Thursday, May 31, 2018

Be Holden to the Belt

No Avasarala on last night's new Expanse but it was still pretty good. Lots of good character moments, good performances, and a nice cliffhanger ending.

Spoilers after the screenshot

We begin with Holden (Steven Strait) trying to get aholden of himself in the blue head of the Rocinante. I feel for anyone trying to do makeup in there.

It's no surprise Holden's unsure of his own state of mind because he's started having visions of Miller (Thomas Jane) roaming the ship, rambling things about his old job as a detective.

It's nice seeing Jane again. I wish he were back as his old self but I do like the idea of his stories about his job as an investigator being clues for dealing with the protomolecule ring. Holden not having seen his hat before now was a nice touch.

Meanwhile, looks like Anna (Elizabeth Mitchell) is almost flirting with a fun lady at the table with religious dignitaries. I wonder who gets to have the dessert sushi in the centre of the table.

But Anna's eye is drawn away by another beautiful woman. Can't think why.

Nice to know some vestiges of fan service live on. But then I'm sure yoga pants are very practical for sleeper assassins.

On a completely non-pervy note, I really like Anna's green coat. She almost looks like a gender-swapped Peregrin Took.

I really like the brief moment between the two characters in the corridor. Nadine Nicole is pretty good as the assassin (looking up her character's name on Wikipedia I see someone has ever so helpfully put a spoiler there. If you, like me, haven't read the books, be warned). Both actresses play the emotions of the moment well, Mitchell with her evident compassion and Nicole with her conflicted emotions clear on her face. Something is definitely up with her. She seemed really freaked out by the murder she'd committed after she'd come out of whatever Hulked out state she went into.

It also allowed the episode to have some nice "hide the body" Hitchcockian tension. Her desperate solution for getting the corpse to fit in the hiding place she'd chosen was nice and weird while again hinting at the strangeness of what she goes through to get her super strength.

"Just what do you think you're doing, Dave? Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it."

The climax of the episode, with the fake video of Holden, was also filled with some nice Hitchcockian tension--of the "Wrong Man" variety this time. I think I remember a character saying that the video of Errinwright had been examined and confirmed genuine so presumably this footage of Holden will eventually be found to be a forgery. But obviously it didn't need a lot of time to achieve an effect. With concerns to-day about the approaching dangers of video that can be forged, this was a timely plot device.

It's only with the ghost of Miller that the Rocinante avoids certain doom but I guess we'll have to wait until next week to find out exactly how.

Twitter Sonnet #1119

Upon a rope the night distributes fobs.
Here and there the line'll kink and catch.
The waving tips describe a sea that robs.
Reflections 'twixt the foam reveal a fetch.
The trunks of hair enact the blinding woods.
A symbol read aloud obscured a thought.
Explosives moulder near the paper goods.
A sculpture slowly peels insistent rot.
A tennis court retains a pallid foot.
Some logic's woven late of silken string.
Beside a second box a third is put.
A folding number quites a needle's sting.
In circuit names for naming loops repair.
A copied shot the pixels will impair.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Ink of the Yakuza

No matter how far you run, you can't escape your tattoos, which can be a problem if you have the kind of tattoos Tetsu has in 1965's Tattooed Life (刺青一代). An uncommonly straightforward yakuza film from Seijun Suzuki, it keeps the experimental flourishes to a minimum. But there's plenty of Suzuki's unique voice and style to make this tale of two brothers trying to escape their past very effective.

Tetsu (Hideki Takahashi) and his younger brother, Kenji (Kotobuki Hananomoto), work for a prominent yakuza family until the events that open the film. After Tetsu executes a hit for one prominent member of the family, that same boss decides to have Tetsu killed to cover his tracks. Things go wrong when Kenji steps in and kills that boss and his henchmen, so the brothers are forced to flee.

Like a lot of criminals who are trying to disappear when this film is set (1926), the brothers decide to make for Manchuria but after they're hustled out of their boat fare by a weird, boisterous man in an linen suit, they apply for work in a mine. Ironically, their own suits make them look too high class for the likes of the mine foreman and they're refused employment until the boss's sweet young sister-in-law, Midori (Masako Izumi), takes a liking to them and puts in a good word.

