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Monday, April 01, 2019

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (April 2019)

Guess how many songs in the Top 10 biggest tracks in the U.S. last year were written by a solo songwriter? Zero. The year before that? Zero.

In 2016, just one solo-written song made the year-end Top 10: “Stressed Out,” by 21 Pilots, written by Tyler Joseph. In 2015, there was also just one solo-written track (Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen”), while in 2014 there were two, including “Counting Stars,” by One Republic (written by Ryan Tedder), and the biggest song of that year, “Happy,” by Pharrell Williams.

This is a snapshot of an overwhelming trend in the music industry over the past decade: the near-complete decline of the solo singer-songwriter pop hit, and the near-complete dominance of songs written by committee.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: April 01, 2019 at 08:38 PM | 688 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   301. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 16, 2019 at 02:26 PM (#5832489)
flop
   302. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 16, 2019 at 02:26 PM (#5832490)
Freedom was having your ancestral rights respected, and your duties limited to what was actually owed. It had nothing to do with being able to do or say whatever you wanted.
I can almost hear your nostalgic sigh after you posted that.
   303. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 16, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5832493)
As part of the restoration/rebuild of Notre Dame, do they...

- Add a modern sprinkler system?
- Make the areas more accessible for those requiring assistance?
- Add more security/system monitoring (cameras, sensors)?
- Do a full cleaning of the exterior stone?
   304. PreservedFish Posted: April 16, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5832509)
When I was a kid I read several David Macaulay books, who wrote beautifully illustrated and detailed books on great architecture: the Pyramids, castles, etc.

Cathedral, in particular, stressed how mammoth the task was, and that the original designers would never live to see the structure completed. The cathedral on the cover looks a lot like the Notre Dame: not surprised to see that it's now out of stock at Amazon.

There must be a small number of people in the world that know everything one needs to know to erect a timber frame of the size and shape that the Notre Dame would require, should they re-build it the original way.
   305. jmurph Posted: April 16, 2019 at 03:19 PM (#5832513)
When I was a kid I read several David Macaulay books, who wrote beautifully illustrated and detailed books on great architecture: the Pyramids, castles, etc.

We have two of these- Castle and Pyramid. My five year old loves them.
   306. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 16, 2019 at 04:49 PM (#5832578)
I have what you've all been waiting for.

THE 25 MOST WATCHED MOVIES OF 2019 AMONG THE 224 PEOPLE I FOLLOW ON LETTERBOXD.COM


1. Us 115
2. High Flying Bird 73
3. Glass 72
4. High Life 62
5. Ash Is Purest White 59
5. Velvet Buzzsaw 59
5. Climax 59
8. Captain Marvel 56
9. Fyre 54
9. Under the Silver Lake 54

9. Alita: Battle Angel 54
12. The Image Book 51
13. Dragged Across Concrete 49
14. The Beach Bum 47
15. Long Day's Journey Into Night 39
16. Serenity 38
17. Happy Death Day 2U 35
18. Greta 34
19. Triple Frontier 33
19. An Elephant Sitting Still 33

21. Shazam 32
22. Leaving Neverland 31
22. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part 31
24. Escape Room 29
25. Apollo 11 28
   307. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 05:12 PM (#5832587)
I can almost hear your nostalgic sigh after you posted that.

Yes. I'm an Aristotelian at heart. Freedom means the freedom to good, not to do whatever you please.

The whole Enlightenment mindset of the "state of nature" and autonomous individuals banding together to form societies is wrong, and misleading.

Society existed before modern homo sapiens. Every human (and sophisticated pre-human) ever was born into a community (family and band at least, if not larger tribe) and was born with rights and obligations within that society.
   308. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: April 16, 2019 at 06:03 PM (#5832605)
Absolutism and centralization was totally foreign to the medieval mind, as was individualism and freedom (in the modern sense). Everybody was governed by their obligations. If you look at rights as encapsulated in the Magna Carta (for example) they are not at all abstract. It's all concrete and relational. Freedom was having your ancestral rights respected, and your duties limited to what was actually owed. It had nothing to do with being able to do or say whatever you wanted.

At this point it is worth pointing out, that the Magna Carta was essentially a truce, between the King and a group of Barons, brokered by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

It has precious little to do with the desires of the common man at the time.
   309. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 16, 2019 at 06:43 PM (#5832615)
@YaItsRob
I want a prestige HBO remake of Moby Dick. Six seasons. 10 episodes each. They don’t actually leave on the boat til S3 (at earliest). And a couple times a season, there’s a gorgeously shot hour-long doc that contains literally not a single correct whale fact

ONE TIME!!!
   310. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 16, 2019 at 06:52 PM (#5832620)
“Every single person in late night knows it’s a dumb factory of lazy ideas,” one fed-up writer tells us. “I will never be happy with anything I make.”

How ‘Liberal’ Late-Night Talk Shows Became a Comedy Sinkhole
   311. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 07:38 PM (#5832667)
At this point it is worth pointing out, that the Magna Carta was essentially a truce, between the King and a group of Barons, brokered by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

It has precious little to do with the desires of the common man at the time.


Isn't that last statement true of pretty much every political document ever? Including our Declaration of Independence and Constitution?
   312. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 16, 2019 at 08:46 PM (#5832716)
Oh, you guys know how to read. Maybe you can solve this mystery:

I requested a copy of Octavia E. Butler’s novel Parable of the Sower at our library. But they couldn’t send it to me right away because there were SEVENTY-NINE people in line ahead of me waiting for a copy.

