(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:55 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Eww...really who wants to see a man put a digital tracking device up a woman's vagina in an action film?

2. There's nothing like a slew of bad reviews to make one curious about a movie or television series...I mean can it really be THAT bad? And if they network is cancelling it after 8 episodes yet still airing all 8 and even premiered it in IMAX..

3. Maybe it's just me, but this plot synopsis makes no sense


She had no idea what passion was,
Until she saw them…

Lady Alain needs a husband, and Quintin Wyntor will do just fine.

She will offer him a mutual agreement of respect and independence–
As long as he never visits her bed to claim his marital rights.

But seeing him with a man, with Calder, changes it all.
For better–and for worse.

Passion stirred.
Desire ignited.
And yet, she still never wants to touch or be touched.

But Quinn’s heart is shattered when his lover walks away so he decides to explore his feelings for Celeste to ease his broken heart.

In one unchecked moment of passion, mutual need spins out of control and bringing Calder home now may just be impossible.

Will Celeste give in to what Quinn wants for her?
Or will she stand her ground and hope they find another way…

This book is the story of Celeste and has her happily for now.
It is also the beginning of Calder and Quinn’s story which will be continued in THE SPARE AND THE HEIR.

This book is an autochorissexual romance (on the asexual spectrum) but contains important pieces of a gay romance. Both are explicit.

Warning: this book has a cliffhanger ending for Calder and Quinn, but is very much part of their story.


So guessing it's about a threesome? What the hell is autochorissexual??

And I need to stop buying books for .99 cents or 1.99 whenever they go on sale. [Clarification - I did not buy that one. Considering the synposis was giving me a headache.]

4. Reading The Princess Diarest...Carrie Fisher's memoir about the filming of Star Wars. She spends an entire chapter discussing lip gloss and another one discussing how the makeup artist styled her hair. Weird memoir.

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:04 am
cactuswatcher: (Default)
[personal profile] cactuswatcher
Hoping to put it off till some of the rush slowed down, I checked with Equifax this morning. Looks like I luckily was not one of the 100+ million whose data was affected. I do feel for all those who were!

Too many TV Shows...Too Little Time

Sep. 19th, 2017 09:30 pm
shadowkat: (tv slut)
[personal profile] shadowkat
According to Entertainment Weekly there are roughly 145 television series. I actually don't see many new ones that spark much interest, more interested in the returning ones.

Most of the good ones are popping up in October. I remember when everything popped up the week after labor day. Now we have revolving television seasons. And about 145 shows per season, which is about well multiple that by four seasons...and that's a lot of television. That said, most of them are hard to find or require a device, a smart television, cable subscription, and payment. None of it is really free. Well, maybe the five or six broadcast channels.

Returning shows that I'm watching or thinking of watching...or haven't given up on quite yet

1. Lucifer - Now at 8pm on Fox. Starts October 3.

vague spoilers and casting spoilers from the mag on Season 3 )

2. Poldark S3 Returns to PBS at 9PM on October 1. (Poldark goes to France with the French Revolution, while Demelza must deal with her troublemaker brothers, and Elizabeth has her kid.

3. Good Behavior S2 pops up on Oct 15 - at 10PM TNT. Basically a con-artist/thief, her hitman love and her precocious son living the family life.

It's really good. A twisty and somewhat humorous noir series.

4. This is Us returns on Tuesday (used to be on Wed, confusing) - 9/26/17 at 9PM on NBC.
I can never remember what channels these shows are on. They were discussing at work what channels they watch...I was thinking I don't really watch channels just television shows.

This is Us is an ever-surprising non-linear family saga about a husband and wife who lose a triplet during childbirth and adopt a third baby at the hospital, as well as the journey of the three children, Randall, Kate, and Kevin as children, teens, and thirty-somethings.

It's the best family drama I've seen and one of the best serialized dramas of last year. If you liked Brothers and Sisters, Parenthood, and Friday Night Lights..you'll probably enjoy This is Us.

5. Riverdale returns 10/11 - CW at 8PM. (I personally would have put it at 9pm for the adult content, but what do I know?)

This is basically Archie Comics by way of Twin Peaks, except without David Lynch. So S1, Twin Peaks.
It's dark, gritty, sexy, and twisty in places.

6. The Good Place returns on 9-20 (ie, tomorrow), on NBC at 8:30 PM (yes, it also moved nights, again, confusing -- I wish they'd stop doing that, stupid network programmers. OTOH, probably doesn't matter, since most people just DVR it or watch on demand or stream.)

This is the comedy with the weird twist. I actually had given up on it, until I found out about the twist and went back to watch and decided it had a charming satirical edge to it.

Anyhow, Eleanor and her friends think they are in heaven. She believes she landed there by mistake. Except heaven is rather irritating and problematic. It's also run by a well-meaning but rather inept and bumbling Angel, who has built a new heavenly domain or so we think....spoiler )

* There's all sorts of satirical jokes on American culture, politics, and religious mythology.

7. Grey's Anatomy returns on 9-28, Still Thursdays, at 8PM. It's Season 14. It has Supernatural beat by one season. Supernatural is on S13. But NCIS has made it to Season 15, and The Simpsons and South Park are on Season 20 something.

Some shows can't die.

They are rebooting or refreshing it with new interns, a refurbished and remodeled hospital (it was sort of blown up last season), and new love triangles...because it's actually a soap masquerading as a serious medical drama. Entertainment Weekly provided a flow chart showing all the incestuous and soapy relationships between the characters...basically proving my point.

8. Once Upon a Time reboots itself on 10-6 at 8PM on ABC and it also appears to have changed nights.(Because the network programmers are bored apparently?) It's now on Fridays.

