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Thread: What have you watched lately?

  1. #4926
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Well, it's a good thing the River Tam character bites it anyway. Yeah, I know that doesn't really mean anything, but it's possible they'll go a different way there. I'm not sure what's so unbelievable about Star Fleet's actions given that even in the far future, people are still human, still age, and still have no cure for baldness - what they do with the Romulans is a perfectly reasonable analogy for current-day isolationist policies given their fraught history with humanity.

    Pacing-wise, sure, it's definitely uneven. But most pilots suffer from needing to frontload the exposition, and given the numerous ways it ties back to TNG, this one is no exception.

  2. #4927
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    I'm not sure what's so unbelievable about Star Fleet's actions given that even in the far future, people are still human, still age, and still have no cure for baldness - what they do with the Romulans is a perfectly reasonable analogy for current-day isolationist policies given their fraught history with humanity.
    It'd be fine in any other series, but feels odd in a Star Trek, particularly a new series so closely tied to TNG. TNG and DS9 had characters like that (particularly Section 31 in DS9), but they were explicitly a minority, not the Federation as a whole. I mean, Star Trek VI is about a similar ecological catastrophe on the part of an old enemy (Klingons), and the Federation's response is to exploit it to sign a peace treaty, foster a relationship between their cultures, and assist in drawing evacuation plans. It's jarring to go from TNG's diverse, welcoming post-scarcity utopia to a vindictive, isolationist xenophobic state in Picard, with no apparent explanation for the change.

    Anyways- beyond the sudden characterization of the Federation as being unwilling to perform a humanitarian mission on behalf of almost a billion people, abandoning what aid they do provide because an unrelated third party carried out a terror attack didn't make sense to me. It felt written to shoehorn in the allegory, but I suppose that at least is par for the course with Trek.

    I didn't hate it by any means, but overall the style felt similar to the JJ Abrams Treks, and that's not my cup of tea. I'm optimistic that it can grow beyond that.

  3. #4928
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    I mean, Star Trek VI is about a similar ecological catastrophe on the part of an old enemy (Klingons), and the Federation's response is to exploit it to sign a peace treaty, foster a relationship between their cultures, and assist in drawing evacuation plans. It's jarring to go from TNG's diverse, welcoming post-scarcity utopia to a vindictive, isolationist xenophobic state in Picard, with no apparent explanation for the change.
    Isn't that the point, though? That Star Fleet reflected the idealism of the 60s and the 80s, that if we took all our good ideas and put them together, we'd eventually get to a future where everything's bright and shiny and people can get along? Which is to say, it was a stand-in for the US. The North American model worked for that moment, and then you have today where second-guessing ideals is the agenda, especially easy when you can unite people under the fear of yet another bogeyman. Utopian systems can't last all the time because, let's face it, we're human. We're prone to making the same mistakes. It's a good launching point; while the previous shows were happy to hand-wave how we got to utopia, reality says utopias can only happen if the challenges are constant.

    It's almost as if the show wants to say that you can't reverse course without being held accountable for it - and that's an issue that's as old as time. The show will obviously try to get back to the status quo TNG presented - but it seems to be more interested in the journey towards it as the message. And if that's true, then it really is a good place to begin from for any show that calls itself Star Trek today.

    I'll admit I don't see the Mars plot as adequate justification for the withdrawal, but time will tell if that's adequately handled or not.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 29th Jan 2020 at 14:18.

  4. #4929
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    I'll admit I don't see the Mars plot as adequate justification for the withdrawal, but time will tell if that's adequately handled or not.
    My impression is that the whole Mars excuse didn't need to be adequate, it just needed to be an excuse. Starfleet was already reticent over the whole affair, only committing to it due to Picard's constant insistence, and bailed on it the first chance they got.

    Given that this is a Starfleet that's been attacked by the Borg twice, had only just ended the war with the Dominion, and were fresh off an attempted attack by the very people they were now trying to save, it's understandable why they'd be taking a more isolationist stance, and would use anything as an excuse to pull up stakes, and head home.

