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NBooth

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Everything posted by NBooth

  1. NBooth

    Venom

    It's less effective than a typical MCU movie at doing what it wants to do, for sure; but what it wants to do is much more interesting and peculiar than anything most MCU flicks attempt (all exceptions admitted). So I balance those against each other. One thing I get a kick out of, in retrospect, is the way in which the threat-to-the-whole-globe stuff is basically (at least, in the cut I saw....) tossed out there. There really isn't any particular concern for that aspect; it's almost openly a generic trope that the movie feels the need to include but doesn't really care about (or expect us to care about).
  2. NBooth

    Venom

    So this came to China (I know, right?) and so I wound up seeing it. It’s about on a level with MCU flicks, tbh. It’s more fun than INFINITY WAR and ANT MAN AND THE WASP. Tom Hardy is really funny. But the last half-hour is incredibly boring.
  3. NBooth

    The Woman in White (PBS)

    I like this book a lot--I read it once in my teens and then once, again, for a graduate seminar. So I'll try to check this out, although the recent adaptation of The Moonstone left me relatively cold.
  4. NBooth

    Silent Hill

    This movie's been coming up a lot recently. First, The Unloved did a piece on it four months ago, which caught my attention (of course): Then the YouTube algorithm decided I needed to see a video from 2014: And then the Now Playing podcast put up a new episode on the movie. So, basically, it seems like I'm going to have to watch this at some point. (Besides which, visually interesting horror set in an American small town is kind of my thing)
  5. NBooth

    House of Cards

    I totally lost interest about the middle of last season. I kind of wanted to check this season out because I've been convinced for a while that the real MVP of the show is Robin Wright, but I haven't been able to muster the interest (or the time).
  6. NBooth

    Should A&F posts have a "Like" Button?

    In addition to the above points, if there's a "like" button it will destroy the sometime-tradition of wishing that the board had a "like" button.
  7. NBooth

    Board Rules and Guidelines (Under Construction)

    I think in general that not having a forum devoted to politics would be the most, um, politic decision possible. I (obviously) don't have a problem invoking politics in discussing art; my whole take on Captain America: The Winter Soldier was basically a political rumination, and I'm sure I could think of other examples (my eventual review of Fuqua's The Magnificent Seven, for instance, derived from politically-inflected thoughts posted here). That said, I think it's probably for the best not to have a place specifically devoted to the arena of politics, for a couple of reasons. First, we're an international board, so there's that to consider. Second--frankly, this is a personal thing, but I talk and think and worry about politics all the time, lately, and it's kind of nice to have a place where I can go and not worry about having to ignore/block/mute/whatever threads. A safe space, if you will. W/r/t the specific issue of homosexuality, it's complicated by the fact that religion and politics step all over each other (at least, in the U.S. they do); people with political reasons for supporting/opposing LGBTQ rights will offer religious reasons and vice-versa. I'll note that we have a thread on "Sexuality and Christian Belief," which started under a more specific title and which is pretty much devoted to discussing LGBTQ issues (similarly, we do have a recent-ish thread on "The U.S. Evangelical Vote," so I guess the "no politics" rule has been flexible for some time).
  8. The Gore Vidal facebook page is announcing that he has died. He was 86. I've not read Vidal's novels--I have several on docket, including one of his pseudonymous mystery novels--but I recently devoured a good chunk of The Selected Essays. Like him or loathe him, the man had a wicked way with words. His interviews are pretty entertaining, too...and his confrontation with William Buckley is the kind of thing legends are made of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYymnxoQnf8 Unfortunately, not many of his essays seem to be available online. "Tarzan Revisited" (1963) is a good sampling, though. Better examples,I think--certainly more provocative--would be "Pink Triangle and Yellow Star" (1981) or--especially--his take-down of the Kennedys in "The Holy Family" (1967)--neither of which are available online, afaik. EDIT: Here's the official announcement at Vidal's website. Nothing more than a date, at this point. EDIT EDIT: Here's an interview with Vidal from last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJSSwU1m42k EDIT X3: LA Times has an obit. So does SeattlePI: [i found both of these via BoingBoing, which also links to a Gore Vidal fansite] Here's our thread on Ben Hur, a movie for which Vidal was one of the screenwriters.
  9. NBooth

    Gore Vidal (1925-2012)

    Oh, I absolutely want to see it. Jay Parini, one of the screenwriters, was a friend of Vidal’s as well as his biographer, so he’s bound to bring something unique to the project. And Spacey, whatever his faults, was ideal casting. Still, I think you’re right that we are unlikely to ever ski whatever they shot.
  10. NBooth

    Gore Vidal (1925-2012)

    Well, we know why they canceled it (beyond the obvious reason):
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Behold. Edwin Turner at Biblioklept has thoughts.
  14. Not to mention that Modernism in literature doesn’t start firing on all cylinders until about 1922!
  15. 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
  16. NBooth

    Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

    IMDB lists the character as “Jack,” fwiw
  17. 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.
  18. 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).
  19. NBooth

    Dune

    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)
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. NBooth

    Foundation

    The Wrap breaks the news: Link to our thread on the never-materialized film.
  25. NBooth

    Foundation

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