David Thompson
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June 22, 2018

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Fred the Fourth

The fast moving lava. Good God.
I just skimmed the timeline and maps at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory. Bottom line is that the eruption is continuing ("lava fountain up to 200' high") but the expansion of the flow over occupied land, at least, has slowed.
If you review the maps, pay close attention to the dates indicated on the "older" flows in the region. Then try to find the video clip of the local (probably a recent arrival) who complained that she didn't expect, and wasn't "warned", about the possibility of eruption.
What's really interesting is how the story has completely fallen off the news even here in California. "Ho, hum, volcano continues to volcano. No story."

jabrwok

Alice and Pig. I hope Rocky doesn't decide that Alice looks tasty some day.

Great movies that I hated: _Being John Malkovich_ (evil people who get what they want in the end [except the viewpoint character]) and _Election_ (hated everyone in it.

Spiny Norman

[pokes head in door, whistles]

I've been declared a "f*cking left-wing troll" because I thought Instapundit readers should be somewhat wary of taking the Daily Mail as "gospel truth". Just thought you all should know.

[skips on my way]

Farnsworth M Muldoon

In the Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies under photography they feature a number of Polaroid and view cameras. Contrary to popular belief they are not obsolete, or forgotten.

Several years ago, a number of investors bought the last Polaroid factory in The Netherlands and started The Impossible Project the goal of which was to reinvent SX-70 and other instant films. They have renamed themselves Polaroid Originals and they makes some pretty good film - a good functioning SX-70 will fetch a premium price, though, if you don't have one in a closet.

As far as view cameras go, one can always purchase a digital back if you have enough money, if you don't, there are sliding adapters that let one use a DSLR to stitch together a "large format" image from several smaller ones (works best with cameras with FX sensors).

Fay

"Great" films I hate:

Forrest Gump (don't even go there)
The Piano (watching it reminded me of 1960's dental treatment in England, in other words, excruciatingly painful)
It's A Wonderful Life (no it ain't)

And now for something completely different, "Great" films I love:

The Green Mile (everything about that film was amazing)
Jaws (the theme music still gives me goosebumps)
Schindler's List (speaks for itself)
Cool Hand Luke (quite possibly my favourite film ever, Paul Newman...swoon)

Mags

When lava puts its foot down.

It's like fast zombies. *shudder*

Connor

Being woke ain’t easy.

Being consistent is harder.

David

Morning, all.

“Great” films I hate

Back in the mid-Nineties, The Other Half and I sat down to watch Tarkovsky’s Solaris, which I thought might be entertaining, albeit for reasons that now escape me. Some 23 years later, he still hasn’t forgiven me. In fairness, this undying rage isn’t unwarranted. To say it’s a tedious and unrewarding film would be a catastrophic understatement. It actively repels engagement and mercilessly crushes any expectation of pleasure or suspense. As if any concession to pacing, drama and engaging characters would somehow be unsophisticated.

David

Also, as I think I’ve said before, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is massively overrated.

David

Being consistent is harder.

And will be punished.

Patrick Brown

"Great" films I hate:

Citizen Kane gets a lot of attention. I remember watching it as a student, and expecting something worthy, or clever, but unengaging, because that's what "classics" normally feel like. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually enjoyed the story.

But...

Blade Runner. Good god that film is dull. Looks great, sure, but that's "I came out humming the scenery". The only really memorable moment, Roy's death speech, was improvised by Rutger Hauer - imagine if he'd just stuck to the script, how boring the film would have been. I don't think Ridley Scott figured out how to tell a story until Gladiator.

Pulp Fiction. quotable dialogue, but no actual story or point, and the characters are hip cardboard.

Liam

Burger in a can. A taste test ensues.

*orders one for wife's birthday*

David

*orders one for wife’s birthday*

A lucky woman.

Chester Draws

Solaris is painful, but I think I'd rather watch it again than Forrest Gump. If the world ever runs out of saccharine and stevia they can put that horrible thing on repeat.

