CRRRRS 439 Old Knights of the Falling Moon

By Roy Mathur, on 2022-05-09, at 23:13:54--00:17:48 BST, for Captain Roy's Rusty Rocket Radio Show, Listen

Retractions

Remember how I said they'd be a section called Journal and Zeitgeist in all or most pods? Bugger that! That's too hard to remember and too much hard work. Expect those only in special retro revisit episodes, like the classic Doctor Who reviews that come out every Friday.

I have a stack of other mainly British science Fiction, fantasy, and horror treats to cover once I finish Doctor Who. (If I ever finish with Doctor Who). So if that is your, or someone you know's bag, please let them know about this pod.

Something for the weekend, monsieur? Madame?

I also said I'm no longer going to list anything not SFFH in the MP3 tag of each pod, but as you'll see today, there is so much content of interest to geeks that isn't SFFH that I'd be shooting myself in the foot if I didn't. Let me see how I feel about it tomorrow.

Maybe I should add a weekly Retractions section? No!

Pain and Strain

I strained my joints from last week's gardening, and all the extra podcasting gave me a series of migraines. So I gave myself a rest this weekend, then started again today, and here's a little poem I write about the experience:

The hedges did not kill me,
Though indeed did I falter,
And almost came a cropper,
Atop the sodding ladder,
Reaching for the lopper.
---The Lopper by Roy Mathur, on 2022-05-09, at 11:40

A few months on, my continuing battle with Proton Pump Inhibitor addiction is lessening. I have found that the main cause of GERD for me---no thanks to the numerous doctors I have seen---seems to be overeating. By overeating, I mean normal portions are too much for me, not gluttony. I'm now eating smaller than normal meal sizes and it's semi-working

Star Wars Day

A very belated happy Star Wars day to everyone.

I'm very sorry I completely missed it, despite having the damn thing in my Google Calendar, along with all the other important geek days.

Moonfall

I thought I'd reviewed this, but all I did was mention it as an upcoming movie I liked the look of. Since then I have watched Roland Emmerich's return to popcorn movies in this terrible film abut the Moon threatening the Earth.

The heroes are cardboard cut-outs. Halle Berry is criminally underused and I, unflatteringly, mistook Patrick Wilson, playing the alpha-male astro, for Chris Pratt. (A shameful admission because I loved him as Nite Owl in Watchmen). To please the Chinese investors (one supposes) there is a young Chinese au pair, whose role is totally superfluous. Collecting his cheque on the way to the bank is Donald Sutherland's useless performance as some kind of spook; a role in which he has specialised since JFK. Pleasing investors and getting star power; ahhh, the business of film production.

However, it's saving graces are two-fold. First, I love the nerdy conspiracy theorist protagonist, played by John Bradley (Samwell Tarly in Game of Thrones). He reminds me of the similarly likeable nutty character, Bernie, from Godzilla vs. Kong. Second, the story is entertaining in its utter preposterousness. I mean come on! We're talking about the Moon smashing us right in the face! The Moon!

Ambulance

In Ambulance Jake Gyllenhaal ropes his hard up brother into taking part in a bank heist that soon goes wrong, leading to a single vehicle chase, that the whole movie is built around

Jake Gyllenhaal's acting is nuts, in that he appears to be an actually crazy actor acting like a crazy character. I really don't know what he was doing. Did he get any direction at all?

He's supposed to be a ruthless Moriarty-level criminal, who has studied the methods of law enforcement, so as to become the uber crook. We are told this by a weird accented (because the actor is Australian) FBI guy. Except, the bank job this genius organises is a complete shambles and his gang are imbeciles.

And yes, here where are again with Miami Vice Michael Bay, really appreciating Hispanic culture as being one-dimensionally insanely violent.

But let's get to the crux of the matter. This is a chase movie, but instead of featuring souped up mean machines like Kowalski's Dodge Challenger from Vanishing Point, or Max Rockatansky's Ford Falcon from Mad Max, it's an... ambulance. Ambulances are not slow, but they are boxes on wheels. I can't see how any ambulance is going to outdrive a standard cop traffic car, let alone an interceptor.

