dunkirk

Aug. 21st, 2017 05:53 pm
emma_in_dream: (Default)
Due to the enormous kindness of a friend who took my girls for basically all of Saturday, I got to see a movie after the home open.


I saw *Dunkirk* which was good, but not as good as the imaginary version that *I* would direct.


Nolan interwove three stories to try to show the complexity of the event, bringing them together at the end. This made it a bit choppy – it was night time in one timeline and Tom Hardy was still endlessly flying across the Channel in the afternoon in another timeline.


I say, why stop a three stories. There was tons more that I wanted to see. You could run it chronologically over the days of the operation but show a heap more stories. The poor sods who were selected for the rear guard, for instance, must have known that they were there to hold the line as long as possible with no chance of escape. It was death or imprisonment for them.


I want to know about the people waiting at home. At first the Government tried to hush it up for morale reasons, but then realised that they were about to lose the entire BEF and grovelled for small vessels to rescue people. Pretty much everyone must have been aware that if the army was lost, Britain could expect to be invaded very shortly.


I wanted more of the arguments between French and British troops over who was to be evacuated. And more of the high level arguments between Generals and Prime Ministers in which the British pointed out that all the rescuing ships were British and the French pointed out that the mole to reach them was French.


I wanted a lot more of the action that was going on. Nolan showed an essentially clean beach with one or two corpses and some orderly lines. I believe the BEF dumped in the harbour hundreds of trucks, tanks, and crates of weapons to destroy them before they fell into enemy hands. And I wanted to see more of the clever engineers who jury rigged proto-bridges to allow people to board further out. And the guys who managed to fix the mole after it caught fire. Also, the confusion, as orders shifted constantly about where to queue for best survival and the way stragglers who had lost their mates were shoved out of the queues by troops still in their groups. Also, mostly it was orderly queuing but there were some boats mobbed and overturned; some officers threatened to shoot troops who would not turn back from overloaded vessels.


I definitely wanted to know more about the people who lived in Dunkirk. In Nolan’s version the town was deserted. Was that really the case? I thought this was a very swiftly moving evacuation – did the whole population really evacuate through German lines? It seems impossible.


And I really wanted tons more about the small vessels. Look at the ridiculous names that the little ships had – all Lazy Days yacht names or Ferry no 2 for working ships. Not, you know, fighting names.


In short, I wanted something much closer to a documentary, showing me what was happening all over rather than following a few characters.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
1.7 Una salus victus

First aired 11 November 2001

With a deadly plague on the loose, Andromeda, captained by the inexperienced Harper escorts medical ships through Drago-Kazov space while Beka seeks stragglers from the convoy. When both Beka's ship and her enemy ships are damage by each other, both women talk as they work to get their ships repaired in order to destroy the other ones ship. Harper finds being a captain is not as easy as it seems. In the end, Beka proves she is the better repair man, and destroys the enemy's ship, but not before both women get the chance to understand each other's families and cultures. Dylan and Tyr try to stop the missile batteries trained on them; even if it means killing themselves along with their enemies, making the enemy surrender, but at a cost of wanting not just Tyr dead, but Andromeda's crew as well. Dylan gets an explanation about Tyr's "special cargo," which causes him to mistrust Tyr's intentions. After their mission is complete, Dylan denies Tyr access to his cargo, which in turn causes Tyr to mistrust Dylan, and that his "little stunt," has proven that he is vulnerable.

I liked this episode too - a bit of a roll. The Tyr plot was progressed a bit, and I loved the Harper plot. He is not a natural leader and it was good seeing him challenged.

