redfiona99: (Default)

Why a Bollywood film has been accused of distorting history -


These charts show how much of your life you will spend being sick -

What is the food that can really improve your eyesight? -

'I know cannabis is illegal, but it is medicinal' -


What I learned about languages just by looking at a Turkish typewriter -


Starting university: What to bring, who to avoid - Some of this is reasonable, some of it, not so much.

Vogue: Nine down-to-earth discoveries I made at the fashion bible -

Fabric closure: What next for the UK's club scene? - Or the further death of UK nightlife

What Is A Data Scientist And Should We Instead Be Talking About Data Teams?

Illness forces 12% of workers to quit before pension age - TUC -

Why the former USSR has far fewer men than women -


Puberty calorie burn fall 'could explain obesity rise' -

DNA confirms cause of 1665 London's Great Plague - As I had to explain to a friend of the time, yes, Y. pestis was the main suspect, but this is the first proof.

What's the evidence for the gluten-free lifestyle? -

Meet the Greater Honeyguide, the Bird That Understands Humans -



Tour of Britain: How cycling is helping flood-hit Cumbria recover -


FFP forces Inter to effectively split into two teams - There ain't no sneakiness like Inter sneakiness

Kosovo ready to rock the boat in Finland despite eligibility confusion -


Team USA should dominate the Paralympics. So why doesn't it?

Rio Paralympic Games: Why bookies won't be taking many bets -
redfiona99: (Default)
Large Image Under The Cut )

Octopussy is separated from the other films. This is understandable given that it's a lot older than the other films.
redfiona99: (Default)
Which I enjoyed. It might not have been as good as the first but it made me cry as much.

The main thing I disliked was that the characters were too broad in the first half so the reconciliation in the second half would work. But it did work. Probably better than the equivalent scene in the first one.

The character-is-a-screw-up-because-of-missing-Dad is a trope I could live without, but at least Peter Quill has a better reason than most. Peter Quill is still the one of the gang I like the least but that is not Chris Pratt's fault, as he does a damn fine job.

The film struck all the "I'd still rather have the Farscape film this isn't" chords that the first one did. Not helped by bonus Ben Browder. (Who got this film's giggle of recognition.)

And also every other Australian actor I sort of recognised. Although I want Elizabeth Debicki in all the films. I really like how they did the Sovereigns (or however one is supposed to pluralise that), that mixture of dangerous and silly.

The cool thing about the Guardians of the Galaxy films is that they acknowledge that they're based on comics so they occasionally go "stuff physics and reality". It is glorious. As is James Gunn's direction. Can he direct all the things? Because he makes everything look so pretty.

Spoilers begin below )

While it didn't quite work for me, I like that the film went full bore on its themes and linked everything together.


Jun. 11th, 2017 04:21 pm
redfiona99: (Default)

What are the smuttiest ships? -


Pedro Almodovar: Why there was no room for comedy in my new film -

The best 100 films of the 21st century, according to 177 film critics around the world - Let the arguing begin, although the list is reasonable.


Third 'given wrong initial heart attack diagnosis' -


Centenary of 'Spitfires of the Seas' -

Joan of Arc’s Ring: A Question of Possession and Cultural Patrimony -

Pocket Guide to Northern Ireland -


REVERSE VOXSPLAINING: DRUGS VS. CHAIRS - More specifically, patent law

Law and Order:

Ramen is displacing tobacco as most popular US prison currency, study finds -

Cooking with ramen: Prisoners get creative -

Two articles based on the same report.


What parents really mean to say about exam results -

Parents 'struggle' to find holiday care for learning disabled children -

Go-getters in the ghettos: The bright side of France's migrant suburbs -

What US counties are named after -

'London is most educated city in Europe' -


The social housing tenants miles from home -

America’s elections are less swingy

Lopsided electoral-college margins now appear to be a thing of the past - (From before the last US elections)


The woman who discovered India's first HIV cases -

United States Just Placed Bumblebees on Endangered Species List for First Time -

Read These Before You Write That Op-Ed - About drug pricing

Could mouthwash combat gonorrhoea? -


Rio Paralympics: Two refugee Para-athletes named for Rio Paralympics -

The Olympic Games 2016 by Tom Jenkins -


Leicester fans light up stadium as floodlights fail in savage storm -

How hooligans exposed the ugly rift in Croatian football -

Celtic: Callum McGregor eager to learn Champions League opponents - Sorry, I am a sucker from ballboy to first team stories.

