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About Ran

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    King o' the Board
  • Birthday 05/06/1978

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    Balerion (Admin), Aidan Dayne, Rhodry Martell

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    Westeros! History (ancient and medieval), SF/F, adventure and strategy gaming, MUSHes and MUXes (but not MUDs), Linda.

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  1. Very interesting and thoughtful response. It's a complicated issuue. That said, I'm not sure I agree entirely with it. Cartesian mind-body dualism is such a central aspect of these books that the obvious solution -- the only correct solution, really! -- in my mind is that the viewer sees Kinnaman... and then when Kinnaman looks down at himself, or in a mirror, we realize that he is in a female body. We might glimpse some initial torture through Kovacs's eyes, but then you can just shift to our focus on Kinnaman and understand that the point of torture is to visit pain and fear on the mind; the body is merely a point of access. The Quantum Leap solution, in other words. Kovacs looking like Kinnaman and not the actor playing "birth" Kovacs could be explained as Kovacs having already adapted his image of himself to his current body, the flexibility of his Envoy training (assuming that aspect of the Envoys -- elite training of various kinds -- is still part of the show). (This also makes me suspect that the climax will feature Kinnaman, not Kovacs in his Khumalo combat sleeve.)
  2. I admit to never having been bothered by them. They're a piece with the hyperreal qualities of the series, and in any case, at least in the Kovacs books you're looking at genetically engineered supersoldiers or ungodly-rich sybarites who have heightened... well, everything, so it follows that the sex would be Olympic-athlete level (and then some). The extended sequence in THE STEEL REMAINS did raise my brows a bit, but mostly because my mental image of the alien folk was kind of creepy.
  3. I think if a trailer is bad, it means the source material is bad -- they literally had no sufficiently strong material to put together some highlights. But you're right, a good trailer may just be made up of the 30 seconds of material that's decent amid an hour of crap.
  4. Dialog has always been Lucas's real weak point. Ford's famous "You can type this shit, but you sure can't say it" line rings a bell. Hayden Christensen was fantastic as Stephen Glass in Shattered Glass, FWIW, so I think he has some chops... but the whole prequel process with Lucas micromanaging, the excessive green screen, etc. simply did him no favors.
  5. RumHam, I assume the "memories" are constructed from the social graphs of the individuals -- he trawled the internet (and possibly their work devices) to construct the simulacra. I suppose if they used the Infinity interfaces, he might have had something digging up brain patterns or some such while they were at it... That's my workaround, anyways. I'm not sure they really bothered with that part, just hand-waving it.
  6. Hadn't heard that, but looked it up and it seems true. That said, it's weird because athletes like Kobe Bryant have huge fan followings in China. I remember reading an article about the most successful Western actor in China (forget his given name, but he's known as Cao Cao there) and he appeared in one of the Ip Man movies in a pretty good role but was bothered that a bigger role was going to someone else... who turned out to be Mike Tyson. Maybe it's just athletes that they go crazy over? Though that said, Fate of the Furious is like the #2 biggest grossing film in Chinese history and the Rock is biracial. And Google tells me Chadwick Boseman is actually pretty popular. I suppose we'll have to see how Black Panther does in relation to the other Marvel films.
  7. Star Wars being a 40-year-old franchise almost certainly has something to do with this. Came out in the 70s and early 80s when China was not particularly open to foreign films. Hell, ANH didn't show in a movie theatre in China until 2015! So you have this old franchise, heavy on a sense of history and continuity, but the older films are going to be largely inaccessible -- either because without the nostalgia and an understanding of the films' place in the genre, they may not seem that appealing, or production values (read VFX) will turn viewers off compared to modern stuff. So, yeah, Chinese filmgoers may have somewhat unsophisticated taste compared to... well, I don't know, because shit like Transformers and Pirates keeps being made in the U.S., so who are we to throw stones from our glass houses? But Star Wars has some very specific problems that are hard to surmount in China. China was 40 years late to the zeitgeist. Were I Disney, I'd push hard on getting into the Chinese market by doing something like making a story from some new corner of the galaxy far, far away. Get someone like Zhang Yimou, Wong Kar-Wai, or Ang Lee to direct it, feature Asian actors and Asian stunt teams, etc. So it's almost a reboot, a fresh start for Star Wars in China, and if it succeeds then you can roll some of the characters and stories into the broader franchise off of that momentum.
