[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Sunday, 2021-05-16

“Magnetic Monster”(1953)

Filed under: Movies,Prose — bblackmoor @ 14:08

Taking a brief break from my parking pergola project, so I am watching “Magnetic Monster” (1953). I estimate that one-third of the movie is stock footage accompanied by a monotone voiceover. This is not a very good movie, but it has a remarkable cast. Every scene has a face you’ll recognize (well, if you are horribly, horribly old).

The plot reminds me a bit of “Monolith Monsters” (1957).

[Later…] Hey, this was directed and co-written by Curt Siodmak! Son of a gun. I sometimes get Curt Siodmak confused with Clifford Simak, who wrote one of my favourite books, “City” (1952).

Saturday, 2021-05-15

RiffTrax doesn’t riff movies anymore

Filed under: Humour,Movies — bblackmoor @ 15:57

RiffTrax recently announced a soon-to-be-released riff of the Gumby movie. (Is it “a” Gumby movie? Did Gumby do more than one?) I asked if it was the actual movie, or if 10-20 minutes had been cut from it for the RiffTrax riff. No one seemed to know, but a number of “fans” complained that I would ask such a thing. “Good luck with that.” “Maybe RiffTrax isn’t for you.” “Maybe it’s time to move on.” etc.

I think these must be newer RiffTrax fans. That makes me happy (yay, new fans!), but also a little sad. Because you know, for about a decade, “is this the movie you say it is?” wasn’t even something you needed to ask. You could buy a riff knowing nothing else than it was from RiffTrax, and be happy you did. If they said they had riffed the movie, you could trust that it was true. “We don’t make movies: we make them funny.” Those were some good times.

Is it time to move on?

Someone in the above discussion said something like “they’ll survive without your ten dollars”, which got me thinking: how much have I been spending on this? I’ve been buying RiffTrax since the beginning (14 or 15 years, I think), but my current records only go back about six years. In the past six years, I have been supporting RiffTrax at the cost of $400 per year ($398.33, to be exact). I was happy to pay that, for all of those years… until this recent trend of selling incomplete riffs became the norm. And it is the norm, I am sad to admit: they have said point-blank that this is what they do now. It’s their livelihood, and they have to do what they think is best for the business. So I guess the question is if what they do now is still worth that much to me. And I think I have known this for a while, but I just didn’t want to admit it: it’s not.

Thank you, RiffTrax crew (and Film Crew, before that), for over a decade of good times. I wish you and your new fans nothing but the best.

P.S. They cut about 15 minutes from that Gumby movie.

Thursday, 2021-05-06

Is good news still a thing?

Filed under: About Me,Humour,Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 16:01

Is good news even a thing anymore? Not “making the best of it” news. Not “people staving off doom for one more day” news. Not “here’s some trivia about some stranger’s personal life” news. Not “be thankful things aren’t even worse” news. Actual good news.

That would be nice.

"I'm so looking forward to this being over and life getting back to normal." -- Stacy, former Souplantation assistant manager, February 2026

Thursday, 2021-04-29

Unruly

Filed under: Comics,Movies — bblackmoor @ 12:08

We watched “Incredible Hulk” (2008) and “Avengers” (2012) last night, as part of our attempt to watch all of the recent(ish) Marvel movies in the chronological order of the events in the movies. The Hulk movie was slightly out of order, because it took me a while to track it down — it’s not on Disney+, for some reason.

I enjoyed both movies. Hulk is an incredibly straightforward plot: Army general psychopath finds Hulk, attacks, people get hurt. Army general psychopath finds Hulk again, attacks, people get hurt. Army general psychopath finds Hulk a third time, attacks, people get hurt. I think professional wrestling has more complicated plots than that.

Avengers went the complete opposite direction. I think they based the plot on a quote from the philosopher Didactylos: “Things just happen. What the hell.” It did have a couple of scenes I love, where Black Widow uses people’s vanity and arrogance against them (and let’s face it — people that vain and arrogant are men almost all of the time), and gets them to start monologuing. “Thank you for your cooperation.”

It also has one of my favourite scenes of ordinary people defying power. (You have seen it, even if you’ve never seen the movie — it’s a meme. “There are always men like you.”)

And it has perhaps the most painful description of humanity I’ve ever heard. “They are unruly, and therefore cannot be ruled.” Because “unruly” is a two-edged sword.

