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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012, 8:52:37 AM PST
Hikari says:
>>>The animal beaver in French is castor.

Really? That makes one wonder what 'Pollox' means--rooster? It's so hard to sound bad-azz when you're named 'beaver'.

Simone de Beauvoir was rather ironically named if she was 'See Beauty', non? Though 'see beauty' does not necessarily mean that we, the onlookers would see beauty when we look at her, rather that she views beauty through her own eyes.

>>>Die Name--Blumenkranz

No, thank god. That's even worse. It may be some archaic or regional form of 'garland'. Or it may mean nothing at all. I was never one of those women who was adamantly going to hang on to my maiden name; in fact I couldn't wait to ditch it, but I'm still saddled with it in all its Germanic glory. Nobody can ever spell it, even though it's only got 6 letters and is spelled exactly as it sounds.

Posted on Dec 14, 2012, 9:26:59 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 14, 2012, 9:32:59 AM PST
H: I think "beauvoir" is better Englished as "beautiful sight".

As with any of these things--there is a rational explanation. For "castor" as beaver (from the useful online etymology dictionary):

castor (n.)
"beaver," late 14c., from O.Fr. castor, from L. castor "beaver," from Gk. Kastor "he who excels," one of the divine twins (with Pollux), worshipped by women in ancient Greece as a healer and preserver from disease. His name was given to secretions of the animal, used medicinally in ancient times. Through this association his name replaced the native Latin word for "beaver," which was fiber. Modern castor oil is first recorded 1746; it is made from seeds of the plant Ricinus communis but supposedly possesses qualities (and taste) similar to those of beaver juice, and thus so named.

As for the other of the divine twins:

twin brother of Castor, name of the second star of Gemini, 1520s, from Latin, from Gk. Polydeukes, lit. "very sweet," from polys "much" (see poly-) + deukes "sweet." The contraction of the name in Latin is perhaps via Etruscan.

And the divine twins themselves (from the Wikipedia article, which puts things more pithily than I might):

In Greek and Roman mythology, Castor[1] and Pollux[2] or Polydeuces[3] were twin brothers, together known as the Dioscuri.[4] Their mother was Leda, but Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus, king of Sparta, and Pollux the divine son of Zeus, who visited Leda in the guise of a swan. Though accounts of their birth are varied, they are sometimes said to have been born from an egg, along with their twin sisters Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra.

In Latin the twins are also known as the Gemini[5] or Castores.[6] When Castor was killed, Pollux asked Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together, and they were transformed into the constellation Gemini. The pair was regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmo's fire, and were also associated with horsemanship.

In Roman thought, the divine twins aided Roman armies on the battlefield.

Die Name--nur Kranze? Oder etwas gleich?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012, 9:42:29 AM PST
Hikari says:
Etwas gleich.

I'm not telling. :p

Posted on Dec 14, 2012, 10:08:23 AM PST
H: Tsk. Depriving us of an exercise in Germanic etymology.

Posted on Dec 14, 2012, 10:20:09 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 14, 2012, 10:22:08 AM PST
Cavaradossi says:
I just read elsewhere on the forum that the upcoming Superman movie will be produced by Christopher Nolan and directed by Zac Snyder. Since Nolan destroyed Batman for me and I didn't care for Snyder's Watchmen, I don't expect much from that pair.

I wrote on that site (Man of Steel):

Nolan and Snyder......?! The deathwatch can commence now.

P.S. I expect all negative votes.

Posted on Dec 14, 2012, 10:29:42 AM PST
Cav: You are quite correct; that does not bode well in the least for the film.

Two quick questions, by the way: first, what did you think of Saturday's broadcast of Ballo? I found it most enjoyable.

Second: what was your reaction to the Monteverdi Vespers?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012, 11:22:28 AM PST
Kelly says:
>Kelly: Now, now, let us not bash lawyers. A useful profession on the whole.

I think bashing lawyers sounds like a GOOD pastime. Do you prefer wooden or aluminum bats?

Posted on Dec 14, 2012, 11:51:42 AM PST
Kelly: In the business world, there are several categories of people far less useful than lawyers: accountants, and HR people, the latter in particular.

Uzis would be preferred.

Now, if you are talking personal injury lawyers, a few whacks might not be amiss.

