Went to see Sin City. Good film: I finally feel cleansed after Revenge of the Sith now. Look George that's how you make a blue-screen action melodrama. Tightly interweave the action and the drama: don't have huge, separate stretches of each. Don't waste time on fancy backdrops that are irrelevant to the foreground events. If you're showing off CGI, style and innovation are more important than photorealism. Use the set as part of the action: if you show us a staircase or a dinosaur have someone jump down it or climb up it. And let the actors act, not just intone off an autocue.
Note on media. As I've said before, I'm not very visually-oriented; so I don't tend to find comics a very emotionally involving medium. So, after trying one or two I was never very keen on the Sin City comics: seemed pretty cheesy to me.
Film, though, I think are the most visceral medium there is. Again as I've said before, I don't like the way some critics try to make the cinema a 2D version of the stage: a film is never going to have the emotional subtlety of a play where you've got the actors in the same room as you. Movies, I've always thought, should be about spectacle. They should be larger than life, showing you stuff you couldn't see in real life.
So, as a melodrama I found the Sin City movie better than the comic: watching it in a cinema is a much more intense experience.
I liked the colourization gimmick: it's mainly black and white, but with colours superposed in some cases. The white splashes of blood I thought were very effective. If you weren't grossed out by Kill Bill, this is definitely worth seeing.
Won't be to everyone's taste though: it's very violent, gory and over the top. Some of the critics seem to be confused: they were expecting a languid film noir tribute rather than a splatterpunk epic.
What I'm Watching: House
Watched the first four episodes of House M.D. Strangely compulsive so far: I suppose I can probably identify more with Dr House than your average caring superdoc. The formula is beginning to show a bit though now, so might ease off on the next unless they start to vary it.
I liked the dilemma in ep 4 about giving different treatments to the two babies in the epidemic to find out which would die.
Not sure how realistic it all is: I generally try to avoid real and fictional hospitals. I get the impression the diagnostic stuff is a bit archaic: they always seem to have a brief but self-conscious explanation of why they can't just run a full battery of tests (no time, not enough blood) to identify the pathogen. I get the impression that in real life things are more automated and more brute-force: if it's really baffling the doctors they just run it through enough machines.
European constitution fallout
It would take a heart of stone not to laugh.
The basic fact is: nobody knows why the French and the Dutch voted no. The no campaigners were a disparate bunch from all across every spectrum. The vox pop interviews with no voters show diverse, contradictory and often self-contradictory opinions. Nobody knows anything.
And so, the obvious response from every commentator and politician is: to solve the problem we have to do exactly what I already wanted.
If you're a trad socialist, The Answer is to have more protectionism, more regulation of companies, more restrictions on the flow of people and capital.
If you're a free marketer, The Problem is that Europe's economic stagnation has left the people suspicious and mistrustful. The Answer is freer markets and deregulation: this will give as a more prosperous Europe with less unemployment.
If you're an anti-Federalist, The Problem is over-centralization: people don't want their local differences (whether socialist or free-market) ironed out. The Solution: no more centralized power.
If you're against EU expansion, The Problem was not the constitution, but fear of expansion: The Answer is to call a halt to further expansion.
If you're in favour of expansion, you just need to fix something else and go right ahead.
Ultimately, it's not that there is no Plan B. The difficulty is that there are plans B,C,D,E, F right through to Z, and most of them are completely incompatible with each other.
Read those Asterix books now. Found the Asterix annotation site interesting.
Asterix and the Goths
Asterix the Gladiator
Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield
The Mansions of the Gods
Obelix and Co.
Asterix and Son
Asterix and the Actress
Asterix the Legionary
Asterix in Belgium
Asterix and the Laurel Wreath
Asterix and the Cauldron.
Noticed the stats page isn't where it was. Has it gone for good, gone temporarily or just changed location?
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