I’ve only ever seen anything like this on new releases. What in the world could be the cause of the surge in interest in a 25-year-old sci-fi book?
   313. PreservedFish Posted: April 16, 2019 at 09:18 PM (#5832722)
Freedom was having your ancestral rights respected, and your duties limited to what was actually owed. It had nothing to do with being able to do or say whatever you wanted.

Not for me, thanks. Wouldn't want to take the chance that I get born into the caste of latrine-cleaners or such.
   314. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:31 PM (#5832760)
Dawn: 7 holds on 3 copies
Wild Seed: Available
Parable of the Talents: Available
Fledgling: Available
Lilith’s Brood: 4 holds on 3 copies
Pattern Master: 1 hold on 1 copy
Clay’s Ark: Available

What the heck is going on? Wikipedia doesn't mention any TV/movie adaptation of Sower or anything. It's weird!
   315. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: April 17, 2019 at 06:35 AM (#5832773)
Isn't that last statement true of pretty much every political document ever? Including our Declaration of Independence and Constitution?

To a certain but very limited extent. There are huge degrees of separation, between such documents in monarchical / feudal / or dictatorial environment, and those that result from a popular uprising, or institutions that rely on a popular mandate.

There is a huge gulf, between say the magna carta, and say the bill of rights (and there should, given there is over 600 years between the two), which is focused on limiting government power over citizens and not just over the ruling class.
Or for example, to say that the civil rights act has nothing to do with the desires of the common man, seems completely insane to me.
   316. Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 17, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5832852)
I requested a copy of Octavia E. Butler’s novel Parable of the Sower at our library. But they couldn’t send it to me right away because there were SEVENTY-NINE people in line ahead of me waiting for a copy.

I’ve only ever seen anything like this on new releases. What in the world could be the cause of the surge in interest in a 25-year-old sci-fi book?


The library's only copy was lost several years ago, but they've never noticed/admitted this, and they never cancel holds. So everyone who's requested the book since it was stolen (or "misplaced") is still in line. Even though they've forgotten they had requested it.
   317. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 17, 2019 at 01:16 PM (#5832865)
Star Wars Celebration And The Emotional, Tear-Jerking Redemption Of Jar Jar Binks
That all said, a mid-April snowstorm hit Chicago on Sunday (what a world) extending my stay at Star Wars Celebration for 24 hours. Which meant I’d be in town for The Phantom Menace 20th anniversary panel. It was at this panel, of all things, where my own personal wall finally came crumbling down. It was here I saw something emotional and real. It was here that, 20 years later, Star Wars fans got on their feet and gave Ahmed Best (who hadn’t been to a Star Wars Celebration since 1999) a standing ovation. Best, for his part, looked a little surprised and for sure overwhelmed.

The jaded side of me wants to point out that one standing ovation doesn’t make up for the 20 years of #### this guy had to take. But the funny thing is, at that moment, the jaded side of me went away. None of it mattered. After all this time, Best was finally getting his due.
   318. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: April 17, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5832870)
The library's only copy was lost several years ago, but they've never noticed/admitted this, and they never cancel holds. So everyone who's requested the book since it was stolen (or "misplaced") is still in line. Even though they've forgotten they had requested it.


I reserved a book in my library system (Manhattan) in like August or whenever, and was 1 of 1 hold on it; a few months later, while at a branch, I asked about it, and they looked it up and said "Oh, we don't actually have any copies of it." Well then why the fu...

I asked if they could get it through an inter-library loan, and the person said sure, but then a month or two later I discovered they never actually arranged it, so another person at a different branch did. Some time later I got a message that instead the library system's just going to buy a copy, which also ended up taking longer than expected. I did eventually get it (and in fact just returned it yesterday), but the moral is, if it seems like a reserved book is taking a weirdly long time to come in, go harangue someone about it.
   319. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: April 17, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5832873)
Oh, also, for Lassus particularly but any other Neal Stephenson fans out there-- a new Stephenson novel coming in a few months. Looks like it's a sequel to Reamde.
   320. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 17, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5832874)
According to the website, they have 19 copies of the book, all are checked out, and still 67 people are ahead of me in line requesting a copy.

I am so very confused.
   321. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 17, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5832875)
They also have 6 copies of the ebook version, all checked out, with 51 people waiting in line once they return.
   322. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 17, 2019 at 01:42 PM (#5832878)
Jar Jar does make me laugh, for real. That’s not a bit.

But I also laugh my ass off at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s performance in Jingle All the Way, and I think they work on the same level: at a certain point a failed attempt at comedy becomes so bad that it implausibly circles all the way back to being funny again.

(This isn’t a novel observation, of course—it’s the linchpin to Tim and Eric’s comedy, for example, which I also love—but. I had to get it out there.)
   323. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 17, 2019 at 06:22 PM (#5833139)
@SlashFilm
Kevin Smith's 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Theory Proposes a "New Religion”

@ArmoScientist
HIGH LIFE and HER SMELL both feel like white elephant versions of SNL sketches padded to feature-length and coated with a high-art gloss. The last minute gearshifts to parent-child sentimentality only confirm my sense that these are cynical projects.

@JackAllisonLOL
I’d like to state once again for the record that I went to a WGA meeting for only late night writers, and James Corden showed up without any of his staffers to advocate for a lower pay grade for late night writers

@Deadline
Pablo Schreiber has been tapped as the lead in 'Halo', Showtime’s anticipated series based on the Xbox video game franchise

@LabuzaMovies
Listening into a college screenwriting class. “It has to be something in her childhood. It can’t be something in college. We gotta learn why she’s so psychologically disturbed.”

