plasusible for a start). She's right that it's her choice though and it does make sense as a business decision.
  8. I’m not sure you do know what it means. You seem to think it’s a complaint, for one thing. So again, deliberately modern dialogue was a comment on the tone of the show, not the lack of historical accuracy.
  9. “If you can be arsed ...” is a strange way to describe doing your job on a multi million pound tv project. But in any case, nobody mentioned authenticity or anachronisms. I said it has deliberately modern dialogue, which is a fact and indicates only the choice of tone they decided to go with for the show and nothing at all about the difficulty of devising era-appropriate dialogue. It’s a tongue in cheek show that blends the silliness of Spartacus with the grittiness of Game of Thrones. That said, the Druids do speak partly with subtitles.
  10. I watched the first episode. It was pretty good, certainly interesting enough to continue but not exactly must watch tv. It feels kind of cheap. Vikings, which must have a smaller budget, looks more genuine and realistic (but Britannia does seem to have a lot more cast and location costs). But it is also making the choice of depicting everything in a flashy modern way and scaling the epicness right down. Dialogue is deliberately modern. Female tribespeople are glamourous and attractive. Roman warriors appear in no more than fours. The camerawork is always frenetic enough to disguise that there’s only 6 people involved in any battle. It also has some odd tonal choices, going into broad comedy at points. Lots of britishisms about rain and so on used frequently. Julian Rhind Tutt plays his tribal prince character exactly the same as his surgeon character from Green Wing. HOWEVER, there’s plenty of good stuff about it too. David Morrissey is great as the GoT inspired general Plautius who only makes brutal, uncompromising decisions. And the drug strand, a significant part of the show, is very enjoyable. Visions, dreams, gibbering, smearing things on faces. Mackenzie Crook as the chief Druid is fantastic, a creepy otherworldly performance. And you’ve got a more traditional story of the Druidic Outcast with Jedi mind control type powers (probably just hypnosis, no evidence so far that anything supernatural is actually going on) fallen in with a young girl who he has to reluctantly protect. So there is some gratuitous fun, although I wouldn’t say it was on the level of Spartacus, but it is trying to do a lot more things and be a more complex show. Overall I liked it.
  11. And I’m shocked, disturbed AND outraged at the moral bankruptcy of assorted boarders. Although, to be clear, I was objecting to the clumsy use of an unearned celebratory ending rather than the evilness of any of the protagonists.
  12. Yeah, that would be a better ending, although a bit far even for Black Mirror. It’s not like people need to always be killed or “brought to justice” to make a satisfying end to a TV show. In this case, the ending is that Nish is free to murder anyone else that pisses her off. You don’t think that vigilante murder puts her on as much of a slippery slope as the one Rollo was on?
  13. He’s a shit, certainly. But there’s a difference between being the ideal man for an evil job and being an evil man. I suppose I could have been viewing Nish in the wrong way. I didn’t really think about her as the typical Black Mirror anti-hero. I did suspect she was up to something from an early stage but when it came down to it she could have just stopped with the poisoning, or better yet, just freed her dad and burned the museum down without killing Rollo.
  14. That’s it? What Lady N posted? That’s not a hit piece. You might say it’s an uniformative article but there’s nothing actually wrong with it.
  15. Here’s my best ten from last year, probably - 1. HEX - Thomas Olde Heuvelt - What happens when your town is haunted in the social media age. Very creepy and with some interesting ideas. Partly spoiled by the over the top ending, specially added for the English language edition for some reason. 2. Chalk - Paul Cornell - Horific act by a bully and the victim’s supernatural revenge. Deeper and more disturbing than your average Paul Cornell book. 4. In the Woods - Tana French - a literary detective story with an unreliable narrator and some of the most tense dialogue I’ve ever read in a murder mystery. Finished it in bed and lay awake for several hours thinking about how unfair everything was. It bothered me so much that i’m not sure i’ll ever read any other book in the series, despite thinking it was excellent. Falls down a bit on the police procedural stuff though. 5. The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair - Joel Dicker - Another translation but set, like HEX, in east coast USA. About the relationship between a writer and his mentor and the book which defined them both but might, it turns out, be based on a real murder, oh no! Full of well concealed plot twists. 6. Orphan X - Gregg Hurwitz - If you like thrillers at all, this is about the best that I’ve read in a long time. Government assassin goes rogue, helps ordinary people while avoiding gangsters and government hitmen. It’s better than that makes it sound. 7. All the World’s a Stage - Boris Akunin - It’s my favourite series, so it was always going to go on the list even though this is probably the weakest so far. Kind of a historical adventure novel, mixed with pastiche of Russian literary classics. 8. The Last Days of Jack Sparks - Jason Arnopp - A bombastic, rock and roll features writer sets out to disprove the existence of the supernatural and his predictably haunted. An epistolary novel and some good tricks are managed with that. 9. The Crime at Black Dudley - Margery Allingham - I’ve read Agatha Christie, so I thought I’d try another of the “four queens” of crime. Bit of a mix of your standard English house party murder, PG Wodehouse and a modern James Patterson style thriller. Surprisingly funny and quite entertaining. 10. Storyteller - Life of Roald Dahl - Donald Sturrock - Probably the best non fiction I read. The guy had an interesting life, wrote a lot of letters and stuff you can quote from and was pleasingly irascible with everything in his life. Although its an official biography, the author is pretty hard on him at points.