Dept of Scattershot

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 10:43 pm
kaffyr: (See the Sky)
[personal profile] kaffyr
Short Takes

"Captain Marvel"

I had worried that I'd find this bland - blonde white hero after the strength of Black Panther - so I was happy to truly like the movie. I'm not familiar with Brie Larson's work, but I found her an excellent Captain Marvel, and certainly not "wooden," which I believe was one of the shots aimed at her. I thought the plot did a fine job of weaving the various Captain Marvel histories together, and I loved the twist at the end, which I should have seen coming, as likable as the putative villain and his buddies were. (Also, every time I saw Jude Law in this film, I had to fight the suspicion that he deserved nothing so much as a punch in the nose.) There were a few threads dangling here and there, which is almost to be expected at this, the end of this generation of MCU stories. They've all gotten so dense, multifaceted, and connected to each other that the general quality of the story telling and pacing is a bit of a minor cinematic miracle. Samuel Jackson was a joy to watch, as always, and I think that the MCU finally has a heavy hitter that can take on Thanos.

"Logopolis"

Tonight BB and I and a friend took in the special showing of the final Tom Baker Fourth Doctor adventure in the theater. It was digitally remastered, so that the bad quality I've seen when television gets transferred to the big screen wasn't a problem. Before and after the actual story (which flowed pretty well as a movie) we got to enjoy bits of banter between Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton, and separate conversations between Baker, John Leeson, and others. At the end of the story, they showed a brief little featurette in which Fielding and Sutton visited the Lovell Telescope in Cheshire, England, which was the model for the Pharos Project radio telescope in Logopolis. I was struck by a few things. 1) I'd forgotten that Baker could be a very good actor. This reminded me of that. 2) After watching Ainley's performance I wonder why anyone complained about Simm or Gomez being too hammy. I seem to remember that he came off better in some of his later appearances; perhaps it was the direction? 3) I adored the horrible production values - you can see the paint spatters around the lower half of the TARDIS console, and the paint doesn't hide the fact that the console is knocked together out of some unseemly blend of two-by-fours and balsa wood. I love the classics .... 4) I had expected the theater to be quite full; we're in a big urban area, full of fans of the show ... but there might have been 30 people in the theater. BB noticed that they were older, like us, so perhaps even a famous story about the end of the most famous Old Who Doctor couldn't coax younger fans out. It disappointed me. 

Vincent

He has now been fostered out, and Opie is gradually returning to whatever is his version of stability. I miss Vincent; I wish it had worked. But I comfort myself with the knowledge that the group that took him (Precious Pets Almost Home, for those in the Chicago area who are curious) will find a good home for him, and that I will no longer have to pull a large, furry, rugby ball out of the lower reaches of my refrigerator every time I open its door. 

Date: Thursday, 14 March 2019 07:50 am (UTC)
nostalgia: (gomez!master name)
From: [personal profile] nostalgia
I seem to recall reading that JNT always wanted Ainley to camp it up and chew the scenery, and that Ainley's preferences were more towards the version of the character we see in Survival, where he's quieter and less OTT.

Date: Thursday, 14 March 2019 10:05 am (UTC)
thisbluespirit: (dw - seven & ace)
From: [personal profile] thisbluespirit
I adored the horrible production values - you can see the paint spatters around the lower half of the TARDIS console, and the paint doesn't hide the fact that the console is knocked together out of some unseemly blend of two-by-fours and balsa wood. I love the classics

I suspect the high resolution big screen thing made that all very obvious! On the fuzzy old telly images they were aiming for, it was fine! Well, some of it. The paint edges anyway. :lol:

Ainley is very much the pantomime Master, although he varies, but he is usually good fun. (I don't know about JNT asking him to ham it up; people say an awful lot of crap about JNT, even though some of it is true.) He did, however, on the one commentary I heard him do note that he was offered tapes of Delgado but either turned them down (or as I think) they just didn't send them and he didn't like to press them, but at some point later he saw them and he was hugely regretful that he hadn't earlier, because of the sense that Delgado's Master actually liked the Doctor, and that shift shows through particularly in Survival which is probably his best one. That said, he can be very entertaining and he adored playing the role. He apparently used to ring up the production office in character and demand to know when he'd be coming back again!

