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Thread: What have you watched lately?

  1. #5001
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Tonight crossed another off the "movies you have to watch at least once in your lifetime" list with Videodrome.

    I was kinda iffy about watching this one, as I thought it'd leave me majorly freaked out. Turns out that it was excellent, and features one of the earliest envisions of VR (sort of) that I can recall. And it's a movie from 83, and nearly spot on with that one bit.

    Gory as hell (which you have to expect from a David Cronenberg movie), but really interesting. James Woods and Debbie Harry (aka lead singer of Blondie at the time) are great. I thought it was all going to be freaky shit and whatever from very early on, but that really doesn't kick in until about midway. And when it does, it's explained so makes sense. It's one of those "from what point was he hallucinating / dreaming?" kinda movies like Total Recall and many others, which in that respect was exactly what I was expecting. Can see quite a bit of stuff in this, that influenced later movies. Great film, but there is a QUITE a bit of body horror stuff, so not for everyone. I'd definitely watch this again.

    Long live the new flesh (System Shock 2 totally stole that line).
    Last edited by icemann; 25th Apr 2020 at 00:30.

  2. #5002
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Debbie Harry you philistine.

    It's a great film.

    Long live the New Flesh!

    My favourite stuff is Professor Oblivion.

    I've been watching Devs. Not bad.

    Rewatched Black Panther. Probs my fav Marvel film. I also think Killmonger is an ace bad guy, who I had a lot of sympathy for since he was really badly treated. Also, he won the throne fair and square. And his last line is epic.

    Also watching Better Call Saul. Mr Duck, if you watch it - do you turn the subtitles off? I love the amount of Spanish spoken in this.

  3. #5003
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Watched the new Netflix original Extraction. A lot of Marvel folks involved in this one. Chris Hemsworth stars, it's directed by Sam Hargrave, who has mostly done stunt coordination(most recently on a bunch of Marvel movies), and it's written by Joe Russo (director of the last couple Avengers and Captain America movies). The story rolls along at a good pace but is never especially captivating, and I had a hard time getting invested in any of the characters. As to be expected by a movie directed by a stunt guy tho, the action scenes are good. Great choreography and long takes with minimal editing let you really take it all in. Recommended for action fans!

  4. #5004
    My wife and I watched Harriet last night, a really great story and one everyone (definitely Americans) should know all the details on (although I'm sure some of them are twisted a bit here). I thought the acting was fantastic for a group (at least to me) of mostly unknowns, and especially by the lead.

  5. #5005
    New Member
    Registered: Apr 2020
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    I watched "District 9" last night. Nice and unorthodox Sci-Fi thriller.

  6. #5006
    It follows

    Bit late on that one, admittedly. A fantastic little terror movie for such a simple premise. Loved how it builds tension with seemingly innocent pans, relying on its photography and sound design to keep you on the edge of your seat. There's a very "Classic Carpenter"-vibe to it. The locale adds to it too, seeing the derelict Detroit neighborhoods, they're perfect for this movie. The cast was okay. I thought they portrayed their parts pretty well and somewhat realistically too, coming up with stuff that could make you roll your eyes then make you think, well, they're teenagers, what do you expect from them really?

    Tension builds remarkably well with barely any jump scares, which is always an excellent tactic. As I said the sound design and the heavy, 80's inspired synth score play a lot in the overall atmosphere of the movie. The tension can become almost unbearable at times, especially if you go in without knowing anything about the movie. The opening scene is absolutely brilliant in that regard, even if you're very likely to miss why in the first viewing. You only see Annie's dad on the front yard, but you hear the door TWICE after she leaves the house...

    Top execution. Of course, there are some inconsistencies in the mythology, but they're minor and the film works. It's pretty much guaranteed to make you anxious when you get into places with limited exits, just like when Dr Who's Blink introduced the Weeping Angels and made everyone scared of statues...

    On a meta level, I really dig the fact that you can interpret it in whatever way works best for you. Metaphor for AIDS and STDs? It works. Metaphor for coming of age, adulthood and death? It works. Metaphor for abusive relationships? It works. It's really open and I find this remarkably refreshing.

    Very recommended.
    Last edited by raph; 27th Apr 2020 at 10:20. Reason: typo

  7. #5007
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2016

    John Carter & The Extraction

    Finally watched the version of John Carter that Disney made. It was actually pretty good, well worth the watch. Got me interested into reading the books now too. Too bad there won't be a second one since Disney messed up and the movie bombed arguably because of bad marketing and now they have lost the rights to it. But at the same time probably a good thing they did seeing how they handle their products now.

