Aaron David

A fourth generation Californian, befuddled.

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23 Responses

  1. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    I just watched Logan, which I found to be an extremely interesting and unusual use of familiar superheroes.Report

    • Avatar Maribou in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      @doctor-jay Yup. I’m also happy that a lot of people I know who don’t normally watch superhero movies watched it and thought “Huh, there may be something to this comics thing after all…” Many by-request articles about “Liked Logan? Here’s where to start reading comics…” popping up on the book review sites I read after it came out.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    On the way over here, I watched two movies.

    Ghost in the Shell (better than I was told it was)
    The Batman Movie (perfect airplane fare)Report

  3. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Last night I watched Alien: Covenant. I liked it, but…

    I thought David’s motivations were a bit tropish. I would have liked to have see a more complicated reason for doing what he did. Since there will clearly be a sequel, it will be interesting to see how if they resolve this in a satisfactory way.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      My main objection was:

      The first third or so of the movie seemed to be about the crew of the Covenant being gratuitously stupid and mostly dying as a result. Going to a mysterious planet with an apparently Earth-like biosphere and walking around without protective gear or quarantine procedures just seems suicidally dumb in any situation. The crew of the Nostromo made some comparable mistakes in the first movie, but they were under a lot of pressure, there’s acknowledgement that they’re breaking regulations due to an emergency, and they were being sabotaged from within.

      Once the initial spate of death and disaster passed, the movie got much better. But I still don’t know why they couldn’t make the script work for the beginning of the movie.Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I’ve been watching the Ken Burns documentary on the Vietnam War which is really interesting and possibly the first I time I have heard interviews with the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong.

    The documentary makes it clear that the whole war was huge, bloody, and pointless mistake but also spends a lot of time talking with the regular soldiers with great sympathy for the situation that they were stuck in.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I’ve been watching The Expanse recently, and am kind of wrapping it up (I tend to watch shows really slowly). There’s some really creative effects work and visual storytelling that does better at creating a sense of the characters being in space than most big budget scifi movies.

      Also, there are two real sources of gripping human drama: exploding spaceships and hardboiled detectives. The Expanse combines both.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to pillsy says:

        Generally, I think PI’s in SF is a pathetic trope, as Blade Runner pretty much owned the genre/idea. But Expanse did pretty well with it, working it in organically.

        And I too watch on a much slower pace than most folks.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      The war wasn’t a mistake, how it started was a mistake and of course how it was fought up through 1969 was a huge pile of mistakes. That happens when people are in charge who have no idea what they’re doing, or even what they’re trying to do.

      In simplest terms a war can go three ways, victory, defeat, or stalemate. We ruled out victory at the start and never re-examined that decision. That leaves stalemate or defeat. If the enemy won’t accept a stalemate and we can’t force a stalemate, the only remaining option is defeat.

      There are other things the PBS series doesn’t even mention, such as the historical complexity of the region. Up until the 1770’s the Mekong Delta region and Saigon was usually part of various Khmer empires, and a lot of people there still speak Khmer. In fact, the language map and the political maps don’t match up at all well.

      Austrasiatic language map

      map of the region in 1650

      If you dig into the history of the region, the question becomes why the French ever considered Vietnam to be one country, as opposed to a group of different imperial dynasties or some other structure. “Vietnam” was just what they could conquer by sea. Inland, they conquered three separate kingdoms and called it “Laos”. They could’ve called Laos part of North Vietnam (which they could’ve called something else) and we’d have had a different outcome, just as they could’ve regarded South Vietnam as part of Cambodia. Basically, they put lines on a map and those maps became political realities, even to Hanoi.

      We waded in without asking even basic questions about what the French had set up.

      In “On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War”, the author notes that we didn’t understand that the war was almost exactly the same as the Korean War. The North wanted to invade and conquer the South. (North Vietnam had been wanting to do that for about a thousand years). But the North had seen how the Korean War ended in stalemate with a DMZ and thus wanted to make sure we didn’t understand what was going on. Thus the attempt to distract us with the idea of Viet Cong insurgents. We fell for the ruse because Kennedy, Johnson, Westmoreland, and McNamara were easily fooled.

      The authors preferred solution was to simply make a big cleared DMZ, with fire bases down the Laotian and Cambodian border. Then keep a contingent of Marines off the coast of North Vietnam and say “I you roll South, we take your coast and roll West into Hanoi.” It would have ended like the Korean War, and the South would’v become an Asian Tiger, making the idea of an invasion by their dirt poor northern neighbor ridiculous.

      But I doubt PBS will mention any of that.Report

  5. Avatar Maribou says:

    The League (sigh), Playing House (sigh), Terra Nova (seriously it should be a sigh but DINOSAURS and weird time-travel sf conspiracies so instead I will sigh that it got canceled after 1 season).

    I watched Philomena either last week or the week before and was far more moved than I expected to be (normally tearjerkers turn me way off). I credit Dame Dench for that.Report

  6. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The Vietnam War, Ripper Street, Versailles, and the Tick. There really is a wealth of television out there and keeping track of it all is hard.Report

  7. I’ve just finished watching the Leftovers. I liked it okay, but I’m still not sure what I think of it. I have started reading the book, however.Report

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