[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Monday, 2019-03-11

Captain Marvel

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 08:31

We saw “Captain Marvel” last night. It was okay. It reminded me of “Doctor Strange” — lots of backstory and special effects, and then the main character can suddenly do anything and automatically wins.

I think I would have liked it better if they had cast a better actor as Captain Marvel. Brie Larson does “impassive” and “serious” well, but most of the time when her character laughed or smiled, it came across as forced and fake (John Agar had the same problem). I think her most believable scenes are opposite Akira Akbar as a very young Monica Rambeau — in those, she comes across as genuine. But personally, I think Samara Weaving would have been better in the part. Ah, well.

I really liked Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, and Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva. I thought they were more interesting than Carl Danvers and Nick Fury (although Sam Jackson is always interesting).

Saturday, 2019-03-02

The Umbrella Academy

Filed under: Television — bblackmoor @ 17:55

“The Umbrella Academy”: well, that was a waste of time. It’s 50 minutes of interesting ideas spread over ten freaking hours. On the other hand, they did a good job of spreading those ideas out so that it just barely kept me watching all the way to the end. That’s more than I can say for “The Gifted”, or “Runaways”, or “Tomorrow People”, or “Agents Of Shield”, or “Legion”, or “Cloak And Dagger”, or …

“Cloak And Dagger” was the biggest disappointment. I loved that comic (for the first year or two, anyway… it went downhill later).

The only superhero TV show I am currently watching that I actually like is “Supergirl”, but that’s on some thin ice, too. The whole previous season was “blarg” with “our new best friend who appeared out of nowhere and who is not at all the same person as the new villain who appeared out of nowhere”. Basically, again, one episode worth of story spread over an entire season.

But I’m not sure I will make it all the way through this season of “Supergirl”. We just finished episode 3, and I have had more than enough angry, bigoted shitheads for a whole season. It’s bad enough half the country is infested with these malicious buffoons, we have to see them every week on “Supergirl” now, too?

Wednesday, 2019-02-06

Ethnographics of a fantasy world

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 23:21

So here’s something weird that I have never thought of before. I am planning to run a fantasy game in the next month or two, and have been contemplating various setting options. One that seemed to pique the players’ interest was what I described as an “Asian slurry” fantasy world (ASFW from here out) — a not-Earth mixture of various Asian myths and legends, with an overlay of the anime version of China and/or Japan and/or Korea.

The premise of the game is that the PCs are transported there from our world (something like the Thomas Covenant books or the Doomfarers Of Coramonde).

So I am thinking of this, and it occurs to me: there is a virtually zero chance that all of the PCs will have what we generally think of as Asian features. I don’t think I have ever run a modern day game with more than one PC with Asian ancestry. So these visitors from another world will look strange and different to the people of ASFW.

I’m not sure if this is a problem or not. At first I thought it would be, but now I am thinking I might be able to tie that into the background of the game. Maybe they aren’t the first round-eyed strangers from another world to have visited ASFW…

Now for the weird thing. This — the difference in appearance between the population of a fantasy world and the PCs-from-another-world who arrive there — has literally never crossed my mind before. None of the other fantasy settings I was thinking about sparked this thought. Mentally, I just populated them with the same melange of Europeans of varying swarthiness with a sprinkling of Arabs and Africans, such that any PCs from our world would blend in with the population with little effort (at least until they start talking).

I don’t have a conclusion to draw from this. I just thought it was weird.

Sunday, 2018-10-14

Doctor Who season 37

Filed under: Television — bblackmoor @ 19:52

Tonight’s entertainment was the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who (which is either the 11th season or the 37th, depending on when you start counting… I’m going to call it the 37th season, but I may be the only one). We enjoyed it, and I like Jodie Whittaker. I really hate the new Doctor Who’s outfit, though. I loved the previous Doctor Who’s outfit, and I really liked Peter Capaldi, but I got bored with his run by his third or fourth episode and stopped watching them, so I guess an outfit isn’t everything.

I am little a puzzled by the … what’s the opposite of a cliffhanger? Leaving things out at the beginning. How did Peter Capaldi turn into Jodie Whittaker? What happened to the Tardis? I guess it doesn’t really matter.

Monday, 2018-10-08

Happy Columbus Day!

