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Messages - Funt Solo

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None of these ‘controversies’ matter.

Except that they actually do matter, because they have a studied material effect

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 23 September, 2018, 08:22:48 pm »
I'm not a fan of the Chinese government: it's a totalitarian state.  But I'm also not a fan of people who conflate that with the Chinese nation. 

The following statement does not attack the Chinese government, it attacks the nationality:

as soon as I saw the Chinese logos in the list of sponsors at the start of the film I knew this was going to be sunk by some Chinese actress with the charisma of a short plank

The follow up "The sooner we go to war with China the better." just comes across as intensely jingoistic.  Frank's suggestion that if I read another 6000 or so posts I'll see the funny side is (frankly) ludicrous.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 23 September, 2018, 05:07:59 pm »
Wait, then.  So you're saying that Professor Bear actually really loves the movie The Meg, thinks that Bingbing Li is a great actress, the amount of bloodshed in the movie was perfect and that he loves the level of financial investment in movies provided by Chinese nationals?  In other words, I need to reverse everything he says because he's playing a permanent game of Opposite Land?

Sorry: I'm not that smart.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 23 September, 2018, 04:36:22 pm »
If it really is tongue in cheek, then some context is required that would indicate that.  Some small clue.  Otherwise it's just offensive, and "just kidding" doesn't hold water.  It starts to sound like "I can say anything I like, however offensive, and if you don't like it I can pretend I didn't mean it."

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 23 September, 2018, 04:24:04 pm »
The interference of China in Western films is turning me into a bit of a racist ... The sooner we go to war with China the better.

Could you try not being so much of a racist in public?

One assumes there are solutions to your perceived problem of Chinese nationals funding movies that don't involve declarations of war.  And if you're being, I don't know, post-modern, or ironic or something like that: you need to provide more clues.  You just come across as being bluntly racist.

The actress whose work you dislike is Bingbing Li.  Whilst you are, of course, free to dislike her work, she has a long and storied career which includes a few Best Actress gongs.

Prog / Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« on: 23 September, 2018, 04:38:37 am »
You're a bit hard on Defoe, Funt!

After I wrote that review, I read the first two episodes of Defoe: The Damned (progs 1836-1837) and it does present him in a far more sympathetic light, with a troubled past of regrets at wrongs committed and a tragic end to a happy family life.

Film & TV / Re: New Dr Who Trailer
« on: 23 September, 2018, 04:24:44 am »
Am I allowed to say I think it looks absolutely cringeworthy?

No.  Wait, yes!  There is of course the potential that it would be more interesting if you added some meat of reason to your potatoes of cringe.  That is: what about the trailer makes you cringe? 

Was it the lens flare?

The quarry?

The goggles?

Megazine / Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« on: 23 September, 2018, 03:36:30 am »
Some of the best of the Meg from my catch-up read...

(2012: megs 322-330)
Script: Andy Diggle
Art: Jock
Letters: Clem Robins

Beautifully set in San Francisco, this is a movie-like action thriller fueled by fast-pacing and dynamic framing.  It's a fish out of water tale, in which a comic shop worker accidentally finds himself embroiled in a deadly game of cat and mouse with a shadowy killer.

Jock's art is superb and the setting well researched - that's definitely San Fran we're seeing - although there's a clear British sensibility sneaking in with references to Axel Pressbutton and Zenith.

The narrative drive is frenetic and the puzzle-pieces come together fast enough to keep our interest without explaining everything.  Ultimately, though, like many movies, this has a tricky third act and at one point it drives off the rails with a metaphysical (and terribly coincidentally located) endless corridor of somehow non-rotten severed body parts.  The end is ultimately ambiguous but getting there is still a wild and worthwhile ride.

Anderson, Psi-Division: Stone Voices
(2012: megs 327-331)
Script: Alan Grant
Art: Boo Cook
Letters: Ellie De Ville

There's often been a sense that Anderson's judgement is flawed: as far back as her accidentally releasing the dark judges by transporting herself to Deadworld (progs 416-427, 1985) without bothering to tell anyone.  The other narrative sometimes explored is that the emotional detriments of the job drive her to seek escape, as in Postcards From the Edge (M2.50-M2.60, 1994). 

This tale brings both those threads to the fore as Anderson (beautifully rendered by Boo Cook) tries to solve a spate of grisly yet mysterious decapitations whilst being hamstrung by an administration that doesn't fully trust her.

Ultimately, Anderson wins out over the immediate threat but the suggestion during the denouement is that she may once again seek to leave the Justice Department.

Hondo City Justice: Revenge of the 47 Ronin
(2013: megs 332-334)
Script: Robbie Morrison
Pencils: Mike Collins
Inks: Cliff Robinson
Colours: Len O'Grady
Letters: Ellie De Ville

Judge Inaba and Cadet Asahara investigate a supernatural threat to Hondo City that begins with a flashback to the ancient legend of the titular 47 ronin.  The flashback sequences are beautifully framed and styled and give a sense of depth to the setting.

In classic runaway zombie style, each person killed by the resurrected ronin rises as a new threat and so the story becomes a race against time to stop them before their numbers grow too large.  The early scenes of peace here foreshadow the later threat:

Ultimately, our heroes prevail, but we end on a cliffhanger that informs us that the ronin's puppet-master has a familial connection to Inaba, and for reasons unknown wishes her demise.

Film & TV / Re: New Dr Who Trailer
« on: 22 September, 2018, 09:12:55 pm »
Of course we've already had the definitive Doctor Who, so why bother making any more?

Prog / Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« on: 22 September, 2018, 02:01:07 am »
I'm still in Spring of 2013, but with a different batch of thrills.  Longer-running thrills have me forgetting the who's who and wondering if I should re-read the decade up to 2010 in order to appreciate them more. 

