General Films thread

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This topic contains 302 replies, has 53 voices, and was last updated by  winston 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #62614
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    So I went to see the new Star Wars movie today – cos I hate spoilers but I’m on the internet all the time. So NO SPOILERS here.

    I was underwhelmed, which is a shame because I like director Rian Johnson’s work a lot. ‘Brick’ is a fantastic movie and Looper has a lot of good ideas even if it doesn’t quite hold completely together.

    This is the longest ever Star Wars movie, and yet it probably has the least plot. So it drags at times. The pacing is really off. I just feel it could’ve been so much better.

    There are some good moments, in fact some really strong, exciting moments, but not enough. I’d say Rogue One was a better Star Wars movie, even though it has its flaws. At least in that movie there was a plot.

    But there was no Death Star in this one. For that we can be thankful.

    #62615
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    On the other hand, I also saw a brilliantly lovely movie this week called The Big Sick. Not that it really means anything, but it has 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. I heartily recommend it. There is talk that it will at least be up for Best Screenplay at the Oscars. It’s a heartwarming film, and definitely one for our times.

    #62616
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @craig

    The Big Sick is definitely one of the gems of the year.

    Interesting to hear your thoughts on Last Jedi too. Hearing wildly conflicting reports on it. Some love it. Some hate it. Will probably check it out next week though have to see I am feeling a little bit of Star Wars fatigue at the moment. I wonder if Disney’s production line approach to Star Wars movies at the moment is going to end up being counter-productive. It’ll all be down to the tone, I guess. I really liked Rogue One and its grittiness was really quite refreshing.

    #62618
    ichabod @ichabod

    Loved The Big Sick — very strong sense of people maturing right before our eyes.

    #62630
    janetteB @janetteb

    We are waiting until Boxing Day to see the new Star Wars film, in keeping with tradition. In Oz big films always opened on Boxing Day until a few years ago and so that was when we did the line up to see LOTR with friends and went out for dinner after at a favourite Indian Restaurant. Since then Boxing Day is cinema day followed by curry.
    The Star Wars franchise is becoming very production line. Disney will milk it. (Reminds me of a line from Martin Chuzzelwit about screwing money out of the customer) If it wasn’t for the Boxing Day tradition I would probably not bother to see it in cinema.
    Have heard good things about The Big Sick. Will look out for it.
    Cheers
    Janette

    #62639
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @craig

    Saw it this afternoon and have to say that I was left not exactly loving it either. Definitely preferred Rogue One. It’s too long for starters definitely. And there’s a few nonsensical plot moments. It’s a shame because it does go out of its way to correct some of the bloodline supremacist nonsense that had crept into Star Wars lore and there are also some fine moments too… but overall oddly soporific for what’s basically an action movie….

    #62653
    Missy @missy

    Not a fan of Star Wars, or Star Trek, but I truly hope you all enjoy the coming films.

    Missy

    #62966
    janetteB @janetteb

    Finally got to see the film on Boxing Day. Boys spent the next two days ranting about how bad it was. Next year we are going to see Mortal Engines on Boxing Day rather than the next Star Wars film. Hope that doesn’t end up so badly. It is an adaptation of R.3s favourite book which makes it risky however Peter Jackson is the producer so have hope it will be as good as the source material, and I think Steam Punk is a long missed opportunity in cinema. To date only two mainstream films have touched upon it, Golden Compass and Hugo so fingers crossed.
    Cheers
    Janette

    #62967
    janetteB @janetteb

    Oh and a note on the Star Wars film, what annoyed me most, even more than the cutesy Disney critters on the island which were so clearly “photoshopped” in, the scenes that were purely designed for 3d effect, or the pointless script, was Ray’s makeup. There she is, a “tomboy” character type on a remote island with perfect makeup of the “spend an hour in front of a mirror” category. It didn’t match the character or the situation, just the Hollywood ideal of what a woman should be. Grrrr
    Cheers
    Janette

    #63013
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    I went to see “Three Billboards…” tonight.

    It’s really good. Not even just really good, but really, really good. Even really, really, really good.

    I was totally wrapped up in it, fully engaged, I laughed, I was moved, I cried a little, and the plot constantly had me out-foxed. It’s brilliantly done.

