March 6th, 2003

Illuminati

Would you like fries with that?

According to the BBC article here doing an arts degree lowers your earnings potential by 10%.

For my American readers (damn your war-mongering hearts), A levels are the exams you take at 18 that decide whether you can carry on to university (and which one).

Seeing as one of the arguments for free university access is that it's good for the earnings of the country (and therefore taxes, etc.), maybe selective degree sponsorship will now be in order.

Of course, that's not the only argument for free/subsidised university access, but I'd really like to see a national debate on the subject.
Illuminati

Daredevil review

"Irish friend" is Gordon, by the way.
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It will come as little surprise to those people that know me that I'm a bit of a media geek. I have several hundred videos, I have several hundred books and I have a comic collection that you could beat a rhinoceros to death with.

Now, I haven't been much of a superhero fan since my teens, but I've kept tabs on the genre and one of the things that's obvious to even a dabbler is that something happened to comics in the 80s. Comics got grimmer, comics got grittier and comics got, well, better written. Sadly, after the groundbreaking work of a few writers (including Frank Miller wih Daredevil), a host of copycats arose who could manage the grim and gritty bit without problems but had no idea how do the "better writing" part.

Sadly, the people behind Daredevil follow firmly in their footsteps.

He's definitely grim, gritty and anguished. In fact, looking at the mess he ends up in after one fight against ordinary people, it's hard to see how he can possibly last more than a few months without being a complete wreck. Although, as other people have pointed out, he does seem to have miraculous powers of recovery (going from "almost dead" to "leaping around the room" in 3 minutes flat.

This being a superhero film we have to accept the initial concept that the accident which blinds Matt Murdock also gives him a radar sense (actually sonar, seeing as it's sound based), but no explanation is given for how this allows him to dodge bullets from dozens of guns fired at once. A few nice uses are made of the sense being disrupted by loud noises, but generally it's not terribly well used.

The fight scenes are pretty dull. The only one that had any imagination was the schoolground fight, which was nicely choreographed and imaginative. Otherwise dull, dull, dull.

Oh, and the imagery is just ridiculous. I don't mind over the top imagery (I liked Batman, after all), but here it all just seems gratuitous. Like someone had read about imagery in a book, but had no idea what it was actually supposed to do.

The plot is paper thin. Possibly thinner. At the end, Matt tells the Kingpin that the cops are coming for him. Just how do the cops know about the Kingpin? What are there reasons for suspecting Fisk? Nothing is given in the film to make us think that they have even a glimmer of a suspicion, but suddenly they have all the proof they need, and it's all happened off-screen? Oen of the worst cases of scripting-by-the-numbers I've seen in a while (except, possibly, for Die Another Day).

I quite like Ben Affleck when he plays people. His parts in Kevin Smith films are generally pretty good. And this shows through in his scenes with Jon Favreu. But when he's being heroic, it just doesn't work. Hell, the kid playing the 14 year-old Matt looked more convincing.

On the plus side, Jennifer Garner, while not my taste in women, is actually quite good. Colin Farrell's Irish accent had my Irish friend guffawing in his seat (even if Colin is actually from Dublin, he's obviously taking the piss), and he has the sense of humour necessary to this kind of film. Oh, and there was a trailer for The Core, which looks fantastic - Armageddon, only more so!

4/10

ObQuote - "I hope X2 is better than this"
Illuminati

(no subject)

Ever wondered how stores decide what prices are going to be? The answer seems to be "badly" in the past. But they're getting and better at it.

Fascinating article here.