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"SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)" -- A Bad Lip Reading of The Empire Strikes Back

Posted January 3 into Funny by John Birmingham

This may be their finest work yet.

5 Responses to ‘"SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)" -- A Bad Lip Reading of The Empire Strikes Back’

Rob has opinions thus...

Posted January 3
how good are puppets? so good. CGI just isn't the same.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted January 4
Damn, haven't laughed like that since Trump won. Thank you, John.

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pedrogb would have you know...

Posted January 14
I was introduced to this on Boxing Day by friends in Sydney. My kids watched it over and over. They now like to sing it in the car. Hilarious.

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DNA Dunc is gonna tell you...

Posted January 15
Seems like some people have too much free time on their hands - which is just as well, or we wouldn't have class nuggets like this. Brilliant. Laughed like a drain

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 15
These brilliant artists are doing this for profit.

Take a look at "Bushes of Love" by the same blokes.

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2017

Posted January 3 into Blunty by John Birmingham

First Blunty.

So far 2017 is off to a cracking start. It hasn't killed any meme-worthy celebrities. Donald Trump isn't president. And I'm not even scrambling through a post apocalyptic wasteland fighting for rat meat and potable water. So, yeah. Good times. This is a great year so far.

I was going to do piece on this Centrelink datamatching fiasco, but the more I looked into it, the more I needed to look into it. So I might do that in a week or two.

Today's column was a simple and silly return to the keyboard while I sort out my shit for the year. There is a lot of shit to sort.

4 Responses to ‘2017’

Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted January 3
Happy new year JB, & the rest of you lot.

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ShaneAlpha puts forth...

Posted January 3
Another book project there for you JB.

JB's Rat Du Jur, 25 fabulous recipes for cooking in a post-apocalyptic Trumpenesque wasteland.

Surtac is gonna tell you...

Posted January 3
As long as it includes the delicacy Rat-onna-stick.

Happy New Year to all!

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Don Bagert would have you know...

Posted January 3
JB, I wonder if you've noticed that Trump is scheduled to still be President (although a possibly lame-duck one) on January 15, 2021 - the AoT date of the Transition.

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NYT on bringing Peter Cushing back for Rogue 1

Posted December 29 into Movies by John Birmingham

SPOILER WARNING. Seriously. Stop now if you haven't seen the film yet.

I heard Cushing had been digitally reborn for R1 just before I saw the film. I wish I hadn't. I couldn't help but watch his scenes with a hypercritical eye, looking for the contours of the uncanny valley. I don't know that I'd have noticed much if I hadn't already known.

The New York Times has an interesting piece about the process of bringing Grand Moff Tarkon back to life. As the producers point out, it wasn't something they could avoid. “If he’s not in the movie, we’re going to have to explain why he’s not in the movie,” said Kiri Hart, a Lucasfilm story development executive and “Rogue One” co-producer. “This is kind of his thing.”

From NYT:

In striving for a balance between a digital figure who seemed real and one who looked precisely like Cushing, the “Rogue One” creators said seemingly minor tweaks could make significant differences — and these details were tinkered with constantly.
For example, the original “Star Wars” film (also known as “A New Hope”) was lit differently than “Rogue One,” raising questions of how to adjust the lighting on the character.
Hal Hickel, an Industrial Light & Magic animation supervisor, said that lighting him “the way he was in ‘A New Hope’ improved his likeness as Tarkin, but it worsened the sense of him being real because then he didn’t look like any of the actors in the scene.”

13 Responses to ‘NYT on bringing Peter Cushing back for Rogue 1’

insomniac puts forth...

Posted December 29
I don't see what would have been wrong with digging up Cushing's corpse and draping it over some sort of robotic skeleton.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted December 29
I didn't know in advance and I thought it looked amazing. Sure, if you look close enough you can tell Cushing was CGI, but the uncanny valley has narrowed significantly.

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Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted December 29
What I noted, after playing both the original and CGI on YouTube after I saw Rogue One, was that they did pretty good with the face. However, Guy Henry's voice is just a notch off. Henry's voice has a bit of crackle in it, especially when he says he want to speak with Lord Vader.


Cushing's voice always rolls, and sounds as smooth as silk, even when he is menacing.


