You know, I can’t quite place my finger on it. I mean, I know what it looks like, but what is it exactly? Well, I mean, it’s like that time when you umm…
No wait, it’s like that thing that uhh…
… Wow, this Top 10 are full of skills that are really quite hard to describe. Today, we’re going to try and describe some skills that, really, do need a bit of explaining. They might not be the most complex of skills, nor necessarily the most powerful, but they are definitely hard to describe. (more…)
The Righteous Hero is someone who has a rather strong sense of justice; to the point where you question how they can be so… Well… Righteous! They’re often overbearing, self-promoters who talk a big game. Worse still, typically these do-gooders know how to back themselves up.
But hey, you’re here to see who our favourite Righteous Heroes are – So buckle up, this is our latest Top 10!
… Ah. There really wasn’t much to laugh about, was there? Anyway, welcome back to our weekly Top 10, ladies and gentlemen, where we take a topic that you choose and we choose the best of the best in that category. Today’s subject is a little bit experimental, as we’re going to be looking at our Top 10 Mad Scientists and write up our thesis about their potentials for the top spot. We’ve taken a lot of candidates and we felt like we’d do something a bit different for this one. We’ve put a pinch of this and a dash of that together to give birth to a list which shows off the best of the best of these mad scientists. Creation is a powerful tool; so let’s see what these scientists can bring to life! (more…)
In which we compare the two biggest comic book showdowns as they duke it out on the silver screen. This is the second part of a two part review because it got too long to confine to a single article. Read part 1 here. There are a lot more spoilers to be found in this section so a warning is in effect across the board.
Marvel – This is the first time I’ve seen a Marvel film to which I have read the actual comic! Oh I’m a fan of comics, sure, but my knowledge is broadly based on cartoons, games and research, I only pick up the odd comic here and there, but Civil War felt like a must have.
Well, the Nigeria replaced the Stamford Incident, a disastrous mission by a young band of heroes facing off against a far more experienced villain. The Superhero Registration Act was the original name for the Sokovia Accords but by and large they represent the same thing, except that in the comics the concern was more over identifying rather than regulating supers, and Spider-Man revealing his identity becomes a pivotal moment with major ramifications. I like that Parker and Stark are already bonding though. (more…)
This is no small matter. Welcome to part 1.
The comic book genre has held the cinema by the throat for many years now, and not to everyone’s enjoyment but there’s no question that the results have been incredible. Records have been broken, legends have been made, and culture has been revolutionised. There have been almighty successes, and there have been tragic failures, most of which have been Marvel, but the pinnacle has always been the Universe, the combination of heroes into a single coherent force, and it has been a sincere delight to watch Marvel and Disney built that cinematic empire, and something of an ordeal watching DC and Warner Brothers attempt to rush the same thing.
This year has been a pivotal moment, a test of strength of the two giants of industry. Marvel brought us the Civil War, an unforgettable moment in comic book history where a major event forces legal action to be taken by the world’s governments to be taken against every enhanced human and super-being. DC gave us the grudge match of all grudge matches, two heroes functioning at opposite ends of the spectrum, the beacon of hope in a dark world, and a dark knight who hunts evil where it hides.
There is a clear winner, and there is a clear loser, but it’s not the whitewash victory that I expected, despite my bias. Let’s start breaking this down. (more…)
I thought it would be fun to see what kind of movies were out in the 80’s that may of influenced the hacking games that I posted last week. The 80’s were a full of lots of slightly (and in places not so slightly) tacky movies. This is not a Top 10 by any means, the films are just ones that I remember having an influence on me and possibly my peers around the same time.
Weird Science (1985)
Cheesy most of the way through a classic John Hughes film where two high school “nerds” attempt to create the perfect woman ending up with Kelly LaBrock (schwing). The computer nerd of the film (Wyatt) reaches the maximum he can do with his current equipment and then proceeds to hack into an unnamed system. Cue transitional video with large tapes rolling in the background to denote activity. Yes kids this was how data was both saved and loaded on corporate systems in the dark age of the eighties.
Link: [Weird Science on IMDB]
Real Genius (1985)
A young Val Kilmer (schwing) plays Chris Knight a genius at an institution for the gifted who is duped into making a military laser (because lasers were cool in the eighties). Along the way they meet the guy who lives in their closet Lazlo who helps them alter the destination of the test. During the film you’ll see lots of cool kit, lasers, ice that turns to gas, fun uses for liquid nitrogen, eighties style graphics, some social engineering and an interesting use for popcorn.