  5. #4930
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    Given that this is a Starfleet that's been attacked by the Borg twice, had only just ended the war with the Dominion, and were fresh off an attempted attack by the very people they were now trying to save, it's understandable why they'd be taking a more isolationist stance, and would use anything as an excuse to pull up stakes, and head home.
    IIRC with the Dominion war, the Federation was directly allied with the Romulans. And unless I missed something, I didn't think the androids attacking Mars were affiliated with the Romulans. So they're refusing to carry out a humanitarian mission on behalf of the civilian population of one of their allies (even if it was an alliance of necessity), then after being coerced into helping, use an attack by an unrelated third party as an excuse to give up.

    Either way I'm not saying that Trek can't be darker and less optimistic to reflect a darker and less optimistic zeitgeist, I just expect the writing to make some attempt to explain that difference. Leaning on a prior series for backstory and emotional weight, but simultaneously doing a 180 on one of the core themes without explanation, feels like wanting to have their cake and eat it too.

    Obviously a lot more is coming; I'm not getting worked up over a series pilot, I just hope they fill in some backstory.

  6. #4931
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I wouldn't say they're darker and edgier, just less optimistic. They didn't abandon the Romulans out of hate or apathy, just short sighted self-concern. They're a Starfleet who's motto is "We've got our own problems to deal with, sorry we can't help."

    And yeah, I do kind of expect to lean on the backstory for extra emphasis, because it is a direct sequel to everything that happened from TNG through Voyager. Plus, it's not like Starfleet was ever portrayed as this perfect organization ever adhering to their ideals throughout any of those series. It wasn't uncommon for them to do something fucky, failing to live up to their own standards until someone happened along to remind them of who and what they are. ST:P might be taking this tendency a little farther than usual, but it's hardly out of character.

  7. #4932
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    The thing is that their supposed to be the Federation of Planets. So humanity is not supposed to be it's focus, as it is a collective of hundreds of species. That's the whole point of the Federation. To make it solely about humanity and isolationism goes against the meaning of it all.

    When Picard said "Because it wasn't Starfleet anymore" he was 100% right. Letting 900 million die due to 90,000 is ridiculous. The Starfleet of TOS and TNG never would have done that.

    If you think about it. The Starfleet ships making first contact with sentient species were like space pilgrims. Spreading the ideals of the federation of peace, harmony and no racism. That is the federation. Its not the United Federation of Earth, its the United Federation of Planets.

  8. #4933
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    That's ignoring that most of the aliens in ST are broadly treated as human, but with different skin colours and a universal personality stereotype. Also the wars, etc. that had been going on well before that crisis (as Renz mentioned) capped it off. Let's also not forget that apart from being at war with the Federation, the Romulans are not and have never been part of Starfleet.

  9. #4934
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Just watched the most recent episode. They do delve a little more into the reasonings behind Starfleet pulling out from the Romulan evacuation, that it was an unpopular move among a number of planets in general, that a few threatened to resign their memberships in protest of a massive operation primarily benefiting an old enemy while Federation resources were already stretched thin to begin with. Stuff like that.

    It was just a couple quick conversations, but it shows the writers did put some thought into it beyond "wouldn't it be cool if suddenly everyone were assholes?"

  10. #4935
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    watched Joker














    dear god

  11. #4936
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Interesting, isn't it? I mean, from a very general perspective it's a Martin Scorsese movie in all but name, but it somehow misses that Scorsese makes movies about people, not through them. I also ended watching it with the thought about why we need a movie that tries to make a psychopath relatable, and the answer is we don't; it's a good thing it fails at that anyhow. Phoenix's performance is brilliant (I'll always have that tattered 'I know. Isn't it beautiful?' line from the back of the police car in my head because of how it cements the loss of humanity with childlike regression), but the movie itself is underbaked, questionable, and I'm not sure what it was trying to say.

