Pixel Scroll 11/19/17 And That’s What Pixelmas Is All About, Charlie Scroll

(1) BY WAY OF MELBOURNE. Playbill says King Kong will open on Broadway next year. (Just keep those biplanes grounded!) “King Kong Sets Broadway Opening Night; Tickets Now on Sale”. This musical premiered in Melbourne in 2013 and was originally supposed to come to Broadway when Spiderman folded in 2014. But it didn’t.

The anticipated stage musical adaptation of King Kong—written by Jack Thorne with a score by Marius de Vries and songs by Eddie Perfect—will officially open November 8, 2018, at the Broadway Theatre. Previews are set to begin October 5.

The production, which features a one-ton, six-meter-tall silverback gorilla puppet as its star, arrives on Broadway following a 2013 Melbourne world premiere.

An all-new creative team has been assembled to bring King Kong to Broadway, including Olivier Award-winning book writer Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Let the Right One In), Olivier Award-winning director-choreographer Drew McOnie (Strictly Ballroom, In the Heights), and Australian songwriter Perfect, who is also adapting Beetlejuice for Broadway. Perfect joins the show’s original composer and arranger de Vries (Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet).

(2) TWO FINS UP. Craig Miller comments on a screening of The Shape of Water.

The film was pretty great. It’s set in the early 1960s but it has a sort of timeless quality about it. Set at some sort of secret, military-run laboratory, it’s about a lonely, mute cleaning woman (Hawkins) who works there and what happens when a new “asset” is brought in for investigation and experimentation. Her performance, and that of Doug Jones, are remarkable. More so in that neither character is capable of speaking but you understand them both perfectly.

(3) MINORITY REPORT. The National Review’s Armond White says “Justice League Is the Epic We Deserve” – and means it in a good sense.

Zack Snyder’s audacity in creating a comic-book movie renaissance (which began with the complex, ambitious Watchmen) has inspired philistine resentment from reviewers and fanboys who don’t want cinema. They’ve been desensitized to the form’s vitality and richness. (Like civics, art is no longer being taught in schools.) The schoolyard game of lambasting Snyder’s magnificent Man of Steel and the even more intricate Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice almost directly parallels the unsubtle breakdown of our political process. And this year’s post-election delusional praise for the utterly mediocre Wonder Woman is a symptom of our current political paralysis. By coordinating DC Comics’ superhero characters into the fight against Steppenwolf, Snyder attempts to extend his saga from Dawn of Justice. Studio interference (Warner Bros. envy of the lucrative Marvel franchise) and personal tragedy have prevented Snyder from completing his vision on a scale commensurate with the ever-astonishing Watchmen. But as Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) join Batman (Ben Affleck) in the most-intense-yet fight for human life, what remains of Snyder’s handiwork — after the studio imposed The Avengers dullard Joss Whedon on the final product — is still a triumph.

(4) COCO. The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna talks to the stars and producers of COCO and looks at how Pixar is coming out with a Mexican-themed film for the first time: “‘Coco’ forced Pixar to dive deep into a real-world culture — and add some diversity”.

PIXAR STUDIOS, for all its renown for creating highly detailed worlds, has rarely had to worry too much about cultural authenticity. Even after all their fabled research for movies such as “Brave” and “Ratatouille,” the filmmakers have been free to use their imaginations, without real fear of offending toymakers, automakers or entomologists.

The Bay Area studio knew, however, that centering “Coco,” which opens Nov. 22, on Mexico’s Day of the Dead holiday would enter an entirely different realm, because it would include not only depictions of traditions, but also a significant increase in casting diversity.

(5) THE SCIENTISTS IN SF. Tor.com nominates “Our Favorite Fictionalized Scientists, Mathematicians, and Inventors in SFF”.

