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Messages - CalHab

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Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 16 February, 2021, 08:25:27 AM »
War Dogs - a Jonah Hill vehicle, although the main character is another actor who sounds like he's doing a Jonah Hill impersonation. It's got a voice over that indicates it's trying to be a cross between Goodfellas and The Wolf of Wall Street, and the plot is all "isn't it fun to be a capitalist shit-heel earning money from global conflict". Openly despising the moral choices of the two leads to the extent that they're not anti-heroes but open-villains made this difficult to swallow and I only managed about a third before jumping ship.

This sounds a bit like the Nicolas Cage film Lord of War? I remember that being an interesting but uneven film (obviously this description could apply to any Nic Cage film).

Film & TV / Re: Carano, Whedon and all that
« on: 16 February, 2021, 08:17:56 AM »
Some stars use social media quite effectively, building a personal following and rapport with fans, most do not. I'm a bit bewildered about why they do it. Is it an ego thing?

I agree that replacing Pascal would be a serious issue (even if what he'd said was comparable, which it isn't from what I've seen), but Carano can very easily be written out. She was a pretty underdeveloped character and her plot role can be served by any hired muscle with a big gun.

Books & Comics / Re: colin murray show on comics this evening on 5live
« on: 16 February, 2021, 08:06:35 AM »
Thanks, that sounds good! Colin Murray is a very entertaining presenter on Fighting Talk, so I'll look out for that.

Books & Comics / Re: Bargains/deals thread (?)
« on: 15 February, 2021, 03:17:01 PM »
I've never read Scott Pilgrim either. It got a lot of attention for a short period and now seems to be almost completely forgotten.

Film & TV / Re: Carano, Whedon and all that
« on: 15 February, 2021, 03:11:39 PM »
I assume that this government will be happy if History departments are closed, since they exist purely to examine our understanding of the past, i.e. "rewrite history".

Richard J Evans wrote about this at the weekend. He knows what he's talking about.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 15 February, 2021, 03:00:36 PM »
Quite a good weekend for my film viewing and saw a couple of new ones:

Uncle Frank (Amazon Prime). A very touching story about the eponymous Uncle (Paul Bettany) and his family in South Carolina in 1970. Frank is gay and has a strained relationship with his dad and family. This is a very well written piece and every character has depth and personality. Bettany is outstanding and I wouldn't be surprised if this comes up at awards season. Well worth a watch.

Booksmart (Amazon Prime). I vaguely remembered this getting plaudits at the time but ignored it as a teen comedy. My loss, as its excellent. The film deftly skewers the stereotyping and narrow roles these films often use and provides a fun and sympathetic cast of characters. Its not exactly a realistic portrayal of teenage life, I can't believe teens in LA have a lifestyle remotely like that, but there is a truth in there. If the archetypal teen movie The Breakfast Club is hard to watch these days, then this is a far superior film and a more than adequate replacement.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 25 January, 2021, 04:01:19 PM »
Two films this weekend:
Damsel a 2018 western by the Zellner brothers (on Netflix), and starring David Zellner, Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson. I'd never heard of this or the Zellners and decided to give it a shot. It has surreal elements which it doesn't quite pull off and that just seem a bit derivative of other, better films. My wife successfully predicted the plot after about 15 minutes, which was also an issue. It's just.... not particularly good. Wasikowska and Pattinson play their roles well enough, but they are paper thin.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (on Amazon Prime). It took me a bafflingly long time to get round to this considering how much I love In Bruges. The central performance from Frances McDormand is outstanding, but the rest is just a bit baggy and ill defined. What is the purpose of Peter Dinklage's character? The redemption arc for Sam Rockwell's character is ridiculous and the casting of Abbie Cornish as Woody Harrelson's wife is jarringly weird. The problems with the film have actually made me think about In Bruges again, and the problems it has. With all that being said, Three Billboards is a good, well made film. But it's far from the tour-de-force that the reviews at the time suggested.

Books & Comics / Re: Devlin Waugh in the prog
« on: 25 January, 2021, 12:55:05 PM »
Compared to the possessed dildo shite running in the meg for the past year?
It's a different dimension.

On the other hand, I've enjoyed the AleŇ° Kot stories. Which just goes to prove....something.

Other Reviews / Re: KING'S REACH: 25 years at the top
« on: 25 January, 2021, 12:52:49 PM »
Image have a creator-favouring model that manages to shift risk and reward firmly onto the creators. Rebellion, for better or worse, take the risk away from creators and give them a fixed return. Both of those sound to me like reasonably approaches, as long as every party knows what they're getting into. The problems historically have come from unforeseen issues (merchandising, reprints etc) and a lack of clear (or any) contracts.

Back on topic, Sanders came across very poorly in the Meg interview and I decided not to get the book since I could easily imagine myself flinging it out the window in a rage.

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 12 January, 2021, 10:02:28 AM »
I'm not a big fan of crime fiction, but I feel like I should read Stuart Macbride as an Aberdonian. Is he worth it for someone who doesn't usually read the genre?

BTW, the last crime novel I read was by Ann Cleeves. It was okay, but I found the murderous sprees of Shetland villagers more implausible than the science-fiction that I usually read.

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 07 January, 2021, 02:13:08 PM »
Just finished reading Neuromancer. I'm late to the party I know but if one good thing has come from all the Cyberpunk 2077 hype before Christmas, it's the fact that I finally made the point of picking it up and reading it.
Hard to believe it was written 36 years ago. The scenes in "the matrix" are amazingly visual and graphical as described by Gibson. I was visualising them as drawn by INJ Culbard, with the exaggerated perspective model style he is so good at.
You're making me feel very old. I read it in 1984 and several times since. Always a treat.

I don't think I  read it until 1985, but it's hard to overstate how important a book it was "back then". I'd say my mate's single copy was read by at least ten of us over the course of a fortnight: it was all we talked about. The  excitement with which Count Zero was anticipated was insane.

I would have read Neuromancer about 1989, when the clunky Interplay RPG adaptation came out. Funny that a more recent computer game adaptation is reviving interest in it!

I reread it every few years, along with the Burning Chrome collection. I still love it.

Other Reviews / Re: MISTY WINTER SPECIAL 2020
« on: 07 January, 2021, 02:02:10 PM »
I thought the first story was outstanding. One of the best short stories I've read in a long time and an interesting exploration of class signifiers. I'd be very happy to read work by this team again and will be checking Jim's link.

The second story was more conventional and I enjoyed it too. David Roach was excellent, as always.

General / Re: Specials 2021?
« on: 07 January, 2021, 11:02:08 AM »
The specials package they put out last year was an excellent offer, and it meant that every so often I received a comic I'd completely forgotten about ordering, which was very welcome. I hope they repeat it.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 22 December, 2020, 09:22:42 AM »
Hotel Artemis.

Watched this last night on your recommendation. It plays like a pleasingly efficient (run time a compact 90min) adaptation of an admittedly-lesser William Gibson short story. It isn't, but that's exactly how it feels. I doubt it's going into anyone's Top Ten Best Movies, but it rattles through its running time at a brisk pace and the supporting cast do a decent job with broadly-sketched roles around Foster's excellent central performance.

I rather enjoyed it, and there are definitely much worse ways to kill an hour and a half.

Yes, those were my thoughts as well.

I think it wears the Gibson influence quite openly. Low-life and high-tech. Sofia Boutella's character could be Molly Millions with a very light rewrite. Glad you enjoyed it too!

General / Re: Nemesis the Early Heresies
« on: 22 December, 2020, 09:12:53 AM »
Both books have just arrived for me too. They really are rather lovely things.

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