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Peter Hitchens

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Everything posted by Peter Hitchens

  1. This is true to an extent, but it's an absurd simplification to suggest that everyone in the world could live like rich Americans - or in Elysium. It's very apparent that at least the richest people, and probably most of "the West" would have to accept a lower standard of living for the rest of the world to truly achieve something like equality. The ending when
  2. I saw the film without reading the script and this was pretty much still how I felt about it. I had high expectations having read good reviews, and it started out very promisingly. Bradley Cooper's performance is great and you really feel for his character. But I couldn't really get over how everything was increasingly contrived and stupid, really from the moment the dance thing was introduced but especially with the bet at the end. It was like the acting and subject matter hinted at a really interesting film, but then it collapsed into standard rom-com territory, with the serious mental illness receding into the background. A lot to like, but ultimately disappointing.
  3. What TV coverage is there of the Aussie open? Is it just the BBC red button or is some of it going to be on Sky ?
  4. Regarding this 'red card ruining the game' issue - I really don't see why they couldn't just amend the 'clear goalscoring chance' rule so that it only applies outside the penalty area. Surely the function of the rule is primarily to prevent the situation where somebody is going to be put through and the defender realises this and fouls them before they reach the area, knowing they can just take a yellow card and the team go almost unpunished (only conceding a freekick). The rule is basically pointless in the area as a penalty is a severe enough deterrent already, there's no incentive to foul in the area (unless you think it'll go unseen). And it can be incredibly harsh (not so much in this case as Kos did it entirely deliberately) for example when a player is clean through in the area and defender makes an attempt at a last ditch tackle that they mistime. Or even worse, when the goalkeeper gets sent off for it - with the rule as it stands the risk is so high they might as well just stand there and watch the shot go in.
  5. For my festive viewing today I watched Raw Deal: A Question of Consent. A very interesting and disturbing documentary about a stripper who alleged she had been raped at a frat party. Shortly after she reported it to the police it was discovered that much of the party including this incident (or at least some of it) had been filmed by guys at the party. It might sound inappropriate but the film makers show a lot of this graphic footage. It forms the backbone of the film along interviews with the woman who was (or wasn't) raped, and one of the frat boys who was in the room while it occurred (the guy accused of doing it did not want to be interviewed). It's very disturbing and depressing seeing the behaviour at the frat party, and especially the way one of the interviewees so clearly looks down on the woman, describing her as "white trash" when clearly his own behaviour is not exactly great. I did feel a little guilty that I was fascinated and desperate to see this footage, but it is justified in the context of the film. A big part of the story is how people have watched the same footage and had entirely different reactions to it, so it's necessary to see it for yourself to try to understand. Unfortunately I was watching a stream online which cut out before the end so I didn't get to the end. So now I'm trying to torrent it. But anyway, I highly recommend it if you can find a way to get hold of it.
  6. I think it may be becoming a lazy stereotype, but it's at least somewhat true for this current test team. I was in India for the first two tests and there were a few times when I couldn't believe the way the Indian outfielders were giving up on chasing fours that might have been saved. Or sometimes making a dive that was more for show than a genuine attempt to reach the ball. It might only happen a couple of times in a day but I thought it was quite telling that it would happen at all at this level. And Tendulkar seemed to be a notable culprit.
  7. Is it just me who thought this was really not very good? I guess I'm overstating it because I had very high expectations - I hadn't read the book or seen the original but loved the look of the trailer and thought it sounded like something that Fincher could do brilliantly. But I couldn't help feeling that despite the high production values and good performances it was ruined by being stuck in such a plodding and formulaic 'detective story' template. Lisbeth was an interesting character but she was really the ONLY interesting thing about the film. This was particularly apparent during the first half when the stories were quite separate - her story was interesting but I was just bored/annoyed when it cut back to another scene of Daniel Craig having the murder mystery plot explained to him and slowly looking at photos. To be fair I can imagine it would have worked a lot better in the book, it just wasn't a very cinematic story as the investigation was all looking into the past rather than following unfolding events. I would say more about specific bits but I can't seem to find how to conceal spoilers.
  8. Any good streams for this game? I'm struggling.
  9. You seem to be being deliberately obtuse about the fact that the Office VERY clearly does ATTEMPT to have sincere emotional storylines and plausible characters who you care about, just because you personally thought the Tim/Dawn stuff was crap. It has a very different tone to Seinfeld in which the boyfriend/girlfriends always are disposable characters who advance the humour, and sincerity or emotion is avoided. It's not just the Tim/Dawn relationship, almost all the characters and relationships in the Office are intended sincerely and have emotional moments. For example, the episode with Tim's birthday and the pub quiz - it is funny but it's also horribly believable seeing the Finchy/Brent dynamic, and Tim being awkwardly bullied by Lee, then left alone with no shoes at the end. The whole show has a very bleak streak running through it.
