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Thread: What have you watched lately?

  1. #3626
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Let's talk about how The Expanse S2 jumped the quality quotient by several orders of magnitude. I mean, I though S1 was all right, but the reason why it was so patchy was because it was slow and didn't seem to go anywhere interesting beyond planetary politics/space racism and a mysterious alien contagion. Still, Tom Jane's hard-boiled detective was a good enough reason to check in every week.

    Season 2 takes the entire premise, the politics, and the characters and smacks them against each other so hard you can feel the sparks fly. It's almost instantaneously become adept at good storytelling, where everything means something and there's nary a wasted minute. Characters that I didn't really feel much for, like Amos, Naomi, and Chrisjen Avasarala are now reasons to check in (and giggle at every time Chrisjen lets loose with unexpected profanity where she should be strait-laced) every week as the narrative keeps exposing new dimensions to their personalities. The science in the fiction doesn't seem to be awful either, with only a ludicrous slingshot manoeuvre really standing out -- and Naren Shankar wrote a bit about how he felt bad about that.

    It's honestly mindboggling that an average show could become a good one so fast. I'm expecting great things from the next season.

  2. #3627
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Finally watched Rogue One. There's kind of promise of a more mature film here, but it never gets there. It starts out very bad, with ADD editing in the intro sequence, and possibly the worst F. Whitaker act ever. The movie gets a little bit better later, but it doesn't use even half of the potential of the ideas it presents. A rebellion spy with troubled past, a daughter of imperial scientist who doesn't care about the conflict at first, tensions within the rebellion, etc. etc. These are all sketches of themes and characters that are never properly developed, instead we get "sorry, we don't have time for that, but you know the drill" type of cuts and edits that are supposed to advance the plot. But hey, at least we get nice space battles with nods to D-Day and classic WWII movies. Also, writers seem to get the drama & space opera themes right, but somehow all the lines about hope and Force sound flat as hell. It's just a bunch of cringe-worthy phrases.

    Maybe the movie was supposed to be darker, but then Disney execs stepped in and said no? I think it's kinda sad, that after so many years, it's still video games that have the most mature SW stories ever. KOTOR2 was released in 2004. Not that I expect major SW movies to have a 16+ story, something has to push the sales of those mugs and figurines after all But, in the "SW stories" area, it would be nice to see something on the level of The Sith Lords. Hell, a movie that is a giant fuck-you to the space opera and the force in could be one of the best SW movies ever, and a decent movie outside the SF-fantasy genre.

  3. #3628
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Started on Bordertown, animated series about immigration with protagonist uber-racist white male living next to a Mexican family. Timely given current political climate, and overall ok. Feels a bit like Family Guy/South Park wannabe, but less good. I am only 2 episodes in, though, so perhaps it develops more.

  4. #3629
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Just caught up with the first three episodes of this seasons Better Call Saul. I might be the only person to actually say this, but I think Saul has the potential to become a better show than Breaking Bad.

    In a lot of ways, both shows are mirror images of each other. BB was the story of a man who, deep down, wasn't that good of a person, who, though violence, bloodshed, and lies, became the person he always wanted to be, ultimately undone by his own hubris. Saul is the story of a good man who doesn't believe himself as such, who sabotages every lucky break that lands in his lap because he doesn't believe himself entitled to them, and will end up becoming the very person he always feared himself to be. Even the characters are polar opposites of each other. Breaking Bad was full of manipulative, self serving people, all dark greys that ended up looking better than they were because they were contrasted against the pitch black that was Walter White and the people he dealt with. Saul? Just about everyone connected to Jimmy McGill are all good people you actually want to root for, but you know they're all destined to crash and burn, all doing the wrong things for the most righteous reasons.

    Despite everyone considering it the lighthearted Breaking Bad, Saul will end up being the more cynical show by the time it's all over. Every episode that passes, it becomes more and more obvious that it's taking its time, savoring showing everyone how good things could've ended up for Jimmy, before twisting the screw, and showing how things do come to pass.

  5. #3630
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Most beloved American anti-hero in a while.

    I completely lost track that the new season was already out.
    I'll have to jump on it.
    It's improbably engaging; improbable because a lot of things on paper a pretty absurd, but in this case the absurdity, in Jimmy's hands, is damn charming.