Benoit Mandelbrot (Mandelbrot the Magnificent)

Where the rest of us see fractals spinning off into infinity, Benoit Mandelbrot saw minute pockets into parallel universes. Liz Ziemska’s magical pseudo-biography reimagines the mathematician’s childhood during Hitler’s rise to power: in an era where people like Mandelbrot’s family were fleeing their homes to escape the growing evil, young Benoit discovers secret dimensions in which to hide, all unlocked by math. Talk of Kepler’s ellipses transports Benoit; archetypal math problems about approaching infinity provide him with glimpses into mirror worlds in which he can hunt monsters. But as the monsters in his world abandon all pretense of peace, Mandelbrot must harness his gifts to hide his family, or else he’ll have sealed their fates. It’s a lovely example of using fantasy as a way to gild the edges of inspiring true stories, linking math with magic for non-mathematicians. —Natalie

(6) GRAPHIC NOVEL ROUNDUP. In another piece, Michael Cavna gives his picks for “The 10 best graphic novels of 2017”.

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

By Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)

This debut graphic novel from a 55-year-old Chicago artist is a revelation: a deeply textured tale of dark histories framed as a girl’s diary and told through riveting art that is an homage to midcentury horror comics and film. A dark-horse winner that came out of nowhere.

(7) NIGEL’S NEXT. Nigel Quinlan did a cover reveal of his new book, The Cloak of Feathers, an MG fantasy coming in the UK and Ireland from Hachette Children’s in January 2018.

It’s about an awful summer festival held every year in a small village in Ireland. Once every hundred years the Fair Folk visit, and it becomes a Great Festival, full of magic and wonder. Except everything has gone horribly wrong. The lake is polluted, there’s a ghost estate built on the shore, and their beloved Princess has vanished. Our heroes, the reluctant members of the Junior Knockmealldown Festival Committee (Cow-Fetching Sub-Group) must perform four Feats to win the Cloak of Feathers and rescue the Princess before the whole village is punished.

(8) SUPER SJW CREDENTIALS. Quirk Books makes its selection of the “10 Best Cats in Comics”.

Chewie – Captain Marvel

Supergirl and Power Girl are not the only big name superheroes to have pet cats. Captain Marvel has her own feline companion, Chewie. Initially, Carol believed that Chewie was just a normal cat that could keep her company on her adventures, but when she met Rocket Raccoon, he claimed that Chewie was, in fact, a Flerken. Captain Marvel refused to believe that her furry friend was secretly a tentacle-mouthed, egg-laying alien with pocket dimensions in her body…but when Chewie laid 117 eggs on board the ship, she was forced to admit it was true. Although the 117 Flerken kittens were left at a rescue, Chewie herself teleported back on board the ship, and Carol decided to keep her, Flerken or not.

(9) REBOUND. The Traveler pilloried the November 1962 issue of F&SF in a post at Galactic Journey. What a difference a month (and 55 years) makes! — “[November 19, 1962] Reverse Course (December 1962 Fantasy and Science Fiction)”.

I’ve complained bitterly in this column on the meanderings of my favorite science fiction magazines.  Galaxy has gotten too tame.  Analog has gotten too staid.  F&SF has gotten too literary.  In fact, just last month, I was lamenting the streak of purple fluffiness that had corrupted that last mag.  Story after story of unreadable droll nothings, or at best, fantastic horrors without any hard sf.

The December 1962 issue did not promise to be any better.  It has the same line-up of authors, the same subject matter of stories.  There are even 11000…er.. 24 pages devoted to the concept of binary numbers.  Has F&SF lost its mind?!

So imagine my surprise to find that I actually enjoyed this month’s issue, entirely due to the well-written nature of its material.  These are not the kind of stories I prefer, but this experience just goes to show that high quality trumps subject matter.  See if you agree…

(10) ANDY WEIR. The Arthur C. Clarke Center for the Human Imagination has an extra installment of its Into the Imagination podcast: “Bonus: Andy Weir (author of The Martian and Artemis)”.

We have a mid-month bonus episode with Andy Weir, author of the novel The Martian, so memorably adapted in the film starring Matt Damon, and the new book Artemis, which launches today! We talk about lunar colonization, his approach to world- and character-building, and what he would do if he was in charge of the future of space exploration. Andy will be speaking at the Clarke Center on December 7th.

