Sunday, June 19, 2011

File Under: Miscellaneous

A bits and pieces post today.

Twecon job
Firstly, those on Twitter may like to consider submitting a paper to Twecon.
Twecon is a Tweet-based open conference organised by EPISTO blog author Matthew Dentith.

Anyone can enter, on any topic, as long as you follow the rules listed in the linked post. To submit a paper for inclusion at #twecon please tweet your paper’s title and short abstract (you may want to use a tweet for each) with the tag #twecon to HORansome any time between now and the 1st of July.

Previous entries can be read here. And here is an interview with Dentith about Twecon conducted via Twitter.

EDIT: Here is a Twecon update.

Who’s there
In my last post I said I would review the first episode of Doctor Who series 6, The Impossible Astronaut. I’ve decided instead to do an overview of the first half of the split season (i.e. the first seven episodes), but that will have to wait. I’ll just say for now that the two-parter was the best opening a Doctor Who series has had so far. It was witty, ambitious, well plotted, and had very effective visual aspects well above TVs pay grade. Sure, Moffat was riffing off one of his previous ideas with the villains, but what a great riff it was. My only criticism was that it was a little too ambitious. In particular, I’m not sure why Moffat felt the need to fit The Silence into all human history, as it unnecessarily raises a lot of complications and plot holes.

The latest Marvel movie on the road to The Avengers in 2012 was Thor. As I said over on Comicon, Thor was perfectly adequate. The Asgard stuff in the first act is pretty good, and, as mentioned in this SFX magazine review, Thor does all the stuff with the hammer that he does in the comics, and it's quite fun to watch. And yes, the design in Asgard is splendidly OTT in an appropriate comic-booky way. Good performances and a sense of humour keep the "real world" stuff entertaining, and the Destroyer was nicely done and suitably menacing. Like the first Iron Man, the climactic confrontation at the end was not quite satisfactory, and Hopkins does come across somewhat as a rent-a-wise man.

Overall, it was entertaining and worth a watch. The post-credit teaser may give a pointer to who will be a villain in Joss Whedon's Avengers movie next year.

X-Men First Class (not part of the same “universe” of superheroes in the movie version) was also not bad. I expected some better fight sequences, based on director Matthew Vaughn’s previous effort with Kick Ass. Otherwise it was pretty good and I agree with this blogger that it was just a little subversive.

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