I like the concept of the repair-off between Beka and the Nietzchian but it was undermined by the fact that she looked so much like the actress playing Beka that I kept wondering if it was some kind of dream sequence. Once again, life for Nietzchian women seems pretty grim, what with the endless emphasis on reproduction.
emma_in_dream: (trance)
2.6 All Too Human

First aired 5 November 2001

While Rommie tries to save a defector from a planet that hates AI's, the Eureka Maru plunges deep into the ocean after being crippled, leaving Harper, Tyr and Rev struggling for survival as Dylan, Beka and Trance attempt to stop a planet-destroying ship armed with Magog weapons. Sadly they fail, so they rush back to save their crew. Back on their crippled ship it soon becomes up to Tyr and Rev to save the ship, for Harper overdoses on his medication to keep the Magog eggs from hatching and falls into a coma. Rommie defector is killed by its people. She finds out that the planet has allied themselves with the Magog and have a Magog ship; she steals the ship and rescues Rev, Tyr, Harper, and the Eureka Maru.

OK, I really love this episode. I like the plot line with Rommie proving her humanity again. Of course I like the Byers actor in the background, becoming convinced of her worth. But what I find most fascinating is that yet again it is strongly hinted that the roots of android hatred lie within the Commonwealth and did not come out of nowhere once it fell.

And the underwater plot rocks for me. I was always a Harper/Tyr shipper (though on rewatching I see how cool Harper/Rommie is, also the strong Harper/Beka friendship). I can see no motivation for Tyr rescuing Harper other than affection and trust.
emma_in_dream: (trance)
1.5 "Last Call at the Broken Hammer"

First aired 29 October 2001


Dylan and crew attempt to find a long-lost Commonwealth leader and bring her back into the fold, but the question of her identity proves more complicated than it initially appears. And while trying to protect her from the people who want her dead, Trance loses her tail. After faking her death to her pursers, she joins the fight to rebuild the Commonwealth with Andromeda's crew.

I assume there was some kind of budget problem with the show, because there are a run of bottle episodes where they just lock the characters in a room and go from there. I like these opportunities to explore character, so I do not mind at all (even if they couldn't afford to have all the actors there).

I liked the links between Dylan and the woman they were seeking - Commonwealth leader who has given up, Commonwealth leader trying.

Plus the Trance's tail plot was fabulous. A touch of humour in an otherwise grim episode.
emma_in_dream: (trance)
2.4 "Pitiless as the Sun"

First Aired 22 October 2001

While Andromeda investigates mysterious attacks on an isolated, somewhat xenophobic Inari, Trance is interrogated by that same species as they try to determine her origins, blaming one of her kind for inciting a recent war.

The 'Made of Awesome' icon seemed appropriate for such a Trance-intensive episode. This was a really interesting episode - with the gradual revelation that another of her kind had been there, toying with the planet.

Trance's usual evasions came across as much scarier than usual.
emma_in_dream: (bucky)
I’ve just rewatched *Jurassic World* and I feel that the marketing pitch of the fictional park owners is wrong. They say that no one would come to the park if they didn’t make bigger and better dinosaurs, but this ignores the reality that people do go to zoos to watch the same animals. I visit the elephant at the zoo every time I go, even though it is the same elephant that I saw as a child (and, indeed, that my mother saw as a child).


I think there would be a market for small, herbivorous dinosaurs. I think people would be very happy to visit zoos to see little, non-lethal dinosaurs. And of course you could run zoos for small plant eaters without the inevitable disasters that these movies call for. That would also resolve the massive insurance and public liability issues inherent in running a dinosaur theme park.


In addition, of course, I am infuriated by the weird chain of command in the control room at Jurassic World, where everything depends on the leader being present and if she is not there, then apparently total strangers can walk in and make decisions. They need a far better disaster management plan.


I must also record my sneaking approval for the mad scientist ™ who managed to survive all four movies by knowing when to bug out. Bravo to him, last seen scurrying off carrying his research prototypes with him.

Old TV

Jun. 26th, 2017 06:23 pm
emma_in_dream: (Corellia)
I’ve just watched the whole of *The Sentinel* on DVD. I had previously only seen edited highlights, on third generation videos sent over from the USA.