I did not like this film. It is too long. The story is terrible. The premise is stupid. The actress playing paramedic, however, Eiza Gonzalez Reyna, is so preternaturally beautiful, that I was mesmerised every time she was in the frame, which was a useful distraction from the rest of this movie.

Halo

Remember Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn? No? Okay, I do. I covered that first attempt at bringing Bungie's titular sci-fi game, about grunts fighting off an alien hoard, to the screen back in pod 15 from 2013. It was fairly average. This new attempt is also fairly average.

I've heard comparisons to the BSG reboot, and I can see why given the twist at the end of the first episode, but it's really more like Space Above and Beyond, if anybody remembers that show. What I mean by that is that this would have been great back in the 90s. Now, it's just average.

One thing I did found highly objectionable (i.e. even less than average), however, is to do with character development through a particularly piece of unbelievable dialogue. I find it absolutely impossible to believe that, Kwan Ha (Yerin Ha), the lone survivor of Insurrectionist planet Madrigal, could forgive the Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) within seconds of finding out that he murdered her mother. I don't care if he's a poor, brainwashed supersoldier, if someone murdered my mum, they'd be out the airlock without a helmet.

Star Trek: Picard

The story cobbled from whole scenes pinched from The Voyage Home, ended rather flatly. Though I was impressed at how they tackled trauma and grief, it left a lot of unanswered questions. Like how did Picard even get into Star Fleet Academy, with a great big hole in his memories? One would assume psychological screening of some kind?

I also don't feel threatened by diminutive Allison Pill in a red dress and combat boots. That's the equivalent of casting me as a Rambo, i.e., ridiculous.

On the other hand, we do get into the lore of Star Trek, which I do appreciate as a Trekkie. (Yes, "Trekkie", not "Trekker". I'm no bearded pioneer). We pick up where the wonderful Gary Seven storyline from the excellent Star Trek TOS: Assignment: Earth left off. there is also some further development of the backstory of the Eugenics War, which is pivotal to the Star Trek universe.

Moon Knight

It ended, I don't know if there's going to be a second season, but if not, I enjoyed it while it lasted. In the last episode, Layla gets a cool set of wings, there's the obligatory boss fight, and there's a little twist at the end.

I still hated the accent, even if it was explained. I think that the origin story of Steven Grant's dodgy London accent was written into the storyline, when they realised that Oscar Isaac---excellent and charismatic actor that he is---couldn't do a British accent. It's both not a easy accent to do, nor is it an easy accent to get rid of; case in point; me.

I can't remember if I've already said this, but I really liked F. Murray Abraham's voice acting for Khonsu.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Since the debacle of missing Star Wars Day, I have caught up with the new Obi-Wan Kenobi trailer on the Star Wars YouTube channel, and it's stunning.

I am utter fascinated by the new Imperial baddies; the woman with the lightsaber and the pale, tall chap in a shiny bicorne or tricorne Nelson hat; Thrawn? (Probably not).

I will, of course, be glued to the screen the moment it descends, on the 27 May 2022.

New Doctor Cast in Doctor Who

I just learned yesterday that an actor has been chosen to play the next Doctor. The BBC announced yesterday that Ncuti Gatwa, a Rwandan-Scottish actor has been cast. He's won a BAFTA for his role in the Netflix's British comedy series Sex Education. He's only 29, but has been on screen since at least 2014. Of his credits, I'm only familiar with two IPs. He wa a cop in Iain Banks' Stonemouth and Timidius in Horrible Histories: The Movie---Rotten Romans. In an article for the BBC Doctor Who website, Gatwa is quoted as saying:

There aren't quite the words to describe how I'm feeling. A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared. This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care. I will endeavour my utmost to do the same. Russell T. Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true. His writing is dynamic, exciting, incredibly intelligent and fizzing with danger. An actor's metaphorical playground. The entire team have been so welcoming and truly give their hearts to the show. And so as much as it's daunting, I'm aware I'm joining a really supportive family. Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show.

Russell T. Davies, the original and returning showrunner of New Who, says in the same article, "...I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!"

