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Crystal Ball - Ron
Posted on Sunday 3 November 2013 at 9:19 pm

Weekend of Watching

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Friday night I saw Ender's Game. I enjoyed it. I don't know that it is a favorite or anything, but it was a perfectly pleasant way to spend a few hours. I've read the book, but none of the sequels and felt much the same way about the book as I do about the film: it's OK but I don't think it is massively amazing or anything. Also, if you are interested in the whole "Orson Scott Card, the author of the novel, is a bigoted asshole" controversy, a Mormon (relevant since Card is a Mormon) friend of mine shared this article with me, which I found more interesting and insightful than most of what I've read on it. It is a Muslim man discussing his relationship to the book and Card when he first read Ender's Game and his thoughts and feelings on Card's homophobia, anti-Islamic bigotry, etc. that have come to public attention over the past several years.

Saturday I watched this week's QI. It was a good episode. Tonight I watched this week's Was It Something I Said (the new panel show on Channel 4 hosted by David Mitchell). The actual show here is kind of lame, but it works alright as a platform for the general comedy you get on panel sows. This week's episode rose well above the norm, however, and was kind of fantastic. I couldn't stop laughing and might have scared my roommate.

The highlight of the weekend, however, was the National Theatre 50th Anniversary extravaganza. I watched it with some friends this afternoon / evening and it was brilliant. All the acting was amazing, as expected. The scenes from plays I knew were all fantastic. There were a couple of scenes from plays I don't know where I didn't get as much from the scene without context, but even most of the ones I didn't know I think I got as much as I should have and it was still all great. We watched it streaming but I downloaded it for the iPlayer so I've got that for another month and will probably watch it again at some point in there. There are a million things I could have taken away from it, but I most came out with an urge to watch History Boys again.
For the BBC Radio fans, if you've listened to Copenhagen with Cumberbatch and to Cabin Pressure... Roger Allam did a bit of a Heisenberg speech from Copenhagen so that was odd for me. I couldn't stop thinking "But you're the wrong MJN pilot!" which is rather unfair to Mr. Allam, I admit.


Unsentimental Fool
unsentimentalf at 10:37 am on 04 November 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I loved the NT50. It goes to show how much brilliant playwrights need brilliant actors. There were all sorts of plays that I haven't seen and want to now. Andrew Scott's Angels in America bit was the one that really stayed with me, but Allam's Copenhagen was nearly as good.

I do hope to see Ender's Game if I can get organised enough- we spent our free going out evening watching Thor 2 instead! I was very taken with the book when it first came out and I do own the first few sequels (although I gave up when he started to repeat himself with ever more unlikely characters.) I'm not sure that I'm exactly looking forward to the film- I'm a bit concerned that they will massacre the bits of the book that made it worthwhile- but I'll give it a try. OSC may be an idiot but back in the 80s he could definitely write.

bratty_jedi at 12:11 pm on 04 November 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Allam's Copenhagen was good and I definitely think I could get into it with him in the role for the entire play. I absolutely love the BBC Radio version with Cumberbatch, though, so it really was disorienting to have Allam there for just the one scene.

Angels in America is fantastic. It is two parts. I've read Part 1 and HBO did a 5-hour miniseries of the entire thing and I've seen that. That's the only version I've seen and it is really good. I will say, I think Dominic Cooper did a better job with the role he was playing in those few minutes of the NT 50th than did the guy who played the part in the HBO miniseries. I can't go quite that far on Andrew Scott because the guy who played that part in the miniseries did a wonderful job, but Scott was fantastic at it and I'd love to see him (and Cooper) do the entire thing.

I've had a lot of people tell me I should read Speaker for the Dead because it's pretty brilliant but that the rest of the sequels are good but not necessarily worth the time at this point in my life.

I have seen Iron Man 2 & 3 (but not 1) and The Avengers but that's it from the current Avengers mesh of movies. I'm just burned out on superhero movies. I'm glad you enjoyed Thor 2, though. I have heard good things about it. I just can't muster the energy.
Unsentimental Fool
unsentimentalf at 6:56 pm on 04 November 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I'd say read Speaker for the Dead but be prepared not to like it! It is a completely sideways sequel to Ender's Game and I have a great deal of time for it for that alone.

I don't think I could watch Angels in America. I find these days anything about the early years of AIDS digs up a great deal of distress, not personal grief, exactly, because I wasn't really personally affected, just about living through that time being scared about sleeping with anyone new and meeting people my age who were going to die and the sheer bloody unfairness of it all.

I've become a bit of an Avengers addict generally :-) X-men I can take or leave, though. Superman is dull. Batman is slightly better.
train_lindz at 5:57 pm on 04 November 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the link to the article. Interesting and well rounded read. We won screening tickets to Ender's Game, but couldn't end up going so we gave them to our upstairs neighbours who are big geeks, and really liked the book, but are lesbians and didn't want to pay to see the movie in principle because of the controversy with Card. They enjoyed it and the free tickets :)
bratty_jedi at 9:46 pm on 04 November 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I debated not going because of not wanting to give Card any money, but I decided what he'd get from my ticket purchase was negligible and I was willing to live with it. I'll never buy any of his books, but I bit the bullet on the movie and I did enjoy it so I'm glad I did. I think that's fantastic that you were able to help out your friends who wanted to make that stand, though!

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