Love Actually, which they play at Christmas in NZ, is another I simply abhor. If I met the characters from it in real life, and there are so many parts in it, I would loathe them. While I can get past that for some dramatic bathos or action with a smaller cast, I simply can't when watching that film.

Hal

Back in the mid-Nineties, The Other Half and I sat down to watch Tarkovsky’s Solaris, which I thought might be entertaining, albeit for reasons that now escape me.

You were looking forward to the utterly riveting section of freeway driving sequences.

Hector Drummond, Vile Novelist

>On great films that you don’t actually like. Feel free to share your own

Most of them. In fact, most films are awful.

David

You were looking forward to the utterly riveting section of freeway driving sequences.

Heh. Yes, there’s nothing quite like watching a long car journey in which nothing much happens, filmed in what feels like real time.

Oh Lord, the horror is coming back to me.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Great films I hate:

Taxi Driver
Being There
Doctor Zhivago

Give me time and I think I could come up with more.

David

You were looking forward to the utterly riveting section of freeway driving sequences.

You’d think that a film about the discovery of a planet with a sentient, shape-shifting ocean that can divine human anxieties and desires, but which accidentally causes a kind of existential madness, wouldn’t be entirely without promise. But dear God, within minutes Tarkovsky manages to obliterate any interest in the premise, and indeed in life itself. The more recent Soderbergh version is much better, in that things actually happen, and is in some respects closer to the novel, but it’s still not a film I’d care to watch again. Though the soundtrack, by Cliff Martinez, is agreeable.

Jeff Guinn

Great film I hate: 2001 Minutes of Space Idiocy

Saw it when it first came out. When my kids were still in high school, about 6 years ago, I rented it, and told them they were in for a real movie experience.

It didn't take them long to decide I was completely nuts. To be fair, it didn't take me long, either. Tedious pacing, wooden dialog, and cardboard characters are its high points. The Pretentious Guild of Movie Critics absolutely loves the thing. I no longer pay any attention to them.

The only member of the family to enjoy any of the movie was our Golden Retriever, Rusty the Alaskan Wilderness Adventure Dog. He really sat up and took notice of the ape scene.

Slept through the rest of it.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Tired of your low paying job ? Can't advance because you only have a bachelors degree ? Well fret no more, for only two days a week, in just one year you too can get a high paying job in the Clown Quarter by getting a Masters Degree in Gender Without Borders !

This course considers gender across disciplinary borders in a self-consciously transdisciplinary way, interrogating assumptions of both the humanities and social sciences. Its focus is not exclusively on women, but it conceives of gender in a fluid way, across the borders of the traditional divide between genders, by taking transgender seriously. It also incorporates transnational perspectives, reflecting upon the invisible whiteness that is normatively stipulated by discourses that present themselves as neutral with regard to race, while in fact privileging Eurocentric and post-colonial biases.

Of course it does.

Charlie

The three wrestlers versus the lion cub in a tug of war ... have to say, my gut reaction is “yeah ... no”.

Sean

Great film I respected and admired, but never wanted to watch again?

Raging Bull

Pst314

You were looking forward to the utterly riveting section of freeway driving sequences

The love of so many intellectuals for such bilge slowly led me to question their judgement: are they stupid? Dishonest? Deranged?
But a professed love for such soporific material does call to mind jokes about fans of New Age “space music” being under sedation.

Pst314

The only really memorable moment, Roy's death speech, was improvised by Rutger Hauer

Do you have a link to what Ridley Scott had him saying?

Pst314

I thought Instapundit readers should be somewhat wary of taking the Daily Mail as "gospel truth".

Link? I’d like to see what they’re up to today.

jabrwok

Teal Deer (TL;DR) on Incels.

Long, but worth a listen.