@CarolAveryGrant
Screenwriting books are why so many more movies suck now, I'm not kidding

@tvoti (Todd Vanderwerff)
I’ve been wondering why so little of Game of Thrones is emotionally resonating with me any more, and I think I figured out a big reason why.

@tvoti
To all of you responding to this by explaining to me how serialized television works: I am familiar with its conventions, thanks.

@vrizov
The bad news is it's been 50 years since 1969, so we have to hear about the 50th anniversary of *everything* (INCLUDING WOODSTOCK) all year. The good news is by 2020, we will never have to hear about any of it ever again.

@IndieWire
M. Night Shyamalan Says Bad Reviews of #Glass Made Him Cry

@phillipstribune
Surprised to learn that #AvengersEndgame  falls under Samuel Beckett estate jurisdiction, and therefore takes place in an empty room with two small windows.

@erspamer_matt
LEAKED: Film Twitter’s argument schedule for May
   324. Baldrick Posted: April 17, 2019 at 07:43 PM (#5833165)
Looks like it's a sequel to Reamde.

That book was 700 pages longer than it needed to be. So you can imagine how excited I am about a sequel.
   325. Master of the Horse Posted: April 17, 2019 at 08:48 PM (#5833180)
'Barry' is an entertaining show. That's all
   326. PreservedFish Posted: April 17, 2019 at 09:48 PM (#5833202)
Game of Thrones is in such a rush to get to the end that it forgets what made it such an instantly involving series. It seemed, at times, in those early seasons, to be all middle, with never-ending squabbles and a sense of impending doom hanging over every confrontation and conversation. Now, it can’t seem to sit still long enough to just tell us a story, instead of a quick summation of what happened.


This seems both accurate and inevitable. They couldn't possibly wrap the story up without compressing things.
   327. BrianBrianson Posted: April 17, 2019 at 10:03 PM (#5833203)
Well, the description makes it sound a lot like the Get Shorty TV show, which is an entertaining show.
   328. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 18, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5833254)
CANNES!!!!!!!!!
Competition
Pedro Almodóvar --- Pain & Glory
Marco Bellochio --- Traitor
Jean-Pierre/Luc Dardenne --- Ahmed
Arnaud Desplechin --- Oh Mercy
Mati Diop --- Atlantique
Xavier Dolan --- Mathias & Maxime
Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles --- Bacurau
Jessica Hausner --- Little Joe
Jim Jarmusch --- The Dead Don't Die
Bong Joon-ho --- Parasite
Ken Loach --- Sorry We Missed You
Ladj Ly --- Les Miserables
Terrence Malick --- A Hidden Life
Corneliu Porumboiu --- The Whistlers
Ira Sachs --- Frankie
Céline Sciamma --- Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Elia Suleiman --- It Must Be Heaven
Justine Triet --- Sibyl
Diao Yinan --- The Wild Goose Lake
   329. JJ1986 Posted: April 18, 2019 at 11:19 AM (#5833257)
CANNES!!!!!!!!!
Are they not getting Little Women?
   330. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 18, 2019 at 11:27 AM (#5833261)
Litttle Women is out.

Tarantino’s latest *is* expected to screen there, but he’s not finished editing it yet, so it wasn’t announced today.
   331. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 18, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5833282)
   332. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 18, 2019 at 01:09 PM (#5833283)
   333. Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 18, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5833309)
According to the website, they have 19 copies of the book, all are checked out, and still 67 people are ahead of me in line requesting a copy.

If the loan period is 3 weeks, and everyone keeps the book for the max (or a little over) before returning it, the next person is informed and then will have a period of perhaps 3 to 7 days to come in and pick it up. That's 4 weeks just to get the 1st 19 people off the list. Have you tried greasing the palm of your local librarian? Can't cost that much to get your name moved up a few spots.

Recently there was a book I wanted to read, I placed holds on it in 3 different library systems. Was ridiculously far down the list in both Brooklyn and NYPL. Westchester came through for me in about 2 or 3 weeks I think.
   334. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 18, 2019 at 04:39 PM (#5833373)
One of my old college buddies at our liberal arts school sold out and took a job with Big Library. I’ll *PAY* him a visit. Wink.
   335. JJ1986 Posted: April 18, 2019 at 05:34 PM (#5833385)
The fines on library books are so tiny that I'll sometimes keep them out weeks longer than I'm supposed to.
   336. Dock Ellis Posted: April 18, 2019 at 08:12 PM (#5833403)
Saw the Black Lips last night. They were great.
   337. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: April 18, 2019 at 09:10 PM (#5833423)
RIP Chet Coppock, in a Pop Culture circa 1970-2000 sorta way. A bit of a parody of himself, but probably deserves a fair amount of credit/blame for sports talk proliferation. I loved his short-lived show on NewsporTalk he always had wrestler, and boxing guys on the show.
   338. BrianBrianson Posted: April 18, 2019 at 09:54 PM (#5833432)
Huh. My wife, who has seen basically every Hollywood movie, and has no taste - not bad taste, just rates every movie as between an A- and an A+, has apparently not seen Predator.

Huh.
   339. manchestermets Posted: April 19, 2019 at 05:58 AM (#5833467)
Why would libraries have a set number of copies for ebook loans? Assuming the author gets a payment whenever there's a loan, why would it matter whether 6 people read it at once or all of the ones who want to?
   340. jmurph Posted: April 19, 2019 at 09:05 AM (#5833472)
Why would libraries have a set number of copies for ebook loans? Assuming the author gets a payment whenever there's a loan, why would it matter whether 6 people read it at once or all of the ones who want to?