It also has basically re-written itself from scratch. You honestly could come into this without having seen the previous seasons and be fine. Instead of the story revolving around Snow White and the Evil Queen, it's revolving around Cinderella and her Wicked Stepmother...and StepSister. With Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) as a sort of portal jumping Rumplestilskin character. And the Princess from Princess and the Frog as Cindy's friend. Also, POC cast. Which is interesting. And Henry is apparently in the Emma role now, or rather an adult Henry is.

Very odd. I am admittedly curious. But the writing has been ...disappointing to date. So we'll see.

9. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Pops up on 10-13, still on Friday. CW. It has managed to survive, probably because it is on the CW. The CW is rather interesting in that regard.

This is a cool sitcom, doesn't always make me laugh, but it has its moments. Sometimes it makes me cringe. But it is a great satirical critique of our gender issues, how our society views romantic love, etc. Plus it has song and dance numbers.

10. Stranger Things S2 -- shows up on Netflix on 10/27. In time for Halloween.

11. Big Bang Theory --- returns on Monday 9/25 at 8PM (Season 11)

Shows...I'm giving a second chance to:

* Lethal Weapon (I'm curious what they do with the cast shake-up)
* Gotham (Bruce Wayne is becoming Batman)
* Outlander (I may do the Starz trial and check it out)
* The Exorcist - Jon Cho
* Better Things
* Will & Grace (okay it's new, but 11 years later...)
* Poldark (see above)
* Great News (which I didn't try last year)

It's late, bed calls. Will do the new shows some other time.

Growing old

Sep. 19th, 2017 06:55 am
cactuswatcher: (Default)
[personal profile] cactuswatcher
Yep, it's my birthday and I celebrate Sirius' birthday with mine. (Spoiler: He's a little younger than me.) I think this new computer is my self-birthday gift for this year. I wish the old one had lasted a little longer. It worked well enough, but it was a cheap brand and it's not surprising a key component died, thankfully well after any extended warranty, which I didn't purchase, would have helped. The biggest disappointment is that I couldn't transfer my background picture from my old computer to this one. I don't like the selection of such pictures that comes with Windows 10. So I resized and loaded an old picture of the Grand Canyon from our ATPO meet there. I wish the picture could have been taken four hours earlier or later that day so the colors in the canyon would have been richer, but it's impressive enough. Big bonus: a father and son in the picture look down admiringly from the top of a cliff toward [personal profile] masqthephlsphr and [personal profile] fresne as if they'd traveled across the US just to see them. ;o)

(Serious TMI warning!!!) Growing older: I got a big surprise during my jury duty couple weeks ago. To be honest my interest in women has deteriorated with age to just interest in companionship. There is a time in a man's life when the big majority of women look very sexy. The farther a guy gets from being a teenager the more the group of women who are personally attractive for him shrinks, and that group drifts more from the physically attractive ones to the ones with better matching personalities. I'm to the point where women looking sexy is more of a academic issue than a emotional one. So it was a giant surprise when I was glancing around the other prospective jurors in a our large pool and one woman stuck out like a sore thumb. She was neither the prettiest woman there, the most beautiful nor the one with the most pleasing figure, but my lord, something in my subconscious was screaming "This Is The One!" My conscious on the other had was calmly saying, "Are you nuts? I'm clearly old enough to be that woman's grandfather!" Subconscious: "But, she's perfect!" Conscious: "Look at her finger, dummy! She's married!" Subconscious: "I don't care. She's perfect!"

Yes, well... I knew perfectly well, she fell into *my type.* She had some of the same distinctive characteristics of two women I'd been in love with long ago, once upon a time. But God, at my age I don't need that kind of crap popping into my head. So I studiously avoided looking at the woman. But my subconscious kept picking up things my conscious would just as soon have ignored. She sat behind me in the courtroom and I quickly started to recognize her voice. My conscious to my subconscious, "I am absolutely not going to bother that woman!" Subconscious:"Couldn't we be friends? She's so..." Conscious: "Hell no! Stop making me think like a dirty old man!" The woman got on the jury and I did not. Another reason to be pleased I wasn't on that jury.

I had no idea I could still be so affected by a random woman. I thought those days were past.

Birthday Boy!!!

Sep. 19th, 2017 05:11 am
masqthephlsphr: (vincent)
[personal profile] masqthephlsphr
Happy Birthday, [personal profile] cactuswatcher!!!

The filmmaker and his/her audience

Sep. 18th, 2017 08:46 pm
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[personal profile] shadowkat
Been reading reviews of Darren Aronofsky's allegorical film mother!, including finally the director's explanation of his intent behind it. Aronofsky - "Requiem for a A Dream, Black Swan, Pi" is sort of similar to David Lynch in that he's an acquired taste. People either like his movies or really hate them. I actually always found them to be rather interesting, nightmarish, but interesting. Like Lynch, Aronofsky delves into a sort of psychological/allegorical sense of horror or notion of it.

Cinemascore and the mainstream critics, such as Owen Glieberman with Entertainment Weekly despised the film. Cinemascore gave it an F, but Cinemascore also gives things like Batman vs. Superman high scores...so, you can't really go by them. And film like all art or so I'm finding is in the eye of the beholder. For example? Some people love the Kevin Costner film Wyatt Earp, others despise it. I've had friends rank on me for loving Pretty Woman and LadyHawk. We are a culture that has a tendency, like it or not, to foist our opinions onto others as if they are gospel. Which may be why we're in the culture wars?

On one site, people were ranking on the actress Jennifer Lawrence, stating she was a horrible actress in everything but one movie -- I'm guessing Winter's Bone. (Having seen her in just about everything but Passengers, which I skipped, I strongly disagree and wonder what drugs they've been imbibing or what they consider good acting? See, there I go flinging my opinion at you.) While one respondent to the site stated that the film had made them scream laugh with absolute delight...and they felt it was a marvel to behold. What turned everyone else off turned on this guy, for some reason.

