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Thread: What have you watched lately?

  1. #4901
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Well, that's the first time I've seen someone call Fleabag 'hyped'. It's not a show that should be hyped, it's not event TV, and I feel sad that that colours expectations.
    What it is, is a brutally honest character study with one over-arching plot twist in the first season that is as inevitable as it is obvious, and yet... it's in service of what the show's about: every time you fuck something up because you can't help yourself, it has a cost, both to the world around you, and to you personally. It's about reconciling yourself with that cost before it's too late, and I don't think that's tropey at all. Human nature is messy and complicated, and so is the show. It's acerbic and funny and smart, but also has heart. That should be enough. I think it is enough.

    The fourth wall stuff? I guess it should have gotten old. But it's silly and also opens a window into Fleabag's head - and I like her despite how much of a dumpster fire she is, so I didn't mind. Not one whit.

    Meanwhile, yes, The Expanse is solid yet again. S4 didn't wow me, but it puts in the work to make a show that's smart - dependably so - and filled with a beautiful balance of plot machinations and character-driven crises. I actually felt this season threw in every sci-fi trope it could think of, but tropes aren't bad if they're handled well. And outside the oddly out of place antagonist with questionable (or at least, very thinly sketched) motivation for his OTT violent scheming, the tropes served the story and gave it momentum. Yup, it's still the best sci-fi show in recent history (BSG lost out to it the moment S2 blew up like a supernova), and it even ended up better than BSG's painfully contrived third season that dealt with similar themes.

    And yeah, Amos is the show's MVP. It's amazing they managed to make him a fun (and interesting!) character when I thought he was essentially a walking personality vacuum in S1.

  2. #4902
    I know right? It's such a great variation on the overused "dumb muscle" character...

    Re: Fleabag, yeah, I dunno. Everyone around me was raving about it. I might have been a bit harsh in my words, if the show works for you that's cool! Maybe I'll give it another go some day.

  3. #4903
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Yeah, Expanse was good and Amis was my fav. James and Alex have little personality imho. Naomi does but my favs are Drummer and Ashford.

    Finished Mrs Maisel now. It's so well put together.

    Started Jack Ryan. Far better than I expected but not Homeland territory quality, sadly.

  4. #4904
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Currently watching The Witcher tv series. Excellent, excellent stuff. Music, acting, the set, battles, all great. They completely nailed it.

  5. #4905
    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    Yeah, Expanse was good and Amis was my fav. James and Alex have little personality imho. Naomi does but my favs are Drummer and Ashford.

    Finished Mrs Maisel now. It's so well put together.

    Started Jack Ryan. Far better than I expected but not Homeland territory quality, sadly.
    I really like the Drummer/Ashford dynamic too, and the show really nailed Belter culture.

    Same opinion re: Jack Ryan... I went in admittedly with low expectations. It's surprisingly sort of okay but it doesn't really push itself to be great.

  6. #4906
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    So a few days ago, I watched "Happy Death Day". Excellent horror movie, with a "Ground Hog Day" time loop angle to it. Great movie from beginning to end.

    Then tonight I watched the sequel "Happy Death Day 2U" and wtf is this. Firstly they make the fatal (no pun intended) mistake of explaining in detail of why the loops happen. Then they turn it into a science fiction comedy, that feels like an episode of the TV show "Sliders". It would be like if the sequel to Jaws was a musical. I absolutely hated it. Combine that, with it practically ending where it started at the end of the first movie. So you could skip the sequel entirely and have missed nothing. Skip the sequel. Only watch the original.

  7. #4907
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Bardo
    I've just started Fleabag, its really funny.
    Started Stranger Things; I think Wynona Ryder is completely miscast, shes too pretty to be a crazy cat lady trailer park-type mom
    I know im late to the party but have started watching Girls - holly chit, this is a good show, very funny, Lena Dunham is an amazingly talented human being, and I hear she's living in Wales now, lol.
    Finally, have been binge watching Judge Judy - there is something about a powerful woman giving people shit about being liars and stupid that I find very satisfying, prob cuz I deal with such all day at work (said in Thief guard voice, 'so stupid, so incompetent...')
    Good suggestions in this thread - will check out Witcher and Happy Death Day original Thanks!!

  8. #4908
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Oh I think she Wynona was a perfect fit. If you follow her life at the time of the series starting. Parallels.

  9. #4909
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Just done Jack Ryan. Not top tier quality but I enjoyed it and would watch more.

    I've dumped The Witcher. It's a snoozefest. Saw the episode with Yennifer running away from an assassin with a bug type creature and that was the only bit I liked. The bits with The Witcher were so badly shot and so, so boring. Let's not start on the Fiona bits, they've always been dull af. I'm done.

    I'm finishing of Silicon Valley now. Always good. Always blue.

  10. #4910
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Just watched Unfriended 2 - The Dark Web. My wife and I quite liked the first movie. I get why people dislike / hate it, but I dunno, it has a unique style to it all.