Filed under: History,Mythology,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 07:43

Happy Columbus Day! Much like St. Patrick’s Day, this day has very little to do with the actual historical Christopher Columbus (who was by all accounts a truly despicable human being, although he may also have been a completely typical example of his time). What we are actually celebrating is the spirit of exploration that is tied so firmly to the American spirit. We are explorers and pioneers. We went where no one had gone before. We are risk takers who follow our dreams even when the people around us claim that we’d fall off the edge of the world (not in Columbus’ era — those folks knew the world was round). It’s also a day to celebrate the contribution that we Americans have gained thanks to Italian immigrants and (if we’re lucky) our Italian ancestors. These are things worth celebrating.

If you use this as an opportunity to complain about Columbus, Imperialism, or colonialism… well, there are good reasons to be aware of those things. But that’s not what we are celebrating on Columbus Day.

map and telescope

Friday, 2018-10-05

The Foreigner (2017)

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 19:23

Tonight’s entertainment was “The Foreigner” (2017), with Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. We both enjoyed it, although we had some trouble telling the doughy British and/or Irish people apart. It reminded me of another film I rather like, “The Limey” (1999), with Terence Stamp.

Friday, 2018-09-28

Star Wars 10: Solo, A Star Wars Story

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 20:30

Tonight’s entertainment was “Star Wars 10: Solo, A Star Wars Story” (2018). It has some dumb bits (e.g., why his name is “Solo”, why he calls Chewbacca “Chewie”), but we liked it. It was a fun movie, and had a happy ending despite a lot of sympathetic characters dying.

Alden Ehrenreich (who played Han) and Donald Glover (who played Lando) did a really good job of adopting the accents of the original actors for those parts. I was impressed. I also liked the new Chewbacca, and that he got to flex his muscles, so to speak. I was also pleased to see Emilia Clarke, who played Sarah Connor in the ill-fated “Terminator: Genisys” (2015). It was not a good movie, but I really liked her turn as Sarah Connor, and I am glad to see her getting work.

Tuesday, 2018-09-25

“Enterprise”, season 1 episode 15, “Shadows of BDSM”

Filed under: Television — bblackmoor @ 15:34

It took fourteen episodes, but I have found the first bad episode of “Enterprise”. I mean, the “Tripp Has Nipples On His Arm” episode was not great, but this is genuinely bad: season 1, episode 15, “Shadows of BDSM”.

Archer and T’Pol are captured by rebels. I’m only halfway through, but so far, Archer and T’pol have had a tied-up “Oops! My face is in your boobs!” moment, and now they are in Shibari style bondage and trying to eat oatmeal.

Ugh.

But most episodes so far have been pretty good, and some have been really good. For example, “Enterprise” season 1, episode 7: “The Andorian Incident”, featuring the brilliant Jeffrey Combs.

“For people without emotions, you sure have a flair for the dramatic!”

— Charles “Trip” Tucker III, to a Vulcan monk who just did something unexpected.

By the way, I haven’t seen any of these episodes since they were first broadcast. I seem to recall people being super critical of this show, but I am enjoying it so far. I really like the cast, particularly Jolene Blalock, John Billingsley, and Linda Park. But really, I like the whole cast.

P.S. I spoke too soon. This episode just got good.

Monday, 2018-09-03

Deadpool 2 (2018)

Filed under: Comics,Movies — bblackmoor @ 17:21

I am not a fan of Deadpool, the comicbook character. I think he makes any comic worse with his appearance. However, I have enjoyed the two Deadpool movies more than the last several non-Deadpool Marvel and DC (and Star Wars) movies.

Does that seem right to you?

Deadpool 2 (2018)

Tuesday, 2018-08-28

Copyright is not a moral absolute

Filed under: Art,Books,Intellectual Property,Music — bblackmoor @ 11:36

People act like copyright is this intrinsic moral law of the universe. It’s not. It’s new. And it very clearly has become a tool to allow huge corporations to annex our shared culture, depriving future generations of what is rightfully theirs. People who shill for copyright are not much different than the polluters who want to keep pumping carbon into the air regardless of the effects it has on future generations — effects which are already very much apparent. It is, at best, grievously short-sighted.

loss of the public domain 2014

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