Having now seen the whole, I see that we were indeed lucky to reach PEAK ROMANCE in 1999. I can think of no image on TV that more literally depicts the whole soulmate idea that that of Jim’s panther jumping into Blair’s wolf so that the two become one (with accompanying low budget 1990s special effects). Not to mention the accompanying images of Jim cradling Blair’s face. PURE ROMANCE people. He brings him back from the dead!
emma_in_dream: (Default)
1.22 Its Hour Comes Round At Last

First aired - 14 May 2001

Harper accidentally activates a hidden personality stored away in Andromeda's system, causing her to forget the events of the past few years and re-enact a top secret mission. Since the mission pre-dates Dylan's assignment to Andromeda 300 years ago, he and the crew are powerless to stop the ship. While executing this mission, Andromeda becomes overrun by Magog.

What a great season end!!! That final shot of the crew lying on the ground as the ship calls out for help.

Spoilers







An aside - It's like the end of Blakes Seven! The actual end!

I like Harper's relationship with Rommie, when he is shown inside her. I like his partial explanation about how the disaster might have taken over.

Finding the Magog world ship - good reveal. And Harper and Tyr have finally got to the point where they are working together. 'Shall we dance?'
emma_in_dream: (Buffy)
1.20 Star Crossed

First Aired: 30 April 2001

Rommie falls in love with an android who was rescued from a destroyed ship, but she is betrayed when it is revealed that he is the avatar "Gabriel" of the warship the Balance of Judgement, whose AI has gone insane over the years. The AI is the leader and founder of the Restor faction, and Gabriel, under its control, infects Rommie with a virus so she will broadcast the crew's plans to the Judgement. However, Dylan and the crew use Rommie to draw the heavy cruiser into a trap, distracting it by leaving Gabriel and Rommie alone aboard Andromeda and then deploying missiles along its trajectory from the Eureka Maru using only basic inertia. As his ship breaks apart, Gabriel is briefly freed from its control, but Rommie is forced to destroy him after discovering that the Judgement AI managed to transfer a backup copy of itself into him.


I enjoyed this - though it was problematic in the treatment of Rommie. Despite what they say, the Commonwealth seem to treat AIs as second class citizens.

I like Harper's jealousy of Rommie's relationship, though I would have preferred there to be fewer twists at the end. He's good! Bad! Good again! No bad again! When obviously he was bad because otherwise he'd be a continuing character.
emma_in_dream: (bucky)
1.19 The Honey Offering

First Aired 23 April 2001

Dylan tries to bring peace to two warring Nietzschean prides by escorting a princess of one to an arranged marriage with the other, but when Dylan and the princess are forced to escape in the Eureka Maru while Andromeda lures away a fleet, he realizes that things aren't as they seem.

I love all the characters in this. Dylan is competent. Beka gets to be sassy. Tyr is super Nietzchean, trying to barter essentially nothing for something better and then running off away from the superior enemy.
emma_in_dream: (Henry Moore)
The Devil Take the Hindmost


First aired 16 April 2001


Ack, I find Wayism a really frustrating philosophy. I appreciate the attempt to portray a different religion. There must have been something in the air at the time because DS9 and Babylon 5 both do the same.


But it seems like such a *stupid* religion that I just want to smack the guru around the head.


Upside, more of Rev who I like. Downside, what is Dylan even doing? How is this helping him to restore the Commonwealth?
emma_in_dream: (bucky)
1.9 A Rose from the Ashes

First aired 27 November 2000

Dylan and Andromeda are imprisoned on a penal colony where no one is allowed out; even the inmates' children are forced to remain. As the ship's avatar's power source runs low, Dylan looks to an intelligent woman to help them escape. Meanwhile, with the help of Trance, the crew tracks down Dylan and Rommie's location, but discover the colony's defenses would easily destroy the Eureka Maru. Dylan stages an uprising against the android warden of the prison and tries to shut down the defenses so that the Maru can rescue him, but is no match for the brutal warden. Rommie, knowing Dylan is in trouble, is able to use an improvised power source to recharge herself and destroys the warden, but runs out of power before she can do anything else. Dylan manages to shut down the defenses in time and the Maru safely rescues him and Rommie, but Dylan is left perplexed at how Trance randomly picked the right prison planet.

