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Landed Knight

Landed Knight (6/8)

  1. I'm going to start watching the show this weekend with a friend. I'm rereading the comics and they remain wonderful the second time through. Werthead, your review has really elevated my excitement. Now my worry is that I will enjoy this show and Netflix will cancel it within the first two seasons.
  2. This paraphrase is my complaint of modern comic book movies in general actually. I thought that while The Joker was indeed a much lesser movie than the movies it borrowed from, it still worked well enough because of Joaquin Phoenix's performance, which I think really was worthy of the Academy Award he earned for this movie. Reeves' and Nolan's Batman movies aside, The Joker looks like a work of genius if you compare it to any DC property that has come out in the last three decades. I would even (some exceptions aside), extend that statement to include Marvel, with its amorphous blob of "eh" quality movies. (As someone who complains about comic book movies, I'm guilty of having been reeled in to watch all too many of them. )
  3. Going off @Ran's suggestion, I watched Stray Dog, one of the few Kurosawa movies I hadn't seen. I don't know why I held off on watching this particular one. It was excellent. And this has put me in the mood for more Japanese cinema. I believe I will watch the Musashi trilogy next. I usually would read the book first, but I have quite a few others that I need to get through first. Also, I suspect this will be one of the rare cases where it is better to watch the films and then read the book. I also plan on watching Drive My Car. I've only read Norwegian Wood by Murakami. It was an ok book. But I look forward to this movie.
  4. They are familiar with that graph. I love xkcd, btw.
  5. It's true that there is a strong science skepticism movement that permeates our culture. As far as it pertains to climate change, it is actually an interesting psychological phenomenon deeply embedded in cognitive biases. I know some very intelligent skeptics of climate change, one of whom is currently a consultant for TerraPower on their fast reactor (and it is not easy to become a consultant for TerraPower). This person has multiple publications to their name, and is an acknowledged expert in their field. But they do consider the variability argument to be compelling. They aren't a climate change denier by any means, but they do feel that ultimately human influence is being exaggerated for political purposes, and technology in the market economy will adapt smoothly enough that climate change, while not a simple problem, doesn't deserve the hysterics that it often provokes. On the other hand, I know some people who are absolutely convinced that climate change is a dominant problem of modern times, but these people are extremely ignorant about basically anything regarding climate change and its effects. They purely are partisan acolytes, and the physicist I know would wipe the floor with them in a debate on this issue. And I'm sure that has historically been true with the debate on whether we know if smoking causes cancer. It doesn't help when you have instances where decades of accepted scientific data does turn out to be false, and even falsified (eg the recent scandal on Alzheimer's disease research).
  6. A good book to read on this topic is Merchants of Doubt by Conway and Oreskes. The "natural variability" argument is an easy one to proselytize to those poorly informed on the topic. It's probably going to continue to be one of the more popular ones for a long time yet. If there has been billions of years over which the climate has varied widely, isn't it a reasonable possibility that grant money-hungry scientists and green energy tycoons are exaggerating the effect humans have and the modern change in climate actually falls into that natural variability? It's a conspiracy theory that is easy to arrive to for those receptive to such misinformation.
  7. Sure, I remember our discussion. It's a fair opinion. I'm going to get into Tchaikovsky pretty soon myself!
  8. I'm not going to watch this show, but I definitely will keep up with this thread. For me, the hate that Star Wars is subject to is the real entertainment that the show will bring. And I have a good feeling that the hate will come. It's pretty clear what Disney's formula of success is. Galvanize the used up, dessicated cadaver of previous overdone material, apparently hire kindergarteners to populate the writing staff, and then throw millions at the show and hope that fans obsessed with getting the same material over and over again will be satisfied with yet again having the usual slop but maybe with pretty visuals. There will be those of the audience who know the game and simply don't care and can enjoy it anyway. But there will always be those who for some reason conceive that they were supposed to be served a Michelin 3 star meal or something and complain that they got the standard cattle feed. (Yeah, I guess I'm still bitter about giving Obi-Wan a chance. Why, McGregor? You were *my* chosen one!)
  9. I thought The Three Body Problem was fantastic. I think some people are disappointed because they expect it to be a Neal Stephenson or Greg Egan kind of hard scifi, and it isn't. The trilogy is much more in the spirit of Asimov's Foundation series. That is, the characters have no depth, but it is rich with ideas and the story is absolutely wonderful. Probably one of my favorite trilogy of books.
