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Danny Franks

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  1. Danny Franks

    The Great Stand Up to Cancer Bake Off

    I don't watch all of these celebrity episodes, because they often have at least one person on who I simply don't want to watch. Now that I know that talentless hanger-on leaves early, I'll probably watch this one. Thanks.
  2. So she's just outright defending paedophilia? As well as any number of other illegal/non-consensual activities - ranging from groping all the way to killers who get sexual gratification from the act of murder - that one party engages in because it fulfils their own "sexual needs". I mean, she's obviously not doing that, but I think this plays into the determination a lot of people seem to have to portray Jackson as a whimsical, magical, pixie man who was too good for this world. 'Sure, he abused children, but he was such a pure soul, and it made him happy, so we should just let it go, guys!'
  3. Danny Franks

    Unpopular Opinions

    I don't think I've seen a Quentin Tarantino movie since Jackie Brown, which I didn't like. The gimmick of 'old, Hollywood has-been gets a career resurrection' was already tiresome. But his movies just don't appeal to me, and I think the media saturation of Kill Bill destroyed any vestiges of interest I might have had in his work.
  4. Danny Franks

    Unpopular Opinions about Music

    I really liked Gotham City and If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time as well. It's sad that I can't listen to them any more.
  5. Danny Franks

    Favorite 1990s Songs

    Songs that evoke incredibly strong feelings of nostalgia and fondness in me: Dreams - The Cranberries Linger - The Cranberries What's Up - 4 Non Blondes Live Forever - Oasis Don't Look Back In Anger - Oasis Common People - Pulp Walkaway - Cast History - The Verve Torn - Natalie Imbruglia Tonight, Tonight - The Smashing Pumpkins The Day We Caught The Train - Ocean Colour Scene Never Forget - Take That (though this one comes from it always being the last song to be played on a Friday night at my student union) I listened to a lot of rap music in the late 90s as well, but for some reason none of that really evokes much in me. 2Pac still does, when I hear him, but that's about it.
  6. Danny Franks

    Hollywood Nepotism: The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly

    So I just learned that Jack Kilmer, the son of Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley, is an actor. I was reading an article about the disturbing and dark Norwegian black metal scene in the 1990s, which involved mutilation, murder and, on at least one occasion, the desecration of a corpse (seriously, these are some messed up people) and it mentioned that a movie is in the works, which will star Kilmer, Rory Culkin and Emory Cohen. It seems fairly independent, and Jack Kilmer has apparently made a few obscure films already, so perhaps he's not actively using his parents' names to get gigs. He's probably never going to be a leading man or headline star, because the combination of two extremely good-looking parents seems to have produced a very average looking kid.
  7. Danny Franks

    Let's Talk Modern Consoles, PCs, And Handhelds

    If Stadia can offer a significantly lower entrance point (no requirement to shell out £400 on a brand new console) then it has every chance of becoming a huge success. But it will come down to how reliable and user-friendly the streaming service is, and whether they can secure AAA quality titles, to help sell it to new customers. I agree that Microsoft and Sony are unlikely to license games to Stadia, because console-less videogaming is surely not something they're going to welcome. But Google can buy up development studios if they want, and try to make their own gaming IPs. While established franchises definitely dominate gaming these days, there is still room for new ones, if the games are good enough. I understand that companies like Pi Retrogames offer a similar interface, for old games, that Stadia is promising, but you still need the actual console to access it.
  8. Danny Franks

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe: The Avengers, etc.

    Seems the likeliest option. I've only seen Pugh in that crappy Robert the Bruce film on Netflix, and wasn't overly impressed. But she came across well in the interviews she gave for Fighting With My Family. I hope they don't set the Black Widow movie in the past, completely. I'd rather they built a structure similar to a lot of Black Widow comic book stories - a present day story that is dictated by things that happened in her past, so they can switch between present day and a younger Natasha.
  9. Danny Franks

    Avengers: Endgame (2019)