Wycombe Wanderers' Matt Bloomfield: 'I knocked the ref's front teeth out' - On the occasion of Bloomfield's 400 (!!!) game for Wycombe.

Rugby League:

Challenge Cup final: Warrington captain Chris Hill on plumbing and Wembley -


Innovators vs Exploiters: Drug Pricing And The Future Of Pharma -

The tech helping disabled people dance, run and compete -

The Australian town that wants to get off the grid -
redfiona99: (Default)
The Case For the Prosecution:

Yes, yet again, there's a film I don't mind on this list. Now, I'll be the first to admit that Octopussy has its longeurs, chunks of film where nothing interesting happens. But that's not it's main problem.

No, Octopussy's main problem is inconsistency of tone. Really dark horrifying things are right next to slapstick humour. Which is a combo that can be done well, but it isn't in this case. There was an bit in several Roger Moore obituary's that said that all later Bond had to go gritty to provide contrast, but the later Moore films (baring View To A Kill) do the same thing.

The scene itself:

Why The Scene is So Good:

To my mind, this is still the most tense scene is all of Bond. Despite the fact that all it is is two men chasing another one down. No fight scene, just steadily ramping terror until that crash through the window.

The music more than plays it part in building the tension, as does the slow, relentless chase of the knife-throwing twins.

009 being in in full clown suit and make up should make it ridiculous. But it makes it scarier because of the contrast. His desperation, the way his breath catches, and how he almost makes, would make it if it weren't for the clown shoes. In a series of films where the 00 agents seem superhuman, 009 is human and that's what makes the scene terrifying.
redfiona99: (films)
This began as a review of Assassin's Creed, and turned into a discussion of the nature of storytelling. If you want a review, that's easy:


Run far, run fast, don't look back, don't try a Leap of Faith in the real world.

None of the following is a diss on the technical people involved. The film was beautifully made. The costumes were amazing, I loved the camera work.

When you're as good as that cast list are, then the acting is not the problem. Particularly Michael Fassbender at the beginning, he was amazing.

The trouble was it was difficult to care about any of that when no-one is given all that much character.

I mean, Aguilar gets a bit, but the fact that I can only remember the assassin's name and not the modern-day dude should tell you something. The film was really bad at giving the characters names and identities. For instance, the only reason I know that Maria's name is Maria, not 'unspeakably hot Assassin chick' which I had to call her, was because I looked the film up on IMDB and had to work backwards from female actresses listed.

The same thing for the modern day Assassins. I would care a lot more about the fate of Assassin 3 and 4 if, you know, they were people rather than cardboard cutouts that some fine actors were doing their best with.

I mean it. Name one non-Aguilar assassin just from watching the film.

There's no sense of them being real people, they have less personality than the NPCs in the game do.

What Mad Max: Fury Road did excellently well, this doesn't bother to do at all. I'm not given a reason to care about these characters, so I don't, which means the grand sacrifice scenes don't work.

It's odd that a film that took so much care over everything else (the sets, the costumes, the little details like Aguilar's name and the Torquemada's nose) had such a bad, flat script.

My other problem is not the film's fault. Or rather, I have the same problem with the games but the film emphasises it. The whole, 'there are no rules' philosophy is well and good if you're strong and strapping. If you've the kind of person who isn't, it tends to end badly for you. Relying on people to look after each other in that sort of set up also ends badly. That the film just blithely accepts that the Assassins view of life without questioning it is ooky.

Some spoilers below.

The film goes out of its way to avoid shades of grey. Whether it's making Cal Lynch a criminal who prays on other criminals (so it's okay to cheer him on), painting the Assassins as completely good and the Templars as completely evil, or just making Marion Cotillard evil all of a sudden (I cannot overstate how bad the film was at giving the names of the characters). That was also a shocking waste of Marion Cotillard. She’s an amazing actress, so use her.

Assassin's Creed annoyed me, because it came so close to being good. It had one glaring flaw, but the script was so bad and a script makes up such a large part of the film that I felt really let down.


May. 14th, 2017 10:19 pm
redfiona99: (Default)
We're back at link in the singular.


redfiona99: (Default)
The case for the prosecution:

I am probably the wrong person to talk about the Matrix series.

