RRR 30 BAFTAs and Oscars

By Roy Mathur, on 2014-02-23, at 10:15:00--11:29:14 GMT, for Roy's Rocket Radio, Listen

News and Aftershow Sections Are Back!

Mainly because my intro, where I'm also supposed to announce the show number, was getting too long! That and I can't shut up! But here we are, episode 30 and it feels like some sort of milestone. Or maybe grave stone. Whatever, let's just say, it takes stones to podcast. Just not gall stones! Stone me!

Note to self: no way am I going to podcast that, it sounds totally stupid!

Do you remember Life of Brian's stoning scene?

Thanks for Downloading

BTW, thanks for downloading!

I guess it just needed a bit of time to gain momentum. Quite a lot of time in fact- 2 years+ Can you believe it's been that long? At least we're up to mid-250s/month now, so thanks.

As usual, I'll ask for some comments on the iTunes page. Hey, be grateful that's all I'm asking, not trying to suck you into a spurious Kickstarter. Or, if I was USA's NPR, asking for donations.

BAFTA Results

BAFTA 67th British Academy Film Awards, Sunday 16 February 2014, Royal Opera House, London, host: Stephen Fry.

The awards were endless, but Chiwetel Ejiofor won a well deserved (according to my friends who have actually seen the movie) best lead actor for 12 Years a Slave. In genre, Frozen was best animated film and Gravity also won a slew of awards.

This was criminally short coverage, but there are so many awards and mostly non-genre related that I decided not to include everything in the podcast, but if you want a full list, go here.

Oscar Nominations

Oscar 86th Academy Awards, Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Sunday 2 March 2014, host: Ellen DeGeneres.

Best Picture (via Google): American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street.

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club).

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Meryl Streep (August: Osage County).

River Song in Doctor Who: The Name of the Doctor

Doctor Who: The Name of the Doctor was on last night.

Though this isn't the first time I've thought that, while I like Alex Kingston, why did Steven Moffat write River Song so obnoxiously smug?

Freaky Deaky (2012)

Comedy crime caper/60s exploitation tribute stars Christian Slater and ridiculously gorgeous Breanne Racano as a pair of ex-revolutionary bomb-makers, in the vein of the Weather Underground one assumes from the Nixon and Kent State footage at the beginning, who decide to avenge themselves by blowing up and ripping off ex-comrades, who they believe betrayed them a decade back.

I tolerated the movie, rather than enjoyed it, partly because I sometimes weary of Elmore Leonard's lowlife plots and scuzz bag characters and also because it probably needed the Tarantino touch, which the movie seems to be trying to pull off.

Not terrible, but not much fun either, though I did like Christian Slater, but then I mostly do anyway. Michael Jai White also does a fine comic turn and Crispin Glover merely appears to be playing himself; not necessarily a bad thing.

Frozen (2013)

Disney's hit animation and by their first female director Jennifer Lee.

The plot: two princesses, one with powers over snow and ice; your basic snow-queen type, and her younger sister reconcile after falling out over a boy.

Here are the good bits: mostly great animation, great songs, beautiful looking, tugs at the heart-strings.

Now the bad: it is very very white, and I say this after having deliberately avoiding reading anything about the film before watching this. Within about twenty minutes I started to notice, yet again, that people like me don't exist in yet another major movie. I've said this stuff before, so I'm not going to harp on about it any more, but this really just will not do.

Second problem is Olaf, a crudely animated and pointless snowman character, who I actually loathed. And, if you know me, that really is quite a thing, because I love snowmen; making them, snowman shape figs, etc., and yet Olaf---agh!

Really, I expect far, far better from Disney. They have the experience and the resources to do so much better. After watching the movie, I finally did look online and was not suprised to see that quite a furore has sprung up over the movie. You know, simply by addresssing those two issues, the movie could have been so much better and it really saddens me that they chose to go this way. Oh, Disney, please, please get your act together!

GI Joe Retaliation (2013), I, Frankenstein (2014)

Both awful. I could not even be bothered to sit through them for more than a few minutes. Don't waste your time.

Bruce Willis horribly annoying and Aaron Eckhart utterly wasted. Pointless movies! Play The Big Bang Theory "You suck, so much" clip. Play it a few times!

X-Files: Fight the Future (1998)

Watched this movie, part of the Film 4 SciFi Season, after late night pizza/popcorn run on Friday night.

Okay, so I re-noticed that Doctor Kurzweil and Mulder relive themselves against an Independence Day (1996) poster, after a heavy night at that nearby bar, but something I totally missed at the end of the movie was that the project starts up again in Tatouine, Tunisia! How could I have missed that?

While the movie still isn't that great, it's better than the the sequel: The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008). Watching that did fill me with a terrible, painful nostalgia for the X-Files. Blimey, how much I miss that show!

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Play trailer.

Released in early April.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

To cap off the movies section, here's a little treat released a few days ago- the trailer of Marvel's movie to be released in August.

Play trailer.

If I have a favourite, it's probably Rocket; a really dangerous... Raccoon.