But that wasn't enough to wreck the moment, anymore than the CGI did. However, Princess Leia looked downright creepy. Her skin too flawless, too translucent and milky. Carrie Fisher does, if you look, have some texture to her even at 19.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon mutters...

Posted January 4
With you on that synopsis Murph. I was pretty impressed with the job they did on Cushing - not so on Leia. I had to google to see if they just got some look-a-like for her role and mashed the makeup on good and proper.

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MordWa reckons...

Posted December 29
Peter Cushing was always sufficiently creepy - odd even, in the way Hammer Horror icons always seemed to be - that having him as CGI didn't bother me. I'm not sure it would work for anyone else; with the obvious exception that Yoda has of course been CGI for 20 years, and no one seemed to care...

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w from brisbane reckons...

Posted December 29
I haven't seen the movie yet, but regarding the Peter Cushing CGI and prejudicial judgements etc, I read an interview with the Australian actor Anthony LaPaglia. He moved to America and worked hard on the audition circuit but struggled to be cast. He presented as an Australian but was sure his American accent was spot on. The casting people would say, we like you but we don't think your American accent is quite right. To overcome this, he decided to tell them he was American and all problems with his accent disappeared. He ended up with seven years as the lead actor in the very successful TV show, 'Without a Trace'.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted December 30
That is the exact reason why I've stopped telling people that I can read their minds.

Oldy asserts...

Posted December 31
Well of course I knew you were going to say that

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted December 31
You are totally creeping me out, dude.

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McGuffin has opinions thus...

Posted January 1
I suspect much of the uncanny valley effect has to do with fore-knowledge. My wife and a couple of other people I've talked to weren't especially aware of Peter Cushing, or the fact that he's dead, and didn't notice he was a digital creation.

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Don Bagert would have you know...

Posted January 2
It really was good to see the lengths they went to make this movie "Star Wars, Episode 3.9" (or is that III.IX lol) - they wanted to make it reasonable for future generations to watch "Rogue One" followed by "A New Hope" with as few differences as possible.

Now, it's good that Carrie Fisher has already filmed her scenes for Episode VIII - I hope that they can write around her death so they don't have to CGI Leia again for Episode IX :P

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Rob mutters...

Posted January 2
I think I'll wait till the dvd to see it. My star wars fandom has lost its shine (and you should see my toy collection) , plus my TV is great as is my new stereo. I'm pretty sure there is nothing that is going to spoil it for me.

I got bored with reading the Star wars novels because they essentially just rehashed the first 3 movies in each novel. Yet another Death Star/suncrusher/darksabre and not enough R2D2.

The young Han Solo novels were Ok and gave him some extra depth. What we really need is a return of Jaxxon the Rabbit, now that's a character!

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Aaron mutters...

Posted January 3
I could tell there was some sort of effect but didn't really care, they are trying to tell a story and the original actor is gone. I would prefer they cast real actors with make up or something. They did a fantastic job I felt like I was watching a movie not a prequel.

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She is one with the Force

Posted December 28 into Movies by John Birmingham

By sad, unplanned coincidence we chose A New Hope as our first pick of the front yard outdoor cinema season last night. I wasn't thinking of Carrie Fisher when we settled on that. I just thought it'd be cool to revisit the story after Rogue 1.

However, watching it a few hours before the news that Fisher had passed away, I was struck by how much agency her character enjoyed, and how well she played a 1930s Saturday matinee tough grrl, updated for the 1970s. Other things occured to me as well, including how much the film owes the classic war movies of the 1950s and 60s. But Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia stood out.

I'd say she was an amazing character for that time. But given the way things have gone, she'd be pretty fucking amazing if she turned up for the first time tomorrow.

I might go read her books.

6 Responses to ‘She is one with the Force’

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted December 28
This one has hit me hard, I think because I refused to believe she could succumb to that heart attack. Princess Leia was an incredible character for any era, andCarrie Fisher was simply incredible. I definitely think I need to read her books and find out about all the wit and wisdom that has just returned to the Force. Vale Carrie :(

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w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 28
Princess Leia is a great character partly because Carrie Fisher brought more to it than was on the page. Nice to hear that Carrie was a joy to be around. It is a special person to 'have personsl issues' but still be consistently great and nourishing company.

