Textpattern 4.8

    2 April 2020, lunch time

When I first launched this site I really customized quite deeply a lot of the bits and bobs that make Textpattern go. Now, a million years later, I just don’t have the time an energy to do that. Dreamhost upgraded the version of PHP running on the server that hosts this webpage, promptly breaking the version of Textpattern I was running. I sort of expected that to happen. I have upgraded to Textpattern 4.8. I think it’s quite impressive that it seemingly worked without a hitch. This is just stock Textpattern. I’ll hopefully do a better job of keeping it up to date since the upgrade process is so seamless if you aren’t following it up with a bunch of porting random code. Let me know if anything is broken.

Stay safe: there is a pandemic happening.

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John Wick

   15 March 2020, lunch time

John Wick feels like a film made by people growing up on Hong Kong action films from the 90s. If you judged a film based on how many guns it has—and you should—John Wick is coming out ahead. The premise is simple. John Wick is an ex-mob hitman who is out for revenge and the loser son of his old boss kills the dog his wife bought him right before she died. The film takes place is a some what surreal version of NYC where there are assassins all over the place. Lots of memorable faces throughout, including Freeman and the Captain from the Wire. An enjoyable film, and now I get to watch two more.

The official John Wick website.

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Boiling Point

    4 January 2020, lunch time

I love documentaries about chef’s. Boiling Point is about Gordon Ramsey’s quest for his 3rd Michelin Star. The film opens with him leaving Aubergine to start his own restaurant. I had always thought the Hell’s Kitchen persona was a bit of an act, especially after seeing his older British shows where he’s a lot more patient and friendly. Apparently I was wrong. The guy is even meaner to his own staff. He’s intense and abusive. People get fired all the time. I can’t imagine working for him, but people do. When he left Aubergine the kitchen staff all went with him. That’s something. He’s pushing everyone around him to be perfect. My heart rate is up after watching the movie. You can watch it on YouTube yourself.

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Frozen II

    3 January 2020, late afternoon

Back at the movies with Mythilli and Shima. We trekked back out to the Queensway to watch Frozen II_—in 3D! I hate watching films in 3D: the colours are dull, the effect often so subtle to be pointless, and wearing the glasses on top of my glasses is an uncomfortable pain in the ass. _Frozen II follows Anna and Elsa as they try and unravel the mystery of Elsa’s magic, and the history of their homeland. The main storyline is really about repatriation of indigenous lands. This being a Disney film, they figure out how to do it so that everyone gets to keep their homes. I never saw the original Frozen. Mythilli claims this one is better. Maybe? It’s a nice enough film, as children’s films go.

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The Rise of Skywalker

   31 December 2019, mid-morning

I watched The Rise of Skywalker with Shima, Mythilli and Riadh. Shima has almost zero interest in Star Wars, but she came anyway: what a good mom! Mythilli has enjoyed the new trilogy, and she was a fan of this last entry. I think for Star Wars, maybe that’s all you should ask for. This film moves at what feels like a frantic pace. I suspect JJ could and maybe should have made the whole trilogy, he seems to have had enough ideas and some sense of what he wanted to do. Like The Last Jedi, this movie throws away a lot of stuff Johnson set up. Kylo rebuilds his helmet! This new trilogy really feels like each movie was made in isolation without much thought to how the films should all work together. If you’re making a trilogy, that’s not great. This last film feels a bit cold, like it was made by a committee to please fans. There is so much fan service. This movie has a lot of really enjoyable moments, fight scenes, etc. The actors are all still really great. It just feels much weaker than both proceeding films. I suspect it’s a near insurmountable task to produce the concluding film in a beloved trilogy. These films are all far better than the prequels. This movie was fun to watch, and it was really fun to watch it with Mythilli. Rey is my favourite Jedi.

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The Last Jedi

   31 December 2019, mid-morning

I watched The Last Jedi on Christmas Day the year it came out. I didn’t write about it at the time, because I have become much lazier about keeping this site up to date with the movies I have watched. Something I should address in 2020, perhaps. I watched the film again with Mythilli a couple days ago, in preparation for watching the final film in the new trilogy. A lot of Star Wars fanboys dislike Rian Johnson’s entry in the new trilogy, but I think it’s easily the best of the three new movies. The Last Jedi continues the story started in the Force Awakens, and opens with the resistance doing a bombing run against a fleet of Star Destroyers. This opening sequence is shot beautifully. There are a lot of really lovely shots in this film. (Something I think all the movies have done a good job with.) The Last Jedi feels like a fresh entry in the series, and doesn’t feel like a retrod of The Empire Strikes Back. (Unlike The Force Awakes, which feels very much like a reboot of A New Hope.) Johnson throws away a lot of JJ’s “mysteries”, which I think rubbed people the wrong way. I’d argue his reveals in this film are much punchier than what Abraham’s ended up giving us. Still, this movie feels like it exists as a ‘fuck you’ to the previous movie, which isn’t what you want from a sequel. There are two things I dislike about the film: much of the movie is a chase in slow motion. I think you could likely tell the story in a way that didn’t feel a bit silly. The casino sequence feels like a strange non-sequitur. A criticism of capitalism in cowboys in space movie for children. The actors continue to be super charming, which will get you quite far anyway. I’m looking forward to Johnson getting his own Star Wars trilogy to direct. I suspect he’ll produce something really compelling.

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