CRRRaSh! 289 Copywrong

By Roy Mathur, on 2019-11-27, at 21:56:30 to 22:44:17 GMT, for Captain Roy's Rocket Radio Show, Listen

Delays to the Show

This time, the reason for the delay was I was bummed about YouTube issues, which we'll get to those later, as you probably saw from my too many tweets. Put it down to the artistic temperament.

The reason for even further delay in taping this episode was that I was busy with my own creative output; more on that later.

Changes to the Show

In brief, the above has meant some changes. There will be no more clips or trailers. Also, to be completely unambiguous that this show is aimed at adults, I have changed the iTunes tag to "Explicit" (even though I'm not that sweary). I'll furnish more details later.

I am also updating my revisit list. The list, currently on the webpage for this show, is getting a little long, and it will continue to do so, so I might remove it to it's own page soon. I've been updating my retro game, computers, books etc., lists too, and as soon as I cover those topics, they too will join the list that really should be a relational database, but I want some easy way for listeners to find the right episode, so maybe just a table do. It is amazing though, when you take the time to write it all down, the sheer amount of geek stuff you have watched, read, or hacked over the years. It means I will probably never run out of geeky material to talk about on this show.

BT Internet Saga

Last Friday was the week the OpenReach engineer came to fiddle with my fibre set up. Fingers crossed that, after five stupidly long years, my connection is finally stable. After a week it does seem so, but I haven't checked my router log yet.

Black Friday

Black Friday is this Friday 29th November 2019.

I've bought one or two cheap things, but made no major purchases. That is because the American's exported retail holiday Black Friday largely consists of stores dumping stock they can't sell; sometimes with no reductions at all... Don't always believe the Black Friday hype.

You'll also notice that perennial bestsellers are never reduced. My advice is that if the thing you were going to buy anyway has a further Black Friday reduction, then lucky you, otherwise be careful of things deliberately misleadingly labelled a Black Friday bargain.

Things to Look Forward To

There's so much geek still to come, but two things in particular are foremost in my nerdly calendar.

I'm looking forward to Picard, not because TNG was my favourite Star Trek show, but how often do you get an old codger taking the lead? I'm not quite there, but it's good to see that even ancient Picard can still saddle up.

I'm also looking forward to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. No surprise there, and I've said it before, but to see this movie will be the culmination of a journey that began back in 1977; not just for Lucas, but for me and all the other fans. Now, if we could only convince him not to fiddle with epsiode IV of the Star Wars I to VII 4K remasters on Disney+. Han shot first George. You even wore the t-shirt! Why backtrack again?


This episode has a few spoilers; not an excessive amount, but you have been warned.

Hypocritical Me

You know how I said His Dark Materials or Watchmen wasn't for me? They still aren't, but His Dark Materials is beautifully filmed, well acted, and so much better than the film, and Watchmen is above average, so I'm watching both. It's something to do at dinnertime. Another example of my hypocrisy? I started watching the latest season of the The Walking Dead. I feel like a walker when I do this, i.e. a little dead inside, but again it's passable fare for TV dinner viewing. As the nights grow cold, I also have The Punisher, Jessica Jones, and Gotham, Legion etc. to finish, should I chose to*, but right now, the best show on TV is For all Mankind.

War of the Worlds

I'm enjoying the BBC's take on H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds. While set in the time it was written, it is, in its own way, as different to the original text, but also as equally likeable as Canal+ and Fox's recent contemporary adaptation La Guerre Du Mondes. Again, my personal take wildly differs with the average ratings, but that's because everyone else is wrong. My justification for this is that the technologically superior Martians, as an allegory for the imperial ambitions of the British Empire, and the female voiceover emphasising warlike, "man"-kind (not mankind) speaks to me at a visceral level. Some might squirm at that, but too bad. I also enjoyed putting Wells and Amy (Jane), as well as some of their real-life travails, into the picture, much in the same way as how Wells sometimes appears in other loose adaptations of his work, like George Pal's brilliant The Time Machine (1960).

The Mandalorian

I was a little flustered in the last pod, so I don't think I explained the "irony" I mentioned in that episode. Well, here it is. The clip from Jon Favreau's The Mandalorian, was what got me the copyright strike. So now, somehow, I have to put that aside my personal feelings about the House of Mouse to tell you what I thought about the show.


By episode two, we are firmly into Lone Wolf and Cub/Shogun Assassin territory. The music reinforces this and the sparse dialogue and earth tones tell me that is a not just a space western like Firefly, but a space spaghetti western. The Manadalorian might as well be the Man with No Name.

I couldn't help noticing how the scene when our hero is almost crushed by the Jawa's Sandcrawler is lifted straight out of Raiders of the Lost Ark. On the other hand, I was interested to see inside the vehicle.

The show is funny! I laughed when the Mandalorian bongs his helmet on the low ceiling of the aforementioned vehicle. The egg subplot also cracked me up (sorry).

Episode three ends how you'd expect; with the requisite action piece and Yoda Baby just get's cuter and cuter.

Nick Nolte's gravelly voice was immediately recognisable and his presence, though not strictly necessary, certainly fits the western theme.

I have spoken.

In the Tall Grass

2019 Netflix horror film based on Stephen King's and Joe Hill's novella of the same name. It's a very typically King-like run-of-the-mill adaptation about people getting lost in a field. I was immediately struck how it's the sort of film you would get if you combined King's Child of the Corn (1984) with Triangle (2009). It's okay, but hardly memorable.

Gemini Man

Ang Lee's Gemini Man would have garnered far less criticism as an 80s action flick. As a contemporary piece, I think it's morals are muddled. When we meet the protagonist, The man has killed seventy-two times, and he says his heavy conscience is why he is retiring, but contradicts himself by saying his sniper skills are getting sloppy with age. Which is it?

I am also not convinced that, within the context of a supposed higher moral ground, neither Smith nor the clone would have killed the adoptive father, and certainly, they would not have wanted to celebrated the mass murder with the odd cheery ending.

As far as its raison d'etre; pushing the technological boundaries filmmaking, the last scene throws us straight off a cliff and plummeting into the uncanny valley, when the CGI'd clone is not yet passable in a scene set in daylight.

It's not a terrible film, but the era for this type of hollow action movie is long gone.

Ocean's 8

This is a 2018 sequel to the Steven Soderbergh's 2001 to 2007 reboot of the Rat Pack 1960 film

Ocean's 11. It stars Sandra Bullock as Danny Ocean's con woman sister and Cate Blanchett as her cool Brad Pitt-like partner-in-crime.

It's a slick film with a really great looking and charismatic all-star female cast, who I think are better actresses than their male counterparts from the previous films. Unfortunately, the film unrolls formulaically as a straight crime caper, and I feel that the actresses' talents were rather wasted by the script. With talent like that, I cannot understand why the writers didn't ramp up the comedy. Scheduling perhaps? As a writer, I often side with the scriptwriter, but in this case, when the casting was finalised, someone should have realised that with that much talent on tap, maybe they should tweak the script. The film, as it stands, is an entertaining, but ultimately humdrum, light, and mildly comedic drama.

Copyright Crisis

After one copyright strike and several copyright claims, and thanks to YouTube's vile ContentID system, I realised how pointless it was to distribute keep uploading my podcast on that platform.

I despair Tweeted, seriously considered editing every single thing not completely my own, Fair Use or not, until wiser words prevailed (thanks Mum) and I decided to leave the older episodes as they were.

Unfortunately, the USA's, the UK's, the EU's, and all the other equally weird, conflicting, and greedy copyright legislation from around the world make one massive content destroying boulder. (Wait, does that reference from a beloved film break the rules? Maybe I should delete it? Will that be enough? Perhaps I should go further and delete the very thought?). You see, what about fonts, icons, favicons, photos taken with your own smartphone featuring some geezer who just happens to be wearing Nikes even if his presence in your pic is tangential to the main subject? The trouble is, once you start down that train of thought, it can lead you to believe that everything that exists infringes copyright.

In the end, I did not nuke anything from orbit (oh dear, there I go again). Instead, I took the reasonable non-obessive course of action, and that was deciding to eliminate trailers and clips entirely from all future podcasts.

Neither is it just Google's YouTube that is passing on their troubles with greedy grasping megacorps to their users. No, it is every tech platform; Facebook, Twitter, Apple, even Wordpress. Read their terms of service regarding copyright. Remember how those same companies encouraged us to take part in online demonstrations? Remember those blacked out banners? What was all that for?

The one counterargument to this, and I have unthinkingly used it myself, is, "Hey, if you don't want to follow their rules, build your own platform." Except, have you read the terms and conditions of your web host? "Alright, how about running your own web server, surely...?" Remember ISPs? We're screwed.

I'm Writing Again

*Rather than vegging out to too much TV, or worrying about the sales of my last novel The Horus Box, I'm writing again. I started on Monday, but was so out of practice, I left my laptop glasses at home, so I sorted though about a month of paperwork. Yesterday, I did write, but that mainly consisted of picking up where I left off back in September.