As I sci-fi fan, I was already used to the concept of machines being in charge and other civilisations using humans, so I didn't get the shock of a new concept, which some people did. And my Nan was huge kung-fu film fan so I was used to wire work, so I didn't get the wow of new concept from that either.

Don't get me wrong, the first film used the concept and the wire work really well, but it meant I wasn't as sold as a lot of my friends were. But at least that meant I wasn't as disappointed by the sequels.

I think I've made my dislike of pseudo-mystic stuff quite clear, and oh boy do the sequels ever suffer from that. But if they'd been better, I don't think I would have minded as much, because the first film has that too but styled its way out of it. Style only takes you so far.

For me, the major failing of the two later films was an excess of CGI to create their shock and awe. In the first one, most of the really cool stunts, the ones that look spectacular, the ones you remember, were done using a mixture of practical effects, including wire work and camera trickery. In the others, most of that was replaced by CGI. And the problem was that CGI still hadn't quite progressed to the point where it was capable of rendering reality. Which should be fine, because, hey, they're in the Matrix for most of it, but it just feels flat. There's a lack of danger to the fight scenes, not to the actors and stuntcrew but to the characters.

The scene itself:

Why the scene is so good:

It's the glory of simplicity. Just two characters going at it, no huge armies or anything. Hand to hand, not oodles of weaponry. And it's all done with practical effects. And it's so well done.

It's the only fight scene from the last two films I remember, because it stands out because of this.
redfiona99: (films)
The film, not the mutant.

I can't really better the description I gave a friend. "It's a brilliant film. I never want to see it again." Which is one of the highest pieces of praise I can give a film.

It's just so skin-crawlingly ooky in parts.

Jake Gyllenhaal is incredible in this. I shall be peeved on his behalf if he doesn't at least get some award nominations. Spoilers )

The directing and cinematography, particularly the cinematography, were wonderful. The way the scenes were lit gave it a perpetual night feel but you could still see every little detail.

Just one warning - if you've got an embarrassment squick that's anything like mine (I can't cope with the UK version of the Office and a lot of the modern comedies of embarrassment) this will set you off. I was sore afterwards due to the scrunched up position of "no, don't do that" it forced me to assume. I am very grateful that I had no-one sitting near me.

Further Spoilers )

There is one brilliant scene that I would demand everyone watched (if I were ruler of the world). Yet more spoilers )

Not perfect, but highly recommended.
redfiona99: (films)
I can see why they shortened the title in all the UK ads to Charlie Countryman (or, more accurately, 'the necessary death of' in writing too tiny to read, Charlie Countryman in readable writing).

As you might have gathered from the title, it's a little bit too arty for it's own good.

Shia LaBeouf was actually good in this. I totally originally went to watch it for Mads Mikkelsen and Til Schweiger, who were excellent in their roles (needless to say) but yes, must repeat that there was entirely unexpected excellence from LaBeouf.

The soundtrack was also excellent.

Spoilers )

Not the film I expected from the trailer and from what other people said about it, but worth watching.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
This film was serious Raphael propaganda and did terrible things to my boy Mikey but it was surprisingly good fun.

Contrary to reports received, April O'Neil was awesome. I suspect people have been prejudging her because of who is playing her and who produced the film but she was tenacious, heroic, brave and wonderful.

Splinter was also awesome, even if, rather worryingly, Raphael was my favourite Turtle in the film. This is a very wrong thing.

Advanced warning, the opening of TMNT is awesome, and then there's about 15-20 minute that are not so good and then the film kicks into gear.

Spoilers )

I was sat next to a particularly talkative example of the actual target audience (I still don't know why this was a 12A). The 7 year olds in attendance loved it, which is what matters, even if they have been brainwashed into liking Raphael.

Why Raphael worked for me in this, more so than he normally does. )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Since Movie Day was a great success (except for London Midland screwing up so I missed Book of the Dead), have some short comments on the trailers first.


The Penguins of Madagascar is on my to be watched list along with Get Santa which looks like my kind of nonsense. And my hat is off to Rafe Spall for managing to look/act so differently in everything I see him in.

The Bizarre:

The Spongebob movie trailer looks like Hollywood has been imbibing the nose candy again.

