Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 16:58 on 30-07-2013, Ibmiller
So, based on Abigail's awesome review, I read Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl - anyone else read/heard of it, or anything else by Flynn? I quite enjoyed it - clever and well written, if a bit implausible.

@Alice - why would they make coffins from lead? And it does sound rather creepy - we don't know what's in it, so we'll just cut it open. Said every horror script ever. :)
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at 21:00 on 29-07-2013, Alice
Archaeologists at the Richard III dig site find a coffin within a coffin: The team will now find a way to lift the heavy lead coffin from its medieval grave and transport it to the university for analysis.

However, traditional techniques, such as X-rays and Cat scans, will not work due to the lead casing and scientists will only discover who is inside once they cut it open.


Was anyone else's immediate thought: "yeah, this is going to end well..."?
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at 15:23 on 29-07-2013, Alice
Hah, yes, I meant to add "of course, the six movies Alasdair's watching needn't be part of a series" to my post. :)

Looking forward to the article, anyway!
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at 06:10 on 29-07-2013, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Just to dampen anyone's expectations, I'm just going to be writing about one movie, but I wanted another five movies that it was related to for context. (I was gonna write about everything, but I didn't have enough to say that couldn't be compressed into a page or two).

Funny though..."unrealistic expectations" is key thematic element of this movie...and played into its critical reception.
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at 20:39 on 28-07-2013, Alice
Same: "six movies" immediately made me think of Star Wars, but Wikipedia (of course) has a "list of film series with six entries", which just makes it more intriguing. It could be Care Bears! The Fast and the Furious? The Lone Ranger? Rocky?
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at 08:34 on 28-07-2013, Melanie
Well, now I'm incredibly curious.
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at 18:45 on 27-07-2013, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Today is going to be a busy day. I am going to watch six movies.

Tomorrow I will write something I have wanted to write for at least a year.

It will not be about those six movies. Those are just research.

Gunna be a looong day.
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at 01:45 on 27-07-2013, Ibmiller
You do rc :)
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at 02:04 on 26-07-2013, Sister Magpie
In Branagh's version (which I've seen years ago and actually liked, in a mindless fluff sort of way), they are played by Branagh and Emma Thompson, wheras Hero was played by some bland young actress and I can't even remember her male counterpart.


Kate Beckinsdale and Robert Sean Leonard, iirc.
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at 16:49 on 25-07-2013, Alice
Oh, if only...
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at 05:08 on 21-07-2013, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Someone finally did it, at long last.

He's not the Captain Archer Trek fans need, but he's the Captain Archer we deserve.

P.S. What is it with Ricks?
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at 15:34 on 20-07-2013, Cammalot
It just seems to me that Beatrice and Benedick are much more fleshed out, rounded characters, where the situation of Hero and Claudio is presented as the problem they have to solve. H & C is definitely the more serious dilemma of the two, but neither of those characters has as much of an arc -- the plot does not require Hero to grow or change or act that much on her own behalf, and Claudio doesn't change so much as find out the truth. B & B are the ones who act and plan to "save the day." (Not completely alone, of course.)

Completely without proof, I could imagine that Shakespeare possibly even *intended* H & C to be the alpha characters, but got carried away with how enjoyable writing B & B scenes and dialogue was. (Or random actor dynamics might have figured into how everything turned out, as Robinson says. I do tend to regard Shakespeare's plays as I do TV programs -- one big name on the package at the end, many people's input, critique, and tweaking along the way.)

Honestly, though, I look at this like one of those university thesis topics that could be argued either way, if one has the time and focus, and still get good marks.
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at 11:30 on 18-07-2013, Robinson L
Hmmm, interesting. I think Cammalot's right that Beatrice and Benedick have more lines (even discounting the fact that Hero has ridiculously few, which prompted me to wonder if Shakespeare's original actor had laryngitis, or maybe just wasn't very experienced, and so ol' Bill put together to script so as not to tax his abilities too much). I'm pretty sure they have speaking roles before Claudio and Hero, and I know Benedick has the last line of the play.

Cheriola: I suspect the directors nowadays want to focus more on the romantic comedy aspect of the play rather than the melodrama, because, well, "I don't want to marry you anymore because they told me you're a slut" is not exactly going to endear the audience to the romantic lead these days, or make that relationship look like a True Love worth rooting for.

Well, yeah, but then again, the version I saw was by Joss Whedon - melodrama's his middle name, and he certainly milked it for all it was worth in this movie (and to his credit, I think it worked better here than just about any other examples I can think of from his works). He even mentioned in one of the articles I read that one of the things which drew him to the play was this dark and twisted subtext to it. And yet I think even he concluded, in the end, that Beatrice and Benedick were the main couple of the story.

