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Not having a lot of emotional investment in the franchise, my evaluation of entertaining shouldn't be taken as an indictment.

For what it's worth, I don't think I need to go to AO3 to know a particular slash pairing is being written the hell of, nor what the dark "off panel" stories will be about. But that might say more about my fannish googles than about the movie itself.

ETA: I've posted in LJ/DW 702 fanfics and 639 original fics. Jeez. The total word count is probably along the lines of an Stephen King prologue, but still.

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Coping strategies for the modern world

Just watched the trailer for Star Trek Beyond. New life rule: as long as I consider these movies as belonging to an "action heroes in space" franchise that just happens to share its name with my much-beloved "nerds in space" franchise (isn't that a weird coincidence?), I'm a much happier person.

Speaking of things that make me happier, here are some conceptual renderings of an hypothetical 102-stories luxury residential tower in Manhattan. Now, in general terms I think the way the hyper-wealthy spend their money is becoming more and more irritating as they accumulate more of it (the tastelessness, the inhumanity, the lack of originality, the sheer megalomania... as a 90's IT person, I can't believe Bill Gates is the golden standard for moderately human use of ridiculous wealth). But this tower looks weirdly and unashamedly ominous, as opposed to the usual bland tastelessness of most luxury developments, and that's something I can get behind.

Doing good things with money should come first. But failing that, at least do things well.

On the premise of Marvel's Civil War

(No spoilers for the trailer, as this is (also) a comic book version thing as well.)

I find it interesting that Tony Stark took the pro-Registration side, and Steve Rogers the anti-Registration one.

TL;DR Tony, your privilege is showing.Collapse )
What if James Bond is like (some versions of) Joker, and he knows he's fictional?

That would explain his utter fearlessness of dying, the complete lack of affect when he kills, the substance abuse, and the way he almost completely substitutes tradecraft and strategy with sex and showing up in fancy clothes until somebody explains things to him and then dies. He knows that's how his movies work (or, worse, he thinks it's the real world, and that this is how reality works), and it's driving him quite insane, but he wants to live, and that's how he gets to keep going, by being entertaining as defined by the rules of his world.

He might not have been an alcohol/pills/sex addict to begin with, and I wouldn't blame him for becoming one over time (how many movies has he lived through? how many faces, how many retcons? can he even keep count?)

(I don't believe this for a second, but the Bond movies as a nightmarish representation of the existential despair implicit in even the extraordinarily successful performance of fixed societal and gender roles — the prize and price of being James Bond is that you will only do things James Bond would do, and that everybody in your life will be a James Bond movie character — seems to me a bit funnier and more interesting than the surface reading. Also, it makes me feel empathy for James, who even when he's having a good time knows it's just another thing he has to do along his way to yet another traumatically painful confrontation with a villain and either a soul-crushing or a happy-seeming plot ending, neither of which will change his life in any significant way come the next turn of the wheel. He doesn't like pain, our Mr. Bond, and he tries his best to keep alive the characters he thinks might have a chance of making it to the credits, but it's no wonder he'll laugh at your face when you threaten him with death.)

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*facepalm*

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.

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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.

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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).

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  • 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.

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