Posted on Dec 14, 2012, 2:03:40 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 14, 2012, 2:05:49 PM PST
Cavaradossi says:
William A. Smith

I have really been enjoying the Monteverdi Vespers, though I will admit I have to take it in periods of twenty to thirty minutes. It's fascinating to hear how he sets the text. That shouldn't have surprised me since I've heard the three operas. They impressed the living daylights out of me and I never expected them to do that. I think I may have mentioned before that I bought the Archiv Gardener set, not the earlier one of Decca.

As to Sat's Ballo, I haven't heard the whole thing yet, but it's on tape for hearing before next week's broadcast. Of what I heard, I thought Alvaro did a nice job, Hvorostovsky's rarely disappoints, though I don't think his is a natural Verdi voice, and much of the conducting worked for me. I do admit, though, that I don't get Radvanovsky and have to grit my teeth through virtually everything she sings. I really don't care for the actual sound of her voice, and the manner in which she sings, which always seems so forced to me, making my throat ache as I listen to her. Moreoever, I don't hear all this dramatic involvement so many of her fans praise. I just hear one unpleasant sound and manner all the way through her roles. Considering her large fan base, I am willing to concede I may just be missing the boat on a great singer, but, if so, it's not for lack of trying to board.

The act two love duet seemed several degrees more passionate than one often hears it, and that was to the good. It began to suggest the erotic, something Verdi seemed to be evoking in it. I lowered the furnace thermostat a degree or two at its conclusion.

What were your impressions?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012, 3:22:07 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 14, 2012, 3:33:35 PM PST
Cav: Favorable. In re: Radvanovsky; she has that Slavic metallic tinge, and either one likes it or one doesn't. Reminded me a bit of Obratsova, whom I saw as Amneris. Overall dramatically convincing, and well paced--critical for me. It's an interesting score, with its mixture of different moods. Verdi really is the top of the heap for Italian opera, in my view. No one else, overall, is nearly in the same class--except perhaps Rossini. (I like bel canto, but--to use a metaphor--there's not enough red meat there.)

Monteverdi's operas are quite astonishing, particularly Poppea. Did you hear them in the Leppard performing editions, or early music renderings? I've seen all three of them, at different times, I think in every case in the Leppard versions. In the Vespers--the real show-stopper for me is the Sonata sopra "Sancta maria, ora pro nobis", which is sublime. Did I mention I sang the work when I was in grad school? (As a chorister.)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012, 4:00:43 PM PST
Kelly says:
WAS - how much of the lawyer usefulness is because they shroud things in jargon it takes another lawyer to decipher? How much is defensive? By that token, nerve gas was useful if the other side had it too, to discourage them using it

Posted on Dec 14, 2012, 4:43:25 PM PST
Cavaradossi says:
William A. Smith

Re the Monteverdi operas

I, too, heard Ulysses in the Leppard version on the radio. I have also seen the three Ponnelle films, which I videotaped off the air. I also bought the commercial release on VHS of Poppea. I also have two older versions on LP, one on Vox and the other on Seraphim. It has been so long since I listened to them that I don't remember too much about them other than that the Vox was pretty hard going. I should give it a try again, though, one of these days, because, back then, I wasn't used to such early music, especially done in such a spare style.

My recollection is that the Seraphim set is based on a Glyndebourne production using the Leppard reconstruction. My memories of it are even fainter than those of the earlier set. It's possible I never even finished it. Both sets were purchased before I was really ready for them.

I've never been a big Harnoncourt fan, but I did enjoy his conducting of the three operas for the Ponnelle films.

Posted on Dec 14, 2012, 7:26:52 PM PST
Cav: Really? I'm a huge Harnoncourt fan. I have his recordings of the operas.

Do you know the Monteverdi madrigals agt all?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012, 7:28:45 PM PST
Kelly: What is so difficult to understand about legal writing? It's very precise, admittedly with a specialized vocabulary. It seeks to remove as much ambiguity as possible--that is, if well drafted.

Posted on Dec 14, 2012, 7:48:23 PM PST
Kelly says:
isn't that the definition of jargon?