Link: [Real Genius on IMDB]
Matthew Broderick plays a whizz kid who hacks the school computer, first of all changing his grades and then takes things further by hacking into the government security and plays a game with it. Trouble is the game he chooses is called “Global Thermo Nuclear War” and the game is not a game after all but a simulation that goes horribly wrong and causes a real reaction. Switching to Defcon 1…. BOOM
Link: [Wargames on IMDB]
Short Circuit (1986)
Ahh… I love this film so much. Although it does not involve a lot of hacking the genius of the film (played by Steve Gutenburg) does try to hack into the robot that has gone rogue due to a power spike. The robot names itself Johnny 5 and goes on a journey of discovery trying to prove that he is actually alive to avoid being dismantled by the military. I also forgot to mention the presence of Ally Sheedy (schwing)
Link [Short Circuit on IMDB]
Electric Dreams (1984)
If you have seen the more recent and awesome film called Her, just imagine almost the same film but in the 1980’s with more hair, cheesy pop and a big trak! Yes the computer who is named Edgar starts to get jealous of the new relationship Miles is getting into with Madeline who had moved in upstairs. At one point Miles think it’s a good idea to pour champagne onto the computer which only makes things worse. We here at GeekOut must state that pouring liquids onto electronics is generally a bad idea and not something we would advise. However this film is very cheesy but has a place in geek history and on top of that has a great soundtrack including a classic by Phil Oakey from the Human League.
Link: [Electric Dreams on IMDB]
The Wizard (1989)
Fred Savage plays Corey Woods whose brother Jimmy turns out to be awesome at Video games. They both run away from home and compete in what I think is the worlds first video game competition ever on film. It’s a terrible film in my opinion but really was a vision for what has only in the past 5 years or so become a reality where we now have E-Sports channels. You cannot watch The Wizard without acknowledging that the whole thing was basically a massive marketing move by Nintendo in the quest to promote a new game. I’d like to say they did well to disguise the whole thing like a film and the storyline was fantastic but that would be a big fat stack of lies. I do need to point out that the film includes the rarely seen and utterly useless Powerglove. Oh… Christian Slater is also in this film (schwing)
Link [The Wizard on IMDB]
You can’t mention eighties computer movies without talking about Tron. Kevin Flynn (played by Jeff Bridges) ex-employee of ENCOM takes it upon himself to find evidence that the corporation stole four video games he created. When hacking into the system something goes horribly wrong and Kevin is consumed by the computer and has to literally fight his way through as a program. It was genius back then and the 2010 reboot of the film was actually quite good which in itself was a rare thing.
Link [Tron on IMDB]
A normal boy is dropped off in the middle of the woods and found by a childless couple. However this is no ordinary boy and before you ask: no, he is not made of wood and no his nose does not grow when he lies! Nope, Daryl is actually a super sophisticated robot that is now trying to be recalled by the military. What was it with the military in the eighties? Daryl learns human socialisation, human traits and emotional responses. I remember watching this film as a kid and being utterly captivated by it.
Link [D.A.R.Y.L on IMDB]
Superman 3 (1983)
Probably the worst of the three superman movies in my opinion but has some classic geekery in it. Gus Gorman played by Richard Pryor has a hidden talent of being a computer genius. Working for Wealthy businessman Ross Webster (think Donald Trump) he manages to bypass the internal computer security with ease. So next time you think the government is taking too much in tax, log onto the HMRC website and when your asked for a security code type in “OVERRIDE ALL SECURITY” it’s sure to work, the eighties tell us so.
Link [Superman 3 on IMDB]
When Robocop was released it was vastly talked about for being graphically violent and hard hitting. I was only 12 at the time it was out in the cinema and rated 18 I had to wait a fair few years before I was allowed to see it. You know I think it still stands tall to this day as a film that broke boundaries. Alex Murphy a regular cop on the mean streets of a futuristic Detroit gets shot by a street gang and then rebuilt into the worlds first cyborg policeman. The geekery is all over this film from the moment they begin to put Alex back together to the unveiling of the ED-209 mech run by the greedy OCP Corporation. This was another film that received a reboot in 2014 but there was something missing from it in my opinion and the original for me still stands as a better film. all together now “Dead or alive you are coming with me”, “Your move.. creep”
I’m sure there are a lot of films I have missed, if you can think of any to add to our list then drop us a comment. If you’re one of our younger readers and have not seen these films then we encourage you to go and check them out. Then come back and tell us just how bad/ you thought they were.
