Monday, February 19, 2018

Hostiles: A Review



Hostiles has great acting, great cinematography, had a decent enough basic story, but unfortunately it layered on the dramatic violence too thick and as a result has an uneven story. While the production values were excellent and it is filmed on location from New Mexico to Montana, there were some glaring factual inconsistencies that also bothered me.

Set in 1892, director writer Scott Cooper tries too hard to make his point about racism, violence and redemption. It had a bit of a film school Odyssey feel, with the next violent danger awaiting just a head on the trail. While I appreciate his John Ford influence, a lighter touch on the message would have made a more effective movie (something Ford certainly knew). It is too bad, because I really liked the cast and the film. It could have been so much better.  

Despite the film's flaws, Christian Bale, Wes Studi, Rosamund Pike and the rest of the cast are excellent. I just wish there was more Wes Studi to play off Christian Bale.


By eliminating some of the over the top plot lines/scenes, there would have been more time to develop the core characters. For example, Studi's Chief Yellow Hawk's family, played by Adam Beach, Tanaya Beatty and Q'orianka Kilcher were under utilized. That's a shame.


Christian Bale as Capt. Joseph J. Blocker gives a heck of a performance. 




Rotten Tomatoes: Hostiles


Rosamund Pike











Rule 5 and FMJRA

Hogewash: Enceladus

Lem's Levity: Beauty Matters

The Right Way: Link-O-Rama!

Woodsterman: All About The Bass

Animal Magnetism: Gingermageddon

90 Miles from Tyranny: Girls with Guns

Wombat: EBL: Black Panther – A Review

The Feral Irishman: Hello Darkness My Old Friend

Political Clown Parade: CNN, Dead Network Walking

Hot Air: Black Panther review and A defining moment?

American Power Blog: Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

TOM: Advanced Gender Stereotypes and Transgenderism 'Equality'

Diogenes' Middle Finger: The Planetarium's Gift Shop Manager Weighs In

Goodstuffs' St. Patrick Celebration (its never too early) and Elizabeth Hurley 215th

A View From The Beach: Anne Althouse Ain't Buying It and Caroline Kelley Rule 5

Pirate's Cove: Sorta Blogless PinupIf all you see is this, or this, or this, or this, or this...

AoSHQ: Dear Lindsay Vonn... and If the state can lie to us, why can't we lie to the state?

Proof Positive: Rosamund PikeBest of the Web and Friday Night Babe Deborah Ann Woll

Instapundit: Black Panther's home country is practically Alt-Right AfricaCan white kids dress up like Black Panther characters?Jim TreacherThere is no conspiracy against Black PantherNetflix's Altered Carbon released10 greatest science fiction detective novels


Whoa!

Top Twenty School Massacres


The United States certainly has a problem, but it is not the only country where this happens.  Places with strict firearm control still have school massacres.  

Crime Prevention Research Center: Various Countries' Mass Shooter Death Rates (US is not tops)

I agree with the left that easier access to firearms (to persons with mental issues who should not have them) contributes to firearm deaths. I am willing to listen to common sense solutions for helping to deal with that.  

Does that risk that criminals and the mentally ill may obtain and kill with firearms justify strictly regulating and confiscating firearms like they did in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom? We have celebrities promoting kids walking out of schools in protest. So will banning AR-15, for example, mean no more school shootings? No. Where does the gun banning stop? Make no mistake: This is their goal.  

Part of the problem is why the increase in these crimes?  While mass shooting are still exceedingly rare (percentage wise with the population as a whole), there are more of these events now than in the past. Schools are soft targets (where shooters know most people won't be able to shoot back).  The media coverage of these events plays a huge role, combined with eroding moral values and increased alienation. Politicians definitely are not addressing the real problem.  Townhall is right these steps would make a huge difference.  

At the same time, murder and violent crime rates are going down (dramatically). And guess what, states with more guns typically have lower crime rates.  

Almost all shooters are male. While the left tries to portray these shooters as mostly white, the racial break down of shooters actually tracks societal demographics.  

The United States had 500,000 mentally ill people involuntarily detained in the 1950s. With more than twice the population, we have about 60,000 people involuntarily detained today. While that does not fully explain mass shooting, it is definitely a factor with the explosion of homeless populations and the opioid drug epidemic. We are also sending more mentally ill people to prison (because the longer they are out on the streets, the more likely they are to get arrested and sent to prison).  