  10. Does it mean they'll be cheaper than normal? Or is it just that we get them first?
  11. I don't understand though, don't managers on touchline bans always communicate with the bench? I'm sure I've seen them on phones many times before, I don't remember hearing that they couldn't.
  12. This looks great, but why on earth did they release that ludicrously long trailer that just tells the entire story in quite a long winded boring way? It's especially unnecessary with a film like this where it has such a great single line concept, it really only needs the tiniest of teasing as it's obviously a cool concept with potential.
  13. The other day I was re-watching R Kelly's amazing Trapped in the Closet videos, and noticed that "Omar from the Wire" is one of the main characters.
  14. I have been convinced, it was a good idea. My thinking was that kids young enough to need that sort of seat are utterly dependent on their parents and don't have very adventurous lives, so they wouldn't really benefit from the freedom afforded by the backpack. I only remember using a seat like that when I was so young that I didn't really go anywhere without my parents.
  15. One thing puzzled me in today's show. What was the point of the car seat bag? Melody questioned it but nobody seemed to explain. Why would a child carry around their own car seat?
  16. Film Studies, so I guess they need less of a reason for showing films! I can't actually remember if it was for a particular unit. I know they talked about it in the context of social realism - it's obviously a film that aims to highlight a problem in society, and as such it's comparable to the British social realist films of the 60s. But stylistically it's quite different as it has things like the sequence where the camera floats out of the window across the estate as the DJ plays. Maybe it isn't particularly relevant to the topics you're trying to cover, I just thought it's a film that combines having some substance as well as being reasonably accessible for teenagers. I like how the characters are sometimes infuriating in that they seem to make their own problems, and yet they're still just about likeable, because you understand their situation.
  17. La Haine would be a great choice. I was shown it at college when I was 16 and it went down well, I'm pretty sure most of us would've been able to appreciate it a year or two earlier. It has a good combination of having a social message (and I guess it's another culture) but also being straightforwardly entertaining - visually cool and funny dialogue. The 400 Blows is brilliant although a little more challenging just because of its age and relatively slow pace. Still, I saw that at 16 and absolutely loved it. As someone mentioned the fact that it centres on a teenager should make it quite relatable.
  18. I only finished watching the Wire recently and then bought and read The Corner, which was also excellent. One thing that I found a little surprising was how the world they describe in the Corner (i.e. real life) actually seemed to be substantially different to that shown in the Wire. For example, within the first few pages of The Corner they suggest that by the 90s drug dealing in Baltimore is no longer run by large organized groups fighting for territory - the corner has a multitude of smaller groups often sharing territory with little organization or skill. This is completely in contrast to The Wire in which Avon and Stringer (among others) control a large organzation very tightly and professionally. Also, in The Corner it seems like a majority of dealers slip into becoming users, or to look at it the other way round; many addicts work the corner as a way to fund their habit. Again this isn't really a feature of the Wire, we hardly see the dealers have any involvement in using drugs. Addicts and dealers are portrayed as quite separate and different types. Has anyone read any interviews where they talk about these differences? Of course the Wire is fiction not a documentary, but for a show that seems to pride itself on realism and tackling complex issues seriously it seems odd that it would differ so much from their own observations on real life.
  19. I'm surprised so many people here seem to hate Catfish, and/or are completely convinced that it's largely faked. I'm not saying it isn't, but until it's proved I don't see how you can be so sure. If it is faked it's very well done, there's really nothing in the film that couldn't plausibly be real. I can see why people think the first half in particular has an odd feel, but I think a lot of that could be put down to the type of people these guys are and the way they habitually film each other for fun. They aren't necessarily likeable, or right to do what they do, but that's partly what makes them seem plausible, I can absolutely imagine that these "Apple Store sensibility" guys might do all of that for real.
  20. I know what you mean, but I don't particularly see this as a modern problem, more a fundamental problem with comedy feature films. It's very hard to sustain an out an out comedy over 90+ minutes, which is why the best 'comedy' films are usually those with a bit more substance or a serious edge, like In The Loop or Four Lions. The best 'out-and-out' comedy is on TV because 20-30 minutes is a better form for it. I agree with you though, it is frustrating how even in very silly out-and-out comedies like Adam Sandler or Will Ferrel films there is usually a token romantic subplot and dramatic arc going through the motions in a tedious way. Oh, and what about Borat? Team America apart from the ending. Anchorman?
  21. I'm no expert, but I've been told it's only different to the extent that English is spoken a little differently in the US to here - some different pronounciations and slang but basically the same.
  22. Was there an another trailer before this one? I saw this trailer the cinema yesterday and was struck by how terrible it was. But I'm sure I remember seieng one online that wasn't as bad. It remember it telling the entire story, but I don't remember it being so badly put together with the awful music and clumsy voiceover and over-emphasis on the romantic angle. Still, I can understand that marketing the film is almost impossible. I'd prefer if they'd gone down the route of selling it as mysterious/creepy and revealed very little, even if that would've been a bit misleading.
  23. Surely a Braga win would be best, as then we'd top the group on goal difference?
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