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Everything posted by R.CAllen

  1. R.CAllen


    short version: all in all I did not like it
  2. I can’t speak for everyone! I can only speak for myself! I’m the only one who can talk for me, me, precious me. I wrote up something on this subject several years ago, not sure if I posted it or not, in any case here you go: H-h-h-h-hot J.K. Rowling takes : 1) She's just jealous! People pretending for their own personal gain to be a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth is HER right! Not theirs! It's the sort of thing one does if one wants to sell one's book for children or if one wants one's work to be judged solely on its own merit! All these trans kids are just ganking Joanne's little trick to be credited as she sees fit! How dare they do something that she's already done twice over!? Boo on them for trying to be happy! That's HERS! Happiness belongs to her alone! 2) She stole the Dursleys from Roald Dahl and has also taken his anti-Semitism wholesale as well. Except it's not the early-to-mid 20th century any longer and so open hatred of Jews is no longer fashionable or excusable in polite company. In fact, it's frowned upon in many circles! J.K. Rowling considers herself quite a supporter of us, I'm sure! (Goblins notwithstanding, naturally.) So she had to latch on to a different despised minority to have seething paranoid fantasies over. Thinking that the trans people are lurking in the bathrooms used by little girls to defile them is ridiculous, sure, but so was imagining that the Hebrews have snatched away the Eucharist for themselves and are befouling it in secret or are somehow in simultaneous control of both international finance and the Bolshevik conspiracy. 3) Remember that bit in the 5th book where Harry and Dumbledore are trying to find one of the Horcruxes and they're on that little island and there's a cup in a well and Dumbledore drinks its contents and it sends him into spasms of delirious pain and then Harry tries to help him by filling the cup with brackish water from the edge of the island and giving that to Dumbledore but that just hurts Dumbledore more and more and he has to keep doing it, he can't stop? A sort of analogy comes to mind! I'll state it simply : cup = Internet. Water = Mumsnet, Facebook, wherever this poison ferments. Dumbledore = J.K. Rowling. (Something that she admits as being generally true of his role in the series, if memory serves.) Harry = terfs. The semi-analogy breaks down, of course, because Dumbledore is a makebelieve person who died fighting makebelieve evil and J.K. Rowling is a real person who will live in real luxury as long as her hundreds of millions of dollars last her out. [someone pointed out, think it was Elizabeth Sandifer, that technically Rowling has had four (4) male pseudonyms if you incl. Newt Scamander (look at the movies! look at what kind of guy was cast in the role and what that character goes through in the movies!) and Kennilworthy Whisp] I’d also add — this is me now in 2023 typing, just to clarify — that the vivid descriptions of Harry’s headaches, the ones that he gets re:Voldemort, are so specific and detailed that one can’t help but imagine Joanne Kathleen Rowling experiences similar symptoms (I’m not the only person who’s asserted this, it may have been discussed by her in interviews, it’s certainly something that because of the popularity of the HP franchise has been gone over in the medical literature, I’m pretty sure there’s a mnemonic acronym to identify kinds of migraines which is related to Harry Potter, it may even actually be H.A.R.R.Y. P.O.T.T.E.R.) and that while this is of course much more common for women than for men it’s EVEN MORE COMMON for female-to-male transsexuals to experience these sorts of awful aura migraines (citation needed, uh oh, I’m unsure if I’m actually on solid ground here; as always take everything I say with a grain of salt) and that Joanne Kathleen Rowling has said that part of her reason for being so vocal on this *cough* *spit* “issue”/“question” is that she thinks she would have been pressured into being trans as a youth because of her tomboy nature. What’s my point? I think that a full picture of what sort of person Joanne Kathleen Rowling is should be starting to emerge to anyone paying careful attention here and that while it’s always suspect to assert that the bigot is secretly bigoted against themselves (cf. the dumb dumb half-witticism of talking about how gay homophobic pastors are or whatever) there might be something there. Am I wrong? Maybe. But think about it. Like, for example: Oprah is a billionaire but she’s not, like, a skinny billionaire. Oprah can look like whatever she