Each ebook is treated as one single copy by the publishers/sellers/libraries. Amazon, for instance, has a thing where you can let people borrow kindle books, and during the time you let someone borrow it you don't have access to it yourself. And I think it's not loans that determine the payment, my understanding is they're just buying the book up front just like a bookstore would. I don't think it matters how many people actually check it out.

Borrowing kindle books from my library has been gamechanging for me in terms of actually being able to read more- the only downside is they're not renewable, so you just get the 3 weeks and then it disappears from your kindle.
   341. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: April 19, 2019 at 09:39 AM (#5833475)
so you just get the 3 weeks


Making me wonder just how long checkouts are for various library systems. Throughout my time in Arkansas -- basically through age 41 -- it was 2 weeks. Can't remember the limits in the Phoenix area or in Slidell, but I'm pretty sure I'd remember anything other than 2 weeks. Here in Montgomery it's 3 weeks, with a limit of 2 renewals.
   342. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 19, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5833477)
Ebooks are very frustrating for libraries. The publishers make them pay a lot MORE for them than a physical book. Yes! Like the days when VHS tapes were only sold to video rental places so they had to pay $79.99 for them. Meanwhile it's hard for a library patron to believe the library has to pay anything at all for them, or at least they should be able to get 150 copies of the ebook for the same price as 5. But of course they are locked down with DRM so each one truly is only available to one patron at a time. Extremely frustrating.
   343. jmurph Posted: April 19, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5833479)
Ebooks are very frustrating for libraries. The publishers make them pay a lot MORE for them than a physical book. Yes! Like the days when VHS tapes were only sold to video rental places so they had to pay $79.99 for them. Meanwhile it's hard for a library patron to believe the library has to pay anything at all for them, or at least they should be able to get 150 copies of the ebook for the same price as 5. But of course they are locked down with DRM so each one truly is only available to one patron at a time. Extremely frustrating.

My wife (probably goes through 3-4 books a month) and I (1-2 per month) finally realized this at some point and became recurring monthly donors. Probably not enough to pay for it all, but we're at least helping a little!
   344. Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 19, 2019 at 10:34 AM (#5833481)
The fines on library books are so tiny


One of my brother's exes worked at the public library up in Schenectady many years ago. She wouldn't collect the fines when people returned books late, because the library didn't get the money. It just went to the county, which used it for...their annual Christmas party? A golf outing? A bonus for the County exec? Don't think it was included as a budget item, so nobody knew.
   345. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 19, 2019 at 11:40 AM (#5833506)
'Her Smell' Director Alex Ross Perry Tackling Stephen King's 'Rest Stop'
King's short story, which was first published in Esquire in 2003 and was later included in his 2008 collection Just After Sunset, follows a novelist who pulls into a turnpike rest stop, where he witnesses a scene of domestic violence. The mystery writer, who publishes under a pseudonym, then assumes his alter ego and jumps into action.

Perry’s first two movies were adaptations of Pynchon and Roth!
   346. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 19, 2019 at 12:00 PM (#5833509)
Christoph Waltz has joined the cast of Wes Anderson’s newest movie (“The French Dispatch”), which now stars Everybody.

Seriously, it’s: Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Timothee Chalamet, Kate Winslet, Benicio del Toro, Jeffrey Wright, Lea Seydoux, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Bob Balaban, Henry Winkler, Mathieu Amalric, Jason Schwartzman, Griffin Dunne, and Rupert Friend. And now Christoph.
   347. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 19, 2019 at 03:05 PM (#5833552)
Beware doll, you're bound to fall.

On Tuesday in Vienna, Bob Dylan got irritated by the cell phones in the audience, and stopped in the middle of "Blowing in the Wind." He said something inaudible. He then took three steps backward and tripped over stage equipment. He stumbled into the drums and one of his guitarists. Then Dylan returned to the mic and lectured the crowd: "Take pictures, or don’t take pictures. We can either play or we can pose. Okay?" He sang one more song, then cut his performance short.

See it here:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BwYfHQNhNXm/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=embed_video_watch_again

It's the most awkward physical mishap by a Nobel Prize winner since W.B. Yeats tried to carry a tray of individual pudding servings up an escalator.
   348. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 19, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5833560)
Clint Eastwood is circling to next direct The Ballad Of Richard Jewell, and has been in discussions with Disney/Fox drama based on the life of a security guard whose life was turned upside down in a moment after it was leaked by law enforcement to a reporter that Jewell was a possible suspect in the Olympic Park bombing during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. From the moment he was outed by an article written by an overzealous reporter at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Jewell went from hero to one of the most hated men in America.

I was thinking about it the other day, and I’m pretty sure Eastwood is the director with the longest active “streak” of my having seen their films in the theater—I’ve seen his last five, going back to Jersey Boys.
   349. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 19, 2019 at 03:20 PM (#5833563)
Spielberg had been at 6 but man oh man I just could not drag myself to that Ready Player One garbage.
   350. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 22, 2019 at 11:27 AM (#5834103)
I read Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household last night. It’s a somewhat famous novel from the 1930s that was adapted into the film Man Hunt by Fritz Lang in 1941. The story is very simple: a great British hunter is stalking the most dangerous game of all: Adolf Hitler! But he’s not really trying to kill him, he just wants to test himself to see if he could. But, he gets caught by Hitler’s guards and is tortured and then thrown off a cliff...but survives! And then he’s on the run back to England with German spies hot on his trail!

