Open Thread

alien_pinball

I stayed up half the night watching “The Walking Dead.” God, how did I get sucked into that series? I usually don’t watch serials at all, especially anything horror-tinged, but I’m hooked. They do explore some complex moral issues while hacking zombies to bits.

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203 replies
  1. 1
    amused says:

    Good for you! The second season slows a bit, but the third is well worth the wait.

  2. 2
    burnspbesq says:

    Hobby Lobby is not going to provide contraceptive coverage for its female employees while its challenge to the employer mandate winds its way through the appellate courts.

    With 13,000 employees, the company is looking at penalties of $1.3 million per day, starting Tuesday.

    Not sure how the assessment and collection process works with respect to this penalty, but hopefully the IRS and DOJ will move expeditiously.

    http://newsok.com/oklahoma-cit.....le/3741050

  3. 3
    MikeJ says:

    I find it odd that people talk about story arcs and continuing plotlines as if they were something new invented in the modern golden age of TV. As the World Turns went on the air in 1956, not just before Mad Men, but before the era in which Mad Men is set.

  4. 4
    Cassidy says:

    Arrow…if you love comics, you should be watching this show.

  5. 5
    D0n Camillo says:

    I hear ya. I made the mistake of finally starting to watch “Downton Abbey” last night at 10:00 PM. I watched 3 episodes in a row all at once. I’m going to need a keyboard pillow to make it through the workday.

  6. 6
    Cassidy says:

    @MikeJ: Doing something and doing something well are different things altogether.

  7. 7
    ellie says:

    Zombies! I love The Walking Dead. It was hard for me to get into right off the bat, but I came around.

  8. 8
    jp7505a says:

    If I didn’t know that WPVI was a real TV station in Philly, I would think this was a spoof by the Onion. Three cops were shot INSIDE the police station.

    This kind of stuff has got to stop. I think that an armed teacher should be stationed in every police station in the country. I’m sure the NRA will agree.

  9. 9
    bemused says:

    Betty, I hope you’re feeling a lot more frisky today.

  10. 10
    artem1s says:

    I have to admit it has sucked me in as well. But mostly because the characters are so mind bogglingly stupid that almost every major decision they make results in one or more of their party getting eaten. They are a pretty sad lot, especially the sheriff who seems to spend an eternity agonizing over all of his bad decisions. He’s probably responsible for at least half of his company getting gruesomely slaughtered and yet somehow they still decide to follow him.

    let’s just say, planning ahead is not his forte. (over) reacting violently once shoved into a corner seems to be his more his style. yea, lots of modern metaphors to latch onto!

  11. 11
    Dan says:

    Last evening I posted my sixth annual best music list. Most of what I listen to is a little off the beaten path so you may see some unfamiliar artists in there. I aim for a good mix of genres too, so hopefully there’s something for everyone.

  12. 12

    the zombies win a pleasing amount of the time, too.

    But the real horrors are mostly perpetrated by the breathers. Realism, says I.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    MikeJ says:

    @Cassidy: I’d bet that there has been plenty of fine writing, directing and acting on soap operas since the days when radio was your only option. I’d also argue that most of the continuing stories on modern TV are every bit as stupid as any other soap opera but they have better lighting.

  15. 15
    dan says:

    Seems to be an hour a week of people being chased by zombies.

  16. 16
    kindness says:

    AHHHH! Another pod person! Sully loves that show and I don’t. Yea it’s got moral questions but it’s primarily stupid. My stupid affiliation doesn’t stretch that far, sorry.

  17. 17
    japa21 says:

    @jp7505a: From WPVI’s website, this line jumps out:

    According to police, a suspect was being processed on domestic violence charges when a struggle ensued. The suspect then somehow obtained a weapon and opened fire.

    The “somehow obtained a weapon” phrase is rather interesting, as I am pretty confident he didn’t just pull it out of his ass. So you have trained police officers who are able to get a gun taken from them (in all likelihood) yet there wouldn’t be a problem with giving guns to untrained teachers.

  18. 18
    burnspbesq says:

    @jp7505a:

    http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/st.....id=8934293

    A suspect being processed somehow managed to get a weapon. Three cops in the hospital, one suspect in the morgue.

    The guy had been arrested on domestic violence charges.

  19. 19
    Jay C says:

    “Complex moral issues” in “The Walking Dead“? Like what? AFAICT, it’s a derivative pastiche of every Post-Apocalyptic Survivor/Zombie movie/series ever made. And its plot, such as it is, shambles all over the place like one of their grunting “walkers”. The only difference I can tell in TWD is that they are a lot more willing to sacrifice main characters than most series in this genre. To which I generally say “good riddance”….

    That said, we DO watch the show” I personally find the comic slaughters and blood-spattering quite funny.

  20. 20
    mellowjohn says:

    actually, Jay C, except for the woman with the samurai sword, i’ve started to cheer for the zombies.
    i’ve spent the last few days watching multiple episodes of “game of thrones.”

  21. 21
    jp7505a says:

    @japa21:’giving untrained teachers guns’ – what possibly could go wrong!!!

  22. 22
    Seanly says:

    I thought the first season of Walking Dead was great, but the slow start on season 2 turned me off. Brother tells me I should get back into it.

    Wife & I had been into Breaking Bad, but she got diagnosed with cancer before we starting watching the 2nd season & never got back into it.

    The missus & I recently watched Sons of Anarchy Seasons 1 thru 4 in a couple of weeks. I didn’t think the wife would like it, but she got hooked. I want to watch the 5th season online, but can’t get the wife interested (both of us trying to watch crowded in front of the monitor turns her off I guess).

    Netflix Instant viewing has a poor selection for films, but the available series are great.

    On another topic, the coming fiscal slight incline doesn’t worry me, but the coming drying up of federal highway spending worries me greatly. Roads aren’t getting better but federal money for that has been at the same level for several years. If states don’t get enough from the feds (usually 80% state, 20% fed) then they don’t spend it. Consulting engineering companies don’t stay in the black with lots of staff not on billable work.

    One aspect of consulting engineering (& contractors) is that they tend to be owned or helmed by Republicans. It flabbergasts me that the Congressional Republicans aren’t on board with increased infrastructure spending since so many of the companies who design or build it are Republican dominated.

    The 10% cuts in federal spending are going to hurt deep and wide. Grover Norquistling will get the “drown it in the bathtub” government he wants, but along with it will be the US economy.

  23. 23
    Cassidy says:

    @MikeJ: Ahhh…I’ve been sucked in by “contrarian just to be contrarian” just to prove you don’t like the “mainstream” stuff that others care for. Or you’re a rabid fan of soap operas, which is also a fair possibility.

  24. 24
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cassidy: Archer?

  25. 25
    burnspbesq says:

    DeLong neatly summarizes the pros and cons of the fiscal cliff.

    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/.....we-go.html

  26. 26
    Paul in KY says:

    Nobody makes crappier pinball machines than Williams. Wouldn’t own one if you gave it to me.

  27. 27
    Cassidy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Arrow. It’s CW’s tv series based on Green Arrow. They have somehow made one of the most uninteresting comics into a pretty fine hour of comic book fluff. Unfortunately, the brain trusts at CW now want to replicate the success with a Wonder Woman show that has nothing to do with Wonder Woman. Can’t win them all, I guess.

  28. 28
    General Stuck says:

    Sheriff Joe brings the AZ crazy

  29. 29
    Schlemizel says:

    @MikeJ:

    Can you give me an example of someone talking about story arcs as if they were a new invention?

    As far as story arcs go soap operas go back further than TV to the old radio series & even before that with silent serial movies

  30. 30
    Cassidy says:

    If you’re a fight fan, there is a big one this weekend. Two heavyweights that move a lot lighter are going at it. The champ (Brazilian) is well liked and a, seemingly, nice guy who grew up poor, dropped out of HS, and now has a Nike endorsement contract. The challenger is the former champ and Mexican American. It seems the conventional wisdom is that no one wants the champ to lose, but thinks it would be better for the sport if he does so that the MA champ can spark some popularity in Mexico.

  31. 31
    Amir Khalid says:

    @burnspbesq:
    I’m intrigued by the “somehow”. The police would have searched the suspect for weapons when they arrested him, right? So, barring police incompetence on that score, we can presume he didn’t have the gun hidden on his person. Which would mean he snatched the gun from a cop’s holster, either at the crime scene or at the station.

    I think there’ll be an officer at Gloucester Township PD with some ‘splainin to do. I also wonder: if you can’t trust cops to keep their guns secure, how are you to expect it of the general public?

    (Incidentally, is this Gloucester pronounced “gloster” like the British town of that name?)

  32. 32
    Elizabelle says:

    Good morning.

    Interesting re the Philly area shooting. That family has one less domestic violence threat to worry about (if the allegations are true).

    It will be clear to everyone outside the NRA thought-bubble that being armed or having a gun on the scene does not protect one from every danger.

    How much easier could someone get a gun away from a teacher or school security guard than from a trained police officer? (Albeit, the police in Philly may have felt safer on their own ground, in numbers, and got complacent.)

  33. 33
    MaxxLange says:

    I also abandoned it a few episodes into the second season, which really was awful.

  34. 34
    Elizabelle says:

    Watched NBC’s montage of “those we lost” in 2012, and the worst loss for us was the last individual pictured.

    Anthony Shadid. Dead in the prime of his life with an asthma attack, and with years of good reporting ahead of him.

    It’s sad to lose the others, but most had longer and full lives (especially Dave Brubeck, who would still be young at 100).

  35. 35
    Cassidy says:

    And some TV confessions:

    1) I have no interest in Mad men or Breaking Bad or Sons of Anarchy.

