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Danny Franks

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About Danny Franks

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    Manchester, UK
  • Interests
    TV and movies, obviously
    American Football
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  1. Anyone else feel different about Friends now...

    I'm doing a bit of a partial rewatch at the moment, and just watched the episodes with Janine. I have to say... how lacking in awareness is she to be so open with her brand new boyfriend about the fact she doesn't like his closest friends? The instant their first double date is over, and they're invited for dinner the next evening, she's saying "how will we get out of that?" as though she expects Joey to agree with her. It's just weird, and feels too much like 'we only got Elle Macpherson for three episodes, so we need to figure out how to get rid of her'.
  2. Dragon Age: Inquisition (and the Dragon Age Universe)

    Since the disappointment of Mass Effect: Andromeda, I'm wary of any 'long awaited sequels' being announced, but I do love the Dragon Age universe, and there's so much more than can be done with it. Dragon Age 4 will need to be something truly spectacular, to catch up with and overhaul the other games that have done such a great job with the open world RPG platform - The Witcher 3, Red Dead 2, Horizon: Zero Dawn etc.
  3. NFL Thread

    To be fair, I'm glad Washington didn't sign Kaepernick. I'd hate to have to want that team to do well, just to further prove that Kaep was always more than worthy of being on an NFL roster. Fuck that team and fuck their awful owner. Meanwhile, that very same team just reinforced my opinion of them by claiming Reuben Foster off waivers. He's been arrested three times this year, twice for domestic abuse, and rightly cut by the 49ers.
  4. Deadpool 2 (2018)

    It's good. But not as good as the running joke that Wade and Negasonic can't stand each other. Brianna Hildebrand is so overlooked in this role. She's absolutely great.
  5. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

    I finally got around to watching this movie, and was pleasantly surprised. Yes, it was a bit generic in parts, but they nailed most of the nostalgia points that they needed to - Han meeting Chewie, introducing the Falcon, Chewie playing holochess for the first time, Han and Lando jousting with one another. It didn't feel overdone or forced. There were at least a dozen throwaway references that were just easter eggs for fans. I was really happy with Aldon Ehrenreich's performance as Han. All that chatter about him being bad, but I thought he inhabited the character really well. The smug charm, the energy that Harrison Ford brought to Han, even the physical mannerisms. Everything from the way he stood with his hands on his hips, to the way he fired his blaster. He genuinely felt like a younger version of the man we meet in A New Hope. Donald Glover was just as good, and clearly spent a lot of time watching and listening to Billy Dee Williams, in Empire and Jedi. That louche charm and his ability to turn most things into something to laugh about. His holojournal, in particular, was a wonderful little encapsulation of his self-aggrandising personality. But I was most pleased with Emilia Clarke. I've been wanting to see her in a role that differs from Daenerys for a while now, to actually figure out whether she has any range at all. And... she does. Qi'ra felt like a fully formed character, even though most of her backstory was skimmed over. At times tough, at others vulnerable and yearning for a different life. I'm glad that she got to be the femme fatale, rather than the damsel that Han needs to save, but I also liked the layers of it. She didn't hate Han for leaving her (an easy direction to take, when writing this sort of character), she hadn't turned evil with a lust for power. She was just in and knew there was no way out, so she gave up the chance at a life she had obviously dreamed of having, to save herself, and probably to save Han too. The Darth Maul reveal was... eh. I have few fond memories of the prequels, so the fact that he's the man behind Crimson Dawn really didn't do anything for me. I knew that one of the cartoon shows brought him back, and that lots of fans inexplicably love him, but to me he was just a bland, one-note, throwaway villain. Thandie Newton was wasted, and I can't help but feel her role was reduced in rewrites or edits. Because why cast her for that? I could happily have done with a lot more Phoebe Waller-Bridge as L3. The idea of droid rights was cool, and something that's overdue for exploration. I guess they won't do a follow up, and I'm kind of alright with that. I don't need to know any more about Han (I didn't even need to know this backstory), and while Qi'ra was interesting, I can't imagine her story played out very well. Oh, and the last, best easter egg? Han shot first.
  6. Ilsa was so freaking hot, I can understand how Indy was blind to her duplicitousness. And I'd have been hard pushed to say no to her, even at the end. But Willie was flat out annoying, and deliberately written to be that way. I'm not sure what the rationale behind that was, because it made it seem like Indy just hooked up with her because she was the only woman around.
  7. The Lion King (2019)