    With the new explanation of how she got her powers, and how the Kree inhibited them, they don't really need Rogue to tell that story. They could easily have some Kree scientist come up with a way of stripping her of her powers. As long as she isn't stripped of her memories, free will, dignity and control of her own body, like often seemed to happen to her in the comic books. But her being a Cosmic level superhero means she can face villains with similar levels of power of Thanos, where she could still be out-matched and need assistance. I've long considered the original Captain Marvel to be the closest Marvel had to their own Superman, and I generally consider Superman to be boring because of his levels of power and because of his lack of nuance (yes, I'm sure he's a more complex character now, but he doesn't interest me). DC had to create ever more powerful bad guys to be threats to him, so it's definitely a thorny issue for Marvel, who have seemed to avoid such overpowered heroes in their universe. At least, as permanent fixtures. But every once in a while, it's incredibly cool to see a hero who can just lay waste to everything in front of them, with seemingly no effort. The best scene in Infinity War was when Thor arrived on Earth, and the scene of Carol destroying those Kree ships, literally glowing with power, was a crowning moment of awesome.
  10. Danny Franks

    Captain Marvel (2019)

    This was really good. I was a bit concerned, after the trailers left me somewhat indifferent, but I really enjoyed this movie. I can see why some people said that Brie Larson is a bit flat, but it made sense to me that Carol would be, given her entire remembered life is about training to be a soldier. She had no memories of being that crazy girl who never took no for an answer, but you could see her sparking back to life, as she began to remember. She has a really strong presence, even if she never quite moves like the athlete that Carol is supposed to be. And she managed to bring pathos as well as a sense of sheer exuberance, in turns. And I found her lack of guile to be very amusing. She's not trying to hide who she is, when challenged by humans, she's completely upfront and straightforward - "that was a photon blast. Skrulls can't do that." I really liked the back-to-front way that they told her origin story, and it showed a confidence in the material that is new to the genre - We don't need to spend forty minutes showing you this character and getting you to care, then showing you the tragic event that gives them superpowers. They trusted that the audience would pick up who the Kree are and who the Skrulls are, and that Earth is a backwater without note. It was obvious that Jude Law was going to be a villain, but I didn't see Ben Mendehlson actually turning out to be a good guy. That was a nice bait and switch, and in hindsight you could see that he was never particularly villainous. The Skrulls and Kree are both usually varying degrees of villainous in the comics, with some exceptions like Mar-Vell and Xavin. I spent every minute Minerva was on screen trying to figure out who played her, and being struck by how strong a presence she had. Of course, it was Gemma Chan, an actress I found captivating in Humans. It's a shame she died, because that character could easily have become a nemesis for Carol. And it was nice to see Djimon Hounsou again, and Lee Pace, as less directly evil versions of the characters they become. I loved the Nineties references, and the various digs at how far we've come in terms of technology. Waiting for a CD to load on a computer, being disconnected from the dial-up internet, having to use a payphone and a pager. The music fit perfectly, and the Nineties really was the age of iconic, angsty, power-girl rock. Stan Lee's cameo was fantastic. Reading the Mallrats script! Can't get much more Nineties than that. And Monica Rambeau as an easter egg of sorts. I'm guessing that she'll appear as an adult in Captain Marvel 2. The de-aging on Samuel L. Jackson was stunning, and he looked exactly like his mid-nineties self. It was cool to see Nick Fury as a younger, less sure and less in-control character. He was almost starstruck by Carol, by the end, and that's a dynamic I'd love to see in Endgame. I was fairly starstruck myself, once Carol got rid of that inhibitor and started using her full powers. That scene of her destroying the missiles and then carving up the Kree fighters was spectacular, and as close to Superman as the Marvel Universe gets (which is fitting, because the original Captain Marvel was really Marvel's version of Superman). A couple of minor complaints - the action scenes weren't directed with quite the clarity I'd like. Dim lighting and odd cuts made it difficult to figure out just who was punching who, at any given moment. And Annette Bening was a slightly odd choice, in a role that wasn't meaty enough to justify her presence. But all in all, this felt fresh and different, even while being yet another superhero movie, and I'm eager to see how Marvel move forward with Carol Danvers as a flagship property.
  11. Danny Franks

