The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

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Jennifer
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

Post by Jennifer »

There is a new three-part Dracula miniseries which I binge-watched last night (British, with no actors I recognized). It started out interestingly enough: based on Stoker's original, but with enough changes that even if you know the novel, there will be many things to surprise you. Second episode was half-interesting, half-WTF (and strayed far more from Stoker's original), and the third and final episode, including its very different ending, was mainly WTF.

Based on Twitter criticism, the general consensus is that Steven Moffat is to blame for this.
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

Post by Eric the .5b »

Jennifer wrote:
07 Jan 2020, 02:58
.Based on Twitter criticism, the general consensus is that Steven Moffat is to blame for this.
Your impressions and Moffat's culpability match what I've heard about it.
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

Post by Jennifer »

Eric the .5b wrote:
07 Jan 2020, 05:47
Jennifer wrote:
07 Jan 2020, 02:58
.Based on Twitter criticism, the general consensus is that Steven Moffat is to blame for this.
Your impressions and Moffat's culpability match what I've heard about it.
Sad thing is, it could've been good. It almost was good. Hell, it started out good. But, for all that I appreciate the effort to come up with new and clever justifications for old vampire tropes (such as fear of the Christian cross, or aversion to mirrors and sunlight) -- plus a couple of new additions to vampire-lore which IMO were genuinely horrifying, even moreso that the original vampire legends or Stoker novel -- after awhile it all just fell apart. (ETA: Also, those "clever" new explanations actually kinda sucked.)
Last edited by Jennifer on 08 Jan 2020, 16:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

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I think Moffat needs to go back to writing British Friends reboots.
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

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dbcooper wrote:
01 Dec 2019, 09:30
The disproportionate age of everyone in The Irishman is really alienating.

Advanced CGI de-aging my ass.
Watched it about a week ago. The cgi thing was really not good. I think it actually makes me a little mad. It could have been a classic New York mobster film and I felt it wasn't because they selfishly wanted to get the old band back together. Yeah we've all enjoyed DeNiro and Pesci and Pacino and Keitel in these sorts of films over the years, now give someone new and more age appropriate a chance at those roles instead of hamstringing a potentially decent movie.
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

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dead_elvis wrote:
12 Jan 2020, 17:43
dbcooper wrote:
01 Dec 2019, 09:30
The disproportionate age of everyone in The Irishman is really alienating.

Advanced CGI de-aging my ass.
Watched it about a week ago. The cgi thing was really not good. I think it actually makes me a little mad. It could have been a classic New York mobster film and I felt it wasn't because they selfishly wanted to get the old band back together. Yeah we've all enjoyed DeNiro and Pesci and Pacino and Keitel in these sorts of films over the years, now give someone new and more age appropriate a chance at those roles instead of hamstringing a potentially decent movie.
Completely agree.
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

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I Think We're Alone Now, a quiet post-apocalypse movie starring Dinkles and Elle Fanning. It was merely slow and somewhat unclear until the WTF third act twist on par with Hancock.
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

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I saw old live-action Flintstones movie starring John Goodman, and it was disappointing but in the exact opposite way I expected: you'd think a live-action cartoon, especially one drawn as deliberately crude as the Flintstones, would have a hard time recreating the visuals, but coming up with a suitably entertaining cartoon story would be easy. This movie was the opposite: they actually did a great job creating live-action Bedrock (especially considering the limits of mid-90s technology), but the story was bad and hardly Flintstone-y at all.
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

Post by Eric the .5b »

Jennifer wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 06:05
I saw old live-action Flintstones movie starring John Goodman, and it was disappointing but in the exact opposite way I expected: you'd think a live-action cartoon, especially one drawn as deliberately crude as the Flintstones, would have a hard time recreating the visuals, but coming up with a suitably entertaining cartoon story would be easy. This movie was the opposite: they actually did a great job creating live-action Bedrock (especially considering the limits of mid-90s technology), but the story was bad and hardly Flintstone-y at all.
This is the sort of thing that makes me wonder whether the 90s (and to a lesser extent the 80s) weren't just a bad time for big-budget adaptations in Hollywood, whether from books, TV shows, or anything else. A lot of the ones I saw give me the impression, in retrospect, that the writers had little interest in the source works and instead reworked an unrelated script they had handy to match the basic premises.
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

Post by Jennifer »