    Dark Web on the other hand is just stupid. The whole kick to the original was the ghost in the machine / supernatural but via technology angle. Dark Web on the other hand ditches that entirely, and goes for a evil Deadsec (from Watchdogs) angle that is super similar to the movie "The Den" released a few years ago. All the characters are idiots, and I found myself getting distracted throughout. Avoid this one.

    Has a few plot holes as well.

    Minor spoilers, but you don't want to watch this movie so I'm not bothering to spoiler tag it:

    For example, the main characters girlfriend is deaf and yet she reacts to someone knocking at her door. One of the side characters, has his computer setup to hide his IP + all traces of him online so that he can't be tracked, but evil deadsec hacks his computer (which in itself is a plot hole, as how would they even get access to a computer they can't find), calls the cops from it (via skype) who somehow know exactly where his address is. That's just stupid.

    The only cool part of the movie is whenever a Deadsec member is on screen, they somehow cause visual distortions to the video. Much like the Slenderman effect (as seen in the movie VHS).

  11. #4911
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    My wife recently found a copy of Dark City on Blu-Ray, with both the theatrical cut and director's cut. So we watched both.

    The director's cut might just be my favorite film of all time. The story is a slow burn, the great sort of gradual reveal where you want to go back and re-watch to see the clues you missed. Rufus Sewell, Jennifer Connelly, and William Hurt have a lot of chemistry as the core trio, and I love how Kiefer Sutherland's eccentricity makes it unclear where his loyalties lie until the very end. And visually, it's fantastic, with a wonderful sci-fi noir aesthetic that evokes Blade Runner and Fritz Lang. I read that Roger Ebert loved the film and spent a weekend workshop going through every single shot in the movie and analyzing it, and I can understand why.

    Then the theatrical cut... Wow. It adds an intro that spoils the entire backstory right off the bat, so the first 2/3 of the film goes from a moody slow burn to an aggravating catch-up as the protagonist struggles to figure out what we already know. All the other great elements are still there, but it's frustrating how the story is gutted by an unnecessary title crawl.

    It's really a shame that the film isn't more widely known today (especially given the parallels between it and The Matrix), and that it was released with studio meddling, but at least it's still available in its intended form. I'm twenty years late to the party but better late than never, I guess.

  12. #4912
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    I've watched some disturbing films during my lifetime, and The House That Jack Built by Lars von Trier is definitely up there. Now I have a pretty strong stomach, I've watched something like The Human Centipede: Full Sequence and of course it's very gruesome, but I'm mostly disturbed by considering the state of mind of the writer/director/hack.

    But THTJB is an intelligent movie, directed with care and with a smart screenplay. It's divided in chapters called Incidents and I think most would say Incident 3 is the most disturbing and I get why they would say that. But to me Incident 4 takes the cake. The deliberate, calculated mental torture inflicted upon that woman, an innocent not very bright girl who's outwitted by this psychopathic genius (in comparison), is very disturbing to me. This kind of stuff just strikes a nerve, having been bullied in my younger years (nothing compared to this of course) this is something that hits hard with me, this kind of deliberate psychological cruelty in movies (which serves here as a prelude to physical cruelty). Felt the same way with Michael Madsen's Stuck in the Middle With You scene of Reservoir Dogs. The realization that humans can be so cruel towards one another is the scariest thing about movies like this, for me personally. And I already have a pretty bleak outlook on humanity.

    Don't know if I can recommend this movie, it's interesting for sure but Lars von Trier movies usually leave me with a weird aftertaste. Think I'll skip the Nymphomaniac movies.

  13. #4913
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Von Trier has been completely insufferable ever since he began the depression trilogy (and some older works like The Idiots don't hold up so well, either). He's had his moments of brilliance (Zentropa, Dancer in the Dark, etc.) but man is he a childish prick with an immature worldview. Looks like this new film is just him trying to antagonize the metoo movement after being implicated in it, so I'm gonna give it a pass.

  14. #4914
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Contagion.

    I've seen it, my wife hadn't. The Wuhan corona virus is what made her think of it. It's a great film but pretty terrifying.

  15. #4915
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    As a kid, Arnie movies were my absolute favorite movies on earth. And throughout my lifetime I've watched his numerous classics more times than I could remember.

    Its been a few years since I last watched the good ones, so this week started a watch through.

    Commando - Complete action fest and not one to take seriously AT ALL. Great one liners. Excellent action scenes. Classic movie.

    The Predator - Full of action and some great horror elements. A unique twist on sci-fi horror. This movie is so macho its not funny and I just love it. I don't mind Predator 2 as well. Its not as good as the first but its certainly not a bad movie, and FAR better than any of the sequels and spinoffs.

  16. #4916
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I saw Predator 2 in the theatre and the film melted halfway through. (Edit: just to be clear, that's not a metaphor. I mean literally melted, like it stopped up and a browning melting hole grew out from the center out; and we had to wait 10 minutes for them to reset it.) I have to say it kind of fit the movie. IIRC people applauded and were laughing at it. It was dumb but some movie "awesome" things happened.
    Last edited by demagogue; 26th Jan 2020 at 07:36.