    S06.E05: Public Shaming

    John trying to explain the maze of idiocy that is Brexit, and the British government's handling of it always makes me laugh. He's got a very succinct way of summing up that it's a total clusterfuck of incompetence, compromised priorities, corrupt influence and a lack of moral courage. But as a British person who is living with this chaos, it's incredibly depressing that barely anyone has a clue what is going to happen, from day to day. I like the reach and range of this show - John casually mentioning that they've talked about that racist Australian politician before, and that he loves making fun of New Zealand makes me think that there would be a great Six Degrees of John Oliver game to be played. Hey, Sean Hannity, you're a disgrace and I can guarantee that Ireland doesn't want you. As for the main story, that CNN anchor summed it up - "some people online are just looking for an excuse to be angry." Yeah, that's pretty much it. And yes, some of it is justified and justifiable, but I don't think you can say much more than it has to be considered on a case by case basis. Attacking Fox News people for their racism and bigotry is fine, attacking some woman who had sex with the husband of some other woman isn't. The reasons for this should be obvious. But, as John demonstrated, a lot of this stuff is driven by the media, which is looking for cheap, 'human interest stories' that will outrage their audience with the minimum of actual journalism required. If these media outlets were held to actual journalistic standards and not staffed by hacks, then a lot of the problems of social media outrage would go away. Not all, obviously, because twitter is still a cesspool of unqualified opinions and self-righteous anger. I liked John talking about the thought that goes into how they cover stories, and whether to name people involved. Last Week Tonight has standards that are staggeringly higher than most 'serious' news outlets. Regarding the admission payment scandal, I've been asking this question since I first heard about it - Why are the celebrity parents the ones being hounded when they're participating in an accepted practice that schools are probably very aware of? Why is it not the system itself that is targeted for criticism here? Name recognition? Because those responsible for framing these stories know they'll get more purchase if it's attached to a celebrity? They'll be dumber stories, and probably won't actually result in any changes to a clearly corrupt system, but at least they'll get clicks, right? This has always happened, with prestigious schools, and it always will happen unless the schools themselves are held accountable. People make jokes all the time about 'donations' made by rich parents, to get dumb kids into the school they want. "Tucker Carlson. The answer to the question, what if the sound Thud! grew a face." I'm not going to lie, that might just be better than John Stewart's famous takedown of that gormless racist.
  12. Danny Franks

    Which Podcasts Fuel Your Listening Pleasure?

    It's definitely a schtick they have:
  13. Danny Franks

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe: The Avengers, etc.

    What? But he fridged her out of true love! It was his* sacrifice to gain power to whichever stone that was. *Note - His sacrifice, not hers. Gamora herself didn't even factor in, she was just a prop to facilitate multiple episodes of man-pain.
  14. Danny Franks

    Which Podcasts Fuel Your Listening Pleasure?

    I die at pretty much all his interactions with Sona and Matt. Sona is obviously very used to his ridiculousness, but a lot of it is new for Matt. I just listened to the Middleditch and Schwartz episode, and the Crodney Blangerfield 'improv' was absolutely brilliant. Conan and Lisa may have dated - I think they were deliberately vague about their relationship on the podcast - but it's all ancient history now, and they're clearly good friends. I like the little anecdotes about how the Friends cast reacted to that early success, and the comparison between Conan's Catholic prudishness the openness of Lisa's Jewish upbringing were very funny. I did listen to that episode of How Did This Get Made? and really enjoyed it. That podcast is the only place where I still unreservedly like Jason Mantzoukas, because his over-the-top manic energy fits that podcast perfectly, and bounces nicely off June's calm, quiet demeanour (when she's there). I just wish they did more movies that I've actually seen, or at least heard of. Because I can't make myself watch any of those trashy movies.
  15. Danny Franks

    NFL Thread

    So the week didn't start off too well for the Ravens - saying goodbye to Eric Weddle, CJ Mosley, Za'Darius Smith and (can barely believe this one) Terrell Suggs. But Wednesday is looking good. The FA signings of Earl Thomas and Mark Ingram are pretty nice, and it looks like the contracts are fairly team friendly (at least, Thomas' is after the first year). Odell Beckham might be a little less happy about being traded to the AFC North now he sees the Ravens' secondary - Marlon Humphrey, Earl Thomas, Tony Jefferson, Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr and Tavon Young.