Eric the .5b wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 20:41
Jennifer wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 06:05
I saw old live-action Flintstones movie starring John Goodman, and it was disappointing but in the exact opposite way I expected: you'd think a live-action cartoon, especially one drawn as deliberately crude as the Flintstones, would have a hard time recreating the visuals, but coming up with a suitably entertaining cartoon story would be easy. This movie was the opposite: they actually did a great job creating live-action Bedrock (especially considering the limits of mid-90s technology), but the story was bad and hardly Flintstone-y at all.
This is the sort of thing that makes me wonder whether the 90s (and to a lesser extent the 80s) weren't just a bad time for big-budget adaptations in Hollywood, whether from books, TV shows, or anything else. A lot of the ones I saw give me the impression, in retrospect, that the writers had little interest in the source works and instead reworked an unrelated script they had handy to match the basic premises.
That is precisely how the Flintstones movie felt: like they took the script of an action/suspense movie that wasn't even intended to be a comedy, then shoved a bunch of "rock" and "stone" puns in there. (ETA: Furthermore, the script would've been senseless even if they had tried playing it straight: the evil guy's plot [and Chekhov's gun invention saving the day at the last minute] cancelled each other out -- why introduce your super-profitable new invention to the company you're working for, if you're planning to embezzle all the company money and leave it bankrupt, anyway? -- as did the way Fred got his promotion: the corrupt evil guy gave the promotion to the guy who got the highest score on the test, Barney actually scored the highest so he swapped tests with Fred -- but since the evil guy only intended the promotion to serve as a fall guy for his embezzlement, he would've hired the guy who got the lowest score on the test, rather than the highest.)

But the live-action visuals did look great. They built Bedrock in front of the Star Trek alien-planet rock.
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

Post by Eric the .5b »

Jennifer wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 22:48
Eric the .5b wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 20:41
Jennifer wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 06:05
I saw old live-action Flintstones movie starring John Goodman, and it was disappointing but in the exact opposite way I expected: you'd think a live-action cartoon, especially one drawn as deliberately crude as the Flintstones, would have a hard time recreating the visuals, but coming up with a suitably entertaining cartoon story would be easy. This movie was the opposite: they actually did a great job creating live-action Bedrock (especially considering the limits of mid-90s technology), but the story was bad and hardly Flintstone-y at all.
This is the sort of thing that makes me wonder whether the 90s (and to a lesser extent the 80s) weren't just a bad time for big-budget adaptations in Hollywood, whether from books, TV shows, or anything else. A lot of the ones I saw give me the impression, in retrospect, that the writers had little interest in the source works and instead reworked an unrelated script they had handy to match the basic premises.
That is precisely how the Flintstones movie felt: like they took the script of an action/suspense movie that wasn't even intended to be a comedy, then shoved a bunch of "rock" and "stone" puns in there. (ETA: Furthermore, the script would've been senseless even if they had tried playing it straight: the evil guy's plot [and Chekhov's gun invention saving the day at the last minute] cancelled each other out -- why introduce your super-profitable new invention to the company you're working for, if you're planning to embezzle all the company money and leave it bankrupt, anyway? -- as did the way Fred got his promotion: the corrupt evil guy gave the promotion to the guy who got the highest score on the test, Barney actually scored the highest so he swapped tests with Fred -- but since the evil guy only intended the promotion to serve as a fall guy for his embezzlement, he would've hired the guy who got the lowest score on the test, rather than the highest.)

But the live-action visuals did look great. They built Bedrock in front of the Star Trek alien-planet rock.
I might have to watch it sometime for the visuals. You'd think people couldn't screw up basic, broad sitcom comedy like The Flintstones, but the writers clearly worked hard at it...

That really reminds me, in reverse, of the Exit to Eden adaptation. The book by Anne Rice (which I admit I haven't read) involves a guy who goes to a BDSM resort and his resulting relationship with the dominatrix who runs it. The director grafted on a (very vaguely) comedic plot involving a pair of jewel thieves incognito at the resort and Rosie O'Donnell and Dan Aykroyd as cops going undercover as guests to find them.
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

Post by Jennifer »

Eric the .5b wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 23:12
That really reminds me, in reverse, of the Exit to Eden adaptation. The book by Anne Rice (which I admit I haven't read) involves a guy who goes to a BDSM resort and his resulting relationship with the dominatrix who runs it. The director grafted on a (very vaguely) comedic plot involving a pair of jewel thieves incognito at the resort and Rosie O'Donnell and Dan Aykroyd as cops going undercover as guests to find them.
The trailers for the movie made it sound entirely like a comedy about cops undercover at a BDSM resort to look for jewel thieves. Source: I saw the movie based on the trailer.