David

The only really memorable moment, Roy’s death speech, was improvised by Rutger Hauer

For me, Blade Runner is a premise without enough dramatic flesh, and is nowhere near as good as, say, Alien. It’s often pretty to look at, but I can’t say I’ve actually enjoyed watching it. The script seems unfinished, the structure and pacing are poor and there’s very little sense of dramatic momentum. It doesn’t engage concern for any of the characters, except perhaps when J F Sebastian receives his visitors (and then ends up killed off-screen). For the most part, it just sort of drifts by, albeit handsomely.

Sam

I remember loving Forrest Gump, though I haven't seen it for some years.

Blade Runner is like dining at a super fancy restaurant - enjoyable and memorable in parts, but on the whole I'd rather grill a steak in the less pretentious comfort of my home.

I continue to be flummoxed by the mass popularity of comic book movies, a genre I was tired of by the 3rd X-Men movie.

I've been declared a "f*cking left-wing troll" because I thought Instapundit readers should be somewhat wary of taking the Daily Mail as "gospel truth".

Having tread those moronic waters a few times in the past I've learned that any - and I mean any - attempt at civil disagreement or nuanced discussion around tactical approaches invites chest-thumping theatrics from ~80% of the board. It's only gotten worse now that they have their Obama in office.

Governor Squid

Tulip ballet.

Lovely, until I realize that these are death throes, and we're watching them in excruciating slo-mo detail...

Governor Squid

It's only gotten worse now that they have their Obama in office.

What strikes (and saddens) me is that Glenn and his merry band are not exactly banner-waving Trumppalos. Half the noise from the howler monkeys over there is just the same droolers throwing the same insults at the co-bloggers on every single post.

It's another sad example of my least-favorite thing about being part of a political group that values actual tolerance -- you find yourself forced to tolerate a lot of really tedious behavior that would be intolerable in other circumstances.

Still, it's fun to wind them up from time to time.

TomJ

Allegedly great film I can't be doing with: Apocalypse Now. This and overblown, and that's not referring to Brando.

Film that deserves all the love: The Princess Bride. Obvs.

Daniel Ream

For the most part, it just sort of drifts by, albeit handsomely.

I can't find the link now, but I remember reading an article on Salon many years ago titled (roughly) "Why Are So Many Classic SF Films So Awful?" The short answer is that they tend to concern themselves with Big Ideas, and fans love them because they're the only films dealing with those big ideas - and they're willing to overlook the poor quality of everything else. Absent the poorly-developed notions of "what does it mean to be human" and some gorgeous set design, Blade Runner is a fairly average neo-noir crime film.

I continue to be flummoxed by the mass popularity of comic book movies

Really? I thought it was fairly obvious. They've replaced the cheesy action films of the 1980's, and for the same reason. And since they're simple Heroic Myth stories set in a simplified, fantastic setting that isn't too US-specific, they bring in the big bucks in the foreign markets.

David

Absent the poorly-developed notions of “what does it mean to be human” and some gorgeous set design, Blade Runner is a fairly average neo-noir crime film.

Yes, that’s pretty much my view. It takes an interesting premise then does… almost nothing with it. The film does so little work establishing characters and motives, whether human or otherwise, that it’s hard to care about anyone’s fate, and as a result the big idea all but evaporates.

WTP

There are quite a few "great" films that are meh to me. And that link nailed several of them:

Citizen Kane, perhaps because I knew what Rosebud was about before watching
The Piano, that was the one with Harvey Kietel's shlong in it, correct? I could have done without that. Hell, I'm not even crazy about his face. I do like some of his other movies/characters however.
Brazil, disappointing
Shawshank Redemption, though my wife really liked it
Superman, hate that guy so maybe I'm biased. Maybe.
Return of the Jedi, Lando Calreasean (or HTF you spell it) character seemed rather forced.
The Exorcist, I find most horror films rather lame. Halloween was abut the only one I liked...well that and Kill Pussycat, Kill Kill
Psycho, big Hitchcock fan but maybe knowing the story ahead of time put me off of it

As for "great" ones that I genuinely didn't like:
Any Star Wars released after the 1980's, with the exception of Rogue One.
The Matrix, oh shut up already. I did like the red/blue pill concept however.
Fight Club, except for the first rule of Fight Club being don't talk about Fight Club. We have rules for a reason, people.
Lord of The Rings, pick one. At the end of one of these things some guy has a telephone pole through his chest and he JUST WOULDN'T DIE SO I COULD GO HOME.

