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Skummy

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Everything posted by Skummy

  1. Skummy

    'The Graps' in Music

    Aside from those already mentioned; "Johnny Kwango" by The Bevis Frond Luke Haines did a whole album about British wrestling, and referenced Kendo Nagasaki on at least one previous track ("Leeds United"). Half Man Half Biscuit also referenced Kendo from time to time.
  2. I think I read somewhere that there's an "Indies" mode, where you start out wrestling on small shows and work your way up to WWE - I assume it's part of that. It's a shame all of your opponents will be the sort of dreadful generic CAW that they always are in these games, though, otherwise that could have been interesting.
  3. Remastered Katamari is absolutely the thing to make me pick up the Switch again. Being able to play Final Fantasy IX on the go is pretty special too.
  4. Sounds like European PS4 release is September 28th, if I've heard correctly.
  5. I really, really disliked it. I don't know if I'd say I hated it, as I can barely remember enough of it to say that. It felt incredibly bloated, I didn't really feel any reason to connect to most of the characters, and large swathes of it could have been cut without affecting the overall story one bit. Mostly, it just fell flat and felt oddly paced, with a lack of any real urgency. There also seemed to be a conscious effort to just scrap every dangling plot thread from the previous film, and to actively subvert every trope and convention of the series - while I'm not in with the "DISNEY IS RUINING STAR WARS" crowd, it did feel like a lot of the film felt like it made a conscious decision to cock a snook at long-term fans. It's such a minor thing, but killing Admiral Ackbar off-screen felt like a perfect example of that - killing off a minor, but recognisable and loved, character arbitrarily with no pay-off - seemed to sum up a lot of the movie to me. I don't know, I think "we beat the space Nazis, got complacent, and then a few decades later some new Nazis came along" is a more believable storyline than anything else in Star Wars... Crap attempt at satire aside, I'd somewhat agree with this - but it's a problem of Force Awakens more than a problem of The Last Jedi.
  6. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mystery-science-theater-3000-comic-book_us_5b50ed01e4b0fd5c73c378b1?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004&guccounter=1 A very weird, Joel-penned MST3K comic book is happening.
  7. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mystery-science-theater-3000-comic-book_us_5b50ed01e4b0fd5c73c378b1?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004&guccounter=1 A very weird, Joel-penned MST3K comic book is happening.
  8. Skummy

    Doctor Who

    Not that there's a lot to go on, but I'm not a fan of the trailer. Suggests a move back to more RTD-esque domestic stories, and away from high concept. Main concern coming out of that is that it'll be a weak series, and it'll just give more ammunition to the trolls to blame it on a female Doctor.
  9. Skummy

    Twin Peaks

    Been thinking about that theory, and about Twin Peaks in general, a lot lately - I just got through the Twin Peaks chapter of Lynch's book - and I'm not quite on-board on Cooper being the dreamer, at least not in such a literal sense. It's right that there are recurring themes in much of Lynch's work - duality, secrets/secret identities, and the blurred lines between the interior and exterior worlds - and what I'm going to call an extra-exterior world - are common in almost all of the "pure" Lynch projects. In addition to what's talked about in that piece - Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive and Twin Peaks: The Return all move between the interior and exterior lives of characters without clearly delineating which is which (or if the distinction matters), and all feature an extra-exterior character that somehow manages, controls or influences those lives; in Mulholland Drive it's Mr. Roque pulling strings to get Diane cast in the movie, in Eraserhead it's the Man In The Planet, and in Twin Peaks it's the Lodge entities, though most explicitly The Fireman in the creation of Laura Palmer. The Man In The Planet, in particular, I find analogous to the Fireman - both seem to operate at a mechanical level, and both introduce an element into the world that shapes the story. The scene, in episode 8, of The Fireman introducing Laura Palmer to the world - creating her? - I think is key to the entire story, though I've not really figured out how. As well as the Eraserhead connection, The Fireman and Senorita Dido appear to inhabit Lynch's Club Silencio, which connects them to Mulholland Drive - which plays into my broader theory of Twin Peaks: The Return having a meta-narrative as the connecting thread that runs through all of David Lynch's work. Back to The Fireman, though - he's called that in the credits, but what do we see on-screen to warrant that name? Seemingly nothing. But a Fireman exists to extinguish fires, and what do we know about fire in the world of Twin Peaks? The Log Lady tells us that fire is evil, BOB is associated with fire - "Fire Walk With Me", "do you want to play with fire?" - and The Fireman seemingly creates Laura to counteract BOB, and Laura is so key to the story, that it's easy to assume that she is sent to Earth by the Fireman to be the catalyst that defeats BOB, to be the counterpoint to BOB, or in some way to see out The Fireman's plan. That was my interpretation until now. But if Laura is the embodiment of goodness and purity...well, we never really see it, do we? She's as susceptible to sin, weakness and temptation as anyone - if not moreso. Fire Walk With Me certainly doesn't paint Laura as saintly and pure - in fact, part of the entire point of the first season of Twin Peaks is that the entire surface appearance of Laura Palmer as the pure, perfect prom queen is chipped away at and shown to be a facade by just about every single character. Like every character in the original cast, she has a dual life, and has a world of secrets. So then what is the Fireman doing by creating Laura Palmer? Perhaps it's a knowing sacrifice - The Fireman has seen that BOB has been created, and that Sarah Palmer has been seeded with whatever the creature that crawls into her mouth is, and needs to send Laura into the world to counteract the greater evil that would come of BOB and Judy (?) coming together. But then that means that The Fireman has created Laura knowing that she will be abused, tortured and murdered, which paints that character in a whole different light. And then there's whatever happens when Cooper "saves" Laura - we end up in a whole other universe, with yet another set of doubles, yet see the telephone pole that has been pointed at as somehow significant through the entire series in Odessa in this "universe", whatever that might mean. In this universe, Dale Cooper seems to combine characteristics of Good and Bad Coop - so I agree with the article's interpretation that, whatever has happened here, this is a Dale Cooper with his duality resolved; no longer two separate doppelgangers, he's a whole person now, with all the flaws and inconsistencies that involves. Though I would add that this Dale Cooper isn't entirely whole - part of him has been removed in order to construct a new Dougie Jones, and maybe it's removing the pure, innocent, childlike wonder of Dougie that has made this Cooper have a more aggressive, Bad Coop-like edge? Laura's double in this world is Carrie Page. Any significance in the name? The missing page of Laura's diary, perhaps? The heroes had to look for a Page - but the Page in question was Carrie, not Laura's diary? But then who is Carrie, what year is it, what does the ending mean? This reminds me of a line from Bioshock Infinite - I'm going to spoiler tag this just in case, as it's vital to the plot of that game;
  10. Skummy