    Also watching a brand new movie called the Extraction with my girlfriend on Netflix, haven't finished it yet. But it's a decent gory action movie. Simple story and pure action.

  8. #5008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: melon labneh
    I thought that John Carter was surprisingly fun and watchable, I liked the universe they set out to develop more than what you find in most Marvel flicks. It felt a bit long at times but somehow struck me as more genuine than anything else Disney has released in a while.

  9. #5009
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Yeah, it was far better than I'd been lead to believe.

  10. #5010
    This was pretty good. As someone who works for a multi-national organization where we make an extra effort to ensure that our teams always bring a diverse set of individuals, I can see why this is making the rounds in our organization. We're the industry leader in my line of technology work and our focus on diversity is a huge part of why we continually deliver better results than our competitors who aren't as committed to inclusion.

  11. #5011
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    I watched the 4-part Netflix miniseries Unorthodox, which is about a young woman's life in the Hassidic Jewish community of Williamsburg, New York and her leaving that life and going to Berlin with nothing but the clothes on her back and a little money. It was fairly interesting drama for sure, with some moments of mild tension. Nice to get a look at such a closed community and their rituals. It's based on the memoires of a woman who left that community herself. So you'd think it was pretty realistic. Then again, I just read an interview with another woman who left the Hassidic community (and now gives tours of Jewish Williamsburg), and while she has plenty of criticism on the community, she still thinks the show puts the community in too harsh a light, that it's not that bad and the people are not as unfeeling as many of them are portrayed here. She also said that no way those people are as clueless about computers and the internet as in the show, but on the flipside a woman like the main character would have far more trouble fitting in and making contact with a new group of friends than she did in the show. Given the closed nature of the community, she wouldn't have much of a clue about how secular urban young people interact.

    I wouldn't know about how realistic this show is, I mean on movies and shows about orthodox Christianity my opinion is actually worth a damn because I have a fairly extensive knowledge on the subject, and I can get pretty annoyed by people talking out of their ass about it (either unfairly negative or defensively positive or just plain getting the facts wrong). But of this community I know next to nothing. The show was worth watching though.

  12. #5012

    right in the feels...

  13. #5013
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    So... Westworld fails to stick the landing again. The thing that annoys me more than I can truly articulate is that there is nothing, in principle, wrong with its conclusions. They're not original conclusions, but they don't have to be as long as they're telling a great story. The problem is that the execution falls apart every single time no matter how slickly presented everything is. The characterisation and plot has a great high-level outline, but when you zoom in on the details, 60% of it toggles between hokey and clichéd. The more's the pity, given the talent of the cast and the crew, and the general production values (flimsy autotaxi/bus things notwithstanding).

    A lot of it also just feels like chess pieces being moved around until the endgame, which is both appropriate and ironic given the core theme of season 3. It also doesn't deviate from Devs' worldview, which was expected, but ironically enough it goes into a more complex yet truthful view of free will than Devs did while simultaneously still shortchanging itself. If I were to randomly spitball on how best to solve the problems, I think Jonathan and Lisa maybe should get Chris Nolan on board for his skills in the meticulous execution department. It probably won't be any less hokey, but the end result would read better.

  14. #5014
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I watched The Lighthouse last night, made by Robert Eggers, the guy that also wrote and directed The Witch. It's set in 1890s Maine. Two lighthouse keepers, one older and one younger, basically go crazy cooped up in there for a month.

    It's really atmospheric. There's not much plot; just the gradual deterioration of their mental states, and a shifting back and forth between the two characters through every emotion two men could have for each other. Like the Witch, it weaves in historical realism with supernaturalism. It's thick with atmosphere and the cinematography is top notch, as is the art and sound direction. It's shot like a late-1920s movie. The dialog really shines, and Willem Defoe is larger than life as the salty seaman. It's pretty sedated at some points, but at other points it starts to come unhinged, but in a good way.

    I was watching some interviews and other videos with people trying to figure out what genre it's in. It's a historical weird tale. We wouldn't call it horror today, but it's the kind of thing that in the 18th and 19th century would have passed for that, like Edger Allen Poe and the tradition of Victorian ghost stories and weird tales. I like it, for the reasons I like reading 19th Century literature; it's more naturalistic. It paints a vivid picture without being so graphic. It has a weird sensibility, I wouldn't say modern, but it's understanding that it's also speaking to our times.