    Frances McDormand and and Sam Rockwell truly deserve their Golden Globes for their acting, the film deserves its Best Film award, and it should probably win everything really.

    Gets a big thumbs up from me – one of the best of the year. I have no doubt about it.

    It even has what I personally call a ‘Kubrick’ ending – which is a very good thing in my book – all films should have them (although then they wouldn’t be special, I guess).

    There is a little bit of controversy. I can see the point, it crossed my mind, but I think the people offended are wrong. But I can understand that, if taken on face value, there are some things that might really anger people – even make them totally furious and want to boycott the film or burn down the cinema.

    That’s kinda the beauty of it – it’s not just a movie you watch then it’s over and you go for a beer or go to bed – it’s something you’ll talk about with people for a while, for days maybe. Which to me is a sign of a good movie, not a bad one or one that should be pilloried. You actually have to think about it for a while and piece it all together in your brain afterwards.

    #63610
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Only just realised that this has been out for many months. Stars lovable Doctor Whos Peter Capaldi & Hugh Grant.

    Lair of the White Worm Blu Ray

    lotww br

    #64350
    NearlySane @nearlysane

    Don’t know if anyone watches Talking Pictures TV – if not, I thoroughly recommend – but today they are showing at 6pm UK The Agitator, a once ‘lost’ film starring William Hartnell – and it’s rather good

    #64425
    Missy @missy

    @nearlysane

    Nope, never heard of this. What exactly does it involve – or should I say they involve?

    Missy

    #64515
    NearlySane @nearlysane

    TV Channel available on Freeview in UK. Shows an interesting set of old films and TV series, Yesterday had The Ugly Duckling with Jon Pertwee playing a descendant of Dr Jekyll, didn’t get chance to watch, but they do repeat showings usually.

    #64929
    Missy @missy

    @nearlysane

    Thanks for that. *thumbs up*

    @wolfweed

    Thanks to you too.

    Missy

    #65683
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    As it was Remembrance Day (I believe it’s Veteran’s Day in the US) on Sunday I thought I’d bring this up. I found out about it when I went to the Imperial War Museum recently with my Mum and Dad.

    For those of you with access to the BBC’s iPlayer (via whatever means) there’s a really incredible film by Peter Jackson (yeah, him of ‘Lord of the Rings’). He took old footage from World War One and used the full power of his special effects department, sound department and voiceover artists to bring it to life. He then used interviews with people who were there, made in the sixties, to provide the voiceovers.

    It’s called “They Shall Not Grow Old” and it’s well worth a watch.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0brzkzx/they-shall-not-grow-old

    And if you don’t have access, here’s a taster, with Jackson talking to Mark Kermode about the process:

    #65692
    winston @winston

    @craig  That looks like an amazing documentary. I don’t have iplayer but I will ask my library to order it if they can because everyone should have a chance to watch it. The work that Jackson has done on these WW1  films has brought these men back to life in a way that brought tears to my eyes. It looks like they were here just yesterday. I really want to watch it all.  My grandfather and 2 great grandfathers and at least 6 uncles left Canada to serve in Europe with 2 young men never coming back and this film offers a visual connection to all these young men. What amazing things computers can do.

    Thank you for telling me about it or I may have missed something very important.

    #65760
    janetteB @janetteb

    I am eager to watch this too. I think, whatever one’s views, it is going to be very worthwhile. One grandfather was a pacifist the other failed the height test. (Australian army had very strict height rules in WWI which perhaps fortunately for my father they had relaxed a little by WWII)  A great uncle, also a pacifist, went with the first contingent to Europe in December 2014 as a stretcher bearer and served on the front lines until the end of the war. Got home and burnt his uniform. Never mentioned the war again or tolerated it to be mentioned in his hearing.

    Cheers

    Janette

    #66212
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    I just found out that Karen Gillan has written, directed and starred in her own movie. Which is amazing.

    It’s called “The Party’s Just Beginning” and it looks pretty good. She shot it in her home town. It’s got 67% on Rotten Tomatoes so far.

    #66216

    @craig

    Somewhere waaaay upthread I posted an interview with her, and I think she was talking about this. She seems to be quite ambitious on the directorial/ creative side, which given how Hollywood tends to treat women who have the brass-bound audacity to approach 30, is probably not a bad thing.