    If this follows the Jungle Book model, then I guess there will be fewer songs. But really, that kind of defeats the point of this movie, doesn't it? As far as I can tell, it looks like this might be close to a shot-for-shot remake, with viewers knowing exactly what to expect, so they can wonder at how modern technology recreates their favourite moments. But without all the songs? Won't that just feel a bit hollow. There's a reason that The Lion King has been a hit in the theatre as well, and it's not because of the story or the acting performances. It's the songs.
  8. The NBA

    I think he's probably exhausting to most around him. That's why it's been a blessing for the Warriors that Steph and Klay are so easygoing, and the roleplayers around them are experienced vets who are happy to do their bit. He certainly overreacted in this incident, but it always amazes me just how egotistical most top basketball players are. Far more than any other sport, it seems, these feuds between players come to dominate entire franchises. I guess it's down to them realising the immense value they have. But I tend to agree with Klay on this issue - they'll get over it and start enjoying winning again soon enough. Most people are smart enough to put their egos aside, when the rewards are as great as those that this Warriors team is going for.
  9. S09.E01: Biscuit Week

    He was a stand-up comedian and member of a comedy troupe called The Mighty Boosh, who had a show on the BBC. They were famous for weird, offbeat comedy, and Noel's personality is a somewhat toned down version of it. He also captained one of the teams on Never Mind The Buzzcocks for a while, and regularly appears on the various panel shows on British TV. I've said it plenty of times, but I think the energy he brings to the tent is very welcome. Different from Mel and Sue, in that he gives off an almost serene vibe at times, but he always seems able to diffuse tension for the bakers.
  10. The NBA

    I'm really enjoying all these journalists saying "hey, the Warriors are really fun again!" Be it begrudgingly or with pleasure. It makes such a difference, hearing them talk about something joyous, like Klay blitzing the single game 3-point record, or Steph doing pretty much whatever he wants, on any given night, over them griping about LeBron's teammates, or how the Rockets are inexplicably worse this season (despite losing half their bench guys and replacing them with Carmelo Anthony). I also enjoy the fact that several teams have ruined the narratives that most journalists wanted, for the season. Boston aren't the best in the East, so far, the Spurs aren't falling apart, LeBron isn't going to magically bring 55 wins to a Lakers team made up of misfits and kids. And most relevantly, the Warriors aren't imploding because of warring egos.
  11. Media Things

    These kids are great, and seem to be growing up as normally as possible, given their stardom. They genuinely just look like a bunch of friends, dressing up for Halloween. I particularly like Noah dressing up as Eleven.
  12. What Are We Currently Reading?

    I just finished Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan. Really well written, and it started off very promisingly, but seemed to lose focus in the last third, and everything resolved itself too neatly. The entire subplot with
  13. S09.E10: The Final

    Well, that was predictable. I think Prue would adopt Rahul, if she was allowed to, and either of the women would have had to blow him out of the water, to have any chance of winning. I just find him very frustrating to watch. I don't feel like he's gone on a journey of discovery and improvement, or learned anything new about himself. He seemed to approach this whole thing as just another challenge he had to pass, and was terrified of failing. As one of the eliminated bakers said, "if Rahul wins it, he probably won't believe it. He'll probably still think he's not good enough." And Paul saying he still doesn't realise how good he is. No, and he probably never will. This was not an impressively constructed final. Doughnuts? Half of them just ring doughnuts with icing? Really? Though the dulce de lece and cinnamon ones that Ruby made sounded like they'd be amazing. If they had enough filling. And a gimmicky, silly idea to completely change the format of the show and ask bakers to cook on an open fire? That seemed designed to elicit the exact reactions of confusion, stress and misery that they got. And most of the challenge is making dips? But I did laugh at Ruby getting annoyed with the tomato that kept rolling off the fire, as though she couldn't understand why it would do such a thing. Here's a tip, Ruby - it's round. Then the showstopper felt too vaguely defined, and again designed to cause stress. Hot summer day + chilled desserts? Yeah, good luck. But also, it seems the lack of a structure to follow left the results looking pretty shabby. Worse than shabby, they were ugly. I still like Noel and his rapport with the bakers. He loves teasing Ruby, and she gives as good as she gets, but he also loves poking gentler fun at Rahul, who responds better to that than he ever does to anything Paul and Prue say. And Sandi is really touching as the maternal figure, but she seems to have less objectivity than either Mel or Sue did. Ruby introducing Rahul to her family was really sweet. She seems like the life of any party, no matter how rowdy it might get. I was happy to see big, smiley Anthony again, and Manon looking very fetching. That clip at the end of Ruby chugging wine from the bottle, while Anthony and Manon sipped from glasses, summed her up, really.
  14. S03.E13: A New Napkin

