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From before Blade Runner 2049

Murder on the Orient Express looks dreadful. Why make a film of a book if you're going to change it that much? (in keeping with the main topic, Blade Runner had the decency not to call itself “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”.)

The Snowman appears to be this year's entry in the Scandi-noir feature no/few Scandinavians genre.

Given the multiple millions that went into the new Justice League trailer, the CGI is remarkably bad. And I’m still stuck with the feeling that the only character I like separately is my boy Bats.

D that saw Blade Runner 2049 with pointed out that the Thor: Ragnarok trailer was hardly any better on the CGI front, buttons least that appears to be a stylistic choice and you know, I <3 Thor and the gang.

Blade Runner 2049

A lot of the points I am going to mention cover the same ground as Selenak does here. She explains what I liked and disliked better than I can, in fewer words, so I recommend reading her take on the film, and then coming back to read this for the couple of points where we disagree, and a few more specifically-me points.

- I maintain my feeling of unease about a film about 30 years in the future of what people 40 years ago thought now would look like. Where are the films about what people now think 40 years in the future will look like?

- Denis Villeneuve is a stonkingly good director. He keeps a lot of the visual language from the original, but imbues it with his own feel which is a lot softer than Ridley Scott’s.

- The BBFC rating includes a warning for sexualised nudity. Anyone who finds any of the nudity in this film arousing has issues. I think it was very well done, and thematically works but yes, the director deliberately went for “the commodification of sex and bodies is bad” and it worked.

- The film works best when deals with the flipside of Blade Runner’s “what does it mean to be human”. 2049 asks “what does it mean to not be human?”

Everything below this is a spoiler. )

On to some more general points:

- I know why film-makers have characters use axe kicks in films. They look cool. I am willing to go with “rule of cool”, even if I don’t like axe kicks. What I don’t get is why the characters being attacked by axe kicks never use the “proper” defence against them, even if that character is supposed to have fight training. Axe kicks are so easy to defend against, why does nobody ever do it?!

- I say this about every film he’s in, but when did Dave Batista get so good? He’s a foot taller than me and about two of me in weight, and yet, when Sapper Morton put his glasses on I wanted to protect him. That’s a neat trick.

- I really like Hans Zimmer’s work. If you need a film composer who can ape someone else’s style and rework it into something new, he’s the best choice. The problem isn’t him, the problem is when the soundsystem of the cinema you are in can’t take all those tones at once, and you get massive reverb even when the soundtrack doesn’t want it. Also, I’m reasonably sure that chunks of the soundtrack could be used for soundboarding people. I know it’s deliberate but some of that really messed with my brain.


In short (too late, I know), Blade Runner 2049 is a good film. It’s not as good as Blade Runner. It may or may not be a good sequel to Blade Runner.
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The Case For The Prosecution:

I try not to be precious about Shakespeare. Update him, reset him, add songs and dance, I'm pretty cool with it. Just don't screw up the verbiage (this obviously does not apply to wholesale-changed ones like Kiss Me Kate or the Shakespeare: ReTold Taming of the Shrew). I don't mind scenes being cut. I have long made my peace with the fact I am never going to get all of Act 3, Scene 7 in any Henry V. There are scenes I demand be in, e.g. the Jason Connery Macbeth gets less than nul points because it takes out MacDuff's "one fell swoop" speech, but I try to be cool.

But, if you're using the words, at least say them, don't just mumble along and hope someone will know what you mean. Christ, I've heard 13 year olds deal better with iambic pentameter.

Even when the actor's aren't mumbling, the sound quality in the Ethan Hawke Hamlet is pretty bad so you can't make out what's going on.

I can see the appeal of playing the play as "Hamlet, Slacker Prince", even if it goes completely against how I see the character (every generation reworks Hamlet in its own image, discuss). In the hands of a competent director it might even have been good. This film was also lacking one of them.

Bill Murray should be able to do things with Polonious given that he's got great timing, but no-one except Hamlet is given any time or room to do anything. The film is a waste of time, idea and resources.

The Scene Itself:

Why the scene is so good:

In the middle of all this terrible misuse of English, Shakespeare and the cinematic arts there are two people that get it. They are Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles as Laertes and Ophelia. When they speak, it sounds like people, and because they're both theatre types, you can actually hear what they're saying. And oh how much Laertes loves his sister, and this is only going to end badly.

This is one of those versions of Hamlet where I am team Laertes.
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Friends, Romans, people who know about Russian wildlife - for a bit in a story I require a Russian bird. I would prefer if it were something small and fluttery. Any ideas? The web has not been useful.
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Title: Man, Indivisible
Author: Red Fiona
Disclaimer: I don't own Batman, it's all DC's. Or Warner Brothers for the bits I've pinched from the Nolan-verse. No money is being made from this.