    2) I’ve never seen Sopranos and probably won’t.

    3) No interest in Game of Thrones. None at all. I tried to read the first book and couldn’t get past the first 100 pages. As for the show, I’d rather watch some p0rn and be done with it.

    4) I don’t like Doctor Who. I tried to watch it. It ranks right down there with the Highlander tv series for me.

    ETA: I’ve read the reviews and tried them all based on the suggestion of various people. They just haven’t grabbed my attention enough to sit down and watch the series.

  36. 36
    Roger Moore says:

    @japa21:

    So you have trained police officers who are able to get a gun taken from them (in all likelihood) yet there wouldn’t be a problem with giving guns to untrained teachers.

    In fairness, police do spend a larger fraction of their time dealing with violent criminals than the average elementary school teacher. I’m not sure about some high school teachers, though.

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:

    @Seanly:

    One aspect of consulting engineering (& contractors) is that they tend to be owned or helmed by Republicans. It flabbergasts me that the Congressional Republicans aren’t on board with increased infrastructure spending since so many of the companies who design or build it are Republican dominated.

    I’ve wondered about that too. Maybe those “job creator” types have to get schooled by hard knocks from their elected officials.

  38. 38
    Linnaeus says:

    @Paul in KY:

    But Williams made Defender, which was a pretty cool video game.

  39. 39
    22over7 says:

    @artem1s:

    Their stupidity is, to me, endearing. So many movies feature the intrepid band of heroes, all of whom seemed to have gone through navy seal training, and who can hit a sparrow in the eye from a hundred feet. This show feels more real to me than that; this is a group of true Americans, the salt of the earth, you know, morons, having to deal with the worst of all possible scenarios. I take it as a hopeful sign that any of them are still alive.

  40. 40
    Cassidy says:

    @Elizabelle: It’s more about proving that gov’t doesn’t work. That’s their holy grail.

  41. 41
    burnspbesq says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Right on all counts, including the pronunciation.

    I grew up in northern New Jersey, and North Jerseyans have a tendency to think of South Jersey as another planet, inhabited mostly by mouth-breathing, inbred idiots. The tendency is especially strong when stuff like this happens.

  42. 42
    celticdragonchick says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The comments at that story are utterly unfucking-believable.

    Of course, somebody managed to swing it around to Obama and the union thugs.

    Let’s just get it over with and get on with the next asteroid impact.

  43. 43
    jp7505a says:

    @Amir Khalid: YEs ‘Gloster’. At least that is the way its pronounced in the Phila/South Jersey area

  44. 44

    Who wants some Good News? It’s my weekly roundup, plus two dancing dog videos.

    Cheers!

  45. 45
    Roger Moore says:

    @General Stuck:

    An Arizona sheriff has announced plans to deploy an armed volunteer posse to protect Phoenix-area students in the wake of the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school get his name in the news.

    Fixt. Is there a bigger publicity whore in American politics than Sheriff Joe?

  46. 46
    burnspbesq says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    The comments at that story are utterly unfucking-believable.

    Color me utterly unfuckingsurprised.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cassidy: Okay then, let me recommend Archer.

  48. 48
    jp7505a says:

    @burnspbesq: I grew up in southeastern Pa in the 50’s and south Jersey was just 60 miles of uninhabited scrub pine and bad roads between home and the beach. No sentient life forms.

  49. 49
    Brachiator says:

    @MikeJ:

    I find it odd that people talk about story arcs and continuing plotlines as if they were something new invented in the modern golden age of TV. As the World Turns went on the air in 1956, not just before Mad Men, but before the era in which Mad Men is set.

    Kinda basic to literature, not something invented by radio or TV soap operas.

    I’d bet that there has been plenty of fine writing, directing and acting on soap operas since the days when radio was your only option. I’d also argue that most of the continuing stories on modern TV are every bit as stupid as any other soap opera but they have better lighting.

    It’s all about the execution, isn’t it? The best of current TV is probably better than most movies, especially those that are deliberately shaped to be “tentpole” event movies and to go after the largest possible audience.

    And it’s not necessarily about “innovation” or “edginess” or being indie for the sake of being indie.

    As Alexander Pope wrote,

    True Wit is Nature to Advantage drest,
    What oft was Thought, but ne’er so well Exprest

    @Cassidy:

    Arrow…if you love comics, you should be watching this show.

    Don’t love comics (anymore), but am really enjoying Arrow. I’m also finding Grimm to be lots of fun, but couldn’t really get into the other “fairy tale” show on ABC.

    I don’t watch much TV these days, but have found recently when I dip into what’s on that while there are a lot of good dramas, too many comedies strain to be slap happy and fall back more on formula and supposedly outrageous situations. Tried a couple of episodes of “Modern Family” and thought it was too earnest and too obvious. However, I have also found that when I have had more time to check out highly recommended shows, I often find something good, even if I initially dismissed them (so I am not trying to rain on any shows that others might find as favorites).

    Through Amazon Prime Videos, and a fellow commuter’s recommendation, I fell into the British cop show, Luther. Amazing stuff, especially Ruth Wilson as Luther’s Guardian Devil, Alice. Their interplay, and the general high level of the acting, made up for some unnecessarily dreary storylines.

  50. 50
    Cassidy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I want to watch it. I just have to find a good time when the kids are in bed and I feel like staying up. We let our oldest two sit up until they’re tired on weekends, but they’re too young for me to watch that around them. I had to stop watching Family Guy for the same reason.

  51. 51
    Butch says:

    @Seanly: Here in agriculture country the big concern is the lack of a renewed farm bill; could be talking at least $6 for a gallon of milk soon.

  52. 52
    celticdragonchick says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The actual stupidity on display makes me wonder how some of these people make their own meals and balance the checkbook without help from county social services.

    I was actually surprised.

  53. 53
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Paul in KY:
    Bally Fireball. There are no other pinball machines.

  54. 54
    ruemara says:

    Gave up on Walking Dead after season 3. Yeah, they made stupid decisions. Yeah, it’s set in Atlanta and somehow, there’s a dearth of black zombies and almost every black character that survived is treated like a random bit of furniture that wandered on set. But what really turned me off is how fucking awful these people were. The biggest hero the fans love is the white supremacist; the sheriff’s wife and son are two pain in the ass types who can’t figure A) get over whatever, sister, there’s frigging zombie apocalypse on and B) Junior, stop fucking running head on into trouble, you little douche. everyone is a back biting piece of work, everyone they meet is also horrible, they can’t seem to work together to save their own lives. When you’re rooting for the zombies, it’s time to stop.

  55. 55
    Cassidy says:

    @Brachiator: I’d like to watch Grimm. We do Hulu Plus. Between that and Netflix, we don’t watch regular tv anymore, unless it’s a football game, etc. We pay $60 for Basic cable; just enough to get internet. The next package with HD channels is somewhere around $120. Or, we do the above mentioned package for far less and get all the HD and awesome tv we want with less commercials. Hell, the UFC has an Xbox channel, so I can get a PPV if I want.

  56. 56
    karen marie says:

    @Amir Khalid: It’s always pronounced that way, regardless of geographical location. Just like Worcester is always pronounced “wooster.”

  57. 57
    jnfr says:

    Netflix started streaming all seven seasons of The West Wing this week, so that’s where my TV time is going.

  58. 58
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    Tommy Walker won his world title on a Bally pinball table, didn’t he?

  59. 59
    Elizabelle says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I’d never heard of Hobby Lobby, and now I know enough never to patronize it. (See there are several stores in VA, MD, and PA.) They have some cake decorating classes I’d be interested in, but not supporting a company that won’t follow federal law on health benefits for its employees.

    Looked at the OK newspaper comments, and there is no arguing with the stupid on display there, although a few brave souls are trying.

    God save me from people like that. It’s the Taliban in cowboy boots.

  60. 60
    handsmile says:

    @burnspbesq:

    DeLong’s substitution of “austerity bomb” for “fiscal cliff” is a far better metaphor for the collateral damage to be inflicted upon GDP and the unemployment rate in the absence of a timely and robust legislative agreement.

    Likewise, I recommend Krgthulu’s post “A Double Dose of Misunderstanding.” With his characteristic sangfroid and clarity, he scalds Politico hacks, the “Fix the Debt” gentlemen bandits, and hapless Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/

  61. 61
    Raven says:

    Watching the Forstye Saga from 2003. Good stuff.

  62. 62
    Cassidy says:

    @Elizabelle: Hopefully, they’ll be fined out of existence. Does bankruptcy negate debts to the Federal Gov’t?

  63. 63
    Aet says:

    What comment #1 said. The second season is slow, but the third (and current) season is fantastic.

  64. 64
    Robert says:

    I did a double feature of Hysteria (a light romantic comedy about the invention of the vibrator and women’s rights or something like that) and Damsels in Distress (the most brilliantly off-putting coming of age story since Napoleon Dynamite). I spent my dreams dancing the Sambola! with Maggie Gyllenhaal. All in all, not a bad night.

  65. 65
    onlymike says:

    Hi all. Hey I’m pretty early in this thread! The VA just called me back this morning. I have an appointment Monday morning for an evaluation. After that I’ll need to go to (this somehow sounds to me like the title of a horror movie) Trailer 14 which is for homeless vets – they may be able to help me before I’m actually homeless. There are also options for occupational therapy/vocational workshops etc (which I’ll need – it’s been a long time since I was employed.) I’m actually hyperventillating right now – but it’s a good feeling – like being over-excited.