    Most of all though, it has a kind of dark humor. Both characters, but Defoe's in particular, can get into some dark territory, but in a pretty funny way. It has quite a bit of symbolist imagery in it to, another throwback to an old tradition. Well I really liked it. You have to understand what the author is going for, and I think it helps to be versed in some of the old literary traditions that it's harking back to. And it's undeniably weird and surreal. If you're looking for a movie made to entertain, it's going to look like a miss.

    Edit: One thing though. I watched The Lighthouse over two sessions, the first half and then later in the day the second half. I think that's a good way to watch it, as it's long and it doesn't so much progress as immerse over the duration. You should either be up for the whole experience going in or do what I did.
    Last edited by demagogue; 5th May 2020 at 06:09.

  15. #5015
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I watched The Lighthouse shortly after getting back from a holiday which included two long, strenuous flights back. I was completely frazzled and kept nodding off. Strangely, with that film it didn't even matter that much - it is so dreamlike, and nightmarish, that at some point I could no longer quite separate what was going on in the film and what I was dreaming. I don't think I actually missed much of the film itself (I tend not to *really* fall asleep during movies), but in the end it didn't matter: the film made its way into my brain quite effectively.

  16. #5016
    I missed The Lighthouse in theaters, I'm looking forward to watching it at some point. Sounds like a great flick.

    Last weekend I watched 24 hour party people. I went in blind after only a quick glance at the trailer, and for some reason I expected a British comedy with more silliness than anything... Turned out to be no only very entertaining but also deeper than expected (without being too much) and also very touching at times. I had heard of Joy Division and New Order but I had no idea they were the same band, and I didn't know about Ian Curtis's tragic death. And it balances this with extremely funny moments and a mockumentary-style coating. And of course the music is top notch...

    I loved how much love it clearly had for all its colourful, larger-than-life characters, with special mention to Sean Harris as Ian Curtis and Andy Serkis as Martin.

    I ended up having a lot of fun but also at times being very moved, and I like when a movie surprises me like this.

  17. #5017
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    24 Hour Party People is great. You didn't mention the name, but it's about the record-label called Factory. I've spend hundreds and hundreds of hours listening to its music when I was young (18-22). Not only JD/NO, but also Durutti Column (Vini Reilly has a cameo in 24h party people), Section 25, Royal Family & The Poor.

    Good to hear that you enjoyed the movie, even when you were not really familiar with the music.

    I watched Westworld, season 1. I've seen 8 out of 10 episodes of season 2. I like it. There were two episodes in S02 that seemed just filler (samurai and the ghostnation episodes). But S02 is better than expected. Lots of players in the story, lots of questions. I'm certainly gonna watch S03.
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 5th May 2020 at 10:38.

  18. #5018
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    I like arthouse movies as much as the next guy and I watch them from time to time, but after workdays I want something to chill out with. Also, I find arthouse movies so much of a gamble, some of them I find surprising and wonderful and others don't connect with me at all, and it's always such a gamble if I'll come away from such a movie uplifted/touched or bored to death. After working for 8 hours I'm often a little tired, in the evening I just want something I know beforehand I'll enjoy. I leave the more artistic movies for the weekend and off days.

    I'm not much of a series binger, I guess I'll always be a movie person. I've decided to subscribe to Disney Plus and re-watch the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in order of release. The MCU movies are fun to relax with after a day of work. I'm already past the halfway point. Tonight I've seen Doctor Strange.

    I've said it when I saw it in the theater when it came out, and I maintain it now: for me, this is the pinnacle of special effects. I haven't seen anything before or after it that impressed me more effects-wise. And it's a pretty decent movie to boot.

    Another opinion of mine is that Captain America: Civil War is a better Avengers movie than Age of Ultron.

    After the MCU movies I think I'll do the same with Star Wars (still haven't seen Rise of Skywalker). Maybe I'll watch the Mandalorian too, it only has one season, not that much of a time sink. Definitely not Clone Wars, just as I'm not going to watch Agents of Shield, Jessica Jones or the other Marvel shows.

  19. #5019
    Registered: May 2004
    The Lighthouse was quite the cinematic deliriant. Really something!