I don’t have much to say about this episode, so lets talk about the introductory quotes.


I am intrigued by the quotes that preface each episode. There is a temptation to dismiss them as pretentious, but they do add depth to the Andromeda universe by hinting at a whole body of alien literature. The quotes and the lengthy and rather allusive titles remind me of J Michael Stracsynski’s strong efforts in Babylon Five to define himself as an auteur rather than a hack. Overnight titles in SF seemed to change from the bland – ‘The Fall’ – to the literary – ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’.
emma_in_dream: (CaptainAmerica)
Season 1, Episode 7 The Ties that Bind

Originally aired 13 November 2000

Beka's brother and his friend come aboard, with her brother claiming to have converted to Wayism. However, it soon becomes clear that they have an agenda of their own, connected to the 'Restors', a group of environmentalists attempting to prevent all space travel.



I don’t have a great deal to say about this episode otherwise. I like Tyr training Trance in the background, doing a better job at team bonding than Dylan at this point. I love Trance’s kiya.

But I find the whole plot boring and kind of pointless. Why does Dylan need to intervene every time he goes past some random person? It’s as though he has no big picture that he is aiming at.

I am interested that only Beka and Harper have families of origin. Is there any mention of Hunt’s family other than Sarah?
emma_in_dream: (steve)
Season 1, Episode 6 Angel Dark, Demon Bright

Originally aired 6 November 2000

When a slipstream error throws the Andromeda back in time to the climactic battle of Nietzschean-Commonwealth war, Dylan and his crew must not only decide whether or not to interfere, but which side to interfere on. Ultimately, it is discovered that the Nietzscheans arrived at the Witchhead Nebula with 1,500 ships, three times more than was said to have been in the battle. The crew realize that their intervention is necessary to preserve history, and Dylan devises a strategy to decimate the massive fleet. When this plan succeeds, Tyr reveals that he knew the truth about the fleet size discrepancy all along--from a Nietzschean legend in which Andromeda's actions were attributed to "the Angel of Death"--but that no one at the time knew what really happened. With history back on track, Andromedareturns to her own time.

I had missed this episode the first time around and it is pretty powerful stuff.

I’m impressed at how they made it seem like there was a massive battle, without taxing their special effects too much. I like the way you get insight into the characters at the same time as major political events occur. Harper’s gung ho blood-thirstiness is fascinating, as he often seems to be toned down and made cuter in fanfic. Whereas in the show he’s all, here’s a weapon of mass destruction, let’s go for it.
emma_in_dream: (Leia)
Season 1, Episode 5 – Double Helix

Originally aired 30 October 2000

The Andromeda finds a Nietzschean colony conducting pirate raids on a nearby Than planet. Dylan hopes that saving the Than will win support for his cause, but Tyr's loyalties are divided when the colony presents him with the opportunity to have a mate and a home if he gives them the Andromeda.


I like the insight into Nietzchean society, though frankly I find the emphasis on reproduction so extreme that it makes no sense for women to do anything but follow their men, hoping to produce kids. So why does she not go back to the ship with him?
emma_in_dream: (CaptainAmerica)
Season 1, Episode 4 D Minus Zero

Originally aired 23 October 2000

Dylan and the crew of the Andromeda face off against an unknown enemy when they discover a ship's recorder, forcing Dylan to deal with the tensions between him and his new crew.



This is the first time I’ve seen this episode.

When Andromeda first aired I used to get it through a network of kind American fans who would tape them and post them to Australia. Australians with the right sort of video player could then show them to their friends, copy them and pass them on.

Sometimes the transition from NTSC to PAL video did not go smoothly. The first time I saw *Sports Night*, for instance, we had audio but no video. Nonetheless, the dialogue was so sparkling that it was worth listening to.

It was another time, back when you used to have to order zines from the US, using bank cheques, to receive fic sight unseen.