David

Psycho, big Hitchcock fan but maybe knowing the story ahead of time put me off of it

I’ve always thought that the first act of Psycho, the theft, is better, and more tense, than anything that follows it.

JuliaM

"And finally, three professional wrestlers in a tug-of-war with a lion cub."

I see arrested development has hit the feline world. A two and a half year old isn't a cub, it's pretty much a lion!

Farnsworth M Muldoon

For your amusement, via Ace, one Miss Fern Riddell gets her knickers in a bunch on the twitters if you don't call her "Doctor" because she is allegedly an expert in something.

It is interesting to note that her actual degree seems quite hidden, though it appears to be some sort of history of sex in Victorian music halls, though whether it is a history PhD or a Feminist Studies PhD is not stated (which makes one suspect the latter). The twitter thread is worth a read for the sycophants sucking up to her and for wisdom such as:

Guy Gratton

@GuyG_Boffin Jun 16

Many medical degrees, AIUI, are awarded at bachelors or masters level. Many are not awarded at Doctoral level: typically requiring an independent thesis, viva, and demonstrated new contribution to human knowledge.

Right, all the Angry and Useless Studies have really contributed to human knowledge.

Sam Duncan

“Tarkovsky’s Solaris

B... but it's the “Soviet 2001: A Space Oddysey”!

Oh. Yeah. I see the problem.

“For the most part, [Blade Runner] just sort of drifts by, albeit handsomely.”

That's why I enjoy it. Screw the plot and the Big Ideas. As a teenager, it was an embarassingly long time before I discovered that “dystopia” didn't mean “cool future place where there's all neon and androids and people with chips implanted in their heads and stuff”, and you weren't supposed to like it.

“Most of them. In fact, most films are awful.”

Yeah. Truth is, I don't really like films all that much at all. My attention span is too short, I think. I can just about hack a 50-minute TV show, but for me, the perfect film is seven minutes long and was directed by Bob Clampett or Robert McKimson.

“I’ve always thought that the first act of Psycho, the theft, is better, and more tense, than anything that follows it.”

I maintain that Psycho 3 is one of the finest comedies ever made. Read IMDB “goofs” page for some of its best gags.

WTP

Had to look. I just had to...it's a sickness that I have...but you all know that by now...

Dr Fern Riddell is a cultural Historian, and an expert in sex, suffrage and entertainment in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. She appears regularly on TV and Radio, and writes for The Guardian, Huffington Post, Times Higher Education, and is a columnist for BBC History Magazine. Her first book, A Victorian Guide to Sex, is available now.
http://www.fernriddell.com/

David

Oh. Yeah. I see the problem.

Well, at least Kubrick’s film is visually and thematically interesting, if not exactly pacey - and it has HAL. And while both films are long and ponderous, and both deal with cosmic communication problems, Kubrick and Clarke opted for a richer palette and a more hopeful ending. Tarkovsky’s film, like Lem’s novel, is much bleaker, in that communication with the alien lifeform is not only hazardous to almost everyone who attempts it, but seemingly futile.

WTP

Truth is, I don't really like films all that much at all. My attention span is too short, I think. I can just about hack a 50-minute TV show, but for me, the perfect film is seven minutes long

Well, if you're a real short film fan ya gotta love this classic from my youth. A bit longish, though...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAVYYe87b9w

Patrick Brown

Pst315: "Do you have a link to what Ridley Scott had him saying?"