Fandom: Batman
Characters: Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent
Pairings: Bruce Wayne/Harvey Dent, Bruce Wayne/Rachel Dawes, Harvey Dent/Rachel Dawes

Ratings/Warnings: PG-13, off-screen canonical child abuse.

Notes: Written for an lgbtfest or queerfest prompt, but sort of spun away from the point of the prompt in the context of the fest. The prompt was "Batman, Harvey Dent/Bruce Wayne, when they've both spent their whole lives dividing things in two, is it any wonder one of them snapped? Bruce just never thought it would be Harvey." It's set somewhere between the Animated Series and the Nolanverse. Because I have pinched Rachel and a couple of scenes from the Nolan films.

Summary: When they've both spent their whole lives dividing things in two, is it any wonder one of them snapped? Bruce just never thought it would be Harvey.


There was a time when Bruce was very jealous of Harvey Dent. )
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Why do wombats do cube-shaped poo? -


Street art: Crime, grime or sublime? -


The curious history of the clothespeg -


Pioneering surgeons recall first triple transplant operation -


Have more famous people died in 2016? -

Meat and potato pie 'sent into space' from Wigan - Important background information is that the nickname for Wiganers is "the pie eaters".

99 Reasons 2016 Was a Good Year -

A hermit's Christmas: Simplicity, solitude and silence -

The medal detective -

Growing up young -


Raw nature in all its beauty -


David Remnick: Why Trump’s win is ‘an American tragedy’ -

Donald Trump transition: What now for Ivanka? - From December.

How Clinton lost Michigan — and blew the election -


Is it too late to salvage vacuous, dishonest press? - Actually about the football press, but large chunks of it are applicable to the general press.

Valegro - coined the Muhammad Ali of dressage - bows out after emotional London farewell -


World’s first Maori emoji app launches with unique Polynesian expressions -
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Moonlight: The small-budget film that is sweeping Hollywood awards - From December


London at Christmas: Revisiting capital's festive past -


In pictures: The plight of the fishermen -

Burial at sea: Seven things you might not know - Mostly because my mother keeps threatening this.

The man who looks after 735 dogs -

The 'miraculous' life of Zuzana Ruzickova -

the elf advises -

Blood bikers: The volunteer motorcyclists who help the NHS -

Wirral man has organ donor card tattooed on arm -

Tropical bird on Heathrow flight home for Christmas - Red footed booby living up to its name.

Cold cases: The detectives on the trail of undiscovered killers -


Russian ambassador killing: Photographer who captured the scene -

The radio station giving hope to listeners in Syria -

How Does It Feel - Patti Smith on singing at Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize ceremony -

The stories that prove 2016 was not the Worst Year Ever -


16 unlikely heroes of 2016: Cristiano Ronaldo’s moth, Andrea Bocelli and a miserable lifeguard -

The Olympic Games 2016 by Tom Jenkins -


Best of the Premier League 2015-16 – in photos -

Formula 1:

Force India angered by 'unfair' Strategy Group - From December, but still accurate and true. The man has a point.


Tom Jenkins' best shots of Wimbledon 2016 — in pictures -
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Saturday evening will see Rob Burrow's last rugby game. He's my favourite active rugby player. And, as per usual, I will be hoping his team lose.

Because that's what happens when your faourite player doesn't play for your favourite team.

Not that Castleford are my favourite team, but I'd really rather than them win than Leeds again. I have seen Burrow tear Saints apart one time too often (even the mention of the 2011 Grand Final remains painful).

I will be honest here, the reason Burrow is my favourite *is* because he's the littlest. In a time when rugby players seem to be ever larger behemoths, that he's 5 foot 5 and made it with hella hard work and talent is inspiring.

I believe some Youtube videos are required.

The Leeds Rhino's official video - Tributes to Rob Burrow -

Grand Final Golden Moments: Rob Burrow's Solo Try, 2011 -
(Also refered to as that bloody try by me)

Epalahame Lauaki Fights agiants Rob Burrow -

Rob Burrow 500 game tribute - Rob Burrow 500 game tribute -

He's fast, sneaky, clever and brave, the littlest and the best. Why did he have to play for Leeds?
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So some of the train companies still do the thing of naming their trains. Sometimes they have really cool names, like one of the West Coast travelling to the South West trains was named for Jason Leonard.

Sometimes they're done as part of a promotion for something, which I suspect is how this train got its name.

However it happened, I ended up on a Virgin pendelino called "X-Men: Days of Future Past". I may have squeed. I definitely took a picture. Sorry for the poor quality, I was literally running for the train (Euston's way of doing things has many issues).

