CRRRaSh! 352 Detective

By Roy Mathur, on 2020-12-23, at 23:37:01--00:17:05 GMT, for Captain Roy's Rocket Radio Show, Listen

Happy Christmas Eve Eve

Happy Christmas Eve Eve and more Christmas stuff (of variable quality) than you dreamed possible coming soon. More on that at the end of the show.

Hello New Listeners

Welcome aboard the deluxe yacht/train to hell or the hospitality chamber of my wizarding tower (i.e. the dungeon) all new listeners who have subscribed. Well okay, welcome to the one I know subscribed (because they told me) and several who I hoped subscribed after my last Twitter publicity/desperation push.

There Have Been Spillages in My TARDIS/SIDRAT/Vimana

In New Who's The Caretaker S8 E06, the Doctor says, "Ah, yes. There has been a spillage.", after a Courtney pukes in the TARDIS, see: https://transcripts.foreverdreaming.org/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=13650

(By the way there is actually a fandom page about vomiting in the TARDIS, though sadly does not mention the above incident. Tut, tut. See https://tardis.fandom.com/wiki/Vomit)

I've been having plenty of spillages of my own in my studio, which is either increasing looking like a TARDIS/SIDRAT/Vimana (Google it, it's cultural), with its odd mixture of very old, very new, and a terrifying spaghetti of cables, or I've been podcasting about Doctor Who so long that I've finally gone insane.

Why the spillages? For some stupid reason, I keep placing my drinks on the floor, forgetting, then kicking them across the room.

The upshot of repeating the same mistake is that my floor is very clean.

Enough random stuff and nonsense! Let's do the show.

Motherless Brooklyn

I put off viewing this for ages. From what I saw of trailers, the film did not look like a realistic portrayal of Tourette's and it looked like it largely played off the condition for laughs. So why, at the time of release, did the Tourette's community seem to embrace it? Maybe because it was empowering?

The film is about Lionel Essrog and his crew dealing with the fall out of the death of their boss Frank Minna. Lionel tries to solve the mystery of his mentor's murder and ends up entwined in very Chinatown-like case.

There's too much daylight for noir, the supporting cast is too many (i.e. the crew), it's long, and it's boring. It also seems weirdly anachronistic for something set in the late 1950s (in a nice touch of non-verbal exposition, John Osborne's Look Back in Anger is advertised over a theatre in shot), but seems like the 40s with its dated tough guy argot. Maybe that's a symptom of adapting a script set in 1999, to a 40s genre, with the topic of New York gentrification in the 50s?

However, I enjoyed the music in the locker scene that to my ears, probably mistakenly, sounded like a jazzy version of Bauhaus's Bela Lugosi's Dead. Also the shot near the end of a couple on the beach staring off into the distant sea was absolutely beautiful.

The depiction of Tourette's is somewhat accurate, from an actor who doesn't have the condition. As for Lionel's compensatory superpowers in the shape of an eidetic memory; no, I, as someone with Tourette's Syndrome, do not possess that talent, neither can I leap over tall buildings in a single bound.

Conclusion: Chinatown is better.

The Kid Detective

I have had this film on my watch list for a very long time because, after consuming Scooby-Doo cartoons, Tintin comic books, Enid Blyton, the Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew books, and later The Rockford Files, Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes (the Sherlock of the day), and so many other properties of the genre, I wanted to be a detective when I was a kid. Then I grew up and realised what a boring job being a private eye really is.

This spoofy neo noir black comedy follows Abe Applebaum, a vastly overrated child detective in his small town and an unsuccessful private detective in adulthood. During the course of the film, he tries to solve the murder of a teenager leading to further revelations about the underbelly of his community.

I had high hopes for this, but it is not near as good as The Black Marble, Blue Velvet, or Brick; all of which I recommend over this.

At the end, when we see the kid detective crying directly at the camera in a close-up, is he thinking of a wasted life? It's something I personally often wonder about.

Tenet

This is very beautifully shot, diversely casted; which I appreciated, but also a very ordinary science fiction film. However, I still would have rated it above average if I could have heard what the actors and actresses were saying. Temporal cold war; the future fighting the past; bullets flying backwards? Easy! Hearing dialogue? Impossible. Christopher Nolan saying that this was intentional is bollocks. He and his crew muffed it. Well, muffled it. This is like listening to a the audio track for dialogue where everybody is Bane. Often I complain about actors who are mumblers, but in this case the actors are fine and the mixing is truly terrible. Get your hearing tested Nolan.

