• MT VOID, 01/13/23 -- Vol. 41, No. 29, Whole Number 2258

    From evelynchimelisleeper@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Mon Jan 23 16:09:52 2023
    01/13/23 -- Vol. 41, No. 29, Whole Number 2258

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    Update to Science Fiction Discussion Groups (NJ)
    The Latest Travel Information
    Mini Reviews, Part 10 (MARRY ME, BROS, BULLET TRAIN)
    (film reviews by Mark R. Leeper
    and Evelyn C. Leeper)
    THE ILIAD (letter of comment by Peter Rubinstein)
    (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)


    TOPIC: Update to Science Fiction Discussion Groups (NJ)

    n the 01/27/23 issue, we wrote, "Meetings are still fluctuating
    between in-person and Zoom. The best way to get the latest
    information is to be on the mailing lists for them."

    That is not quite true. Currently, all Middletown meetin gs have
    returned to be in-person at the Middletown Public Library. The
    next several Old Bridge meetings will still be Zoomed, partly to
    accommodate distant members, and partly because for the winter
    meetings, driving is always iffy.

    The second sentence remains true, however. [-ecl]


    TOPIC: The Latest Travel Information

    "How to travel to space, Earth’s hottest new destination" from the Washington Post:



    TOPIC: Mini Reviews, Part 10 (film reviews by Mark R. Leeper and
    Evelyn C. Leeper)

    This is the tenth batch of mini-reviews, all comedies:

    BULLET TRAIN: The people who see BULLET TRAIN are going to have
    problems following it if they haven't taken the Evelyn Wood speed-watching-and-listening course. The dialogue is delivered
    really fast, as are the action sequences, and with five assassins
    trying to various people (mostly each other), there is a lot of
    action. But even if the film is a little hard to follow, what you
    can follow makes this film a lot of fun. Brad Pitt is an actor who
    does comedy as well as he does drama, and I find his performance
    here reminds me of his brilliant job in BURN AFTER READING.

    Released theatrically 05 August 2022; now streaming on Netflix.
    Rating: low +3 (-4 to +4) or 8/10

    Film Credits:

    What others are saying:

    MARRY ME: MARRY ME is a musical romantic comedy with mathematics.
    She's a pop star, he's a math teacher and the coach of the math
    team. There are short sequences with the math club, but much
    longer dance numbers; I would have preferred it the other way
    around. After all, the love song will last something like five
    years and then won't be remembered. At the same time the math in
    the math club will last forever and ever. When she finds out her
    celebrity fiance cheated on her, she impulsively marries the math
    teacher instead. One might think that if this happened in real
    life there would be millions of people protesting how immoral this
    is, but this seems to be how a lot of reality shows work.

    The Barbra Streisand film THE MIRROR HAS TWO SIDES represents
    mathematicians as if they were some sort of weird bug. It is nice
    to see mathematicians and entertainment people supporting each
    other and to heck with Streisand.

    (It's an odd choice to put your main characters on the screen when
    you also have dogs because dogs are real attention getters and will
    take attention away from your main characters while they are on the
    screen. But at least they use a math competition as the climax
    rather than a lambada contest.)

    Released theatrically and on Amazon Prime streaming 11 February
    2022. Rating: low +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10

    Film Credits:

    What others are saying:

    BROS: BROS is a standard rom-com plot set in the LBGTQ+ community.
    It is notable in that all of the principal actors are LBGTQ+, and
    there are many comments in the script about how Hollywood always
    has straight actors playing the gay main characters in movies such
    Hollywood insists on an unhappy ending for them.)

    One can argue that you are seeing exaggerations and stereotypes
    here, but I don't think anyone would claim that (e.g.) BRINGING UP
    BABY (1938) is a realistic, unexaggerated portrayal of straight
    people. The interactions between the various subgroups may be
    exaggerated, but there is undoubtedly some truth to them, since
    these are found in all groups that appear homogenous to someone
    outside the group (hence the saying, "Two Jews, three opinions," or
    Emo Philips' Baptist joke).

    This definitely has a high level of raunch, but so do a lot of
    straight rom-coms (e.g., THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY), so if
    you're okay with the latter, this shouldn't be a problem.

    Released on Peacock streaming 30 September 2022. Rating: +1
    (-4 to +4) or 6/10

    Film Credits:

    What others are saying:



    TOPIC: THE ILIAD (letter of comment by Peter Rubinstein)

    In response to Evelyn's comments on THE ILIAD in the 01/06/23 issue
    of the MT VOID, Peter Rubinstein writes:

    [Evelyn writes,] And these are the good guys?

    Well, no, they aren't. It's been a while since I read THE ILIAD,
    but I never read it to say that they were the good guys. Perhaps
    that's just my bias showing. [-pr]


    TOPIC: This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)

    In all the descriptions and recommendations that I heard of THE
    MOUNTAIN IN THE SEA by Ray Nayler (Picador, ISBN
    978-1-250-87227-2), I don't recall any of them using the term
    "octopus intelligence" or I would have read this a while ago. The
    idea is that climate change and/or pollution have caused a speed-up
    in evolution of octopuses and they are now fighting back against
    humanity. We are not talking about the giant octopus of IT CAME
    FROM BENEATH THE SEA, but ordinary size octopuses. Whether the
    progression of inter-species communication is accurate or not is a
    bit questionable, but it is certainly a well-thought-out effort.

    In THE PURCHASE OF THE NORTH POLE by Jules Verne (Project
    Gutenberg), someone unilaterally decides to auction off the North
    Pole area to a single country and distribute the proceeds to all
    the other countries with an interest in the area. I'm not sure
    whether this is even more unlikely than the plan to then fire giant
    cannons to change the Earth's angle and make the Arctic more
    temperate (and much of the rest of the Earth uninhabitable or even
    submerged). In any case, it is definitely proto-cli-fi.

    THE HILLS OF HOMICIDE by Louis L'Amour (Bantam, ISBN
    978-0-553-24134-1) is not typical of L'Amour's writing--rather than
    be a Collection of Western stories, it is a collection of
    hard-boiled detective stories (although at least one is set in the
    Western landscape). While perhaps not as good as Chandler's or
    Hammett's writings in that genre, these do give a different look in
    L'Amour's ouevre. [-ecl]


    Mark Leeper

    Freedom of the press in Britain means freedom to print
    such of the proprietor's prejudices as the advertisers
    don't object to.
    --Hannen Swaffer

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  • From Kerr-Mudd, John@21:1/5 to eleeper@optonline.net on Tue Jan 24 12:53:05 2023
    On Mon, 23 Jan 2023 16:09:52 -0800 (PST)
    "eleeper@optonline.net" <evelynchimelisleeper@gmail.com> wrote:

    01/13/23 -- Vol. 41, No. 29, Whole Number 2258
    screen. But at least they use a math competition as the climax
    rather than a lambada contest.)

    Lambada->Lambda with 1 easy subtraction.

    Bah, and indeed Humbug.

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