The Internet Archive Reliability

As you might know, I host my files at archive.org. Until recently I was getting download statistics, but they have suddenly stopped at c. 12, 300 and fluctuated randomly up and down by about 50 downloads like a yoyo. There have also been a few recent changes to the interface, and the upload process seems slightly slower than before. I have also noticed that the Internet Archive say, "At this time we have no fees for uploading and preserving materials."At this time..."?

What I am saying is that, while I still like being hosting at archive.org, I no longer consider it a bullet-proof podcasting platform.

Come what may, In the future, if I suddenly go dark, either I am dead, or there's a technical hitch, like me moving to a new host. Whatever happens, do not unsubscribe as I have no plan to ever stop podcasting.

The Great Facebook Lockout

Back in March, unnoticed by me, Facebook added an extra layer of security that if not acted upon by users would lock them out. According to this Verge article, when the deadline passed, many users, even some of whom had dutifully followed Facebook's instructions, were locked out.

So I'm locked out or both my pro Page and my normal user Account.

After numerous tries at Facebook self-help, a process which pops up a dialogue box claiming my aforesaid account doesn't exist, I DM'd them on Twitter. This, of course, garnered no response and lead me to an afternoon of increasing irritation as I tweeted the company, then their top brass, which also led nowhere.

You might be wondering, given my ire, why I even want Facebook. It's simple, I'm a member of a social group, which only ever meet on Facebook.

As there is no way to directly contact these clowns, I, and many other users you depend on the service, appear permanently locked out despite reassurances back in March that the problem would be resolved. Since my Twitter bombing of FB, and pulling the, "I'm a journo" move on them, FB Security have sent me another, "We've noticed that you're having trouble with logging in to your account" email. This inst the first I've received, and it hasn't worked before, but I'll try again in the morning. Move fast and break stuff, oh my techbros.

Editors!

Oh, and since we're here, do any editors want to print this, or any of my other articles or reviews? You know, in exchange for money and bylines?

Did I say I used to be a tech and pop culture columnist? Yes, I know I've asked before, but I'm asking again. Is this too needy? Do I care at this point? No.

The Horus Box to be Republished

My geeky adventure novel, The Horus Box, is being republished soon.

Blurb:

What's an adrenaline junkie bike courier to do AFTER a fatal wipe out? How about inheriting a weird box, partnering up with a lethal and sexy reporter, and going on the adventure of lifetime?

Join geeky ex-rocker and his enigmatic partner-in-crime, as they are drawn into the mystery of the century, deep in the dark heart of London. It is a secret that will change their lives forever... if it doesn't kill them first.

If you're interested in a free advance copy, let me know and I'll add you to a mailing list.

Brand Identity

The brand image (yuk, sorry, I know) for my creative output; podcasting, writing, etc., lacks a one cohesive vision. It's a problem because it adds to my workload by duplicating the effort I have to make telling people about things that I am doing.

I've talked about doing this for years, then changed other things, but not that thing. Yet again, expect changes soon. Hopefully, this time I put something together that works.

Preparing to Be a YouTuber

After I had no luck with installing Movie Maker on 32 bit Windows, I reported difficulty getting OpenShot or ShotCut to even start on my PC. I have since tried KdenLive, DaVinci Resolve, VirtualDub, and Avidemux; none of which work. Finally, I installed a lot of .Net updates, hoping to get Movie Maker working---it didn't---but, ironically, it did get OpenShot working. Bravo, Microsoft.

I keep hearing how you can YouTube on a budget, but making acceptable content means gear. First, there's the camera. Yes, you don't need a DSLR or mirrorless; a webcam will do, but not only don't I have a decent one, but my computer doesn't have enough grunt to run one laglessly. So I decided to use my ailing smartphone with an okay camera, but a terribly buggered mic, meaning I have to sync audio separately. There's also a matter of lighting... Listen, I'm not saying it can't be done, but the bar to producing quality content is not as low as some YouTube gear reviewers will tell you.

As a podcaster, I'm also guilty of being overly cavalier of the ease of making podcasts. Anyone can do it, but it isn't as easy as content creators say it is. We say these things because we've forgotten our initial struggles.

Tired

I'm sore, achy, and tired.

Goodnight, nerdlings.