We saw Hellboy (2019) and it's a mess

Apr. 17th, 2019 03:10 pm
drwex: (fucks)
[personal profile] drwex
Instead of the long-awaited third installment in the original Hellboy franchise (Guillermo del Toro, Ron Perlman) we get this semi-retread, semi-reboot helmed at least nominally by Neil Marshall, though lots of written rumor stuff says that the producers interfered heavily. The movie is not better for it. (2/5 stars, watch with a beer or other intoxicant of choice)

Hellboy has always been a challenging character. The comic has a small but devoted fan base but in the era of mega-sized superhero productions from Marvel and DC the movie needs a wide appeal and this just isn't going to do it. Credits to the cast for trying. Mila Jovovich is enchanting, Ian McShane is plugging away as best he can being a flawed person with no good answers to the questions he's being asked, and both Sasha Lane and Daniel Dae Kim serve in the "new sidekick" roles with appropriate levels of gusto, snark, and angst. David Harbour works at being a worthy successor to Perlman despite being hampered by prosthetics that seem designed to make him awkward and expressionless. I like the actors' work enough that I'd be willing to see what this cast does with a good script and I raised it from one to two stars based largely on their efforts. But this film wastes almost all of it.

There are also some SFX fails, but the script is the downfall of this film. It's ponderous, ridiculously expository, and full of frankly unnecessary bits. Nobody actually faces the camera and says "As you know, Amanda..." but they might as well. The film starts off with backstory exposition that would've gone better as a flashback for Jovovich's Nimue character and includes a tie-in exposition that links the secondary villain with one of the sidekicks. Why? Because... reasons. Worst of all, there's an entire cul-de-sac that involves Hellboy fighting some giants (you see a bit of this in the trailer) and frankly the ENTIRE thing is disposable. Like, irrelevant. A distraction. If you took it out you'd have precisely the same movie. I can't fathom why it's in there.

It also has stupid unnecessary splatter-gore bits that just... why?

Not the usual Passover post

Apr. 16th, 2019 02:59 pm
drwex: (WWFD)
[personal profile] drwex
I may try to do one of my more traditional posts celebrating this holiday, but Pygment found this item and I just had to share:
Rabbi Jon-Jay Tilsen of Beth El-Keser Israel said in an email, “Any food purchased by crossing a picket line or from scab workers is not kosher for Passover.” He said it is “a matter of well-established Jewish law.”

from https://www.nhregister.com/news/article/Jews-face-having-to-find-Passover-foods-without-13763250.php

Not only do I love that this is the decision, but I _adore_ that this is a question that is already a matter of long-settled law. Because of course it should be.

Music from an empty Friday office

Apr. 12th, 2019 02:38 pm
drwex: (VNV)
[personal profile] drwex
Apparently lots of people at New Job pick Friday as their WFH day. I didn't this week and likely won't for another week or two because I am still getting my feet settled and I need to learn the patterns so I can fit comfortably into them. Anyway, this is an attempt not to let music tabs pile up so here we go.

https://soundcloud.com/griz/sets/ride-waves
I got this from a promo email for an upcoming GRiZ show and normally I'd be all over that but with this EP I'm not sure. There's some great stuff, like "Bustin' Out". I mean, who can object to tracks that feature phat horns and Bootsy Collins? But there's other stuff that goes all glitchy and wub and I'm not sure I want to see a show that bounces between these extremes. I mean I'm pretty sure neither Bootsy nor Snoop, who is also on a couple of these tracks, is going to show up and play...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eHaPaxw1ks
https://hypem.com/track/2ty46
Next up a twofer from The Funk Hunters. The first one, "Soul City," is indeed a heavily soul-influenced opener pushed through a heavy wub filter by K+Lab. I'm not entirely in love with it - the wub and I are still warily circling one another - but its classic funk and soul elements carry the track well enough for at least a couple listens.

Then there's Fort Knox Five redoing the Funk Hunters' "Revolution". Fort Knox Five are kind of the grandmasters of this style and they make the entire track flow and sing with hip-hop and straight-up hard drums mixed into classic funk beats and solid horns.

https://soundcloud.com/futuregenerationofficial/reaubeau-loris-cimino-louder-ft-twan-ray
"Louder" is intended to be played that way. It's a rock/EDM power anthem that puts together motivational lyrics with strong chords and an insistent bass. To be honest, most of these kinds of tracks are a little cheesy and this is no exception. It's also a well-done track that hits its target.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlhMJFdUUHY
To close out this set, have a classic (funny to use that word for a style that's only a decade old but you get my gist) mash-up from DJs from Mars. It's based around "Con Calma" from Daddy Yankee (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQwj_FRntp8). The original is an interesting track in its own right, being a Puerto Rican-styled reggaeton track. It also includes rapper Snow, and takes many of its core elements from Snow's "Informer" which is itself now 25+ years old. (*checks* yeah, it came out in 1992.) The DJs do their usual speed-it-up-and-EDM-it tricks giving the mash a very different feel from the original. I like both and hope you will, too.
sraun: castle bundt cake (cooking)
[personal profile] sraun
I think I'll try this again, although I might try to make half as much - it made a LOT!

Pad Thai Hamburger Hotdish

1 cup quinoa (prepared) (I used the liquid from the cans of mushrooms as part of the water.)

3 lbs 85% lean ground beef
1 large onion, diced
3 small/medium carrots (~6" long?), shredded
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 cans mushrooms
1 can garbanzo beans
1 cup craisins
8 oz. bean sprouts
2-4 oz. Cabernet Savignon
1 bottle Thai Kitchen Pad Thai Sauce (next time I think I'll buy three and use at least two)

In a skillet, brown the hamburger. Transfer to a large pot with the quinoa.

Using the leftover fat from the hamburger, brown the onion, carrots & garlic. When the onions are starting to turn translucent, add the mushrooms, garbanzo beans, and craisins. Let cook until hot. Add the bean sprouts, break them up a little, and cook until warmed. Transfer to the large pot.

Use the wine to deglaze the skillet. Transfer to the large pot.

Put the large pot over medium heat, add the Pad Thai Sauce. Stir well, heat until warm throughout - it shouldn't take long.

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