  12. #4937
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Not Kansas
    Just finished binge watching the entire series, Orange is the New Black (just got a Roku and no housework is getting done). Oh my very God. Yes, I'm sure that much of the series was 'Hollywood-ized', but dayum! I was morbidly fascinated, horrified, sad and outraged in turn while watching the damned series, knowing that much of what was portrayed onscreen was true and really did happen. Hell, it's still happening.


    I'm currently watching as many videos of cute/funny kittens and puppies as I possibly can.

  13. #4938
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Dia View Post
    I'm currently watching as many videos of cute/funny kittens and puppies as I possibly can.
    This woman knows what the internet is for, people!

    Watching videos of people hurting themselves on skateboards is also an acceptable use of the internet.

  14. #4939
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Interesting, isn't it? I mean, from a very general perspective it's a Martin Scorsese movie in all but name, but it somehow misses that Scorsese makes movies about people, not through them. I also ended watching it with the thought about why we need a movie that tries to make a psychopath relatable, and the answer is we don't; it's a good thing it fails at that anyhow. Phoenix's performance is brilliant (I'll always have that tattered 'I know. Isn't it beautiful?' line from the back of the police car in my head because of how it cements the loss of humanity with childlike regression), but the movie itself is underbaked, questionable, and I'm not sure what it was trying to say.
    Oh it was working at first. The reason it fails is because there is only so far a sane person can follow. I felt for the character. I felt the reasons. I understood to an extent. The world and it's own insanity truly is as bad in it's way. It crushes with a heavy hand the meek and different. But it tested how far I would follow. I followed farther than I should. I think the director knew a lot of us would.

    In the end the bleakness pulled me down and kept me from following. He gives up. He has humanity beaten from him. There isn't a moral. There are simply the tempting justifications. Therein lies the defeat of the soul. Therein lies the horror. The sweet and kind and misunderstood looking into the abyss and letting it in.

    Pretentious aren't I?

  15. #4940
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    No, I agree. The first bit of the movie has that locus of empathy that leads you onwards, straddling the line between understanding and pity. And then the bottom falls out. I think it's both impressive and disturbing in that it doesn't allow for the simple act of rejection until that point, and because of this I'm sure there's sections of the populace that will use it as a symbol for their lives - a prospect both terrible and rich in natural irony.

  16. #4941
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    Uncut Gems

    Most people nowadays agree that Adam Sandler can be a good actor when he's cast in a serious role, and he proves it in this movie again, which is free to watch on Netflix. He gives a manic performance where he screams rather than says his lines, but it's a believable character, I mean it's not Jim Carrey in the Mask kind of manic. The movie's pace is frantic and tense and it's kind of an uneasy, uncomfortable watch, far from a relaxing experience. But at the same time I think it's close to brilliant and I would definitely recommend watching it. It's amazing to see all Sandler's character's plans to go to hell by his own doing and the lengths he goes to to dig a hole for himself. A mesmerizing viewing experience.

    9/10.

  17. #4942
    I watched the second part of Carole and Tuesday on Netflix, the Shinichirō Watanabe series about two girls trying to make music on Mars. I loved the first part, and the second was even better. Great cast of characters, top notch animation (no surprise there), great music (comes with the theme) and an amazing, epic finale.

    Greatly and absolutely recommended if you like anime.

    10/10.

  18. #4943
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    This.



    10/10

  19. #4944
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    A side not to my earlier posts on Picard. Kotaku today put out an article on the show, gives some opinions on why Starfleet is so different. Certainly makes sense.

  20. #4945
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    This.
    well hey if we're just gonna post cool things we find online, here



    also I watched Knives Out, Uncut Gems, My Neighbor Totoro and The Farewell. All good.