And well here's the most recent, and rather fascinating review I read about the film


his film is also not for everyone.

As I said, it’s not a horror film, but horrific things happen, which are harrowing to watch. There are two scenes in particular toward the end that are immensely disturbing. If you don’t do well with violence (specifically against a woman, or against children), this is not the movie for you, and you should know that.

However, you should also know that the violence I’m talking about very much has a purpose that is integral to the film, especially if looked at through a particular lens. If you can stomach filmed violence at all, so long as it isn’t oppressive in nature (ie: against marginalized people), gritting your teeth through it might be worth it to you for the greater overall experience with the story.

That said, it’s also not for people that don’t want to have any kind of thinky-thoughts when they go to movies. This film isn’t escapism. There’s nothing wrong with escapism; I’m a huge fan of escapism, but I don’t believe that every film has to be, or should be, escapist. While very often, something being “confusing” is indicative of faulty storytelling, it’s equally the case that sometimes people don’t want to have to think that hard when watching something, and get angry when they’re required to look past a surface and don’t know what they’re looking for.


Then they provide a link to Aronfsky's explanation of the film, which wasn't exactly what they saw in it. But close.


As for the writing, that’s where I found it less successful. I saw mother! before reading Aronofsky’s explanation of what it’s about, and came up with what felt like an air-tight explanation for the goings-on in the film … that was not what Aronofsky set out to convey. While the film certainly can be read his way, there are a couple of things that muddy the water just enough to seem like failures in execution.


THIS is what Aronfsky explained. Which I found rather interesting. The whole film is an allergorical essay on our relationship with Mother Earth. Jennifer Lawrence's character sort of represents mother earth and is relentlessly tortured throughout the film in her octagonal house that she lovingly built.


Aronofsky considers Mother!’s final 25-minute sequence—a deeply disturbing crescendo of violence—“one of my best accomplishments, just because it’s a nightmare. It just builds and builds on top of documenting the horrors of our world, and throws a pregnant woman into it.”

Lawrence herself said that after seeing the images unspool on the big screen at the Venice Film Festival, she was “shaking” and wondered whether they had “gone too far.” Though Lawrence has said she is proud of the film, and hopes that it will inspire audiences to exhibit more empathy, Lawrence also told Toronto International Film Festival moviegoers, “I don’t know that I would make a film that made me feel that way again.”

As for Aronofsky, he clarified: “I think it’s important for people to recognize I am not condoning the violence in the movie. Some people might think, ‘Hey, it’s messed up.’ But we wanted to show the story of the world and how it feels to be her. And what we as a species do to her . . . We also wanted to make something that would floor people.”

Aronofsky said that he edited out a few scenes that “went a little too far,” but did not make any major changes in post-production. Because the film is such a carefully engineered climactic build, taking out one on-screen atrocity would have been like upsetting a game of Jenga.

Some critics have called the final sequence—particularly what is done to Lawrence—misogynistic. Entertainment Weekly even titled its review “Jennifer Lawrence Gets Put Through the Torture-Porn Wringer.”

But Aronofsky has a response for those people: “They are missing the whole point. It’s misogyny if it says that this is good . . . I think [any spit-take revulsion is] just like an initial reaction to being punched. We are telling the story of Mother Nature turning into a female energy, and we defile the earth. We call her dirt. We don’t clean up after our mess. We drill in her. We cut down her forests. We take without giving back. That’s what the movie is.”


The reason I felt the need to post about this...is well it touches upon various things that I have been discussing lately online, often with a great deal of aggravation as if we are circling around the elephant in the room, but from another angle.

I think art, regardless of how well it is done or how well we like it, is a reflection of our society and world. Sort of the shadow we cast in the mirror. I don't like mirrors. Never have. They unnerve me. In part because the reflection is never the same, it always shifts and changes depending on the light and the angle of the cast. Similar to photographs, which are similar to mirrors. They capture an image inside them via light. But unlike mirrors hold on to it. Art, painting, television, film acts like a mirror -- it takes on and often distorts the images thrown at it, depicting what lies beneath the surface.

Oscar Wilde's brilliant book, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, is a psychological horror tale about a man who stays beautiful while his portrait ages and becomes ugly, taking on all the ravages in his soul, depicting the true man beneath the surface. Instead of being a beautiful portrait, it's actually
ugly and gross and horrifying. Aronsfsky's films like the portrait of Dorian Gray, show us the bits we don't want to see.

Mirrors also lie to us, they show us what we wish to see. Just as art can lie and show false truths.

The artist's intent may not come off as intended, it may get lost in translation or be misinterpreted by the viewer. Many viewers and critics saw "mother!" as either torture porn or misogyny. And I read similar reactions to Black Swan.

While the artist intended an allegorical tale of what we're doing to mother earth. The gut-wrenching pain of it. Yet, oblivious to it, blind. Until faced with the consequences.

I find the interactions between the audience with the art and the artist with the audience and work to be fascinating. I remember my brother, a conceptual artist, telling me once that all art regardless of the medium was interactive, or risked being self-indulgent. That people interact with the art, and the art is representative of our culture, ourselves and society at large. If we hate a work of art, we should dig deeper and ask what it is reflecting of our society...and what is our relationship to that.

I haven't seen the movie "mother!" and from what I've just read about it? I don't think I'll be able to watch it. Not a huge fan of allegory, and graphic torture isn't something I can watch easily. But, knowing and overall being fascinated by Aronfsky's work...I'm admittedly curious and might rent it on On Demand or Netflix.

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 05:12 am
cactuswatcher: (Default)
[personal profile] cactuswatcher
Belated happy birthday to [personal profile] atpo_onm and [personal profile] ann1962. Sorry, it's been a bit of a rough month!

