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Messages - Professor Bear

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Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 18 June, 2018, 08:39:05 pm »
Minister for Health is an unelected position, and the current incumbent is independently wealthy, was parachuted into his parliamentary seat when the previous incumbent became a dame or whatever the heck the inbred title is, and is widely regarded as a shock absorber for the government ideological position of dismantling a free at point of use NHS.  It is literally impossible for him to give less fucks what people think of him.

Off Topic / Re: Stand out neighbours?
« on: 17 June, 2018, 08:18:10 pm »
My downstairs neighbors are
1 - an ex-Forrin Legionnaire with some form of PTSD that prompts him to scream at his flatmate in a one-way conversation usually sparked off by minor things, which goes on for ages and one time I (carefully and quietly) left the flat as he was scream-talking at the other guy and as I exited the building, I met the other guy coming back from the pub, and
2 - the other guy, who smokes and drinks to cope with his nerves, because something puts him on edge - I guess I'll never find out what that thing might be - but he smokes only the stinkiest of weed, which I assume I have gotten used to over the years as one time my niece visited and was taken slightly ill from the brief exposure she had in the communal hallway.
Recent high points include neighbor #2 having to be carted off by an ambulance, and #1 deciding to have a barbecue in - for some reason - my back yard instead of his own, despite his back yard being an 8 by 4 stretch of concrete with a handy and pleasant bit of shade offered by a neighbor's tree, while my back yard is 3x4 of scrub ground currently 90% occupied by propane tanks.  I can see my yard clearly from the kitchen window so I had a great view of #2 walking down the garden path, through his own garden, into mine where he set up the barbecue right beside a large tank full of explosive gas, unfold a chair, put his head in his hands and burst into tears.  There's no fire escape in my flat, which I mention because both seem like the type to start a chip pan fire at 4am.

Film & TV / Re: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
« on: 17 June, 2018, 05:37:52 pm »
I always found the quips problematic in that they usually fed into the narrative that Spidey was a bullied kid who in turn became a bully.  It makes him a more interesting character than he'd otherwise be, but too often the core of the character being a selfish arsehole is ignored - although the dreadful 1990s cartoon was spot-on in realising this over the years, to the point that when Spidey meets alternate universe versions of himself, the one whose Uncle Ben never died is a successful businessman because he was never guilted into changing his ways.

Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 17 June, 2018, 05:30:13 pm »
Unless there's follow up and the duel of wits has been ended with nothing less than conclusive victory, the questions being asked were never asked.  I learned this further up the thread when we discussed PMQs.

Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 17 June, 2018, 02:51:40 pm »
I like how everyone is banging on about the Brexit Dividend like it's a real thing for the country rather than a windfall for the small number of press baron billionaires who get to avoid paying the EU's new tax rates.  The Prime Minister is on tv promising literal magic money and the BBC refuse to ask any questions.

Film & TV / Re: Han Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
« on: 16 June, 2018, 04:26:11 pm »
Episode 9 is the last movie in a series that has spanned decades, so it's guaranteed a huge opening and even the hardcore haters will show up for it.  There is almost zero chance of it making a loss and the only question that needs to be answered is "will it perform as well as the movie which preceded it?", which I shall answer in the spirit of The Last Jedi* and say "yeah probably."

Abrams has never yet written a satisfying ending to anything.

Abrams said ages ago that Ray and Finn's stories won't be finished in Episode 9, although he does actually lie about the content of his work ahead of time ("He's not playing Khan", "the island is not purgatory", "we'll answer the Rimbaldi question" and "the island does not move" to name but a few classics) so maybe it'll all be wrapped up in a neat little box by the time the credits roll, though I wouldn't bet on it as I don't see branding-obsessed Disney as willing to let that opening scrawl/John Williams theme combo be put beyond their use.

* IE: the least interesting answer possible to any questions you may have.**

** which means it is actually the cleverest and most satisfying answer of all IF YOU ONLY UNDERSTOOD IT LIKE I DO.

Film & TV / Re: Han Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
« on: 12 June, 2018, 04:34:21 pm »
All petulance aside, TLJ was an organic jumping-off point for a certain generation of Star Wars fan: no more Han, no more Luke, no more Leia - we all love Chewie and those gay robots, but if you don't think they can carry a film on their own and don't think much of the new characters, why would you bother coming back for another movie that contains none of the original stars and isn't about the Jedi/Empire stuff?
I can see why Solo wouldn't enthuse someone, but it's a shame as I really liked it.  I'm thinking of starting a social media narrative about how "SJWs" are what are keeping the film back because L3 makes fun of them and feminists and lefties have no sense of humor about themselves, so hopefully the incels and fanboys will flock to see it before it leaves cinemas.  I know it's not much, but it's still more of a plan for marketing this turkey than Disney had.

Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 12 June, 2018, 11:26:49 am »
Kim Jung has seen that someone like Trump can head a first world country and suddenly decides the DPRK can fit in?  Are we entirely sure this is good news?

Film & TV / Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« on: 11 June, 2018, 02:24:51 pm »
LOL shows how little I care about these characters that I didn't even notice.