    There are so many shows to pay attention for... This year we're getting the next seasons of Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Black Sails, WestWorld, Better Call Saul, Black Mirror, some more I'm not even remembering right now, and then important for me: Halt and Catch Fire, Occupied, Deutschland 1986 (I think).

    I'm going through Black Sails and started S3 really recently. Speaking of Breaking Bad, like the first scene of the first episode, when I saw Flynn with the shaved head & knowing what happened at the end of S2, I was immediately thinking "Oh come on! Could you reference Flynn Breaking Bad any more obviously?"

  6. #3631
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Yeah, I've been really impressed by American TV shows in the last decade or so and Better Call Saul is a good example. I've been less than impressed by Game of Thrones, though. Maybe it's because of the books, but somehow it just feels... wrong, for the lack of a better word.

  7. #3632
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Just got back from watching "Get Out" at the movies. This movie is excellent. I love a good psychological thriller, and this has it in spades. For much of the movie it makes no sense at all what in the hell is going on, then it all starts to come together (sort of) as the movie goes on. One thing I was not expecting in this movie was comedy. Every time he has phone convos with his best friend they are hilarious and add a touch of reality to the film. Just about fell off my chair laughing a few times.

    Only thing in the movie that was left unexplained that I'd have liked answered was who in the hell nicked one of the main character's cigarettes. You don't see any cigarette butts anywhere or anyone else smoking. My monies on the brother or mother.

    9/10

  8. #3633
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol2.

    The only Marvel series worth it imho. Great fun, enjoyed it a lot. My only criticism is the 80s music wasn't in it quite enough.

    I dread GotG crossing over with other Marvel characters. It'll suck.

  9. #3634
    Saw Guardians 2 today as well, definitely a fun movie to watch.

    More character building for all protagonists, funny dialogue in apropriate places, and the way the antagonist was introduced and handled was fairly well done (even if the introduction falsely hinted at some sort of rewrite of the character). Especially when considering the basic concept of said antagonist. Also more personality than most other Marvel antagonists so far.

  10. #3635
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I have learned... THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS! Spoiler alert: the furious make it out ok in the end. Yet another highly entertaining Fast & Furious film, the hot streak continues!

    I also recently watched The Happiest Day In The Life Of Olli Mäki. Delightful little movie with great characters. One of the best Finnish films EVER! (tho that isn't saying much)

  11. #3636
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    It's kind of weird to call it "fate of" when there's two more installments planned. Maybe they were going to go with "F8" but decided that fad had passed?

  12. #3637
    I have never watched a single Fast and/or Furious movie. Not that I wouldn't, but I haven't. Is there any real reason to?

    I am watching The Man In The High Castle now, seems good so far (4 eps). Never read the book though.

  13. #3638
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    I have never watched a single Fast and/or Furious movie. Not that I wouldn't, but I haven't. Is there any real reason to?
    If you appreciate awesome and hilariously over-the-top action movies, check out Fast Five, possibly the highpoint of the series. If that tickles your fancy, you gotta see 6-8 as well. YOU GOTTA. If you watch those and you wanna keep this ride going? Guess what bro, you gotta go BACK TO DA SOURCE. The Fast & The Furious. Oh yeah, the original. Check it out. Then watch 2 Fast 2 Furious, which is crap, but watch it anyway. After that? Tokyo Drift and Fast & Furious(yeah they basically ran out of cool names and used the same name again). I haven't seen those last 2 tho, because I'm a poser. NOT A TRUE FAN. Oh shit, I just blew up my own spot! But it was worth it just to inform you about this great series. I'M OUT

  14. #3639
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    Is there any real reason to?
    What constitutes "real" in this context? They got surprisingly good starting with #5, but they definitely remain ludicrous action movies.

  15. #3640
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I liked them when they were about actual racing.

  16. #3641
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Sooo... Tokyo Drift only?