Doctor Who: 1964 to Present and My Doctor

I wanted to be a Time lord! While I looked up to Star Trek TOS's Jim, Bones, and Spock, I wanted to be Doctor Who!

Short of Doctor Who timeline:

1 1963-1966 William Hartnell.

N/A 1965-1966 Peter Cushing Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) and Daleks: Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966), Amicus Films.

2 1966-1969 Patrick Troughton.

3 1970-1974 Jon Pertwee.

4 1974-1981 Tom Baker.

5 1981-1984 Peter Davison.

6 1984-1986 Colin Baker.

7 1996 Sylvester McCoy.

8 1996 Paul McGann.

N/A 2013 John Hurt retconned as the War Doctor.

9 2005 Christopher Eccleston.

10 2005-2010 David Tennant.

11 2010-2013 Matt Smith.

12 2014-Peter Capaldi.

My Doctor should have been Patrick Troughton, but we didn't have a TV until Jon Pertwee in the 70s (and then it was ages and ages before we had a colour TV). So I think it was well into Tom Baker's Doctor Who that I even watched the show in colour! Although, at the time, I really liked Jon Pertwee's cool, bohemian action man. Then Tom Baker was my favourite... well, until Peter Davison came along. Aren't Doctor Who fans fickle? Oh, and I loved Tom Baker's Doctor Who so much that my cousins in Mauritius knitted me a really, really long scarf. It is about 10 feet long! Will upload a photo sometime.

The Big Bang Theory Season 7 (2014)

We are just about 2/3 of the way through season 7 (about 1 third on Channel 4), but here's some unsurprising news. CBS has confirmed that the series is renewed and there are rumours of huge pay rises for the cast again.

Obviously, the cast will wisely ride this gravy train until they are chased off the set by zombies. See Yahoo News.

The Musketeers (2014)

BBC's newish series and take on Alexandre Duma's creation. Started 19 Jan 30 to March (10 episodes) and will be renewed for a 2nd season.

Notable for some non-white characters, especially Porthos. Since Dumas himself was of mixed race, it's about time, though I would have gone with a mixed race Athos instead; mirroring Dumas's own semi-aristocratic lineage.

I've seen a couple of episodes and it does seem fun, much more my cup of tea than Merlin or Atlantis. Now, where's my sword?

Once Upon a Time

Cancelled by Channel 5 last December.

In amongst the photo galleries at ABC, I have found two really great photos here and here.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Doesn't seem to have been taken up by any UK broadcaster and not even available from the UK iTunes store.

Pity, because it looks good.

The Originals (2013)

CW's spinoff from The Vampire Diaries, thought by many to be better, started last year and will be renewed for a second season. I think this was on UK TV last year, but if you are interested and missed it the box set can be bought from Amazon and, no doubt, online too.

The plot centres on the first, original vampires, living in New Orleans and focuses on Mikael and son Elijah.

I also heard one of the characters mention "loup garoux", which is basically the French werewolf myth taken to Louisiana. I bring this up because wherever the French went, they took these myths with them. For example, I grew up with Mum, aunties, and cousins telling me all about the monstrous loup garoux even though Mauritius is an island with a very specific ecosystem that so obviously does not contain wolves. Made absolutely no difference 'cause it was there, along with bon homme lu lu (same sort of thing with a bit of the bogey man thrown in), and stuff from Indian mythology like the rakshasa mixed; all mixed up in one big bouillabaisse. It eventually had me hanging up bits of sharpened ferrous metal, just in case, because you never know!

Whoah, so back to the show. Familiar soapy vampire schtick in the vein of The Vampire Diaries, with what looks like higher production values and prettier French colonial-type settings of the actual real New Orleans in parts. The rest filmed in Atlanta.

Troy (Channel 4) (2014)

This is a Channel 4 show following a young magician from my old stomping ground; Lewisham!

I haven't been watching the show much, more out of an interest in seeing if Lewisham has changed much in the last 20 or so years. It also reminded of a shop that sold Jamaican patties BITD in that side alley market next to shopping centre. I bring this up because since I moved somewhere quite far from Lewisham, I have discovered a local petrol station that sells them. Mmm. The ones I like are the chicken ones. They are a bit like a small, fried Cornish pasty, but filled with a spicy curry. Very yummy!

Back to Troy. The tricks Troy performs are that Blainesque street-type magic, some of which I suspect the stunned victims/participants of magic ham up for the sake of the camera.

The magic is mostly good though, except some of the few tricks that I already know can be bought right off-the-shelf. Stop using those, Troy, they are old! BTW, every magician uses them and I wish they wouldn't, except the sawn-in-half girl. I have a fondness for that one because it is the earliest one I remember learning the mechanics of.

The Walking Dead Mid-Season 4 (2014)

Yes, back on Fox, UK for the mid-season return (ep 10), on Thursday 20 of February at one am; four days after the US (thanks Fox, not), but no idea when it will be back on Channel 5 for FreeView/FreeSatt.