Creative minds are constantly finding ways to make a new story, or to tell something in a brand new, highly imaginative way. Except for these guys who have decided to use the easiest cop-out in the world and just rehash an idea that’s already out there. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad, rehashing an idea is a sign that either something was such a good idea it had to be done again, or a lack of an imagination.
With this in mind, we’ve had a long and hard think, then we had a long and hard think and then we had a long and hard think. Now that we’ve thought about it a few times, we wrote a list then we wrote a list. We compared our new list to the original list and boom, we made our Top 10 Rehashed Ideas list. Be warned, we’re not on about a series that’s happened time and time again, but rather a concept that has been reused. Read on to see what makes it in. (more…)
Caped crusaders and righteous paladins leaping to save the day to the tune of victorious fanfares and screaming groupies, then they leap from the fray, utterly unscathed and twinkling everywhere a hero should twinkle. Doesn’t it make you sick?
Some do-gooders do so much good you start to wonder. Nobody’s perfect, so what’s wrong with them that they aren’t telling us. Or maybe their flaw is so obvious and insipid that no matter how many lives they save we just can’t bring ourselves to let them off the hook.
Welcome, you judgemental band of thugs, to our Top 10 hateful heroes!
10) Desmond Miles – Assassins Creed
Axed after only three of the… where are we now, seven games (not including the smaller titles). Alright so in his third appearance he was actually quite interesting, but the only purpose he’d served until then was to be the reason for telling the stories of assassins throughout history. Short sections of the game made to feel torturously long by the dramatic loss of action and sudden upswing in long dialogue in which your role is to get off one bed, go to another, and back again in the morning.
Desmond Miles may not be utterly loathsome in himself, but there’s no denying that his participation in the narrative seriously breaks up the flow of the action. For the bulk of the series he’s taken a back seat, his story being complete, and him being dead and whatnot. His DNA strand continues with a little narration every now and again to remind you why the later games are better.
9) Ash Ketchum – Pokemon
Get this: The opening theme to the original series of the Pokemon anime went and said words like “I wanna be the very best, like no-one ever was.” Then why, pray tell, do we have Ash Ketchum? He’s nowhere near the very best, in fact, he’s amongst the very worst in the whole of the Pokemon universe. Many people feel this way about him, that he wasn’t exactly the winning Pokemon Master that we wanted to see in our Pokemon anime.
In the manga, we had Red, who legitimately was a brilliant trainer. So then to be given Ash instead of Red, it feels like something of an insult. He might want to be the very best, but he’s only ever won one Pokemon League and that wasn’t even a main one. Bah, my character in Pokemon Black and White was a better trainer than him!
Also he hasn’t aged.
8) Captain Amazing – Mystery Men
The great and mighty guardian of Champion City, swooping in to save the day whenever it’s in peril and he’ll get good publicity out of it, for himself and his many, many… many sponsors. How else could he afford all of the arms, armour and the cool jetpack that just keep him so very amazing? I mean, he’s good friends with billionaire philanthropist Lance Hunt, sure, but Lance has his own life to lead, doing… come back to that one.
Anyway, this is the man who intentionally allowed super-villain Casanova Frankenstein back on the streets in order to raise his public profile; apparently the multi-storey statue wasn’t cutting it any more. It may be a little bit of a cheat, including the hero we’re supposed to hate on this list, but Mystery Men does such a good job of setting up this loathsome little fall-guy that it really makes you really think hard about the heroes you blindly accept as “the good guys”.
7) Wrathion – WoW
I was recently introduced to this character having dropped out of World of Warcraft… And I can’t find a single redeeming feature about him. He’s childish, he’s brash, he’s arrogant and he’s a god damned child hero. This is never a good mix. The only plausibly redeeming factor he has, is he may one day grow up… And the world (of Warcraft) will rejoice in unison at this little scamp when he stops being such a poor, typical character.