    Ah. Here.

    #66614
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    I thought you might like this. An interview with James Cosmo. You may know him from Highlander, Braveheart, Trainspotting or Game of Thrones. But I know him because he’s my Uncle once removed (or something like that – my grandfather and his father were cousins – and he looks just like my Uncle).

    You can skip the first 11 minutes as it’s all intro – but the rest is an interesting perspective on an actors life.

    #66767
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    HBO have now made ‘Brexit – the movie’ With Benedict Cumberbatch.

    I wonder, and when you watch the trailer you’ll see what I mean, if they made this because they can’t quite target the Trump campaign just yet. So, although it’s real, it’s also a metaphor. Quite clever if that was their thinking.

    #67704
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    I think that I recommended “Snowpiercer” a while back. I was delighted to find that it has now been added to Netflix, so now I don’t have to watch it illegally.

    It really is worth a watch. It is incredibly good. John Hurt, Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton and more, in a crazy allegorical sci-fi movie where all that’s left of humanity is stuck on a huge train travelling the whole globe, round and round.

    It was directed by the amazing Korean director Bong Joon-ho and also stars several amazing Korean actors.

    It is totally bonkers, but is worth your time, believe me. You won’t regret it. I’ve watched it several times and loved it every single time.

    #67705
    winston @winston

    @craig  I borrowed this from the library awhile back and it was really good. The cast was very good and I also recommend watching it for something new. In fact I think I will borrow it again as it is worth a re-watch. And if you like trains well……..!

    #67898
    Whisht @whisht

    So, I’ve just watched the movie Arrival and there are tears in my eyes and on my cheeks.

    This music I’m not sure about. @blenkinsopthebrave asked on the Music thread if any of us had embarrassing music in our past, but my greatest embarrassment is that I construct walls between myself and the music I hear.
    I hear this music and I’m not sure whether I trust it – am I being played?
    I hear something from Arvo Part and I do trust it (likewise between Coldplay and Elbow).
    I’m a musical snob and its an embarrassment to me, but there you go.

    This below is used in the movie Arrival. The accompanying video has nothing from the movie.
    This film has been mentioned before but all I’ll say is that its about love, communication and experience.

    I think its a really really good movie as I have tears in my eyes and on my cheeks.

    #67900
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @whisht

    yes, Arrival was a very emotionally effective movie. I urge you to read the story which it was adapted from. It was called “The Story of your Life” by Ted Chiang. It is easy to find (I found it for free on the web before the movie came out).

    It was really rather brilliant. (And only about 40 pages long, as I recall.)

     

     

    #67901
    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @whisht @blenkinsopthebrave yes, yes, yes to Arrival.  A truly beautiful film.  I really didn’t want the lights to go on in the cinema when it finished as I was still sobbing.  Thoughtful and subtle and unexpected.  Soundtrack is brilliant – by the late Johann Johannsonn who died far too young but left us some wonderful work.  I will track down the story the film is based on – thanks for the tip!

     

    #69665
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    As a warm-up / homework for this Sunday’s episode, you might want to check out “Gothic” from 1986. It’s maverick / bonkers director Ken Russell’s take on the night Mary Shelley conceived “Frankenstein”. It stars Gabriel Byrne as Lord Byron, Julian Sands as Percy Bysshe Shelley and Natasha Richardson as Mary. They don’t make them like this anymore.

    Someone has posted the whole thing on YouTube – you can also rent it on Amazon. But here’s the crazy trailer:

    #69666
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @craig

    There’s also Frankenstein Unbound which had Michael Hutchence as Shelley, if you can believe that. Plus the biopic of Mary Shelley from a couple of years back, which I believe is on Netflix….

    #69669
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @jimthefish

    “Frankenstein Unbound”. What a fantastic movie!

    @craig

    Of course, the problem with watching Ken Russell and Roger Corman now, is that we are possibly setting ourselves up for disappointment with the approaching episode.

    #69670
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @blenkinsopthebrave That is true. But I really hope, if you’re gonna do a re-telling of the same story in Doctor Who, you might have watched some of the earlier takes and stolen the best ideas.

    Fingers crossed for Sunday. I hope it’s really creepy and bizarre.