    And a couple of awesome
    BJ’ers have helped me financially as well – the cats and are I are well fed and have enough to last more than a week – maybe two. And I was able to get cat litter – Thank the maker! When I was running out of money I had to choose between cat food and cat litter and obviously I chose food and tried to make the litter I had last longer. It’s clumpable but still you can only make it go so far so the last two or three days the cats and I have been breathing ammonia (seriously it was bad.) In addition to litter I was able to get some much needed Air Freshener. I had been placing dryer sheets strategically around the apt to help deal with it and it worked at first but… anyway in addition to being fed the cats and I are breathing better too!

    I’m feeling genuinely optimistic about the future – a week ago I was convinced I had no future. Thank you Balloon Juice community.

  66. 66
    redshirt says:

    Watch Spartacus if you can. But not for the prudish/squeamish.

  67. 67
    artem1s says:

    @22over7:

    Their stupidity is, to me, endearing.

    absolutely, this is the attraction for me, as well. It’s been interesting to compare it to Jericho, which I have been streaming and seeing for the first time. It’s seems a lot like Bonanza after the nukes. Walking Dead feels more like Moby Dick. Each and everyone is doomed, it’s just a matter of when and how.

  68. 68
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I’m on the verge of venturing out of the house post-chest cold. I could use a humidifier from the hardware store. But I’ve stopped coughing now and I’m not sure I should risk the cold weather.

    Yeah, what the hell. It’ll cure me or kill me.

  69. 69
    handsmile says:

    @karen marie:

    As one born and raised (and blessedly escaped from) there, permit me a slight correction to that pronunciation.

    To its natives, “Worcester” (Massachusetts) is always and only pronounced: “WUH’-stah.”

    (Having just returned from holiday visits with family there, I must employ my own Henry Higgins.)

  70. 70
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Was in the mood for something dour and so streamed all of “Rebus” via Netflix. Now I’m streaming “Taggart.” Both are excellent although I did have to bake some scones.

  71. 71
    jp7505a says:

    Seems Obama has made a new offer to avoid the cliff. They would agree to a few things now, suspend the sequester and set a deadline later in the spring to arrive at a final big deal. Oh wait didn’t we see this movie before? I think I have seen it more times than ‘Its a Wonderful Life’. (sigh).

  72. 72
    onlymike says:

    Gee when I started typing there were only 32 posts – I guess I’m not so early in the thread after all.

    re the Walking Dead I started watching and loved it when it started but I just couldn’t stick with it (I can’t seem to stick with any continuing show lately.) I find myself only watching old sitcoms and the like – I seem to want the least amount of conflict in my entertainment. I’m watching a Twilight Zone episode on syfy right now – that seems to be more my speed these days.

    And again, not to be a nag, but I’m putting in a request for one of the front pagers to tackle the lawsuit Michael Mann filed against the National Review. Anyone?

  73. 73
    askew says:

    So, Hillary is back on the job and will testify on Benghazi but she still can’t resume all of her duties including flying. It sure seems that this is more than a mild concussion. While I am not a fan of hers, I do hope that she isn’t having more serious health problems that haven’t been disclosed.

  74. 74
    MikeJ says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Both are excellent although I did have to bake some scones.

    I’ve not yet made anything from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook, but I think scones are at the top of my list.

  75. 75
    Raven says:

    @onlymike: Good! Hang tough bro!

  76. 76
    Brachiator says:

    @Cassidy:

    I’d like to watch Grimm. We do Hulu Plus. Between that and Netflix, we don’t watch regular tv anymore, unless it’s a football game, etc. We pay $60 for Basic cable; just enough to get internet. The next package with HD channels is somewhere around $120. Or, we do the above mentioned package for far less and get all the HD and awesome tv we want with less commercials. Hell, the UFC has an Xbox channel, so I can get a PPV if I want.

    I don’t do cable. I’m not home consistently for it to be a good value, and don’t care much about the sports that have been shifted to cable.

    I was able to catch up on Grimm via the NBC iPad app. Similar story with Arrow, where some past episodes are available for free via a CW app, which is, I think, available for both iOS and Android.

    Amazon’s video service offers a chunk of stuff for free for Prime members, so I have been using that and a Roku box to do some selective watching of various shows. Haven’t sprung for Netflix yet.

    BTW: I was not initially a particular Doctor Who fan, but really enjoyed the Matt Smith era. Part of this is because I like the way that show runner Steven Moffat’s storytelling mind works. And so I am having big fun as well with his take on Sherlock.

    @ruemara:

    When you’re rooting for the zombies, it’s time to stop.

    You might want to check out the old kinda zombie flick,The Last Man on Earth (1964), starring Vincent Price. It’s one of the umpteenth incarnations of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend.

    I haven’t seen The Walking Dead, so I got no opinion on it, but all your criticisms make sense. Funny, I was going to say that I don’t particularly like zombie stuff, but I realized that some of my favorite movies, from The Night of the Living Dead and its spinoffs to 28 Days Later, have been zombie flicks.

    Which reminds me. The offbeat movie and tv podcast “An Hour With Your Ex” raved about Shaun of the Dead. Gotta put it on my Watch List.

  77. 77
    danimal says:

    @Elizabelle: The GOP strategy appears to be: 1) Kill the unions. 2) After #1 is complete, funnel money to Republican contractors, who can keep the difference between union scale and minimum wage.

    Am I missing anything?

  78. 78
    kindness says:

    This thread is so funny. It shows what we do watch (in addition to many that some refuse to watch). What does it tell me really? Not at all sadly it tells me the populace of BJ commentators is almost like everyone else.

    Somewhere along the line writers decided they didn’t have to come up with anything new but instead could take an existing plot, twist it a little and call it new. Sounds like they all are the cannabis loving fiends I was back in the day if you ask me.

    Winter is coming. (And making me wait a whole fracking year for 10 more episodes should be against the Geneva Convention)

  79. 79
    Ohmmade says:

    @Cassidy: I love comic books and think this show sucks. It’s about 4/5 soap opera with five minutes of zombies. Lame.

  80. 80
    Betty Cracker says:

    @artem1s: They are dumber than a bag of hammers! I am rooting for the zombies to take out that sociopath Shane, and they can chow down on Lori for all I care either. The most upsetting thing for me so far was when Herschel’s people were feeding live chickens to the zombies in the barn. WTF? (This is what I meant by complex moral issues, obvs…)

    @onlymike: Glad things are looking up for you. As for Mann vs NR, I’m too Nyquil-addled to tackle anything tougher than alien pinball pictures at the moment. Sorry.

  81. 81
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Seanly:

    One aspect of consulting engineering (& contractors) is that they tend to be owned or helmed by Republicans. It flabbergasts me that the Congressional Republicans aren’t on board with increased infrastructure spending since so many of the companies who design or build it are Republican dominated.

    In my unfortunate experience (don’t ask) part of this problem is that at least some of the owners of said engineering firms find it easier to direct their wrath over the resulting fall off in business in the form of spittle-flecked tirades about the perfidy of the evil Dems, directed at their low level staff (who presumably have sinned by voting for said Dems and thus deserve a good tongue-lashing) rather than effective lobbying action directed at the congressional GOP to change policy in a more firm-friendly direction.

  82. 82
    burnspbesq says:

    @Cassidy:

    Does bankruptcy negate debts to the Federal Gov’t?

    General rule, subject to exceptions, is that taxes incurred less than three years prior to the date of filing for bankruptcy are non-dischargeable.

  83. 83
    handsmile says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    This is weeks-old belated thanks, but as we’re both commenting here:

    On John Cole’s “Top Five Perfect Albums” post, you (and Leeds Guy who comments seldom) selected 801 Live. A dull bell resounding, I disinterred it from the dusty LP cartons and, OMIGAWD! The track “TNK” alone has now been replayed numerous times.

    It’s sad to consider how much we forget of even that which once brought such great pleasure.

  84. 84
    onlymike says:

    Also the NJ police station shooting – not making light of it at all – but doesn’t it all started to seem like a very dark, very twisted comedy. While Wayne Lapierre was giving his speech there was another mass shooting – one of the victims was a woman putting up Christmas decorations in a church (you know if only we hadn’t pushed God out of the churches that woman would be alive today!) Then on Christmas Eve (Christmas Eve!!!!) fireman are shot and killed responding to an emergency and now this – and the nature of it – someone getting a weapon away from the cops (I can’t imagine how else it could have happened) and killing them! This is insane! We’re dealing with this every few days now and each event seems to illustrate the idiocy/insanity of the NRA and it’s defenders.

  85. 85
    Comrade Mary says:

    I first read that text as “Alien Boner”. In fact, I still read it that way.

  86. 86
    Amir Khalid says:

    @onlymike:
    That’s good to know. Break the days ahead down into manageable chunks — Monday morning, Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning, and so on — so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by so much being put in front of you.

    Let us know what the VA works out for you. Is there any chance that you and the kittehs might get to stay together? We’re all rooting for you here, even me on the other side of the planet.

  87. 87
    Cassidy says:

    @Brachiator: Internet is cheaper with cable. Other than that, I’ve got no need for it. I’ll occassionally watch some things as mentioned, but nothing I couldn’t do without.

    I don’t have anything bad to say about Doctor Who. I know lots of people who love it, including my oldest. I just don’t care for it.

    @kindness:

    Somewhere along the line writers decided they didn’t have to come up with anything new but instead could take an existing plot, twist it a little and call it new. Sounds like they all are the pot fiends I was back in the day if you ask me.

    Didn’t realize we were talking about Shakespeare.

  88. 88
    Emma says:

    @Cassidy: You had me one to three. But four? You don’t watch the FINEST fun show in the world? (ok, so a little hyperbole, but… the FINEST fun show in the world!)

