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About NBooth

  • Rank
    Collector of Oddities
  • Birthday 01/23/1987

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Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Wuhan, China
  • Interests
    Literature. Film. Music. The theater. Philosophy. Theology.

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Lecturer in American Literature, Huazhong University of Science and Technology
  • Favorite movies
    Top Ten (descending order):The Third Man (Reed, 1949) Mulholland Drive (Lynch, 2001) 2046 (Wong, 2004) Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958) Zodiac (Fincher, 2007) Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941) There Will Be Blood (Anderson, 2007) Raiders of the Lost Ark (Spielberg, 1981) Once Upon a Time in the West (Leone, 1968) The Thin Man (Van Dyke, 1934)
  • Favorite music
    Top Ten (descending order):Bob Dylan,David Bowie,Nick Cave,Brandi Carlile,Josh Ritter,Bill Mallonee,Robert Johnson,Willie Nelson,Van Morrison,The Beatles,
  • Favorite creative writing
    Top Ten (descending order): Tristram Shandy,    The Idiot,    Absalom Absalom!,    Winesburg, Ohio,    Leaves of Grass,    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,    Calamity Town,    Our Man in Havana,    Kings Row,    A Sentimental Journey

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  1. NBooth

    Dr. Who

    Turns out, "The Husbands of River Song" felt so much like a conclusion to the Moffat era that I just...forgot to watch the actual last season of Capaldi. I'm fixing that now, while I watch the new series as it comes out. And, um.... I like Whittaker as the Doctor. Not a lot, but she's good (which is to be expected). What I don't like is anything around her. The scripts are mostly rubbish, the emotional payoffs are undercut by bizarre plotting and pacing choices (there's an event late in the first episode that should have had me in tears and didn't because it occurred after it needed to, plot-wise). The direction is pretty flat and uninteresting. The companions are attractive and dull. It's basically as bad as I expected a Chibnall-run Who to be. This is particularly apparent since I immediately turned to the last Capaldi season and watched a few episodes of it. And, while it's not up to the really glorious heights of the second Smith year or the first and second Capaldi years, it's good. And interesting. And thematically more complicated than "working together is a good thing to do." And it's shot well. Basically, it's superior in almost every way to the current season. Almost. I won't say that Whittaker is superior to Capaldi, but she's different, and that's a good thing. This Doctor is (as Elizabeth Sandifer has noted) notably more emotionally aware and present than any previous Doctor. She's still the same character, insofar as any of the incarnations of the Doctor are the same character (she reminds me of Tennant, which coming from me isn't exactly a good thing--but it will be for most viewers). But she's also giving a notably more community-minded Doctor. (There's an obvious gender thing going on below the surface, as Sandifer points out). And I like it. So I'll stick it out for her (and for the hope that the non-Chibnall writers coming up have a better sense of how to tell a story than the showrunner does). Next week is Rosa Parks, btw.
  2. NBooth

    A&F Site News -- Please Read

    Oh, wow. I’m not surprised, exactly, but—well, I am, a little. Also grateful that the site (which has meant a lot to me) has a way forward.
  3. Not to mention that Modernism in literature doesn’t start firing on all cylinders until about 1922!
  4. A former professor/ current friend of mine actually did some of the talking-head stuff for the Great American Read. It’s Andy Crank. I think he talks about Gone with the Wind and maybe To Kill A Mockingbird. I’m not too into predicting a canon either (and I’m actually convinced that much of what gets to be considered classic is going to be trash fiction of various kinds). Some of the choices seemed solid; most I’m unfamiliar with. Some, such as Franzen, I just don’t care enough about to bother with
  5. Behold. Edwin Turner at Biblioklept has thoughts.
  6. NBooth

    Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

    IMDB lists the character as “Jack,” fwiw
  7. NBooth

    Mission: Impossible: Fallout

    Managed to catch Fallout on the bigscreen. I remembered liking the previous movie more than my comments in that thread suggest, and this movie didn't really live up to that memory. Specifically, unlike Rogue Nation, Fallout doesn't really have any especially memorable sequences (there's the jump, which is really good, but it doesn't stick in the mind like the concert scene in the previous movie). And Fallout relies far too much on chase sequences, which would be fine if they weren't so repetitive. But they are; there's really nothing distinguishing them from one another. Still, there were some thrilling sequences and it was difficult not to laugh at several points , which I think was the purpose of the whole thing; Ryan has commented elsewhere on how bland the soundtrack is, and he's correct. The movie is very funny and the soundtrack, somehow, doesn't realize that fact.
  8. NBooth


    Rebecca Ferguson is in talks to play Lady Jessica. We’ll see. In my opinion, Lady Jessica is an even tougher role to cast than Paul. Lynch nailed it with Annis in the role, but the miniseries dropped the ball (though I dig Krige as an older Jessica in the Children of Dune mini)
  9. We don’t have a thread on this? Huh. Willem Dafoe as Van Gogh. Here’s the IMDb. And the trailer: It looks purty, at least, and has some great actors. I’m distrustful of this continual glamorization of the Tortured But Brilliant Artist—but I would be lying if I said I didn’t think Dafoe looks like he’s bringing it here. (Anyway it looks better than some other movies-about-painters I could name).
  10. Some of these are more obvious than others; I'll give a thumbnail reasoning after each title. Exodus (Otto Preminger, 1960) Obvious, given its title and subject matter. Dune (David Lynch, 1984) Less obvious, but it's drawing heavily both on the Mosaic tradition and on Lawrence of Arabia. Days of Being Wild (Wong Kar-Wai, 1990) This one is all about exile and attempted return, though the return's success is doubtful. The Addams Family (1991) I won't stop plugging this one because it's really a classic, for all that it's part of that 90s glut of remade TV shows. But Uncle Fester goes through an actual exile and return. And there's room to discuss what kind of family/community makes space for returning exiles. Moonlight (2016) Existential exile. Most closeting narratives could probably fit here, including the much-less-interesting Beach Rats. Ben Hur (William Wyler, 1959) For obvious reasons. *I did not put The Ten Commandments (1956) because that one's more about communism than it is about its purported subject-matter.
  11. NBooth

    John Updike

    Finished it. What a dreary novel. The last fifty pages nearly redeem it--I admit, I had tears in my eyes, though how much of that was because something in it triggered memories of my mother's funeral is more than I can say--but on the whole this book is hardly worth the effort.
  12. NBooth

    John Updike

    I’m about 2/3 of the way through Rabbit, Run and...it’s really insufferable. Not just the characters (I’m all about unlikable characters); the prose is hardly remarkable and the stabs at transcendence are thin at best. As a commentary on gender and the fading Midcentury American Dream, I’ll take Psycho (published 1959) or Myra Breckinridge (1969) over this bland concoction.
  13. NBooth

    The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    Yes. The last time I tried to rewatch one of these, I was shocked at how poorly it played. I’ve never had a film series O previously enjoyed sink so low in my estimation over time.
  14. NBooth


    Apple's given Foundation a direct-to-series order for 10 episodes.
  15. NBooth

    Doctor Sleep

    New casting announcements suggest that they aren’t going to be trying to make this movie fit the Kubrick version.