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WarDog puts forth...

Posted December 28
She wrote one of my favourite movies "Postcards from the Edge". Vale

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Rob mumbles...

Posted December 28
Carrie Fisher and Gary the Dog used to like my tweets. Top chick.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted December 29
Personal sadness on a surprisingly profound level. She stood for, represented so much more than I realized until I learned that she died.

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted December 29
And there goes her mum to join her. Vale Debbie Reynolds.
:(
The Force must be FKN superpowered by now after all those who've returned to it in the last year.

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Merry Christmas and a better new year

Posted December 26 by John Birmingham

Delayed season's greetings to you all, excpet for those of you trapped in the past by a cruel and unforgiving international date line. For you, I'm right on time.

Spent the day slowly bloating with alcohol and roast goose.

Will spend today recovering.

9 Responses to ‘Merry Christmas and a better new year’

jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 26
Being on the other side of said date line, still coming to terms with a delicious Christmas meal and. Ah, prime rib roast and Merlot. Amazing. And I still had some time and sobriety left over to do a little writing on the latest and check in here. Happy holidays to everyone here at the 'burger.

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she_jedi reckons...

Posted December 26
Merry Christmas JB, and to all the other burgerers. Hope you're all recovering nicely from Christmas indulgences, or for those on the wrong side of the dateline, I hope you're in the middle of epic Christmas indulgences from which you will need to recover :)

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Oldy reckons...

Posted December 26
Merry Christmas JB, hope your 2017 is packed full of win

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jason has opinions thus...

Posted December 26
I am currently enjoying the best day of the year, Boxing Day. Family commitments all over, cricket on the telly, plenty of leftovers to eat at my whim and the nap window is open all day. May even indulge in a quiet one or three tonight. Batteries fully recharging for my tilt at world domination next year. It doesn't get much better in my world.

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insomniac asserts...

Posted December 26
What Jason said, and Merry Christmas to all

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Dave W ducks in to say...

Posted December 27
All the best to everyone, and thank you John.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted December 27
Peace. Such a little word. A single syllable with syllabance and a plosives bow. Yet it features in every tradition, Buddhist to Orthodox Judaism, at a Catholic Mass one shakes the hand of the stranger beside you and wish them peace. If there is anything we need at this time of year it's peace. The peace of reconnecting with family over shared table and traditions. The peace of taking time to think of those who we've lost.
I wish you a peaceful season.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted December 29
The cynicism I've learned over the years tells me that peace is an illusion at best and a condition imposed upon those vanquished for reasons of realpolitik. But the optimistic idealism programmed into me sincerely thanks you for your wish and remembers Robert Browning's beautiful resolution of cynicism and idealism when he wrote "a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a Heaven for?"

Peace to the World, goodwill towards all.

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MickH is gonna tell you...

Posted December 30
Merry Christmas & a happy new year JB
I hope this is a successful one for us

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Casting call for 'A Girl in Time'

Posted December 23 by John Birmingham

I'll probably open the spoiler threads for the book later today, but Jo MacD commented on Twitter this morning that she imagined the writer Laurie Penny as Cady.

I can totally see that. Great pick.

But she's not my version of Cady. As usual, I'm not telling anybody who I cast in the various roles. But yes, the character files in Scrivener do have extensive notes and photographs of all the main players. I find it helps with keeping the characters true to themselves.

So, keeping it spoiler free for now, I'm curious about who you cast to play Cady, Smith and friends in A Girl in Time.

34 Responses to ‘Casting call for 'A Girl in Time'’

Abe Frellman ducks in to say...

Posted December 23
Emma Stone.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted December 23
Nice.

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WarDog puts forth...

Posted December 23
Ruby Rose

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted December 23
You've all grown soft since I've been gone. And provincial.

Lena Dunham
Anum Fiyyaz
Miranda Kerr

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted December 23
yeah, fkn PUSSIES!!!!

More like Kate fkn Beconsale

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted December 23
Too old, but still good.

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insomniac mumbles...

Posted December 23
Smith should be someone grizzled, and they need a good drawl. Billy Bob, maybe Matt Damon

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JoMacD mutters...