  89. 89
    Cassidy says:

    @Ohmmade: I’m a little behind on the series, but zombies on Arrow was a plot twist I didn’t see coming.

  90. 90
    Paul in KY says:

    @Linnaeus: Point in their favor. IMO, Defender was pretty tough machine to play. Too many buttons that did stuff :-)

  91. 91
    Paul in KY says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Bally is top of the line. Fireball…boy, would I like to have one of those. Probably can’t get a good one for under 6K.

  92. 92
    Cassidy says:

    @Emma: I just don’t like it. Just like Duncan McLeod, I don’t mind the Doctor so much as the ability to draw stupidity to him like a black hole. The few episodes I’ve watched/ walked in on while my daughter was watching had me rooting for his companions to die horribly.

  93. 93
    Paul in KY says:

    @onlymike: Best wishes, Mike. Sure hope you have a better 2013.

  94. 94
    onlymike says:

    @ruemara: I think that’s one of the reasons I couldn’t stick with it – there’s much more conflict then seems reasonable among people whose first priority should be staying alive. And I know that flawed characters are interesting but jeez – just how flawed do they need to be. But this type of thing has always bugged me – I’ve only been watching older stuff for a long time now (watching things I’ve already seen over and over – it’s like comfort food) and as a for instance: Ghostbusters. It’s a favorite of mine. I love the special effects and putting Bill Murray’s seen-it-all faded/jaded hipster up against ghosts, demons and monsters (and possibly the-end-of-world-as-we-know-it) was genius. Sigourney was then and still is my favorite actress and she gets to be funny as well as gorgeous. But… William Atherton’s character … set aside the fact that a guy from the EPA is such an asshole (very Reagan-era) why would a movie full of ghosts, demons and monsters feel the need to add a petty bureaucrat as a villain? WTF.

    BTW I didn’t sleep well last night (thought I would but didn’t) but I’m wired right now (wired and tired at the same time – so I’m probably going to be posting a lot today

  95. 95
    Yutsano says:

    @Cassidy: You may need more Freema. She was a wee bit more gutsy than Rose.

    :: dons flame-retardant gear ::

  96. 96
    Brachiator says:

    @kindness:

    Somewhere along the line writers decided they didn’t have to come up with anything new but instead could take an existing plot, twist it a little and call it new. Sounds like they all are the cannabis loving fiends I was back in the day if you ask me.

    You do realize, of course, that they’ve been saying that since the Greeks invented their version of theater.

    “Jesus, Sophocles! Not another Oedipus play.”

  97. 97
    shortstop says:

    @Cassidy: I like it, but I don’t watch because I can’t stand the other people who like it. (Okay, that oughta be good for 20 minutes or so.)

  98. 98
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: check your gmail account, I’d like to go to Western Union during lunch today and get this taken care of. Look at all you’ve done in just a few days! It is doable!

  99. 99
    befuggled says:

    @Cassidy: Shakespeare borrowed plots from other writers as well. Like Hamlet. (Which may or may not have been part of your point, but I thought I’d spell it out.)

  100. 100
    handsmile says:

    @Brachiator:

    Re Shaun of the Dead
    Do. (An early role for Martin Freeman among its pleasures.)

    Another “zombie” film you might want to consider is Werner Herzog’s Heart of Glass. Almost all the film’s actors performed while under hypnosis. (Thus “zombies” as related to Val Lewton’s I Walked with a Zombie rather than the currently fashionable carnivorous ones.)

    It’s one of my favorite Herzog films, not least for the entrancing score by German electronic band Popol Vuh.

  101. 101
    Soonergrunt says:

    @celticdragonchick: Welcome to my world.
    The print version of NewsOK.com is so slanted it should be printed as a tabloid, not a broadsheet.

  102. 102
    shortstop says:

    @befuggled: It was all of his point.

  103. 103
    Emma says:

    @Cassidy: To each his own. But on the other three, I’m with you. I add one more: didn’t like Upstairs Downstairs, haven’t seen Downton Abbey, or whatever it’s called.

  104. 104
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @onlymike: then Atherton plays a very similar asshole in _Real Genius_. Kind of like how Bill Pullman always plays “harried integrity.” BTW, glad to hear that things are looking up for you.

  105. 105
    shortstop says:

    @Soonergrunt: I think that distinction may be due for retirement. Plenty of former broadsheets are now technically tabs while retaining the broadsheet mentality…or at least thinking they do.

  106. 106
    Elizabelle says:

    @Cassidy:

    It’s more about proving that gov’t doesn’t work. That’s their holy grail.

    Charles Pierce covered that topic yet again this week.

    Government does not work when headed by conservative Republicans.

    The public needs to hear that, even from mainstream media.

  107. 107
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @befuggled: “Hey, Will, just FYI, in the actual history Cordelia doesn’t die then, dumbass. It’s SO emotionally manipulative. I know what the fanboys say but I’m skipping the next one.”

  108. 108
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Elizabelle: “God save me from people like that. It’s the Taliban in cowboy boots.”
    The Taliban are actually scholars, after a fashion. You cannot say the same of my winger neighbors.

  109. 109
    onlymike says:

    @Betty Cracker: That’s okay – but I am going to continue bugging you guys about – One of the front pagers has to cover this one. I was thinking DougJ (I know – going to Japan so that’s out for now) or Tom Levenson.

  110. 110
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @D0n Camillo:

    I’m planning a Downton marathon this weekend. I have Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD and will rewatch them all before Season 3 gets started next week.

  111. 111
    shortstop says:

    @celticdragonchick: @Elizabelle: Now all the fundies with Facebook names like “John n Liza Smith” and “BrittanyandMichael Jones” (apparently their churches tell them to share accounts so as to avoid digital temptation by the fruits of another) can proudly announce that they’re buying an extra skein of yarn or another pack of sequins to offset that daily $1.3 mil, so TAKE THAT, NON-SCRAPBOOKING BABY KILLERS!

  112. 112
    gnomedad says:

    Obama’s Way
    Page 4:

    “You have to exercise,” he said, for instance. “Or at some point you’ll just break down.” You also need to remove from your life the day-to-day problems that absorb most people for meaningful parts of their day. “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” he said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” He mentioned research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions. It’s why shopping is so exhausting. “You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.”

    On the leather sofa beside me were the five newspapers that are laid out for him every time he travels. “In every one of those someone is saying something nasty about you,” I said to him. “You turn on the television and you could find people being even nastier. If I’m president, I’m thinking, I’ll just walk around pissed off all the time, looking for someone to punch.”

    He shook his head. He doesn’t watch cable news, which he thinks is genuinely toxic. One of his aides told me that once, thinking the president otherwise occupied, he’d made the mistake of switching the Air Force One television from ESPN, which Obama prefers, to a cable news show. The president walked into the room and watched a talking head explain knowingly to his audience why he, Obama, had taken some action. “Oh, so that’s why I did it,” said Obama, and walked out. Now he said, “One of the things you realize fairly quickly in this job is that there is a character people see out there called Barack Obama. That’s not you. Whether it is good or bad, it is not you. I learned that on the campaign.” Then he added, “You have to filter stuff, but you can’t filter it so much you live in this fantasyland.”

  113. 113
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    Yesterday someone suggested Feinstein’s seat could easily be filled by a more liberal dem, and so Obama should create a new cabinet position for her Highness.

    I suggest Secretary of the Inferior.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm.....esdropping

  114. 114
    trollhattan says:

    @handsmile:
    That record was the cause of many a speeding ticket on Interstate 5. ‘Nuff said. (Also, too, “London Calling.”

  115. 115
    onlymike says:

    @Amir Khalid: I’m hoping I can do that – I do feel optimistic about it. But I’m vacillating between thinking they’ll be better off with someone else – someone more stable (or just stable i guess) or keeping them myself. I’m wondering how much of my wanting to keep them is selfishness. I’ll have a better idea about how this is going after Monday.

  116. 116
    GregB says:

    First I read that Texas idiot Hick Perry’s Lt. Governor’s side-kick appears to have embezzled 600K from the political class in Texas and now the news that Lex Luthor Scott’s job czar in Florida was collecting unemployment checks while on multiple European vacations.

    To top it off, his name:

    Hunter Deutsch.

  117. 117
    shortstop says:

    @onlymike: Don’t make any decisions about them yet. You deserve love in your life and they deserve yours. We are all pulling for you.

  118. 118
    Brachiator says:

    @Yutsano:

    You may need more Freema. She was a wee bit more gutsy than Rose. :: dons flame-retardant gear ::

    Didn’t really care for either. But I loved me some Amy Pond. And I am seriously digging the new companion Clara, in all her incarnations.

    @FlipYrWhig:

    “Hey, Will, just FYI, in the actual history Cordelia doesn’t die then, dumbass. It’s SO emotionally manipulative. I know what the fanboys say but I’m skipping the next one.”

    Fittingly enough (SPOILERS), after the Restoration, the version of King Lear that was regularly performed was one in which both Lear and Cordelia survive.

  119. 119
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: Did you just send an email to me? my phone beeped, but I don’t see a message.

  120. 120
    Cassidy says:

    @shortstop: Yup.

    @Emma: I don’t hate it or think it “sucks” or anything like that; just not for me. I can appreciate why people like it, but honestly, space stuff like that has enver really done it for me. I do love sci fi, but back when I read comics, I didn’t really get into the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, etc. and I never really got into Start Trek (any of them) or BSG. So maybe it’s just that particular genre.

    I will say that the blond from the 10th(?) Doctor came across as a walking brick wall and Rory seems to be terminally stupid. Could have been the episodes i’ve seen also.

