Quick Update

Due to an increase in spam, I’m disabling comments on all posts older than two weeks. Accordingly, I’ll try to post more frequently so that people can comment on something

Um, hey! Happy 2015!

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The Peter Pan Panto

Madness. The Gaiety Theatre was packed, almost all school children (something like ten school groups were there). They were encouraged to talk back to the stage. “What’s that noise, everyone?” “IT’S HOOK!” “What did you say?” “CAPTAIN HOOK!” “I’ll go look over here.” “HE’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!”

I don’t remember Peter Pan having a character named “Dame Nana”. Or Tinkerbell singing a song about selfies. Or Hook’s pirates including a Harry Potter parody, a pirate heavily into musical theatre, and a little person.

Hook in particular was great: he hurled invective at the audience to thundering boos, eventually building to a call-and-response like “I’ll get that Peter Pan, oh yes I will!” “Oh no you won’t!” “OH YES I WILL!” “OH NO YOU WON’T!” “Ah, bugger!”

Good show. I’m really not the target audience, but I like silliness, and it was very, very silly.

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The Imitation Game

Another movie, yarr. If I remember correctly, I described it afterwards as “well-made rubbish”. It just felt artificial. The framing device is a copper investigating Turing in the 1950s for potentially treasonous activities, which is fair, but are we meant to believe that he actually explains his top secret war activities during the interrogation? I think we are; he asks the detective for his judgment at the end. That makes no sense.

As I said, it felt artificial. I actually liked the artifice, because it gave the movie energy. Like the officer who doesn’t like Turing and tries to kick him out of the project, because the protagonist needs someone to overcome. Or the team of cryptanalysts who resent working with Turing, so he can win them over and be saved by their support at his lowest moment. Or the bright female love interest (he’s gay, but she fills the role in every other way). But even while watching I felt like most of the characters were in the positions they were in just to give the story the right kind of shape for a movie.

At the end, and in some of the scenes in the 50s, there’s more murkiness as cracking enigma gives way to intelligence games. It would’ve been a better movie that happened halfway through.

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I liked it. It felt like three movies smushed together. I don’t think it entirely worked — in particular, the emotional core of the movie is the estrangement between the father and his daughter, and it disappears for massive chunks of the movie. But for a show that runs nearly three hours, it never really dragged, and although I checked the time a few times, I wasn’t impatient for it to end.

Plus it actually takes relativity seriously. Props for that. And the first part of the movie, set on an Earth sliding into ruin, did a great job of suggesting a complicated history without hitting you over the head (unlike the ending…).

Just one more comment: binary doesn’t work that way.

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