September 01, 2016

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

"Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" is the title of the latest film directed by Tim Burton. And if that doesn't make you squee then you have no soul.

Burton is, by this point, legendary for his films and for his unwillingness to cleave to any kind of genre. They may be spectacular or they may simply be weird, but they won't be remotely formula.

Just from the title and the brief description, it sounds like it was sold to the studio as being attractive to fans of Larry Potter -- and it probably will be. But it won't be a Potter-me-too because Burton doesn't do me-toos.

It's supposed to hit the theaters on Sep. 30, and it's almost enough to tempt me to go see a movie in a theater for the first time since "The Matrix". I probably won't, but I'm really looking forward to how people react to it.

Unless Burton really lets us down, it's going to be an event.

UPDATE: If the trailer is anything to judge by, Burton is on his game.

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August 04, 2016

Alas, if only it were real!


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July 27, 2016

Incoming canon fire

Is this an indication that I'm hopelessly unhip, that I don't have the slightest idea who any of the people are, who are referred to in this comic?

I remember seeing the very first Star Wars movie a couple of days after it opened, before it became a Big Thing. It was on the big screen at the West Gate theater here in Beaverton (which no longer exists) and I was a cub engineer working my first full-time job at Tektronix.

When the Death Star exploded, the audience burst into applause. I've never heard anything like that before or since. And after I walked out of the theater, I wasn't at all surprised that it became a phenomenon. But that was nearly 40 years ago.

And now it's an entire canon -- and I don't know anything about it. Oh, well.

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July 11, 2016

Who's right?

Toys for the new Ghostbusters film are already in clearance, even though the film doesn't open for another four days.

On the other hand, it currently scores 77% (53 to 16) on Rotten Tomatoes. Who's right?

We'll know for certain on Friday, but right now I'm inclined to trust the people who are gambling money on it. The stores have put that stuff in clearance because it isn't selling. So if I was a gambling man, I'd be betting against it.

I won't be seeing it, but that's no distinction. The last movie I watched in a theater was "The Matrix". And I think that newest American movie I watched at home (on optical disk) was "The Incredibles". Hollywood lost me a long time ago. (It didn't help that I don't own a TV. I haven't missed it, either. And when I had a TV, the last show I watched regularly was "Good Eats".)

UPDATE: Anyway, come Friday I'll be too busy watching the AT-X version of "Ange Vierge"...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Entertainment at 08:26 PM | Comments (13) | Add Comment
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June 26, 2016


You'd think Spielberg would know better. You'd think someone at Disney would have noticed.

There's a story about a Japanese company who wanted to compete in the broadband market against Road Runner, so they licensed Woody Woodpecker for their competing mascot, and their advertising slogan was going to be "Get Woody, the Internet Pecker". According to the story (almost certain apocryphal) one of their American employees had to explain to them the slang meaning of "woody" and "pecker".

So Disney is bringing out Spielberg's movie, "The BFG". And even I, about as un-hip a person as you'll find, had as a first thought, "Wow! How fast does it fire?"

Probably not fast at all since it stands for "Big Friendly Giant", not "Big Fucking Gun".

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May 28, 2016

M.C. Escher, call your office

I think this is really sweet:


Here's how he did it:



This one is pretty good, too:


Warning, lots of NSFW elsewhere on his page.

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May 13, 2016

The revolution isn't quite here yet

As nice as my Kindle is, and it's very nice (8.9" Kindle Fire) the big problem is that a lot of the books I want to read are not yet available for it.

Like The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. A lot of the classic Heinlein books are available for the Kindle but not that one.

And A Night in the Lonesome October.

And just now I had a really strong urge to reread Jack of Eagles. It's one of the lesser known novels by James Blish, but it's really good.

On the other hand, I just discovered that The Demolished Man is available for the Kindle. So maybe I'll read that tonight.

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April 27, 2016

Touhou Peanuts!

This page has a lot of odd stuff from what might be a group project to create cross-breed art and comics featuring Touhou characters in Peanuts art style. Be warned: all the Peanuts stuff is G-rated, but there are other things which are NSFW. One gallery, for instance, is full of tentacle rape art.

Anyway, this is a sample of the good stuff:







(And the translations look to be Google Translate; understandable but a bit odd.)

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February 04, 2016

A question of definition

I'm a big fan of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books. About half the books in my Kindle are from that series. But just now I ran into something I'd noted before, and I'd like to ask your opinion.

In Too Many Cooks we meet Marko Vukcic's ex-wife. And she

In The Black Mountain Archie describes Marko as being a widower. So that's the question: if a man is divorced and his ex-wife then dies, does he count as a widower?

My initial reaction is "no". A widower is someone whose wife dies while he's still married to her. But that may not be the only answer. What do you think?

UPDATE: The dictionary says:

a man who has lost his spouse by death and has not remarried.

But he didn't lose his wife by death; he lost her by divorce.

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January 29, 2016

Gate 2, ep 4

Something I thought I'd never write: I'm starting to lose interest in the GATE anime.

My problem is that I've been reading (and rereading) the manga, so whenever I reach some point where they diverge, I'm jerked out of the story. Not just because it's different, but because the anime is worse. It's always been worse. And a lot of the changes have been unnecessary. I wonder if there is animosity between the mangaka and the team doing the anime?

For instance, they've changed the character art for a lot of characters, and I like the manga versions better. For instance, Countess Myui of Italica:



Sage Cato:



And Delilah:



I can't believe that the anime version of Delilah is any easier to draw or animate than the manga version would have been, with a bit of streamlining. Their reason for changing Cato is that in the anime he's a silly old man who only serves as comic relief, and the manga version is entirely too dignified. And I can't think of any reason at all for changing Myui besides Not Invented Here.

They're also abbreviating the story, too much IMHO. It's disjointed; they're leaving too much out and characterization and character motivation is suffering. They've done so much of that that the anime is close to being incoherent.

It feels like they're in a hurry. The next-ep preview suggests that That's where I originally thought this series was going to end, and it's going to happen in the fifth ep.

This isn't what I really wanted.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Entertainment at 04:24 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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