  121. 121
    onlymike says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I’d forgotten about Real Genius. That kind of typecasting is kind of a shame. I remember when he first showed up on the scene getting acclaim for back to back performances in The Sugarland Express and Day of the Locust. He was an up and comer then and it just never happened.

    re The Sugarland Express: Steven Spielberg’s debut film and Goldie Hawn has never ever been better. If you think she can only play comedy, see her in this – it’s revelatory. (there are plenty of funny scenes in it, of course. For awhile it seems like it is a comedy but it takes some dark turns.)

  122. 122
    onlymike says:

    @eclare: No not yet – I just saw your previous msg – going to check email now. Boy, trying to post and keep up with the thread is harder than I realized.

  123. 123
    Yutsano says:

    @Brachiator: Please tell me you at least appreciated Donna Noble. The idea that the Companion could be literally anyone is one of the strengths of the show IMHO. And yeah, I am dastardly curious to see what they’re going to do with Jenna.

  124. 124

    @Brachiator:
    When you’re rooting for the zombies, it’s time to stop.

    Oh hush.

  125. 125
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Elizabelle: consulting companies and contractors stay in the black regardless of the lack of billable work. They let people go, as many as they need to to balance the books. “Job creators”. What bullshit.

  126. 126
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @ruemara:

    That’s kind of the whole point, though I can understand why people would hate it. It’s a callback to the Romero “of the Dead” flicks, where if everyone would just stop their infighting they’d probably be fine, but in the end the people end up being more dangerous than the zombies could ever be.

    It’s not nearly as allegorical as Romero’s movies (“Night” on the dissolution of the traditional family unit, “Dawn” on mass consumerism, “Day” on the military-industrial complex, and “Land” on income and class inequality). That said, it explains a lot when you realize that “The Walking Dead” refers to the people, not the zombies.

  127. 127
    vheidi says:

    @kindness: boy, you said it- those bastards. Just checked today: release date is 2/19.

  128. 128
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gnomedad:

    He shook his head. He doesn’t watch cable news, which he thinks is genuinely toxic.

    He’s right about this. It all comes back to the degenerate search for short term profit, which dominates the feeble minds of the MBA parasites who run these foul organziations.

  129. 129
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @zombie rotten mcdonald: Says you.

  130. 130
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Government does not work when headed by conservative Republicans.

    The way I like to put it is that electing Republicans to run the govt is like hiring a band of militant Vegans to run a steakhouse. The inevitable result is burnt meat, unhappy customers, and money missing from the cash register.

  131. 131
    elmo says:

    @onlymike:

    I’m hoping I can do that – I do feel optimistic about it. But I’m vacillating between thinking they’ll be better off with someone else – someone more stable (or just stable i guess) or keeping them myself. I’m wondering how much of my wanting to keep them is selfishness.

    Listen. I’ve been in rescue for more than 25 years. The mere fact that you’re asking yourself that question means that you are most likely a better home for them than most. Something it’s taken me a long time to understand is – there are no perfect homes. There are great homes, sure. They are full. In all likelihood, given the number of animals out there, there is no better home than yours, and if there is, it’s either full now or about to be. That hypothetical “better home” could theoretically take your kittehs, but then it won’t have room for the truly needy ones that will come up next week, or the week after, or the week after that.

    You love them and you take care of them. That’s the best home there is for any animal.

  132. 132
    jnfr says:

    @onlymike:

    Really happy to hear this. I hope it gets better and better from here.

  133. 133
    ruemara says:

    @Yutsano: I adore Freema and bemoan the lack of taste of the fans. Rose was not hot and Amy Pond was a fickle pain. God, how do you think Freema was not an asset? And the Doctor showed no taste either.

    Brachiator: Heathen. That being said, I am enjoying Jenna, when I can understand what she’s saying. Very abandoned Gilmore Girl Raised by London Wolves.

    BTW, who liked Un-Lundon? I did a review for it for the publisher and scored a bunch of Mieville books. My car is named for Deeba. She’s as unlikely as the heroine.

    Onlymike: 1. Glad you are doing better and boy, the BJ community is an awesome force for good. Stay on target. 2. Exactly. Survival is tantamount, whining is zombiechow. I can’t root for people I just don’t like.

    I have a question for the BJ hive mind. Has anyone moved overseas with pets? How did it go? What did you have to do?

  134. 134
    ruemara says:

    @FormerSwingVoter: It’s hamfisted in it’s attempt. Trust me, I get it. I write. I understand and it’s a trope, but you need people you like to feel connected. I realized I hated everyone. End of enjoyment. Pardon me, but I prefer an Aragorn.

  135. 135
    onlymike says:

    @shortstop: I am holding off on it for now. I’m a little afraid of waiting too late – if i do end up homeless, but as I said I’m feeling genuinely optimistic right now. Again, I’ll have a better idea of where things stand after Monday. I really do feel like they – not to sounnd melodramatic – give me a reason to live. I know I’d be much worse off right now if I hadn’t had them around me.

    I’ve told you that Sophia is kind of my feline version of Rosie (I love Rosie!!!! can’t get enough of Rosie stories) The post John had the other day with one of the rare Rosie photos (!) cracked me up and further reminded me of my skronky little cat – you know the one where she’s hiding under the bed and makes get down on the floor to get her picture (I love it!) My cats eat kibble all day – in the evening I open a can a divide it between them. Both sit right there and await my putting the plates on the floor eagerly. Sophis is usually sitting on the table (I’ve long since given up trying to keep her off of tables, counters etc) but as soon as I put the food down she jumps down from the table and goes and hides under something knowing that I will be on my knees to try to get her out or crouching and coaxing her out from whatever she’s under. And then I pick her up and put her in front of the dish and of course then she eats right away. If I don’t do that Phantom won’t eat hers necessarily but he will lick all the gravy off of it. There may be a couple of times that I’ve had a “fine don’t eat it then” attitude about it but most times there I am having to coax her out from under something just to get her to do something that she wants to do anyway. She’s the most maddening pet I’ve ever had and she cracks me up every single day.

  136. 136
    onlymike says:

    Gee whiz I really need to proof read before I click submit – ignore my typos (if you can.)

  137. 137
    Brachiator says:

    @Cassidy:

    I will say that the blond from the 10th(?) Doctor came across as a walking brick wall and Rory seems to be terminally stupid. Could have been the episodes i’ve seen also.

    Rory (and in a couple of episodes in the last season Rory’s Dad) really comes into his own. He’s a nurse, and a non-believer, and even though not nearly enough is done with this, it is important to developments in the series.

    Please tell me you at least appreciated Donna Noble. The idea that the Companion could be literally anyone is one of the strengths of the show IMHO. And yeah, I am dastardly curious to see what they’re going to do with Jenna.

    Donna was good (though here I admit that as a latecomer to the show, I have not seen all the episodes with her).

    The companion has evolved over the course of the show, all the stuff about “canon” and “mythology” notwithstanding. The female companion was originally an eye-candy gimmick to get men and older boys to watch the show, even though early on, some writers and producers wanted to do more with the character.

    And though some fans like the idea that anyone could be a companion, and others have a need to see the companion as the Doctor’s equal, I kinda like the idea that you have to have some special qualities to be able to travel through space and time, and not everyone is up to the task. Here, I am reminded of a co-worker who went to Italy for vacation and came back complaining bitterly about the food and his inability (swear to God) to find a restaurant that served meat loaf and mashed potatoes.

    The Doctor would kick someone like that out of the TARDIS and never look back.

  138. 138
    befuggled says:

    @shortstop: In which case it was too subtle for anyone who didn’t already know.

  139. 139
    Laertes says:

    @Linnaeus:

    Bally/Williams was, for a long time, the source of the best pins in the world. You could fault them for less-than-timely licenses (Addams family and Doctor Who in 1992? Twilight Zone in 1993?) but those all outstanding pins, and their ST:TNG is my all-time favorite.

  140. 140
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @ruemara:
    Yeah, I’m not sure whether it’s good or bad if you try to make unlikable characters on purpose and succeed. To be honest, I think the show’s been downhill since the first season.

    As far as it being hamfisted, well… let’s just say you can tell it was based on a comic book :p

  141. 141
    TooManyJens says:

    @Brachiator: Well, the Doctor himself has said he only takes “the best,” though I would quibble with that in some cases. It’s certainly true that he’s taken some people who seemed unlikely, but really came into their own through the experience (pardon me while I weep for Donna some more).

  142. 142
    Yutsano says:

    @Brachiator: Half the time the Companion has indeed been very special, it just took the Doctor to bring it out. And say what you will about Sarah Jane Smith, but her first trip with the Doctor she stowed away on the TARDIS. Of course she became one of the longest and most beloved Companions and was pretty damn gutsy in her own right. But she chose him over him choosing her.

    (I won’t get started on the character of Leela, who was indeed total eye candy though the actress who played her gave her some noble dignity.)

  143. 143
    Joel says:

    @MikeJ: The problem with those old shows is that they sucked.

  144. 144
    Joel says:

    I wrapped up the last season of Treme, which is good but even more masochistic than the Wire. Speaking of which, I watched a few episodes from season one of the Wire and it truly is the greatest television drama ever produced.

  145. 145
    Leeds man says:

    They do did explore some complex moral issues while hacking zombies to bits.

    This will be our epitaph as a civilization.

  146. 146
    Maude says:

    @onlymike:
    Keep telling yourself that you are going to make it. You are, but you’ve had a rough go.
    Don’t worry about the cats today. Stay in the day.
    I went through a very rough patch and kept telling myself to do the right thing. I got through it.
    Your cats like you. You sound stable. You are having a hard time and that makes anyone feel not okay.
    I am glad you are here and I hope you keep commenting here.
    Take the weekend off from worry.
    I am hopeful about the VA.
    The bit about the dryer sheets shows that your mind is functioning just fine.

