[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Tuesday, 2020-12-01

“Uncle Frank” and “Priest”

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 09:45

Paul Bettany movies…

We watched “Uncle Frank” on Amazon Prime a couple of nights ago. Just FYI, it has a happy ending. I would have enjoyed the movie more had I known that up front, because I wasted a lot of time expecting something horrible to happen. Nothing horrible happens. Everything works out. So just enjoy the movie, and don’t worry.

Last night, we watched “Priest” on Netflix Streaming (it leaves Netflix today, so I’m not sure where you would find it now). It’s your basic post-apocalypse, fascist-church-vs-vampires movie: that same old story. Surprisingly, it’s pretty decent. The production design, sets, and so on are top notch, and all of the actors play it completely straight. This, too, has a happy ending. Oh, and the girl who gets abducted is currently on Netflix as the eponymous “Emily In Paris”.

Friday, 2020-10-16

“Vivarium” and “Dead Weight”

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 22:26

Tonight’s movies were “Vivarium” (2019), which had us saying “kill it” throughout much of the movie (why do the characters never listen to our advice?), and “Dead Weight” (2012), a zombie movie that isn’t anything like what you would expect from a zombie movie. As the person who recommended it to me said, it turns the “hard men making hard choices” cliche on its head.

Of the two, I would recommend “Dead Weight”. Be warned, it takes a while to get started (about 20 minutes, and if it hadn’t been recommended by someone I know, it probably would have been an 18 minute movie for me), but if you stick with it, you may like it.

Tuesday, 2020-09-29

“Deep Blue Sea 3” (2020)

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 18:34

Deep Blue Sea 3” is not a terrible movie, and it has some beautiful underwater photography in the first half-hour and during the closing credits.

Monday, 2020-09-07

Mumble dialogue is the new drunken monkey cam

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 20:16

I have been complaining about this for a while, but apparently, it’s not just me: “mumble dialogue” is the modern version of “drunken monkey cam” (which I think might, just might, be going out of style, finally). I find it infuriating. LIGHT THE SCENE. HOLD THE CAMERA STILL. MAKE THE AUDIO UNDERSTANDABLE. WHY IS THIS SO DAMNED HARD FOR MODERN FILM MAKERS TO GRASP??

“I see but one rule: to be clear. If I am not clear, all my world crumbles to nothing.”

Stendhal

Thursday, 2020-08-27

18 minute movies

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 08:56

If I had the time (and frankly, interest), I would start a YouTube channel called “18 minute movies”. I noticed many years ago, while letting Netflix play while I worked, that I was stopping really bad movies at about the same point each time: 18 minutes. It was uncanny.

“18 minute movies” would be me spending about a minute describing the first 18 minutes of some movie that I stopped watching at that point. For example:

“Guns Akimbo” (2019): Daniel Radcliffe portrays an internet troll. He runs afoul of an illegal Fight Club style mafia, who appear to all be extras from the movie “Hackers” (1995). They use common power tools and hardware store screws to attach guns to his hands, somehow without making him bleed to death or collapse in screaming agony. Meanwhile, an eyebrow-less Samara Weaving shoots a lot of people while the camera is flung around the room by chimpanzees.

By the way, I really like Samara Weaving. I wish she had been cast as Captain Marvel (I’m not saying she was even considered or had any interest in the part, just that I wish she had been cast). My point is, Samara Weaving was not reason enough for me to keep playing the movie.

Here’s another one.

“The Vast Of Night” (2020): Jake Horowitz portrays a guy who “works at a radio station”. He roams aimlessly around a high school, which appears to be getting ready for a game of some kind (probably basketball). He steals an instrument from a member of the band and insults a girl who asks him for help with her tape recorder, all while mumbling incoherently around a cigarette.

Saturday, 2020-08-15

“Battletruck” (1982), aka “Warlords Of The 21st Century”

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 14:10

Today’s Saturday matinee is “Battletruck” (1982), also known as “Warlords Of The 21st Century”. This is not a great movie, but it is interesting for a number of reasons.

The late 1970s and early 1980s were the golden age of vehicle-based adventure movies. “Death Race 2000” (1975) was the vanguard of the genre, leading to “Blue Thunder” (1983), “Megaforce” (1982), “Deathsport” (1978), and so on.

The 1980s were also the golden age of post-apocalypse movies. “Mad Max” (1979) was the vanguard of the genre, leading to “Road Warrior” (1981), “Warrior And The Sorceress” (1984), “Cherry 2000” (1987), and so on.

“Battletruck” (1982) combines these elements. Unlike most films of both genres, it is not filmed in Argentina, nor does it feature David Carradine. It was filmed in New Zealand, and the cast includes Michael Beck (best known for “Warriors” (1979) and “Xanadu” (1980), and who also appeared in “Megaforce”), Annie McEnroe (who appeared in “Snowbeast” (1977), a weird intersection of the 1970s crazes for ski resort movies and Bigfoot movies), and James Wainwright (who has been in a number of fairly good films, but I know him as Dutch from 1974’s “Killdozer”). John Ratzenberger, who would make his appearance as Cliff Clavin on the show “Cheers” later the same year, has a small but memorable part as Rusty, the mechanic and weaponsmith. (Fun fact! Ratzenberger is one of the most successful actors of all time in terms of box-office receipts.)