Their story sure feels like a comic relief subplot, but it also seems to dominate the story even in the original script. *shrug*
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at 03:02 on 18-07-2013, Melanie
I believe Nothing has multiple (proposed) meanings


Even the title has many themes!
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at 15:14 on 17-07-2013, Arthur B
I believe Nothing has multiple (proposed) meanings - the other one I've commonly heard is "noting", as in passing notes. (Cue modern reinterpretations focused around social networks.) Though when the noting in question is "hero = slut lol" the issue remains.
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at 13:35 on 17-07-2013, Cheriola
Well, I think the original play was meant to be more about the other couple's romantic drama and B/B are the comic relief. I mean, the play is called "Much Ado About Nothing", and the main plot is about whether or not Hero is still a virgin, if I recall correctly. (AFAIK, "no-thing" is Elizabethan slang for vagina.)
It's just that B/B are a lot more fun to play, so they attract better actors. In Branagh's version (which I've seen years ago and actually liked, in a mindless fluff sort of way), they are played by Branagh and Emma Thompson, wheras Hero was played by some bland young actress and I can't even remember her male counterpart.
And I suspect the directors nowadays want to focus more on the romantic comedy aspect of the play rather than the melodrama, because, well, "I don't want to marry you anymore because they told me you're a slut" is not exactly going to endear the audience to the romantic lead these days, or make that relationship look like a True Love worth rooting for.
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at 02:22 on 17-07-2013, Cammalot
I think they're meant to be the main focus -- they get all the good lines. I think they might also actually have the MOST lines, but it's been a while and I don't have a copy in front of me to count. Or skim.
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at 22:02 on 16-07-2013, Robinson L
Alasdair: Holy crap, I came out of my my writer's block and wrote 6500+ words for Ferretbrain in the space of a week! And I have this man to thank for it!

If your goal for this post was to perk my interest for when the second shoe drops, mission accomplished, Alasdair.

In other news, I saw Whedon's Much Ado in the theater today (still not seen Branagh, though, so I can't compare). I think it suffers from a number of flaws and plot holes which are carry-overs from the text, but I loved the creative stage-directing, and overall, I thought it was quite fun.

I was talking it over with one of my sisters (the newly anointed Shakespeare scholar of the family), and there's one thing we still can't figure out between us - are Beatrice and Benedick actually supposed to be the main couple, or are they just natural show-stealers?
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at 12:22 on 16-07-2013, Arthur B
That plot summary honestly sounds like Underworld with only minor cosmetic changes: 2 factions of supernatural species at war and hunting after a single superspecial supernatual to find out about his superspecialness. This time without the love interest in skintight leather. (Or rather, I'll bet she'll be there, she just won't be a central character.)

Yeah, I sort of read that press release as translating to "contract negotiations for Underworld 5 have broken down so Lionsgate are doing this instead."
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at 11:25 on 16-07-2013, Cheriola
That plot summary honestly sounds like Underworld with only minor cosmetic changes: 2 factions of supernatural species at war and hunting after a single superspecial supernatual to find out about his superspecialness. This time without the love interest in skintight leather. (Or rather, I'll bet she'll be there, she just won't be a central character.)

Granted, if they base the "vigilant gargoyles vs. ferocious demons" part on the disney cartoon Gargoyles (with all its dramatic pathos, Shakespearean characters and villainous "Xanatos Gambits"), it could actually still be worth the bother. If only because fans of that show have been hoping for a revival for years and are in the prime nostalgia market audience group by now.
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at 01:32 on 16-07-2013, Arthur B
Since I gotta say, I like the premise of "silly white people go up above the Arctic Circle to bother a homunculus made of corpses who's been stomping around for 200 years and is still mad as hell."

I love that Frankenstein ends with the creature moping off in a huff to be grumpy and lonely in the Arctic. It's like Mary Shelley not only invented modern SF, she also created Marvin the Paranoid Android.
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at 00:49 on 16-07-2013, Alasdair Czyrnyj
"...based on the graphic novel "I, Frankenstein" by Kevin Grievous..."
His father must be so disappointed in him. You expect your son to follow in the family tradition and fight the Republic, and he goes and breaks your robot-lizard heart by making terrible comic books about classic literature.

On the subject of Frankenstein, I've been seeing this found-footage horror movie called The Frankenstein Theory floating around lately, and I'm wondering if anyone else out there knows if it is any good? Since I gotta say, I like the premise of "silly white people go up above the Arctic Circle to bother a homunculus made of corpses who's been stomping around for 200 years and is still mad as hell."
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at 22:33 on 15-07-2013, Bookwyrm
Sweet there's a new Frankenstein movie coming out next year. I loved the book. I can't wait to see how this one's going to adapt the ... story. What?
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