Large picture of train below )

Because I am also a hopeless member of the Twitterati I also tweeted, much to the amusement of whoever was manning the Virgin Trains twitter account. I like to give them some variety in their twitter feed :)
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Large image underneath )

Blitz has three links with other films. One is Jason Statham, one is Ned Dennehy who also plays a ne'r do well in Reign of Fire and the other is Chad Stahelski who did some fight choreography on this, along with several other films.
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So, basically, I now have two open job offers.

Job 1 is an industrial science job. Lots of protein purification and lab-based. Downsides - I'd have to move and it's only a one year contract. Because of that, I'd not be employed directly but through an agency. Agency being understandably vague about whether job is likely to become permanent.  (I applied for a permanent job that they've decided not to offer to anyone.)

Job 2 is science writing at a biotechnology company. It wouldn't involve moving and is permanent. But it's not lab based.  And I'm still not sure if I am willing to make that leap.  


Jobs pay about the same. 

Mother is no help because she doesn't get the lure of the lab, and says any permanent job would be better than a 1 year contract. 

Edit: I have gone with job 2 for reasons.  Like not having to move house and actually getting to stay somewhere where I already have friends, and the company for Job 1 basically saying, "nope, no way is this going to be permanent."  I don't want to have to move again in 12 months time and then do the unemployment dance, again! 
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Spent the weekend at home, mostly finding out why some of the books on my Mum's "to the charity shop" pile are on there.

I, once again, failed to get into an Elizabeth George. I try, about once every 4 years, to read one of her books to find out what it is that people see in them. And I can't. I legitimately can't. This one wasn't so Lynley-centric, but still had Tottenham man-dem speaking like they were Bristol, blud. And my knowledge of local slang of anywhere south of Manchester is limited, so if I notice the discrepancy, it's pretty bad.

Then there was the author who, due to the American habit of giving male Celtic names to female offspring, I had to reassign from men who can't write women, to women who can't write women. Or historical settings. Which, when both of her books that I read were first person historical krimis is a problem.


Oct. 1st, 2017 02:01 pm
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In pictures: The Art of Building 2016 -


English Pronunciation - Obviously this is a joke, but I can. But probably not to the satisfaction of those wrong-headed people who think RP (or modern RP which sounds nothing like actual RP) is the only "correct" English pronunciation.

Law and order:

All new police officers in England and Wales to have degrees - Oh this is going to end badly, because there's already not enough police, the ones that are there aren't paid enough and why any grad would want to go into that ... Actually, that's a point, I think policing is one of the few industries where I know nobody.


Top tips for arranged marriage: '80 emails and no flirting' -

How many famous female hairdressers can you name? -



Marieke Vervoort: Paralympian who has signed euthanasia papers -

Blind in the Arctic: A survivor's guide to living in Nunavut -

Faux fur or real - do you know what you're wearing? - The problem is real fur being sold as fake fur.

GONE TOO SOON - Game Over, Man: ‘Aliens’ Cast Remembers the ‘Irreplaceable’ Bill Paxton on Alien Day -


Srebrenica survivors on Aleppo 'No lessons learned' -


10 Crucial Decisions That Reshaped America - Nothing about the most dramatic campaign in memory was a foregone conclusion. The inside story of the pivotal choices that got us to President Trump. -

Maine's Immigrants Boost Workforce Of Whitest, Oldest State In U.S. -

A hard Brexit is the last thing Japan wants -

The End of the Anglo-American Order -

How to win a referendum - Even if you didn't vote in the EU referendum, or couldn't vote in it, this is very interesting.


World's hottest borehole nearly complete -

A Possible Break in One of Evolution's Biggest Mysteries -

New spider species resembles Harry Potter 'Sorting Hat' -

Tetrapod Triumph! Solving Mystery Of First Land Vertebrates -


Olympia Horse Show 2016: Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro prepare to bow out -


Jerome Wilson: Coma boxer 'feared something bad might happen' - I feel I should add that he's out of the coma and doing relatively fine.


Johan Cruyff remembered by Bob Wilson -

Formula 1:

'Here's my CV!' Drivers - and Lukas Podolski - joke with Mercedes over vacancy -
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The Case For The Prosecution:

Blitz is the sort of film that feels grubby. Partly because of some very effective set decoration, but mostly because the lead character is so unlikable.

Brant (Jason Statham's character) is so unspeakably obnoxious that there is nothing and no-one to cheer for. It's partly the fault of the atmosphere of the film, which can't seem to decide if it wants to be a very dark police procedural or a vigilante justice film, a la Dirty Harry. The film isn't good enough to carry off that balancing act, and Brant isn't Harry Callaghan driven to extremes by circumstances. Brant starts off over the edge and never comes back. The script gives Statham no help with trying to make Brant likable.