Also, I'm definitely going through a phase where I want to be able to root for the main character: and this era of 2000AD is unfortunately filled with unlikable characters.  Not just anti-heroes (like Dredd), but definitely horrible characters with no moral compass.

Take Johnny Alpha as an example of how to do it right: he's a bounty hunter, so that's the negative.  He kills for money.  But the people he kills are bad people.  They deserve it.  Nobody's going to weep for Stix (or his brother).  And so he's more like an avenging angel: he kills bad people.  He tries to do what's right.  Wulf's the one that's always going on about the money.  Ach, Johnny, ve only break even!

Now: what good did Stickleback ever do? Zombo? Finnegan Sinister? Defoe? Absalom? What good are they fighting for? It's all just so gloomy.  I can name as many heroic characters in 2000AD that I love (to read about) even if their methods are sometimes harsh: Judge Dredd, Savage, Dirty Frank, Slaine & Gene the Hackman.  Talking of Dredd...

Judge Dredd: The Forsaken (progs 1830-1835)
Script: Michael Carroll
Art: P.J. Holden
Colours: Chris Blythe
Letters: Annie Parkhouse

So, this character Dolman turned up in Debris (progs 1792-1796), just after Chaos Day, and it was clear that I should know who it was, but I had no idea.  I've since figured out he's a Dredd clone but I have no idea when he was introduced.  Like: Rico is a an ex-Judda, right?  And maybe Dolman turned up sometime around Origins as a younger clone?

The Forsaken follows Dolman and Dredd as they track a group of cadets that went rogue during Chaos Day.  The tale is heavily structured, with each episode following a different member of the group, until a final showdown in Uranium City.

Despite the notion that we never see Dredd without his helmet, all the clones we have running around now kind of put the kibosh on that:

With helmetWith beardWithout Y

Sinister Dexter: Witless Protection - Malone Again (progs 1832-1835)
Script: Dan Abnett
Art: John Burns
Letters: Ellie De Ville

We find Finnegan Sinister in a witness protection as the character Malone (initially a surprise reveal from 2006's Malone - progs 1500-1506).  In the best joke on offer, he tries to get an assassination job only to find out that he's been hired as a literal cleaner replete with mop and bucket.

Of course, his past is never far away, and before long the mop and bucket are left behind as he begins a quest to find the absent Dexter.  The puns are now so important that they've become part of the dialog just in case we miss them:

Zombo: Planet Zombo (progs 1825-1834)
Script: Al Ewing
Art: Henry Flint
Letters: Simon Bowland

Oh god!  Uhm ... wtf.  Al's a funny guy.  And a bit disturbed.  It's like you met a funny drunk guy down the pub who's just come up on some amphetamines and is just going off on one on this story about a relatively polite zombie.  It's a stream of consciousness without a conscience.  So, on the plus-side it's a funny, entertaining yarn featuring John Lennon as a psychopathically violent Scotsman.

On the downside, there's no main character, and the laughs are hit and miss.  Story-wise, uhm, well...that's not really the point.

Judge Dredd: Skulls (prog 1836)
Script: Rob Williams
Art: Trevor Hairsine
Colours: Chris Blythe
Letters: Annie Parkhouse

A bizarre one-off in which a bunch of beefcakes in Judge helmets do things like catch heat-seeker bullets in magic gloves, and replace all their 'S's with 'Z's for no narrative reason.

In part of the Chaos Day aftermath, some SJS turn up in a firefight to assist Dredd, but one of them who we're supposed to know from a past story doesn't like Dredd and vows to bring him to justice for ... causing Chaos Day.  Quite interesting if that plot point ever comes back. 

Dredd's a bit mad at the moment (the story, not the character), with so many different writers. We're at June in 2013 and so far this year there's been seven different writers.  So, it's a bit like Dredd has become Future Shocks, except it's filled with characters I can't remember.

Stickleback: Number of the Beast (progs 1824-1835)
Script: Ian Edginton
Art: D'Israeli
Letters: Ellie De Ville

I love lots of Edginton's work but Stickleback stands out as a notable exception.  The great D'Israeli art and the fascinating backdrop can't help make the main character anything other than a twisted thug with a weird back.  I've never been able to get around the fact that his back is this weird unreal thing that defies reality.  What is it supposed to be?

Plot-wise, a reptilian army in the sewers of London threaten to cut short Stickleback's recent resurrection.

General / Re: Space Spinner 2000AD
« on: 21 September, 2018, 03:23:02 am »

Film & TV / Re: New Dr Who Trailer
« on: 20 September, 2018, 10:37:29 pm »
Trailer Linky

I don't mind what gender the Doctor is, but a Yorkshire accent?  It's not exactly tiffin, what?

Suggestions / Re: Let's bring Ian Gibson back in the from the cold.
« on: 20 September, 2018, 07:03:21 pm »
...we're talking about someone who once drew a pair of tits ... Won't someone think of the children, etc?

I hadn't heard about the topless Halo episode, but found an article in the Guardian about it.

I do think it's unfair to downgrade a strong female role model to the level of cheap titillation.  Link Prime: your rather hysterical reaction suggests you're not much of a feminist?

General / Re: Space Spinner 2000AD
« on: 20 September, 2018, 06:20:40 am »
Scone (skon) can rhyme with bon (as in bon appetit): this is how it was said in my house.  I consider this the non-posh "correct" version.

Scone (skone) can rhyme with bone: posh version.

Scone (skoon) can rhyme with boon: this is just for Scone Palace and the village of Scone (in Scotland).

The Internet, of course, has a pie chart:

By the way, that's pie rhyming with eye.  Unless you're from Dundee, in which case it's pie rhyming with ray.

Just to combine the meal time debate with the scone debate, here's high tea:

Next up: is a Jaffa Cake a biscuit?

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