Did. NOT. Like.

But the Flintstones live action movie is worth watching for the visuals, provided it doesn't cost you any money to do so. I've also got the DVR set to record Viva Rock Vegas when some cable company airs it in a few days.
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

Post by Eric the .5b »

Jennifer wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 23:43
Eric the .5b wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 23:12
That really reminds me, in reverse, of the Exit to Eden adaptation. The book by Anne Rice (which I admit I haven't read) involves a guy who goes to a BDSM resort and his resulting relationship with the dominatrix who runs it. The director grafted on a (very vaguely) comedic plot involving a pair of jewel thieves incognito at the resort and Rosie O'Donnell and Dan Aykroyd as cops going undercover as guests to find them.
The trailers for the movie made it sound entirely like a comedy about cops undercover at a BDSM resort to look for jewel thieves. Source: I saw the movie based on the trailer.

Did. NOT. Like.
Ayup. Nobody goes away happy.

Hell, I saw it on cable with pretty much no preconception of what it was "supposed" to be about, and it was clearly a damn mess that failed at everything it tried to be. And not just for being a mishmash, but because it was at no point particularly funny or sexy, beyond (for me) Dana Delany's presence.

I'll see if Flintstones is streamable, sometime...
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

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I saw "Downsizing," which at first sounded like it would be an intriguing bit of sociological science fiction: environmental idealists invent a safe (but irreversible) way to shrink humans down to an adult height of only five inches, which of course means they consume far less energy and resources, and generate far less pollution, than full-size people. (They also live in domed cities to keep out birds and insects.) In addition to those who do this for idealistic environmental reasons, there are a lot of people in America who go for this for financial reasons: since the small people need only a tiny fraction of the space and resources full-size people do, whatever money you have in the big world goes exponentially farther in the small world. (The ratio they mentioned was either 1:100 or 1:1,000: meaning, every big-world dollar you have is worth either 100 or 1,000 dollars in the small world. And in America, you also get some hefty tax benefits if you shrink.) Matt Damon stars as a man who, along with his wife, decides to go small to escape their unimpressive big-world financial situation, but after he wakes up in the small world, he learned his wife backed out at the last minute. Even worse, according to the story, she ended up taking such a huge chunk of their big-world assets in the divorce that Damon has to significantly reduce his own small-world standard of living: instead of living a life of leisure in the equivalent of a 10,000-sq-ft super-luxury mansion, he gets a day job taking telephone orders for Land's End (he let his big-world professional licenses expire before coming to smallworld), and lives in a high-rise apartment that is spacious and nice by big-world standards, but not by small world.

Except right away, there's problems with the premise: even if Damon's phone job talking to people in the big world pays only minimum wage, seven-something an hour, in small-world terms he's getting either $700 or $7,000 an hour. Even if he did have to work, he wouldn't have to give up his mansion in smallworld (it's not like THAT is an asset his ex would've wanted, anyway). And from what little we saw of the actual economics of small world, their prices are low in American dollar terms even WITHOUT the big-to-small ratio: there was an in-movie infomercial with Doogie Howser married to Laura Dern, doing the stereotypical sexist "man lovingly scolds his wife for her extravagant purchases" bit -- she's lounging in her hot tub showing off the stunning new diamond and platinum necklace and bracelet she bought that day (in full-size-human terms, such jewelry would cost millions of dollars for the diamonds alone, and tens of thousands for the platinum), and she bashfully admits she spent something like eighty dollars on the jewelry, and Hubby says something like "Eighty dollars! That's enough to pay for six months' worth of our luxurious meals!" (Reminder: to have 80 dollars to spend in the small world, you only need to make either 8 or 80 cents in the big world.)

The movie initially touches upon some of the possible friction between big world and small worlders: some big-world people resent the small-world folks for "giving up," or because all the people liquidating their big-world assets to move into the small world are depressing big-world asset prices, etc. ... but they never dig deeper into that, or show anything like "big-world bigots going on a rampage against the small-worlders." There is mention that repressive governments are forcibly shrinking dissidents, and one such shrinking victim appears in the movie and becomes an important character -- but that's all they do. Worse yet, come to find out the dissident lives in small-world's equivalent of the illegal-immigrant slums, which are just as slummy as their big-world counterparts, and those people in smallworld are as bad off as illegal immigrants in America, only worse because they can't go back home even if they want to ... AND come to find out all of this is irrelevant anyway because there's a big methane melt-release going on in Greenland and scientists now realize the climate has entered an irreversible feedback loop, so the earth's surface is about to become uninhabitable for the next eight thousand years which is why a few thousand smallpeople are going to hide in a big cave underground until the earth becomes inhabitable again and their distant descendants can emerge.