Critters: The park next to me is torn up at the moment. They are making it part of the water retention system (i.e. flood control), I guess mostly to take care of rain water coming out of our subdivision. The streets here, as in much of the west, act as runoff channels. In this subdivision the runoff water runs away from the main street and into the back of the park. I don't know where it goes from there, perhaps into a storm sewer. The work should keep something down stream from overflowing as fast.

The work has sent some of the park's dwellers into our neighborhood. Last Monday I was delayed getting out of my garage because a good sized lizard ran in front of the sensor that keeps the garage door from hitting people and things as it's opening and closing. I think it was Tuesday early in the evening, my cat was gingerly scratching at the back door window. The shade is arranged so that he can see out, at all times. He scratches when he sees a neighbor cat in the backyard. He scratches like crazy when birds decide to get on the patio. This time I looked out and it was a good sized jack rabbit. Sirius didn't seem too eager to go out after it. When I got close to the door, he slunk back away. Indoor cat. The jack rabbit clearly knew I was there but wasn't concerned. I wasn't concerned either. It was munching on some nice juicy leafy weeds. As long as there are such around, the rabbit isn't going to chomp into my tough old cactus. Other backyards no doubt have grass. The rabbit can have that too for all I care.

Computer follies: I just couldn't stand the keyboard that came with this new computer. It uses a different plug from the the keyboard I've been using for ages, so I had to go look for something. I looked in several stores. The keyboards were mostly expensive, not very finger friendly, and largely wireless. I'm not the greenest person in the world, but battery powered keyboards for desk top computers seem very wasteful. The first store I looked in had a really nice wired keyboard, but it was $60, and just seemed not worth it. A couple stores later I found what I was looking for a wired keyboard that only cost $20. There were none on display, but I bought one in a box without even looking at it. I got it home and it turned out to have a nicer feel than all those wireless keyboards that were set out for display. It's not perfect but it will do.

(no subject)

Sep. 16th, 2017 09:20 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
There's apparently a Syfy app now on Amazon Fire Stick, where you can watch all the Syfy shows for free. Does have commercials. But not as annoying as on demand. But you do need a cable provider to access it.

This that and the other thing...

Sep. 15th, 2017 08:12 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Iraq + 100 is an anthology of science fiction stories by Iraqi writers regarding the Iraq war.


The editor of the anthology, Hassan Blasim, asked a simple question–how could you imagine your nation 100 years from now?

The question posed to Iraqi writers (those still in their homeland and those who have joined a world-wide diaspora), has produced an amazing project, a roadmap of what their country might look like following the disastrous foreign invasion of 2003.



2. The Chicago Newberry Library is looking for people who can translate ancient medieval spells from 17th Century archaeic Latin and English


Do you love libraries? Have a penchant for casting spells? Particularly well versed in 17th century archaic Latin and English? Well the Chicago Newberry Library might have the perfect job for you!

Crowdsourcing for spells is probably one of the coolest techno-magic surprises that 2017 has bestowed upon us, and Christopher Fletcher, the project lead, says you don’t even have to be an expert to get involved. “[The initiative] is a great way to allow the general public to engage with these materials in a way that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise,” Fletcher told Smithsonian.com.

The three magical manuscripts are called The Book of Magical Charms, The Commonplace Book, and Cases of Conscience Concerning Witchcraft. You can explore them at the research library’s online “Transcribing Faith” portal.


3. Cassini's Greatest Saturn Discoveries and Photos

Some really amazing photos from Saturn. Cassini is the probe that they sent to Saturn.

4. People keep raving about The Shape of Water on various entertainment and cultural cites, so I watched the trailer and okay, I get it


Guillermo del Toro‘s latest film is shaping up to be one of the year’s best. The Shape of Water has already won itself the Best Picture award at this year’s Venice Film Festival before going on to be quite the crowd-pleaser at TIFF. I’m honestly pleasantly surprised and optimistic about the buzz surrounding del Toro’s fantastical drama because the combo story of woman-meets-fishman romance and Cold War thriller is not one I thought audiences would gravitate towards. As this new red-band trailer for The Shape of Water shows, however, the story is in good hands with del Toro and Fox Searchlight.

The new trailer lays a lot of the plot out for viewers, but it’s told in such a way as to keep things from getting too spoilery. Folks who have already seen the movie may disagree, however, so if you’d rather go see The Shape of Water fresh, feel free to pass. For the brave, this red-band trailer features a lot more interaction between Sally Hawkins‘ Eliza Esposito and Doug Jones‘ creature character known only as “The Asset.” It also shows Michael Shannon losing his cool, which is always a treat. Rounding out the cast are Richard Jenkins and Michael Stuhlbarg, who you can also glimpse in this new trailer. Keep an eye out for The Shape of Water in theaters on December 8th.


It's about a death/mute who rescues the creature from the black lagoon from the CIA.

5.Someone finally asked Harrison Ford about his affair with Carrie Fisher, which she disclosed in her book before her untimely death

His response?


Now, Ford has commented on Fisher’s book and the news of the affair.

In a lengthy profile with GQ, the actor’s asked, “How strange for you was it when Carrie Fisher put out her ‘Star Wars’ book?”

“It was strange. For me,” he replied.

Ford recalled that he was given advanced warning “to a degree,” but he didn’t go much more in-depth on his thoughts.

“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know. You know, with Carrie’s untimely passing, I don’t really feel that it’s a subject that I want to discuss,” he said.

The interviewer, Chris Heath, still pressed a little more:

GQ: Can I ask you whether you’d prefer that it hadn’t been written?

Ford: Yes. You can ask me.

GQ: Do you want to answer?

Ford: No.

GQ: Can I ask you whether you read it?

Ford: No. I didn’t.

That’s likely all we’re going to get from the actor on the subject.

Throughout the rest of the profile, Heath consistently brought up how little Ford wanted to answer questions, especially ones like that.