  147. 147
    onlymike says:

    @FormerSwingVoter: I loved the original Dawn of the Dead. One of my favorites. Didn’t like the remake though. For all the hype the upcoming Man of Steel is getting, I just don’t know – I haven’t seen one film directed by Zach Snyder that I liked. I particularly hated Watchmen. What an ugly, ugly film – ugly in every conceivable way. I’m told that the Alan Moore graphic novel is great even (or especially) if you don’t like the movie but I was so appalled by the film I don’t see how it could be (unless the film is vastly different from the original source.) It’s one of those movies that – while I didn’t like it at the time I saw it – I liked it less and less the more I thought about it. And 300! yikes what a pos!

  148. 148
    Roger Moore says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    The way I like to put it is that electing Republicans to run the govt is like hiring a band of militant Vegans to run a steakhouse.

    The problem is that we don’t have complete control over where we’re going for dinner. Other people keep insisting that we go to the militant vegan steakhouse- I hear their tire rims and anthrax are the best you can get- and dragging us along whether we want to go or not. After a while, it might convince you that steak sucks, even if it’s wonderful when prepared by somebody who cares about how it tastes.

  149. 149
    Brachiator says:

    @ruemara:

    Heathen. That being said, I am enjoying Jenna, when I can understand what she’s saying. Very abandoned Gilmore Girl Raised by London Wolves.

    Very funny, but I know what you mean. Only adds to the charm. I wonder if her alternating barmaid and posh governess accents in the Christmas episode were a comment on viewers who find her hard to understand?

    BTW, who liked Un-Lundon? I did a review for it for the publisher and scored a bunch of Mieville books. My car is named for Deeba. She’s as unlikely as the heroine.

    Unfamiliar with this. May check it out.

    @Yutsano:

    (I won’t get started on the character of Leela, who was indeed total eye candy though the actress who played her gave her some noble dignity.)

    I got no problem with eye candy, just with characters who are treated as nothing but eye candy.

    And say what you will about Sarah Jane Smith, but her first trip with the Doctor she stowed away on the TARDIS. Of course she became one of the longest and most beloved Companions and was pretty damn gutsy in her own right. But she chose him over him choosing her.

    Agree with you about Sarah Jane Smith and with poster TooManyJens on Donna.

    And of course, the TARDIS chose the Doctor (according to The Doctor’s Wife).

    I also like how Vastra and Jenny, and even Dorium are not companions, but associates who must be worthy of the Doctor, and he must be equally be worthy to merit their trust and willingness to put their lives in danger in order to help him.

  150. 150
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: “It all comes back to the degenerate search for short term profit, which dominates the feeble minds of the MBA parasites who run these foul organziations American corporations today.”
    With that simple edit, your statement is now 100% accurate when discussing any American enterprise.

  151. 151
    shortstop says:

    @befuggled: You probably set a lot of befuddled people straight. They’re silently thanking you.

    @Leeds man: I dunno. The problem with our civilization–hang on while I adjust these pungent vegetables at my waistline–seems to be that we never really do explore complex moral issues.

  152. 152
    Maude says:

    @Soonergrunt:
    That is something I rant about. Thanks.

  153. 153
    gene108 says:

    @Brachiator:

    BTW: I was not initially a particular Doctor Who fan, but really enjoyed the Matt Smith era.

    I am a big fan of the original Doctor Who series. I just can’t quite get into the reboot.

    What did it for me is I didn’t see much difference in the behavior between the Christopher Eccleston Doctor and the David Tennant Doctor.

    In the original series there was usually a significant change in the personality of the Doctor, from his near death transformations.

    Also, I find the story telling to be a bit too frenetic, with the goal of cramming an entire tale into a 1 hour format.

  154. 154
    eclare says:

    @Joel: Did you finish the series? Don’t see how anyone could watch a few episodes and not finish The Wire. The. Best. TV. Show. Ever.

  155. 155
    onlymike says:

    @shortstop: Ezra Klein (filling in for Rachel) did a story on this last night. I was thinking the same thing you are. Yeah, remember how Chik-fil-a was supposedly going to do better than ever after their proudly anti-gay stance because tea-party types were going to flock to it – how’d that turn out again?

  156. 156
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @onlymike:
    I actually liked the new Dawn of the Dead, but for literally the opposite reasons as the original – it was brainless, violent fun that was pretty genuinely scary, despite requiring you to not think too hard about anything that happened. The original is a far better movie, but the remake isn’t trying to occupy the same space.

    I’m definitely checking out Man Of Steel, though I’m very skeptical about it. Watchmen was surprisingly true to the source material (considering how much they cut out), I just feel that the pacing and themes didn’t translate well to the big screen. The casting certainly didn’t help their case.

  157. 157
    gene108 says:

    @onlymike:

    I’m wondering how much of my wanting to keep them is selfishness

    Keeping pets that brings you joy is not selfishness. You enjoy their company and they enjoy yours. A win, win situation all around.

  158. 158
    Brachiator says:

    @eclare:

    Did you finish the series? Don’t see how anyone could watch a few episodes and not finish The Wire. The. Best. TV. Show. Ever.

    No, that would be Homicide.

    @gene108:

    What did it for me is I didn’t see much difference in the behavior between the Christopher Eccleston Doctor and the David Tennant Doctor.

    I see huge differences. Huge. But I see your point.

    Also, I find the story telling to be a bit too frenetic, with the goal of cramming an entire tale into a 1 hour format.

    Doesn’t bother me, but again I see your point.

    One thing I find hugely funny are those fans of the earlier series who hate complex time travel stories and prefer a Time Lord who just goes from point A to point B and then has an adventure.

    These folks are as nutty as the American “fans” of a British tv show who go out of their way not to learn anything about British culture, especially as used in Doctor Who itself.

    But this is just a side rant. Carry on.

  159. 159
    onlymike says:

    @onlymike: and they weren’t dealing with daily fines of 1.3 million! This is going to be entertaining.

  160. 160
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    The companion has evolved over the course of the show, all the stuff about “canon” and “mythology” notwithstanding. The female companion was originally an eye-candy gimmick to get men and older boys to watch the show, even though early on, some writers and producers wanted to do more with the character.

    Actually, the idea at the very dawn of the series had the companions as very important characters. The Doctor was something of an anti-hero, a crotchety old man who saw the companions as a bother and would have gotten rid of them if he could only get back to early 1960s London. Ian and Barbara were the real heroes of the story, the ones who were going out and solving problems and wanting to have adventures. I don’t think it was until the John Pertwee years that the female companions started to be treated as nothing but eye candy.

    And though some fans like the idea that anyone could be a companion, and others have a need to see the companion as the Doctor’s equal, I kinda like the idea that you have to have some special qualities to be able to travel through space and time, and not everyone is up to the task.

    There have been cases of potential companions who The Doctor abandoned because they were unsuitable. The one I remember is Adam Mitchell, who the 9th Doctor picked up on present-day Earth and took on one adventure before abandoning him as unsuitable when he tried to send information from the future back to the present for personal profit. My reading of the companions, at least in the new Who, is that the main thing that’s necessary to be a companion is a spirit of adventure and a willingness to try new stuff. If the companions are really special, it’s a result of them going on adventures with The Doctor, which changes them and makes them something more than they otherwise would be.

  161. 161
    onlymike says:

    @Maude: I do love them so much – and yes they love me (Sophia is pissed off at me at least 50% of the time but she loves me too. Within 2 seconds of being pissed at me for something she’s back rubbing against me wanting to get in my lap – she tries to hold a grudge but doesn’t have it in her. I think a lot of times she thinks I exist just to ruin her fun – I’m always stopping her from doing this or that. BTW she’s never met a plastic grocery bag she didn’t want to shred all over the room.)

  162. 162
    Roger Moore says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    Watchmen was surprisingly true to the source material (considering how much they cut out), I just feel that the pacing and themes didn’t translate well to the big screen.

    The big problem with Watchmen is that the Alan Moore actually tried to write something that would be impossible to translate into a movie. The complex layering of the original, with the book excerpts and the comic book interludes, was intended to give it a depth that would be untranslatable. The movie had to jettison a lot of that, but it was otherwise as true to the original as it plausibly could be. The only exception was the end, which I thought was actually a small improvement from the original. If Watchmen wasn’t a good movie, it’s because no movie version could be good, not because Snyder did a poor job of it.

  163. 163
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Not having been a fan of the early years of the show, I appreciate your insights on the first companions.

    If the companions are really special, it’s a result of them going on adventures with The Doctor, which changes them and makes them something more than they otherwise would be.

    I disagree that the Doctor needs to be the change agent for companions, but I understand how this works for many fans of the show.

    A question: has any companion been a person from the Earth’s future?

  164. 164
    onlymike says:

    @Maude: Phantom is sitting between me and the computer – he always seems to want to be between me and the computer when I’m on it – and looking up at me doing his impression of a Walter Keane painting. It’s his only talent but he does it really, really well.

  165. 165
    gene108 says:

    @Brachiator:

    I see huge differences. Huge. But I see your point.

    But the difference isn’t Jon Pertwee/Tom Baker huge or Peter Davison/Collin Baker huge.

    They both seemed much more similar in comparison.

    Doesn’t bother me, but again I see your point.

    What gets me in the new episodes are the commercials. I got spoiled spending Saturday afternoons watching Doctor Who on PBS commercial free. I find the commercials horribly disruptive.

