Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Entitled to ... breakages ?

Two things today.

One is "ok, something broke again" and the other is a bit ... let's say ... controversial.

Money stuff first. Check out this pic :
That's a pic taken of something from the last post ... Looks a bit off doesn't it ? It's actually worse than it looks because I'm getting crazy random flashes of colour and shapes where they shouldn't be and I don't think it's from the coughing fits I've been having lately. Yep. Sneezes long enough that it feels like the walnut that is my brain has been thoroughly battered and that it isn't getting enough air either. Disturbing. But I'm ok apart from that.

Yep. I have been sick (sneezes, runny nose, not quite manflu) but I'll get better. I think my graphics card is thoroughly ill ... This computer is 4 years 3 months old now and the replacement will end up being its third graphics card.

The problem started with just a pattern of dots on the screen in certain videos that went away after not many seconds. (Except for BBC iPlayer which is rubbish and claims HD when it is blatantly not proper 1080p HD). It didn't impact on games to any significance because the dots were hidden in the backgrounds. (Except for Endless Legend which had really crazy texture issues on the card which made it unplayable).

It's much worse now though. Definitely a hardware problem because the problem has stayed happening after a change of drivers. The way graphics cards work is they paint a scene in memory, then throw that scene to the screen. Commonly, they'll build three frames and then throw them at the screen in order. This is called triple buffering and makes things smoother.

There's more to it than that. But without going into too much nasty techie detail, this card has 2GB of memory, some of which I suspect has gone bang. Which means errors in the SETI processing and dots on the screen. SETI has actually given up, the card has degraded that much.

So - two things to do :
Put an older card back in - this is a stopgap which will clear off those SETI thingys
Buy another card.

I do have another temptation though - that Lego XWing is back in stock and ...
Something is triggering the "ME WANT" :-). (It's a Lego Anaconda from Elite made from the Millenium Falcon kit)

Controversy ?

You'd find it difficult to escape the trouble that's erupting over the Oscars and the nominations ... Hence the Entitlement in the title. It does feel like there is a sense of overdone entitlement with the various boycotts that have been announced in a "We aren't nominated so we ain't going."

There are three sides of that to explore :

Who got missed out of the nominations ?
How come black* actors didn't get the best parts ?
Are they really asking for a quota system ?

*(I'm trying to avoid mentioning colour but ... who brought up the colour pattern of the nominations originally ?)

Who got missed out ? I do think they've gotten it wrong. I can't think of many coloured actors where I enjoyed their performance over last year but that's mostly my goldfish memory refusing to recall it. Finn from Star Wars played his part well but I wouldn't call it Oscar Best Supporting Actor material. I'd rather see Rey nominated. Seriously. Well actually no because while I did enjoy SW TFA and thought it was a great film, it isn't Oscar material.

I think The Martian should get a share of Oscars and definitely one in Best Supporting Actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor who was one of the stronger performers, very true to the book character.

Terminator Genesys and Jurassic World were oddly white come to think of it. Should probably be looking at the casting people as to why people weren't given the opportunities there. Spectre has Daniel Craig as Bond at the moment. I have to say that I don't particularly agree with Idris Elba being touted as Bond, I've never really been impressed with what he does (although I did like his part in Pacific Rim but I am silly with that film). His part in Beasts of No Nation is being heralded as Oscar worthy but I'm sorry - if it isn't in the cinema anywhere, it shouldn't be in the Oscars. Shame on you Netflix.

The Rock was typically Rock like in San Andreas. Again, enjoyable movie, not Oscar material.

As for the protagonists in the controversy - IMDB tells me that Jada Pinkett Smith has been in just Magic Mike XXL and Gotham this year. Does she really think that Magic Mike XXL is Oscar worthy ? (disclaimer - I haven't seen the Magic Mike films - not interested) Does hubby think that After Earth was a decent film ? Hubby has done some cracking films actually but I always wonder if it is Will Smith Playing Will Smith or Will Smith acting someone. The key to acting is to play a character, not have a character tailored to who you are.

They should not be nominated for their colour, they should be nominated on merit. And this will be controversial for some but ... I do think there has been a definite sense of the entitlement coming in that is ever more pervasive in modern society, usually backed up by the teddies being thrown out of the pram if the entitled don't get what they think they deserve.

I'll be curious about who wins the various awards that'll be going but I always bear in mind that those critics and awards people really don't like the same movies that I do. I bet that Revenant will sweep the board and that Leo will get Best Actor. I didn't like Revenant but I do think he deserves an Oscar. Not for this one but for Inception ... That was a cracking film.

Time to close before I get a howling mob after me ! I do think the Oscars have got it wrong with the nominations, although the only one I can think of now is Chiwetel Ejiofor who was utter menace and top quality in Serenity. The message for the black actors is : GO ! GET THE BEST PARTS ! There are plenty of quality coloured actors and actresses out there, here's a limited few to mention :

Definitely Denzel. Halle Berry. Idris. Foxx (Jamie, definitely not Megan of the one x). Don Cheadle (not the guy in Iron Man 1, thought that Roadie was a bit off), Forrest Whitaker (does he do films still?), where has Whoopi Goldberg been ? Zoe Kravitz ! (needs more parts)

Not Samuel L Jackson (not on recent performances), Will Smith (always plays self), Jada Pinkett Who. Where are the Asian actors and actresses now ! I was impressed with Rinko Kikuchi in Pacific Rim and I thought she was excellent in 47 Ronin (naff film, great storytelling) too. Not been in anything of note this year though.

Make it count with what you do on screen, not how you behave off it. Stirring up the controversy only tends to have one effect and that's typically something bad for your cause.

It might be controversial but ... it's my opinion, which usually differs drastically from your typical film critic. I do think the Oscars have missed Chietel Ejiofor who genuinely added to The Martian in my opinion. But the rest of the people just seem to be demonstrating entitlement that would only lead to a quota system that would take away from merit and cheapen the whole idea.

I'll close by saying that I don't factor the colour of the actors into whether or not I intend to watch a film. Colour has nothing to do with performance (except when they are validly tackling race like the Compton movie). I choose films based on how I think the actors will pull it off, whether I think I'll enjoy the movie experience.

And that's how it should be.

Although I will admit I usually enjoy films way better in company.

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