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Posts Tagged ‘movie reviews

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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(A day late, I know; I crashed after work yesterday.)

  • Antipope’s Charlie Stross has a thought experiment: If you were superwealthy and guaranteed to live a long health life, how would you try to deal with the consequence of economic inequality?
  • Vikas Charma at Architectuul takes a look at the different factors that go into height in buildings.
  • Bad Astronomy notes S5-HVS1, a star flung out of the Milky Way Galaxy by Sagittarius A* at 1755 kilometres per second.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly shares photos from two Manhattan walks of hers, taken in non-famous areas.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at habitability for red dwarf exoplanets. Stellar activity matters.
  • Maria Farrell at Crooked Timber shares words from a manifesto about data protection in the EU.
  • Dangerous Minds shares photos from Los Angeles punks and mods and others in the 1980s.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes a ESA report suggesting crew hibernation could make trips to Mars easier.
  • Gizmodo notes that the Hayabusa2 probe of Japan is returning from asteroid Ryugu with a sample.
  • Imageo shares photos of the disastrous fires in Australia from space.
  • Information is Beautiful reports on winners of the Information is Beautiful Awards for 2019, for good infographics.
  • JSTOR Daily explains how local television stations made the ironic viewing of bad movies a thing.
  • Kotaku reports on the last days of Kawasaki Warehouse, an arcade in Japan patterned on the demolished Walled City of Kowloon.
  • Language Hat notes how translation mistakes led to the star Beta Cygni gaining the Arabic name Albireo.
  • Language Log reports on a unique Cantonese name of a restaurant in Hong Kong.
  • Robert Farley at Lawyers, Guns and Money links to an analysis of his suggesting the military of India is increasingly hard-pressed to counterbalance China.
  • The LRB Blog notes the catastrophe of Venice.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a paper suggesting states would do well not to place their capitals too far away from major population centres.
  • Justin Petrone at North! remarks on a set of old apple preserves.
  • The NYR Daily looks at how the west and the east of the European Union are divided by different conceptions of national identity.
  • Jim Belshaw at Personal Reflections reports from his town of Armidale as the smoke from the Australian wildfires surrounds all. The photos are shocking.
  • Emily Lakdawalla at the Planetary Society Blog lists some books about space suitable for children.
  • Drew Rowsome reviews the Canadian film music Stand!, inspired by the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog shares a paper noting that, in Switzerland, parenthood does not make people happy.
  • The Signal notes that 1.7 million phone book pages have been scanned into the records of the Library of Congress.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explains the concept of multi-messenger astronomy and why it points the way forward for studies of astrophysics.
  • Strange Maps looks at how a majority of students in the United States attend diverse schools, and where.
  • Strange Company explores the mysterious death of Marc-Antoine Calas, whose death triggered the persecution of Huguenots and resulted in the mobilization of Enlightenment figures like Voltaire against the state. What happened?
  • Towleroad hosts a critical, perhaps disappointed, review of the major gay play The Inheritance.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little looks at the power of individual people in political hierarchies.
  • Window on Eurasia shares an opinion piece noting how many threats to the Russian language have come from its association with unpopular actions by Russia.
  • Arnold Zwicky explores queens as various as Elizabeth I and Adore Delano.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Adam Fish at anthro{dendum} shares a new take on the atmosphere, as a common good.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares a photo of Earth taken from a hundred million kilometres away by the OSIRIS-REx probe.
  • The Crux tells the story of how the first exoplanets were found.
  • D-Brief notes that life could be possible on a planet orbiting a supermassive black hole, assuming it could deal with the blueshifting.
  • io9 looks at the latest bold move of Archie Comics.
  • JSTOR Daily explores cleaning stations, where small fish clean larger ones.
  • Dan Nexon at Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the role China seeks to play in a remade international order.
  • The Map Room Blog looks at the new upcoming national atlas of Estonia.
  • Marginal Revolution touches on the great ambition of Louis XIV for a global empire.
  • Steve Baker of The Numerati shares photos from his recent trip to Spain.
  • Anya Schiffrin at the NRY Daily explains how American journalist Varian Fry helped her family, and others, escape the Nazis.
  • Drew Rowsome reviews the classic movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
  • Frank Jacobs at Strange Maps shares a map looking at the barriers put up by the high-income world to people moving from outside.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel answers the complex question of how, exactly, the density of a black hole can be measured.
  • John Scalzi at Whatever reviews Gemini Man. Was the high frame rate worth it?
  • Window on Eurasia notes the deep hostility of Tuvins towards a large Russian population in Tuva.
  • Arnold Zwicky considers the existential question of self-aware cartoon characters.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • The Crux looks at the australopiths, not-so-distant ancestors of modern humans.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes the interest of NASA in exploring the lunar subsurface, including lava tubes.
  • Far Outliers looks at the politicking of mid-19th century European explorers in the Sahel.
  • io9 notes that the new Joker film is getting stellar reviews, aided by the performance of Joaquin Phoenix.
  • JSTOR Daily explores how, to meet censors’ demands, Betty Boop was remade in the 1930s from sex symbol into housewife.
  • Language Log reports on an utter failure in bilingual Irish/English signage.
  • Erik Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money shows that a history of slavery in the US (Canada too, I would add) must not neglect the enslavement of indigenous peoples.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a paper studying San Francisco looking at how rent control did not work.
  • The NYR Daily considers growing protest against air travel for its impact on global climate.
  • Drew Rowsome reviews the queer romance film Bathroom Stalls & Parking Lots.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how the influence of Russia in the former Soviet Union is undone by Russian imperialism.
  • Arnold Zwicky considers the striking imagery–originally religious–of “carnal weapons”.