To listen to the podcast, click here.

(11) BEST AND THE REST OF AUGUST. Rich Horton reviews short fiction at Locus Online, covering Lightspeed 8/17, 9/17, Tor.com 8/17, Apex 7/17, Interzone 7-8/17, and McSweeney’s #49.

There’s a good set of stories in the August Lightspeed. Ashok Banker‘s “Tongue” is an uncomfortable and rather over-the-top satire on the horrors of a traditional Indian mar­riage, set on an asteroid. The over-the-top elements are part and parcel of satire, though I also thought the portrayal of Indian culture seemed a wincing cliché, as did the corporate menace target; still, it shocks and scares.

(12) ANALOG (NOT THE MAGAZINE). An op-ed writer for the New York Times claims “Our Love Affair With Digital Is Over”.

This surprising reversal of fortune for these apparently “obsolete” analog technologies is too often written off as nostalgia for a predigital time. But younger consumers who never owned a turntable and have few memories of life before the internet drive most of the current interest in analog, and often include those who work in Silicon Valley’s most powerful companies.

Analog, although more cumbersome and costly than its digital equivalents, provides a richness of experience that is unparalleled with anything delivered through a screen. People are buying books because a book engages nearly all of their senses, from the smell of the paper and glue to the sight of the cover design and weight of the pages read, the sound of those sheets turning, and even the subtle taste of the ink on your fingertips. A book can be bought and sold, given and received, and displayed on a shelf for anyone to see. It can start conversations and cultivate romances.

The limits of analog, which were once seen as a disadvantage, are increasingly one of the benefits people are turning to as a counterweight to the easy manipulation of digital. Though a page of paper is limited by its physical size and the permanence of the ink that marks it, there is a powerful efficiency in that simplicity. The person holding the pen above that notebook page is free to write, doodle or scribble her idea however she wishes between those borders, without the restrictions or distractions imposed by software.

(13) VERDICT ON NEW TURTLEDOVE. The Hugo Award Book Club contends The Hot War is Turtledove at his best”.

Of particular interest in this alternate history is the tragic — and believable — story of Harry Truman. Turtledove’s research into historical figures is always impeccable, and many of Truman’s decisions in these novels are based on courses of action that he considered in real life. Turtledove paints a portrait of an alternate failed presidency that hinges on one bad decision after another.

The consequences of Truman’s mistakes keep compounding. The way in which this weighs on him in the novels is effectively conveyed, and this may be one of the best character arcs Turtledove has ever written. Turtledove seems to be arguing that even a well-intentioned president might invite calamity through brinksmanship.

This cast may be one of the most memorable groups that Turtledove has written since Worldwar: In The Balance back in the 1990s. However, it’s still clear that Turtledove has difficulty writing characters from outside his cultural background — none of the important Korean or Chinese characters are given point-of-view sections.

(14) BE OUR GUEST. Her Universe is ready to fill your need to own the “Star Wars BB-8 Tea Set”.

Being stranded on Jakku might be a downer, but it’s no excuse to avoid quality tea time. This BB-8 themed teapot and cup set from Star Wars is happy to roll up with a hot beverage. Set includes a 650 ml teapot & lid with two 220 ml cups and two 5 1/2″ saucers.

(15) MILLENNIUM PLUS FORTY. Entertainment Weekly was there: “Luke comes home: Mark Hamill’s heartbreaking return to the Millennium Falcon in The Last Jedi”.

Luke Skywalker quietly walks aboard the Millennium Falcon, alone. His old friends are gone. His old life is gone. He is ghostlike himself.

The old Luke Skywalker is gone, too.

That’s a scene from the latest trailer for The Last Jedi (see it here), but in real life, visiting the set of the old Corellian freighter was a similarly haunting experience for Mark Hamill.

“I’m telling you, I didn’t expect to have the reaction I had,” the 66-year-old actor tells EW. “I was there with my family, with [my children] Nathan and Griffin and Chelsea and my wife Marilou, and [Lucasfilm] asked if the documentary crew could be there when I came back on the Millennium Falcon. I mean, this was not on the shooting day. I was just street clothes and going to visit that set. And I said, ‘Sure.’”

