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Zapping around, I just caught the end of The Book of Eli, specifically the scene where Gary Oldman despairs because the Bible he had been looking for all those years is in Braille, and the only person who could read it refuses to.

I didn't particularly think about that when I saw the movie, but. Braille is a substitution cypher, and those are rather trivial to solve! Hell, it's the Bible, so you get "God", "Jesus", "Book", "beginning", etc, for free. Frankly, it should not take more than a few minutes to get a Braille-to-latin alphabet "decryption key," with so much information about the plaintext and such a simple "encryption" procedure.

I feel quite silly I didn't get that during the first viewing. I don't really pay attention to plot holes (my disbelief suspension skills are, well, biblical), but this is the kind of thing I'm supposed to notice, even if Oldman's character wouldn't.


It's mostly various permutations of people saying Tony, no, and Tony saying TONY YES. (That's also the summary of all Iron Man movies.)

Meanwhile: Clint is great.


Fast and Furious 7

Pretty much exactly the movie you'd expect, for good and for ill. It'd be better without the embedded music videos with scantly clad women dancing in stereotypical "sexy" ways. Nonsensical plots, and zero acknowledgment of the larger implications of the McGuffin, which is weird for such a "street crew" as the Toretto Gang is supposed to be. On the other hand, by the end of the sixth movies they are all multimillionaires with contacts at the highest levels of international law enforcement, so...

Somebody should write (probably somebody has already written) about how Dom's focus on family has been functional to his slow shift from a renegade ready to hate cops to basically the leader of a rogue self-financed paramilitary strike force with strong ties with the worldwide powers that be. It's not that he has changed his view, it's that his view has always been agnostic to who has or wields force and power, except as to whether it's wielded against or helping his family. He's ruthlessly apolitical in that sense.

Of course, the Doylean explanation is that the current political environment is still in favor of small groups that are highly organized, well-funded, technologically sophisticated, and free from any legal oversight when they restrict themselves to burglary, but anything that hints at larger capabilities for violence needs to have them be subject to the powers that be (which are also highly organized, well-funded, technologically sophisticated, and free from any legal oversight).


  • Maslow: as the co-protagonist's boss, in most movies he'd be unsupportive and pig-headed. Here he makes a token display of skepticism at the beginning, but after that he's quick on the uptake, cares for her, makes all the right sneaky moves, and arguably does as much as the protagonists to get the thing done. Interpol bosses of plucky investigators are rarely this humane and competent.

  • (I paraphrase) Mika: "They are tracking our scent? Like dogs?" Raizo The Ninja: *makes epic injured ninja pride face* "Like wolves."

  • The fights and training montages are ridiculous, but Raizo The Ninja doing vertical push-ups is surprisingly fine (the fact that he's doing it over a fakir-like bed of nails is also ridiculous, though).

  • ... I've got nothing. I don't know why I keep leaving it as background TV, but I do.

  • Because it's called Ninja Assassin?

The minor gifts of cable reruns

Old Europe, devil worshipers, and multiple bibliophilic shady characters fighting each other over an old book.

To use the tumblr idiom, The Ninth Gate is my aesthetic.


It's been said a lot, I'm sure, but anyway.

I think it's interesting that both as a fictional character and as a consumer of fiction, Peter Quill belongs to a pre-grimdark era. He was a kid of the "Space, woo!" age, he quite strongly fashioned himself after his fictional heroes (perhaps not the worst move, considering the literally sci-fictional setting he found himself into), and, as far as we know, he never bothered going back to Earth (even after owning his own ship for who knows how long). So Peter shares with Steve Rogers the fact that he's in a sense from another era (although adding quite a bit of advanced science, so in another sense they are both also "steampunk"); he probably wouldn't enjoy the later Batman movies any more than Steve would.


Good. Bad. A bit of both.

Just watched Guardians of the Galaxy. My subjective reaction: not a ground-breaking towering achievement of any kind, but it was fun.


Went to the cinema and watched two movies back-to-back: Edge of Tomorrow and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Neither of them was mind-blowing, but Edge of Tomorrow was better than I thought it would be, and X-Men: Days of Future Past wasn't as bad as I feared it could be. Within the Watsonian and Doylean constraints of their respective settings, they are well-built movies. Awful failures Bechdel-wise, though.


Non-spoilery Captain America 2 comments

I like: what they chose to lift from the comics; it was one of my favorite storylines. Also, the Marvelverse is rather tightly constructed in terms of reusing elements and so on.

I don't like: it was kind of ham-fisted.

I wonder: the *impact* on the rest of the movieverse. I mean, Coulson! And I can see how this might set things up for AoU.


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