Posted December 23
I may have missed a reference to it in the text (no spoilers please, I'm only a third of the way in) but I'm having trouble placing Smith's age. Have a feeling he would look and act older than his years due to cultural and environmental factors. At the moment my mind has him lazily played by Matt Smith as he appeared in The Impossible Astronaut- Stetson and all. In fairness, he needs to be played by someone at least as attractive as the female lead, or else it's just not fun for us male-attracted people, Nathan Fillion would do nicely thank you.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted December 23
He's about 29, but looks older because he's lived hard. Fought in the Civil War. Lives on the back of a horse.

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jl would have you know...

Posted December 23
I'd go with Tom Selleck from "Quigley Down Under" for Smith.

Cady- a girl I knew in the service who none of you would know, so I'll describe her. She was blonde, had a pretty, sharp looking face with a nose ring, and a quick wit. She had too-short hair that got her into trouble at times with dress regulations for a woman. Lots of attitude and she could focus on a task like a laser.

Chumley- Jim Parsons.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted December 23
Controversial choice! He'd need to bulk up for the third act.

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Blarkon mumbles...

Posted December 23
Even though the future lawyer that got them out of the DHS cell wasn't named Boylan, I retconned him into being Boylan.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted December 23
He is not Boylan. Boylan has had his moment.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted December 23
You promised me more one-liners than the Rhino. By my reckoning, the scales have not yet balanced.

she_jedi asserts...

Posted December 23
We could do a Dave / Girl crossover and have Boylan appear in the Trump as Pres timeline. Although there would be more entertainment value having him serving in the Trump camp, trying to bring down the administration from within.


Actually, that's probably where you went wrong Boylan, and now you're down in Mexico building the wall :P

Blarkon asserts...

Posted December 23
's time travel. There can be multiple Boylan moments. Protagonists can even go back and relive the best ones.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted December 24
@SheJedi building? With those hands? Ha ha ha ha

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted December 24
I am enthused about the possibility of Trump building a wall between Mexico and the United States. I am investing in a business with the patent on a new, lighter, taller, less expensive ladder that will be made in Mexico.

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AuntyLou mutters...

Posted December 23
Cady = Hailee Steinfeld
Chumley = Russell Tovey
Smith....well I am still having trouble with him. Why couldn't you have made him Nathan Fillion's age!

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JBtoo would have you know...

Posted December 23
Adelaide Clemens

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she_jedi reckons...

Posted December 23
Cady - Claire Foy
Smith - Tom Hardy
Georgia - Hayley Atwell
Chumley - Matt Smith

I'd also do an honourable mention for Norman Reedus as Smith too

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted December 23
OMG. Reedus is a great left field pick

AuntyLou ducks in to say...

Posted December 23
But he is too old...and ugly. And I am willing to say that being even older and arguably uglier!

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Surtac has opinions thus...

Posted December 23
No. Not Laurie. Great attitude but the hair is all wrong. You described Cady as a long hair blonde early on and that is what stuck in my head.

My pick would be a blonde version (dye or wig) of Hayley Campbell (yes Eddie's daughter). Check her on the twitterz - she has attitude to burn.

Smith - I have no idea. I see him as a fair bit older than Cady but I just can't pick it.

So it goes.

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AuntyLou mumbles...

Posted December 23
Is Cady blonde? Long thick hair...maybe I just went black/brunette because I knew a super smart kickarse chick years ago. Hence Hailee Steinfeld...she was in the True Grit remake.

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w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted December 24
Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. Casting them might be a little problematic though.

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Norsey is gonna tell you...

Posted December 25
Brianna Wu as Cady

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted December 26
This made me smile.

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jason swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 27
I may be a bit late (family can seriously eat into my reading time).
I think Michaela Bannis (upper middle bogan - Aussie tv show) is a winner. Her swearing is on a par with anyone's. Smith, Hugh Jackman would suit and wouldn't hurt the box office. Left field pick is Dr Chris Brown. At least my wife would come to the movie with me of one of them eadt the lead.

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Rob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 29
Hex from Good Game as Cady.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted December 29
Ha. Perfect.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon would have you know...

Posted January 4
i know that to cast a movie it would have to be people in the here and now but do you approach the character looks as anyone from time or just the current crop?

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david mumbles...

Posted January 5
for smith sam worthington

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