  21. #4946
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    I've greatly enjoyed the first two episodes of HBO's Watchmen and I'm curious to see where they'll take all of this. The series strikes me as smart, respectful of the original in the ways that matter to me but also audacious and ambitious in terms of where it is taking Moore's themes, motifs and techniques. It is a tightrope walk, though, and their ambition and audacity could well end in a big crash.
    Nobody else seems to have seen Watchmen. At least, no discussion here.

    This week I've watched the first 3 episodes of Watchmen (out of 9). While watching, I had no fucking clue what I was looking at. But despite that, so far I'm enjoying it. The series looks to me like another series of "these modern times". Something that could never have been done 20 years ago (before streaming over the Internet). Something that would never be done in a movie. Too slow. Too incomprehensible. Too much cult/insider. You need to pay attention, or you might miss something. I knew there was a movie made (in 2009), I think I've seen short fragments, but it didn't capture me at the time. I know it is based on a comic, but I haven't read comics since I was a teenager. So I went in with a blank mind. The world of Watchmen seems a bit weird, clumsy, unbelievable. But so far I'm able to deal with that. Did nobody else watch Watchmen ? I'm looking forward to watching the next 6 episodes this week.

  22. #4947
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    The funny thing about Watchmen is that it has an okay start - not mindblowing, since we've already seen this style of storytelling in The Leftovers - but quickly ramps up to a brilliant middle, then becomes a conventional show in the end. It talks about some very important things, and does a fairly decent job with the subtext, but I'm not convinced it has much more to say than that the record needs to be corrected.

    Anyway. I'm watching this show called Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet, and it's a sitcom about game development. Well-researched! Well-detailed! Ubisoft lent their franchises! It addresses important social issues like gender disparity and influencer culture, monetisation, toxic fanbases and, yes, nazis. It really does love video games, and knows how to show it.

    And it's an absolutely mediocre comedy. The fuck, dude.

    But then there's episode 5 which is a bit of an anomaly, almost stand-alone in its construction, and it's a short slice of drama about love and compromise that hits right in the feels. Kinda sucker punched me in the jaw by how well-observed it was, and when I recovered the first thing I had to do was talk about it. The rest of the show is... eh, it's well-made but inessential, but episode 5 is nigh well-on in the running for best unexpected thing in a series since BoJack's last bottle episode.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 12th Feb 2020 at 13:08.

  23. #4948
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    New Curb, of course.

  24. #4949
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Not sure if y'all heard, but Parasite is good. Very funny and violent and sad and surprising!

  25. #4950
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    The funny thing about Watchmen is that it has an okay start - not mindblowing, since we've already seen this style of storytelling in The Leftovers - but quickly ramps up to a brilliant middle, then becomes a conventional show in the end. It talks about some very important things, and does a fairly decent job with the subtext, but I'm not convinced it has much more to say than that the record needs to be corrected.
    You were absolutely right. I loved the first 6-7 episodes. I really did. I even went and watched the 2009 movie (between watching episodes 4 and 5). The movie is far from perfect. It's actually a challenge to watch. (The latest version is 3 hours and 40 minutes long). But it was entertaining and kinda interesting. I thought the tv-show was even better. I loved the episodes about Silk Spectre and Looking Glass.

    However, the 2 last episodes were disappointing. Especially the last episode was bad. A missed opportunity. Basically once Dr Manhattan enters the story, the story falls apart. To be honest, when I saw that Lindelof (from Lost) was behind the Watchmen tv-show, I immediately expected the show to be crap. Weirdly enough, the first 7 episodes weren't bad at all. But then the ending was what I expected.

    I googled a bit for reviews and viewer-responses. It's unbelievable how this (innocent) show triggers American assholes. They whine that the show is "too political". How "all the white people are racists". "It's pushing a woke liberal agenda". Etc, etc. The Trump election really brought all the poison and vileness in US society to the surface. I have no idea how the US is ever gonna recover from 2016-2020. (Or even worse: 2016-2024).
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 18th Feb 2020 at 10:39.

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