At the time of Fisher’s death, Ford remembered his friend and “Star Wars” co-star in a statement, calling her “one-of-a-kind … brilliant, original.”

“Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely,” he added.


Which in a nutshell is why Ford has been successful in Hollywood. He's careful. Also to be fair, it happened over 40 years ago, in 1977-78.

6. Global Giving for Hurricane Irma Relief...I think this is a good one, was rec'd by Smart Bitches

* Adopt a Family in the US Virgin Islands

* Community Foundation for the Virgin Islands Fund for Relief

* List of Places to Donate for Hurricane Relief in the Virgin Islands

7. And now I'm following Amber Tamblyn on Twitter...more or less because of this, not so much James Woods, who frankly has always given me the creeps.

8. Ah, Found the GQ Interview with Harrison Ford, by Chris Heath that various sites keep quoting from. (I didn't look for it, it fell into my lap.)

Apparently Ford once punched Ryan Gosling in the face, accidentally on purpose and apologized by pouring him a glass of scotch. It's actually an interesting interview -- Ford hates interviews, which is why it is interesting.

Examples?


Ford: “I've been accused, usually by women in my life, of being unreflective.” A short laugh. “It's just that there's enough going on right now. I just don't think too much about it.”

Heath: What do they mean when they call you unreflective?

Ford: “We're going down the wrong path,” he answers, as though appalled at the door he has inadvertently opened. “I just…I remember these things, but I don't remember them with very much emotional attachment. I think the reason maybe that you become an actor is that you see things from here.” He gestures to indicate a perspective from outside one's body. “From outside. Slightly above.” He laughs. “And a wider lens. And so you see life in a slightly different…askew…maybe a degree of separation. And so what's happening around you becomes more interesting, because you're only a part of it. It's not all about you. And so you can imagine yourself being somebody else. You can imagine knowing things other than what you know.”

***********

Ford: “I punched Ryan Gosling in the face,” Ford confirms. Then he adds, by way of clarification, that “Ryan Gosling's face was where it should not have been.”

Heath: Explain further, if you will.

Ford: “His job was to be out of the range of the punch. My job was also to make sure that I pulled the punch. But we were moving, and the camera was moving, so I had to be aware of the angle to the camera to make the punch look good. You know, I threw about a hundred punches in the shooting of it, and I only hit him once.”

Heath: So he should be grateful?

Ford: “I have pointed that out.”

Heath: And the one that did connect—that's 100 percent his fault?

Ford: “No.” Ford makes as though he's carefully weighing this. “I mean, I suppose it's 90 percent his fault.”



And...for shapinglight, a snippet on Bladerunner. Unless there's someone else who loves Bladerunner like I do? (It's my favorite science fiction film of all time. Just perfect blend of story, character, theme, and world-building.)

Bladerunner )

I saw Bladerunner in a half-empty movie theater with my mother, back in the 1980s. We both loved Science Fiction and Harrison Ford. And we adored the film. Neither of us understood why it didn't do well. Actually, the best thing in Bladerunner wasn't Ford, but Rutger Hauer. Who was so compelling, Anne Rice had him in mind when she wrote her Vampire series in the 1980s and 90s.

Interesting, Ford and Scott have had an on-going disagreement over whether Deckard is a replicant in the film or human. Ford played him human and felt it worked better from an audience and story perspective if he was human, Scott strongly hinted and strongly believes Deckard is a replicant and that's the twist. What's interesting is that in the original Philip K. Dick novel, When Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Deckard is a replicant. Except that book is nothing like the movie. They have almost nothing in common, except possibly the twist that Deckard is a replicant but doesn't know it like the woman he's become involved with.

Because Deckard doesn't know it -- it actually works that Ford plays him as human. Because from Deckard's perspective, he is human, and you can't tell. And it pulls on the question - "what is human?" (Our emotions and ability to feel empathy and care for others make us human, according to the film and to a degree the novel. Cold rational thought -- is inhuman. Yet, in some respects, the replicants care more than many humans.)

And on Star Wars

Read more... )

I think he's done with Star Wars. Personally, I'd rather have more Han Solo than Indiana Jones. I don't know why we need another Indy movie. (They are making one. Yes, seriously.) Star Wars, of his film franchises, was the only one that I felt required a sequel -- it had the world for it. The other two, I really didn't need sequels for, they felt self-contained and good in of themselves. Also the sequels to Raiders were...ahem, with the exception of Holy Grail, bad.

(no subject)

Sep. 14th, 2017 10:39 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
Should just go to bed but...hmm..read these bits reading list:

1. Rebel Seoul by Axi Oh - is basically a sci-fi novel about girls who have been weaponized and operate robots. In short the writer combined Sailor Moon with Gundam Wing. (I vaguely remember both. I, ahem, went on an anime binge back in the 1990s when they were hard to get a hold of. People are spoiled now with Netflix and Disney and other venues. But back in the 1980s-90s, you had to look for them. Often in cult video stores (aka not Blockbusters) and on pirated VHS. So I was devoted...because I managed to find them comic book stores (which had them) and hole in the wall video stores. So I've seen Lupin, Gundam Wing, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Vampire Hunter D, Sailor Moon, Battle of the Planets (which I loved), among many others that I can't remember. I also read Magna back then, which was also difficult to come by. So not that many.)

Anyhow this looks interesting. I may have to get it. I'm thinking I may need to switch from the romance genre to sci-fi soon. I'm getting bit irritated by the romance genre. (Although I probably should have thought of that before I went on a couple of book buying sprees a while back -- smartbitches had these .99 cent - 2.99 deals they were posting...and well...)

2. Discovery of Witches Television Show casts Game of Thrones and Sherlock stars -- so, hmmm, they are adapting Discovery of Witches as a television series? I admittedly couldn't get into the books. But the series idea sounds intriguing.