It’s all well and good wanting to draw in younger audiences, which this guy will easily do. He’s likable in that you know he means well but does so in arrogant ways. It caters well to a younger, more rebellious audience. But to the rest of us, he’s just a spoilt brat of a kid who doesn’t actually understand the direness of the situation the world is in. Urgh.
6) Alice – Resident Evil Films
“Alice? Who’s that?” says the fan of the Resident Evil game series who rightfully avoided the films, “OH!” They continue, “You mean that character who doesn’t exist in the games, has no personality, and was basically just an excuse for Paul W.S. Anderson to wiggle his wife into six films? Sure, I know Alice.” This is followed by a look of withering sarcasm.
Milla Jovovich is a more capable actress than the Resident Evil series would have you believe, and clearly she’s enjoying the whole mutant/zombie slaying rush that the role of the mysterious and ~cough~ enigmatic Alice offers. But while it’s always more fun to watch an actor in a role that they like than it is to watch an actor bored blind, there comes a time when ego stroking and self-aggrandizing gets seriously dull. And yet somehow they keep making money! At least the next one’s called “The Final Chapter”
5) Mario – Nintendo
Hear us out here. We all love Mario, this is undeniable is it? However he really is an utterly contemptible little man, because there’s another man in this equation… And several peaceful individuals are also ruined by his constant presence and his corny catchphrases. Let’s take the obvious route first and talk about his younger brother, Luigi. Mario is the poster boy of Nintendo: Super Mario Bros, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine; you get the point. What does Luigi get? An admittedly cool vacuum cleaner, but it’s still a vacuum none-the-less. Mario gets to chase the princess whilst Luigi gets to be haunted by ghosts.
So even if his brother doesn’t like him, what about all of the Goombas he’s running around and stomping on? Don’t forget all those shrooms he’s taking. Mario, you’re one pitiful, nasty little slime ball of a plumber and I hope you DO wear a tie (bonus points to anyone who gets this reference. Comment on the reference below.)
4) Scott Summers – X-Men
So on the list of loathsome slimes with superpowers, introducing the guy who cheated on his telepathic wife with another telepath! Really smart move there Cyclops. The ability to shoot force blasts out of your eyes does not make you useful and the shades make you look like a douchey frat-boy. And someone put this idiot in charge of a school? Nope. He vapourized former head of the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters, Charles Xavier.
Officially the lamest of the entire Summers bloodline, which includes Cable, Havok, Vulcan and the power-mimic Hope Summers. Poster-boy for the X-Men and devoted pupil to Xavier, Scott may very well have recruited hundreds of kids to the sanctuary of the school and the safety he never had as a child. He then proceeded to turn the place into a super-soap-opera.
3) Shinji Ikari – Neon Genesis Evangelion
Whine and whine, this is all this little boy does… But the thing is, we hate him for it. He’s not a compelling character and the worst part of all of this is that we don’t hate him just because he whines. We hate him because he is what we all hate about ourselves.
Think about it. If you’ve been faced with perils of the entire universe, that only you in your limited knowledge of this ship that no one else can control. So pray tell, why is it that the first thing you think isn’t “I must stop the baddies” but more “I must curl into foetal position and cry this nightmare away”? The reason we hate Shinji so damn much isn’t because he’s whiny, or pathetic or even weak… But he’s an accurate representation of the vast majority of humanity in a nutshell. Many of us, even the proudest, will not find the inner strength to save whole worlds.
2) Superman – DC
What? How did this happen? Number 2?
Yes, DC’s Swiss Army Super Hero may be one of the most irritating retcon engines in comic book history with a battery of powers so complete that the possibility of him losing in any situation seem as laughable as wearing your pants on the outside (underpants for our American readers). He’s not without his weaknesses of course, not just the shiny green rocks that are so rare that only billionaires and people who really want it can find it. He’s also quite vulnerable to magic and a lack of vitamin D.
He died once y’know! Just popped right back up again. That’s the top of a list of disappointments: glasses as a disguise, cape, powers “because aliens I guess”. It’s so bad it’s practically a meme! Most of us are still waiting on a decent reboot but with Zack Snyder at the helm that’s not likely to happen for another decade or so. So how did the All-American-Boyscout get beaten to the number one slot?
1) Bella Swan – Twilight
Here is where I deeply crack my knuckles.