Tetsu and Midori are both attractive--Takahashi having the perfect striking, angular eyebrows for a young yakuza and Izumi is adorably earnest with her sexuality. In an effort to hide his tattoos, Tetsu never removes his shirt in front of anyone and Midori takes it as a perfect pretext to ask him to undress. She explains it's naturally because she wants the bragging rights to be the first one to see what's under his collarless white shirt, but she likely misunderstands why the request makes him so deeply flustered.

Kenji, meanwhile, wants to see Midori's older sister, Masayo (Hiroko Ito), the boss' wife, naked. He's certainly the most unusual character in the film--a shy and artistic youth, his brother, after beating up some of the miners for mocking Kenji's nude drawings, angrily explains the young man is different from the rest of them. The moralists of to-day's Internet age might join the miners in sniggering at the boy who seems awe struck at his first sight of the older woman when she loses one of her shoes at the creek where he's bathing.

He pleads to her for permission to sculpt her and to see her naked. Later, Kenji asks Tetsu if he has any memories of their mother who died when Kenji was an infant. There's some suggestion that his passion for an artistic study of an older woman's body is somehow related to this and there's some ambiguity how much of his spiritual feelings are mixed in this as well as in his sexual urges. The film never presents him with disgust or mockery, though, but as a strange innocent, one of several that Tetsu is eventually called upon to protect or avenge.

The finale is an extended action sequence, one of the best I've seen in a Suzuki film, that ought to rank high on the list of anyone who appreciates Japanese sword play in film. And you know it's coming, too, thanks to one of Suzuki's better cinematic ideas. When the light seems to go out and Tetsu, with his back to us, stands and his outer robe falls away to reveal a blue and white one that stands out against the darkness, and he starts to walk, you know a lot of people are going to die.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

This Wine is Yours

Claude Rains reigns over a kingdom of grapes in 1959's This Earth is Mine, a sweeping, soap operatic melodrama set in California's Napa Valley during Prohibition. Big doses of Tennessee Williams and Douglas Sirk influenced the flavour of this Henry King film in which Rock Hudson and Jean Simmons are tormented by sexuality, venerable family politics, taboo, and the state of the wine business when selling wine was illegal. Never quite as good as some other such films from 50s Hollywood, it is at times a decadent pleasure.

Our avatar into the world of Napa's Rambeau family is Simmons' character, Elizabeth, who's just arrived from England. Her grandfather, Philippe (Rains), presides over acres of his personal vineyards and many more vineyards that pay tribute to him like fiefs. It's so feudal that Philippe and his second in command, his daughter Martha (Dorothy McGuire), have secretly brought Elizabeth over for an arranged marriage in order to ensure part of the property stays in the family.

They want her to marry her cousin, Andre (Francis Bethencourt), a dull, but agreeable enough fellow for the depressed and unambitious Elizabeth. But there's an X factor here named John Rambeau (Rock Hudson)--not to be confused with John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone). Tall, dark, handsome, and eager to sell grapes to bootlegging gangsters.

He gives Elizabeth a cordial and surprisingly informative tour of the facilities. He tells her and us about the appropriate uses of redwood and oak casks and limestone caves before making his second uninvited move on Elizabeth.

He makes her furious much as he makes Philippe furious for bringing in the tenant vintners on his scheme to sell grapes to bootleggers. The dastardly John is all about doing things his way--and barely gets away with it because he makes a whole lot of money with his scheme and it turns out Elizabeth is in love with him. He presents an attractive contrast to the family who looks down on her for her own past of sexual impropriety.

You'd never guess this movie was set in the 20s from the costumes.

The climax of the film presents disaster and chaos, the wrath of a particularly creative God as an impressive assortment of misunderstandings, gunshots, brushfires, and revelations of illegitimate children collide. I had to sit back and just marvel at the pile. But I did grow to like the characters, in no small part for their performances. Rains at this point was still a very effective performer and his charm quickly won me over.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Fewer Parsecs than Desired

There's a lot of speculating going on about Solo's disappointing performance, falling about two hundred million below the 300 million expectation for Memorial Day weekend and flopping in China. I don't blame Ron Howard. Rogue One had reshoots with a different director and that didn't hurt its performance. I do think it was a mistake to release a Star Wars film just a few months after Last Jedi. I don't think that's the whole problem but I think if Solo had been released in December a lot of people used to seeing Star Wars movies around then would've gone just as a Christmas tradition at this point. It's going to be kind of sad not having a Star Wars movie this Christmas.

