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25th Hour (2002)
25th Hour (2002)


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Being The Geekly Diary of Waider
(may contain traces of drinking, movies, and sport)
November 14
Hardware disasters continue: this evening on the way home from work, my bike chain snapped. Frickin' AWESOME.

Hmm, so what have I been up to?

There was a trip to London and a trip to Seattle, both work-related. The latter involved a ten-hour stretch on a plane, so on the way over I watched a bunch of Mr. Robot, Halt and Catch Fire, and Preacher. Preacher is wickedly funny - Starr's "audition had me giggling constantly throughout" - but I'm kinda feeling like it's not going anywhere. Mr. Robot is constantly messing with your head so you've no idea what's actually going on at any given time. And Halt and Catch Fire... it's a bit overegged in places, but it's basically catnip for me. Premise: Silicon Gulch, or whatever you want to call Silicon Valley In Texas, right about the time the PC clone market was starting up. It's got enough realism to be credible, they've made the chief software geek a woman which is a pretty bold (and commendable) move - and to add to that they've got another woman doing some of the heavy lifting on the hardware side. The two male leads are basically Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, except their Woz is wound somewhat tighter than I think the real one ever was (woz?). Season one fades out with them having created their clone PC, the band's broken up, and the geek women are starting to get into high-speed telecoms, so now I want to watch the rest of this (total 4 seasons).

It did occur to me at one point that the showmakers looked at their works, declared it to have passed the Bechdel test because hey two strong female leads talking about something other than a man, and decided they didn't need any more women "feature characters". Also they come up with rather a long list of excuses to show Cameron in the act of putting on or removing items of clothing. But this is sniping, a little; both Cameron and Donna are given real roles within the series.

Moviewise, the only thing I can recall right now is the other night we watched Birdman, which is absolute genius and totally should have gotten an Oscar for the editing job. There's a visual gimmick that I'm not going to mention because if you watch this without knowing about it, like I did, it's something you gradually become aware of and then you can't stop noticing it and wondering at how awesome it is. Obviously I really enjoyed this!

Oh yeah. We watched 25th Hour as well which, well, it was a rewatch (last watched June 29th, 2013), and it's an okay piece that kinda falls flat at the end - which is more than I thought of it last time round. Also Brian Cox should be prohibited by international law from attempting an Irish accent ever again.

There was also the failed hard disk saga.

Books: mostly reading Philip K. Dick, John Le Carré. I've fallen a bit behind my Goodreads Reading Challenge, but given that I stupidly challenged myself to read two books a week that's hardly surprising.

November 13
Having spent two weeks getting my Mac back to a bootable disk... it looks like the logic board has died, so I've gone from SSD (zippy!!!) to HDD (not so zippy!) to HDD connected via USB (positively snail-like). About the only upside is that there's no heat being generated inside the computer by the HDD, since it's hanging off a cable on the outside.

November 12
Virgil Brigman back on the air...

Since I last updated here, I have: had a SSD fail, hence the downtime; been to London and Seattle; watched a movie or two, the entire first season of Halt and Catch Fire, the last of Preacher Season 2, and whatever's currently available of Mr. Robot Season 3; read many books; and spent an inordinate amount of time trying to recover from the failed SSD despite having not one, not two, but THREE backups to work with. Sagas may be forthcoming, along with consumed media reviews. For now, though, there's a bunch of random stuff to catch up with.

October 07
Dinner and a show! How novel!

Dinner was at the recently-opened Eddie Rockets branch at Point Village; there's another restaurant beside it advertising that it's opening in October, but it looks a little ... static so I wonder about that. In any case, I think I first visited a Rocket's in 1992 and I've been back periodically in the interim without ever having a bad experience. It's not haute cuisine, but they do what they do well. The only slight niggle was that the music was (ha ha, old man Waider) a bit on the loud side. As in, "let's shout across the table at each other to converse" volume. Hopefully they'll sort that out because I'll happily go back. As it was we chose to decamp to the nearby Costa for post-dinner coffee and chocolate.

