Woah, waayyyyy behind in my movie watching and still catching up on things from 2014!
Boxtrolls was the most recent movie by stop-motion animation studio Laika, whose previous efforts included Coraline and Paranorman. Using a mix of classic animation techniques and 3D printing, the studio has perfected a modern style that allows for expressive characters with a distinct visual style.
Boxtrolls is a gothic children’s tale in which the town of Cheesebridge is infested with the eponymous trolls. Rather like wombles or benevolent gremlins, the box trolls are scavengers and tinkerers. They steal things left out on the street and return them to their underground lair were the recycled items are rebuilt into gadgets for their own amusement.
However, when the story starts the box trolls have a sinister reputation. Some years ago a box troll apparently stole a human child – the theft of the ‘Trubshaw baby’ has become a cause-celebre and has been exploited by the sinister Archibald Snatcher – a pest exterminator with social ambitions and a serious cheese allergy.
The film is clever and silly. The box trolls themselves pitch their comedy at a similar point as the minions from Despicable Me – cute, incomprehensible and prone to slapstick. Aside from Winnie – the daughter of the mayor – the film is oddly devoid of women characters. Snatcher’s alter-ego Madame Frouh-Frouh aims for pantomime dame comedy but misses giving parts of the film an overtone of transgender misogyny.
Part 1 is here.
The Last Superstition – A Refutation of the New Atheism: Refuting what?
The first thing that needs to be said here is that title of Feser’s book is deeply misleading. The book is not particularly a refutation of the New Atheism. Yes, Feser frequently makes rhetorical stabs at Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens but these barbs are more like asides rather than a pulling apart of their arguments. If anything Feser is primarily dismissive of these writers and a reader hoping for a blow by blow deconstruction of the arguments put forward by modern atheists will be disappointed.
I like chocolate and I like progressive politics but maybe quinoa, GMO-free, fairtrade, organic chocolate with zero-carbon emissions is beginning to sound like a parody of what I would eat.
But yes, I bought it and ate it. It tasted exactly like chocolate. Quite what the quinoa was supposed to do I have no idea. Still non-evil chocolate is still going to make me unhealthy 😦
Just messing about with Cheetah 3D and filters in Pixelmator
Variations below the fold