(16) BLABBING ABOUT CAMEOS. The Hollywood Reporter learned “Princes Harry and William Play Stormtroopers in New ‘Star Wars’ Film”.

The royals — along with Tom Hardy and singer Gary Barlow — were rumored to make an appearance in Stormtrooper outfits in the film releasing Dec. 15.

In August, Star Wars: The Last Jedi star John Boyega spilled the beans that not only did Prince William and Prince Harry film scenes when they visited Pinewood Studios in April 2016, but Tom Hardy also was milling around the set at the same time. By then, Take That singer Gary Barlow had already revealed that he had shot a scene in March.

(17) KEEPING A FINGER IN THE PIE. According to SyFy Wire, “Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies to write new Doctor Who adaptations”.

Steven Moffat may be leaving his gig as Doctor Who showrunner following this year’s upcoming Christmas special titled “Twice Upon a Time” to make way for Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch), but it looks like he isn’t done with the Whoniverse-at-large just yet.

According to Radio Times, Moffat will team up with former showrunner Russell T Davies and novelist Jenny T. Colgan for a series of Doctor Who novels that will adapt several episodes from the Davies and Moffat eras of the BBC series.

Published by BBC Books and Penguin Randomhouse, the new “Target Collection” is based on the old Target novelizations that strived to adapt classic Doctor Who episodes from the 1970s to the 1990s, with the episodes’ original scriptwriters penning the adaptations whenever possible from the original scripts.

(18) SOME TIME LATER. I will never be the same now that I have seen this tweet.

Here’s the link to his post.

(19) MIGHTY MUMBLING. How It Should Have Ended does a comedy overdub of Batman v Superman and Dawn of Justice. It’s a toss-up whether these animated mouths remind me more of Clutch Cargo or Wallace and Gromit.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jon Meltzer.]

62 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/19/17 And That’s What Pixelmas Is All About, Charlie Scroll

  1. Three shalt be the number of thy posting, and the number of thy posting shall be three. Four shalt thou not post, nor either post thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five (both of them) is right out.

  2. (3) Surely that’s from National Lampoon, not Review.

    Billy Pixel has come unscrolled in time.

  3. (18) SOME TIME LATER
    I think the writers are aware of Penny being a “mean girl”. There was one episode where Amy and Bernadette commiserated about being bullied at high school, and Penny went from “haha, that’s just like the pranks we played on the geek girl in my class” to “oh shit, I’m a bully, ain’t I?”

    But my impression was that Penny did see some growth recently – in particular that she gave up trying to be an actress and started on something that looks like a real career instead. But I have seen very little of the last couple of seasons, so it’s possible I’m exaggerating the change.

    ***

    Pixel Claus is coming to scroll.

  4. 8) Sorry to say, that list misses the best cats in comics.

    – Kuro Somato – A wonderful little kitteh with too many teeth and sometimes too many eyes. Read it, one of the best comics EVAH!

    – Raul the Cat in American Flagg. A talking cat with robot hands.

    – Fat Freddy’s Cat. Yes. The best with the fabulous freak brothers is the cat.

    These from the top of my head.

  5. (3) “Zack Snyder’s audacity in creating a comic-book movie renaissance (which began with the complex, ambitious Watchmen) has inspired philistine resentment from reviewers and fanboys who don’t want cinema. “

    Well the National Review’s enduring quest to be wrong about everything continues magnificently.

    Snyder’s Watchmen was 2009

    Favreau’s Iron Man was 2008, and Nolan’s Dark Knight was also 2008.

  6. I have not seen JL.Nor have I seen the three preceding Batman films, the last Superman or Wonder Woman. The problem of these Universes is that once one misses an installment it’s very easy to miss everything.

    It was certainly my impression that Snyder made Watchmen having brilliantly recreated the Dave Gibbons visuals and largely failed to understand the Alan Moore characters.

