ToneDef 21

2021-06-06 - Reading time: ~1 minute

After a long hiatus, I finally have a good build workflow for Android again -- which means I can push out some updates to ToneDef!

Presenting build 21!

This was more of a "proof of concept" build with the beginning of some CI to automate checks, etc.  I've already started working on the audio "popping" bug, and looking into some other reported issues. Those are being saved for 22.

What's new:

  • Added French tones to the 'extras' section
  • Added link back to my blog (as seen below)
  • Minor layout updates, including removing action bar from most screens (will remove the rest later)
  • Code cleanup, refactoring, and other behind the scenes updates


Concerning Goonies

2021-06-05 - Reading time: ~1 minute

Finally caught "The Goonies". Another in a long line of films I knew 80% about but never actually sat down to watch, start to finish. As good as expected, but I never knew about this downer ending. 😞

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Quick Review: The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)

2021-05-07 - Reading time: 2 minutes

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The Mitchells vs. The Machines just might be my new favorite animated film.

Or at least it slots into my Top 3 with ease. This is possibly the funniest and most creative film I've seen in a long time.

The characters take almost no time to get to know and love. There's an insane energy to the film. 

It's almost like... ugh, this is a VERY strained analogy that I'm not entirely comfortable with, but I can't get it out of my head: the happily "outsider" vibe of The Addams Family crossed with the family unity of the Belchers from Bob's Burgers. (Hell, the mom is even named 'Lin'.) Then mix in a dash of Gravity Falls, and lots of energy drinks.

And then send them all on a road trip to save the world.

The comedy is often quite hyperkinetic but there isn't a dud in the batch. For a lesser film a fast pace of "random" and pop culture might be a negative, but The Mitchells own it and thread that needle with ease. It never becomes obnoxious.

Honestly, I can't praise it enough. I LOVED this flick and I'm kind of clawing the desk to throw it on again.

I sincerely hope they consider follow-ups in the style of a "The Mitchells vs...." series, keeping the same writers. Because they've REALLY got something special here.

5/5

https://letterboxd.com/drfortyseven/film/the-mitchells-vs-the-machines/


Quick Review: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

2021-04-24 - Reading time: 6 minutes
Loved everything with Sam and Bucky. Especially Sam's journey, and the stuff with Isaiah Bradley.
 
Walker was amazing, too. And not that I don't think he was beyond redemption, but it was rushed. I mean, he teams up easily with the guys who BROKE HIS ARM and took the Cap mantle from him the last episode (though I get some time has passed).
These two storylines seemed to be the most important parts of the show, and received the most attention.
They were almost perfect.
 
But everything with Sharon and the Flag Smashers (hey, band name!) felt mediocre. At best, shoehorned in. The best guess I'm hearing going around is that the Flag Smasher narrative possibly centered around a pandemic, and well... given the COVID situation, they had to hastily butcher it up into something... incoherent.
 
But regardless, it was weak. And unfortunately the entire series wrapped it's overall narrative on that brittle skeleton.
 
The real MVP, though? The Baron. Give him his own series, please. Just all Zemo all the time. He was the most fun I had with the show. Unfortunately it felt like he was there just to setup a go at the Thunderbolts later, because he had almost no real impact on the story (his butler's hilarious moment in the finale aside).
 
That said, looking forward to a second season, if they do it. The title characters made it worth watching, and I'd happily give it another shot with a new, hopefully better constructed story. One that doesn't get butchered up in editing like this one appears to have been.

Bring on Loki!

3/5


Review: J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and The Church of the SubGenius (2019)

2021-04-19 - Reading time: 2 minutes
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As a backer, it took a surprising amount of time to finally get access to the film.

And then when I finally received access, I sat on it even longer.

Some might consider that appropriate for the subject matter: I was void of slack and mad, and then received the slack at my leisure once I was given a choice.

That said, I'd had high expectations for the film -- my only concern being that the title would make it difficult to search for, or worse, drown out other Church propaganda.

But I was wrong on both counts: it's easy enough to search for, if you quote the title exactly.

And this documentary exceeded my expectations.

Sure, the Church "comes clean", finally. But if you've paid even a modest amount of attention to the Hour of Slack radio show, or other Church related materials over the years, there isn't REALLY a whole lot new here. If you're not a "Bobbie" and had a reasonably good sense of humor, you were already in on the joke.

But it's nice to have it "for the record" and all in one place. And the presentation just oozes quality, with some lovely animations interspersed among the heaps of old VHS recordings.

This is a terrific doc. I'm not sure about the appeal for those not already familiar with "Bob", but maybe it will awaken something in you. 😉

5/5

https://letterboxd.com/drfortyseven/film/jr-bob-dobbs-and-the-church-of-the-subgenius/