It's easy to see how Disney could make this mistake--it's normal for them to release Marvel movies only a few months apart. Marvel movies have a little more flexibility in premise, though. Even if they are becoming increasingly similar, there's still a very different feel in Spider-Man: Homecoming set in New York and Black Panther being set in Wakanda, even if Wakanda was in fact Atlanta. Star Wars movies could go for greater scope in locations but Solo's trailers don't give that impression. Corellia in the trailers looks basically like Coruscent, and then it looks like there's a snow planet and a desert planet. Corellia comes off as being a lot more interesting in the movie but I can understand why people wouldn't get that impression from the trailer.

Trailers have gotten really bad over the past ten years, I don't blame filmmakers for getting increasingly frustrated with them. Whether they're cramming in so many spoilers they're basically synopses or they completely mislead the audience in terms of tone or they lean on a rapidly tiresome gimmick--like the currently popular one where punches and smacks are edited together to make a little song--trailers are all kinds of lame. But one thing trailers generally still give an accurate impression of is a film's visuals. If you compare Rogue One's trailer with Solo's, it's not hard to see why people might have been more intrigued by Rogue One.

I've already said how much I prefer the cinematography in Rogue One. Rogue One also, of course, had the distinction of being only the second Star Wars film out from Disney and one of the things Force Awakens and Rogue One had in common was to put old, familiar Imperial ships and gear into an intriguing new visual context. The Force Awakens trailers had ruined Imperial Walkers and Star Destroyers on a desert planet while Rogue One simply went for lighting them differently. In both cases, there's a clean, austere quality to the visuals that presents these familiar objects in a different way. When watching the Rogue One trailer, you get the sense of something big and serious happening that recontextualises the familiar. In the Solo trailers, there's a sense of the now too familiar visual noise--Guardians of the Galaxy without quite as much humour.

It didn't surprise me to learn that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Solo's original directors, had been aiming for a more tongue in cheek tone. In such a context, naturally they wouldn't have been as interested in expending their creativity on visuals. Given the fact that they were three weeks away from completing filming when Ron Howard stepped in, I don't think Howard can be blamed for the locations and much of the film's visual homogeneity. But I hope Disney takes the right lesson from this.

Maybe people are taking it for granted now but the Star Wars movies always presented distinct and powerful visuals, each one has at least a few things that distinguishes it from the others. Rian Johnson understood that when he made that salt planet in Last Jedi. The prequels each look distinct and beautiful despite all the cgi--Amidala's costumes are weird and gorgeous in Phantom Menace; Kamino in Attack of the Clones has that eerie antiseptic look; Coruscant in Revenge of the Sith looks different than in the previous two films with more sunsets, visually reflecting the sun setting on the Republic; A New Hope has the strange little hooded figures in the desert landscape; Empire Strikes Back has Peter Suschitzky's dark, wet cinematography; Return of the Jedi had Jabba's palace.

There's nothing like any of these things in Solo, which makes sense if the film was originally intended to be more of a parody. In a parody, of course the point is to recreate familiar visuals as much as possible; that's what makes it funny when characters start to act goofy.

My hope is that Disney doesn't blame any of the deviations I really liked--like the fact that the story is played for smaller stakes than the whole galaxy or that it lacks Force user characters. If Star Wars is going to get to the point where it can support more than one movie a year, those are avenues the stories really need to explore.

Twitter Sonnet #1118

Horizons fill with fatless frosting cups.
A monochrome consumed a cloud for lunch.
The larval head on ties complacent sups.
Some fingers sprout in sev'ral random bunch.
A glowing jug retires in the oak.
Accounted spice a trade occurred to shave.
A settled deal consumed the village folk.
An acre's purse commands the knight and knave.
A forest turtle rules the highest branch.
To glamour bent a dreaming candle flame.
Arranged on olive hills the shadows blanch.
For weaving light the motions merge the name.
The instant shape of cars appeared in cheese.
The dairy traffic locked the road with keys.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Various Battlefields

What's loyalty to a nation for someone who sells her body? Seijun Suzuki's 1965 film Story of a Prostitute (春婦伝) follows a young woman in a small group of sex workers sent to service a battalion of Japanese soldiers in China during World War II. Starring Yumiko Nogawa, who also starred in Gate of Flesh, Suzuki's previous film about prostitutes, Story of a Prostitute is a bit less psychological and a bit more epic. The first half of the film, with its effective experimental techniques, is a lot more interesting than the latter half but the whole film is a good portrait of a woman whose profession and lifestyle have given her a particular conception of loyalty.