wants, she can pay people to force her to exercise, to keep food out of her belly. Oprah has talked at great and eloquent length over and over about her struggles with food and dieting and stuff. But there’s obviously some things she values more than being skinny. What things? I don’t know, just going to speculate here : her privacy, her dignity, her sense of self-respect and self-control, her unwillingness to treat her own self as a barnyard animal, whatever. I think that Joanne Kathleen Rowling is kind of the same way but with being trans instead of being skinny. She’d like to be trans! But there’s other things she values way more so this tension is what prompts her to such ludicrous public displays on the subject. Same way Oprah used to go on and on about all sorts of quackery! This might be a bad illustrative example. I don’t know. I’m just spitballing. I’m not, like, a judge. I’m not the king!!!!1! I don’t decide who gets passes and who doesn’t. And even if I did, well : Hobbes, if you want to have a username that’s taken from Orson Scott Card I don’t see how this makes any material difference to the world whatsoever! If somebody wants to play their Harry Potter computer game or walk around with their Hufflepuff tattoo I don’t see how this is any worse than, as you point out, any other genuine contributions to real suffering which we all make whenever we interact with the world entire. Is there ethical consumption under capitalism? Was there ethical consumption under feudalism? When caveman Grug licked sap from the bark of a tree was this a no-no? I don’t know. I’m not the mayor!!!!!1 I guess I’d be more inclined to give him a pass (again, what does this mean!?1? I’m not in charge!!!11!) because he’s probably going to die soon and go live the life eternal on Planet Kobol or wherever.
  3. Long overdue! There’s been so much new stuff! But, what am I, on your schedule!??? Nope! I haven’t seen Oops! All Spider-Men (2021) or Hawkguy (‘21) or the Sam Raimi Dr. Strange or the new Taika Waititi Thor or Moon Knight (‘22) or the G. Willow Wilson Ms. Marvel tv show. Haven’t seen a lot of things yet. They keep making more things! And, of course, I’m not counting anything that’s not a movie. Made that choice since the very beginning. I mean, that way lies madness — watching each and every episode of Agents of S.N.O.O.Z.E (‘13-’20), tallying up all the little shorts they made for the home releases and then trying to decide on the precise level of quality inherent in the one they did with Lizzy Caplan and Jesse Bradford and Titus Welliver, watching the Netflix shows, eventually coming to the inevitable and inescapable conclusion that the aesthetically finest thing in the entire MCU is this promotional video where Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd hambone while shouting “Ants! Ants! Ants! Ant-Man!”. BUT For my purposes, well, any of the television that I waited for the trade and watched in one or two sittings counts as a movie. I’m not counting WandaVision (‘21) as a movie because I watched each episode week to week. Not a movie! But a lot of the other stuff I’d just get on the stationary recumbent bike and plug away for a couple hours, take a short break, have a bite to eat while watching the rest of an episode, then get right back on the stationary recumbent bike again and finish up the final few episodes. That’s a movie! That counts as a movie to me. Even if I watched the second half of the season the next day, well, that’s still a movie. Sometimes I like to give myself a little break in the middle of a movie. There’s no referee here! 23. Loki I watched this in July of 2021. We’re halfway through February of 2023. I gotta level with you. I no longer really remember what I thought of this one beyond a vague recollection of not liking it all that much. And yet fortunately for me, fortunately for you, fortunately for us all, my phone is like Pepperidge Farm®. It remembers! I forget but it recalls what I tippy typed into it! Oh, is it fair to rank it dead last? Well, life’s not fair. ep1 re: Avengers "What they did was supposed to happen." Pilot repetitive, characters rehashing the same info over'n'over Another one of those "Why didn't we know this before?" questions, where Tom Hiddleston asks Owen Wilson this about the TVA. And this is AFTER he saw the li'l movie in the lobby! Just a long stretch of scenes where Tom & Owen watch select pieces from one of the biggest blockbusters of all time, then a recreation of a minor historical incident probably unknown to 90% of its audience (but not to, like, the AVClub and its ilk), followed by MORE stuff from the movies As if that's not enough, well, soon after that is a bit where Tom watches some more bits'n'pieces