    #69672
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @blenkinsopthebrave @jimthefish

    Two of my favourite film books, strangely enough.

    Film books

    #69673
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @craig

    Think I read the Corman many moons ago but never the Russell. (Corman to me always came across as a funny and affable bloke who never took himself too seriously. Russell, meanwhile, um, didn’t….)

    #70658

    I really don’t know what to do any more. I want to see Black Widow when it comes out in October/November, but my parents (who I live with, alongside my brother) said they don’t want me going then if the virus is still around. The problem is that I feel like if I don’t see that film at the cinema, it will have a negative impact on my mental well-being.

    It’s going to be really detrimental to my mental health if I don’t see it on the big screen; I’ve bigged up the idea of Black Widow at the cinema in my head, and been waiting a decade for her to get a solo movie. To not see it now with the full cinema experience after all that waiting could destroy me.

     

    #70754

    Curiously interested to check out Artemis Fowl on Sunday, just to see how bad it is. It sounds like the biggest unintentional comedy of the year.

    #70756
    Missy @missy

    I watched “Finding Neverland ‘ the other night and loved it.  Have any of you seen it?

    Missy

    #70758
    janetteB @janetteb

    Yes and shed a tear or two. It is highly fictionalised but I can forgive that because it is such a beautiful film. You might remember an old BBC series back in the 70s or very early 80s, (before I left home in 82) about J.M.Barrie called “The Lost Boys” I think. It was very good but probably too slow and “dry” for modern audiences. I Dr Who link, Maureen O’Brien, who played Vicky companion to the First Doctor is Barrie’s wife.

    Cheers

    Janette

    #71232
    samajo @samajo

    Steve Jobs

    Always really liked this movie. It’s treads the line between truth and fiction very carefully and even when it trips a little into the latter it’s still a great story about one of the great characters of our time. Screenplay is excellent too with the typical snappy dialogue from Sorkin.

    #71798
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @thane16

    Puro, Have moved this over to the Film thread, but…tell me about Tenet. I have yet to see it, but I find Nolan’s films far too artificial and cold. I feel like I am being given a lecture, rather than being offered an experience. Of his films I have seen, I liked Batman Begins (but not the other two) and I hated Inception. I like to be swept along by the narrative, rather than demonstrated how a narrative is constructed. Does any of this relate to Tenet?

     

     

    #71800
    syzygy @thane16

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    yes! Unfortunately what you’ve said is correct.

    for a long time, I thought something was wrong with me because I couldn’t face Inception.

    It was inspired, apparently, but I felt dull witted. Spoilers ahead……

    there’s a type of bad rap called Mumblerap, & Tenet is SO incredibly murky sounding & the voice tracks so muted & banged up, the definition applies here too.

    It’s certainly clever and I LOVE clever, but it’s a lecture about time travel where the actors claim it isn’t: just a small matter of inverting time, preventing the entropy of any living thing or object so with incredible effort, one meets the ‘thing’ before it dies & there’s a collection of soldiers who work within this world, training backwards, in order to complete The Mission.

    All of eternity is at stake, all of the known universe, but never did I actually care.

    Remember the terror of all the stars going out in Bad Wolf? Then later, the Doctor says to Amy, calmly & with a sober certitude, “does it bother you that your life makes no sense?”

    THAT was gripping because we loved Rose & Amy. As well as poor Rory who Amy couldn’t remember because his existence was shattered.

    But no lectures were necessary, just “timey whimey” & I used to think this was a Moffat hand-wave when it could also serve as a reminder of what’s important- who you lose rather than the mechanics of why: Nolan didn’t deliver on that aspect, unfortunately.

    I love good cinema effects but only if they grab me, emotionally such as with Nomadland. No Daleks in the millions or 10 minutes of backwards/time inversion fighting & bullets flying backwards. In that way it was like The Matrix.

    I remember how Doctor 9 saw just *one* Dalek.

    #71801
    syzygy @thane16

    @janetteb me too! thank you…❤️

    I will have a chat with you later on that pub or sofa thread….now I have to clean the bathroom…😔

    #71806
    winston @winston

    @thane16  I get busy with the veggie garden for a few days and I miss seeing you on the site. As I used to say a long time ago,”bummer”. Anyway , hello and its good to see you. Thane is 19 now, they grow up so fast. My oldest granddaughter is 17 and driving now! I hope everything is good for you and only getting better.