The speech has its own Wikipedia article (final and clinching proof that Wikipedia has disappaeared up its own nerdy arse, but that's another story). Apparently, the original line was:

I have known adventures, seen places you people will never see, I've been Offworld and back...frontiers! I've stood on the back deck of a blinker bound for the Plutition Camps with sweat in my eyes watching the stars fight on the shoulder of Orion. I've felt wind in my hair, riding test boats off the black galaxies and seen an attack fleet burn like a match and disappear. I've seen it...felt it!

Unlike David, I think Alien is nearly as bad. Fantastic production design, a couple of really good scenes... but the rest is disconnected and unengaging, only somewhat saved by the strength of Sigourney Weaver's screen presence.

I think the issue with classic sci-fi films is less about being concerned with Big Ideas, more that science fiction fans take science fiction seriously and the movies generally don't, so on the rare occasion that a serious sci-fi movie comes out the fans are so pleased it's not totally cheesy like the usual fare they go all in for it, ignoring its storytelling flaws.

champ

To say it’s a tedious and unrewarding film would be a catastrophic understatement.

It's got an 8.1/10 rating on IMDB.

As they say, there's no accounting for taste...

champ

Great films I hate:

Midnight Cowboy (7.0/10 on IMDB...)

champ

Midnight Cowboy (7.0/10 on IMDB...)

Opps...make that 7.9/10

JML

I'm going to stick up for Tarkovsky's "Solaris". You have to remember that this was made on a shoestring in the Soview Union. The Tokyo freeway scenes look ridiculous to us, but they would have looked futuristic to a Soviet audience at the time, and they are used as a metaphor for the space journey.

Once Kris is on the space station, the film really gets going (in a glacial sort of way). The scenes where Kharis is repeatedly killed and resurrected are heartbreaking, the weightless scene is beautiful and the final reveal is mind-blowing.

Soderbergh fucked it up, I think.

David

I’m going to stick up for Tarkovsky’s “Solaris”.

Clearly, you’ve had way too much to drink. I’ll make some coffee.

Ray

Speaking of comic book films, it seems to me that one problem is all the bad guys are raving lunatics. None of them are attacking Earth for any comprehensible reason, but just because they like smashing stuff and killing people. You too, Thanos. Too many people and not enough resources? Wait a million years, a heartbeat in universe time, and both will be gone. Problem solved. The only thing Eath has that is at all rare is life, and they want to put a stop to it. Nutters, all of them.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

None of them are attacking Earth for any comprehensible reason, but just because they like smashing stuff and killing people.

Basically galactic SJWs then ?

Pst314

“The speech has its own Wikipedia article”

Thank you! Much appreciated.

“(final and clinching proof that Wikipedia has disappaeared up its own nerdy arse”

And yet the Wikipedia editors deleted the page about The People’s Cube on the pretense that it was of too little interest.

Jeff Wood

https://infogalactic.com/info/The_People%27s_Cube

Captain Nemo

Moderately amusing T-shirts of note:

https://twitter.com/ThatEricAlper/status/1010598421986766848

Spiny Norman

Well, I must be too low-brow (or just not cynical enough) for this crowd. It's like I've wandered into an AoSHQ thread. I don't think I've ever discussed movies I've liked or disliked here, and I'm sure as hell not going to start now. {o_O}

Daniel Ream

Film that deserves all the love: The Princess Bride. Obvs.

As much as I loved it as an adolescent, with adult eyes I've come to realize it's cut from the same cloth as Starship Troopers: a butchery of the far superior original work so inept it ends up inverting the message. One could say the same thing about Man of La Mancha, I suppose.

jabrwok

A useful skill.

Ten

What strikes (and saddens) me is that Glenn and his merry band [at the execrably phoned-in Instapundit] are not exactly banner-waving Trumppalos. Half the noise from the howler monkeys over there is just the same droolers throwing the same insults at the co-bloggers on every single post.

Most of the other half, as Spiny Normal alludes, is Reynold's fans violently protesting anything that deviates from their "Libertarian" neocon sensibilities and snorting at their high school jokes. Pocket protectors and Coke bottle lenses are credentials.

Speaking of co-bloggers, someone's got to keep all that Republicanism flowing.