Truly we now live in a golden age of fandom, where it is possible to see and read a whole lot more.

Or, at least, a silver age.

I am still annoyed by shows that are only released in Region 1 format or that are stripped of extras before being sold in Region 4. And don’t get me started on the Australian Netflix which has approximately 10 per cent of the content of the American one. The way Amazon won’t ship DVDs to Australia.

But, still, relatively speaking, this is a good time for fans.
emma_in_dream: (CaptainAmerica)
Season 1, Episode 3 – To Loose the Fateful Lightning

Originally aired 16 October 2000

Dylan is manipulated into unlocking powerful weapons stores when the Andromeda discovers a Commonwealth space station populated by children who believe that he is the legendary "High Guard" who has come to bring peace by destroying their enemies.


This is the episode where Dylan confronts what the world has become and how hard it will be to work towards his vision. I find the choice to have him interacting with children an interesting one. A more simplistic approach would have been to have had cynical, war weary adults and some children hinting at the possibility of change over time.

So, Dylan does some learning in this episode and we also get some background on Harper’s traumatic childhood.

I read Harper as the entry character of the show, the one whom we are meant to identify with. He dresses like Xander from Buffy or Wash from Firefly, and he is ‘less attractive’ than the actors playing Tyr and Hunt. In that special Hollywood way where less attractive means amazingly attractive but in a baggy shirt and not as tall as the other two. Also, of course, we all like to think we are clever, so his genius is a way of flattering the audience.
emma_in_dream: (Lotr)
Season 1, Episode 2 – An Affirming Flame

Originally aired 9 October 2000

Dylan must protect the Andromeda from the mercenary crew as it is tugged away from the black hole's time-distorting gravity, while Beka and her friends on the Eureka Maru discover they may be fighting for the wrong person.


This episode pretty deftly brings all the main characters together on board the Andromeda. Hunt’s motivations for wanting them are clear – he’s just lost everything and is in massive denial. In order to try to rebuild the Commonwealth, he needs some crew and he must be clinging to the only people he’s met so far.

Trance sees it as an adventure – and, knowing her character arc as I rewatch, I assume she angled for the job with Beka in order to get to this point. Harper points out the luxuries on board the Andromeda and is also, as he says, ‘in love’ with the ship. Beka’s less sure of it, but willing to go along as long as she retains the Maru. Tyr’s motivations are, I think, deliberately not fully addressed in his dialogue with Hunt. It seems plausible that he would want to upgrade from working as a mercenary and the ship certainly offers opportunities he would not otherwise have.

Neatly plotted, all ready to go into the main plot arc in the next episode.

Andromeda

Nov. 25th, 2016 08:47 pm
emma_in_dream: (Lotr)
I have just been rewatching *Andromeda* because I got the new DVD release. It would be more accurate to say I'm watching it as I only saw the first season and a half the first time around, back when the way Australian fans watched new releases was by having kind American fans post video tapes over.

I would love to do a rewatch, and I propose we start one episode a week, starting next week.

Is anyone interested?

3 Things

Oct. 6th, 2016 05:56 pm
emma_in_dream: (alexa)
1, The art is up at work. I’ll take some photos. It seems like my sole achievement since July.


2, I have had some free time to read about ADHD, sensory processing issues, etc. Did you know that some studies link NF1 and ADHD? How very interesting. And how much I hope Ruby is not also diagnosed with ADHD. (Though I do not think it is likely).


3, I watched some of the extras on *Gosford Park* and part of the reason it is so astonishingly accurate is that they found a handful of British folks in their 80s who had been in service above and below stairs in the 1930s. They were literally able to instruct on how eggs were hand beaten to make custard rather than mayonnaise; how wine was filtered; the way measures were used to ensure the table was set evenly; the shade of a footman’s ties; how an under-house maid would address a housekeeper.


Also, of course, the way it was filmed and recorded ensured that all the actors were aware they could be being filmed at any time, so they are continuing their plots in character at all time. No wonder it is such a champion of a movie.

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