Not My Thing:

The Imitation Game - probably one of those things where I know slightly too much about the cryptanlysis side of things (I am terrible at cryptanalysis, but I enjoy reading about it) to enjoy the film.

Nativity 3 does not look like my kind of nonsense.

The Drop

I'd love to know why in Virgin Trains's advert for their Birmingham to London route, they're using footage of Liverpool Lime Street. To the point of asking them on Twitter. I have spent too much time at Lime Street, New Street and Euston not to recognise them all instantly, but more importantly, the rock formation and color at the back of Lime Street is unmistakable.

Is that Kevin Spacey I see in the new Call of Duty ad? And is that Taylor Kitsch in the ad for whatever military shooter that was?

They're letting ad agencies at the crack again, aren't they? As evidence, I would like to nominate this Just Eat advert (, this O2 advert ( and this Freederm advert ( Not that I don't like them, but bzuh, what?! The other main theme seems to be Busby Berkley as done by Dyson (in an advert I can't find on Youtube) and Currys/PC World (
redfiona99: (films)
I am not convinced that this was a good film.

But TREEEEEEE! (Seriously, everyone I know who has seen it has taken to answering any questions about the film with shouts of 'treeee'.)

I've been told there are non-arboreal characters in this )

In other actor news, is Lee Pace actually that tall or did the director et al do an amazing job of making him look huge?

There's one of those things where fandom and I have seen different films )

Another thing, which includes massive spoilers for Thor 2 )

I can see why several people have made jokes about this being a watered down Farscape film though, not just because of the characters, but some of the shot selections.

My own cracktastic theory that will be blown out of the water when they envelope this into the main Marvelverse )

The main take home message though remains TREEEEEEE!!!


Oct. 3rd, 2014 09:43 pm
redfiona99: (Thinking)
So the original plan had been to watch the Cabinet of Dr Caligari and the raccoon movie, only when I looked up the showings at BFI Southbank they were also showing M. Immediate change of plans ensued.

There is a reason M is a classic.

Actually there are many reasons. And I feel expounding on them would involve me selling the film short. There's a reason why books get written about this film (and I suspect many thesises). There are a few things I'd like to mention though.

The Use of Sound )

How the Criminals are Portrayed )

And of course the trial scene )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
The BFI Southbank were showing this for reasons that escape my knowledge, other than possibly they're having a feast of early German cinema, which is a perfectly good reason, and I am always down for German expressionism.

Now the pre-film blurb did warn us that it was deliberately stagey and unrealistic, which was probably a good idea, because I get the idea of stylized theatricality but this was hyper-stylized. My problem was more with the acting than with the sets, because Caligari was so dirty and disgusting that I couldn't believe that anyone would go "yes, of course sir, do carry on," and Franzis is almost as bad, although he does at least calm down later on.

Actually, one of the amazing things is, given how fake and whatever the high-tech version of soft gauzy focus is a lot of Hollywood films make their leads look, how amazingly real and touchable the characters look a film make 95 years ago.

Spoilers for a film made in 1920 )

Definitely worth seeing, but yes, advanced warning that it's deliberately odd.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
The Good Trailers

Planes 2 - I am so there for this. (Then again I was also there for Planes 1 and Cars. I am all the little girls that internet feminism insists have no interest in anthropomorphic vehicles.)

Expendables 3 - I am even more there for this. The trailer was incredibly good at it's job because I went from 'I'll probably see this because' to 'must see now!!!' in the space of watching it.

The Meh Trailer

Lucy - Yeah, I know, but it just looked kinda meh.

The bad trailers

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - mostly because the turtles still look less realistic than the men in suits from the '90s. And they've turned Shredder into a ninja robot. The trailer also contained not one but two references to how cracktastic the premise of the film is, which strikes me as a bad idea because the people who aren't children of the Turtle era are going to go "I don't want to spend £5.50 on cheesy nonsense that even the filmmakers can't deal with with a straight face" and us Turtle children are going "what's so cracktastic about mutant turtles, that's what mutagenic ooze does."

Into The Storm - which really looks like Twister: the Revengening, and generally bad.

The trailer so bad it is terribad

A Dolphin's Tale 2 - Now granted, I am not the target audience, dolphin-mad teenage girls are, but those dolphin-mad teenage girls are going to know, like I am, that that is not how you transport a dolphin. I could deal with the rest of the godawful animal melodrama if it didn't make several howlers along the same lines.