As a vehicle-based post-apocalypse film, “Battletruck” doesn’t quite measure up to classics like “Damnation Alley” (1977), but it’s a sincere film with sympathetic characters, and it tells its story without the outlandish nonsense of “Warriors Of The Wasteland”, aka “New Barbarians” (1983) and without the sexual assaults of movies like “Road Warrior” (1981) and “Postman” (which came out in 1997, but which is very much a throwback to the post-apocalypse films of the 1980s).

Monday, 2020-06-15

Antifa 1978: Blues Brothers

Filed under: Movies,Society — bblackmoor @ 10:07

I am thinking about making a series of these.

Friday, 2020-06-05

MyMedia under screen

Filed under: Linux,Movies,Software — bblackmoor @ 11:47

I use a Python application called MyMedia to stream videos from my Ubuntu media server to my Roku boxes.

I installed Ubuntu 20 yesterday. The painfully slow navigation problem (caused by the slow but inevitable deprecation of python 2) re-appeared, and I tried to re-create the fix. Initially, I just succeeded in preventing MyMedia from running at all.

Here is what actually worked.

  1. First, I copied all of my backed up MyMedia files to /usr/local/bin/mymedia
  2. Then I installed python 2.7…
  3. sudo apt-get install python2
  4. Then I installed pip, but first I had to install curl…
  5. sudo apt-get install curl
  6. curl "https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py" -o "get-pip.py"
  7. sudo python2 get-pip.py
  8. Then I installed Pillow
  9. sudo python2 -m pip install --upgrade Pillow
  10. It might not have been necessary, but I installed several image libraries…
  11. sudo apt-get install libjpeg-dev
  12. sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libjpeg.so /usr/lib
  13. sudo apt-get install zlib1g-de
  14. sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libz.so /usr/lib
  15. In common.py, I made sure that this…
  16. import Image
  17. … had been replaced with this…
  18. #import Image
    from PIL import Image

Huge success!

Note that during this process, I got several warnings about Python 2.7 being deprecated, like this one:

DEPRECATION: Python 2.7 reached the end of its life on January 1st, 2020. Please upgrade your Python as Python 2.7 is no longer maintained. pip 21.0 will drop support for Python 2.7 in January 2021. More details about Python 2 support in pip, can be found at https://pip.pypa.io/en/latest/development/release-process/#python-2-support

It’s only a matter of time before MyMedia becomes unusable. I would love to get access to the git repository and try to update it for Python 3, if that’s possible. I’ve asked, but the original developer is no longer associated with the project. It may be that I’ll have to find a new solution to this problem in a year or so.

Also, I have updated my init script (/etc/init.d/memedia), which runs mymedia in a screen

#!/bin/sh
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides: minidlna
# Required-Start: $local_fs $network $remote_fs
# Required-Stop: $local_fs $network $remote_fs
# Default-Start: 2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 6
# Short-Description: mymedia server
# Description: mymedia media server.
### END INIT INFO

# Do NOT "set -e"

# PATH should only include /usr/* if it runs after the mountnfs.sh script
DESC="MyMedia media server"
MEDIAPATH=/var/media
DAEMONPATH=/usr/local/bin/mymedia/server
DAEMON=$DAEMONPATH/mymedia.py
SCRIPTNAME=/etc/init.d/mymedia
SCREENNAME=mymedia
USER=bblackmoor
GROUP=media
EXECUSER=root
EXECGROUP=media

case "$1" in
start)
chown -R $EXECUSER:$EXECGROUP $DAEMONPATH
chown -R $USER:$GROUP $MEDIAPATH
su - $USER -c "cd $DAEMONPATH; screen -dm -S $SCREENNAME python2 $DAEMON"
;;
stop)
su - $USER -c "screen -S $SCREENNAME -X quit"
su - $USER -c "screen -wipe"
;;
status)
su - $USER -c "screen -list | grep $SCREENNAME"
;;
*)
echo "Usage: $SCRIPTNAME {start|stop|status}" >&2
exit 3
;;
esac
:

Thursday, 2020-05-21

“Day Of The Triffids” (2009)

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 14:24

Letting the 2009 BBC adaptation of “Day Of The Triffids” play while I work. This has a remarkable cast: Dougray Scott, Joely Richardson, Eddie Izzard, Jason Priestley, Vanessa Redgrave, and Brian Cox. Eddie Izzard steals this. It helps that he’s playing the perfect Eddie Izzard character: charming, clever, subtle, and much more dangerous than you think.

This is the last of the three extant “Day Of The Triffids” film adaptations. I have been letting them all play, over the past week. They’re depressing as hell. There is no happy ending. Ever. And although the triffids are undoubtedly dangerous, people are the real monsters. Not most people. Most people are decent, and have empathy. Most people want to work together so that everyone can survive. Most people realize that we are all in this together.

But just a few are malicious. Just a few are sociopaths, sadists, and liars. Selfish. Cruel. And if people allow the worst among them to seize power, that’s really all that it takes for everything to go to hell.

Sunday, 2020-04-19

Hogwarts wallpaper or Zoom backgrounds

Filed under: Art,Movies — bblackmoor @ 13:54

Here are some Hogwarts screen captures you can use as wallpaper or as backgrounds for your Zoom meetings. These are all from “Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001).

Next Page »