LOgopolis is a weird one, though. I think mainly the good weird, though, but I've actually only seen it once (twice?) I think. Took me a while to get hold of it!

Date: Friday, 15 March 2019 08:15 am (UTC)
thisbluespirit: (dw - seven & ace)
From: [personal profile] thisbluespirit
Someone on the production team was obviously a dab hand at miniature creation.

The BBC had in-house departments for everything in those days, so despite the crappy quality of the video, the sets, costumes and SFX/model work were pretty amazing in general, because they had all the stuff and expertise in TV Centre already.

I'm a trifle ashamed to admit that I thought Janet Fielding's performance was very less than stellar. Mind you, she got a lot better.

I seem to remember that she says on the commentary that she's surprised she's not worse here - she was pretty young and had done nothing but theatre. (I think there was one brief guest role pre-DW, but that was it.) She learned quickly, though - she always says that Peter Davison was a huge help, just watching how he did things.

Date: Sunday, 17 March 2019 08:28 pm (UTC)
elisi: (The Master)
From: [personal profile] elisi
I could have sworn I wrote a long rambly comment... Did DW eat it? :(

Anyway, I don't have the energy to re-create it, so I'll just state my love for Ainley!Master. I've recently been watching Seven, Six and Five, and every. single. the Master turned up it made my day. All the disguises and the OTT evilness and ♥

Date: Tuesday, 19 March 2019 06:45 pm (UTC)
elisi: (The Master)
From: [personal profile] elisi
First off, I love your icon, especially since most cats think they are the Master. Heh.
Very good point! (Also Survival is a great episode. <3)

Ainley exhibited the first sign of the breakdown, (which was probably caused when he entered the decayed state between Delgado and Ainley)
Promethia and I have been talking about this too! And how being in constant pain and barely existing is bound to make anyone less than sane, but with the Master way more so.

In some ways, Missy seems to have been clinging desperately to the one solid thing with a set of ethics - and a mind she could respect as much as she loved her own - that she'd had in her long life; the Doctor.
Oooh, I like that.

Can I tell you how much I want to write (or read) a story of how Missy survived?
I refuse to believe that hasn't been written.

Anyway, the long comment that DW ate was about Logopolis being good, but how new fans (unfamiliar with the old show) would be unlikely to show up for it (no matter its reputation). Plus, it strikes me a little like watching Sound of Drums without Utopia & Last of the Time Lords. (Of course watching Keeper of Traken AND Logopolis AND Castrovalva all in one would take a long, long time. But the point stands.)

Date: Monday, 25 March 2019 02:04 pm (UTC)
shanghaied: (prickly)
From: [personal profile] shanghaied
Speaking of Tom Baker's Doctor, we just got hold of a complete copy of The Masque of Mandragora and watched it. I can't say I'd forgot how surprisingly sophisticated, well-acted, and physical that particular serial was, but as it's been so many years since I saw the original broadcast this was the first time I've had a chance to compare Classic Who with its wobbly sets and 50p budget to the big-budget, clean and slick 21st century revival... and I have to say it holds up very well indeed. In fact IMTAO it walks all over much of NuWho.

Given that it's been several years since we bailed from the festering cauldron of puerile mediocrity that the show became post-Russell T entire series and are unlikely to ever return to it, this is probably the last time I'll comment on your blog. But I just wanted to say that digging up the Fourth Doctor serials - and the Third Doctor - and for that matter the Second Doctor - is well worth the effort and might surprise you and give you quite a lot of pop-culture pleasure. kthxbye :-)

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