From there, Blade Runner 2049 in the iSense screen at Odeon Point Village. I don't think I've been in the iSense screen before, and it was totally the right thing for this movie. First take: incredibly good movie. It's beautifully filmed, it respects the original without cannibalising it in the way that The Force Awakens did to A New Hope (and hey, I liked TFA!) and the cast does a stellar job of conveying the whole thing. Yes, it's not perfect: for some reason the design team felt that Las Vegas wasn't gaudy enough as-was, and what it was really missing was a bunch of giant statues of naked women; likewise, there were bits of gratuituous titilation elsewhere in the movie that could have as easily been omitted with no loss to the atmosphere or plot. Then the music: for the most part, it worked, and it echoed Vangelis' original, but there were a few spots where it was hard to tell whether Sudden Loud Noise was the foley or Hans Zimmer dropping an anvil on a stack of Korg equipment. And I'm still turning one tiny plot point over in my mind with dissatisfaction (basically the whole bit with K/Joe being lo-jacked) but for a movie of this scale I think that's a pretty short list. Given that I'd skipped almost all the pre-movie faff (I watched the two trailers, and that was it), I'm gonna go back now and watch the mini-features and wait for the inevitable taking of sides over whether it's a worthy sequel or some sort of huge mistake driven by a desire to strip us rubes of our cash.

October 04
Errrrr... (BBC, as ever)
2017-10-03 23:12:02America's gun culture in eight charts
2017-10-03 23:12:02America's gun culture in seven charts
2017-10-03 23:12:02America's gun culture in nine charts
2017-10-04 18:15:45America's gun culture in 10 charts
(timestamps are BBC's; actual timestamps are more like 2am, 6am, 5pm and 6pm on October 4th)

October 02
My upgrade to "High Sierra" seems to have been fairly straightforward, although I notice ClamAV crashed on startup. About the only thing I've checked so far is if they've upgraded the version of OpenSSL, and yes, they have, so now my various SSL-scraping Perl and python scripts are once more functional.

Oh, and I need to figure out what types of keys MacOS (macOS, whatever) allows by default because I keep having to fix the client-side "can't use that key" setting every time I upgrade.

September 08
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was an absolute barrel of fun. Drax gets all the best lines, of course.

August 26
Logan was really enjoyable, with the minor niggle that the dynamic range of the audio meant that I missed some of the dialogue (including Logan's last line in the movie, dammit). It's a thoughtful story, with an awful lot going on in it. Interestingly it's chosen to not really build on any of the existing X-Men world, other than to use some of its characters; everything in terms of backstory is contained in the movie, and not via someone giving expository speeches, either - Xavier's backstory is given in a radio report, for example. I think you could also have played Johnny Cash's Hurt cover for the entire movie, because it'd be fitting at all times.

August 20
BBC works on their reporting:
2017-08-19 18:07:01Boston march against alt-right rally draws thousands
2017-08-19 18:44:33Boston march against right-wing rally draws thousands

RTÉ on the other hand, nails it first time:
2017-08-19 20:29:50Thousands march in Boston against far-right rally

August 18
Celebrating that time we both said, "I do".

I definitely enjoyed how Collateral Beauty started out, and when Time got his initial lines I wanted to hug the scriptwriter, but then when it got to the boardroom confrontation I was a little iffy on the path the movie took. And then the whole bit with Melanie confused me further, and the closing scene in Central Park just kinda annoyed me. I think there were a few ways to take this idea - the concepts are "real" and hoodwinking everyone, the concepts are just the actors being put up to it, the concepts are, in fact, how Howard sees each friend, and so on - but instead it seems like the scriptwriters couldn't quite decide which option to go for and the result is less impactful for that. And the Melanie angle just seems... tacked on. It jars. This is a lovely movie, but it could have been so much better.