We do need to make it procedurally easier to forcibly detain people (beyond 72 hours) who show imminently dangerous behavior to themselves or others. We need more facilities to provide monitored out-care services to the mentally ill.  It is more humane, probably more effective in dealing with these mental illnesses, and ultimately more cost effective. Having our cities with concentrated homeless populations does not benefit anyone.  

And we also need to recognize we are never going to be 100% safe. There is always danger, always risk.  


Proof Positive: Common Sense Gun Laws




TOM: 327,000,000 people (some of them are freaks) and Europe's Last Hope

EBL: The FBI managed to stop these criminals and Prayers and condolences for Florida shooting victims

Baby Panther In The Pool

Happy President's Day

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Black Panther: A Review



It would be impossible for Black Panther to live up to the hype, but as comic book movies go it is solid. Chadwick Boseman as Prince T'Challa does a great job in the title role as the Black Panther (Boseman has been excellent in everything I have seen him in, especially in 42 and Marshall).  However, the movie almost gets stolen by Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger.

Yes, it is a comic book movie, trying to show how "woke" Hollywood is. Well, Hollywood would have made Black Panther twenty years ago if that was the case (see the Wesley Snipes' Variety interview below). Fortunately it is more comic book than woke, so the film works.

The women of Black Panther have great roles. I did a post already for Lupita Nyong'o, who is excellent.  I especially liked Danai Gurira as General Okoye and Letitia Wright as Shuri (as T'Challa). Angela Bassett does a fine job playing Prince T'Challa's mother.

While there is a jab about building bridges rather than walls (who could that be referring to) and some anti American nonsense about what our special forces do (you will know it if you go see it--although if you want an alternative villain, there is always Altered Carbon's UN Protectorate bad guys for a change of pace), overall I still liked the film. Interesting, however, that Wakanda does not let refugees in and strictly controls its own borders.

Without giving it all away, I was a bit disappointed with the design of Wakanda's main city. It looked like any modern city, but heavy on Rainforest Cafe and Disney hotel architectural  kitsch with some African baskets and graffiti tagging thrown in. I am not criticizing all the set work (some of it was excellent) but the goofy stuff unfortunately sticks out in comparison.

EBL: Lupita Wyong'o

Twitchy: Can you be too woke?

Variety: Wesley Snipes on his prior attempt to make Black Panther

Rotten Tomatoes: Critics rated Black Panther at 97%, audiences scored it around 76%





Left to Right: Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright and Angela Bassett  


Letitia Wright



Dania Gurira, from Michonne to General Okoye






Angela Bassett


Rule 5 and FMJRA

Hogewash: Enceladus

Lem's Levity: Beauty Matters

The Right Way: Link-O-Rama!

Woodsterman: All About The Bass

Animal Magnetism: Gingermageddon

90 Miles from Tyranny: Girls with Guns

The Feral Irishman: Hello Darkness My Old Friend

Political Clown Parade: CNN, Dead Network Walking

Hot Air: Black Panther review and A defining moment?

American Power Blog: Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

TOM: Advanced Gender Stereotypes and Transgenderism 'Equality'

Proof Positive: Best of the Web and Friday Night Babe Deborah Ann Woll

Diogenes' Middle Finger: The Planetarium's Gift Shop Manager Weighs In

Goodstuffs' St. Patrick Celebration (its never too early) and Elizabeth Hurley 215th

A View From The Beach: Anne Althouse Ain't Buying It and Caroline Kelley Rule 5

Pirate's Cove: Sorta Blogless PinupIf all you see is this, or this, or this, or this, or this...

AoSHQ: Dear Lindsay Vonn... and If the state can lie to us, why can't we lie to the state?