on his own. Costume Designer Christine Wada!!! ep2 Wait, they brought in Kate Berlant for two (2) lines??? ep4 Again, with the showing us AND telling us! We see a flashback to young Sylvie followed soon thereafter by a scene of her telling Loki the info the audience has already received in the flashback. (I suppose we get a teeny tiny smidgen of new information w/how Sylvia grew up, but it's barely barely there and it's the LAST thing she says.) The prospect of bringing back the secondary characters Taika Waititi (sp?) threw away, raised by Jaimie Alexander (sp?) being in this episode; it's a good one. Hope we see the Warriors Three again! ep5 Paying Richard E. Grant to scream "Glorious Purpose!" rather than investing any real thought in how to craft a story whole, out of its own independent elements; sure, why not ep6 We've reached the point where the lowest-hanging fruit on the tree branch of extratextual oomph is just ... MCU audience. So, Taskmaster is extratextually us. Kang (?) is extratextually us. That's it. That's their one move. We're just going to keep seeing it, over and over. That'll be the extratextual meaning behind their antagonists. They capped their show w/the ending from the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes!!!!???? 22. Falcon And The Winter Soldier Again, same deal. Don’t really remember much beyond not liking it! I’ll just paraphrase what I’ve got in my phone. I kind of think the choice of Wyatt Russell for a role here was a huge waste — he’s such a good actor, he’s not his father of course but nevertheless and nonetheless he’s so good, he’s so funny — because he gets one good line (“What’s with all the knives?”) and basically nothing else. I gather that they’re bringing him back for more stuff in the future so fingers crossed. I liked Zemo throwing that pole through the lady. Deeply disliked how the show juggled the always difficult problem of consistency versus continuity which has plagued writers of mainstream interconnected superhero narratives since before the Bronze Age — examples: the exchanges of "Why didn't we already know this?" twice, once w/Isaiah Bradley and once w/ Dr. Nagle vs. deciding to reveal Bucky as an explicit supersoldier — but I can’t really speak more about it because I didn’t bother to type up the details in my phone. I blame my phone. I deeply disliked the bit of dumb banter which was something like "Think Karli's gonna throw in the towel?" followed by "I think she's gonna double down." and I thought there was something earlier about playing cards, that sort of thing always brings to mind the Futurama joke. I liked Sharon Carter's underground gallery of real paintings w/the fake ones on display in legitimate galleries around the world; thought it went well w/the general theme of the series. At the end there where they showed us Buck and Sam having a heartfelt chat where they effortlessly throw the shield around Sam's makeshift training course AND THEN showing us the training montage establishing that he is bad at it and gets better through practice; well, I thought that was real dumb, juggling scenes like that, just plain dumb. 21. Eternals Not good! I guess my chief complaints are these : numero uno, characters just bopping and bipping in and out of the narrative according to arbitrary demands! Dane Whitman, yeah, and Kingo, sure, but even and especially how everyone’s introduced all at once but then held offscreen except for the bizarrely ill-dispersed flashbacks. So all these people come on board, then they’re gone, then they’re slowly and unsurely salted back into the meal at non-regular intervals. Sometimes they die, yeah, but death’s the end of some character’s appearances onscreen but not others. Gotta put these characters before us, gotta keep them before us, gotta make sure to take them away from us properly. Every other blockbuster these days feels less like a story and more like a transcription of a D & D campaign where not everyone manages to show up all the time for game night! Secondly, they really just tried desperately to save this movie in post. Tons and tons of ADR’d lines. They figured out how to make the movie after the movie was made, they figured out what motivated these characters after the movie was made, they figured out what the movie lacked and awkwardly inserted what they needed into the movie to try and make it all come out in a wash. Just make a bad movie from the beginning, instead! I’d love this movie more if it felt like they sat down, wanted to make a bad movie, and committed to that badness in all its manifold and myriad ways from jump. It doesn’t feel like that. It feels like a movie where everyone involved had a different and only somewhat overlapping vision