Posted on Dec 14, 2012, 9:21:08 PM PST
Cavaradossi says:
William A. Smith

My dislike of Harnoncourt's conducting refers to his leading classical and romantic music. I have enjoyed his Bach and Handel, particularly his earlier recordings, but when it comes to Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, etc., I find him willful to an extreme. That said, I do enjoy his Salzburg Nozze di Figaro video with Anna Netrebko and Bo Skovus, even as funereally slow as it is. However, it's the production and singing I like - his conducting less so.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 15, 2012, 1:52:10 AM PST
C McGhee says:
William A. Smith- let us not bash lawyers

I agree, nerve agents work better & require less aim.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 15, 2012, 8:09:52 AM PST
Kelly: Of course not, inasmuch as jargon tends to have a negative connotation. Legal writing seeks to clarify, not obscure. It may sacrifice elegance for precision--but not invariably.

In a society dedicated to the rule of law--we need lawyers. Good ones, of course.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 15, 2012, 8:12:25 AM PST
Cav: I've liked his Beethoven. I dislike most of Schubert (to me, it sounds like a bad imitation of Mozart by someone without any discipline), except for the lieder, so I will not opine on that subject. (There are few pieces that I have sung that I dislike more than the Schubert G-major mass.)

Posted on Dec 15, 2012, 5:28:27 PM PST
Cavaradossi says:

I've just seen the last of the Morse series, "Something" Through the Woods, No. 29 of the 33 episodes. This was the one that I had a very long wait before receiving and it was worth the wait, with one of the most dramatic endings in the entire series. Both Lewis and Morse were in mortal danger there in the woods, but they made it through. I'm going to miss the irascible old coot! At least Lewis is still around.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012, 10:50:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 17, 2012, 10:55:02 AM PST
Hikari says:
Hi, Cav--
Netflix is finally releasing some of the Morse backlog: today I will be getting "Who Killed Harry Field?" (#18) and I have nos. 19-21 next in the pipeline. The only one left on Very Long Wait is Absolute Conviction (the one with Sean Bean). "Harry Field" is one of a couple I started watching via YouTube, but I grew annoyed by that viewing experience and didn't finish them. The Australian episode is another.

"Harry Field" concerns a dead artist and while the plot was only semi-involving, it's a noteworthy episode for some standout Morse-Lewis moments, such as when Morse, discovering that the victim was carrying a motorbike key with the logo of his own garage on it, tells his sargeant that *he* will get to conduct the interview of the mechanic. Robbie is happy, thinking this means his boss is entrusting him with the lead on the case--only to discover that Morse only needs him for Geordie to Standard English translation. Ha. Gently uses Bacchus in the same capacity. At least Gently makes some effort to understand the locals; Morse just airily doesn't bother. Why should he, when he's got Lewis?

I'm fond of this episode for one of the more touching scenes between the two. As you recall, Morse finds out (thorough snooping) that Robbie is contemplating taking the Inspector's exam. He is none too happy about the prospect of losing his right-hand man. Lewis is anxious about whether he is ready.

L: Do you think I'm good enough, sir? To recommend for promotion?
M: (long sigh) I regret to tell you, Lewis . . . .yes, you're good enough.

He kept Robbie waiting for several tense beats, expecting a different answer. Morse always was a bit of a sadistic basterd. But he cannot tell a lie. The interplay between their two sets of eyes is very nice in that scene. But I have noticed that the photographer insisted on getting EXTREMELY CLOSE to their faces at crucial moments. How easy can it be to play a touching, intimate scene with a camera practically up your nose? Not very, I should think.

I find it impossible to not feel the humanity in this pair, as wildly different as they are. It's all down to our actors, who make you feel rather regretful that Morse and Lewis are only fictions, but we have the next-best thing.

I'm working my way through Lewis again, and over the weekend enjoyed the 'flipping elves' episode and the 'Quality of Mercy' episode in which Lewis confronts his wife's killer. If 'The Life Born of Fire' epi was Laurence Fox's coming-out party, this one had a tour-de-force scene for Kevin Whately in that interrogation room. Laurence Fox's secret weapon, apart from his dry-as-toast line readings, are his eyes. While Robbie was going ballistic on the con man responsible for killing his wife, in the background we were treated to a little tableau I call "Eyeballs in the Corner". Hathaway is completely still, but his eyes get huge during this moment, watching his normally mild-mannered boss get so ominous, you can bet Hathaway's thinking . . "Oh, geez, the guv is going to rip his head off--should I let him?"

Robbie was too hard on James for choosing his moment to tell him the news he'd been carrying around like a burden for a day. Had I been in his shoes, I wouldn't have handled it any differently . . . you can't just blurt something like that out on the phone. H.'s consulting with Ma'am shows just how heavy the burden was, because I think the boys ordinarily try to keep their interactions with her to a minimum. If they are called to the principal's office, it usually means they are in trouble. James says how Lewis is a sweet guy but just very guarded and private. Ma'am recognizes the irony--

I: And you're not exactly a breezy extrovert yourself, are you?
H: (rueful smile) No.

I wish I could have jumped on the Morse train when it was still on the air . . jumping back and forth between 'baby' Lewis and mature Lewis adds an extra dose of rue. He really is the anchor of it all . . and that may have not been apparent in the early days when he was working with Morse.

I don't know if you've seen my recommendations for New Tricks, but that is what I prescribe as an antidote to any sad Morse-Lewis feelings. Dennis Waterman worked with John Thaw on The Sweeney, and he's a hoot. It's a cop procedural, and people die, some horribly, but even so they manage a seriocomic tone. You've never quite seen anything like it in the cop procedural before. "The Closer" with Kyra Sedgwick is close. I think of it rather like Dumas--Imagine if the Three Musketeers were living in our present day, as cops, and came out of retirement to solve cold case crimes. Milady is their boss. Yeah, it's kind of like that. We've got our Athos, world-weary, mature in spirit, the de facto leader of the other clowns, played by James Bolum; Dennis Waterman is our Aramis, inveterate ladies' man, and Alun Armstrong provides most of the comedy relief as our Porthos, a sort of bipolar savant named Brian. In the first season, they had a young D'Artagnan, a black constable computer whiz named PC Clark but he seems to have decamped, sadly.

It's great fun.

Posted on Dec 17, 2012, 11:21:38 AM PST
Cavaradossi says:

Glad to hear Netflix is finally sending you some Morse. With the "Woods" episode, I've finished the series and I do think it was well worth my time. One thing about the series, and it surfaces in Lewis, too, though not usually as heavily, is officialdom's general and constant unhappiness with Morse and his methods. I never got why, since he invariably solved difficult cases by them. Were his superiors possibly intimidated by his knowledge? If so, that was hard to discern. Maybe they just didn't like him personally and weren't much moved off that sentiment by his successes. Maybe it was jealousy.

I saw the Lynley episode last week in which he visited Havers' new apartment and the humorous business with the knickers in the silverware drawer. That party pooper, Helen Clyde as played by Ms. Vickerage, was prominently present in the episode. Way too much HC, if you ask me. The funny thing is, I can't now remember what the crime was in the show, not that I care. As with Morse, Lewis, and George Gently, the draw of the show is really the detectives.

I will investigate New Tricks on your enthusiastic recommendation. From what I've read about it, I haven't previously been interested for some reason.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012, 11:54:11 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 17, 2012, 1:10:39 PM PST
Hikari says:
Hello again . . I've been absent from the board over the weekend--I've lost my Internet signal at home and, suffering from a bad cold, I didn't feel like going out to my normal free Wi-Fi haunt (Starbucks). Still have the cold, but if I'm compelled to be at work, at least I can find out what the board's been up to.
A while back, I snagged a Lynley Sets 1-4 for an absolute steal, and have just finished working my way back through it. The scene you describe, what I call "Toast Chez Havers" is a great favorite here. If you continue on to Seasons 3 and 4 you will notice greatly raised production values. The cinematography has always been nice, but it gets to look even more expensive in subsequent seasons. Lynley gets even more stylish and more unhappy. He's got some terrible things coming in his future, and Nat Parker will be called upon to play Lynley unravelling. The unflappable demeanor gets a bit flapped. Through it all, he relies on Havers more and more. Had the series not been cancelled abruptly in the middle of the 6th season (which has only 2 episodes instead of 4), they may have explored what the deepening friendship between them might mean. The salient difference between them (apart from the obvious physical characteristics) is that Barbara is very self-sufficient, and Lynley is not. He's really not good at being on his own, which is what pushed him into the chilly arms of Helen in the first place. Even when the Inspector is feeling anguish, he does it stylishly. There's a scene in a later episode where Tommy's all angsty and he's leaning against the wall like he's too world-weary to stand up without support. Tommy may be in mental turmoil but the still-life arrangement is artful. Does one suppose Nat Parker is completely aware of his presentation? One supposes, yes. He's a tailor's dream, that one. Because even when Tommy is in the pit of despair, he always wears his clothes beautifully. I suppose beauty like that gets used to having an admiring audience around, which is why Tommy hates being alone.

The latter three seasons are the strongest, acting-wise, and for an additional bonus? No Lesley Vickerage. The problem is not Helen as such; the problem is *her* as Helen. I can't believe, of all the actresses that would have been considered for the role, that they went with Vickerage. Tommy and Helen are supposed to be close friends before they get romantically involved, but Ms. Vickerage never acts toward him with anything other than disdain verging into outright dislke. Don't know if that was her direction, or the only emotions she's capable of playing, but she is so sour, caustic and superior toward Tommy all the time . . only a masochist would have taken that on. She's horrid, and a blight on the series. Something terrible happens to the Lynleys at the end of Season 3, and it's hard to feel the appropriate sympathy because we are just so relieved to be rid of Lady LemonPuss.
As for 'officialdom's unhappiness with Morse . . . I always thought it was played more for comic effect--the rather snarky relationship Morse has with his superior, DCS Strange is often quite delicious. Morse is a very disdainful subordinate; one gets the sense that his superficial air of deference to authority is tissue-paper thin and could tear at any moment. Basically, Morse thinks everybody else around him is an idiot. He tolerates and eventually grows fond of Lewis . .but the powers-that-be are not to be trusted. Don't you feel a definite Holmes-Watson dynamic at play here? Morse, with his superior classical education and intellect that approaches problem-solving through making unconventional connections, loves music and art but eschews 'polite society' and its conventions to a large degree, not because he doesn't know 'how' to schmooze, but becasue he thinks most people are not worth the effort--has his loyal retainer, the conventional, salt-of-the-earth Lewis, the only one who will tolerate his ascerbic company, and who indeed looks up to him when all others around him think Morse a bit of a kook and a freak for his very unusual trains of thought and his disinclination to curry favor and otherwise play nice in the sandbox--it's totally Sherlock and John, no? I think that's why I love Robbie so--I've always had a soft spot for the Watsons--those unsung heroes of any great partnership. The Sherlocks get all the flash and all the charisma and attention. The Watsons are the legs and the heart. Sherlock Holmes is immortal, according to Mr. Smith. But imagine if you will that the Reichenbach Fall had been the end of the road for the Holmes-Watson partnership, and Watson got his touching goodbye to his mentor & best friend--do we not think it might have resembled the scene at the end of "The Remorseful Day"?

Strange (to Lewis): You know, Lewis, Morse is a very good copper, but sometimes he's more trouble than he's worth.
(Masonic Mysteries)

Unconventionality tends to make the conventional tired. That's why Strange says that.

Posted on Dec 17, 2012, 1:39:06 PM PST
Cavaradossi says:

In New Tricks, who does the hard physical part of policing for the older detectives, like chasing after a runner or climbing up precarious ladders or fences and jumping over?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012, 1:57:08 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 17, 2012, 3:27:20 PM PST
Hikari says:
There hasn't been too much of that so far. The advantage of working in UCOS (Unsolved Case & Open Investigation Squad) is that the crimes are 15-20 years or more old. Meaning that many of the perps are dead or else as old and doddering as our senior crew. Brian, at 58, is the baby. He had to take early retirement for reasons of mental health (he had a crack-up after a suspect died in his custody). The other two guys are older, and Jack (Bolum) who retired in good standing as a Assistant Chief Superintendent is probably late 60s. Gerry, the rogue, had some dodgy items on his sheet as a cop and I think retired before he could be fired and lose his pension. He's in the 62-65 age bracket. Their guv, DCS Sandra Pullman is mid-40s and dishy. She gets to play the straight woman, but she's got her own interesting little sidelines. They did have a set of young legs in Season 1 in the person of uniform constable PC Clark, a young black guy who was the tech specialist on the team, but he disappears without comment in Season 2. Pity, because he was really starting to bond with the older guys.

I dare you to watch the pilot episode and not be immediately hooked.
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