A quick recap of season 4. Ep 1-9: Rick and his mob are holed up in the prison, the governor is still on the loose. Oh dear. That's all I can say unless you want spoilers, but I can say that the standoff situation with the governor will be resolved... one way or the other. Oh, and there are going to be deaths. Significant ones.

NPR: TED Radio Hour Podcast: Identities 21 February 2014 05:43

This latest podcast explore the concept of identity in a world where many people no longer associate with just a single definition.

Given my varied background and nationalities (British, Mauritian, Canadian) and life on the road for so long, you can see why this show appealed to me. It was a really fascinaing show and I was struck by each speakers story. Highly recommended and free.

Fairyland (1995)

Re-reading this book by Paul J. McAuley that I first read 19 years ago (!). Actually, it's one of those books I have read a few times over the years.

McAuley's a bit like a Brit Sterling, Gibson or Stephenson, in that, included in his writing repertoire is his ability to write dark, gritty cyberpunk, but with a decent slab of hard science thrown in. This is because of his training as a biologist.

Anyway, here we are in a near future where gene hacking has become a thing and, set in a dystopian London (what other kind is there?), we step into the life of psychoactive virus designer Alex Sharkey, who gets embroiled in a plot to set free a new species of manufactured slave/playthings called dolls. These are little flesh and blood people who run on programmed silicon chips, rather than a brain. Yes, it is that weird.

Reading it today though, it seems a bit dated. E.g. in McAuley's world there are still CD players and VCRs despite being set in 2040; a projection of the world of 1995, I suppose. Also, bio-hacking is already around and has been for some time. However, you can safely ignore these anachronisms because the whole concept of dolls is so clever and cool.

Locke and Key 1: Welcome to Lovecraft (2004)

I have read one other book by Joe Hill; Horns (2010), which has also been made into a film in 2013 starring Daniel Radcliffe that I have not seen and did not do well.

I have to say this comic is better. Joe Hill really understands the whole panel thing and the way the timeline moves between panels is amazing in that it all hangs together.

It is also a disgrace it has taken me so long to get to this comic, but there it was on the library shelf yesterday.

The plot: a horrible, violent, life changing thing happens to the Locke family and they move right across the country to a relative's big old spooky house in a very remote town in Massachusetts called Lovecraft.

I devoured the whole thing in a few hours. Disturbing, bloody, with many, many nasty twists. Overall an excellent and recommended book, as there are far too few genuine horror comics out there. I think Joe Hill should stick to writing comics.

WhatsApp Sold

Facebook are at it again throwing money at another app. Billions in fact. Facebook won a bidding war with Google, which should tell you how much the giants wanted the app.

But what is it? It's just a popular messaging app.

Hmm, another case of buy and not innovate.

Well, anyway, Facebook investors seemed to be of two minds as to whether this is a good thing with Facebook shares taking a temporary dip with the news.

Candy Crush IPO

King, the company behind addictive Facebook freemium game Candy Crush is planning an IPO (Initial Public Offering). They want to raise $500 million and are expected to be valued at $7 billion.

Uh huh, and all on the strength of one game. Everyone 's comparing this to the Zynga, author of the 'Ville series of games, IPO that didn't turn out as well as expected.

Next week I'll be IPO'ing my second hand socks, any takers?

Racket, Emacs, Lisp

As I periodically do, I have recently lost my love/hate battle with Vim (though I wrote these notes in Vim, so what does that tell you?) and I'm trying something else. I've gone straight for Lisp, which apparently does not stand for Lost In Stupid Parentheses, purely for the bizzare reason that I speak with a lisp. I know it doesn't make sense, but does choosing to program in any specific language ever make sense?

I also have Lua on the back burner, but whatever the case, all this stuff is only for fun... if you can call it that!

I Love Genre

I am not a critic, a reviewer, or a fanboy. I just love SciFi, Fantasy, and Horror.

The point I'm making is that you won't find any objective viewpoints here, just a kind of log of my personal voyage though genre and, hopefully, you'll enjoy the ride with me.

Road Show: We're Going on the Road!

Oh, and talking about enjoying the ride, I plan to take this show on the road in a couple of months. That's right, we'll be coming to you from a variety of interesting locations throughout the country.

Why? Because I write better in public spaces and it's boring doing this from home all the time! Also, I'll have more economical (and better???) transportation by then. (I didn't 2023-02-26 09:41:30). But even if I'm on foot, I'll be out and about doing the show, rather than just sitting on my behind.

I also intend on uping the sound quality, perhaps switching from an iPhone to a Zoom H1. (Yes, I'm a cheapskate, but then I'm poor!). Ideally, I'd like to be able to afford a Shure SM57 or 8 and an external recorder, pre-amp thingy, and whatnot, but money, you know?

Winter Olympics... Errr?

Yeah, it's on and I haven't watched it. Just so many other things to do and sport isn't that high on my list of priorities.

And besides Mauritius isn't participating this year.

But Good luck to all the athletes there anyway from Roy's Rocket Radio!