  8. I like the Bloodstone Emperor piece. Feels like something kind of Star Wars-y, which is fine by me -- George made Yi Ti pretty damned fantastical. Also, for all I know, it may be the only Bloodstone Emperor artwork I've seen by a fan... It's also what people can get approval for. We ask that all images have approval from the artists. TheMico has given blanket approval in the past, and he's the only person who's depicted some of the more minor characters. I personally enjoy some of his pieces for the humor they bring to things, but that said there's no objection to having alternative images _if_ there's approval from the artists for their use.
  9. We had dinner with him, John Clute, and a few others in Spain a couple of years ago, and I distinctly recall Morgan talking about this precisely (I think the context was part of a wider discussion of cinema) , that he fully visualizes these scenes like they're a film in his head, and beyond that he's very sense-driven in general; he wants to engage the senses, wants readers to smell the lingering traces of high explosives, hear the sound of bullets puncturing flesh, taste the metallic flavor in the back of your throat as a character's adrenlaine ramps up, etc. I think he's definitely one of the most cinematic -- and skillfully cinematic -- writers I've read in the genre. He has a real flair for it all. I think someone on Reddit described the recent trailer as "John Woo directs Jason Bourne on the Bladerunner 2049 set" and it made me think, well, yeah. (As far as cinematic influences go, I can report with sadness that he's not a fan of Kurosawa -- Clute and I were both flabbergasted -- but he does have the very good taste to appreciate Takeshi Kitano's films such as Hana-Bi.)
  10. I wouldn't judge too much from trailers. They're emphasizing VFX and action and basic premise, but that's hardly a surprise. That said, where are people getting the idea that Kovacs is a hater of functional immortality or the 1%, per se? Something elsewhere? An assumption based on the changes being made with Quell? The trailer certainly doesn't seem to have anything related to the idea, short of his suggesting he didn't want to be embodied on Earth. ETA: Nevermind, found the behind the scenes concerning "Birth Kovac" being anti-immortality, allegedly. Also didn't realize how many clips they've released at the AltCarb Twitter.
  11. The Order of the Green Hand was an order of chivalry under the Gardner kings of the Reach; the Manderlys still profess to be members of it. You’re thinking of the green men on the Isle of Faces, which is as you say.
  12. New, official trailer: Apparently at the start of the month critics received all 10 episodes for review, so there'll be series reviews around the time it releases. Not sure if any critics have hinted at reactions as of yet, but I imagine those are embargoed.
  13. I trust your instincts.
  14. What security check is this?
  15. Finished the season yesterday. "Hang the DJ" would have to be my favorite episode, but maybe it's just because it, too, has a rare glimmer of hope in regards to our relationship to technology. "Crocodile" was bleak and uncomfortable, as is usual with Black Mirror, and the performances out of Andrea Riseborough and Kiran Sonia Sawar were great. "Metalhead" being B&W was a nice change of pace, but it's by far the slightest of the episodes. "USS Callister" was fun and has a classic line thrown in there when Nanette discovers that her digital body lacks certain ... attributes (as Londo would put in B5). "Arkangel" was a great concept but I feel it wasn't executed very well. "Black Museum" was very off-putting to watch, especially the first segment, but I did like how it played out and tied everything together. Agree that Rollo is far, far more evil than Nish. Nish is a vigilante doing something awful for revenge, Rollo is clearly free of any ethics or moral conscience and gleefully commits atrocities on a regular basis. Nothing that quite matches "San Junipero" or "Nosedive" to me (by the by, for some reason all the articles II've seen about the many easter eggs this season don't bother to note that St. Juniper = San Junipero), but "Hang the DJ" was close.