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IFR

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  1. Maybe not the best title, but it's early in the morning here. I'm open to suggestions. A new interview with Rafe Judkins. @fionwe1987 You'll like this passage: "The channeling is so integral to the world of The Wheel of Time,” Judkins says. “The author made a system that makes sense. It works; it has rules, and you have to follow them. So we’ve been really careful on the show to make sure that we’re holding to all of those same rules.”
  2. I think season 2 is fantastic, and the slow burn doesn't bother me at all considering how well written it is. And absolutely, hysterically funny. The entire plot kicks off with Valchek having a petty squabble with the stevedores over something as silly as a new window for a church rectory. It's something so utterly trivial to war over, and yet it blows up into this beast that results in Sobotka losing his family, his union - pretty much everything. And then ultimately his life. Very dark and very funny. And McNulty and Rawls has already been mentioned. McNulty casually fucking with Rawls by dumping all those Jane Does on him, with Lestor and Bunk laughing along with him, until Rawls jukes to the side and sticks them with the case. It's pure, hilarious pettiness all around, especially when considering the tragedy of the crime itself. I also really like that this season deals with a reappearing theme of the show: in addition to the destructive force of political myopia, casual corruption within law enforcement can have a hugely damaging effect. The FBI mole ensures that The Greek gets away, while the low-level guys like Sobotka are given the hammer. I really liked the dock workers too. It has been mentioned that Chris Bauer acted his ass off, and that is without question. Watching Frank constantly on the edge, doing whatever he can to somehow rejuvenate the docks, and then seeing the pressure build as everything collapses...he did a beautiful job. Even Ziggy was fun. Watching this self-destructive jester who everyone is contemptuous of, who is aware of it but seems unable to change who he is, go from one fuck up to another, until he really annihilates his prospects, was fantastic. And the show still manages to maintain an interesting story for the Barksdale crew. The beginning of an alliance between Prop Joe and Stringer, the beginnings of a fracture in the relationship of Avon and Stringer, the murder of Dee.... Season 2 is great!
  3. After the death of Michael K Williams I started a rewatch of The Wire. Really I should be focused on school right now, but I couldn't resist. I started this thread for those interested in also doing a rewatch of what in my opinion is the best show ever made. I finished season 1 this morning. I found that rewatching this show is almost an entirely different experience from the first viewing. You are familiar with all the characters, and so you are primed to catch a lot of the subtleties and nuances that are easy to miss the first time through. When I first watched the The Wire, I initially found it a little boring, and wasn't really engaged until near the end of the first season. Rewatching it, I was instantly immersed. The dialog is so clever (and often hilarious), and there's virtually no extraneous material. Almost every character is fantastic, even the minor ones. McNulty, Bunk, Omar, Greggs, Stringer Bell and the Barksdale crew, Bubbles, et al. I remember for my first watch being pretty lukewarm about Lieutenant Daniels and finding Lester Freamon as somewhat of a plain character, but those two are among my favorites now. I absolutely love how Freamon goes from the quiet nobody to being basically the brains of the operation, and Daniels' journey from being a good Lieutenant but company man to becoming an amazing leader. Herc is annoying, but his role as a juxtaposition to Carver is awesome. Even the beauracratic monsters of the show (Rawls, Burrell, et al) are portrayed really well. You absolutely can understand their reasoning as they focus on short term gains and publicity against the long term consequences. One of the biggest antagonists in the first season is political myopia, and it is a far more interesting antagonist than just having some psychotic villain. Anyway, I'm really enjoying the rewatch. I invite those who are also interested in a rewatch to make any observations or comments about the show here.
  4. Mathematica. Who has time to do things by hand? Even Stanislaw Ulam invented Monte Carlo with the purpose of it being used by ENIAC and MANIAC. Honestly, I think people black box things by hand, anyway. I bet you if you asked people to prove Euler's formula you would get a lot of defeated looks.
  5. Absolutely. There are so many ways Nolan could go with this. I wish that he was willing to do a miniseries due to the breadth of the subject. I wish someone would just make a series that adapted the Rhodes' book, covering the early physics and personalities that developed the physics, going through the paranoia of Germany's potential nuclear program and America's response in the creation of the Manhattan Project, and then culminating with the bombing of Japan. There's a lot of high drama there, and HBO's Chernobyl demonstrated that you can build a lot of tension around the fear of radiation (although Chernobyl was somewhat misleading in how it handled aspects of radiation, but it was still mostly accurate and an awesome miniseries). Regardless, I am curious how the movie will turn out.
  6. I definitely will watch those. I did read the Wikipedia summary of Fatman and Little Boy. Interesting that it is taking the perspective of Groves. The artistic liberties taken has me nervous, but I'll consume any material regarding the Manhattan Project. And even with existing material, that was such a fascinating period and Oppenheimer such a fascinating character that there's plenty of room for other takes, particularly from talented storytellers like Nolan. I seriously encourage even people who don't like nonfiction to read The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Dark Sun, and The American Prometheous. All very accessible, absolutely gripping books. There's also a great book on Enrico Fermi called The Pope of Physics, which is highly entertaining. Such an extraordinary period.