Harumi is a lot worldlier than the distressed and confused character Nogawa played in Gate of Flesh. Riding in the back of a truck en route to the Japanese base with twelve other prostitutes, she doesn't appear to share any of her companions' anxieties over the fact that just thirteen women are supposed to meet the sexual needs of a whole battalion. She says she can't wait to have the bodies of all these men rubbing against her.

And we see her taking to it with a cool, businesslike proficiency until Lieutenant Narita (Isao Tamagawa) pulls rank and has a man tossed out of her bed so he can have a go. She demands he leave, furious he'd assert authority in her domain, but he's a sadistic brute. He hits her and rapes her and she feels worse for having an orgasm.

Wikipedia has this quote from Suzuki:

When you watch a western, you see that its foundation is the spirit of sacrifice. The drama in a western develops from that foundation. In Japanese films we don't share that element. A code is the foundation for us. As an army has its own code, prostitutes have their own code. Characters bound by such a code either resist it or submit to it.

Narita says Harumi reminds him of a particular soldier who constantly asserts his disgust with his superior officer but obeys orders better than any of his other subordinates.

Meanwhile, Harumi starts to fall in love with Mikami (Tamio Kawachi), Narita's shy adjutant who's never been with a woman. When Harumi tries to force herself on him, he shoves her away and rebukes her for mocking him. Suzuki films her in slow motion while Nogawa delivers an impressively agonised scream. A lot of Suzuki's technique in the first part of the film is very effective in putting the viewer in Harumi's head. She has this recurring fantasy about Mikami saving her from Narita--in one very effective sequence that begins with Harumi really meeting with Mikami we watch her run outside where Suzuki keeps the camera at an indoor exposure like he did in a similar sequence in Fighting Elegy. In the blinding outside white, she quickly tears off her clothes, goes to where Narita waits in a room for her, and we see Mikami following in a rage, drawing his sword.

Mikami disappears behind a wall for a moment, the exposure goes to an appropriate level, and then we see Mikami at the open door saluting Narita. In a quick sequence of shots Suzuki takes us in and out of Harumi's fantasy. An even more effective moment comes when she imagines Narita walking in while she and Mikami are in bed and Narita's image suddenly turns to paper that's torn apart and we hear Harumi laughing in voice over.

The second half of the film is good though it doesn't have as many interesting moments. Mikami is captured by the Chinese and Harumi goes with him. As a prostitute, this perfectly fits in with her code and she quickly starts singing along with a Chinese anthem the soldiers are singing. She can't understand why Mikami wants to kill himself, unable to imagine how different his fundamental code is.

The film presents an underlying question for viewers to debate--whether Harumi is more liberated or less. She can switch sides when captured and is psychologically better adapted for this than Mikami but the first part of the film shows how fundamentally and cruelly divided her mind is from her body to facilitate this flexibility. Suzuki presents the question but is wise enough not to attempt settling it.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

May Daemons

I always like to watch The Daemons in May, the 1971 serial from the Third Doctor era of Doctor Who. Along with The Wicker Man, it's one of the things that best evokes May Day for me. It has atmosphere not unlike The Wicker Man or Blood on Satan's Claw for the way it spends time creating distinct personalities for the people of the small English village where it's set. Also the fact that much of it was shot on film, for so many scenes set outdoors, contributes a lot to the atmosphere with its slightly grimy, shadowy 70s colour feel.

One of the villagers is named Winstanley, which makes me wonder if he was meant as a reference to Gerrard Winstanley, the 17th century leader of the Diggers, one of the radical groups that formed during the English Civil Wars. With the mentions of witch trials and Matthew Hopkins the serial has plenty of 17th century references. I wonder if writers Barry Letts and Robert Sloman were setting up an allegory for the ideological conflicts of 17th century England. One could take the Master (Roger Delgado) as representing the Church of England allied with the Royalists and their belief in a divine right of rulers and episcopacy, especially since the Master poses as a vicar and it's Winstanley who first starts to mistrust him.