Film & TV / Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« on: 11 June, 2018, 12:29:50 pm »
What gets me is that Wally actually needs a room full of super scientists to tell him to use his own Flash powers.  I sometimes wonder if there was maybe an early episode that I missed where he turns up to a fight with a gun or something and everyone is like "no Wally there's a better way to do this" so their shouting in his ear for the rest of the series makes sense.  As it is, he just looks like a moron.

Books & Comics / Re: Wildcat - any good?
« on: 10 June, 2018, 10:47:10 pm »
Its major problem was that it was old-school and more akin to Eagle than 2000ad at a time when comics were becoming more sophisticated, and obviously the single universe in which all the stories took place may or may not be something you can get behind - but as an indulgent adult used to reading comics from that era, you'll probably appreciate it more than you would have done if reading it as a kid at the time.
The art was amazing, and to give it its due, Kitten Magee - an action/sci-fi story about a female lead backed up by an all-female cast - in what was clearly a boys' comic?  I'm sorry to bring it up when everyone is having a nice evening but by the time 2000ad sacked up to try such a thing it was Space Girls, and that was about ten years after Wildcat folded.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 10 June, 2018, 02:06:43 pm »
Pacific Rim 2: Uprising - I think the critics might have a point about this sequel never reaching the intellectual heights of the first movie, but this is probably the first film I can think of that's been actively kneecapped by a shameless pandering to other territories rather than the obvious pandering elements just being amusing.  There are a whole bunch of arcs that go nowhere* because a (rather bad) Chinese actor is shoehorned into scenes clearly set up for the annoying kid character and her home-made robot, but that character is in the rest of the movie so she has to be given something to do in the final act, which requires that a Chris Evans lookalike be written out of those scenes hurriedly without resolving his arc with John Boyega's character - which is basically Boyega's entire arc in the film.  So lots of stuff goes nowhere because one actor is crowbarred into scenes built around other actors' characters, but where this gets funny is if you Google the actor and find she is apparently not liked in China specifically because she's been crowbarred into many high-profile projects despite limited acting experience, so she's more likely to keep Chinese audiences away.  It's quite bizarre.
Anyway, despite the use of rocket science in the final act**, this is not actually rocket science as a movie, but it looks great and is entertaining even if nothing is ever really resolved very well and the non-monstery bits set in expensive-looking sets, the blatant China pandering, the alt-history setting and the open ending just makes it seem very similar to Independence Day: Resurgence - the whole "aliens want our molten lava!" McGuffin probably doesn't help, either.

* the "scrapper" robot arc, the single-pilot arc, Boyega/Not Chris Evans characters' animosity, annoying kid's trauma arc, etc
** especially a shameless theft from Kamen Rider Fourze

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 08 June, 2018, 07:47:40 pm »
La Tortue Rouge - French/Japanese animated film in which a shipwrecked man encounters a giant red turtle which he kills and fucks, in that order.  Bloody French.
Worth a look if you fancy letting the kids watch something different.

Film & TV / Re: Han Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
« on: 08 June, 2018, 12:45:26 am »
Finally saw this tonight, on the darkest low-contrast projector onto the worst screen I have ever experienced, in a cinema so ball-broilingly hot and humid that I'm surprised they didn't charge extra for the use of the sauna

Aw, heck, TB, if I'd known you were visiting Cookstown we could have met up for a pint, as clearly you used the same cinema I did.  RedLetterMedia actually complained about the cinematography in this being really dark, and I had problems figuring out what was happening in the odd bit - I especially couldn't make out some of the Maelstrom/gravity well stuff.  As near as I can figure, Howard for some reason made a deliberate aesthetic choice to make everything look dank and industrial.

Also should have mentioned the design work, especially the towering Chris Foss-inspired yacht that looked like it could have sailed straight off an Asimov cover circa 1980.  I know Foss did some concept work on Jorodowsky's abortive Dune adaptation, so was this a design he did for Lucasfilm in the same period?
Also really liked the nice touch of Beckett's face just before he dies - like he's about to burst into tears as he realises he's where he is because of the bad decisions he's made since Val's death.  He seems angry at the selfless nature of her death immediately after it happens, and only seems to get his head straight by retreating into the infantile mantras and codas of the scoundrel and rogue, much as Han would when things go to shit between episodes 6 and 7.  "Don't trust anybody" he tells Han, only to hear "You trusted Val."  Did he tho?  Was that why he was angry?  I suspect I'll be trying to unpack that character arc for a while.
Of course then they go and ruin it with the comedy URRRRGGGH death rattle immediately after Woody's crying death face.  If they'd done a big fart noise and a wet splat to denote he'd pooed his pants it would have had much the same effect.
I did like L3, but I suspect a lot of people didn't because they felt they were being made fun of.
I thought Last Jedi reheating the Emperor's Throne Room scene from RotJ was dumb, but I liked it here.
Also: Teras Kasi - WOOT!

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 07 June, 2018, 10:59:03 pm »
I thought it was great.

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