    ***************************

    I think from all this talk of T.V. shows a productive Sunday for me would be to watch Babylon 5 again.

    It is the Sci-Fi show that changed all other Sci-Fi shows.

    Before it, you could miss an episode of the original Star Trek or Star Trek: The Next Generation and not feel totally lost in the story arc.

    Babylon 5 quickly became a space opera, when if you missed one episode you were fracked and had to figure when the rerun was coming on (not an easy feat in the 1990’s).

    Now all Sci-Fi type shows have pretty tight story arcs, where you miss all sorts of important stuff about the plot, if you miss an episode, which is both rewarding and annoying, even in this age of DVR’s.

  166. 166
    Leeds man says:

    @handsmile: Now, I mostly play it while working out on my stationary bike (alternating with other CDs). If I can get that far, the last track (Third Uncle) is an awesome way to finish, or risk heart failure. There would be worse ways to go out.

  167. 167
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: How cute! And I agree with the earlier postings, you are not being selfish to want to take care of your pets. That is how it is supposed to work.

  168. 168
    Leeds man says:

    @gene108:

    I think from all this talk of T.V. shows a productive Sunday for me would be to watch Babylon 5 again.

    God, I miss that show. DVDs are anathema to me, but I’ve considered buying it.

  169. 169
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    I disagree that the Doctor needs to be the change agent for companions, but I understand how this works for many fans of the show.

    I’m not sure if it’s The Doctor himself or if it’s the things the companions do while they’re with him. It’s hard to imagine that you could travel time and space or come in contact with aliens and not be changed in the process. I think they’ve tried to make a bigger deal about this by showing how people he only comes in contact with briefly are changed by the experience.

    A question: has any companion been a person from the Earth’s future?

    Does Captain Jack Harkness count as a companion? He’s the only one I can think of from the New Who, but there were several Original Who companions who were from the future.

  170. 170
    rikyrah says:

    All my male friends, and my male colleagues in my unit RAVE about this show…

    I’m getting awfully tempted to watch, and zombies are not my thing

  171. 171
    Laertes says:

    @Leeds man:

    I watched Babylon 5 and loved it. Then they sort of wrapped up their big story arc about halfway through the penultimate season and I wondered “What’s next?” The next episode seemed to involve some kind of Garibaldi drama and…feh. Couldn’t get through it.

    From time to time I wonder if I missed anything big by skipping the last season and a half. Did I?

  172. 172
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Maude:

    The supreme irony here is Adam Smith wrote about this over two centuries ago…that greedy little men were damaging the long term prospect of wealth for their short term gain.

  173. 173
    Cassidy says:

    @befuggled: Thank you. I dont think I’ve ever been accused of being subtle before. lol

    @FormerSwingVoter: I’m definitely watching Man of Steel, if only in the hope they are following the Marvel formula and making this the lead in to the Justice league. If Man of Steel does well (like Iron Man), then hopefully it will come out of development hell.

    The thing about Watchmen is that it’s an ugly story, about ugly people, written by a very bitter and ugly person. It wasn’t meant to be pretty at all. It was a well done film, but most of the characters and story had little redeeming value.

  174. 174
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Laertes:

    Babylon Five’s fourth season jammed in a lot of plot that was supposed to be in the fifth season, but at the time it was very uncertain that there would be a fifth season. The entire “B5 takes on President Clark” arc was supposed to be the fifth season’s arc. JMS jammed it all into the fourth season to finish that part of the story in the then possible event of no fifth season.

  175. 175
    onlymike says:

    @Roger Moore: I guess it’s just a matter of taste but i hated it. As I said I didn’t like it when I first saw it but the more I thought about it afterwards the more I hated it. There were some impressive scenes – Jackie Earle Haley’s scene in the prison cafeteria – “I’m not trapped in here with you! You’re trapped in here with me!” but so much of it was just vile (IMHO) Morally confused and confusing. I remember towards the end someone – Patrick Wilson’s character I believe – laments “what they’ve become.” But there’s never any indication that they were ever anything else. The comedian is particularly reprehensible. He’s not a good guy gone bad – he was always a bad guy – a really, really bad guy but treated as if he’s a good guy (the rape scene was particularly disgusting.) There’s a minor character who’s a lesbian and this is treated as if it’s a sign of moral decay as is the Carla Gugino characters promiscuity. Going back over it now I’m just thinking how much I hated it.

    A lot of the time with newer movies and tv shows, music as well, I have the “it’s not you, it’s me” attitude. Maybe because of my own problems, I’m finding myself older stuff – familiar and safe I guess – as I said upthread: like comfort food. But with Watchmen … I honestly can’t imagine liking that under any circumstances.

    BTW what did you think of the movie version of From Hell? That was from an Alan Moore graphic novel. I’ve heard that the movie doesn’t live up to the original source but I thought it was really good (maybe since I haven’t read the original.)

  176. 176
    onlymike says:

    @onlymike: That’s supposed to be “I’m finding myself preferring older stuff. I said I was going to proofread before hitting submit didn’t I? Oh well….

  177. 177
    Laertes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    That all makes sense. So I guess my question is: After they crammed all that stuff into the amazing fourth season, were they able to think up anything watchable for the fifth?

  178. 178
    terry buckalew says:

    Walking Dead is a soap opera. WIth Zombies. The series features the worst Southern accents since Nick Cage in “Con Air” and laughably wooden acting. Check out the comic books, I mean graphic novels-art so clumsy the characters are nearly identical. There’s much better zombie fiction out there, “Dead” is disappointing.

  179. 179
    terry buckalew says:

    Walking Dead is a soap opera. WIth Zombies. The series features the worst Southern accents since Nick Cage in “Con Air” and laughably wooden acting. Check out the comic books, I mean graphic novels-art so clumsy the characters are nearly identical. There’s much better zombie fiction out there, “Dead” is disappointing.

  180. 180
    Cassidy says:

    @onlymike: You gotta remember that Alan Moore is a complete shit. He’s convinced of his tortured genius and by god, the rest of us are going to get him one day. Everything he creates is in that vein. From the way he talks, you’d think no one had tackled the idea that heroes are people too and make morally ambiguous decisions or that some heroes are well channeled sociopaths.

  181. 181
    onlymike says:

    @eclare: He honestly is the most loveable cat – he just wants to be petted and loved. He may be the least complicated cat I’ve ever met. Of course, Sophia more than makes up for his lack of complication LOL

  182. 182
    Roger Moore says:

    @onlymike:
    What you’re describing about Watchmen is the movie being true to the source material. A major point of the original is that the characters are a bunch of messed up people, which is both cause and effect of them being masked vigilantes. I can totally get not enjoying a movie about a bunch of awful people like that, but it’s an interesting take on the whole super hero genre.

  183. 183
    Laertes says:

    The thing I hate about Walking Dead is how mindlessly belligerent these people are. They can’t decide what’s for dinner without throwing tantrums and waving guns around.

    And of course there was that dreadful episode in which they took it in turns to walk alone into the church and deliver a monologue to the giant crucifix.

    … come to think of it, wasn’t that some kind of baptist church? Do they usually have giant crucifixen?

  184. 184
    Leeds man says:

    @Laertes:

    From time to time I wonder if I missed anything big by skipping the last season and a half. Did I?

    Yes!!! There were tears, and laughter, and more aliens than you could shake a stick at. The ending seemed to be rushed (I have no idea about the behind-the-scenes goings on), but it was all wrapped up satisfactorily.

  185. 185
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Laertes:

    Alas, the fifth season was a bunch of, basically, filler.

    JMS had planned out his universe 1000 years before and after the B5 main storyline, so there were things to do after the demise of Clark. The thing was, they were by their nature not quite so epic as what happened in the 4th season. We did get to see the telepath conflict on the station, the culmination of Garibaldi’s drinking problem, and a brief war between the the Centauri and everyone else, which establishes backstory for the predicted demise of Londo Molari.

  186. 186
    onlymike says:

    @Cassidy: But the movie doesn’t seem to treat them that way. That’s what I meant by morally confused and confusing – the movie seems to treat them as heroes. The “look what we’ve become” line doesn’t seem to be meant ironically . We’re supposed to take that as the truth – as if their downfall is tragic. The violence was overdone to me as well – I used to love gory stuff but now I just can’t deal with it. Though again, the scene in the prison cafeteria was excellent.

    Something else – this is my “get off my lawn” moment – when I was a kid (a long, long time ago) Hollywood was going through what was later seen as a decadent period making multi-million dollar movies that either bombed outright or did well but still failed to recoup their costs. As Pauline Kael put it at the time “the hits don’t make enough money to pay for the flops.” Adjectives like bloated, heavy, overblown, overproduced were common criticisms. Now no one ever says anything is overproduced. How can they when everything is overproduced. I love spectacle (or at least I used to) but now I just feel like Crissakes! Enough already! One of the things about Spielberg: He has, from the beginning, had a flair for spectacle. But he knows how to (I’m not sure how best to word this) give something the right setting – to make it count. A Zach Snyder or Stephen Sommers or Michael Bay – they certainly have a flair for spectacle (their only gift IMHO) but they don’t know how to provide that “setting” that would really show it off. They make come up with five or six cool things to Spielber’s one cool thing but he knows how to make it count – their cool things just cancel themselves out. Okay, now I’m going to go yell at some clouds….

  187. 187
    onlymike says:

    @onlymike: that’s supposed to be “They may come up with…” not “they make come up with…” As I said up thread it’s harder than I realized posting and keeping up with the thread – I don’t have time to proofread too!

  188. 188
    Cassidy says:

    @onlymike: I think there are a few factors in play here. For one, Zach Snyder makes well done movies. Whether you think they are good or not is a matter of taste, but the man has some cinemagraphic talent. If you look at his filmography, he is hired to make things that are larger than life.