  7. “It was certainly my impression that Snyder made Watchmen having brilliantly recreated the Dave Gibbons visuals and largely failed to understand the Alan Moore characters.”

    This exactly. And the Watchmen-universe itself. Ordinary ‘heroes’ weren’t supposed to be able to punch through concrete. That’s why Dr Manhatten and one person at the end were so unusual/special.

    Also choreographed Leonard Cohen lovemaking. *gag*

  8. @Hampus: Are there any cats in Nollberga? Apart from Baron Bosse, that is? If so, they may well have a claim to being the best cats in comic.

  9. Ingvar:

    That is a very good question! I can’t remember any right now, but then I haven’t read Assar the last 20 years or so.

    Other cats in comics that are missing from the list.

    Bill the Cat (Ack thpft!)
    Whatever-his-name in Gaston Lagaffe
    Doraemon
    Omaha The Cat Dancer
    Raspoutine in Inspector Carnardo
    Azrael in The Smurfs

    I should do my own cat list.

  10. That reminds me. I actually managed to make a top 100 list of my favourite comics. I should do something with it.

  11. [10] Just a labeling problem. Shouldn’t it be something more like “The ten most recent cats I’ve seen”? I’ve got a whole book here of Great Comic Cats which I will not go look at, but another book on the shelf is Gordo’s Cat, and I think Poosy Gato’s one of the greats. Also, he never heard of the Kliban Cat?

    Never scroll anything larger than your screen.

  12. 13) I find it amusing and a sign of our interconnected world that Turtledove is on Twitter now, and I can reminisce with him about the first Turtledove story I read (an early snippet from Guns of the South, in the original non-Puppy long ago iteration of the There Will be War series). What a world!

  13. Snyder’s Watchmen was 2009

    Favreau’s Iron Man was 2008, and Nolan’s Dark Knight was also 2008.

    I suspect that White doesn’t consider those films to be part of the “comic-book movie renaissance”, given that he trashes Marvel movies in general and the Nolan Batman movies specifically in his piece. Given his complaints about every comic-book movie in the last 15 years that wasn’t directed by Zach Snyder, one has to wonder what White is referring to when he says “comic-book movie renaissance”.

    I kind of have to wonder if White’s piece is parody, since it is so badly written. At one point, for example, White refers to the Nolan Batman movies as “nihilistic”, which is only possible if you don’t actually know what nihilism means. At another, while extolling the virtues of a pair of banal scenes in which characters are reaching for an object that has fallen from their grasp, White puts in a parenthetical the words “profound metaphor”, as if to inform the reader that he’s saying profound things. He talks about how Snyder has “enriched” our movie experiences and cites the design of Steppenwolf as an example of this, right before asserting that Steppenwolf’s design was an imitation of Curry’s costume in Legend. But if it was just an imitation of something from three decades ago, how does it enrich us?

    It isn’t that White has a bizarre love for badly made, incoherent movies – there are definitely people out there who legitimately love Batman v. Superman. I don’t understand them, but they do exist. It is that when he talks about specifics of what makes movies good or not, he descends into gibbering incoherence.

  14. The best cat in comics is Raoul, in Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg. To leave him off the list is absurd.

  15. (13) I don’t think the Korean War, which was a terrible, bloody conflict, gets enough attention when we look back at the military horrors of the last century. And I’m not sure people are quite aware enough of how lucky we have been to avoid further use of nuclear weapons in war, potentially a full nuclear exchange among great powers. So I think Turtledove’s scenario is quite plausible and well worth considering.

    I haven’t actually read much Turtledove, and I get the impression that some readers are a little tired of what he does. I’d say some of the characters are more successful than others. (I particularly liked the American civilians.) And some aspects of the story seemed to get a little repetitive over the three novels. Overall though I think it’s successful and interesting alternate history.

  16. Mike, Mike, Mike. Please. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet! Can’t we have our Pixellated Turkey with Scrollbean Casserole and all the fixins before being subject to Scrollnuts Roasting on an Open Glyer?