    This was an excellent end to the season. And just further cements Daredevil as the best TV show Marvel have got. Good for Ray, that he left that video. At the end of the last episode, I was disappointed that he'd just seemed to give up and take the fall, to keep his family safe. It was a nice summation of the way Fisk completely ruins lives, and never feels a moment of regret. Fisk really is a very sad human being, when it all comes down to it. His life is just as much artifice as Matt's, or Dex's. Everything in his penthouse (in the first season and this one) is there to present an image of wealth and sophistication. His wedding was designed to be the sort of classy, refined, rich people wedding he probably thinks he should have. But in truth, he doesn't really care about any of it. He doesn't even care about his lifelong ambition to rebuild New York any more. He cares about Vanessa, and that's about it. And Matt realised it. That was the only way to take Fisk down, without killing him. I like that Karen didn't take the usual 'love interest' stance of trying to talk the hero out of doing something dark. She was letting him do what he thought he had to. If she had the choice, I'm fairly sure she'd kill Fisk herself, but she still worried that it would be a bad thing for Matt to do. But at least Matt had a proper plan - Get into Dex's head, and turn him against Fisk with the truth. I did find it a bit of a stretch to think Fisk hadn't disposed of Julie's body, though. Seems like an unusual oversight for the man who planned for every other possible eventuality. And how fucking nuts is Dex, to prop Julie's corpse up in the passenger seat, then talk to it? As for him not killing anyone until Fisk pushed him? The first time we saw him, he shot two unarmed men in the head. He was always rotten, he was just hiding it better. Seems like it would have been smarter for Matt to let Dex kill Fisk, then take him down. But that shot of Matt, waiting for Fisk in the hotel corridor, was fantastic. Black and white, reversed. The three way fight scene was pretty well executed. Fisk as the big, overpowering monster, Matt with his speed and Dex with his ability to hit from a distance. I'm a little surprised that Sister Maggie made it out of the season alive, but it's nice that Matt has another shoulder to lean on, and one even less likely to tolerate his bullshit than Foggy or Karen. And I'm really glad that Matt, Foggy and Karen are all firmly in cahoots again. To be honest, this felt like a finale that tied up most loose ends for the show. I don't really see where else they can go, in a fourth season. Vanessa taking over Fisk's businesses, maybe? Bullseye is obviously primed to return, but he's not a season-long, master plan style villain. He's too unstable to be more than the villain's right hand man. Typhoid Mary? Maybe. It'd be cool if she and Vanessa teamed up, as an all female threat.
  15. S03.E12: One Last Shot

    Nelson and Murdock, Avocados at Law! Except, not for very long. Because their plans failed for reasons that don't make a whole lot of sense. Detective Mahoney is a low-key MVP for this show. He started off as a beat cop, who helped Foggy out and then let Daredevil go, and ended up being an apparently high ranked detective, willing to go to bat against Fisk and his crooked feds. I was impressed with how pissed DA Tower was, over what Nadeem had done. At least we can be (fairly) sure that he's not crooked. And of course Nadeem is ready to fall on his sword, now. Turns out he's almost as good a shot as Dex.... Almost. But of course Fisk got to the grand jury... which was only just called that day, and which Fisk couldn't have known about. Come on, this is just pushing his evil mastermindery too far. I'm actually a little surprised we saw Vanessa again. I kind of figured that Ayelet Zurer must have been unavailable for the season. I really like how Vincent D'Onofrio plays Fisk, around her. So boyish and unsure, despite the fact she's clearly accepted everything about him. It seems like he's underestimated her, and I'm not sure he's going to genuinely happy that she's as ruthless as he is. I don't think he really wanted a Bonnie to his Clyde, he wanted a woman to put on a pedestal, who lets him pretend he's a better man. Dex is such a needy creep. He's obviously put all of his self-worth into Fisk's opinion of him, so of course he go and fetch the painting for him, like a loyal dog. Honestly, I don't see how Fisk can be taken down now, without being killed. There are apparently no levels of government that he can't reach and influence, no contingencies he can't plan for.