This confused and convoluted mess I just told you is actually a stripped-down, streamlined version of the actual movie.

You could make a very interesting movie from the premise "Imagine our society right now, only with these five-inch-high adults living among us, and financial reasons why the less-well-off would be more inclined to shrink" -- how does big-world respond, AND how do things play out in smallworld? (I can easily imagine the first generation of people born small to have serious resentment against their parents: you ungrateful gits were at the top of the food chain, then demoted yourselves and me with you back down to the bottom? Dumbasses. I hate you.)

You could also make an interesting movie with the premise "All us adult humans are about five inches tall, but thousands of years ago our ancestors were giants so huge they didn't even have to worry about predatory birds -- here's why they changed, and here's what our life is like now." And there's at least three or four other interesting movies you could make out of various premises touched upon in "Downsizing": like, WTF is going on in those countries where people are shrunk against their will?

But trying to make one movie with ALL of these different things smashed together? Nope.
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

Post by Eric the .5b »

I'm just trying to figure out this whole exchange-rate thing, even if you ignore the movie being wildly inconsistent with it.

Sure, the bulk costs of materials would be tiny for an action figure-scaled McMansion, but it'll still take labor to put it together. Maybe the walls are modular components with wiring and plumbing connections, but you'll need either a big person to put it together (awkward in a neighborhood in a dome) or a crew of little people. And then fit and finish will be a big problem--tiny bumps, gaps, etc. in manufacture that aren't even visible to us will look obvious and ugly to tiny people. So, either much more expensive work by big people to achieve micro-tolerances, or more labor by tiny people sanding, filling, etc., who will want to get paid something reasonable compared to their cost of living. (At least the dome fixes the problem that insulation would be a nightmare with the heat conduction of tiny, thin walls, while tiny heaters and air conditioners would have to be carefully made not to fry or freeze the users.)

And what are they eating? Any natural foods would look bizarre to tiny people, all stringy with giant fibers and, for meat, relatively huge globs of fat. You'll never have a marbled steak again, to be sure. And if you've got tiny people involved in the manufacture and/or cooking of your food, they're gonna want to get paid, too.

Or, put another way, because tiny people are going to be needed to do stuff n the dome, it can't be a life of complete leisure in there. And those people are going to want to get paid, which raises the price of goods and services. Even if you zero out the cost of materials in most areas of the economy, labor costs are still huge. Tiny life would have much less environmental impact, but it would definitely have an economy comparable to big world life.

Actually, that might be a neat story setup. People get promised a lavish lifestyle in the tiny world, but the big houses are crudely made in a way that would embarrass Soviet carpenters, the food is weird, clothes are made of stiff, rough cloth that doesn't fit right (think of how outfits fit differently on dolls), etc. People start setting up a tiny economy to make life more livable, and you get licensing issues, labor disputes, zoning issues in master-planned domes, etc...

(This, of course, ignores all the bigger issues of "how does shrinking work?" and the array of biological complications. Do tiny people have extra-tiny cells, or just much fewer of them? Can't be the latter, because then their capillaries and many other blood vessels will be too small for blood cells. But if it's the former, there are much weirder complications. And the metabolic issues of being that small a mammal while not built to conserve heat... Hope the tiny people like spending far more time eating and crapping than even serious body-builders do!)
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Re: The son of "What the hell are YOU staring at?"

Post by Jennifer »

Eric the .5b wrote:
Yesterday, 16:08
I'm just trying to figure out this whole exchange-rate thing, even if you ignore the movie being wildly inconsistent with it.

Sure, the bulk costs of materials would be tiny for an action figure-scaled McMansion, but it'll still take labor to put it together. Maybe the walls are modular components with wiring and plumbing connections, but you'll need either a big person to put it together (awkward in a neighborhood in a dome) or a crew of little people. And then fit and finish will be a big problem--tiny bumps, gaps, etc. in manufacture that aren't even visible to us will look obvious and ugly to tiny people. So, either much more expensive work by big people to achieve micro-tolerances, or more labor by tiny people sanding, filling, etc., who will want to get paid something reasonable compared to their cost of living. (At least the dome fixes the problem that insulation would be a nightmare with the heat conduction of tiny, thin walls, while tiny heaters and air conditioners would have to be carefully made not to fry or freeze the users.)