    Twin Peaks

    http://politicsslashletters.org/dreamer-twin-peaks-return/ An interesting take on The Return, focusing on the theme of duality, and the question of "Who Is The Dreamer?".
  11. When I was working in HMV back in around 2003/4, I found a bunch of SNES games when clearing out behind a display.
  12. Steve Ditko was an odd character, and politically light years away from me, but someone I've long respected for sticking to his principles to an almost deleterious extent - Alan Moore's old band The Emperors Of Ice Cream wrote a song about him called "Mr. A" that pretty accurately summed up his rather extreme Randian views. He saw the world as strictly good and bad, with no shades of grey in-between, and that was reflected in his work - particularly later (brilliant) characters like Mr. A and The Question. Both of whom - along with extrapolations of Ditko's own beliefs - served as inspiration for Rorschach in Watchmen. It was that moral philosophy that lent his Marvel work some of its more enduring quirks, too - it was under Ditko that Spider-Man comics began to end, almost invariably, with the police showing up to save the day. Because in Ditko's world-view, superheroes were an anomaly - the business of arresting and apprehending criminals ultimately had to fall to the police. A lot gets said about how Stan Lee, as the public face of Marvel, took a lot of credit and plaudits that rightly should have gone to Jack Kirby. But Steve Ditko is the other part of that triumvirate that is perhaps even more overlooked - without Ditko, there is no Spider-Man, nor most of his rogue's gallery, there's no Dr. Strange (and, by extension, little of the more metaphysical, inward looking wing of the Marvel universe), the likes of Iron Man and the Hulk would be unrecognisable - to say nothing of the surrealistic, innovative art style he brought to the form, and his fundamental understanding of comic books as a medium in their own right, not as a poor substitute for movies or TV. But that's what he'd have wanted - he wasn't mugging for the camera like Stan Lee, he wanted his work to speak for itself and nobody to know who Steve Ditko was. But I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that Ditko, along with Lee and Kirby, played a huge part in shaping the pop culture landscape of the latter half of the 20th Century.
  13. Just going to second the shout for Wristcutters. Brilliant film, more people should know it.
  14. I agree with this completely (and also with Kamasi Washington being one of my few worthwhile recent discoveries, incidentally). I've mentioned plenty of times before, but I'm always amazed how a certain class of popular music seems to have just frozen in the early 2000s. If I go to a rock/metal night, everyone there wants to hear the same thing that was being played on Kerrang and MTV2 in 2002-2005; they want to hear System of a Down, "Halo" by Soil, Sum 41, Disturbed. If I go and see a generic covers/function band, they're playing "Seven Nation Army", "Mr. Brightside", Stereophonics, The Coral. Everything just stopped. I could understand if the audience requesting, or reacting to, this stuff were all my age and it was purely nostalgia, but it's people ten or more years younger too. I think music needs to be curated to some extent. When our access to music was more limited - governed by what got played on the radio, or on a couple of TV shows, by what was available in the shops, and by what was covered in the music press - we paid more attention to it, and knew what shows to watch, what reviewers to trust, who's recommendations to take seriously, about what music we followed. Now, we've got the whole world of music at our fingertips, but no one pointing us the right direction. It's the paradox of choice. If I'm into an obscure band, and my local HMV never gets their music in, the moment they get one copy of their CD in stock, I'm snapping it up straight away. Go on Amazon, where there's all fifteen of their albums available to purchase, and it's overwhelming, I don't know where to begin, and I end up not buying any of them. Age and changing habits have played a part in it too - a lot of how I discovered new music has changed. I don't buy music magazines, or really follow any music sites or writers online any more. I used to go to a couple of festivals a year, but haven't been to any for the last six years or so, so I don't have the experience of stumbling across bands at shows, or researching the bands playing to figure out who to go and see. I don't DJ any more, and a lot of the venues where I used to go and watch live bands have closed, so I'm not seeing local music live, not spending as much time with musically inclined friends and having the, "what are you listening to at the moment?" conversations. I used to walk into HMV every week, especially when I got paid weekly, scour the New Releases wall, and pick out everything that took my fancy. So I could be buying anywhere up