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Summer nights - John C. Kirk

Jun. 2nd, 2007

08:44 pm - Summer nights

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The weekend rolls around again, so I'm splitting my time between SJA duties and slobbing around in front of the TV. I really need to book some annual leave soon, so that I can actually get something productive done (e.g. finishing my decorating)...

Anyway, I was out at the athletics again today, and they had nice weather for it. One interesting thing I found out is that the starters' pistols are real guns; the starters only fire blanks, but the guns are perfectly capable of firing real bullets, so they have to be kept locked away in a safe. Tomorrow I'm off to the Biggin Hill airshow, which is normally quite a tiring day, but some of the planes are quite impressive.

Meanwhile, last night I watched Flushed Away. I was a bit dubious about it when I first saw the trailer, but shuripentu recommended it a while back, so I stuck it on my Amazon DVD rental list. As with Cars, my main concern was with the world-building aspects; in this case, I can cheerfully accept anthropomorphic animals who wear clothing and recycle rubbish into useful machines (Wombles!), but I get stuck when they are co-existing with oblivious humans (e.g. able to have telephone conversations). Still, once I got past that I enjoyed the film, since it has a lot of charm, and some of their ideas were truly inspired; I don't think it's as good as Wallace & Gromit, but it will probably appeal to the same audience. (Mind you, if you don't like jokes based on national stereotypes, this probably isn't the right film for you.) It's a relatively short film (1h 10m), but the trailer only covers the first 10 minutes (and there were a few character changes made after that), so it doesn't give too much away. The film also has quite an impressive voice cast, and I think the best compliment I can give them is that I didn't recognise them, i.e. I identified them as their characters. Still, Sir Ian McKellen continues to surprise me with his versatility.

Speaking of TV, I thought that the latest two episodes of Doctor Who were very good, showing a return to form after a rather dire episode (the first time I've been so bored that I was tempted to turn it off half way through). As an example, the headmaster had a fairly small role, but his character was well developed. If you liked that story, I'd recommend the Trek novel Ishmael, which deals with a similar theme.