I have read excerpts, wikis and summaries of Twilight, its’ sequels and unauthorised spin-off, and that’s about the limit of investiture I’m willing to put into it. I’m prepared to give the quality of the writing, the weaving narrative, the supporting cast of characters (who I hear are actually fairly interesting) the benefit of the doubt. But I am utterly stymied by the sparkly vampires, weirdly predatory relationship behaviour, and above it all the unabashed, sickening and utterly characterless Mary-Sue “protagonist” Bella Swan.
Loathsome? Certainly, but how do we derive hero? It’s the name we often falsely ascribe to those people around whom the story revolves, and Myers – sorry – Swan does nothing heroic to speak of. She does obtain an array of powers after her transformation into a vampire, but here’s the interesting thing: As a mortal she’s noted to be clumsy and a bad liar, afterwards she becomes uncommonly agile even for a vampire, and she also has the ability to shield herself from psychic powers, and therefore hide her thoughts.
Thus completing the role of blank canvas that any girl can pretend is really her, and super mysterious guys with rippling everything will love them. Lesson for everyone, male or female: Interesting is attractive, cardboard cutouts are not.
We have never meant the word “Honourable” less. You can leap to the rescue as much as you like, you can’t win ’em all, you’re not winning us, and you didn’t even win a spot on the list! You’re just sad.
Here’s a couple of schmucks we decided to throw a bone to. You’re welcome.
Anakin Skywalker – Star Wars
We once did Top 10 Sci-Fi Cliches. When we did that article, we listed Child Geniuses as one of the Sci-Fi Cliches that we feel is done to death and is just not fun. So Anakin fits this mould perfectly and is one of the most cookie cutter characters created. Honestly, if you watch Episode 1, he’s far too young to be doing anything of the sorts that he does… But hey, he brought in a young audience right..?
Is that really such a good thing, though? I mean apparently, this little kid built C-3P0!? Sure, he later on becomes a cool character, in the name of being a brilliant bad guy. However the young Anakin in Phantom Menace is an inexcusable mess.
Romeo, o Romeo, where for art thou, Romeo?
This dude is really just out there man. I mean, the whole tragedy could have been avoided if he wasn’t such a crazy guy who likely had attachment issues. Honestly, think about the story for a minute and you’ll come to realise that if he had literally waited for a bit and mourned his “loss”, then not all would have been lost. But then all was lost, because he goes ahead and offs himself. Don’t question why I gave such a massive spoiler there, this is Romeo and Juliet, everyone knows the “spoiler”.
Rocks Fall, Everybody Dies. Only this time, Juliet falls, Romeo (then Juliet) dies!
Ok, we’re done hating for today. Next week, no super heroism! Maybe super-heroism, but we’ll try and cut down, we promise. In order to remain on your good-side, and keep ourselves off this very list – or worse, the honourable mentions – get to voting for our next Top 10!
Didn’t see your most hated hero? Disagree with our ordering? Disagree with us in general? Or maybe you just want to chat? That’s ok, we’re here for you buddy, take a seat, I’ll get the kettle on. Join the discussion in the comments down below, and on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Ok, this one has been building for a while. I’m tired tonight, so now is the time. The internet is – after all – a place where we are all free to go off on a good, healthy rant. I encourage anyone to disagree with me, I love to get into those kinds of discussions and this is definitely a matter of personal opinion, but tonight is a soap-box night, I am in that kind of mood.
Learning About Directors
When I was young I was foolish enough to follow films based entirely on the basis of their lead actors. It took some time to figure out that that was one of the worst ways of picking my viewing material, and never was that summed up better than in Public Enemies which came out shortly after I left university. My journey into discovering directors started fairly stereotypically for a kid of 17, with Tim Burton.
Now Tim Burton is an excellent start, he has an excellent sense of pacing, an art style that blends childish wonder with pulp or gothic horror, and characters that are either adequately deep to be likeable and interesting, or so brilliantly caricatured in their single aspect that they are loveable for their disgusting comedic value. Excuses can be made for his over-fondness for Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter (they’re good at what they do, and they all work well together) and his increasingly clichéd style because he has found a formula that suits him, that he enjoys, and if you can’t enjoy what you do then why do it at all?