    Covid has kept us all at home for a long time but I hope we are slowly fighting our way out of it. Stay at home orders have been tough but along with vaccines things are looking up and soon we will be up and running again. I hope the same is happening in your area.

    Since this is the films thread I will admit that I NEVER get timey whimey movies. For a person who absolutely loves a show about a time traveling alien, movies about time, drive me crazy. Even the Terminator movies make me crazy trying to work out the time loops. Who nose why.

    Stay safe.

    #71810
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston     River Song would drive you crazy, then.   It did me.

    But I must admit, I was doing it wrong.   (I just posted in On The Sofa why).   If I regard the Doctor’s timeline as a straight line (like, say, a train journey from Lisbon to Madrid, Barcelona, Nice, Venice  and so on… ) – which is what it seems like to him – and his encounters with River as being at stops along the way, then River is sitting off somewhere (Stormcage, most of the time) and randomly teleporting in to encounter the Doctor at various stopovers.   And obviously, with a time machine (or vortex manipulator, whatever)  River can choose to ‘meet’ the Doctor in any arbitrary random order.

    River’s travels are not in any way ‘tied’ to the Doctor’s – until after they’ve encountered each other at a particular point, that’s probably then a ‘fixed point’ which can’t be altered.

    Don’t know if that helps…  🙂

     

    #71812
    janetteB @janetteb

    I have watched Inception but do not remember it at all which indicates that it left no impression so I would mark that as a fail. There are films I have watched and dislike, for instance Goodfellows, that are very memorable. A good film just not my kind of film. Inception should have been my kind of film but was not engaging at all.

    Taking of engaging time travel, not a film, but I recently watched Dark which is more convoluted than River and Doctor’s relationship but I really loved it. Interesting characters, not necessarily likeable but interesting and memorable. The story resolves so neatly too. It feels as though the script writers began at the end and worked backwards so that all the threads tie up.

    Cheers

    Janette

    #71828
    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent Yes Rivers “timeline” used to drive me to distraction. I have watched her episodes front to back and vice versa trying to make sense of her backwards story until I had the same epiphany , both their lives are linear but they meet in a timey- wimey , wibbly-wobbly way. Still if I try to make too much sense of it my head will explode!

    Thanks for  the train analogy , it helped.

    stay safe.

    #71832
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Well, I just watched the 1997  ‘The Fifth Element’  with Bruce Willis and Mila Jovovich, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.   It doesn’t always make a hell of a lot of sense, but it’s always colourful, quite inventive, and both Willis and Jovovich are engaging characters.   I can understand why people are said to either love it or hate it, it’s idiosyncratic enough that it could easily ‘miss’.   There are a couple of unconventional touches I rather like – the hero and the villain never get to meet face to face; and the villain is ultimately blown up by one of the subsidiary goons, almost by accident.   That’s the way it goes.   But – entirely conventionally – the day is finally saved when Willis’s character declares his love for Leeloo (Jovovich) – that would totally fit with a Doctor Who theme.

    #71836
    Missy @missy

    @dentarthurdent

    I think it helps when people don’t analyse episodes. I either enjoy or don’t.

    An English teacher friend offered to show me how to analyse  stories, films, plays etc – I hadn’t a clue how to go about it.

    I turned her down, she seemed to spend more time analysing and less enjoying.

    Still, that’s my opinion.

    Missy

    #71839
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @missy    I think I agree with you.   I’d rather enjoy a story than analyse it  (is there an official way to ‘analyse’ a story?   I don’t know).

    Although (as an engineer) there’s a part of my brain that keeps tabs on continuity and physical credibility, that’s not what decides whether I like an episode.   If it’s well-written, with original dialogue and engaging characters, I tend to give it considerable leeway.    It takes a very large inconsistency to throw me out of the story (like Kill The Moon for example).

    If I start noticing minor plot points, that usually means the characters have failed to ‘grab’ me.