  10. Starting up J Robert Oppenheimer: A Life by Abraham Pais. Pais also wrote the absolutely wonderful Subtle is the Lord, the best biography of Einstein by a fair measure. The unique thing about Pais is that he was a rather famous physicist in his own right, and personally knew and was friends with the subjects of his biographies. Also, his biographies are biographies of the subject's scientific work, and pretty comprehensive at that. Frankly, I find myself profoundly disinterested in the lurid details of who Einstein or Oppenheimer were having affairs with - it's prosaic and crushingly boring. However, a biography that goes into their famous works, and the elements of their life and chain of thoughts that lent them inspiration is very fascinating. And that's where Pais excels. Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading this one. I plan to follow it up with Pais' biography of Niels Bohr. I'm also reading The Wandering Earth collection of short stories by Cixin Liu. And finally, @Tywin et al. has sufficiently intrigued me about Dragon Ball that I plan on reading the manga. The anime is incredibly long, which I find too intimidating, but manga are pretty easy to go through. I'm excited!
  11. These are good points, but they don't change my assessment. Regardless of whether Homelander "held back" or Maeve did a lot of training, the ultimate outcome was that season 3 saw Homelander getting a fair thrashing throughout, which greatly diminishes the sense of terror which accompanied his character and was such a fascinating part of the show. For me, all that careful buildup of Homeland's character was squandered for Maeve's uninteresting arc. That and the Compound V power up overdid it. As far as I'm concerned the show destroyed its own hook for nothing.
  12. Fair enough. It seems we're looking for different things in this show. I would say if Homelander successfully slapped down Maeve for showing some spine, the spirit of the show would be that sometimes underdogs underestimate themselves and when pressed do remarkable things, but then sometimes underdogs have correctly evaluated themselves and when they attempt some heroism they are beaten down. Which is consistent with real life. I disagree. Homelander was like some elemental terror, a ticking time bomb that could go off at any moment. He was this constant menace in the background, like the Joker in The Dark Knight, or Jaws. At some point this would all have to come to a climax, of course. The premise of the show initially was very interesting. When you have this God-like force set against a group of much weaker individuals, one wonders how they could possibly contend with this force? Well, in answer this show provided the characters with a serum that gave them nearly equivalent powers, and also showed that Homelander himself was potentially outclassed by his own colleagues. Nothing clever or interesting. Maeve simply had to have her anime-trope of an emotionally induced power-up and suddenly she could take the most powerful baddies on. This is incredibly boring to me. Suddenly Jaws is just some random shark who can be easily taken down. The writers just have to procure for the characters some improved Compound V, or Maeve can rediscover her powers again - maybe through another introspective, emotional episode. Etc. Homelander comes off as an artificial threat at this point, which largely takes away from the series in my opinion. For me, Maeve is a deeply uninteresting character. The humiliations she endured were sometimes amusing, but the character herself was about as fascinating as a wet noodle. And I don't particularly care for redemption arcs in general. There are exceptions. I liked the one in Schindler's List, and the one in Unforgiven (especially how it ended). I also liked Jaime Lannister's arc (in the books), and also Jean Valjean (probably the most saccharine of the lot, though). Maeve's redemption did nothing for me. It would have been much more satisfying to me to see her further humiliated and then killed off. I would have been fine if A-Train were also killed, though I really enjoy his character. Quite frankly, I would have taken anything for this show to do something fresh. For me, this was the point they should have killed Homelander and ended the show, or taken things in a different direction. I would have liked it if in the battle between Homelander and Soldier Boy, they end up casually killing everyone else like insects (Hughie, Butcher, et al.). And then the final season is just about Homelander mishandling everything, going increasingly insane and then reducing the world to ashes at the end. Or Hughie, in his naive idealism, releasing the formula for Compound V to the public, so everyone can obtain superpowers, which leads to society self-annihilating. Or something. Anything. The premise as it is has been played out and is no longer compelling. On this we are absolutely in agreement. With all the spinoffs and everything in the works, the show has taken a tragic and abrupt nosedive in quality for me.
  13. I just finished reading The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. It had some very comical moments in it: However, I found much of it very boring. And so other than the occasional high point, it was a bit of a chore to read. Good thing it was short.
  14. I absolutely love Dark, but the criticisms of the details of time travel in that show are quite valid. It's not a hard scifi show. Great show.
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