for what kind of bad movie they were making (the actors are delivering semi-concussed performances w/the exception of Kumail Nanjiani! the director is making a beautiful picture about a woman going through a break-up while reminiscing about all these lovely vacations her and her soon-to-be ex went on! the writers are ripping off the Make A Wish kid who delivered the best line in Thor: Ragnarok (‘17)!) and someone sometime had to gather it all together after the fact into a coherent whole. I suppose that’s all movies, really, all big Hollywood blockbuster make’em’ups, yeah, but this is the most artless and rambling attempt at it I’ve seen so far from these folks. Thirdly, well, I thought I had more to moan about here but I’m going to switch tacks and talk about what I liked about the movie. It’s mostly because of the relative paucity of quality Eternals comics out there that I can say definitively that this is better at being a movie than most of ‘em are at being a comic. It’s a better movie than the Gaiman comic is a comic, it’s a better movie than the Gillen comic is a comic, is it a better movie than the Kirby original!? Maybe!? If you look at all the times Kirby noodled around with this general concept, if you counted up every time he tried to offer the reader his definitive take on mythology, well, if you had to rank his Eternals among those then where would it be? I don’t think it’s better than any of his Fourth World stuff, I don’t think it’s better than his Thor run, I don’t think it’s better than his 2001 series, I don’t think it’s better than the stuff in his Fantastic Four that’s roughly aligned w/this, I don’t even think it’s better than, like, Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers. All it’s got is basically the thumb of Arishem! There was no big thumb of Arishem in this movie reaching out to the audience, though, so I guess the Kirby original beats out the movie, in the end. The movie’s interesting on that old Wendy Doniger level, the line about how every bad movie has really good metaphysics. The movie’s visually interesting. Not on the level of action sequences, no, but there’s plenty of interesting stuff to look at. The movie is not aurally interesting, soundtrack’s a big nothing, none of the deep cuts are bangers. The characters are honestly less compelling than the Kirby originals and those are pretty much ciphers to begin with. I guess the big thing that the movie deserves credit for is … the twist!? I didn’t see that twist coming! I figured Salma Hayek wasn’t really dead, right!? I assumed she’d be the bad guy. More fool me! I guess I don’t really have the requisite skull space to confidently predict where this movie was going. I mean, what is the end of the movie about!? It’s about Green Ranger and Blue Ranger having a tiff because Green Ranger wants to use her powers to turn Gold Giant into White Giant instead of listening to the orders of Red Giant. Blue Ranger decides at the last second not to stop Green Ranger because he loves her (hey, idiot, if you stop her then everybody’s mind wipes and you can love her even more on the next planet!) so I guess it’s all about the power of love!!!?? Love conquers all, folks, love wins, love is grand, let’s turn this immortal sociopath into a human so she can experience true love! Druig should’ve brained Sprite again afterwards! Don’t use the power of love! Use rock! And, paper covers rock, after all, so that’s what this movie’s true love really is : paper. Dollars! 20. The Incredible Hulk 19. Guardians of the Galaxy / More Guardians of the Galaxies 18. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Pretty rough stuff! There’s a tweet, a tweet on twitter, something like : “marvel got two kinda of movies, cool ones to watch while you are stoned, and the hat ones”. The fundamental problem w/this movie is that Shang-Chi, the original Doug Moench & Paul Gulacy stuff, it’s way more of the latter than the former. It’s a hat one! It’s all Bruce Lee rip-offs and spy movie rip-offs! There’s a real mismatch at play here because they decided to make their movie a cool one to watch while stoned. It’s all about Shang-Chi’s magical homeland! They decided they needed a Wakanda, they needed a K’un-Lun, that’s not what Shang-Chi needs! That’s not what he’s about! The appeal of Shang-Chi is not that he has MAGIC WEAPONS! The appeal of Shang-Chi is that he’s Bruce Lee! Simu Liu is a very very gifted physical comedian (when he rings the bell during the bus fight!) and absolutely inept at delivering the ‘witty’ banter (when he’s putting a button on Ben Kingsley’s Planet of the Apes joke! when he’s setting up the karaoke callback at the end!). He can’t do it. You know how Hemsworth was super duper worried