Instapundit: Black Panther's home country is practically Alt-Right Africa, Can white kids dress up like Black Panther characters?, Jim TreacherThere is no conspiracy against Black PantherNetflix's Altered Carbon released10 greatest science fiction detective novels

A collection of sites known for appreciation of Rule 5 and attractive comic book movie actresses:

H2
TOTUS
Egotastic
Dust bury
HeroPress
Hogewash
Theo Spark
Daily Gator
Pirate's Cove
Woodsterman
Proof Positive
RULE 5 SITES
The Right Way
MissK's World...
American Power
Guns and Bikinis
SayanythingBlog
Raconteur Report
Doubletroubletwo
Angrymikes hood
The Last Tradition
Adrienne's Corner
The Feral Irishman
Camp of the Saints
Animal Magnatism
Maggie's Notebook
The Classic Liberal
The Rio Norte Line
Randy's Roundtable
A Nod To The Gods
Political Clown Parade
24 Femmes Per Second
The Vulgar Curmudgeon
A View From The Beach
Diogenes' Middle Finger
Your Crazy Uncle Bubba
Old Retired Petty Officer
Ninety Miles From Tyranny
Knuckledraggin My Life Away
In a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

The Women of Altered Carbon

You should already know this, but the links about the show are full of spoilers. 

I got through the first season of Altered Carbon on Netflix. The show is set around 300 years in the future and the UN Protectorate runs the planet (with its own special forces). Humans can extend their lives indefinitely by obtaining new bodies (aka sleaves). Personality is downloaded on a disk embedded in the spine at 1 years of age. True death only occurs if the disk is destroyed. The implications of this technology on society are explored via a crime story.  

Takeshi Kovacs is the protagonist, brought back from the past to solve a crime. He is an envoy, which means he can shift sheaves with less disorientation than most people.  

I did not read the Richard Morgan Takeshi Kovacs books the series is based on in advance, but I will probably do so now.  The tv show is dense, complicated, and a little slow to get through at first (which might explain its low initial ratings), but it ended well. There is a lot of sex and violence, which can bring in some people and drive others away. I suspect the books are much better, but the Netflix series was still good. 

While this post is on the women of the show, an AI program based on Edgar Allen Poe steals the show. 



RadioLab: Who Am I? Is the self an illusion?
















Tamara Taylor, Dichen Lachman, Martha Higareda, Kristin Lehman and Renee Elise Goldsberry attend the World Premiere of the Netflix Original Series Altered Carbon

Rule 5 and FMJRA

Hogewash: Enceladus

Lem's Levity: Beauty Matters

The Right Way: Link-O-Rama!

Woodsterman: All About The Bass

Animal Magnetism: Gingermageddon

90 Miles from Tyranny: Girls with Guns

The Feral Irishman: Hello Darkness My Old Friend

Political Clown Parade: CNN, Dead Network Walking

American Power Blog: Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

TOM: Advanced Gender Stereotypes and Transgenderism 'Equality'

Proof Positive: Best of the Web and Friday Night Babe Deborah Ann Woll

Diogenes' Middle Finger: The Planetarium's Gift Shop Manager Weighs In

Pirate's Cove: Sorta Blogless PinupIf all you see is this, or this, or this, or this...

Goodstuffs' St. Patrick Celebration (its never too early) and Elizabeth Hurley 215th

A View From The Beach: Anne Althouse Ain't Buying It and Caroline Kelley Rule 5

AoSHQ: Dear Lindsay Vonn... and If the state can lie to us, why can't we lie to the state?

Instapundit: Netflix's Altered Carbon released10 greatest science fiction detective novels

A collection of sites known for appreciation of Rule 5 and attractive science fiction actresses:

H2
TOTUS
Egotastic
Dust bury
HeroPress
Hogewash
Theo Spark
Daily Gator
Pirate's Cove
Woodsterman
Proof Positive
RULE 5 SITES
The Right Way
MissK's World...
American Power
Guns and Bikinis
SayanythingBlog
Raconteur Report
Doubletroubletwo
Angrymikes hood
The Last Tradition
Adrienne's Corner
The Feral Irishman
Camp of the Saints
Animal Magnatism
Maggie's Notebook
The Classic Liberal
The Rio Norte Line
Randy's Roundtable
A Nod To The Gods
Political Clown Parade
24 Femmes Per Second
The Vulgar Curmudgeon
A View From The Beach
Diogenes' Middle Finger
Your Crazy Uncle Bubba
Old Retired Petty Officer
Ninety Miles From Tyranny
Knuckledraggin My Life Away
In a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Whale Dancing