[NEWS] Five LGBTQ links: monogamy study, The Ritz, Toronto police, safe dating, Inkollo

  • A viral study claiming young gay men overwhelmingly prefer monogamy turns out to have used very poor data-gathering techniques. Slate reports.
  • Drew Rowsome takes a look at The Ritz, a 1977 mainstream film that made use of gay culture and bathhouses. How does it read nowadays?
  • The Toronto Police Service has made an application to Pride Toronto to walk, as a contingent, in this year’s parade. This year may not be the best year for that. CBC reports.
  • This safe date app designed for queer men of colour by a Toronto group is timely. It’s just sad that it’s needed. NOW Toronto reports.
  • Hornet Stories links to the online art, at Instagram, of gay comics artist Inkollo.

[REVIEW] X-Men: Apocalypse

I finally caught X-Men: Apocalypse Wednesday, sitting down in the VIP theatre at the Yonge-Dundas Cineplex Cinemas for more than two and a half hours with a pint and plenty of expectation.

How was it? Broadly, I agree with Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men called when they call X-Men: Apocalypse as a a “heartily enjoyable train wreck”. I liked Apocalypse and his horsemen, but I found the threat from Apocalypse depersonalized and unsatisfying. The heart and energy of the film lies in the characters, in Jean Grey and Cyclops and Nightcrawler and Storm and even Jubilee. (This last deserved more coverage.) We see how these young people end up coming to terms with their mutantcy and coming together as a team.

Plus, Quicksilver’s requisite of high-speed wackiness is great. Props to Singer for including “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”!

One thing I especially liked was the emphasis on Jean Grey’s agency. For too long, in the comics and even in the movies, Jean Grey is depicted as a victim of her powers, as someone who needs to have her powers controlled by others. No spoilers, but in X-Men: Apocalypse we see her embracing her powers, not being left to be made a victim of them as other characters (men, mainly) watch. This is refreshing.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 11, 2016 at 11:53 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • D-Brief reports on Ceres’ bright spots.
  • Dangerous Minds celebrates the video game arcades of the 1980s.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper speculating that tightly-packed globular clusters might be good cradles for life.
  • The Dragon’s Tales examines the processes by which gravel is formed on Mars and Titan.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog wonders about the extent to which college alienates low-income students.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money is critical of Hillary Clinton’s speech at AIPAC.
  • The LRB Blog features an essay by an American expatriate in Belgium on the occasion of the Brussels attacks.
  • Steve Munro analyses the quality of service on the 6 Bay bus.
  • The NYRB Daily reflects on the films of a Syrian film collective.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer points out that the rate of terrorism in Europe now is substantially lower than in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Savage Minds considers secrecy as it applies to the anthropological writer.
  • Strange Maps reflects on the BBC’s Shipping Forecast weather service.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi reflects on the prospects of human survival into the future.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are on the verge of fighting a border war.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Claus Vistesen of Alpha Sources notes that though the stock market might be peaking, we don’t know when.
  • blogTO warns that Toronto might consider a bid for the 2024 Olympics.
  • James Bow thinks about Ex Machina.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly looks forward to her impending visit to Maine.
  • Centauri Dreams features an essay by Michael A.G. Michaud looking at modern SETI.
  • Crooked Timber finds that even the style of the New York intellectuals of the mid-20th century is lacking.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that a search for superjovians around two nearby brown dwarfs has failed.
  • The Dragon’s Tales considers the flowing nitrogen ice of Pluto.
  • Geocurrents compares Chile’s Aysén region to the Pacific Northwest.
  • Joe. My. God. shares the new Janet Jackson single, “No Sleeep”.
  • Language Log looks at misleading similarities between Chinese and Japanese words as written.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money argues that the low-wage southern economy dates back to slavery.
  • Marginal Revolution is critical of rent control in Stockholm and observes the negative long-term consequences of serfdom in the former Russian Empire.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes how Jamaica is tearing down illegal electrical connections.
  • Savage Minds considers death in the era of Facebook.
  • Towleroad looks at how the Taipei city government is petitioning the Taiwanese high court to institute same-sex marriage.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy argues restrictive zoning hurts the poor.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at how Tatarstan bargains with Moscow, looks at Crimean deprivation and quiet resistance, considers Kazakh immigration to Kazakhstan, and argues Russian nationalist radicals might undermine Russia itself.