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Bimo
22 January 2019 @ 04:17 pm

It seldom snows in north-western Rhineland, but the weather forecast says that it might, with the first flakes likely to fall around five o’clock this afternoon.

Current book: Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver.

Current shows: Only Star Trek: Discovery and A Series of Unfortunate Events, I’m afraid, since the latest seasons of other shows that I follow haven’t been released yet. (Or still aren’t $&/&!*** legally available in Germany. I’m looking at you, The Expanse.)


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Bimo
18 October 2018 @ 12:38 pm

Anyone else watching The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix?

The show is a very smart, atmospherically intense reimagination of both the Robert Wise’s 1963 black and white genre classic The Haunting as well as the original Shirley Jackson novel.

Somewhat sceptical at first whether any modern day TV adaption could pull off the same level of psychological horror and deeply intense fright, I was soon taken in by the effective story telling (seemingly non-chronologic and elliptical, but in fact revealing itself to be perfectly concentric in a dark, twisted dream logic kind of way).

Also, intriguing characters, well-nuanced and coming with fascinating dynamics. (If you are familiar with their Robert Wise versions, names and depictions will be a sheer delight!)

The show’s ensemble cast is as female-dominated as it is superb.

Oh, and then there is that! cameo! Chilling and brilliant! Hell, yes, on so many levels! ;)


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Bimo
23 July 2018 @ 03:03 pm

Yeah, I know. But BimoDad and I have been watching the various Jurassic Park/ Jurassic World movies together ever since the first one came out back in 1993.Thus, no way we were going to miss this latest installment.

A few mostly spoiler-free observations:

  • Pure popcorn entertainment and actually great fun, however offering very few surprises since the film displays exactly the same strengths and weaknesses as the previous one.
  • Cookie cutter characters, but perfectly likeable, or, in case of the villains, properly despicable.
  • Simply gorgeous dino animation, done in a way that really makes you care for these beasts.
  • It totally escapes me why Fallen Kingdom’s rather obvious Frankenstein theme (all complete with Gothic mansion, thunder, and discussion of scientific ethics) doesn’t show up in reviews. (I’ve read various ones, none of them cared to mention it.) Fallen Kingdom is Frankenstein, as much as one of its predecessors, The Lost World, was King Kong.
  • Oh, and I couldn’t help smiling about the scenes showing Chris Pratt’s character raising young Velociraptor Blue. So reminiscent of training Little Jasper. ;)
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Bimo
05 April 2018 @ 11:32 am
After our old cocker spaniel Wesley had died in late November last year, Cavendish and I felt it was high time for a new fluffy housemate.





Little Jasper (right) and one of his brothers on the day we decided that it just had to be this pup, sometime in February. I think what finally won us over were his eyes and that special air of sensitivity and sweetness. That and the way how, within the space of five minutes, he managed to both steal my woolen cap and then fall asleep on my feet.

More fluffiness behind the cut...Collapse )


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Bimo

What happens when Cavendish invites a bunch of colleagues for a small belated Burns Night Dinner ;)

2nd and 3rd course provided by us, extremely delicious lentil soup, amazing cheese and wonderful dessert by above mentioned colleagues…

Btw., never having tried anything like this before I was at first super skeptical about the Whisky-Cured Salmon. (Essentially fresh Salmon generously covered with a mixture of casting sugar and salt and then drowned in a larger amount of Whisky.) Turned out  I need not have worried, because twenty-four hours in our fridge rendered the fish as tender and aromatic as could be. Perfect texture and taste!
 



1st course
Soup of the Day

Toast to the Lassies

2nd course
Whisky-Cured Salmon with Beetroot Dressing and Oatcakes

Address to a Haggis

3rd course
Haggis with Mashed Pumpkin, Mixed Vegetables and Colcannon at the Side

The Corries: Oh Flower of Scotland

4th course
A Selection of fine Scottish Cheese

Sing Along: Will You Go, Lassie Go?

5th course
Surprise Dessert

Sing Along





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Bimo
12 January 2018 @ 09:51 am

I figure it’s high time I started to kick off the new year journaling-wise, if only just to wave at folks and say “Well, hi! I’m still hanging out here, having a good time :)”

TV Shows I’m currently watching or have watched just recently:


  • The Crown

  • Mindhunter

  • Star Trek: Discovery

  • Bates Motel (only season 1 so far, but definitely planning to catch up on the rest)

Movies

Nothing worth writing about at the moment. Well, during our New Year’s holiday, Cavendish and I ended up seeing Victoria & Abdul (2017, directed by Stephen Frears) at the Spiekeroog island cinema. However, we found ourselves so frustrated by that movie’s amount of kitsch and gross diminishing of British colonial crimes that we almost would have got up and left. (We probably would have left if it hadn’t been raining so strongly outside. Both of us were without umbrellas.)

Hard to believe Victoria & Abdul came from the same director who did such a smart and brilliant film as The Queen back in 2006. But then again, The Queen’s screenplay was written by Peter Morgan.

Books

selenak , knowing how highly you think of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, have you ever read this one?

Paul M. Sammon, Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner. Revised and updated 2017 edition.

Described as “The ultimate guide to Ridley Scott’s transformative Sci-Fi classic", Sammon’s decade-long labour love so far 100% lives up to its promise. Well written, intriguing background infos and interviews on just about every aspect of Blade Runner’s making.