  17. #4917
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    For many, the one bit they did like was the AvP reference before those movies happened. For me, I loved the "want some candy" bit, the starting bits, seeing what the predator would do when it was up against targets that had anti-heat signature gear on, and the cool new weaponry it had.

  18. #4918
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: OldDark Detox Clinic
    I feel like I'm shifting the gears here, but has anyone else watched Atypical? I binged it Wednesday and Thursday, and I thought it had some weaknesses, but is overall interesting. I find it interesting the way the actor portrays autism, different than Dustin Hoffman, different than Freddie Highmore. All showing different aspects of the ASD spectrum. Anybody else like it?

  19. #4919
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    And just watched "Total Recall". This movie in my eyes is a perfect movie. I'm likely completely biased but meh. Never a dull moment from start to finish. This is Arnie's best movie imo. When I watched this as a kid, it wasn't a dream / implant.

    Adult version of me is now like no way. It's too in-line with what he ordered from Recall. Has to be a dream / implant. I just love movies like this though, where the ending is subjective and completely up to the individual to decide. Fantastic movie .

    [edit rather than doing a double post]

    Watched Star Trek Picard. I'm mixed on it. Star Fleet did actions which it would never have done in the earlier shows (leaving 900 million Romulan's to die due to 90 thousand humans dying back on Mars. That is so disproportionate. Talk about it being a waste of resources when they have replicators. Come on guys.) The motorbike bandits looked ridiculous and out of place, considering the year the show is set. The Picard and Data bits were good and that's about it. The most half half pilot to a Star Trek show ever.
    Last edited by icemann; 28th Jan 2020 at 05:47.

  20. #4920
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Total Recall isn't Arnie's best movie. Predator is, because Predator is the best movie.

    And in Total Recall there is only one thing that suggests it's a dream/implant. What do you think it is? Let's see if we agree.

  21. #4921
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    For me its comparing what he ordered in his Mars package to what ends up happening. Exactly the same.

  22. #4922
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    And in Total Recall there is only one thing that suggests it's a dream/implant. What do you think it is? Let's see if we agree.
    I donít know, maybe the fade to white at the end?

  23. #4923
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Definitely what he ordered in his Mars package, point by point, is an indication.

    It kind of wrote itself into an interesting corner, if you take the implant interpretation.

    If we're to believe the doctor and wife intervened in real time while he's still hooked up, then it's not all one holistic memory implant. Some is implant memory and some is real time intervention.

    So when he 86's them, if he's still hooked up, I think there are 3 options maybe:

    1. They let his original memory implant play out while he's being lobotomized. But if we're being nitpicky, why should it play out taking into account the real-time intervention as part of its story now? I feel like it'd just ignore that and go on with the vanilla hero story. Ok, it might be that these are now his own original dreams he's making up mixing his hero story with the intervention but ... eh. That's not really following the rules of the movie; the whole point is our dreams aren't this real.

    2. If they can do the real time intervention thing, I feel like the next step (if it's not going back to the vanilla hero story) is that they just cut him off and everything falls totally apart, goes to black or glitches out or whatever.

    3. Anyway, because it's not 1 or 2, I think what it actually would be is that the "intervention" was part of the original implant to begin with, beads of sweat and everything.

    That is, I think the options they give you are, either the straight story is true (he's not hooked up) or he is hooked up and the doctor/wife intervention is part of the implant. I think the story the doctor gave (he's hooked up but this is a real intervention) doesn't fly one way or the other.

    So if the white fade out & package order match-up have any significance, then I think it was option 3 from the start and he's waking up at the end of the movie after his successful trip wraps up.

    But what do I know? It's a Schwarzenegger movie so, you know, it doesn't really call for this much thought. vOv

  24. #4924
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Well it's one of the few that does, which at the time was typical Paul Verhoeven stuff. Basic Instinct had a ambiguous ending as well. Though considering the start of the movie, that one was clear cut for me (she kills Douglas after we fade to black).

    The vast majority of Schwarzenegger movies are the types you turn your brain off to. Total Recall isn't.

    And come on, we got some awesome metal songs due to the movie .



    There was a really good video of it, with clips from the movie in there, but it looks like it got taken down. Still got that one saved on my PC. If you look it up, you get a different one. The awesome one for Predator is still up:


  25. #4925
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Worth pointing out that Total Recall is very loosely based on (and provides a much better name for) a Philip K Dick short story, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. They did a pretty good job of keeping the central themes intact despite the transition to a Schwarzenegger action film. I really enjoy the ambiguity of whether it's all the implanted memory, or whether his choices for the implant were based on subconscious buried memories.

    Anyways, speaking of transitions, I'm with Icemann on Picard. Some interesting ideas and Stewart is great as ever, but it takes some hefty liberties with the backstory, the pacing is way too fast and undercuts the impact of some of the scenes, and IMO the River Tam character archetype is a little overdone at this point. But every other Trek has had a poor start, so I guess we'll see where it goes.

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