  17. #3642
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Honestly, I think Better Call Saul's banking off of Breaking Bad's reputation to try things that just aren't working. The split between Mike and Jimmy's stories rarely have interconnections, and the only reason to be invested in Mike is because you know he's going to eventually be part of Gus's crew while being drawn into Jimmy/Saul's bumbling orbit from time to time. Meanwhile, there's just so much filler on Jimmy's end, exacerbated by the cold opens that establish for instance that, yes, working at a place like Cinnabon takes elbow grease. I appreciate the detail, but do we really need five minutes of a flashforward to that and Jimmy wrangling with his conscience for a random shoplifter only to show a side of him we know always existed anyway?

    Yakoob mentioned Breaking Bad was a bit flabby when it dealt with side-issues that weren't necessary; while I can see his point, I'd say they were necessary to add depth to the main story, sort of like what The Sopranos tended to do. But it's a criticism that is increasingly more appropriate for Better Call Saul: the show is too in thrall with its own sense of dramatic heft to understand where to cut and abbreviate, to the point where it's punctured by its own self-importance. It could stand to be a bit more pacey whilst retaining its sense of the elliptical.

    MEANWHILE, American Gods. Gotta say, first episode was everything I figured it would be: directed by David Slade and full of beautifully lit slow-motion photography, close-ups, and poetically composed shots while quoting faithfully from the source and... not feeling particularly fresh or interesting. But that's debut episodes for you; Hannibal took almost the whole of its first season to really get things going. In the meantime, I look forward to more beautifully shot sequences of rain and blood and things having their spines ripped from their insides.

  18. #3643
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Oh, also something I should have mentioned: having the Al Swearengen as Mr. Wednesday was a brilliant casting decision.

  19. #3644
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    Sooo... Tokyo Drift only?
    That and the first 2.

  20. #3645
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Just got back from watching "Guardians of The Galaxy Volume 2". Overall an excellent movie. As good as the first one? Yeah I'd give it that. Great character development, plot etc. Was surprised at the amount of extra quick scenes in the credits (5 in total).

  21. #3646
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Warcraft: The Beginning. The parts with the orcs were pretty good. Durotan was my favourite character, and the orc-politics were pretty interesting. But all the human-scenes blew. I'm sure this was all very expensive to make, but somehow a lot of it looks like a cheap TV show, and all the human-actors leave a lot to be desired. Even Ben Foster, who I usually like, couldn't make his wizard-character interesting. I liked the couple scenes that set up for a sequel tho, the crib in the water and the "betrayal" near the end. Overall I didn't really like this movie, and I can't recommend anyone watch it, but I am somewhat looking forward to a sequel.

  22. #3647
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Nat Geo channel of all things has a new series following Albert Einstein's life called Genius.

    It flips between his life when young (entering university) & old (late-'20s Berlin feeling the pressure to leave because Nazis), which some reviewers criticized but I thought was fine. It's two interesting periods, and it gives it the opportunity to play the two time lines off each other, so you see how later events are informed by past history, after just watching it (like dealing with his first wife).

    It's kind of canned. Everything seems to revolve around him or is a glorified tutorial for his ideas, but I'm fine with that too. It's more of a pastiche homage than a strict biopic, and I don't doubt when he walked around town everything would start being about him because he's Albert fucking Einstein and who tf are you? And anyway, he was a charismatic personality. The guy playing old Einstein (the actor from Shine) is perfect for the part & plays it well. And the young guy is perfectly believable. It won't be a "great" series, but good to watch.

  23. #3648
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Just watched the first half of the Twin Peaks premiere.

    Very David Lynch.

  24. #3649
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2005
    Location: swimming in pickled herring
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    Just watched the first half of the Twin Peaks premiere.
    Definitely interested in that, I still have the original on VHS (with the tabs broken off, of course), sadly I no longer have a VHS player.

    "smell those douglas firs"

  25. #3650
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    If you've got Netflix or Amazon, you can stream the whole series, plus the movie.

    Right now, the only complaint I have is that it doesn't feel quite like Twin Peaks yet. It only occasionally dips its toes into the town and characters there, mostly focusing on new characters, and...well...I can't really say without spoiling anything. If I have to compare it to any of Lynch's past works, I'd say that it strikes me most like a cross between Blue Velvet and Lost Highway, with occasional dips into an extra violent, high budget Eraserhead.

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