Monday, January 16, 2017

The Rogue and the detective

I finally caught up with Rogue One yesterday.

I think it's very competent, and very watchable, perhaps without being particularly memorable.   But I want to comment on a few things:

*  I felt there was still a clear bit of the "uncanny valley" going on with Peter Cushing's reanimated face.  Actors must be breathing a sigh of relief that the process of even attempting their replacement via computer  is still complex, expensive and not completely convincing if it lasts more than a very brief period.

*  the creation of very realistic looking alien landscapes in this and The Force Awakens, on the other hand, is so much noticeably better than it was in the 3 prequels, where everything looked fake in a Lord of the Rings way.

*  the rehabilitation of the Force as a spiritual thing, rather than Lucas's stupid suggestion that it was just biology, continues apace, and that is a good thing for the series.

*  the android K-2SO's design reminded me a lot of the robots in Miyazaki's Laputa, and (of course) I'm not the first person on the internet to notice that.

Then last night we watched the second episode of Sherlock's latest (and last?) series.

I thought it was terrific, especially after the pretty woeful first episode.  (My son even indicated he had sort of lost interest in the series after that one!)   Seems to me to some sort of redemption for Moffat's writing abilities, too, of which I had become very skeptical.

OK, there was one plot element that was kind of silly and contrived, but I see that many commenters at The Guardian said it was a clever update on the original Conan Doyle story, so perhaps the memory wiping drug was key to that, too.

But it was fantastically directed, well acted, full of funny surprises, and set up the show for many potentially big reveals in the last episode.   I hope that lives up to the high expectations everyone will now have.

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