On to the actual films.

How To Train Your Dragon 2

Good, solid film. )


I am the wrong person to talk about this film, because it was like catnip for my id. )

I really enjoyed Hercules, but it may as well have been made for me.

DVD Spree

Jul. 29th, 2014 04:19 pm
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Because HMV had a foreign films sale, I managed to get Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, Oldboy and Lady Vengeance for £7.99 ($13.55/ 14.41 AusD). Which is totally for the win because 1 - I <3 Park Chan-wook's directing and 2) Lady Vengeance is his best film. I would recommend it thorough, with the caveat of read the warnings.

On top of that, while I was on Amazon looking to buy 'Rewind The Film' and 'Futurology', I spotted Rome, seasons 1 & 2, on sale for £17 ($29/ 31 AusD), so I snapped that up, because that's been £60 within the last two years and therefore totally counts as a bargain.

That was about it as far as successful shopping missions go. It turns out I didn't need a new phone, I'd just accidentally blocked my Mum's phone (which I will hear the end of some time after doomsday), Next hadn't shipped the dress I wanted to try on to all their shops yet and I still can't fit into a size 14. Actually, it's possible that my waist can but my thighs definitely can't so I am left with the fencer's problem of trying to find nice belts because our waists and thighs are out of proportion. That or menswear and I suspect New Look are having a sale ...
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Transformers: Whatever the new one is called

Looks totally not like my kind of thing (possibly because Transformers really didn't impact upon my childhood at all). The interesting thing was student J's response to it. J is from Hong Kong and she was so pleased to see her home town being destroyed on screen. I think it's because it's a sign that Hong Kong as a visual concept has sort of made an impact on international culture, because they wouldn't destroy say Berlin or Vienna because no-one would care.

Masters of the UniverseGuardians of the Galaxy With thanks to [ profile] opera142 because they will insist of films having different names than the ones I give them.

Other than being a bit *yawn* over yet another man-child main character (and worrying that Gamora, possibly the hottest, deadliest green-skinned space babe yet to wander across our screens, is going to wind up with him after he's shown so much character growth to become almost a human being. [Yuck!]), this looks like fun. But that's because the idea of a racoon and a tree being harbingers of destruction appeals to me.


I'm sure this will be good and well-made. I have no interest in it.

How To Train Your Dragon 2

Which was the only film which everyone wanted to see after seeing the trailer. Which either bodes well for it, or badly for the others.
redfiona99: (films)
As you might have gathered from the last X-Men post, all I needed to be satisfied with Days of Future Past was time travel and Bishop. It went beyond that :D

Beneath lies gratuitous exclamation marks and high pitched squeaking, complete with run on sentences and bracket abuse. And also one giant spoiler for Watchmen.

There was one thing I disliked )

I liked everything else )

tl; dr I enjoyed it and it was good and I nearly shouted at the screen several times.

The 5 Things That Made Me Happiest )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Went to see Edge of Tomorrow. Not the cerebral flick I had been led to believe it was but it was a solid action flick with a nice line in black comedy.

It could have done with a brief geography lesson and one tiny bit of Brit-picking )

Yes, I'm being nit-picky but it had a budget of $175 million, I expect the details to be checked.

I did like it, but I thought the ending let it down a bit. Spoilers )

The real question becomes, when did secondary character wearing a Hawaiian shirt become Hollywood shorthand for "yay we've cast an Aussie"? Not that I mind Kick Gurry getting a part. Actually, the real question is why Noah Taylor not in everything? (This can be joined by 'why is Saïd Taghmaoui not in everything' because he should be. He was the only enjoyable thing about Conan the Barbarian.)

Bill Paxton and Emily Blunt are also very good in this, and I like what they do with the main character and Tom Cruise does it well.


Forgive me football fans, I am about to sin. I shall miss the first three World Cup games (fencing, charity quiz, wedding). I feel strange and peculiar about this.


That was not the fic I expected to finish next. It leads to an important question. If I say "Doctor In The House", am I the only person who flashes straight to James Robertson Justice?


redfiona99: (Default)

July 2017

234 567 8
9 101112 1314 15
161718192021 22
23 242526272829


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 25th, 2017 06:42 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios