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Everything posted by Treble

  1. Treble

    A movie watchers blog

    If Beale Street Could Talk A woman in Harlem embraces her pregnancy while she and her family struggle to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime. I think your reaction to Barry 'Moonlight' Jenkins' new film is going to (at least partly) depend on whether you've read the novel. I was one of those weirdos who hadn't read American Pastoral and enjoyed the film, feeling the critics' derision was pretty harsh. Railing at critics can make you look like a thicko, but in the case of AP I honestly think many of them were afraid to give praise in case it may them look stupid by association - the book is thought of as a towering masterpiece (not by me; I dislike Roth and much prefer his contemporary, John Updike) and woe betide anyone in the media who hints they are apathetic toward it or - gasp! - haven't read it. I'm therefore guessing Jenkins' film is being batted between several schools of thought right now: those who champion him as great new voice for black people in cinema, those who have read the novel and are judging the movie as an adaptation, and those who don't have a dog in the fight and are taking it on merit. If you look at the RT score, critics have it at 94% and audiences at 69%. I really enjoyed it, but I think the audience score is closer to reality than the critics' consensus. It has a mellow sensibility, is gentle and kind towards its protagonists and looks beautiful; a visual interpretation of the book's lyricism I'm guessing? The snatches of dialogue obviously imported verbatim from the book are sweet but powerful; unfortunately they don't translate into naturalism, so you have to be content with the film being caught somewhere between realism and fantasy... and not really nailing either. That's a fairly large issue, really. The film begins with some really good clashes - age against youth, family against family, pragmatism versus romanticism, but this falls off in the second act to concentrate on the lead pair's life together. Mrs. Treb put it succinctly when she moaned about the number of shots that are of them staring into each others' eyes. Yes it's sweet, but there's no dramatic tension there. The third act feels more like late-period, self-indulgent Malick: gorgeous but fairly hollow. So why did I like it? Well, the performances are just amazing. You could watch Stephan James, Kiki Lane and Bryan Tyree Henry's faces change subtly through different emotions as the sun sets until time itself stops. The score is a gentle companion/counterpoint to the action, and the visuals are bathed in a warm orange glow like streetlights on a summer evening. This is a film with such care and introspection embedded that it's impossible to not admire. Whether you love it or not will very much depend on whether you're happy watching and listening to lovely people face ordinary horrors in a methodical and contemplative way. To some that's (Days of) Heaven, but to others it's a recipe for slow-motion boredom; a failed attempt to turn the novel's inner monologue into an exciting narrative. I'd highly recommend checking it out if the 'good bits' sound like your bag, though: if you haven't read the book; if you want to see more African-American stories told in a completely new way. Even then, like my superior half, you might just find it to be wispy and ephemeral nothingness, and get bored and fed up. Either way, people shouldn't be ashamed to say what they feel - it's meant to be entertainment, at the end of the day
  2. Treble

    The 3DS Resurrection thread

    Paging @deKay
  3. Treble

    The Worst Characters Committed to Screen

    That he's a person, not a character? And that the only character he's really known for is Smithy in Gavin and Stacey, where he's really good. People hate Cordon as a person rather than any character he's played, I guess.
  4. Treble

    A movie watchers blog

    No worries man, and happy to help Inside no. 9 episode: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4533012/ On-topic, I saw If Beale Street Could Talk on Sunday. Really good, very moving and beautifully shot & scored. It has some flaws (typical of any adaptation of a literary novel, really) but really worth seeing. I'll get some more impressions down when I'm next at a keyboard
  5. Treble

    A movie watchers blog

    Just be very careful. Sams listen non-judgementally, ie even though they want to help, they don't direct people. The way we approached conversations about people's thoughts of taking their own life was/is very circumspect and open. I know you were part of the conversation years ago, when I talked about my experience here, and it may be worth looking through that thread in case it helps. Sorry if I sound a bit defensive, but Samaritans are utterly unique in this country for listening without alerting the authorities - we were told in no uncertain terms we must refuse entry to police asking to check records or divulge details of conversations. Creating a facsimile that people recognise as a Sams surrogate - but doesn't get the way we talk right - may get a false impression. Also, Inside no. 9 did one thing similar recently, so may be worth rewatching that to check you don't overlap too much.
  6. Treble