3. Television shows?

Teen Wolf? Would someone over the age of 45 enjoy this? Is it like Vamp Diaries or...more like
Shadowhunters? I liked Vamp Diaries, Shadowhunters got on my nerves and I gave up after episode one. Is this on Netflix? Or Streaming?

Killjoys? Is this on Netflix? Or Streaming? How many seasons?

Any others???

Cool and Interesting Trailers

Sep. 12th, 2017 09:07 pm
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[personal profile] shadowkat
There's some odd movies coming out...that I didn't know about:

1. The Current War starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Thomas Edison), Michael Shannon (Westinghouse), and Nicolas Hoult (Tesla).

2. The Man Who Invented Christmas starring Dan Stevens (Dickens) and Christopher Plummer (Scrooge). It's more similar to Shakespeare in Love, hardly accurate, but looks fun.

3. The Jungle starring Daniel Radcliff - who keeps doing weird horror movies...man meets Jungle, Jungle wins.

4. Downsizing - starring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz and Kirsten Wigg...directed by Alexander Payne, (and yes, I see a trend here too that there aren't many women in these movies..) is a weird film about people choosing to miniaturize in order to afford the world. (I'd worry about the spiders, personally, and the bugs. But that's just me.) It's not a horror film.

5. Jeeze, there are lot of Marvel adaptations at the moment...it goes on and on and on... (And they forgot to include all of Fox's properties. Legion, X-Men, The Gifted, and The New Mutants...which are actually more interesting and less campy.)

6. Wait. There is a sequel to Mama Mia? Why is there a sequel to Mama Mia?

7. Goodbye Christopher Robin...about AA Milne. A biopic about the creation of Winnie the Pooh, it's really a story about Milne and his son, and the consequences of writing the book and how if affected that relationship.

8. The Alienist adapted as a television series on TNT - from the Caleb Carr book.

9. Molly's Game starring Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba and written by Aaron Sorkin based on the true story of a woman who ran a high priced poker club.

10. A Wrinkle in Time - adapted into a movie
This is the favorite Madeline L'Engle Book.

And, Top 10 Upcoming Fantasy Movies... notable for the one's that have already flopped, such as Dark Tower.

Links...worth commenting on...

Sep. 12th, 2017 06:25 pm
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[personal profile] shadowkat
1. What it is like to ride Japan's Cat Cafe Train - thanks to conuly for the link.


Bill Adler moved to Tokyo from Washington, D.C., about three years ago. Over the phone, he lists a few of his new home’s virtues: “Beautiful country, great food, interesting people,” he says. “And cat café trains.”

This past Sunday, September 10, Adler and a few dozen fellow travelers rode on one of those cat café trains. They were joined by about 30 rescue kittens, which spent the trip climbing the legs of besotted passengers, running back and forth on train benches, and napping on laps.


2. Logo for New Mutant's Film


New Mutants readers will know that's basically just the comic series' classic logo with a little blood-splatter added for effect. It's doubtful that we can expect the exact same image when the film starts putting out teasers and posters. What is interesting, though, is the snowy landscape in the background with a single character (who I would guess is Mirage) standing in a bloody patch. Boone has made no secret of the fact that he intends to make this film not a superhero movie, but a horror movie. To that end the film will, in some way, adapt the iconic "Demon Bear" saga, pitting the young mutants against that particular creature. Based on this very vague image, it looks like that's still the plan.


3. Your Work Schedule Could be Killing You


ER doctors are shift workers, and their hours are spread over a dizzying, ever-changing schedule of mornings, afternoons, and nights that total 20 ­different shifts a month. That’s meant to equally distribute the burden of nocturnal work across an entire team of physicians. But despite those good intentions, Herring says, the result is that every single one of them is exhausted and sleep ­deprived. That’s dangerous for doctor and patient alike.


4. Hadrian's Wall - Unearthed Lost Secrets of the First Roman Soliders -hmmm, reminds me of a certain Doctor Who episode.


Archaeologists are likening the discovery to winning the lottery. A Roman cavalry barracks has been unearthed near Hadrian’s Wall, complete with extraordinary military and personal possessions left behind by soldiers and their families almost 2,000 years ago. A treasure trove of thousands of artefacts dating from the early second century has been excavated over the past fortnight.

The find is significant not just because of its size and pristine state, but also for its contribution to the history of Hadrian’s Wall, showing the military build-up that led to its construction in AD122. The barracks pre-dates the wall: the Romans already had a huge military presence in the area, keeping the local population under control.


5. Reasons to Save/Watch Dark Matter -- so the Mary Sue is trying to convince me to watch Dark Matter. It makes some good points - space opera, strong female characters, diversity of casting, makes you laugh - but the show's been cancelled. And it's been cancelled prior to wrapping up key story-arcs. Been there done that. (See Sense8) Sounds a wee bit masochistic to do it again. Makes more sense to continue watching the Expanse or trying Kill Joys, which got a two season stay of execution and plenty of time to wrap itself up.

Also, I think the writer of the article completely misinterpreted "The Expanse". Which happens. I read Leviathan Wakes, so had a completely different interpretation of the story and plot than they did. But I thought it clear enough in the show.

This brings up a bit of interesting conversation I over head at the end of the day.

Manager: People just refuse to see the other side. They are so stuck in their own point of view.
Minion (or Supervisor): True, but sometimes you can be so emotionally attached to a situation that you can't see outside of that. I know, because believe it or not, I've been in that position and often haven't been able to see the other side's perspective as a result.
Manager: Oh I believe it. (laughter)

This conversation stuck with me, because it is so true. It's why it's never good to enter into discourse or debates when emotions are involved. You can't talk to someone who is furious for example. The more emotionally invested someone is in their own point of view, an idea, a television show or character, etc, the less likely they will see any other point of view. It hurts too much.
That's why we have fandom kerfuffle's and well...kerfuffle's over everything.