they’d recast the role of Thor for the sequels, well, they should give serious thought to recasting the role of Shang-Chi. The one thing they need these guys to do, more than getting themselves to such a level of visible fitness that it actually puts their overall health at risk, more than plausibly interacting with CGI nothing while wearing CGI nothing, more than lie with dead eyes to talk show hosts about how they love Marvel Comics and have dreamed since childhood of playing this specific superhero, more than any other single thing, is make the dumb dumb half-humour so the whole enterprise goes smoothly. He can’t do the dumb dumb half-humour! I hate the dumb dumb half-humour but even I have to admit that the only thing worse than it being in the movie at all is when it’s poorly executed. On the whole, though, not too bad! A lot of the action sequences are genuinely enjoyable! Loved seeing Zach Cherry again! Don’t understand the ending on basically any level but beggars can’t be choosers. 17. Dr. Strange 16. Ant-Man 15. Avengers III So, in the big fight scene in Wakanda that caps off the first half of this two-parter pretty much all of the good guys in it look roughly the same from a distance : slender silhouettes of dark or pastel shapes. Maybe the only real exception to this is Mark Ruffalo in the Hulkbuster armour. He’s bigger! He’s shiny! And the movie has introduced Peter Dinklage as Eitri who is --- he was in a couple of issues of New Mutants!?? Well, apparently, he was in the Simonson run, yeah, before that but I don’t really remember him. My point is the movie gives us Peter Dinklage, we spend a lot of time w/Peter Dinklage on screen as this big big big guy with a big big big voice, Thor and Rocket Raccoon and Groot spend a sizable chunk of this movie with this big guy, and then once it’s time for the fight sequences at the end they teleport away without him and join the fights. My complaint here isn’t on the level of plotting or story or whatever because, after all, he’s just this old guy with broken hands whose role in the narrative/franchise is to supply the Hemsworth action figure with a new toy. My complaint here is that visually speaking having another really big guy during these fight scenes would make the fight scenes better. It’s good to have a giant man running around out there on the field. Don’t understand why, like, Michael Douglas wasn’t Giant-Manning about. Or if not him then anyone at all. That’s my complaint. The fights needed a big guy, the movie has a big guy, the movie kept the big guy on the bench. You gotta make fights good. 14. Thor Ragnarok 13. Spider-Man : Far From Home / Spider-Man : Homecoming 12. Iron Man III 11. Black Widow 10. Iron Man 9. Ant-Man II 8. Iron Man II 7. Captain Marvel A far better Shane Black rip-off than the actual Shane Black MCU film! 6. Avengers II and Avengers I 5. Cap II 4. Thor II 3. Thor 2. Black Panther 1. Captain America
  4. I keep trying to download the app (in direct violation of all the principles of good op-sec, everything I was taught — but so clearly failed to learn! — at Sarratt) and I keep getting the following message: My phone is kind of old, kind of messed up, my smart phone has gone dumb dumb dumb, space is at a premium. I keep deleting apps and I keep deleting content I no longer need (no! no! my precious content!) but the message remains the same. It never tells me how much I need to ditch; I can’t seem to find out how big “Walker Tracker” actually is. I’ll let you know if there’s ever any progress on this front but for the moment it seems that unassuageable technical difficulties block my path at every turn!
  5. I’m mildly to moderately faceblind with that there prosopagnosia so this is a constant struggle. Would probably be easier to write out a fully complete list of actors who I haven't confused with other actors. Nevertheless and nonetheless, uh, what comes to mind first for me? Don’t want to spend too much time here flipping through the old ImdB. Oh, Nina Siemaszko and Hope Davis! And for a long time I thought there were two Jay Karnes — yeah, I know actors have to go by pseudonyms and put their middle names in to avoid this very problem, what can I say, dumb brain is dumb — I thought there was the one who was on The Shield (‘02-’08) and the one that would pop up in various guest spots on other television shows. Oh, just thought of another pair who I recently confused doing a Google search for a bunch of old Pepsi® Max commercials. That’d be Tom Lenk and Fran Kranz. See. We could do this all day. It’s not just a matter of what people look like, really, if their resumés bear any kind of superficial similarity to each other my brain will mishmash them together. The battle never ends!