    Yoshi's Crafted World - demo out now

    Anyone who still has a 3DS knocking around needs to get the excellent conversion of Yoshi's Woolly World. It got really overlooked because of the Switch coming out around the same time
  7. Treble

    Rian Johnson Star Wars trilogy

    I really like Rian Johnson - he seems down to earth, fun and not particularly egotistical - but I don't really like his films. I don't feel he's progressed past the 'indie filmmaker' stage far enough by this point in his career. You know, where you've got great ideas but no money, so you rely on clever dialogue and some startling shots, but can't really pull of dialogue-free action scenes or any kind of wit or comedy. I get that same impression with Treverow and a few others of their generation of filmmakers. They aren't wunderkinds like Spielberg or Wes Anderson, or Lord and Miller - they're people with some talent who got too far into the limelight before being seasoned, it seems to me. The difficulty at this late stage is reining them in. It's hard to tell them they need a mentor, or a script editor, or anything like that when they can retort with, "My last movie made a billion dollars" but if anyone can take advise, I would expect it to be Johnson. For the new trilogy, I hope he has taken lots of advice from his peers and nails his pacing and characterisation - pares down his desire to create densely-woven but not particularly inspired plots and make something accessible without losing his personal stamp in the process.
  8. I've got up to episode 4 of the first season and it's not grabbed me yet. I think mainly because I don't think much of the characterisation/not invested in any of the characters at all. The plot is very good and the central mystery intriguing, though. So, on balance, worth me carrying on or not, d'ya reckon?
  9. What was great about it early on was how anyone could die, and anyone could win. By the end of S4, if someone had said, "The Dornish end up victors" you'd have been shocked but not surprised. If S8 ends with anything other than Cersei and Daenarys killing each other, Sam coming back with a super-weapon/super-knowledge, the dragons all dying whilst taking down the ice dragon, Jon Snow as king with all the 'baddies' losing, I'll be supremely impressed and utterly shocked.
  10. We should have a poll for how we would like it to end! * Rob Stark/Mother-of-Dragons incest-athon win * Lannister win * White Walker win * All dead, Sam creates a new society from the ashes * CLEGANEBOWL! Honk! honnnnk hooooooonk!
  11. Treble

    Treble's Retro Gaming PC challenge!

    Graphics card converter finally on its way, following CNY:
  12. Ok, let's look at getting a second hand PC and turning it into a retro gaming machine. Basically, to show how much can be achieved with so little People get rid of 'old' PCs pretty much willy-nilly, and the value you can get is quite phenomenal. If you want something that is okish you can easily spend less than 50 quid. For a laugh, i'm setting myself a limit of £35 tops for this. Should be a challenge! To show people how easy this can be, i'll walk through each and every step and record and trials and tribulations. I'll show how easy it is to get a decent spec machine, and how simple it is to setup. The reasons for a PC - even a cheap one - over a Wii, PS3 or something else are cost, expandability and software variety (emulators, sure, plus being able to run Steam and other content platforms). EDIT: for clarity, for the last time, and to hopefully stop the incessant nit-picking here are the rules: *The PC should be able to run up to and including PS1 and N64 games as a baseline * It should hopefully be able to do something with Dolphin and Redream, but this might be a pipe dream! * it should be able to run Steam so that PS2/360 era PC releases can be played, so think Portal, Half-life 2, Modern Warfare, Dead Space, that kind of thing. * anything - and I mean anything - older than 10 years is 100% considered retro. I get paid on Monday, so it'll be after that. In the meantime, enjoy a couple of videos about doing this shiz on the cheap!
  13. Treble

