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Messages - pictsy

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Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 21 May, 2022, 11:38:20 AM »
I finished Lords and Ladies and I'm currently on Volume 17 of Berserk, so nearly half way through.

To begin with I want to deal with one thing to do with Berserk.  I knew going into it that it had a lot of depictions of sexual assault and I had the understanding that they were predominantly not good depictions.  There is even a rape based fridging.  Too much of it came across as not only being used for cheap shock value and perverse titillation to the point where it was breaking my immersion.  It gets really hard to read something when ones eyes are rolling so much.  It's not good.  But I'm not bringing any new insight into this - it's very self-evident.  Regardless, I wouldn't have felt right if I didn't address it.

It's still very engaging.  There are things I like and there are things I don't like (in addition to the above).  I really want to see where this goes and what shape the narrative ends up taking.  I say to myself "I'll just read a little bit and then go and [insert chore here]" and before I know it I've got through another Volume.  It really is hard to put down (figuratively speaking).  I think it's clear I'm getting something out of it and I am seeing why it's been praised so much.

So.  Lord and Ladies.  It's a Pratchett book.  Not one of the best, certainly, but it's still very solid.  I think it's a good conclusion to Magrat's role as a main character.  The thing that originally left a big impression on me is still the highlight.  These Elves are really sadistic.  I don't recall Discworld ever getting into real horror, but this is the closest it comes to it.  I know there are references to A Midsummer Nights Dream, but I'm not sure how many as I'm not especially familiar with that play.  I also get there are some real folk lore references in here.  But a little part of me thinks there may be a push back against Tolkien's depiction of Elves.  I remember having that impression the first time I read Lords and Ladies.  It's probably just my inference, but I do enjoy the juxtaposition after finishing a Middle-Earth binge.  It was also fun having parallels between Lords and Ladies and the Lost Children chapters of Berserk.  I had a lot of fun reading it.

Next up, Men At Arms.

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 13 May, 2022, 09:14:21 PM »
Hmmm.  Methinks now would be an opportunity for a re-read and comparison.  Having read it numerous times but finding it less memorable than some of Sir TP's work (not often I'd go with the honorific but in this case it is entirely justified to my thinking ...) it will be interesting to see how our views compare.

"... but room good Fairy!  Here comes my master!"

That certainly could be interesting.  I have only read the book once before and all I really remember of it is that I really liked Pratchett's take on Elves.

I do have a reason for picking Lords and Ladies out specifically.  Some time ago I was working through the books I have in chronological order (sans Moving Pictures - I struggle with that book) and I needed a change after Small Gods (one of my favourites).  I'm probably going to carry on up until Soul Music at least, as that was the first Discworld novel I ever read.

It may take some time for before I'm able to give my thoughts on Lords and Ladies.  I'm not a fast reader.

Oh, I also started reading the manga Berserk because I've recently watched two YouTube videos praising it to the high heavens.  Got through the first two volumes, but I don't have much to say about it.  Apparently the first arc is less significant until you read later arcs.

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 13 May, 2022, 08:11:36 PM »
Hehe.  Well, I actually enjoyed the rabbit stew and Bombadil parts.  Now those sodding poems on the other hand...

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 13 May, 2022, 10:32:34 AM »
Last night I finished Lord of the Rings and completed my Tolkien binge.  It was interesting and reading the Silmarillion put some things in a slightly new context.

Overall, my big take away is that Tolkien was an inconsistent writer.  I spent a good portion of the latter part of the read wondering whether he had an editor, because it reads like he needed one.  There are many times where it is really engaging and interesting and I felt very much invested.  Then there are times where it drags with an interminable pace and I was just praying for it to hurry up and finish.  Lord of the Rings isn't as tedious as the Silmarillion, but there are times when it gives that book a run for its money.  This is, I think, the second time I have made it through to the end, but not the second time I have tried to.  I usually give up in the second half of Fellowship.  That part of the book is incredibly boring.

Usually when I finish a book I have a moment of reflection and think about the experience I just had and how it's come to an end.  When I finished this book it was a relief to be done with it.  It was nice to revisit it and get to the end again but it was, nevertheless, a chore.

Next up I'm reading Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett.

Film & TV / Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« on: 11 May, 2022, 05:42:42 PM »
I've been watching One Piece.

I watched the first three arcs many years ago, but didn't really remember whether I liked any of it or not.  I thought I'd give it another go.  There is a lot to get through, however and I'm not even at the point where I dropped out.  I'm not sure I'll make it to the end because I am getting suspicious that it's horribly over-rated.  I'm thinking I may end up watching more than I did last time, but eventually I'll just get tired of it.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 09 May, 2022, 09:28:16 AM »
I've given up on the Dragon Ball Z movies, much like how I gave up on the Dragon Ball Z series.  I decided to watch a different piece of crap.

Raw Deal
It starts off pretty fine.  Arnie is infiltrating a Mafia organisation or something to find out who the rat is in the police force or FBI or something.  I don't know.  Then he just kills them all at the end.  I don't know why, if that was a valid solution, he didn't just do that to begin with.  What a waste of time.  A bad point of view about policing in a film that is utterly pointless in it's own incompetence.  Nevertheless, I'd never watched it before and it's not the worst Arnie film I've seen.  That's not saying much though.

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 22 April, 2022, 12:23:10 PM »
Earthsea is certainly something I've been feeling I should read.

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 21 April, 2022, 07:34:23 PM »
The Two Towers

It's been a long time since I last read this book and it was the only book of the three I read before seeing the Peter Jackson films.  It reminded me a lot of why I was so disappointed with the second film and put off reading Return of the King.  It's much more consistent than The Fellowship of the Ring.  The twists and turns are enjoyable in both halves of the book.  I'm feeling more optimistic about Return of the King and finishing off this Tolkien binge.