to nine or ten new albums some weeks. Even if I wasn't buying them, that physical act of walking in and looking at that wall was teaching me what was new. Since our local HMV closed down, that's gone, and I've not bought nearly as much music since. I'll still pop into the record shop every now and then, still go to Fopp or HMV if I'm in England, and maybe pick up one or two things, but as often as not I'll have a browse and not commit to anything. There are a handful of artists that I could guarantee I would buy their new stuff without fail - but, over the last couple of years, a great deal of them have died. David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince, The Fall...I think the only surefire purchases left for me now are Tom Waits, Scott Walker, Sparks, Sage Francis, Earth and Eliza Carthy. And, in a lot of those cases, there's no guarantee I'll even hear about it when something does come out. I'm reluctant to say it's an age thing, though, as I have a few friends in their mid-to-late 40s that are considerably more active about pursuing new music than I am.
  15. GLOW season finale is pure joy.
  16. I'm currently reading Edward Bernays' "Propaganda", from 1928, along with accompanying essays on the changing perception of propaganda in the pre, inter and post-war years. Nothing new under the sun, just the means of distribution have changed. I echo the love for Ken Burns' Vietnam, though. The man is an absolute master at this sort of documentary, and it's among his best. It's a time period that got me interested in American political history and political life a long time ago, and I don't think many people have done a better job of exploring it than Burns. Back to GLOW, I think the only downside this series has been that it feels less of an ensemble cast. While other characters seem to get their own little sub-plot now and then, it's very much the Ruth and Debbie show. On some level I'd say that's deservedly so - not just because their story is the heart of the whole show, but because both of them put in phenomenal performances way ahead of anything they were doing in season one - but it does feel like the rest of the cast have been sidelined and not given nearly enough to work with.
  17. Episode 8 of GLOW is an absolute delight. I love this season.
  18. About four episodes into the new series of GLOW, and I'm enjoying it. It feels a bit more of a romp than series one, in a good way. It doesn't feel like there's been much in the way of character development for anyone bar Liberty Belle, with the other girls sidelined even moreso, but we'll see how that goes. That said, it's good to see Welfare Queen (I can't remember any of the characters' "shoot" names!) getting a bit more time, as she's been brilliant in both series. Bash is amazing this series too. It was probably sheer exhaustion after three very busy days as much as anything, but definitely got a bit teary-eyed at two points already;
  19. Fallout Shelter is the sort of game I should hate, just time-based "click this and wait" mobile nonsense, but I've been sinking a fair bit of time into it too. I was doing okay until everybody died.
  20. Decided to watch another movie I've been meaning to get round to since it came out, The Limehouse Golem. Absolutely loved it. Wonderfully shot and directed, brilliant atmosphere. Some bits were a tad gimmicky, but mostly excellent, and Bill Nighy is fantastic. A story very much in my area of interest, though, so may be biased in that regard.
  21. Is that a thing that a console luddite like me could figure out how to do?
  22. As good as Cockney Stalin is, the highlight for me in terms of the incongruous accents was either Zhukov or Paul Whitehouse as Mikoyan, after Beria's death, grumbling, "I'm knackered, it's been a right busy week".
  23. I finally watched The Death Of Stalin. It was brilliant. Very darkly funny (a couple of lines in particular had me in hysterics), and superbly cast. Simon Russell Beale is just revolting and detestable as Beria, Buscemi as Khruschev is inspired casting, Palin as Molotov just plays to his strengths perfectly, and Jason Isaacs Zhukov is absolutely brilliant. One of the best films I've seen in a long, long time.
  24. I'm starting to get concerned that we're a couple of months away from the North American PS4 release, we've seen the cover art, seen details of the collector's edition and so on, and still don't seem to have confirmation of a European release? Wiki lists the August release date as "worldwide", but every article I've seen on it refers to it as a North American release, and it's still not up for pre-order on Amazon or Game.
  25. https://www.rifftrax.com/space-mutiny-coasters?utm_source=RiffTrax+Mail&utm_campaign=7b1afe7f93-TheDark&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4a5519af23-7b1afe7f93-37207717&mc_cid=7b1afe7f93&mc_eid=d1705dd533 Limited edition Space Mutiny coasters.
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