    Michael Bay is the same way. Hate him or love him, he’s made “overproduced spectacle” into a box office formula. A michael Bay film will make you rich if you’re a producer.

    Personally, I like the spectacle. I hated movie watching during the cool indie phase. Everything tried to be so damn hip and real and just felt so flat. I want larger than life. I don’t give a shit about Batman’s tortured soul. I want to see Hulk smash some shit. I have enough real life as it is.

  189. 189
    Roger Moore says:

    @onlymike:

    Now no one ever says anything is overproduced. How can they when everything is overproduced.

    I’m not sure I’d go quite that far. There’s a strong tendency for popcorn movies to be overproduced, but there are still a lot of dramas and comedies that are reasonable. I’ll agree with what you say about some directors going way overboard with the spectacle, though. I think those guys need to be put under the control of tough producers who won’t let them go overboard; it would save money and might very well produce better movies to boot. I wonder how much of Spielberg’s relative restraint is that he’s spending some of his own money; it seems like something that’s bound to enforce some discipline. Of course, there are also directors like James Cameron and Christopher Nolan, who can spend money like Snyder or Bay but will at least give you something new and genuinely amazing for your money.

  190. 190
    onlymike says:

    @onlymike: I may be able to get pictures of them both tonight – I used to let them out for a while in the early morning – i would keep an eye on them so they wouldn’t wander off – and one morning the were out and I went back in to get some coffee, leaving the door open. I heard someone talking and I went out and it was the security guard they have here on weekends at night. I’m on the second floor and Phantom was looking down at him through the railing and he (the security guard) was talking to him and trying to take his picture with his camera phone. As soon as I went out, Phantom came to me so he didn’t get the picture but he said he had seen the cat looking down and his facial markings were so striking (and the way he was looking down through the railing) that he wanted to get a picture. He and I are on good terms so I’m thinking that maybe I can get him to take pictures of them. Even if I don’t have to adopt them out and am able to keep them (so hoping) I’d like to be able to share pictures ofthem with you guys. Though with Sophia a still photo doesn’t do her justice – you really have to see her in motion.

  191. 191
    handsmile says:

    @Leeds man:

    Glad you read that comment to RossinDetroit, because my thanks extends to you as well for dredging up that album from my memory. A thoroughly terrifIc rediscovery! (I don’t see your “nym” here very often (iirc the first time was during last summer’s Euro2012) and I apologize for getting it wrong above.)

  192. 192
    onlymike says:

    @onlymike: that was supposed to be a reply to eclare.

  193. 193
    Laertes says:

    @onlymike:

    That reminds me of another thing I didn’t like about the Movie: They supered-up the normals. There’s Manhattan, of course, who is basically God, but all the others are supposed to be humans. Lots of them are fantastically fit and well-trained humans but these guys are still supposed to be, at most, Batman, not Spiderman.

    When Veidt and Blake are fighting, their fists are shattering walls and countertops. In the book, Dreiberg and Juspeczyk spring Rorschach with a minimum of fuss. We see them subdue a pair of guards but they’re otherwise in and out without much trouble. IIRC, the movie featured a lengthy and entirely superhuman performance by the both of them.

    When Veidt claims to be able to catch bullets, you’re supposed to be shocked. It’s a delicious moment because it’s just barely plausible, and you don’t know whether to believe him or not. In the movie, of course, it’s the most humdrum thing in the world that he can do it, and one is a bit surprised that he can’t fly.

    It was a terrible mistake to super everyone up. It fundamentally changes the tone of the story.

  194. 194
    onlymike says:

    @Cassidy: @onlymike: that was supposed to be a reply to eclare.

  195. 195
    onlymike says:

    @Cassidy: ignore that last one – that’s WordPress F’ing with me (and my computer is starting to act up as well) I hear what you’re saying about the indie phase – the “decadent” period I was talking about earlier (Hello Dolly!, Tora Tora Tora, Paint Your Wagon)was followed by the Easy Rider period – the “youth” movies and message movies – many of which seemed designed to keep people away: I love Redford but Christ Almighty! Tell Them Willie Boy is Here, Little Fauss and Big Halsy?! Jesus, how about I just where a hair shirt for a couple hours and skip the movie. On the other hand, that was a period that a lot of great filmmakers got their start and they might not have had the opportunity (most likely wouldn’t have) in the earlier period. Scorcese and Altman come to mind immediately. Speaking of Scorsese(sp?) Mean Streets was an acclaimed movie but one I didn’t like – I prefer gloss to grit anyway but this one seemed particularly scruffy but he knocked my socks off with Taxi Driver! That one still knocks my socks off. Likewise a lot of today’s best filmmakers are getting their start in the smaller indie movies – Christopher NOlan for example. But I totally get what you’re saying – with me though it’s not so much the size of the movie – I don’t necessarily prefer big movies to small movies – I prefer escapism to the more serious stuff.

    BTW did anyone else hate Million Dollar Baby as much as I did? God what a downer – yes the acting was great but OMG. All I could think was remember when a Clint Eastwood movie would be guaranteed entertainment – come back Woody Allen. All is forgiven – I’ll never complain about your movies not being funny anymore as long as I live. God I hated Million Dollar Baby – but, you know, if you’re looking for a movie that makes Sophie’s Choice seem like light, frothy fun then this is the movie for you. I felt like I was being punished for something. When the credits (finally) started to roll it was like “Can I go now? I promise I’ve learned my lesson.” I felt like I aged ten years watching it; as I pushed myself up out of the theatre seat, I swear I heard my bones creak…needless to say I haven’t seen an Eastwood movie since then. Though his rant at the empty chair was entertaining in a slow-motion trainwreck kind of way. He should have been wearing a blue terry-cloth robe over pajamas with street shoes (maybe wingtips?) to complete the image.

  196. 196
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Which would mean he snatched the gun from a cop’s holster, either at the crime scene or at the station.

    An ex-cop once told me a lot of cops get shot with their own guns. They do special training to prevent their guns from being snatched from their holsters, and IIRC he said their holsters are designed to make it harder to grab, but it still happens more than one thinks.

    This is another thing the Shall Carry cretins pretend isn’t a problem: He told me there is no way to carry a gun in such a way that makes it worth carrying (i.e., quickly accessible to the user) and yet still be snatch-proof by anyone else.

  197. 197
    onlymike says:

    @Roger Moore: I agree totally about James Cameron and Christopher Nolan – also Tim Burton. One of the things about them though is how much they were able to do with (relatively) small amounts of money. I was watching Beetlejuice earlier on VHS (my DVD player is kaput) and the visuals still impress me – and that was inexpensive (13mil) by Hollywood standards. The terminator is another – in 1984 a budget of six or seven million was hardly a shoestring budget but it was less expensive than the average Hollywood picture to say nothing of a big action-special effects sci-fi picture. And it’s spectacular! Another that, even now, knocks my socks off. Time magazine did a cover story on Aliens and one of the things said was that the movie cost 18mil and looked like it cost twice that – and they weren’t exaggerating.

    Avatar was amazing in the the theatre – seeing it in IMAX and 3D was incredible – you didn’t watch the movie – you experienced the movie. I saw it twice in theatres – one of the last movies I saw in a theatre (I never go out anymore.) But I’ve had no desire to watch it on TV – none. It’s something you really had to see in the theatre in my view.

    BTW I was disappointed that, with all the oscar nominations, Sigourney didn’t get one for best supporting actress – but I’m a little prejudiced when it comes to Sigourney.

  198. 198
    onlymike says:

    @Laertes: That makes sense to me – and again goes to what I’m talking with things being so overdone. But again for me it’s the bizarre moralizing – it’s not just a character in the movie that is disgusted by one woman being sexually active and another being a lesbian – it’s the point of view of the movie itself (or seems to be.) I really didn’t like it at all.

  199. 199
    Higgs Boson says:

    Very good visualizations of of debt, revenue, social security, and other things at this link

    2012: The Year In Graphs

  200. 200
    onlymike says:

    Ah well it looks like this thread is winding down – I can’t keep up with you guys.

  201. 201
    Leeds man says:

    @handsmile:

    I apologize for getting it wrong above

    Pshaw. Close enough. If you’d said Sheffield man, it would be another matter.

  202. 202
    Brachiator says:

    BTW, this month marks the 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” It’s total budget swelled to $1.4 million by the time it was done, leading all the smart conventional wisdom heads to dub it Disney’s Folly. And who in their right minds would sit through a 90 minute cartoon?

    And yet, adults and kids cried along with the dwarfs as the little guys stood over Snow White’s bier after she had been poisoned. And Charlie Chaplin proclaimed Dopey to be one of the greatest screen comedians ever.

    Not too bad for a toon.

  203. 203
    onlymike says:

    @Brachiator: No one’s going to see this but what the hell: I can only imagine what audiences at the time thought seeing it – it must have seemed genuinely revolutionary. The opening live action shot of the book being opened sums it up – it was like a storybook coming to life. The animation is amazingly fluid – but the illustration was in particular was exquisite – the oppulence; the detail in the backgrounds in every single frame. Snow White herself is a bit hard to take (maybe more than a bit) but the evil Queen – wow! One of the greatest movie villains ever! And when she becomes the old witch-crone even more compelling. I remember as a child being genuinely frightened by her – how about the scene in the dungeon with the skeleton reaching for the water! Wow – there are some unforgettable images all through the movie but that scene – just wow. That wicked witch haunted my childhood nightmares as much as (if not more than) Frankenstein or Dracula or any other horror movie villain.

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