I enjoyed it, even if I had a hard time visualizing just what exact kind of shelter it was our hero was hiding in for the second half of the novel. (There were a few other issues like that, where the author mentions very specific ‘manly competence’/survivalist techniques in a way I couldn’t really picture in my head. Like, he builds a weapon using the carcass of a cat and I just read the description and nodded along and said “ok so he Magyvered a gun or something?” and rolled with it.)
   351. PreservedFish Posted: April 22, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5834109)
Funny, I read that book about a year ago. I'm a sucker for the NY Review Books line. Enjoyed it, but I didn't really want the character to get stuck in a badger hole for half the book though. Was expecting the escape to be a bit jauntier.
   352. Lassus Posted: April 22, 2019 at 11:45 AM (#5834113)
Jim Jarmusch --- The Dead Don't Die

Filmed GoT fanfic?

Oh wait, no, this is the zombie film.
   353. Lassus Posted: April 22, 2019 at 11:48 AM (#5834114)
Game of Thrones is in such a rush to get to the end that it forgets what made it such an instantly involving series. It seemed, at times, in those early seasons, to be all middle, with never-ending squabbles and a sense of impending doom hanging over every confrontation and conversation. Now, it can’t seem to sit still long enough to just tell us a story, instead of a quick summation of what happened.

This seems both accurate and inevitable. They couldn't possibly wrap the story up without compressing things.

FYI, (various, unknown if a majority of) reviews this morning are complaining that last night's episode was slow and plodding and all talk, no action.
   354. chisoxcollector Posted: April 22, 2019 at 03:59 PM (#5834231)
Last night’s episode was the best since at least season 6.
   355. chisoxcollector Posted: April 22, 2019 at 04:14 PM (#5834236)
Also, I ended up doing two different actors for my April Blindspotting project. As scheduled, I watched 5 Al Pacino films, and also ended up watching 5 new (to me) Kurt Russell movies.

Al Pacino
Sea of Love - Solid “erotic” thriller
Scarecrow - Excellent “buddy” film with great performances from Hackman and especially Pacino.
Cruising - Completely incoherent, but still mildly entertaining.
... And Justice For All - Great first act, entertaining but formulaic after that.
Scent of a Woman - LOL at Pacino winning an Oscar for this.

Kurt Russell
Unlawful Entry - Madeleine Stowe is stunningly gorgeous in an entertaining yet generic thriller.
Used Cars - I expected to hate his, but it was pretty funny. Russell is an underrated comedic actor.
Dark Blue - Very underrated crime drama. Russell is excellent.
Backdraft - About what I expected from a Ron Howard movie starring Billy Baldwin.
Silkwood - I had never even heard of this movie until the Blu-Ray came out somewhat recently. Excellent performances from Streep and Russell in a somewhat captivating drama.

Gene Hackman is next!


   356. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 22, 2019 at 04:20 PM (#5834237)
My April movie-watching has been amazing, just amazing. And coming to a hiatus soon!

PRETTY GOOD
1. Game Night (2018, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein) - This is a live-action comedy with lots of scripted jokes, that pay off all throughout the movie (some slow burns, some super-quick banter, etc), that also like uses VISUALS to tell jokes (is that even legal???)

WATCHABLE
2. Zarafa (2012, Remi Bezancon and Jean-Christophe Lie) - It's an animated movie, the story of the first African giraffe to be placed on display in the Paris zoo (so like 1830 or so). They travel by ship, by hot air balloon, on foot, etc. It's very very simple and very very pretty. My 5-year-old loved it (at least, he stared at the screen basically the whole time) which is rare.

BAD
3. Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018, Rich Moore and Phil Johnston) - It's really evil, but some of the jokes made me laugh.

HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE
4. Monsters, Inc. (2001, Pete Docter) - Also evil, for reasons I've explained earlier, but, unlike Ralph, this one has no jokes.
5. Pete's Dragon (1977, Don Chaffey) - I dozed off for big portions of this. Terrible songs.
6. On the Basis of Sex (2018, Mimi Leder) - Exactly what you’d expect it to be, RBG as #EpicGirlBoss, worship of Systems, etc.
7. Life Itself (2018, Dan Fogelman) - This might be the single worst movie I have ever seen, and also Samuel L Johnson narrates the first ten minutes before they then reveal that the first ten minutes of the movie are actually just a screenplay written by Oscar Isaac's character and that in his screenplay Samuel L Jackson is playing an unreliable narrator and oh my god imagine 2 hours of this 2 ####### hours of this.
   357. A sad, lost penguin wandering the tundra, dreaming Posted: April 22, 2019 at 04:47 PM (#5834242)

FYI, (various, unknown if a majority of) reviews this morning are complaining that last night's episode was slow and plodding and all talk, no action.


Ball Saxbury. Last night's episode was an awesome setup. Leaps and bounds above S8E1.
   358. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: April 22, 2019 at 05:12 PM (#5834254)
The fines on library books are so tiny that I'll sometimes keep them out weeks longer than I'm supposed to.


I have three books on reserve that are all unexpectedly arriving at the same time, in a day or so, and I've got one out already from over the weekend, so at least one of them's going to end up overdue, I'm sure-- but yeah, the fine's not much and I figure what the heck, it'll help out the library a (very) little.
   359. PreservedFish Posted: April 22, 2019 at 10:49 PM (#5834317)
Damn that was a good Thrones episode. Really pleased with this season so far.
   360. A sad, lost penguin wandering the tundra, dreaming Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:46 AM (#5834349)
Arise, Brienne of Tarth ... A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

It got dusty.