  7. The Thing is probably my favorite horror movie. Anyway, this isn't enough to get its own thread, but I found this bit of news pretty exciting. The headline reads: "Christopher Nolan Bombshell: Director Talking To Multiple Studios On Film He’ll Direct About J. Robert Oppenheimer & Development Of The A-Bomb In WWII" Deadline article. I'm pretty obsessed with the Manhattan Project. Marry that with the talents of Christopher Nolan and this is already a movie I am very eager to see. Hopefully Nolan brings back Kip Thorne as a consultant. An interesting sidenote: Kip Thorne's mentor and coauthor of Gravitation and other works, John Archibald Wheeler, was involved in many aspects in the development of the atomic bomb (and nuclear physics in general - he was a very renowned physicist, who happened to also coin the term "black hole"). He also happened to lose highly classified documents on the hydrogen bomb while on a train ride. This was especially horrifying because Klaus Fuchs, another person intimately involved in the Manhattan Project, had not too long ago been revealed as an espionage agent for the Sovient Union.
  8. Uh...I guess? If someone hated the series then I would say they are prejudiced to view the trailer unfavorably. I hope you aren't implying that I hate the series. As I've said before, I thought the books were fine. I wouldn't have read all of them if I didn't like them well enough. And I hope for the best for the series. Haha, have it your way. I only saw the trailer once. Let me correct myself. Beautiful people saying portentous things while beautiful young adults assume very serious and dramatic expressions. And I forgot another similarity: The fantasy monsters!
  9. @Ran I really like your viewing selection. A lot of wonderful movies. The Lighthouse is unique! I'm excited for Eggers' forthcoming Viking movie.
  10. You're an ardent and very vocal supporter of the books and the adaptation of the books. I think you may be just *slightly* prejudiced in viewing the trailer favorably. Lots of picturesque fantasy locations, glowy magic, beautiful young adults with fierce expressions talking of portentous things, warriors doing their crazy combat maneuvers, and a huge emphasis on "look everyone, we have strong women!" benevolent sexism.
  11. Completely agree here. What an absolute shame and tragedy. He was a fantastic actor and was only 54. I started watching The Wire again after hearing this news. Brilliant right from the start. What a loss.
  12. I liked Get Out, too. I have actively disliked everything that Peele has made since. Us was ridiculous, Lovecraft Country (even though he was only executive producer) was unwatchable in how cheesy it was (and its message on race wasn't exactly told with the intelligence of In the Heat of the Night), and Twilight Zone was a catastrophic husk of the Steiger version. I learned my lesson. I refuse to watch anything with his name on it that isn't a comedy sketch. @Deadlines? What Deadlines? I was curious and examined the top earning movies ever, in terms of domestic earnings and adjusted for inflation. I went as far as the top 200. Very nearly half of those movies are from 2000 and later. And this is just in terms of domestic earnings. Which is remarkable when you consider that until the 80's and the rise of VHS, movie attendees only could access movies by watching them in theaters. Also, consider the abundance of entertainment available in the last two decades compared to then. In 2019 there were over 500 scripted TV shoes. In 2009 that number was 210. I don't have the data for <2000, but it was undoubtedly much fewer shows. And despite this wealth of competing entertainment avenues available, the fact that the last two decades still demonstrated such box office success makes me think that studios have a pretty good idea of how to make money. I see this in some of my friends, too. They will go to every Marvel movie and Star Wars movie, they will watch all the franchises, and then complain about how all of it is so unoriginal. None of them have seen the Green Knight, by the way. That thread isn't exactly blazing active on this board either. And that's because the original material generally has a much more limited appeal. The Green Knight does not follow the tried and true familiar beats. Marvel and Star Wars do and so they get the audience.
  13. You say that, but I see generic Marvel movie after generic Marvel, and generic Star Wars movie after generic Star Wars movie, and generic Jurassic Park movie/Fast and Furious movie/name your franchise, etc., rake in billions of dollars every year. These are not insightful, mentally stimulating movies. Most of them have blatant plot holes that everyone making the movie are surely aware of, but don't care about because they know that aside from a negligible number of geeks, their audience won't care about. The 70s, for example, was a time when highly original movies were being churned out. The box office was comparatively small then. Over the years, studios were able to create a huge industry of movies that regularly pull in hundreds of millions of dollars. Aside from certain aberrations, people do not want good movies. And movie executives seem to have made an industry that ought to be incredibly risky and unpredictable into a fairly reliable money generator by understanding this and providing people what they seem to actually want to watch, regardless of their later complaints.
  14. Yes. As much as executives get criticized, they generally are put at the helm where billions are at stake because they have a pretty keen sense of how to make the most out of something as variable and subjective as movies. One look at the trailer of Candyman (and seeing Jordan Peele's name) made me think it would be a generic horror movie with some hamfisted attempt of tacking on a generic message about race to appeal to critics. But I imagine this kind of laziness has been identified as being the most profitable with respect to current audiences over something that might actually be good.
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