I'm going to need a real palette cleanser before heading into my planned Moorcock binge.  I'm thinking maybe a few Pratchett books.

The Mask  I got access to all the main series, but I didn't finish it all.  The gimmick gets tiresome after a while.  It's not an outstanding narrative, nor was I expecting it to be.  I was expecting something pretty poor, in fact.  I found it was engaging up until Hunt for Green October.  It ended up being an interesting read.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 18 April, 2022, 02:02:37 PM »
I've been watching Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z movies lately.  They are weird.  Where the show had issues of dragging things out for far too long, the films have the opposite problem.  Cramming all the DBZ tropes into 45 minutes at a break neck pace.  It's all going by so fast I barely notice what a bunch nonsense it is.  My favourite is the one where the villain is defeated by whistling.  Classic.

The original Bardoc special was decent enough.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 07 April, 2022, 12:27:39 PM »
I always thought it was real, because when he is under - to have the implant - there is a conversation he cannot hear where the implanters say that the memory has not been implanted yet.

Same.  If I'm recalling correctly that's also the scene where they wipe his memory of having been to Recall and send him home.

Nevertheless, Paul Verhoeven has given credence to the ambiguity stating it was his intention to make it that way.  Also that it's both real and fake at the same time.  I can't reconcile that with the movie I see and if he really intended that at the time then he failed in what he set out to achieve.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 07 April, 2022, 10:21:01 AM »
Total Recall was kind of ruined for me because of the whole "it's ambiguous" thing.  I never thought it was ambiguous to the viewer, only to the protagonist. 

For something like this to sell me on that premise the bare minimum must be that every scene has the protagonist present, so we are seeing it entirely from their point of view.  If I'm seeing stuff they aren't, I'm not sold.

Also don't show me a scene of an event that protagonist has wiped from memory.  If they don't remember it, we shouldn't see it.

If I am to respect the interpretation that within the film the events aren't real, then I can't respect the film.  At this point it's hard to watch because of that.

It's a shame because it was one of favourite Schwarzenegger films.

Film & TV / Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« on: 31 March, 2022, 09:05:58 PM »
Regarding The Expanse - and from the perspective of reading the books only - I'd say the high water mark of the narrative is the [SPOILERS AHOY] bombardment of Earth (in book 2 of 9). It's not that nothing happens after that point, but that there's a bit of enemy-shuffling, a bit of Eastenders, then a jump forward in time - and the momentum fizzles.

Still kept me engaged enough to read the entire book series, but there are highs and lows. Unlike the work of, say, Iain M. Banks, I don't know if I'll ever re-read these.

That seems to track.  I had to look up a book synopsis to understand what point in the series that is.  The TV show, for me, peaked with the first season.  The Second season where the bombardment happens is pretty good as well, but it's diminishing returns from there on out.  Apparently Season 4 adapts the forth book of the series.  I'm guessing it's the Eastenders portion.

I really should finish The Culture series.  I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books.  However, I was thinking after finishing Lord of the Rings I'd start reading a shit-ton of Michael Moorcock.  Now I don't know what to think.

Film & TV / Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« on: 31 March, 2022, 07:52:18 PM »
The Expanse Season 4

Ugh, no.  Not fun nor interesting.  Very boring, dull and predictable.  This all dragged out far too long with too many cliches.  I did think at one point "maybe they'll do something with Amos" but by the end they hit the big reset button for him.  The whole season could have excised the guff and filled about four episodes.  Maybe five if you want some incredibly boring election narrative.  At this point I think less of the previous Seasons.  What I thought was a set up for something insightful and interesting has ended up kind of trite and obvious.  I groaned all the way through it.

Not sure if anything they do after this could possible be redeemable.  One thing I do know is this show isn't finding itself into my regular viewing circulation solely because I really don't want to have to go through Season 4 ever again.

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 25 March, 2022, 10:03:05 AM »
Fellowship of the Ring

I'm tackling Lord of the Rings pretty slowly.  It can be such a dirge of a read that I don't find myself able to voraciously devour it.  Also, when it comes to Fellowship at least, I much prefer the beginning.  Once the Hobbits get to Bree it gets much less interesting for me.  That's probably why I have got bored of the book so many times before getting to The Two Towers.

I was wondering what take away I'd get from the books this time round and it's not much.  I don't like the Sam and Frodo dynamic in the books.  The subservience of Sam is something I am not onboard with. His loyalty doesn't seem to be that of friendship to Frodo.  Frodo may view Sam as a friend, but Sam views Frodo as his Master.  He comes across as Frodo's loyal pet.  I know what this is and where this has come from and I don't find it an admirable character dynamic.

Anyway, I'll be moving on to The Two Towers.  I have a feeling I'll be liking one half of the book more than the other again.

Film & TV / Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« on: 22 March, 2022, 02:00:06 PM »
The Expanse Season 3

It ended up being okay.  It's a little jarring how it has a conclusion in the middle of the season and then has a time jump and new story to finish off the rest of the season.  Overall it ended up being entertaining and there was still plenty to like.  Camina is my favourite character of this season.  I'm kinda waiting on Amos to develop one way or another as a character.  He keeps getting paired with moral compasses but not a lot really progresses and he still remains frustratingly static.  His brand of apathetic nihilism is boring by this point and I don't see the point in him being a character if little is done with him.

So yeah, as the seasons go on the flaws of the show become more apparent and it will always live in the shadow of a really excellent first season.  It's still good, though and I think it's probably harsh to knock it for not meeting the potential I think it had at the beginning.  I'm just happy to still be enjoying it.

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