Held against Stephen Spielberg, I found that Spielberg’s style was to fill a film with a great deal of nothing that somehow built up to a memorable spectacle. To this day I don’t remember anything that happened in E.T. or any of the Indiana Jones films. The first Jurassic Park left me with several amazing scenes and memorable moments but so help me I can’t remember how anything got resolved, what order anything happened in, and what the story of either sequel was. I could not see the appeal, still can’t.
Rapidly I started finding those things that drew me into a film, artistic choices, editing decisions, characterization and proper pacing. I also found a lot of directors that I disliked.
300 – 2006
This isn’t exactly a film. This is a special effects real with some excellent one-liners that really did take the internet by storm, but as a film it’s kind of pathetic. Dialogue is highly noticeable in it’s absence, monologues are strung together with narrative exposition mixed with visual spectacle and anachronistic music. Fight scenes are visceral, but really just a series of stances mixed with blood-spatter, and as for an actual storyline…
There are some excellent names attached to this film, chief amongst them Gerard Butler who delivers a superb performance, Michael Fassbender who never disappoints, and Lena Headey! Lena Headey is an amazingly powerful woman reduced to a rather tragic victim, whose only response to allegations I shall summarize as “sexual misconduct” by a manipulative traitor is to stab him and inadvertently reveal his treachery.
Here was my first introduction to the name Zack Snyder. And while everyone around me raved and glorified this overblown showreel for the visual effects team, which – for the record – kudos to them all, they created something spectacular. Snyder created a new toy for the internet to play with, and his catalogue only worsened.
Watchmen – 2009
Here’s a film of two halves. It builds a world of heroes rather elegantly and defines a dynamic between them, they have personality that’s intensely human, flawed and real, with their own unique reasons for turning to heroism – responsibility, hereditary identity, a war they can’t leave behind, or a power that must be used responsibly. Alan Moore’s premise is superb, I don’t particularly like him as a person but the messages in his comics are strong and often necessary.
In steps the big sparkly hammer of Snyder, leaping in to descend in slow motion, bringing with it glorified – even sexualized violence, a lot of exposition and monologuing, and weird pacing. Twists turn into leaps of logic, plot vanishes under the weight of spectacle, and once again I’m wondering why everyone is so excited. Is it because Rorschach looks awesome, or because Dr. Manhattan is the first godlike superhero that wasn’t completely stupid? Or could it have been some other facet of Dr. Manhattan?
Sucker Punch – 2011
Beautiful trailers, a cast of actresses that had me hooked, and a fantasy world that lacked some consistency perhaps but included some seriously epic spectacles. Why then was I immediately filled with dread at the sight of the name Zack Snyder, after watching a mere two films.
Way to gloss over a sensitive subject with a series of disjointed and pointlessly flashy vignettes under the guise of what? A sloppy metaphor? Storyline goes out of the window once and for all, the conclusion is a tragedy out of place in a carnival of fantastic and excellently displayed fight scenes and adventures. I don’t doubt for one moment that Snyder was trying to address something as delicate as abuse, but to do so with skimpy outfits better placed in a fan-service heavy anime series?
Characters might have had a solitary dimension but under the single-colour wash and particle effects it became difficult to tell one from another. I recall reading – I think it was an Empire article – definitions between the characters and how they each differed in personality, I read it with some anticipation, then I watched and waited, and it was nowhere to be seen.
Man of Steel – 2013
How does this happen?
According to imdb, Snyder has two director credits to his name prior to picking up the Dawn of the Dead remake, suddenly there are blockbuster productions lining up? I reiterate, how does he do it, someone please explain this to me.
I needn’t list all the reasons I disliked Man of Steel, simply spot the patterns in the list above, they’re all there. Others have covered the other failures of this film, storyline errors and logical flaws that were fairly obvious, but for me I simply couldn’t overcome the director.
Wrapping up: I may have mentioned this dozens of times across a battery of other articles, but I have not and can not enjoy a Zack Snyder film without switching off every part of my brain not entirely devoted to watching pretty lights – actually the same parts I have to switch off in a J.J. Abrams film (although it sounds like his future projects will be somewhat less “sparkly”) – and I simply can’t keep demeaning myself like this.
So I exhale deeply, having relieved myself of my outrage I turn to you. I beg of you, find me a redeeming feature, disagree with me, tell me if I’m missing some flash of brilliance that has gone past me.