    Alita: Battle Angel

    I think there's 2 factors at play: naivety and legitimacy. It's not told very well, but makes sense I guess.
  14. Treble

    Alita: Battle Angel

    The champion gets a pass into Zalem.
  15. Treble

    The Lego Movie 2 - The Second Part

    Flopping is a bit strong; it opened less well than expected at $34m. The budgets for blockbuster animated films are about half what they are for live action, so if this makes $400m worldwide, I think Warners will be happy enough.
  16. Not sure what you mean... time stops when you physically stop, and only starts when you move. It's the core game mechanic. What are your enemies doing? 
  17. Treble

    Alita: Battle Angel

    This one might "do an Aquaman" and be relatively critic-proof. Also, its got a female lead who's not overly sexualised, and that's still a relative rarity.
  18. Treble

    Alita: Battle Angel

    If it helps, I thought RPO was a mediocre experience but this has a far better core story, and gets through on that.
  19. Treble

    Alita: Battle Angel

    Just got back from this. I have to say, I really enjoyed it! Objectively it ain't great by any stretch (the dialogue is bafflingly pants, and there was very little subtlety or sense of human frailty) but it was good cyberpunk. To both our astonishment, Mrs. Treb enjoyed it as well, despite her being so PO'ed at being dragged to it that we had a barny on the way there
  20. Firstly: wut Secondly: no Thirdly: Where is my mind? Yep, it's twenty years ago this year that the seminal treatise on toxic masculinity was released. That phrase didn't even exist back then, and it's interesting that so many people thought the movie was both a style guide and a celebration of testosterone-fuelled nihilism (and then sub-argued whether that was good or bad). The beauty of the film (other than the actual beauty of the film) is that it's possible to read it that way - you're looking at Verhoeven-tier trolling of the audience, with layers of subtlety cooked into its core. It's also god-tier Fincher. Plus of course, it works as a film on every level. The plot is great, the characters are fascinating, it pounds along at a blood-pumping pace and ends with one of the most iconic scenes in cinema. I saw it on release, obviously pre-internet, and therefore got the shock of my life that what would normally be a micro-budget exploitation indie was showing in mainstream theatres and starring Brad Pitt and period drama-courting HBC. It was the pinnacle of the post-Tarantino indie-as-mainstream-90s (well, that and The Matrix, but that's another thread altogether) before indies slunk back into the night, budgets diminishing to practically zero. So what are your recollections and thoughts on this modern masterpiece?
  21. Treble

    Treble's Retro Gaming PC challenge!

    Not easy trying to sync the DSLR with the CRT, but I did my best. Ignore the thick line through Mario's eyes (that's a wire holding the screen in place...it's a Trinitron thing), and check out the lines... particularly the check pattern on the right. Worth mentioning, a CRT is a far better option for emulators if you aren't able to upscale the image. That's because 640 x 480 still looks brilliant on the old cathode ray. No scanlines: Scanlines:
  22. Treble

    Treble's Retro Gaming PC challenge!

    A very good question! As I understand it, It's because the CRT is displaying a progressive scan image, and the thick scanlines we associate with retro games are produced by interlaced displays. So yeah, there will be a lower pixel density on SVGA monitors and you'll see some lines, but nothing like what we saw back in the day. I'll take a couple of comparison pix to show you my results
  23. Treble

    Alita: Battle Angel

    My wife dragged me to Mary Queen of Scots, when I didn't want to* so I'm dragging her to this as a quid pro quo. She's going to hate it * Nothing against historical dramas in general, just thought this looked dull (and I was right)
  24. 100% agree, and completely baffling as to why they were included in the first place.
  25. I don't understand that perspective. There are two types of perch takedowns and two states the enemies can be in when perched (Danger or Safe). The free roam takedowns are also fine: land behind them, hit square. As the stealth challenges were the only ones I found easy, I politely invite naysayers to GIT GUD, sir Not me, but I basically did the same things:

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