This Sunday will break my heart ...
   361. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: April 23, 2019 at 06:02 AM (#5834350)
'Infinity War' re-watch before 'Endgame' tonight. Apart from anything else, I'm already looking forward to retrospectives on the MCU formula after the series runs out of gas - which I can't help but think must be soon - to find out more about what their cheat codes are. Regardless of my personal opinions of the movies, the commercial/industrial processes that lead to 22 successful movies in 11 years seem likely to be fascinating. And, at some level, it feels like they might reveal something interesting about story and craft that Hollywood has partially forgotten.
   362. PreservedFish Posted: April 23, 2019 at 09:08 AM (#5834359)
Regardless of my personal opinions of the movies, the commercial/industrial processes that lead to 22 successful movies in 11 years seem likely to be fascinating. And, at some level, it feels like they might reveal something interesting about story and craft that Hollywood has partially forgotten.

Agreed. And I say this as a guy that only watches the more heralded MCU films, and doesn't always enjoy them. What they've done is really, really impressive. Brilliant, obviously, from a marketing standpoint, but also exciting as a storytelling technique.

I'm not sure what to compare it to - Greek or Hindu mythology? I suppose if you've already read all the comics the approach isn't novel, but for the rest of us it feels like a very new thing, to weave together all of these disparate characters and stories into a single cohesive universe, with central multi-character epics supported by standalone adventures.
   363. Lassus Posted: April 23, 2019 at 10:06 AM (#5834393)
This Sunday will break my heart ...

Sorta. The prep (both meta/press and narrative) of DEATH DEATH DEATH has been so overwhelming, at least no one will be shocked any more.


'Infinity War' re-watch before 'Endgame' tonight.

Wait, TONIGHT? I thought my Thursday was a jump on most everyone else. Britain?
   364. PreservedFish Posted: April 23, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5834402)
Sorta. The prep (both meta/press and narrative) of DEATH DEATH DEATH has been so overwhelming, at least no one will be shocked any more.

Can we talk about this here? What do people think will happen? There are many episodes left and one cannot expect an epochal zombie war to get resolved in a mere week.

But I do wonder how much time the show will dedicate to denouement. Assuming that the humans aren't all annihilated, you could spend hours on the aftermath of the war. Or end it the very moment that someone new ascends to the throne.
   365. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 23, 2019 at 10:31 AM (#5834403)
My prediction is that it will perpetuate the myth of redemptive violence.
   366. PreservedFish Posted: April 23, 2019 at 10:36 AM (#5834406)
Let's see you turn the other cheek with a zombie ice dragon chasing you down.
   367. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: April 23, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5834415)
I just saw Ralph Breaks The Internet as well. A very mixed bag and likely an impossible movie to really nail, but still a worthwhile watch. Silverman/Reilly managed to give their characters some unexpected emotional depth. (3.25/5*)

Also, Game Night was a below average movie - I was actively bored by large swaths of it and found other chunks insultingly dumb. Nice to be reminded that McAdams is better than the projects she's normally in, though. (1.75/5*)

---

Podcast recommendation: Catching up on old eps of the Allusionist, I heard, for the first time, the show Imaginary Advice (said episode was "S.E.I.N.F.E.L.D." about an attempt to teach a neural net comedy). I've since started binging the show, which centers on audio fiction (not normally a thing I gravitate to), often composed via interesting restrictions (loosely basing a story on phrases from a found word jumble or a childhood audio recording or...) and featuring plus music/production qualities. It's very good.
   368. Lassus Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5834421)
Can we talk about this here?

HELL YES.


What do people think will happen? There are many episodes left and one cannot expect an epochal zombie war to get resolved in a mere week. But I do wonder how much time the show will dedicate to denouement. Assuming that the humans aren't all annihilated, you could spend hours on the aftermath of the war. Or end it the very moment that someone new ascends to the throne.

After this last episode, there's been a nerd debate regarding whether Winterfell is a feint and the Night King is heading immediately towards King's Landing. Real lack of an Ice Zombie Dragon in the previews.

I would be somewhat shocked if the Ice Zombie war ends this Sunday; and it's probably two or three battles over the next four episodes. The Night King will lose eventually, and then The North/Dany/Jon will have to battle the South/Cersei/Euron. I'd imagine the last episode is aftermath and no battle, but maybe not.

Have you seen the fake trailer for the 20th-century Game of Thrones? It's not a comedy thing, it's actually pretty neat.
   369. Lassus Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:10 AM (#5834422)
Nice to be reminded that McAdams is better

She's in the "will watch her read the corporate tax code" category.
   370. Lassus Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:15 AM (#5834423)
In unpopular culture, I wanted to delve a bit into canon, so I'm reading Virginia Woolf's Night and Day, which is very very traditional, almost shockingly so. A little frustrating at times with the mooning "WHY DO I ACT THIS WAY I DON'T LIKE YOU AT ALL BUT I'LL MARRY YOU" sort of thing, but such is the genre. Anyone else read it? I'm about halfway through.
   371. JJ1986 Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:18 AM (#5834427)
I've got Game Night and Tag pretty mixed up in my head, but I think Game Night was the decent one, although it made no sense if you stopped to think about it. I hated Ralph Breaks the Internet which I found preachy in the worst way and on a narrative level solves every problem with the greatest of ease.
   372. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:21 AM (#5834430)
I just saw Game Night Sunday. It was ... fine. It was either forced or dumb (depending on ones tolerance for that sort of thing), but it had its amusing moments and don't think about it too hard.
   373. PreservedFish Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:32 AM (#5834434)
After this last episode, there's been a nerd debate regarding whether Winterfell is a feint and the Night King is heading immediately towards King's Landing. Real lack of an Ice Zombie Dragon in the previews.