6. Apparently JJ Abrahms is now directing the next Star Wars film (this is the one premiering in 2019, after this one, which they had to completely rewrite because of Carrie Fishers Death.

Also it's debuting December 2019, one week before or after (I forget which) Wonder Woman 2, which is being directed by Patty Jenkins. (That bit wasn't in the article it was in another article which you can google on your own.

Crazy times

Sep. 12th, 2017 12:24 pm
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[personal profile] cactuswatcher
I've been away from the net for a few days for a several reasons.
a) My old computer decided to retire to its death bed. It still works for a few minutes at a time. But I know the signs and I'm typing this on a new computer I just installed. This new keyboard is going to take some getting used to.
b) My car decided after umpty years to spring a leak that will need fixing soon. I know what the problem is. It can wait for a little bit, but not long.
c) I had jury duty starting late last week.

As disturbing as the first two have been the last one has been a doozy. They have built an entirely new courthouse since the last time I had jury duty here. They now have free juror parking, but it's more than half a mile away from the courthouse. So they also have a free shuttle bus for the jurors which doesn't come by very often. I guess we're supposed to be used to waiting around outside in 105F degree weather.

I was lucky. I was in the third panel called. It was a big panel, 97 prospective jurors. This should have suggested it was expected to be a long trial, but I had no idea till we went into the courtroom and sat down. We were warned in the hallway not to show any emotion. But again I had no idea.

The judge greeted us after we were seated and gave us a summary of the charges. As Janice from Friends would say, "OH...MY...GOD!" I kept the lower part of my face still, but my eyebrows involuntarily shot up. A young adult woman was accusing her father of a number of horrible crimes, the *least* of which was having sex with her multiple times when she was underage, resulting in her having a child. The rest of it wasn't as clearly spelled out in these preliminaries, but it was clear the defendant could be facing spending most of the rest of his life in prison.

The next little surprise was that the defendant is going to act as his own attorney. I know it is fashionable for people waiting in jail to study law to pass the time, but considering the seriousness of the charges, this was nuts. Maybe he didn't qualify for a public defender, and the cost of a private attorney might well ruin him. But without proper representation he likely is ruined anyway, whether or not he's guilty.

Looking at the schedule, we learned the trial may last a couple months starting in October. When they started interviewing the jury panel, people were using any excuse they could think up to be released, and I really don't blame them. I wanted an excuse to get out, but I wasn't going to lie, either. You would be shocked how many people out of a random 97 claimed they were going to be out of the country during the trial dates. And they let them go, these people and people who pleaded other problems. It was obvious they didn't want any jury members who couldn't stand being there. It got to the point, they were dismissing so many people, I felt it was my duty to stick around.

They got to the end of the preliminaries and the judge told us to return late in the afternoon yesterday. As I guessed, yesterday morning they brought in more potential jurors to go through, 45 this time. I guess this group wasn't as desperate to head for the exits as most of them were still left when those of us from last week arrived. We gave our individual statements about job, family, and jury experience, and very soon the judge released the last dozen numbers of yesterday's jurors. They spent a half hour picking the jury from the rest of us. When they announced the jury, I was so pleased that I'd been skipped I couldn't help smiling. It ended with another big surprise. It was a difficult jury to pick and a long trial should be ahead... But *no* alternates were selected. Heck, there was an alternate on the jury I served on that only lasted three days. I suspect they knew something, and I'm guessing that trial will never take place.

The wheels of justice, yikes!

(no subject)

Sep. 11th, 2017 06:28 pm
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[personal profile] shadowkat
1. The Mary Sue is getting on my nerves again...(ie. yes, I know you think such and such movie is a hateful racist or anti-feminist or both bit of scorn, that needs to be boycotted and can't be permitted to exist...but honestly, it's just a movie. And one of about a trillion movies made yearly. Where people get a salary, so they can make better movies or send kids to school or feed themselves. Find something worthy to rant about. Like, I don't know, the DACA repeal? Climate Change and the burning of the northwest?).

Co-worker said what we are seeing is a failure of our educational system. I tend to agree. There's a lot information out there, but no one has been taught how to critically disseminate it. And way too many people skip over foundation - such as the humanities, art, social science, history, literature, music, and skip to business school, computer school, hard sciences, etc. Which honestly, you can pretty much teach yourself -- once you have a good foundation. But so many people don't. A lot of my co-workers for example, are financial and computer whizzes, but have no idea who Lyndon Johnson was or any knowledge about the Civil Rights Act or the First Amendment. It's scary.

2. Good news...I'm feeling grateful today. All of my family members weathered the hurricane from hell with no serious injuries. And to my knowledge no major damage to their homes. My cousin lost power in Orlando. (My mother doesn't know yet if her new house suffered any flooding or damage from the storm surge -- there's flooding on the island. But she's rather blase about the whole thing. Figures -- if there's damage, she'll just stay in her old home later, and wait for them to fix it. Her old/current home which she's selling, is fine. No damage at all. She heard from her neighbor.
And tonight's movie is Notting Hill, which will be shown to the evacuees on a big screen.) My Aunt didn't have any problems, nor did my Uncle -- there was no flooding, power outage or anything in Tampa. Apparently the storm surge hit the east side of the peninsula not the west. Very weird storm -- it was 500 miles across, and the locations opposite where the eye landed got hit the worse. Miami had more damage apparently than Naples, where it came in. And Orlando was hit worse than Tampa. Also Tybee Island and the Islands along the coast of Georgia suffered more of a storm surge than the areas along the Gulf Coast...yet it went up the West Side along the Gulf.

My mother tells me that they are getting the winds and rain now in Charlotte, North Carolina. So it is moving a lot faster than predicted.