“Unruly” means standing up to fascists, sure. But it also means storming the capitol building because you believe the lies of fascists. It means refusing to wear a mask or get vaccinated because of ridiculous conspiracy theories. It means ignoring the effects that human activity has on the planet, while the world slowly burns.

I think we could afford to be a bit less unruly.

Oh, and “Captain Marvel” (2019) is better than I remember. I still think Brie Larson was hilariously mis-cast. Her acting style is incredibly subtle — and they cast her in a superhero movie. But it’s a pretty decent movie, and the supporting cast is great, even the kid. I think my expectations were just too high the first time I saw it.

Friday, 2021-04-23

The Falcon And The Snowman

Filed under: Movies,Television — bblackmoor @ 18:13

We really enjoyed the “Falcon And The Winter Soldier” miniseries (or as we like to call it, “The Falcon And The Snowman”). I think this measures up to the best of the Marvel movies, and is far better than any of the previous Marvel TV shows and/or miniseries (although “Agent Carter” was pretty decent).

And now, apparently, we are watching all of the Marvel movies we have already seen (which is all of them), but in the chronological order of the events portrayed in them. Fortunately for us, someone has already figured out what that order is.

So first up is “Captain America”, and then “Captain Marvel”. Which reminds me of what a disappointment “Captain Marvel” was. It could have been another “Wonder Woman”, if they had cast someone better to carry the movie. Samara Weaving, for example. Such a missed opportunity. I mean, sure, it made over 6x its budget at the box office (over a billion dollars), but it could have been GREAT, as good as “Captain America”, with just one change.

Ah, well.

“Captain America”, on the other hand, is truly a great movie. Not just a great superhero movie — a great movie, of any kind. Perfectly cast. Perfectly executed.

Dr. Erskine on Nazis

Wednesday, 2021-03-31

Republicans love COVID-19

Filed under: Humour,Politics — bblackmoor @ 08:18
Republicans love COVID-19, because they get to lie and kill people with the same breath.

Monday, 2021-03-01

Karelia, version 7

Filed under: Art,Gaming,Software — bblackmoor @ 09:37

Current version of Karelia map, for my maybe-I-will-maybe-I-won’t D&D game. I like the overall look, but I am bumping into limitations in Inkarnate (which is what I used to draw this). namely, there is no way to group objects into, say, “Labels”, or “Rivers”, and change the size, colour, font, etc. in a simple way. Photoshop can do that fairly easily (no great surprise), so I am thinking about doing the landmasses in Inkarnate (which is easy to do with its built-in textures and POI icons) and then doing the rivers and labels in Photoshop.

Alternately, I am playing with the idea of loading this map into Campaign Cartographer (from ProFantasy), and re-drawing it in that program. Campaign Cartographer is a much more powerful mapping program than Inkarnate, and can do everything (or nearly everything) I would like to do in Photoshop. I have owned Campaign Cartographer for literally decades, and have subscribed to their monthly “Cartographer’s Annual” since 2007, but I have never taken the dive into learning it. It has a steep learning curve.

On the other other hand, I am wondering if perhaps I have gone down a rabbit hole on this whole map thing. Maybe I should just declare it “good enough”, and move on to planning the actual game. Maybe.

Sunday, 2021-01-24

“Freaky” (2020)

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 21:49

If you liked “Scream”, you may like “Freaky” (2020). It’s funny and gory, and Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton both deliver effective performances. I enjoyed it.

Saturday, 2021-01-23

“Keanu” (2016)

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 21:41

If you like the Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder movies from the 1970s, like “Silver Streak” (1976), you may like “Keanu” (2016). I think it’s probably the closest I have seen anyone come close to the style of movies that Pryor and Wilder made. It’s not 100% the kind of comedy I typically like, and I wasn’t entirely happy with the ending, but I enjoyed it.

Tuesday, 2020-12-22

“Breach” (2020)

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 22:15

We just watched one of the worst movies I have seen in a very long time. I have seen people compare this to “Alien” (1979) and “The Thing” (1982), but that gives this film far too much credit. If Uwe Boll were to make a crappy knockoff of Roger Corman’s “Forbidden World” (1982) (originally titled “Mutant”), it would look like “Breach” (2020).

Calling this “terrible” is an insult to terrible movies.

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