That would be fun. But what's the Night King's motivation? We think he has a special hate for Bron, but otherwise I don't know. Does he just want to pile up bodies or does he have some special business further south?
   374. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:32 AM (#5834435)
I'm not sure what to compare it to - Greek or Hindu mythology? I suppose if you've already read all the comics the approach isn't novel, but for the rest of us it feels like a very new thing, to weave together all of these disparate characters and stories into a single cohesive universe, with central multi-character epics supported by standalone adventures.


I remember reading a children's book which served as an intro to Hindu mythology - parables and short stories of Krishna and Hanuman were the most memorable, of course - and I can definitely see the parallels; that's a good call. I don't know much of anything about the structure of Norse mythology, but I suppose that's a natural comparison too, if only for a few of the key players!

Joseph Campbell and Star Wars get talked about so much in conjunction. I'm guessing that similar analysis between the MCU and non-monotheistic religions/mythologies is going to involve a lot of people reading the comics and realizing, "Oh. It was there in the source material all along; Kevin Feige and the rest have just been literal about making comic-book movies in a way that most other studios haven't."

Wait, TONIGHT? I thought my Thursday was a jump on most everyone else. Britain?


Germany. And, yes, in the 'original language', or else I suspect I'd be missing out on . . . well, no, I'd probably be able to follow the main light-blasting plot points. I just checked, and there are still about 20% of the seats available for tonight's 8:30 showing, though not any good ones. About 50% of the seats for tomorrow's 7pm showing in German as well. Pre-booking seems less popular here, and movie-going in general may not be as big of an industry. (The theater opposite my office still has only advertising for 'Dumbo' up outside.)

Thankfully, we get an intermission, which seems to be nearly standard on all 2+ hour movies here. Restroom, ice cream, then back for the second half. Downside is we'll get home well after midnight.
   375. Lassus Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5834440)
But what's the Night King's motivation?

That's the main refutation of that argument. That there's no real point.
   376. manchestermets Posted: April 23, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5834447)
Brienne is 100% toast next week, right? And Grey Worm.
   377. PreservedFish Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5834451)
I'm expecting many deaths!

That's the main refutation of that argument. That there's no real point.

Hopefully we'll learn more about who he is, and what he's up to. Hopefully there's some more complexity to him than just "lawful evil force."
   378. Lassus Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:38 PM (#5834453)
Hopefully there's some more complexity to him than just "lawful evil force."

Maybe. I've grown a bit weary of the "BECAUSE YOUR FATHER DID SOMETHING" origin of evil beings. Maybe he's just a force of nature. Here there be monsters.


Brienne is 100% toast next week, right? And Grey Worm.

I'd bet that it might be opposite, Grey Worm lives, Misandei dies. I don't know if it's the next episode, but I'd bet even money that Sansa dies in some strong leadership moment, to complete her arc.

I've been trying to imagine what the cavalry is, and then I remembered the Red Woman. And probably some Faceless Men.
   379. Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:46 PM (#5834456)
I saw "Game Night" on a plane last year and enjoyed it. But I've always liked Jason Bateman, and, as others have noted, Rachel McAdams is...extraordinarily watchable.

It was a silly, fun movie.
   380. PreservedFish Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:51 PM (#5834461)
I'd bet even money that Sansa dies in some strong leadership moment, to complete her arc.


I don't want arcs to get completed, I want them to get demolished. Daddy Lannister dying on the shitter was a great way to go.
   381. A sad, lost penguin wandering the tundra, dreaming Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:51 PM (#5834462)
Sheeeeeeeit. I'm expecting so many deaths on Sunday night it's not funny anymore.

Jorah, Beric, Brienne, Theon, hell, it's probably quicker to list who won't die (this week) ...
   382. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:54 PM (#5834464)
On Game Night: After reading a few good reviews I was kind of excited to see it but was disappointed it was almost the platonic ideal of the mediocre comedies Hollywood is churning out these days. Tag was the same. I think the core problem with these movies is they don't want you to dislike anyone and they don't want to dip their toe in any kind of anarchy. They're slick and friendly and totally insincere. It's like having a jovial lunch with a salesman.

On Game of Thrones: I don't want to see Arya naked! She's like a good friend's daughter! I also don't get the importance of Jon Snow's parentage. Unless you have an army bigger than the other guy's army, what does it matter? And why would anyone in the 7 Kingdoms believe it? Dany even points out the whole problem with the two sources of it being his brother and his best friend. Trump would even be embarrassed by that kind of cronyism.*

*He would not be, of course.
   383. PreservedFish Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5834465)
Jorah, Beric, Brienne, Theon


I'm looking for bigger fish. Tyrion, Sansa, Arya, Jon, etc.
   384. A sad, lost penguin wandering the tundra, dreaming Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5834466)
Sansa and Theon were unexpectedly strong in S8E2.

Just eating soup, no less ...
   385. A sad, lost penguin wandering the tundra, dreaming Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5834467)
I'm looking for bigger fish. Tyrion, Sansa, Arya, Jon, etc.


Arya (she got laid!) ... maybe ... I think the others are off the table this week (but not this season).
   386. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5834468)
I'm looking for bigger fish. Tyrion, Sansa, Arya, Jon, etc.

