Elsewhere: My GoodReads review of Hatchet Job by Mark Kermode    ·

Reblogged from my GoodReads list:

More a collection of columns loosely connected by Kermode’s overall thesis that film criticism (if not high-calibre criticism in general) is still necessary in this age of media democratisation. I mean I’m obviously sympathetic to that, being a writer on music and film myself and a blogger (on and off) of some 13 years’ standing. I think you have to be on board with that notion to get what he’s doing. Moreover, his structure allows him to meander around and away from the topic at hand to sometimes completely irrelevant places. But his style is fluid and fun for the most part, and some of his apparently scattershot musings do make more sense at the end.

Elsewhere: My Letterboxd review of Airplane!    ·

Something new I want to try here, seeing as it’s Blog Day (3108, get it?): reblogging stuff I post on other sites. I’m starting with my Letterboxd review of Airplane!, which also happens to be my 100th logged movie watch for this year:

The casual racism and misogyny are impossible to ignore in this day and age, even if the film comes at everything from a sardonic angle. But considering it was made at a time when the Black and White Minstrel Show was only a few years off the air, and virulently racist and sexist ‘comics’ like Bernard Manning were packing them in, Airplane! could almost be seen as progressive. Take its context as a given and it’s easier to look past the jokes they’d never make today and revel in its anarchic, puntastic spirit.

Weeknotes #677    ·

My review of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For went up last Sunday evening, and it’s been mostly a quiet week since then. Just the one press screening for me, on Thursday morning, and catching up on my Afloat contributions after putting the paper to bed on Wednesday. Here and there I’m brain-dumping bits for future reviews and whatnot. (Oh, and reading: I finished one book and started another.) Sometimes you need to let things steep for a while before they’re ready, y’know?

More Macrolog entries →


The Road to Geekdom
Yes, there are many inroads to geekery, and the border crossings shouldn’t require passports, but let’s recognise that it goes both ways: as much as elitism among geeks is a serious problem (just like with any clique), ‘geekdom’ is taken by some as no more than today’s badge of cool (what else is new?). Between those two poles lie the honestly curious, and they should always feel welcome. John Siracusa sums that up succinctly: “Geekdom is not a club; it’s a destination, open to anyone who wants to put in the time and effort to travel there.” #   ·

Shudder To Think made the most head-fucking non-hit of the ’90s
You might not think you’ve heard these guys, whether as a band or individually, but you have. #   ·

Melvins’ Buzz Osborne picks songs by “bands that were good, but blew it”
He’s no shrinking violet, that King Buzzo. #   ·

Beam me up: A beginner’s guide to the Star Trek franchise
Here’s a pretty good intro to Star Trek for newbies, though I wouldn’t preface it by saying ST is “particularly intimidating for the uninitiated” — that’s all in the mind. Watch a few shows and its charm will guide you in. My own recommendation would be to start with TNG (except perhaps season 1, it’s fairly ropey) and then move on to DS9, my personal favourite for the sub-sub-plot deep connections between its characters that underpin the whole experience but often only reveal themselves as so important on repeat viewing. Voyager is unfairly maligned (I’ve been rewatching and enjoying it lately) though the AV Club writer neglects to remark on the show’s biggest failing: concentrating on the Janeway-Seven-Doctor trio at the expense of everyone else in the cast. Enterprise is what it is: ill-conceived but not flat-out terrible. (I can’t watch TOS myself, I can’t get over the period cheesiness, but I’m not going to deny the good that it did.) #   ·

My Thumped review of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Or Sin City 2, which is the title on all the marketing over here, even though it’s not the one on screen. Whatever the name, it’s still not a good movie. #   ·

How Scrivener Helped Me Organize All My Writing
I may give this a go sometime, to see if it works for me; €30 is a lot to drop on an app unless I use it constantly (like 1Password). Presently I do all my writing and digital note-taking in nvALT but it has its limitations. See also: I’ve Been Using Evernote All Wrong. Here’s Why It’s Actually Amazing #   ·

The Wikipedia entry for Google’s Roboto font. Might see how it works for this site. #   ·

Seinfeld is 25; here are 5 ways it changed television
Seinfeld is one of those things I would much rather read about than actually watch (its situations are excruciating to me). See also: Seinfeld at 25: Carol Leifer Reveals the Origins of the Marble Rye and the Elaine Stories We Never Saw. #   ·

“Speaking up every. Fucking. Time”
Elizabeth Spiers’ fair profile (which became much more than that) of tech culture writer and activist Shanley Kane, which reinforces the impression generated by Kane’s own words and deeds of someone who demands absolute, uncompromising control — over their work, public image, whatever. So not a bad person, just someone who appears to have a character flaw that blinds them to the notion that media ethics exist as a concept independent of them. It happens. Bobbie Johnson provides more background to the story. #   ·

Maciej Cegłowski on Sana’a
The astonishingly well travelled proprietor of Idle Words (and Pinboard) on being a tourist in Yemen in the Age of Terror (registered trademark of the US Government). #   ·

More Microlog entries →