Hans Zimmer? I love his music, but sometimes the man needs to realise less is more.

Some of the action is ridiculous. The muscle guy with the tenderiser in the restaurant kitchen actually waited for our protagonist to hit him. I know this is movie fighting, but cock ups at this level are inexcusable. The bungee assault scene was spectacular, but also hilarious. This isn't Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, so I don't think excited giggling was the response Nolan expected.

Kenneth Branagh as a villain was as menacing as a mouse. I'm saying this as someone who normally likes Kenneth Branagh's work. I suppose at least he's an actor who never does things by halves. He is either great or stinks.

As with Branagh's silliness, Tenet, like Interstellar, is a spectacular Nolan failure. (Flopping spectacularly is a situation in which I have personal experience, so I'm not entirely unsympathetic; go back and listen to earlier episodes). Regardless, nothing Nolan screws up or said about Covid-19 will change my love for Inception.

In conclusion, Tenet would have been better as a novel than a movie, and with the stupendous budget he had, Nolan should have at least done outdone the Red Dwarf episode Backwards from 1989.

The Expanse Season Five

Thomas Jane has taken to directing this season, after having played the deceased Belter detective, and the show seems a lot more tense that before. I liked him as The Punisher, hated his disgraceful and stupid performance as a man with Tourette's in The Predator, so if his direction is a component of the season five atmosphere, then I view it as both atonement and a comeback. Although we have had to wait a while, so maybe I just can't remember how good the show was been previously.

As I have done so many times in the past, if you like this show, read the recently deceased Ben Bova's Grand tour series and perhaps some of Larry Niven's work from his Known Space universe.

The Mandalorian Season Two Finale

How did you deal with the finale of season two? Episode eight, The Rescue, was total nerd overload!

Spoilers ahead in three, two, one... Luke Skywalker! The moment I saw the X-Wing, then the hooded figure taking out the droids, I thought my head would explode. But then I sat stunned, through the post-credit scene with Boba and Fennec Shand raiding Jabba's lair, Boba killing Bib Fortuna, then, Conan the Barbarian-like, taking the throne, my head did explode. The spin off series, The Book of Boba Fett, was announced too and is coming in December 2021. Bazoom!

Warner Bros. Simultaneous Film Releases at Cinemas and on HBO Max

Here we go again, get ready for another rush to buy giant tellies as Warner Bros. declare that all new releases will be distributed to cinemas and HBO Max simultaneously.

I've been saying that all movies should have a simultaneous release for years, as it will cut down on some, as I like to call it---alternative streaming (yo ho ho and a bottle of rum)---but it took a global pandemic for the studios to see sense. And, of course, there's that proviso, "some", because who can afford to subscribe to so many different streaming services?

No matter, what happens over at Warner Bros., I not holding my breath for Snyder cuts or ghastly, pointless reboots (The Suicide Squad), but I am looking forward to Wonder Woman 1984, and, with reservations, The Matrix 4 (weren't we finished with this, and no Agent Smith?!)

Disney+'s Insane Announcements

Completely upstaging Warner, Disney announced a hundred new projects, including, of course, a crazy amount of Star Wars spin-offs. It there just too much Star Wars? Will it wear off what is special about our beloved corner of geekdom? (How many times before have we made this argument?)

But maybe this is also good news for us making completely unrelated work, because it looks as though they'll be a shortage of original IP as other writers, crew, and talent get sucked into the reboot, sequel, and spin off money machine. So don't despair and sharpen that quill... I smell opportunity.

Amazon's Climate Pledge...

...Also known as "Amazon's Anything but Unions Distraction".

The Twelve Days of Christmas

God help me, but for the twelve days of Christmas I'm doing a podcast each day.

Expect a short hiatus from Doctor Who revisits as I bring you some nerd each day, but also, and mostly to fill the space, glorious randomness, rage, and, as I said in my Tweet, "Indigestion, hangovers, and truly terrible life choices". Eat your heart out Festivus and the Airing of Grievances. Joking! (Mostly). Actually, with so many other pods doing more casual chill out or after dark episodes, I thought I'd do some more relaxed episodes where I try not to blow my top at every slight and annoyance. (E.g. the recent second very infectious strain of Covid-19 arriving in the UK. Blimey, you can't make this stuff up!) It is, after all, Christmas.

'Twas, or 'twis, now the night before Christmas and I'll speak to you very soon.