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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

February 24
Two movies over the weekend. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was ok, but it's hard to beat Sam Raimi's movies. I think this version of Spider-Man is a little too cocky; Tobey Maguire's version seems to get that out of his system in the first of Raimi's productions, while this iteration seems to consider it core to his character. Since I never followed the comics other than when they occasionally cropped up in the newspaper, I have no idea which is more canonical, but I do know that I prefer the less cocky version. Other than that... this prematurely terminated series (since they stopped after 2 movies of a planned 4) likes its dark endings, doesn't it? Again, I get that some of this is canonical fanservice, but I also like whoever it was - Warren Ellis? - who said approximately that a movie isn't the same thing as the comic it's based on, and shouldn't try to be. It's certainly heroic that movies like Sin City and Watchmen managed shots that looked like the comic brought to life, but that sort of misses the point about the media being different, somewhat. Anyway, back to Spidey: mainly I feel like the best and worst thing I could say about it is that, well, now I've watched that franchise. Waiting for the Marvel Universe one to make an appearance on my various non-purchase sources (TV or streaming rental) so I can see how it works out.

T'other movie was a different kettle of fish altogether: First Man is, granted, a cinematic rendition of a book, but the slavish attention to detail is to match reality, not necessarily the source material. It covers Neil Armstrong's life from test pilot to moon landing, and for authenticity goes so far as to use the original CAPCOM audio from 1969 ("Roger, Twan- Tranquility, we copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot."). It's a fascinating look at someone who was extraordinary in so many ways while essentially claiming his ordinariness; it becomes obvious with a look at how he dealt with the many mishaps in his life that he really was extraordinary, separate to winning the lottery to be the first human to walk on the surface of another lump of space rock - successfully flying a plane missing a metre of wing, recovering a plane from a bounce off the Earth's atmosphere, handling a multi-axis spin in zero gravity when he should probably have been unconcious, escaping from the "flying bedstead" before it crashed, and so on. You sort of get to concluding that if he hadn't been in Apollo 11, it wouldn't have succeeded. Anyway, great movie, well worth watching.

February 16
Harry Potter and the Threequel of Lucre Part 2, uh, I mean The Crimes of Grindelwald did not, as far as I can tell, contain any of said crimes. I did like the movie - Jacob again stealing the entire thing as far as I was concerned - but I didn't buy Jude Law as Dumbledore, and I can't take Johnny Depp seriously in this role which, given he's the uber bad guy, sort of undermines the premise a bit. Anyway. There's a third one of these probably in the next year or two so we'll see how it all segues nicely into Voldemort or whatever.

February 14
Using Apple's Migration Assistant to copy user details from Old Server to New Server.

So now I'm back to the original advice to reinstall the New Server from scratch because otherwise I've just got an incomplete clone of the old server. AWESOME.

February 2
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: I'm not quite sure what to make of this. I mean, the main character - Newt - never quite felt like the main character to me for some reason. And not because Tina was the main character, either; the storyline clearly puts her in the damsel-in-distress position almost throughout, and puts her sister in the damsel-in-undress (hah! you see what I did there?) role, and that's pretty disappointing for a movie written by a woman. I think the character I enjoyed most was Kowalski, because he just rolled with what was happening to him, and that was both well written and well played by the actor. I'll probably keep watching these as they make their way to the TV, but unless the subsequent movies are dramatically different I suspect I won't exactly be leaping at the opportunity to see them.

I've thought about this some more, and while Tina did have more agency and less distress than you might believe from the paragraph above, it still felt like she was playing a poor second fiddle to a weak lead - and no fault of Eddie Redmayne; the character as written was weak, not the portrayal.

February 1
Deadpool 2 was fun, as expected, but not quite as good as the first one. I guess the first one was a hard act to follow, plus all the gags - cultural references, breaking the fourth wall, Deadpool losing arbitrary bits of himself - had already been used in the first one and no matter how hard they try the second one was always going to feel like it was either ticking the boxes or doing "same thing, only with a bigger explosion". Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, I just felt like I might have had a bit more fun rewatching the first one.

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And now we're into month two.