Print Story Full moon in the city and the night was young
Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Wed Dec 30, 2015 at 09:52:28 AM EST) Reading, Watching, Me, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "Touch". Watching: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", "The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies". Me. Links.


What I'm Reading
Touch by Claire North. Science fiction thriller in which a person with the ability to take over and move between bodies is hunted by an adversary. Not an original concept but very well executed. There's a lot of tension, good fast-paced action, interesting characters and it actually develops the implications of the ideas.

What I'm Watching
Have talked about it so much elsewhere that I forgot to mention seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the second day of its release. I enjoyed it a lot, helped by a heavy dose of nostalgia. It's a well-crafted, affectionately faithful sci-fi adventure movie. The downside is that the plotting is very unoriginal. I'd say it's definitely worth seeing since if you liked the first trilogy the nostalgia will keep you involved, and if you haven't seen them you won't be bothered by the unoriginality. However if you saw the original Star Wars and weren't that impressed, avoid this one too.

What I'm Watching 2
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Third in the series, watched it since it was on the Netflix free trial. Awful. Smaug is dispatched at the start and the rest of the film is basically waiting for one guy to come to his senses. While there's lots of action, there's not much tension to it, and the ludicrous physics of the CGI makes it impossible to suspend disbelief. The size disparities between races don't help either, with Orc henchmen looking particularly frail as they're wiped out by tiny dwarves and hobbits. Bilbo alone takes out three armoured Orcs on open ground by throwing handy rocks at them. The series started a bit ropy and only got worse, avoid if possible.

Me
Had my last day of holiday, back at work tomorrow though there's the long weekend after that. Feel quite well rested, glad I got the chance to spend a few days with my parents at the start.

Tried the Netflix free trial but was disappointed by the movie selection: has fewer new big movies than my local library even: no "Age of Ultron", "Inside Out" or even "Birdman". It's probably best for TV series but I just don't have the time for those, so will probably cancel when the trial's up.

Links
Socioeconomics. What to do when you're not the hero any more.

Random. "Radical Publisher" Verso has 90% off all ebooks till Jan 1st, I grabbed a few. I didn't know that "The global portion of 3D digital screens increased to 51% from 47% in 2013", looks like 2D screens are a minority now.

Video. Motorhead on The Young Ones.

Sci/Tech. Bladeless wind turbine.

< Coming Out | 2015, now with 20% fewer pages >
Full moon in the city and the night was young | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Tiny dwarves by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Dec 30, 2015 at 10:37:45 AM EST
Regardless of the movie, I don't think you should think of dwarves so much as tiny as very very solid. Dwarves are 4 to 5 feet and according to Tolkien mythology originate from the earth and stone by their creator Aulë. Their armour and weaponry is the best of the epoch short of Elven ancestral weaponry.

I think the movies make Orcs bigger than they should be i.e. they should be a problem in numbers, less so as individuals. They're a parody of elves, only able to cooperate under threat. Only Sarumans modified Orcs and chieftains should be a real individual threat.


Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
I think by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Dec 30, 2015 at 11:40:39 AM EST
That was easier to believe in the LOTR movies where the dwarves are broad and stocky, than the Hobbit movies where they're proportioned like normal actors but are small.
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It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
I think they look dense... by gzt (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Dec 30, 2015 at 04:04:22 PM EST
...in the Hobbit movies. But, yes, it's not as well-done (but nothing in the Hobbit movies was).

[ Parent ]
Star Wars by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Dec 30, 2015 at 12:44:58 PM EST
When the boy and I saw the new Star Wars, we ended up sitting in a half-empty theater to watch the 3D after failing to get a seat in the sold-out 2D showing we originally wanted to see.   "3D screens" is more evidence of how much it is being pushed then how popular it is.

Friends my age are all raving about "A Force Awakens", but my boy declared it just "pretty good" and is not raving about it the way he raved about "Guardians of the Galaxy".
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

The 3D price difference by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Dec 30, 2015 at 02:24:14 PM EST
Must be pretty much pure profit by now. Don't think we'll know the true popularities until the prices equalise.
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It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Roughly my experience as well by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed Dec 30, 2015 at 03:57:42 PM EST
A bigger problem is the need to do 3d even when it shouldn't be there. Perspective ends at about 30'. If you have a Star Destroyer<TM> on the screen, you can't bother with 3D or it looks less than 30' long and exactly like a (big) model (one of LOTR's "bigatures, perhaps).

I'm not surprised by the reactions. Disney does some impressive work, but pretty much sticks to known-good stories. It shouldn't be much of a surprise to see a carbon-copy episode "4". My reaction was that it was a real "Star Wars" movie, in much the way episode "1" wasn't (I didn't bother with the rest). The fact that it also was a specific "Star Wars" movie (i.e. a Star Wars remake) wasn't quite as important.

Wumpus

[ Parent ]
I didn't get Guardians of the Galaxy by lm (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Dec 30, 2015 at 07:43:30 PM EST
After all the buzz, I was more than a bit disappointed. There is more character development in a cliche ensemble movie like the Expendables franchise and the action sequences weren't even all that great.

My daughter whose never seen any of the Star Wars movies is now making plans to watch the original trilogy.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
None of the originals? by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #11 Wed Dec 30, 2015 at 08:17:38 PM EST
In some states, that would be considered child abuse.

That said, nineteen_year_old has only seen IV, whereas fourteen_year_old has seen IV, V, VI and VII.


[ Parent ]
I thought it was an amusing trifle by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #12 Thu Dec 31, 2015 at 12:17:57 AM EST
I didn't mean to particularly praise it, just to use it as an example of how the new Star Wars movie might not be so exciting for youngsters.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
My wandered to this topic on my way to work by lm (4.00 / 1) #15 Thu Dec 31, 2015 at 07:17:46 PM EST
I suspect that GotG might be far more exciting for a young male adolescent in the way of wish fulfillment than TFA.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Hobbit by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Dec 30, 2015 at 03:15:07 PM EST
"Bilbo alone takes out three armoured Orcs on open ground by throwing handy rocks at them."
Something like that is in the book, IIRC. But stretching out a book which can be read in a couple of hours into 9 hours of film gives the opposite problem to LoTR, where he couldn't cover everything.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

The Hobbit Series by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Dec 30, 2015 at 04:34:21 PM EST
i saw the first movie at a second run theater and I hated it so much I vowed never to see the others. The last two have been on HBO, which I subscribe to, and I have kept my vow. I will never so those movies. Peter Jackson is dead to me. 




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
Netflix's catalog is best if you like foreign film by lm (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Dec 30, 2015 at 07:45:46 PM EST
They've got a lot of nice Asian films and a decent smattering of European films.

But, certainly, their new release section is lackluster.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Bladeless fans are the Devil's magick. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #13 Thu Dec 31, 2015 at 12:55:10 AM EST
Also, Peter Jackson lost me with the Hobbit trilogy. Still have no urge to buy the set.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

The hobbit by hulver (4.00 / 2) #14 Thu Dec 31, 2015 at 03:41:48 PM EST
The only good thing about the hobbit films, is the way they make the LOTR films look like masterpieces now. We've recently watched all the hobbit films, then the LOTR films. All the problems I had with the LOTR films originally (dwarf tossing, surfing elf etc) I now don't even notice. They ate just so much better than the Crap hobbit films.
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Cheese is not a hat. - clock
Full moon in the city and the night was young | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback