wordpress.com is disgusting

I’ve got some blogs hosted on wordpress.com, and when I looked at the stats for one of them today, this thing popped up:

Wha… My blog isn’t “set up” unless I signed up for some weird Google product?

When I click on that link I get this:

There’s no way to say “I don’t fucking care about any of this”.

So now I guess I just have to live with half the screen on the stats page being taken up by a Google ad without any way to make it go away.

What the fuck, WordPress.com? These are the offputting upsell strategies expected of corporations like Network Solutions (who anybody sensible have severed ties with); not of Automattic.

unsilence

Hidden tracks on CDs used to be a pretty common thing. Not “real” hidden tracks: You could play tricks with the directory structure and put a track before the first one, so you have to skip back from 1 to get to 0.

No, the common way to do this is to pad the final track with, say, ten minutes of silence, and then the “hidden” song starts.

While the concept of hidden tracks is fun, in practice it’s really annoying, because it means that you’re sitting there listening to silence for ten minutes.

So once upon a time I wrote a little C program that would look for silences in the last track of all the CDs I have ripped, and if it finds (long) silences, then splitting happens.

As CDs are getting less popular as a means of distribution (to put it mildly), the hidden track thing has all but disappeared, too, but this week I got
the new Deathcrush album, and it employs this tactic.

I started looking around for the scripts to split the file, and then I discovered that it was in an obscure region of my home directory, not touched for ten years, and not put on Microsoft Github.

But now it is.

It’s probably a couple of decades too late to be useful to anybody, but there you go. It compiles and everything on the current Debian, which just amazes me. I mean, I wrote it in… like… 2003?

Go Linux.

NFLX2019 April 19th: Music Teacher

Music Teacher. Sarthak Dasgupta. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★

I’ve been following the “drama” and “comedy” lists here and thinking that I was getting all the Netflix Originals. But then I noticed that I wasn’t getting “The Silence”, which I thought was a Netflix Original.

It turns out that it’s on this list instead, which is a list of movies Netflix doesn’t have distribution rights for in all markets. So is it a “Netflix” movie? Uhm…

If I’d know about this before I started, I would have added those movies to the plan, but I didn’t, and now it’s too late, so we’ll go with the original definition of “Originals”.

Besides, that stupid table doesn’t include any release years, annoyingly enough. And why is it split into all these sub-tables anyway instead of just adding more columns to segment and then people can sort as they want?

Gah.

ANYWAY. This movie!

Oh, it’s another Indian movie. Is this the first one in Hindi that I’ve seen in this blog series?

Most of the previous ones have been “social issue” movies, but this looks like it might be slightly more entertainment oriented…

Oh! And now he started singing! This is the first musical in this blog
series! Yay!

Or… perhaps it’s not a musical: The protagonist is a music teacher, so there’s a few natural chances to drop in some singing here and there without going full dance production.

This is a very good-looking movie: It’s got fabulous locations, sensitive cinematography and attractive and convincing actors.

It’s got a very simple plot of longing and love and regret and envy and is easy on the brain. I like it, but I feel it insisted on some bits for way too long.

And the denouement when we finally get to see this fabulously famous singer is a let-down because it’s autotuned and melodyned to death and the show looks kinda cheap.

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.

NFLX2019 April 19th: Someone Great

Someone Great. Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★

I’m like totes caught up with the Netflix (this movie was released today), so I’m watching other movies on the side. But since they’re not really uh conceptual? then I’m not blogging about them, for which everybody’s happy, I guessing.

But I’ve discovered over the years that it’s really handy to have an external log of the movies I’ve seen: If not I just forget whether they’re any good or not.

The nightmare is over! I started a new “slush movie” blog! Which is a web log of movies with or without comment.

You’re welcome.

BUT HERE WE ARE BACK AT THE NETFLIX BLOG SERIES!

So what’s this then? It’s one of those modern comedies about young people, and from the title there’s probably romance involved.

I enjoy the performances of the central actors… They’ve got a kinda semi-raunchy lighthearted vibe going on. Less successful are the dozens¹ of Daily Show/Saturday Night Live guys who show up in minor parts.

And the jokes OK, but they’re not gut busters. I did love the horrified look on the fashionishta’s face when she felt a denim jacket: “It’s so crunchy. Is that NEW DENIM!?”

(It was somewhat confusing, though, because the denim jacket she was touching was a very well-worn, soft vintage one. I guess the prop/costume person didn’t get the note.)

The script has the usual signs of being generated for Netflix: There’s a random walk of elements (a pot movie with young women, and this time the Wise Black Man Giving Advice (and selling drugs) is RuPaul).

I like it.

In the final third it predictably crashes badly when they try to engineer The Serious Last Act.

I see that some reviewers question why this isn’t a TV series instead, but to me it doesn’t feel like a TV series at all. The structure is totally movie, and the cinematography is definitely a step above. The colour grading (or something) is a bit weird, though: You have a super-saturated scene, and then we switch to the reverse, and then everything’s washed out, and then back again.

——-

¹) Not accurate.

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.

NFLX2019 April 12th: The Perfect Date

The Perfect Date. Chris Nelson. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★

I think imdb says it perfectly:

i think this in one of the many netflix-production that will place itself in the basket of inrecognition, unless you like social network-work, and the freshnes of new juicy fruits entering the silver screen with beauty and galore . i think the cast does a decent job, with acceptable acting, but the story are to innovative anb the characters are too boring,so its lack of sting makes this flick a bit benign. the concept of ideas are good but a bit spoiled on the fun. the filming are ållreit, but the timeline and quantities of customers makes it a bit blurry.

ANYWAY!

This is a mvoie that wants to be a zany Cary Grant/Katharine Hepburn screwball comedy. Only in 2019. And I’m not sure that it fails. I mean, not completely. The actors have got it going on, and the characters are fun. None of the lines are actually really literally funny, but there’s plenty of amusement going on.

The physical comedy bits made me smile a lot, and the montages are perfect.

As usual I’m totally at a loss for how old people are supposed to be in these movies. Several of them mention being in high-school but look like they are in their mid-20s and act and speak as if they’re in their early 30s. It’s odd.

It’s a pretty weird movie, and it’s one of those that gets better as it goes. It’s very 2019 with all the apps and the ridic jobs.

This doesn’t feel like an algorithmically generated movie, so it bucks the trend of these Netflix movies. Instead it kinda out of the left field, and I love that.

The fun kinda pauses in the third act. They decide that they have to get real at the end. I hate that.

But then they add a fun ending. Yay.

So: It’s a bit uneven, but I really admire the sheer kookiness of it all. I smiled a lot, but I didn’t laugh.

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.

NFLX2019 April 12th: Who Would You Take to a Deserted Island?

Who Would You Take to a Deserted Island?. Jota Linares. 2019. ☆☆★★★★

A Spanish Netflix movie! I am exite!

But… well, there’s good bits. They’ve gone for a very low-makeup look for the actors (you can see every pore), and the actors are pretty good. Especially the women. But it’s difficult to get into this movie: I mean, what’s it even about? It’s a bunch of pretty and pretty young people talking and flirting with each other, but the dialogue feels pretty awkward and unnatural. And not in a heightened reality way, but just… well… awkward.

The cinematography is pretty off-putting: It’s all done with a very mobile camera: It’s either a steadiccam or just some guy with an Iphone. It’s not shakycam per se, but the camera is never not shivering and moving.

And the colours are all washed-out and everything looks like it’s happening on a sunny Sunday morning.

Most of the Netflix movies I’ve watched for this blog series have had a pretty obvious audience: “If this is the sort of movie you like, you’ll like this movie” all the way. Except the Indian movies, which are somewhat baffling.

But I can’t really pinpoint an audience for this either. It has no obvious hooks, and just kinda seems to meander aimlessly… That’s a thing I normally like, but I wonder whether the filmmakers promised “we’ll make a movie that Pedro Almodovar fans will like!” and then didn’t quite know how to deliver.

Or… are they going for Tennessee Williams? I think they are!

It doesn’t help. The “shocking” “reveals” during the Night Of Truth are… well… positively medieval.

Andrea Ros is good, though.

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.