In between the selfie-sticking and groin references it's baffling that the place hasn't developed one functional political philosophy in a decade, although that said, spaceships - Faster, Please! - will make the New America settlement on an airless, irradiated Mars a utopia of something something argle bargle etc.

So yeah, rightism. It's in good hands.

Ten

The Matrix, oh shut up already. I did like the red/blue pill concept however.

Too bad. The Matrix was probably the most complete, prescient allegory for emerging dystopia yet written - I doubt we can have that central red pill awareness device without all the rest.

Now Ladies Wachowski should direct their (and our) attention to the black pill concept.

WTP

The Matrix was probably the most complete, prescient allegory for emerging dystopia yet written

Don't know if I'd go that far but agree that there was something there. I've used "the Matrix" for years now to describe what is now more commonly referred to as "Teh Narrative". But much as Valarie states on the next thread:

It couldn't be more BBC. It's as BBC as Blue Peter presenters telling the kiddies to be careful with the scissors. Be careful, kiddies, that you don't cut yourselves on the sharp edge of your own pristine virtue, but the real danger to watch out for is that you and/or most of your friends will be Thatcherites by the age of 30.

I kinda see The Matrix that way. A bit of a prophylactic against thinking/seeing. Plus the bullet dodging drama combined with the duster coats, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss (ugh), and the Mr. Smith thing just felt too pre-hipsterish/soy-boy/somethingorother.

Ten

I kinda see The Matrix that way. A bit of a prophylactic against thinking/seeing. Plus the bullet dodging drama combined with the duster coats, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss (ugh), and the Mr. Smith thing just felt too pre-hipsterish/soy-boy/somethingorother.

'Against'?

Judged by your and my normie boomer winger sensibilities - especially as they relate our overwhelming victories against Leviathan (and soy and duster coats and) - I'd be foolish to disagree.

Fortunately for us our kids see through our horse shit.

Daniel Ream

the bullet dodging drama combined with the duster coats, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss (ugh), and the Mr. Smith thing just felt too pre-hipsterish/soy-boy/somethingorother.

It's adolescent power fantasy, of the type popularized by the Columbine killer narrative.

This is going to sound weird, but for an excellent example of the phenomenon rent the Chuck Norris film Sidekicks. It's a deconstruction of teenage revenge fantasy films like The Karate Kid. There's a scene where a 16-year-old Jonathan Brandis (playing a twelve-year-old) dresses up like one of Norris' characters, complete with a child-sized duster, miniature sawed-off shotgun, and clip-on mullet (no, I am not making that part up). He looks ridiculous, and that highlights how ridiculous the original character is.

Fortunately, the whole point of the movie is that yes, this is ridiculous, and disaffected teenagers would be better off improving themselves and finding a positive focus rather than embracing silly fantasies.

Ten

...disaffected teenagers would be better off improving themselves and finding a positive focus rather than embracing silly fantasies.

Heaven knows that in our culture surely their parents never failed them. That would be impossible.

Alex deWinter
It's adolescent power fantasy, of the type popularized by the Columbine killer narrative.

I pegged it as a geek power fantasy rather than an adolescent one, but yes. A programmer/hacker becomes 'woke' (literally) and runs around kicking ass and defying 'the Man' in order to save humanity. Consideration of how, exactly, humanity would survive if suddenly decanted en masse from their life pods didn't seem to be factored into their Noble Cause, but whatevs. Saving the world, bro!

Maybe that was addressed in the later movies, but I barely made it through the first. The ridiculously contrived premise was almost painful. Not sure which was stupider, the notion of blocking out the power source for the entire biosphere in hopes of shutting down solar-powered robots, or the robots themselves building a generator out of a bunch of human potatoes instead of, say, a nuclear reactor.

Ten

Leftism: http://i3.cpcache.com/product/10292782/im_spending_your_childrens_inheritance.jpg

Rightism: https://images10.newegg.com/ProductImage/A5VG_1_20150112148032913.jpg

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