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A better day - John C. Kirk

Jul. 24th, 2004

02:14 am - A better day

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Well, today has been a long day, but it's gone a lot better than yesterday (as well as being better than I'd expected).

I spent most of the day at the flat - there's been a fair bit of progress since my last visit, I no longer have to pay cash in advance, and all in all I'm happy with the way that Fergus is handling it. I should be able to move in a fortnight (Friday 6th August), although I've got my next progress report due in that day so I'll probably wait until the following week. And I did a bit of underfloor cabling (TV and telephone), which adds a new skill to my repertoire.

In the evening, I went off to watch "80 days around the world", which I enjoyed. I think the trailer is actually a pretty fair advert for the film - not that it gives away the entire plot, but it will serve as a good indication of whether you'll like the film or not. There are certainly some major differences between this and previous versions of the story (the book, the David Niven film, and the animated series with the lion), and to quote Jack Sparrow: "either you can accept that, or you can't". Taken on its own merits, I thought that it was funny (mostly slapstick humour rather than anything more sophisticated, but it made me laugh) and it appealed to my values. Not the greatest film ever made, but it was an entertaining way to spend a few hours, which is what I was looking for.

They had some trailers for other forthcoming films. I was amused by the one for "The Magic Roundabout" (ludicrously mock-heroic poses for the characters), but realistically I won't go to see it - I remember enjoying it as a youngster, but I don't remember anything specific about it, and I don't think that nostalgia will carry it alone. "Catwoman" - it's the first time I've actually seen the trailer (after hearing uniformly negative things about the film elsewhere), and it didn't really grab me; I can see what they're trying to do, but it doesn't look particularly interesting.

The film that did look promising is "13 going on 30". There seems to be a few differences between this and similar films in the past (either rapid aging like "Big" or body-swap like "Freaky Friday"). In particular, the idea that you have a 30 year old with the musical preferences of a teenager in the 1980s - that reminds of someone... Actually, this reminds me of Timeslip (from the "New Warriors" comic), who could swap minds with her future self, although I don't think they'll be going down quite that route.

On a related note, my favourite line from the latest Orange advert (with Sean Astin): "Free your mind!" (in reference to having a trilogy in four parts).

This isn't related to specific trailers I've seen today, but I'll probably go to watch "Thunderbirds" sometime soon. I'll also go to see "Farenheit 9/11". I think that Michael Moore is an idiot, and that people like him and Mark Thomas actually harm liberty more than they help it, by pulling stupid stunts that push the limits of what's legal, while going far beyond what's polite, so that the only legal way to stop them is to impose more restrictive laws. However, Peter David (who I greatly respect) has said that everyone of voting age should see this film (primarily Americans, but people from other countries too). So, I'm willing to give up 5 quid and a couple of hours based on his advice. I'm documenting my reservations here, so that if I do come back from the film saying "Wow, Michael Moore is a visionary genius, and he has completely reshaped my political views" then there's a basis for a "before and after" comparison.

I've just read issue 2 of the new Ghostbusters comic, which I strongly recommend to anyone who liked the original film. Essentially, the timeline diverged three ways after that:
1. The second film.
2. The animated series (Real Ghostbusters, Extreme Ghostbusters).
3. The comic.
It's funny, it has a good plot, and most importantly the characterisation is spot on. I can believe that these are the same people I saw in the film, but they aren't just repeating the same behaviour. For instance, Ray is getting disillusioned about his career - he wanted to be a serious scientist, but he hasn't got the recognition he hoped for (people treat him as a fraud or a glorified exterminator).