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Bimo
21 October 2017 @ 12:46 pm
Dream of Peace by Zurik 23 M
Focusing more on the The Expanse’s action elements than on the political angle. But still capturing the general atmosphere and character dynamics rather beautifully, especially that sense of terror and wonder that’s inherent to the show.

Oh, and I just realised the vidder responsible is the same who did one of my all time favourite Black Sails vids.





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Bimo

Over the last couple of weeks, I got quite a good dose of Sci Fi. New Star Trek, new Blade Runner, plus the first one and a half seasons of The Expanse, a show that I had never heard of until Netflix rather successfully marketed it to Cavendish, who decided to give it a try, watched the pilot, and then, on the very next day, decided to watch said pilot again, this time together with me.

And wow, am I glad that he asked me to join him, because already said pilot left me speechless due to spoilery plot stuff that best remains untold so you can view for yourselves .Not only does the show offer a complex, well-developed and richly detailed universe (you can tell The Expanse is based on a series of novels), it also features nuanced characters and probably the most diverse cast I’ve seen in ages, characters and actors of various ethnic backgrounds and various age groups.

Oh, and on top of that absolutely stunning visuals. Seeing what The Expanse does with its space stations and ships, the newer ones as well as those rundown and falling apart, I immediately thought of Babylon 5, and that B5, a true pioneer back in the 1990s, would look just like this if it had been filmed today and not some twenty years ago. Shiny and gritty and lived in and quite amazing.


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Bimo

Cavendish and I now have progressed up to episode 1.20 “The Stranger”, which shines a light on Pinocchio/August’s backstory, all the dark, winding path, right to the point when adult August is leading an increasingly distressed Emma to the very tree portal through which both of them had originally arrived in the Land without Magic.  

What sprang to my mind while rewatching,  well, apart from “Wow, this really features Shady Blue at her shadiest! Attempting to change the deal she has made with Geppetto, and when that fails, outright lying to pregnant Snow and Charming… Boo!”:

The portrayals of the child Pinocchio and the man he has turned into seem far more ambivalent in “The Stranger” than in some of the later episodes, where the character is more often than not pushed into the role of a pathetic coward. Of course, adult August’s method of trying to force Emma into believing is questionable. Of course his motivation appears selfish in nature, at least to a certain degree.Thanks to nuanced writing and acting it is impossible to tell how much August’s actions are based on heartfelt guilt and remorse, and how much on hoping to escape his impending fate of turning back into wood.

However it is easy to sympathise with him and to understand how little chance he actually had to turn out any different. After all, he’s a frightened to death kid, who was pushed into a guardian role for which he was far too young, and thus, could not possibly fulfil. Geppetto, what on Earth were you thinking, placing the incredible responsibility of watching out for the newly born Emma on your seven-year-old’s shoulders? No wonder your son ends up running away and staying continuously on the run for the next twenty-eight years.

In addition to liking these nuances of not black and white but shady-bluey grey, I’m also impressed by how effortlessly the writers (in this case Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss) touch upon both the original Collodi novel as well as the Disney version in the most ironical yet also most sense-making way possible:

August: I am not screwing around here. Whatever you believe, or don’t, this is real, Emma. I am sick.

Emma: That’s an understatement.

August: You ever been to Phuket? It’s beautiful. Amazing island, full of pleasures. The perfect place to lose oneself. That’s where I was when you decided to stay in Storybrooke.

Emma: How do you know when I decided to stay in Storybrooke?

August: Because at eight fifteen in the morning, I woke up with a shooting pain in my leg. That’s eight fifteen at night in Storybrooke. Sound familiar? That’s when time there started to move forward again. I was supposed to be there for you. And I wasn’t. Because I was halfway around the world, I got a painful reminder of just how far I’d strayed. If that tree won’t make you believe, maybe this will.

So it’s Pleasure Island all over again.

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Bimo
18 June 2017 @ 01:43 pm

Just a bunch of loosely connected and highly subjective observations.

Cavendish did not want our OuaT viewing experience to end with that feeling of irritated frustration left by season 6, so he talked me into going back to the show’s very beginnings when all still felt fresh, new and considerably less convoluted. So far we have progressed up to ep 1.08 “Desperate Souls” and watching those early episodes is quite an eye opener.

  • Much slower narrative pace.
  • Almost every episode contains a whole lot of camera shots portraying Storybrooke not as a sterile set, but as a real town populated by all sorts of people. Far more background action going on in any of the street scenes.
  • Much more time spent on establishing or exploring narrative or visual clues, small stuff that might turn out important a little bit further down the road. S1 basically teaches you to pay attention to even the tiniest aspects and actually rewards that attention by providing you, step by step, with an ever more complete picture of what’s going on. In S6, on the other hand, paying attention is something viewers actively get punished for, because none of the individual pieces seem to fit together or make sense anymore.
  • All in all, much fresher and happier seeming actors. While Parilla’s portrayal of Regina strikes me as relatively consistent throughout the show, there are worlds between the S1 and S6 performances of Robert Carlyle and Jennifer Morrison.
  • More complex and nuanced characterisations, characters seem far more well rounded, in particular Snow.
  • Cavendish actually squeed with joy when he saw how keen Rumple still was on contracts.
  • Oh, Graham, I miss you.
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