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Everything posted by john

  1. Oh, the new series of the Handmaids Tale comes out in like a week. That’d explain it.
  2. Wow, lots of interesting new books to find out about. Chief among them Princess Academy, yay!
  3. Could say the same about Ready Player One.
  4. I saw it and it was all right. I have to say I was a little surprised at all the rave reviews it’s getting, it’s a solid couple of hours entertainment but there’s not much more to it. The references are a bit all over the place. The tight focus in the book makes a lot more sense, although they are obviously going for a broader appeal here. The best bit was the Shining sequence, which is a lot of fun to watch when youre familiar with that film but I can’t see how other sequences would have the same effect as they’re mostly action scenes with a mishmash of different stuff involved. The 80s family film feel they were going for, particularly at the end, didn’t really work for me, it just felt kind of forced. And I was sorry to see that they retained what I found the most horrible element from the book - the beautiful girl with a very slight facial defect (if you could even call it that) genuinely unwilling to believe this entirely mediocre gamer guy could love her despite it.
  5. I’m not sure it’s a particularly fair assessment to say that RPO promotes the idea that the more trivia you know the better. The message of the book and the film is very much that you need love, friendship, understanding and similar bullshit much more than you need to know stuff. Toxic gamer culture is really kind of rejected in favour of strong real life relationships in fact.
  6. Proper hygiene should never be easy. Get right in there with your fingernails. On the Johnson thing, while I agree he should go (and that he won’t), I do think there’s been a bit much made in the media of this idea of muddying the waters. Personally, I never thought that a research lab would be responsible for determining where a substance came from, there’s no location strand in a chemical compound. But there was enough information gained that it really shouldn’t be an issue if the Foreign Office could just keep their gobs shut.
  7. The old boys networks that affect Britain and London particularly are a separate problem that probably does create some undue influence. However, the BBC is not directly funded by the state as other public broadcasters are. That is the only point I made and I've had to make it three times now. Oh yeah, sorry. I meant the Mash Report, a BBC satirical programme in a newsroom format, subject to the same rules on bias as Newsnight. I don't see why satire should be the defining line though. Newsnight isn't allowed to be satirical? The origin of the substance was determined through expert testimony, exactly the kind of thing used in a court of law. Russia is responsible for their own weapons, regardless of who used them. I'm not sure why you think the courtroom analogy is applicable. Accusations are not criminal charges. In any case nobody has accused Russia of anything other than failing to control their own materials. I also don't see how accusing Russia of violating the Treaty on Chemical Weapons would be a sounder political strategy, as you and Spockydog seem to think. That would be even more likely to indicate that Britain believed Russia to be the perpretrator of an attack.
  8. The big clue was the use of the Russian weapon. Seems pretty justified in saying "Hey, Russia, what's up with that?" If the investigation reveals more salient details then you carry on accordingly. Anyway, a bit of a diplomatic slap fight is surely preferable to declaring a violation of international treaty or, apparently, nuclear war.
  9. I enjoyed it. Best thing they've done aside from DD1 and JJ1. It still suffered from the Netflix slog but the characters and situations were compelling enough that it came through despite that. The family drama elements didn't particularly bother me but I could certainly have done with a few more cool scenes. I suspect the serialisation format is just considered how you do quality television these days. I'm less clear on why they are keeping to 13 episodes, what's the advantage to a subscription service if you keep using it for longer? Just so they can say they've provided such and such hours of material?
  10. It doesn't matter what the BBC's attitude to the Government is. It's irrelevant to my point. There's less improper contact between the BBC and the state than is the case for most public broadcasters. I don't think Newsnight viewers are quite the morons you seem to think them. It's an image that illustrates the story they're about to tell. If the Daily Mash had broadcast that image, would it also be a case of outrageous bias? What evidence are we waiting for? The evidence is there for the steps that have been taken. Corbyn's intractability is just his approach to politics but it seems uncalled for here. If they recognise it as a 'journalistic crime' then they aren't likely to be manipulated by it are they?
  11. France has direct political influence in their mainstream media. Russia has the same. The BBC is an independent body with its funding not provided by the state or any corporations owned by politicians. That’s not to say cronyism doesn’t exist but that’s a different kind of a problem. The idea that Corbin depicted in a Stalinist cap is akin to potential manipulation of the story is utter nonsense. It doesn’t express a bias, it gives viewers some credit and assumes they can appreciate irony and understand the nuances of a situation. And I’m not sure where the “insistence on caution and evidence” comes in. Chemical weapons experts, the best and only ones we have, have determined the origin of the material. Corbyn’s reluctance to completely go along with it is just his standard operating procedure on any foreign policy endeavour.
  12. That's not how it works though. Wakandan is a real language - it's Xhosa, like Kalbear said upthread, which is an African language used mostly in South Africa. That's because John Rani, who plays T'Chaka in Civil War, wanted to use it. Link So it's not like Red Sparrow, where they speak English with a Russian accent and we're supposed to understand they're speaking Russian. In BP they do speak mostly English with each other but occasionally drop into Xhosa. Like, there's a scene where they're speaking English together in the throneroom and Killmonger shuts them all up by speaking Wakandan, proving that he can. They definitely have MTV though. Shuri and T'Challa have all the fist bumps and bro speak.
  13. That was the same reaction I had. I agree they need the accent, it would’ve been weird without it, plus from the link Kalbear posted it seems they took their lead from Boseman’s original performance choice. But I was wracking my brains trying to think of an in-universe explanation (comic book readers call it a No-Prize) of why they would speak like that and there really isn’t one. It’s an isolated nation, no contact with the west or with other English speaking African nations. If you look at European nations that speak English well as a second language, they generally have a less strong accent, or in the case of someone very well educated, like a King, barely any at all. African nations that speak English have an accent that’s developed over centuries of needing to speak the language of the oppressors. I have an accent myself, as an English speaker, it’s because that’s the way it’s come to sound where I come from. So it’s like Wakanda developed their own English, rather than teaching it as a foreign language, even though there’s no reason that should be the case. Ultimately, they just didn’t want to have subtitles in a major movie.
  14. The suggestion isn’t that this was something made fresh when the Skripal were spotted going into a pizza restaurant. It was created from binary sources left in a stockpile since the Cold War.
  15. According to news sources this morning, I’ve been eating bits of microplastic for years. So small, in fact, that they pass through my GI tract and eventually lodge in my liver, countless hard pieces of tiny, indestructible foreign matter. :/
  16. It came out early for international women’s day.
  17. I was thinking about the accent as I was watching. It seemed a little strong to me, I mean it’s pretty similar to the accents of nations that have been conquered by English speakers, so I’m not really tracking Boseman’s reasoning. I would’ve thought if it’s an accent they adopted by choice, or for administrative purposes, it would be milder.
  18. I wonder why Hobb hasn’t been optioned. Farseer has to be the cheapest to adapt fantasy around. Mental magics, Viking type setting. Dragons don’t turn up until the second trilogy. With Mieville, if you’re working up to PSS, it would have to be like the last one adapted. Kraken and King Rat are pretty easy, Embassytown would be doable. Railsea and Un Lun Dun more challenging. And all the Bas Lag books would need a lot of cash thrown at them.
  19. The robot arm was like, well why wouldn’t everyone just have a robot arm? Especially those in the ass kicking business. Ortega kills about a dozen of the envoy trained, combat conditioned Reileen clones just thanks to her bionic limb.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Actually, I read Shutter Island after seeing the film and thought film was better. Maybe that’s just how it works.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.