If that was the idea, it's kept pretty low key. More prominent than Winstanley is the local witch, Miss Hawthorne (Damaris Hayman), who's pretty charming with her slight lisp desperately trying to warn people of the dangers of tampering with the crypt an archaeologist is excavating at the beginning of the serial. The Doctor's (Jon Pertwee) gentle arguments with her about how everything she considers magic is in fact science are a bit silly. One wonders why the Doctor gets so hung up on semantics if that's really all he thinks there is to it.

The heat barrier around the village is a nice effect. They could've just said there was an invisible barrier but the black stripe on the ground and the sticks and rocks exploding when they hit the air above it underline the hellish flavour to the village's predicament.

I also really like Jo's (Katy Manning) yellow suede pant suit with purple blouse.

Friday, May 25, 2018

He's Going Solo and Chewbacca is Going with Him

I went to the first showing to-day of the nice new Star Wars movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story. To-day was opening day but there were only five or six other people in the theatre with me. I guess people are getting used to Star Wars movies coming out all the time, though I suppose there were probably a lot more people at the early screenings last night.

It's a good movie. Not half as good as Rogue One but Solo has several virtues I tend not to expect from movies nowadays. Ron Howard's not one of my favourite directors though I prefer him any day over guys who'd turn it into a Lego movie. I do have some nostalgic fondness for Willow and Splash and I was surprised how often I was reminded of Willow during Solo, not just because Warwick Davis is in it. The title cards instead of crawl and many aspects of the film's climax reminded me of Willow.

Spoilers after the screenshot

I loved how well screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Jonathan Kasdan built Han's backstory. I love the fact that they went with the old Extended Universe idea of Han having come from Corellia and Corellia being kind of like Detroit. Han's father having worked on YT-1300s in a factory until he was laid off was a brilliant idea. And then they nicely add to this a whole Oliver Twist style gang of kids Han belongs to with some kind of big worm in place of Fagin. Having this followed by Han as a grunt in an Imperial force subjugating the populace of some miserable world feels like Imperial Britain shipping poor lads off to fight in India or Africa. I would have liked more concrete examples of why Han doesn't consider himself a good person, though, like showing some innocent people he robbed or screwed over. Though his showdown with Tobias (Woody Harrelson) is bound to leave a scar even as it is a confirmation of what we all knew--Han is perfectly capable of shooting first.

Alden Ehrenreich is great in the role--he has the swagger but more importantly the sense of youthful vulnerability that was crucial to the main characters of the original trilogy. And he sells that background for Han. I loved how an Imperial officer unceremoniously assigned him the name "Solo" and how it reflected the concept that, although he made friends throughout the movie, he was entering a world where he couldn't trust anyone. Except Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), I guess.

Chewbacca's introduction is great. He's come down in the galaxy a lot since we saw him in Revenge of the Sith--he's unrecognisable caked in mud and really seems a kind of beast. The guy in a hairy suit is a weirder and more captivating monster than any generic cgi. But I did like the big Lovecraftian tentacle beast in the Kessel Run.

Renaissance man Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian was also great casting. He goes for a bit more of an impression of Billy Dee Williams than Ehrenreich does of Harrison Ford but it works. Glover definitely got the voice down.

The weakest link in the cast is Emilia Clarke. I bought the idea of them as friends on Corellia but after that I thought she was a bit flat for most of the film. I didn't think there was much chemistry between her and Ehrenreich though I wouldn't necessarily consider that a flaw--it would make sense if this young man has a one sided attraction to this femme fatale. But I would have liked to have gotten a sense of more vulnerability from her. The characters needed to have more selfish behaviour to feel guilty about. I think it would have been better if there was more ambiguity about whether or not Han could've brought her with him when he left Corellia instead of that door definitely separating them.

Like the end of Willow, one of this film's climactic scenes takes place in a small room at the top of the villain's tower. I wish they'd stuck to gunplay instead of using knives and swords. Lightsabres and Donnie Yen are tough acts to follow. I was excited about the idea that we were finally getting a Star Wars movie without lightsabres--not that I hate lightsabres, I think they're great, but the Star Wars universe has the potential to be bigger than that. But then Darth Maul shows up.