3. Saw The Orville last night. Seth McFarland's homage/spoof on Star Trek and various other sci-fi shows. And...I agree with the critics. It's stupid. Also the acting is very stiff. Poor Adrianne Paleki(sp?) the actress from Friday Night Lights cannot catch a break. I felt sorry for her. She plays McFarland's First Officer and ex-wife, and is the best thing in the show. McFarland, I noticed has an asymetrical face, one eye is differently shaped than the other, also he's a bit stiff as an actor. I was disappointed.

The story is rather cliche. I feel like I've seen it before. It feels like a poor rendition of the original Star Trek. Lacking the charisma of the former players. Galaxy Quest this isn't.

It might get better, but I doubt it.

Sigh. Why can't this be on CBS All Access, and Discovery be on Fox -- where I can watch it for free?

(no subject)

Sep. 10th, 2017 06:10 pm
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[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Good news, Irma has made landfall in Naples as Cat3, and rapidly downsized to a CAT2, I think my Aunt and Uncle will be okay. (fingers crossed)

Bad news...while we're all paying attention to the noisy hurricanes, Northwestern Canada and the Northwestern United States is on fire. Literally. Montana has lost over 1.34 million acres, just Montana. There are over 65 forest fires burning in the United States alone, not counting the many more in Canada. The combination of severe drought and above average temperatures in the 100s has resulted in forest fires and bad air quality.

While Hurricanes plague the South, the West is on Fire.

2. Took a lovely and long meditative walk from Brooklyn Promenade to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Lovely scenery and a beautiful sky blue day for it. In the park, lying on the grass on a towel, was a naked white guy in his sixties. He had long white hair. And wasn't wearing anything but a thong. Or a yellow jock strap. I stared at his naked back and bun for five seconds, and looked around, no one else appeared to notice or care, and I shrugged, "only in New York City", and wandered onwards.
It's in the low seventies here, with a nice crisp breeze. It is not in the 90s. He also was pasty white with a bit of bronzing burn. So I have no idea what he was thinking.

Other than that, it was a lovely walk. Wildflowers, trees, lovely views.

The world can seem overwhelming at times...so it helps to take little breaks.

(no subject)

Sep. 10th, 2017 08:59 am
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[personal profile] fresne
We've returned from our Canadian Rockies (last few days change from an Oregon is on fire trip). The short description is slowly filling in smoke and a general impression of doom as mountains disappeared and forests turned eldritch in the smoke. 


But here's the pics.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Sep. 9th, 2017 09:27 pm
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[personal profile] shadowkat
1. We Can't Leave Florida.

I have family members shaming my Aunt M for not evacuating. I even told her she should and then started to do a bit of research...and well, found the above article.

2. Reboot of The Greatest American Hero with an Indian-American Woman in the lead -- I'm guessing Indian as from India? This is an issue ...up until roughly the 1990s, Native Americans were referred to as Indians.
Why? Because an Italian explorer named Christopher Columbus decided to prove the world was round by sailing from Spain to the West Indies. Instead he ran smack dab into the Americas. So he called the natives there Indians. The Europeans being entitled self-centered asses, invaded the new world and decided to name the inhabitants there Indians, as opposed to using their actual tribal names, and named themselves Americans. Why Americans? Because another Italian named , Amerigo Vespucci actually figured out this was a new continent and not the West Indies like Columbus thought. He was a bit brighter. So to celebrate these two Italians, and give Italy a ego boost, the new world was called Americas, and the inhabitants Americans. And to celebrate Europe's successful invasion and colonization of this new world, we have Columbus Day, which also celebrates Italian heritage.

Don't remember Greatest American Hero? It's that 1980s show that starred Robert Culp and William Katt. I found the original hilarious in places. Although the best thing in it was Robert Culp.

Actually now that I think about it, an Indian-American playing the role is fitting. Although considering the ahem, American etymological history of the words Indian and American...the two together sound a bit redundant.

3. Alias Grace Premiering this Fall on Netflix...this looks really good. Better actually than "A Handmaid's Tale" which frankly never appealed to me. (ie. less preachy, more complicated.)

4. The Mary Sue is Hiring an Assistand Editor -- anyone (ahem under the age of 35) looking for a job editing, writing, and researching content for a radical liberal feminist blog, with a location in Manhattan? Writing about fannish things, such as role playing games, comics, television, film, etc with a LGBTQ and feminist bent?

It looked appealing to me, but I'm too old this stuff, and I'm about to hit my ten-year anniversary at the Railroad, which is a tad more financially secure and a lot more stable. This is young gal's gig. (Something one worries about past middle age. If I was 25, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But I'm a wee bit past that..and find myself bewildered and rolling my eyes at the fact that there is actually job like this that actually pays money, and where was this over twenty years ago, when I'd have applied for it?... LOL!)

5. Flirting with television shows...

* Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix)
* Black Sails, White Princess, Outlander (try again), American Gods, on Starz as a trial
* Fortitude - Netflix
* Expanse
* Broadchurch

Or just working on my book...half my mind is on the damn hurricane, and worried about other personal stuff.

(no subject)

Sep. 9th, 2017 09:00 pm
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[personal profile] shadowkat
1. That's it I want to live in the television world of the Great British Bake-Off. Where there is no disease, people make lovely tasty treats, have tea parties on a beautiful big lawn, help each other, and are exceedingly kind, while making jokes. Even though it's a competition, everyone is exceedingly kind, the losers are hugged and comforted, the winners get kisses and flowers and a cake platform. There's a bit tea party on grassy lawn. No sexism, no racism, no prejudice, no homophobia, no xenophobia...and the worst that can happen might be a gentle rain or cake disaster.

2. What are five comfort television shows?

* Great British Bake-Off
* Mozart in the Jungle
* This is Us
* The Gilmore Girls
* Buffy the Vampire Slayer
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