  6. R.CAllen

    Black Adam

    I know next to nothing about all that. Didn’t read the books, don’t play the games, didn’t watch the show. Heard about the stuff, yeah, with what he supposedly said and did. But since the account I read, can't find it at the moment sorry, didn’t offer any precise descriptions of what exactly was said by Henry Cavill (oh, it was ‘toxic’? sure, sure, I believe you. how ‘toxic’ was it?) I am forced to conclude this was just standard movie star nonsense. Maybe coupled with an e-mail which was perhaps something along the lines of —
  7. I got the bivalent vaccine the day before yesterday. Feel kind of tired; injection site a little sore to the touch. Them’s the breaks! Still, excited to discover what kind of bivalve it’s going to turn me into. An oyster? A clam? A cockle? Mussel? Scallops? Won’t be able to eat myself, oh well. Not sure why I’m complaining; haven’t been able to manage that so far, not that I would want to, oh no. Yet nevertheless and nonetheless it remains an honour and a privilege for a pharmacist to transform me into an animal having a shell consisting of two halves joined together by an elastic ligament at the hinge, so as to open and shut like a book. At long last!
  8. Have to correct the record here. The moment I was thinking of was actually from an episode of Batman Beyond (‘99-’01). Got it mishmashed with an original animated series episode —written by Joe R. Lansdale!— where Kevin Conroy ZT”L realizes he’s been trapped in a dream world by the Mad Hatter because everything he reads is written in gobbledygook.
  9. Oh no! This happened to me too. I know exactly how to help! I can get you all your money back plus the shoes themselves. It’s very simple. All you need to do is send me twenty thousand dollars, cash, by direct courier. Mortgage the house, sell a kidney, whatever, don’t worry, you’ll get every penny back + interest. The important thing is you have to do this immediately. You can’t wait. Or else!
  10. R.CAllen

    Black Adam

    oh, yeah, the thing with
  11. R.CAllen

    Black Adam

    I thought the movie was pretty bad!
  12. Terrible news! A childhood favourite — I think him and Marty McFly were the coolest in all the world as far as I was concerned way back when. (I remember looking up his character on a nerd wiki some few years ago and being astounded to discover he’s still a part of things, the character’s got a doctorate, it’s Doctor Tommy Oliver now.) As children we used to stand atop the mounds of snow piled in our schoolyard and pretend to be the Green Ranger summoning his Dragonzord by using a twig as the dagger/flute. Wait, that kind of sounds like the Four Yorkshiremen sketch. We was too poor to afford the toys! We were glad of our simple pleasures delivered to us from the skies above! And if you told that to young people today they wouldn’t believe a word of it, no, no. In any case, well, a sad day. 49! Uch.
  13. Haven’t really been keeping up with all the new animated stuff. There was an entire series set around Sequel Trilogy times which I completely skipped. Hated the look and feel of it. Couldn’t get through more than a few seconds of it. Haven’t seen any of the little micro-shorts for much the same reason. Saw the anime stuff; that was fun, looking forward to more of that. There’s a show whose premise reminds me a little bit of how as a little little kid if I had a bunch of identical toys I’d differentiate them from each other by giving ‘em different personalities when I’d play with them, that’s The Bad Batch (‘21-’??), haven’t seen any of it so far. Haven’t seen the Obi-wan show. Haven’t seen the Andor show. I imagine I’ll get to them sometime. I don’t really buy the hype about the latter, oh sure, it’s Star Wars for grown-ups, it’s for adults, right, yeah, it’s not that I don’t believe you or anything but pretty much everyone spouting that line probably said similar things about Rogue One (2016) so I’m going to manage my expectations here. But a bunch of mini-episodes about what Ahsoka and Count Dooku got up to before, during, and immediately after the Prequel Trilogy!? That’s my trash! You can’t keep me away! I thought that was all over and done with but it turns out there’s more of it! Yeah! Great! It’d be like if they announced, oops, the coroner goofed and Aaron Allston’s not dead so here’s his new Wraith Squadron book. Sign me up!
  14. Wait, so what are my complaints!?!?
  15. Seventh and eighth episode!
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