The film also totally wastes Mark Rylance, which is a sin.

The scene itself:

Of course it's not on Youtube, and unlike other films in this list, I really don't like this one so I don't have access to the DVD.

About halfway through the film, Brant, who suffers from blackouts and memory lapses, visits Porter Nash, the other main policeman, and they have a heart to heart, or at least try to before Brant falls asleep.

Why the scene is so good:

It's the one scene where Brant gets to be human. Statham's actually really good when he's given moments of vulnerability. It also sets up the ending because it explains that Nash has form on the vigilante front. Then again, I think the whole point of the scene is that Nash was Brant by the end of his last job and it's there to show that there is hope (and that Nash is love and is trying to help).

Of course, Brant falls asleep (probably) but the attempt is made.

It's a very human moment in a film lacking in them.
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I think I may have caught my first cold of the winter. It's at the itchy and scratchy stage, which is annoying.

I have managed to finish a fic. It is, as usual, not the fic I expected to finish next but it is at least done.

And I think I might finally have figured out how to write "that scene" in Swings And Roundabouts. It's only taken 8 years!

RL Update

Sep. 24th, 2017 07:34 pm
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Still no job.

I have missed out on two science-adjacent jobs for being too enthusiastic about science, two industrial jobs for not having enough [industrial experience] and two academic jobs for I know not why, you expect academics to give you reasons?!

I am, to put it lightly, miffed.

It's like, I've deliberately gone for the entry level industrial jobs because I know I don't have industrial experience, jobs that don't ask for experience.

The science-adjacent jobs have gone with "you love science so much we're worried you'll hate the job" and they might have a point but a girl's got to eat, you know. (Don't worry, I have enough money for food and lodgings, the same quirk of the mind that makes me hoard things makes me hoard money.)

It's all just very frustrating!
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The Best Movies Of 2016 - Let the arguing begin.


Gullah Geechee: Descendants of slaves fight for their land -

Liverpool's Turner Prize-winning streets - one year on -

Canadian woman, 96, becomes a great-great-great grandmother -

Syria conflict: The things Syrians take with them -

German PoW leaves £384,000 to Perthshire village -

Can't afford a holiday trip home? This man wants to help -

The alpacas protecting 24,000 Christmas turkeys -

Giant lobster bought by Canadian vegan is set free -

In pictures: Living near the Arctic Circle -

Transgender child: The boy putting his female puberty on hold -



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Did a woman inspire Ian Fleming's James Bond? -


Something weird happens to companies when they hit 150 people -

Law and Order:

SCOTUS for law students: Roe v. Wade and precedent -


The mystery of the stolen Klimt -

'Take my brain out': The artists awakened by brain injuries -

The city getting rich from fake news -

Chris Gardner: The homeless man who became a multi-millionaire investor -

Teaching 1984 in 2016 -

The changing face of Germany's industrial core -

What Rospa posters say about the changing face of Britain -

Europe's outdoor cannabis capital -

Scare the mother, save the child -


Sean Paul: Back with a bang, bang, bang - In which Sean Paul is lovely.


Brexit vote: The breakdown -

The Real Risk Behind Trump’s Taiwan Call -

Famous by-elections: 11 memorable moments from years gone by -

School performance link to Brexit vote, says Ofsted boss -



Football abuse: FA reacted 'dismissively' to protection calls -


Car key jammers: What you need to know -

Attractive, slavish and at your command: Is AI sexist? -
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Large image under the cut )

A-Team has 6 links with other films.

A - Writer Skip Woods who also wrote parts of X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

B - Producer Ross Fanger also produced X-Men: Last Stand

C - Stunt co-ordinater Owen Walstrom also stunt co-ordinated for Ghost Rider

D - Jessica Biel was also in Blade: Trinity

This is why the A-Team is very close to the Bad Marvel films

E - Alan Silvestri also composed the music for Judge Dredd

F - Cinematographer Mauro Fiore was also the cinematography for Avatar.
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Finished the Trooper storyline on Corellia. Spoilers for Trooper and Jedi Knight )

My Trooper is disturbingly even handed. And very much Mom and Pop and apple pie despite everything.

Good Omens

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:43 pm
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You know how I was the only person not hyped for Deadpool. I feel like I'm the only person not hyped for Good Omens. Because I think the leads are horribly mis-cast and I've seen the costume photos and think they look horribly, horribly wrong too.

I will do most of my Eeyoring in private :) but I had an urge to shout this at the universe just once.


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