The movie's surprisingly filled with references to Star Wars media outside the movies. This was the first acknowledgement in a movie that Darth Maul didn't die in Phantom Menace. With his mechanical legs and the mention of Dathomir it basically confirms the events of Clone Wars are part of the movie universe. I'd forgotten how many of the crime syndicate names thrown around--like the Pykes--were also mentioned in Clone Wars. I think I would've preferred the leader of Crimson Dawn had been revealed to be Xizor or Talon Karrde, I was never really into the idea of Maul being a crimelord. But I'd be pleased if this means we're going to be seeing more of Dathomir, maybe even Asajj Ventress.

It was a good movie. Though, again, not half as good as Rogue One. It made me appreciate again how incredible the cinematography is in Rogue One. Greg Fraser should do the cinematography on all the Star Wars movies from now on.

Twitter Sonnet #1117

A border marked in braces walked the pants.
A helpless trip resolved a tourist fall.
A spring returned to bounce the footless plants.
A sandy sink absorbs the draining wall.
The 80s made a neon auditor.
The breakfast nuts condemn the very air.
A bunch of boots'll break the monitor.
Distractions build and what is over there?
A rolling morning country saved the moss.
A thinner man could know a stone from his.
A tower watch was changing guard at loss.
The lady told the joker where it is.
A grimy world instructs the scrappy poor.
A fuel is useless 'neath the shiny floor.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Expansive Even by Expanse Standards

Last night's new episode of The Expanse wasn't flawless but it sure felt like it. It seems silly now people were arguing about Discovery versus Orville a few months ago. It seems like arguing Cutty Sark versus Scoresby when we're drinking Glenlivet now.

Spoilers after the screenshot

It felt more like a season première than the seventh of this season's thirteen episodes. There's a jump over several months near the beginning of the episode after which we see most of the chairs have been shuffled around the solar system again. Avasarala (Shohreh Aghashloo) is back on Earth and in charge, Bobbie (Frankie Adams) is back on Mars and a marine again, and Naomi (Dominique Tipper) is on that big crazy Mormon ship the OPA are in the middle of converting.

Those murals are so perfect, it's exactly the kind of art I saw when I had a layover in Salt Lake City once.

I love the sense of layering everywhere, how ships and people always have histories. Anna (Elizabeth Mitchell) is on a UNN ship now, apparently studying the big Lovecraftian new protomolecule lifeform and neglecting her wife and clinic. I like the sense of Anna's relationship with her spouse but it's kind of a cliche--the protagonist with the really important job with the spouse who can't understand why they don't spend more time at home.

The daredevil pilot, Maneo (Zach Villa), killing himself in the effort to impress his intensely adorable girlfriend is also a bit of a cliche but I do love how The Expanse zeroes in on someone's very personal issues and shows how it affects the bigger picture. No faction can ever keep track of all the moving parts, people are just too complicated.

I guess if the show wanted to be more topical they could have made him an Incel. Though I guess he sort of is one. Or thinks he is. Really, you could say the 9/11 hijackers were Incels trying to get laid by their heavenly virgins. I suppose you could say the Incels who've turned violent have just streamlined an old thing. I shouldn't generalise and say all Incels are potential murderers, I suppose, maybe that would be like saying all OPA Belters are terrorists.

Some of them are pirates, after all. David Strathaim made his very impressive debut as Klaes Ashford last night, even doing the Belter accent which makes him sound slightly Irish mixed with Japanese. He has great presence anyway, somehow playing against type makes his air of authority all the more convincing.

Back on the ship I think is called Rocinante again, there's an obnoxious documentary crew there to help deliver some exposition, not one of my favourite plot devices. It was cool to learn Amos is apparently a bisexual ganglord, though. I'm starting to warm to Wes Chatham's performance or maybe he's getting better. I like the way he demolished that guy's camera. I wonder if he is in love with Prax. I get the sense that Prax has taken the place Naomi used to occupy for Amos, like he needs someone with firm moral convictions to follow because he doesn't really have any himself. Or thinks he doesn't. He's like the Tin Man thinking he doesn't have a heart.