  17. Predictive Meredith Moment:

    https://www.tor.com/2017/11/20/cyber-monday-torcom-publishing-alert/

    For Amazon’s “Cyber Week” (taking place from Tuesday, November 28 to Sunday, December 3), the following Tor.com Publishing titles will be on sale for Kindle.

    For $2.99

    Infomocracy: A Novel by Malka Older

    Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children #2) by Seanan McGuire

    River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey
    (Note! This deal is only available on Monday, November 27!)

    For $1.99

    All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

    Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

  18. @15 / @OGH: plus fifty? shouldn’t that be plus forty? Or did I miss something in SW7 that makes clear 50 years have passed?

    @MrDalliard: I don’t remember NatLamp ever being so self-conscious about vocabulary, even in its parodies. There were a couple of points in that review where I wanted to do a Heimlich on him to disgorge the thesaurus stuck in his throat.

    @ULTRAGOTHA: sounds like you’d hate London; I recall holiday decorations and marketing going up the day after Halloween when I was there in 1997. (Not even waiting until Guy Fawkes, which Halloween seems to have eclipsed — possibly because H has more reasons to spend money.)

  19. Doire:

    Have they forgotten The Book of Life already?

    First: Not Pixar, and the commentary specifically talks about Pixar coming out with a Mexican themed movie. Second, despite many people involved having Hispanic names, the discussion I saw around Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s remarks seemed in agreement that while it was pretty, it was about as Mexican underneath the trappings as The Emperor’s New Groove is Incan.

    I like the movie, but I don’t pretend it succeeds at being anything but a very attractive Hollywood product. I’m hoping Coco turns out well (more Moana than Pocahontas, shall we say).

  20. Over the Pixel and through the Scrolls.

    (It was the only Thanksgiving song I could think of.)

    I actually had a letter printed in an American Flagg comic book where, I think, the main topic was Raul. It was a long letter and they cut it down a lot. Might have been about giving the women characters sensible shoes.

    Fat Freddy’s Cat was great. Usually better than the regular comics.

  21. (4) They released Coco early in Mexico and it has been doing quite well. Set box office records and all that.

  22. @SamJ, thanks! I’ve backed the Kickstarter.

    Speaking of which, Stand Still Stay Silent also has a cat, often referred to in the comment threads as Purrito.

  23. Aaron on November 20, 2017 at 5:56 am said:

    I suspect that White doesn’t consider those films to be part of the “comic-book movie renaissance”, given that he trashes Marvel movies in general and the Nolan Batman movies specifically in his piece. Given his complaints about every comic-book movie in the last 15 years that wasn’t directed by Zach Snyder, one has to wonder what White is referring to when he says “comic-book movie renaissance”.

    Good point. Reasonable to dislike the MCU, reasonable to dislike Nolan’s take on Batman, I guess somebody has to like Batman v Superman but then in what sense is there a “comic-book movie renaissance”.

    Movies OF comic books rather than specifically superheroes? Perhaps that’s what he means but then I doubt Watchmen is best of those, or the most commercially successful or the most critically acclaimed.

    Quick counter examples:
    Men in Black was 1997
    Sam Mendes’s Road to Perdition was 2002

    Watchmen isn’t even ‘best attempt to capture the visual style of a comic book’ – Robert Rodriguez’s film of Frank Miller’s Sin City is better. Speaking of Frank Miller, I dislike Zack Snyder’s film of 300 and dislike Miller’s original book but it is a better film than Watchmen. Watchmen isn’t even ‘best but ultimately futile attempt to adapt Alan Moore’ – V for Vendetta came out in 2005.

    Apologies for the rant 🙂

  24. @ Camestros Felapton

    Watchmen isn’t even ‘best but ultimately futile attempt to adapt Alan Moore’ – V for Vendetta came out in 2005.

    Watchmen came very close to killing my affection for Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” I have managed to retain my love for that song despite society’s concerted attempts against it, but Watchman really did a number on that tune.

  25. Reasonable to dislike the MCU, reasonable to dislike Nolan’s take on Batman, I guess somebody has to like Batman v Superman but then in what sense is there a “comic-book movie renaissance”.