And what are they eating? Any natural foods would look bizarre to tiny people, all stringy with giant fibers and, for meat, relatively huge globs of fat. You'll never have a marbled steak again, to be sure. And if you've got tiny people involved in the manufacture and/or cooking of your food, they're gonna want to get paid, too.

In the movie, the shrink process works on all living things, so they shrunk the necessary plants and livestock. (Presumably, the few thousand Norwegian smallpeople who disappear into the cave will bring their mini-livestock with them --- this all came up long after the point where I'd stopped paying full attention to the movie). It did give a brief nod to that issue, though -- when Damon first arrived in "Leisureland" (the particular domed community where he bought property), the friendly guy he first met warned him to be careful with the dairy at first, because everyone needs time to get used to the bacteria. And there is a smallworld business selling "Full size flowers" -- in one of the many subplots I didn't bother mentioning, Damon has a smallworld date with a woman and gives her a single rose blossom so huge, you can't even wrap your arms around it.



Or, put another way, because tiny people are going to be needed to do stuff n the dome, it can't be a life of complete leisure in there. And those people are going to want to get paid, which raises the price of goods and services. Even if you zero out the cost of materials in most areas of the economy, labor costs are still huge. Tiny life would have much less environmental impact, but it would definitely have an economy comparable to big world life.
Which is another reason the entire movie premise (at least the economics of leaving bigworld to go small in America) -- Matt Damon's bigworld career was as a physical therapist-type. (This is important because of another subplot I didn't mention, wherein the shrunken impoverished dissident also had a leg amputated and was developing problems from her ill-fitting prosthetic. Luckily, Damon was able to fix these.) But in Leisureland he can't work as a therapist because his license expired and now to get a new one he'd have to start all over.

In the big world, if your job choices are "taking catalog orders for Land's End" or "working in your fulfilling, credentials-required professional career" you're definitely better off with the latter, not just for personal-fulfillment reasons but because that job pays a lot more money. But in smallworld, at least in America (Damon is still a full-fledged American citizen even after he shrinks -- that's never touched upon, either), it appears Damon's choice would be "be a therapist in smallworld, and get paid smallworld rates for his services," or "take that minimum-wage bigworld job and get paid VASTLY more than he ever would with his professional credentials in smallworld." Except ... no, the movie implies that Damon's job is unsatisfying not only on a personal level, but also because he's making far less money than he would as a therapist.
Actually, that might be a neat story setup. People get promised a lavish lifestyle in the tiny world, but the big houses are crudely made in a way that would embarrass Soviet carpenters, the food is weird, clothes are made of stiff, rough cloth that doesn't fit right (think of how outfits fit differently on dolls), etc. People start setting up a tiny economy to make life more livable, and you get licensing issues, labor disputes, zoning issues in master-planned domes, etc...
There are soooo many things about this premise that would make a great story setup (or at least an interesting geek discussion), which is why it's so frustrating that the movie didn't do ANY of the things it could have done.
(This, of course, ignores all the bigger issues of "how does shrinking work?" and the array of biological complications. Do tiny people have extra-tiny cells, or just much fewer of them? Can't be the latter, because then their capillaries and many other blood vessels will be too small for blood cells. But if it's the former, there are much weirder complications. And the metabolic issues of being that small a mammal while not built to conserve heat... Hope the tiny people like spending far more time eating and crapping than even serious body-builders do!)
In the movie, small people appear to live just like big counterparts, in terms of eating and bathroom visits. And when smallpeople visit friends in bigworld, they don't complain of being cold or anything.

Sudden thought: how gross would sweating be? Even with our sweat glans and everything else shrunk down, water droplets condense at a certain minimum size that is tiny for real humans, even infants, but would be huge and gross for five-inch-tall people.

Another thought: those domed cities would need heavy duty air filters to keep out dust motes. The tiniest dust bunny would be HUGE in smallworld. Like dust tumbleweeds.

What they should've done with this premise was tried building an entire multi-season premium TV series around it, because there's so many potential stories there. Here's another one: there's a divorced couple with kids, one parent has primary or even sole custody -- and that parent wants to shrink down and take the kids too. The other parent objects. How do the courts rule?
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