    McGyver, for example, I could never stand, because it seemed as if the writers had deliberately made every ‘clever’ trick McGyver came up with, as absurd and impractical as possible – I was actually offended by the gratuitous absurdity of it.   James Bond gadgets, on the other hand, I could usually go along with, partly because they were more ‘science fiction’-y – the more a gadget is ‘high-tech’ or removed from everyday reality, the more likely I am to ‘suspend disbelief’ for the sake of the story.

    Anyway, back to analysing stories – as I recall, at school, great emphasis used to be placed on ‘character development’.   But then there was an implication (this was the 60’s, I’m ooold) that most sci-fi probably wasn’t literature.  Except possibly H G Wells, who was sufficiently antiquated to qualify.   I couldn’t give a toss about ‘character development’ – either the characters were interesting (in which case development might happen or not) or there was some other good reason to like the story, like for example a really clever plot  (as in Heinlein’s ‘By His Bootstraps’ – time travel) or an intriguing twist in the tail (Arthur Clark’s ‘History Lesson’) or interesting situation (‘The Sentinel’).    Besides, short stories didn’t give much room for character development.    In fact I’d say my love of reading came in spite of, rather than because of, English Literature.

    #71842
    janetteB @janetteb

    @missy and @dentarthurdent I have to take a contrary position on the questions of whether analysis ruins the enjoyment of viewing/reading. I love to analysis as I watch/read though too much does ruin a text/ film but my majors were English and Drama the later mostly consisting of film studies so it has become second nature for me. I really enjoy helping the kids with essays that require text analysis. Youngest son has a history essay coming up on Jojo Rabbit which I am looking forward to. (I am beginning to suspect it should be me studying not him.)

    Sci fi is now really and truly accepted by most academics now as valid literature and worthy of study. University English courses also study graphic novels, and even video games, which is great. Back when  I was at Uni they did not even do creative writing. They have come a long way.

    Cheers

    Janette

    #71843
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb   It may well be that English lit has progressed a bit in the six decades since my schooldays.   In those days the texts we had to read were such as Shakespear (which I liked, the dude was at least reasonably concise with his plots and there was plenty of action); Dickens, who I found rather depressing and his style of writing was insufferably overblown, particularly when he was trying to be funny.   H G Wells (the only sci-fi writer as I recall), who was similarly hampered by a Victorian style.   The most ‘modern’ writer was Graham Greene, specifically ‘The Power and The Glory’, which I found the most tedious, dreary, depressing dirge I had ever read, and his heavy religious overtones really offended me.   What I read for enjoyment was Conan Doyle, Arthur C Clarke, John Wyndham, Leslie Charteris (whose style is probably as dated now as Dickens’ was then 🙂 – but they were all far too modern to make it into English Lit.   Also, they were probably deficient in Character Development.   And innumerable non-fiction books on railways, mountaineering, aviation and motor racing.

    Coming back to text analysis – I’m not sure what’s involved.   Though I do know when the audience is being manipulated (but isn’t that the job of a  film-maker?)   I just hate that when alleged ‘based on real events’ so-called docu-dramas do it.   Don’t care when it’s 100% fiction.

    But I don’t do that on my first viewing of an episode.   I decide whether I like the ep just based on how it strikes me.  Frequently (particularly if it’s a Moffat episode) I re-watch a second time, when the plot/timeline is easier to follow and the knowledge of it provides a bit of background that lets me appreciate the events more.   Like, say, Hell Bent.    *If* I liked the ep, I then do quite like to discuss it (not sure if that’s ‘analysing’ it?)  with others, such as in this forum.

    And I would very strongly argue that sci-fi and fantasy is a very significant part of literature (I know you agree on that :), and allows writers to explore theoretical situations, make allegories to human institutions, and explore moral dilemmas, all without the baggage that would accompany a novel set in actual ‘reality’.    And as such, it is very often much more enjoyable to read.   Terry Pratchett’s ‘Discworld’ novels are a classic case of that (plus he has a fantastic way with words.   I’m a complete sucker for clever, inventive phraseology.   In fact, many popular writers (such as Arthur Hailey, Robert Ludlum) leave me cold, because their prose is so – prosaic, I can’t get through more than a few pages.   Really.   I started reading The Bourne Identity because the movie was so good, and couldn’t get through the first chapter.   Maybe I was expecting too much.)

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