    Well, if his thinking is on the level of incoherence that is displayed in the article, then I suppose it is possible that White thinks that every non-Zach Snyder directed comic-book movie released since roughly 2008 is terrible and that there is somehow still a comic-book movie renaissance simply because there are a lot of them.

    In any event, pinpointing the Watchmen as the beginning of a comic-book movie renaissance is kind of ridiculous. I mean, one could conceivably pinpoint such a moment to the 2000 X-Men movie, or the 2002 Spider-Man movie, both of which did a lot to revive the genre after the disaster of the 1997 Batman and Robin.

    I think the reality is probably that “comic-book renaissance” is, in White’s hands, a meaningless phrase that he thinks sounds profound, like his claim that the Nolan Batman movies are nihilistic and Snyder’s derivative banality is “enriching” the movie experience. They are just catch-phrases that he’s trotted out without really thinking about what they mean because he heard someone use them in the one film criticism course he took to fulfill his humanities elective requirement in college.

  26. Kip W on November 20, 2017 at 10:38 am said:

    Hellboy was a very successful translation of comic to screen, I thought.

    I agree. It was fun, captured the characters well and the atmosphere of the books.

    Key element here: supporting cast matters. Doug Jones’s Abe Sapien was a great performance.

  27. @ Chip. It’s okay for the British to start Christmas decorations on Nov 1 since they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. But since Americans do, they need to wait till after Thanksgiving.
    Or they could move Thanksgiving to a date that better corresponds to harvest time, like the second week of October. Then we could properly observe Thanksgiving and have enough time for Christmas. And a chance to lose weight between the two.

  28. 3) No point in getting into an argument about film aesthetics with a National Review writer (or with anybody else, for that matter), but that charge of nihilism sounds to me like a typical–and rather lazy–conservative trope. I hear “nihilism” applied to any kind of rejection of traditional, and particularly religion-based values. Argue from a secular-materialist position with a NatRev-style conservative and that characterization will almost always come up. (FWIW, I don’t have much sympathy for the notion that Steve Bannon is a nihilist, either. The left can be just as lazy as the right when it comes to thinking through the history and implications of words.)

  29. The British used to start their Christmas decorations even earlier: the growth of Hallowe’en here has shortened the period somewhat.

  30. Does Cat from Red Dwarf count? He’s one of my faves. I never knew that felines would evolve to be James Brown, but the show persuaded me!

  31. Kip W says wisely that Hellboy was a very successful translation of comic to screen, I thought.

    It was indeed. It certainly befitted by having a director who was in love with the character and the story. Most of the D.C. and Marvel films suffer from not having that. I’m curious to see how the Hellboy reboot fares as it has both a new cast and a new creative team as well.

    Note that I don’t think any of the DCU films worked well and my list of great Marvel films is quite short: first Avengers, first Ironman and both of the Guardian films. The second Avengers film is particular suffered from everything that’s wrong with the first JL film.

  32. Chip Hitchcock: shouldn’t that be plus forty?

    Yes it should…. Appertain yourself a breakfast libation!

  33. “CoCo” was released in Mexico on The Day of the Dead and smashed box office records while garnering rave reviews. So I guess Pixar got it right. I’m going to see it tomorrow, although I am more eager to see “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” which will play before the main event.

    re: Turtledove and POV characters: If someone botches writing a character that doesn’t match their own personal demographic, they get savaged. So I guess Turtledove decided he didn’t have the chops to do it right, so he didn’t write any Korean or Japanese POV characters.

  34. Reviews of Meredith moments:

    River of Teeth – pretty fun, good characters, great concept, extremely dodgy geography (naq abg rabhtu sreny uvccbf, frrzrq gb or n irel fznyy nern jurer gurl yvirq pbzcnerq gb jung gur znc fhttrfgf). I enjoyed it.

    All Systems Red – I have to admit I inhaled this in one sitting, really enjoyed the concept. Origins of the murderbot personality still seem to be a mystery. Would definitely recommend, despite some dodgy plotting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *