By Roy Mathur, on 2020-01-17, at 22:16:13--23:13:44 GMT, for Captain Roy's Rocket Radio Show, Listen
Sorry for the delay. Home improvement has been kicking my weedy backside, but I'm back now.
I saw 1917 with my friend Rich who had a spare free IMAX ticket. This is an amazing film set in WW1 about a pair of lance corporals assigned to warn an officer about a trap. Like Birdman, their non-stop journey through the trenches appears to be all one continuous shot, but taken to magnificent new levels. You could also clearly see the events surrounding and behind the main characters and the sound design was incredible. There was one scene with an explosion that jolted me right out of my seat. Those things and the unrelenting pace made me feel as though I was there at the centre of chaos. I don't like war films, but even I appreciated this exhausting this war is hell movie.
My one criticism? Why, even from a short distance, can't anyone shoot straight?
Afterwards, I commented to the friend with whom I saw the movie that it reminded me strongly of the British comic book series Charley's War.
I recently hosted my very own personal double bill presentations. The first night consisted of rewatching the two Guardians of the Galaxy films. The first film in particular seems a lot better than I remembered it being and there were lots of little things I missed the first couple of times around, like Rocket slinging a massive blaster of his solder and then adjusting his pants. The second movie was perhaps a little less memorable, but still and technicolour space spectacular.
On the my second double bill night I watched the last two Terminator films, neither of which I had seen... and what? What the hell happened in Genisys? John Connor... what?! As for Dark Fate, it was likeable enough. Seeing Linda Hamilton again was great and I really enjoyed Halt and Catch Fire's Mackenzie Davis's take on a super soldier. I appreciated the politics of immigrants in cages and a Mexican woman as the saviour of mankind, but a few days later the films are already fading from my memory.
Half mostly humdrum filmmaking and half fanservice to Kubrick's brilliant The Shining. I said "mostly humdrum", because I'll give Mike Flannaghan's team credit for those great astral projection scenes.
Ewan McGregor plays an older and broken Danny Torrance, survivor of the Overlook Hotel, who is guided by dead Dick Halloran, played by an actor who, though he plays the role well, looks or sounds absolutely nothing like the late Scatman Crowthers—neither did the actors playing Jack and Wendy Torrance—but at least we didn't have to contend with that terrible CGI character malarkey. Danny tangles with soul sucking vampires led by evil and very pretty hippy chick Rebecca Ferguson while trying to save a teenage girl who shines even more brightly than himself.
It's not a bad film, it just can't live up to the 1980 film. I think scriptwriter writer and director Mike Flannaghan should have tried harder to develop his own filmmaking voice rather than trying to shoehorn in Kubrick's idiosyncratic style.
Season 2 was a vicious, and possibly fair, dissection of West Coast culture, as we continue following Joe's murderous stalking, but with a surprising twist.
I felt the story came to a natural end at the season finale, if it wasn't for the feeble out of character cliffhanger that made absolutely no sense, except to artificially extend the show for a further season.
Season 2 of the Robinsons battling to return to their colonisation mission and hold their family together in the perils of outter space was enjoyable. Especially great was the crazy sailing scene, which predictably I thought was brilliant.
Modern messiah pops up in the Middle East, causes a political stir, religious fervour, and a gigantic headache for Israeli Shabak torturer and no shades of grey CIA analyst.
I thought it was interesting and the lead Belgian actor Mehdi Dehbi of Tunisian heritage was superb.
Of course, as a Hindu, I'm not entirely sure what significance the returning beard one had for me, other than he seemed a nice chap.
Stephen King based police procedural about a killer who is seemingly in two places at once. It's a tense and absorbing drama, and, though it may seem a trivial matter, one last reason for me to enjoy this is that the protagonist cop has a lisp, as do I, and it isn't played for laughs.
David Tennant playing yet another ambiguous type in new Channel 4 murder thriller set in outwardly idyllic, small rural community, hiding some nasty secrets. It's definitely gripping and I'll be watching the next episode.
Overall I liked this semi-autobiography of psychiatric nurse, apart from a couple of problems. The author/artist says he has higher empathy than average. Okay, but everyone thinks that. Then there is no mention of very well documented staff abuse within the UK mental health system. Perhaps this is because he is an ex-psychiatric nurse and doesn't want to stab ex-colleagues in the back. While I understand the reason, the omission detracts from what I thought was a generally compassionate story and a beautifully drawn art.
I attempted to upgrade my cans from my comfortable, cheap, very clear JVC HA-S160 Flats to the Beyerdynamic DT150. Though my first choice was the DT770 Pro, I have used the DT150 predecessor, the DT100, before in radio and, whilst they were uncomfortably heavy, they did fit my Yoda baby ears. I've been aware of the upgrade to the DT100, the DT150, with their wider frequency range and lighter weight for years, but have never taken the plunge. When my latest pair of JVCs bit the dust I finally splurged on the 250 ohm pro version of the DT150.
I thought I might have problems driving them with my consumer grade equipment, but no. While I had to crank the volume a little more than usual, they easily drove my Honor 9 Lite phone, Yamaha MG06 mixer, and my older LG LED TV.
That isn't to say a dedicated external headphone amp won't improve your listening experience, but in a pinch, or until your budget permits, you can still use higher impedance cans. Speaking of headphone amps, I'll report back when my budget priced Lucid Labs CMoy amp arrives.
Why then did I say "attempted" at the top of this section? Because, though they were more comfortable than their older counterpart and sounded fantastic, they dug into my jaws and neck, in just the right places to stimulate my salivary glands and clamp down on the veins and arteries supplying blood to my brain.
I'm reconsidering the DT770 Pro, but Amazon reviews have not been kind. Reluctantly, therefore, in the interim, I ordered another pair of JVCs, with the knowledge that they will fall part again in a few months.
Given how essential headphones are to podcasting, if anyone has recommendations for comfortable mixing cans, please let me know.
Trying to get to the bottom of the mystery of why my podcast was trending recently in Antennapod, I used the iTunes desktop app to compare it with my position in the Apple Podcast directory. It appeared that my podcast was not a top Apple Podcast. On the other hand, perhaps the fact that I had subscribed to my own show in the Antennapod app was the reason I was trending in Antennapod. So I unsubscribed, exited, restarted Antennapod, and then searched for the text string "geek". Result? I was still trending in Antennapod. Conclusion? No idea. Maybe Antennapod uses the average of a number of podcast directories, or other criteria, to index podcasts rather than solely Apple Podcasts. Being an Open Source app, I suppose I could dive into the code, but that is too much hard work. So, imperfect as it is, I'm still primarily using AWStats to occasionally tell me my download figures.
How to be more popular? For the ordinary non-celeb podder, or those not affiliated with a monster platform like the BBC or NPR, syndicate everywhere and produce great content regularly.
I've also heard that a podcast shouldn't be too long so that it fits into the average American commute. While statistics confirm that the majority of listeners are in the USA, there are plenty of popular one hour plus shows made by American producers.
I think the best way (and the most dispiriting way) to judge popularity can be gleaned from the amount of listener feedback and reviews.
Good luck, but remember, there're aren't as many active podcasts to compete with you as you might think. There are certainly far fewer podcasters than YouTubers.
Right before this episode I watched most of a 2014 documentary about amazingly prolific TV actress, pilot, and director Susan Oliver. You might know her as the green Orion dancing girl in the 1964 Star Trek pilot "The Cage".