It would be awesome if they all die and Cersie saves the world and cements here place on the Iron Throne and goes full Nero. The End.
   387. PreservedFish Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:59 PM (#5834472)
It would be awesome if they all die and Cersie saves the world and cements here place on the Iron Throne and goes full Nero. The End.


Agreed! I'm excited for anything except a conventional heroic ending, really.
   388. A sad, lost penguin wandering the tundra, dreaming Posted: April 23, 2019 at 01:02 PM (#5834473)
Dany even points out the whole problem with the two sources of it being his brother and his best friend.


Yes, but then Bran plays his *Bran* card and breaks out something like "the things we do for love" quote and the person in question knows he not only knows exactly what happened, but also that he couldn't ... unless he was a freaky Bran freak.

As Dany already *should* know from what he said at the war council.

But GoT has gotten very sloppy with its internal logic these last few seasons ...
   389. JJ1986 Posted: April 23, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5834475)
Based on Sunday's episode, I think if a major character dies next week it will be Jamie.
   390. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 23, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5834476)
374- I live in a Minneapolis suburb, but one with a sizable Indian population. As such, are regular old mall’s AMC theater reserves one screen to Kollywood movies. I go quite a bit, and they almost always have a planned intermission (usually an “end of part 1” followed by a few minutes of trailers for other Tamil movies.) I sooooo welcome them!!! Cuz damn they make some long movies!!!
   391. A sad, lost penguin wandering the tundra, dreaming Posted: April 23, 2019 at 01:18 PM (#5834478)
Based on Sunday's episode, I think if a major character dies next week it will be Jamie.


I still think he's the valonqar...

There is only one God

And his name?

Is Death.

And there is only one thing we say to Death.

Not today.
   392. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 23, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5834502)
If I was writing the next couple of episodes, I'd kill Lyanna Mormont this week (the way they set her up she's looking pretty toasty) and have an awkward little subplot about whether or not Jorah can go run Bear Island, or if it should become an autonomous workers' collective.

It's important that Jorah got a Valyrian steel sword right when it would be the most useful.

It was pointed out to me that the proverbial women and children are going to be hiding out in the crypts, WHICH ARE FULL OF DEAD PEOPLE. The theory is that this explains the "the dead are already here" line from the trailer, as well as Arya's fearful flight through the crypt in the trailer for the full season. My greatest hope is that Zombie Rickon goes ape #### while Undead Skeletal Ned Stark rises from the little box they put him in and starts laying about himself with Lyanna's Stark's thigh bone.

I think it's more likely that the line and Arya's flight has something to do with the "the Night King is a Stark" theory, and that while his army is attacking the gates upstairs he has sneaked into the crypts through the secret back way that he knows about from his time living in Winterfell eleventy thousand years ago. This explains his absence from the trailers: any image of him would reveal him to be in the crypts or the Godswood, which would give the game away.

I think Jaime survives, because his survival can either lead to he and Tyrion being tragically at each other's throats or becoming a semi-independent power block when Jon and Dany inevitably fall out. Also Jaime has to kill another monarch, and if that monarch's the Night King then he probably survives the episode. This all means that Brienne is going to die in Jaime's arms, not the other way around.
   393. A sad, lost penguin wandering the tundra, dreaming Posted: April 23, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5834507)
The Crypts are *not* the safest place to be.

And if they kill off Lyanna Mormont (they won't), I'm gonna get medieval on some asses, just saying.
   394. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 23, 2019 at 02:25 PM (#5834509)
I just finished Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and it occurs to me that it syncs up with Game of Thrones in an interesting way: in both, the “army” our heroes do battle with are pointedly comprised of non-persons. The Jedi kill thousands upon thousands of Separatist forces, but they are just droids: Kenobi isn’t killing people who we need to care about, he’s just destroying robots!

And now in Game of Thrones, our heroes have joined together for the express purpose of killing....zombies. The Enemy are not people, they’re not even human, they are just soulless bodies to be eliminated. It’s the most effective call to violence we’ve yet developed.
   395. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 23, 2019 at 02:33 PM (#5834512)
Anyway I expect in next week’s episode there will be tons and tons of killing, and that the characters who show any qualms about killing will in turn be killed themselves.
   396. A sad, lost penguin wandering the tundra, dreaming Posted: April 23, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5834517)
And now in Game of Thrones, our heroes have joined together for the express purpose of killing....zombies. The Enemy are not people, they’re not even human, they are just soulless bodies to be eliminated. It’s the most effective call to violence we’ve yet developed.


The show has *not* made it clear enough, but from everything that GRRM has said, the White Walkers aren't "zombies". It's still not clear what exactly the Night King wants, but this isn't Walking Dead 2: Electric Boogaloo ...
   397. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 23, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5834527)
Those dudes aren’t zombies????? Are they at least zombie-adjacent???
   398. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 23, 2019 at 03:37 PM (#5834537)
The foot soldiers of the army of the dead are zombies. The officers, the White Walkers, work for the Night King, but have some sort of consciousness, volition, and individual intelligence. The Night King is definitely not a zombie; he's more an evil mastermind created by some weird magic. There's a certain dead aspect to the NK & the WWs (they were created by going into a stone circle and shoving a bunch of obsidian into their hearts) and they could probably be classified as a form of undead, but they're definitely not zombies. Benjen Stark was made undead by the same methods but remained interested in helping the living and serving as a Deus ex machina whenever the plot called for one.
   399. Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:13 PM (#5834547)
On Game of Thrones: I don't want to see Arya naked! She's like a good friend's daughter!


A good friend's ugly daughter?
   400. Lassus Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5834549)
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