    Sulphur - would you recommend Westworld s3 to someone who thought s1 was quite solid but s2 was absolute bollocks from top to bottom? I'm scared to go back in, but if it at least gets close to s1's quality it might be worth the dive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harvester View Post
    After the MCU movies I think I'll do the same with Star Wars (still haven't seen Rise of Skywalker). Maybe I'll watch the Mandalorian too, it only has one season, not that much of a time sink. Definitely not Clone Wars, just as I'm not going to watch Agents of Shield, Jessica Jones or the other Marvel shows.
    Too bad, seeing as some seasons of the Netflix shows were by far the best stuff that Marvel has to offer.
    Last edited by froghawk; 12th May 2020 at 08:02.

  20. #5020
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Not really. It's better because they dropped the timeline fuckery, but S3 is more its own thing, more plot-forward than philosophically driven; can't really say it's a return to form if you count S1 as the pinnacle.

    S3 is much better paced than the first two seasons though, and the first half of it is fairly entertaining, because it borrows some energy from the later seasons of Person of Interest and uses that to craft some nice set pieces. In the process, though, it shortchanges a bunch of players like Maeve and William (and sends Bernard on a vision quest ), and loses any dramatic depth it could have had in the last half.

    I wished it had all come together in a less hackneyed way in the end (one of S1's strengths was that it was surprising in many ways), but perhaps that was hoping for a different story entirely. At any rate, there'll be a Season 4, and it's going to be weird if the way things ended is anything to go by.

  21. #5021
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I finished watching S3 of Westworld recently as well. Whilst it was interesting I wasn't majorly thrilled. My major beef with it is that I went into S3 thinking it was going to be a robot invasion thing, and instead got something far more interesting. Then the sneak peak into what the next season will be about was the final scene and it's a robot invasion thing, meh. I do agree that the first half of the season was far stronger than the second half.

    I did find the themes of control, quite interesting but then in the finale when it was revealed that Engerraund Serac was under the control of that machine all along, it spoiled much of his brilliance. That put Dolores's battle against "man" into a bit of a hole, since they were under the control of a machine themselves, so in effect she was in a war with herself (a machine) sort of. I really liked the strong cyberpunk elements. As much as I found it interesting, if the parts about the machines controlling everyone's fate had been taken out, and replaced with an attempt by Dolores to take over, then that would have been more interesting.

    I also didn't see the point of Bernard and his sidekick in the season. In the end they did nothing of significance, and were more of a side quest that went nowhere and affected nothing. For a show called Westworld, there wasn't enough from within Westworld in it.

  22. #5022
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    RE: control, the story carries forward S2's philosophical battle between determinism and free will to humanity at large, pretty much like Devs. It's neat, but also borrows chunks of ideas from various sources, not least of which is Asimov's Foundation series. Nothing wrong with that, the real problem is that it's executed in ways that are muddy and shallow. Serac's 'twist' wasn't unexpected, and it really isn't about Dolores fighting herself, it's about not accepting your existence being dictated by a program - something she did all the way back in S1, hence the callbacks to it. Dolores taking over humanity's existence wouldn't be interesting, it'd just be tiresome and at complete odds with her character.

    Again, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the plot, it's just not executed with the kind of character writing it needs to really sing. There's also the broader problem that until S3, Rehoboam hadn't even been hinted at, so it's a massive ask to accept Westworld's Earth as so different to ours when there wasn't any intimation of it in the 20 preceding episodes.

    Also, part of S3's grand point was that because of Rehoboam, 'Westworld' effectively had become the entire planet with human beings as the hosts.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 12th May 2020 at 02:21.

  23. #5023
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    True, I see your point there.

  24. #5024
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    With both me and my wife working from home, we've been having proper lunch breaks and watching an episode of one of the series we're currently watching, so we've got on with a fair few of them.

    One that I'm starting to like a lot, even if it's often pretty unpleasant to watch unless you've got a high tolerance for cringe comedy, is HBO's Succession, which is pretty much what you'd get if the writers of The Thick of It were to do a modernised reimagining of King Lear. It features one of the most toxic families I can remember in all of TV, but it also succeeds at making most of its horrible characters layered and complex in surprising ways. The cast is amazing (I can't think of a single member of the main cast who isn't pitch perfect) and the episodes pack a surprising dramatic, even tragic punch. But yes: if (like my wife, unfortunately) you tend to find cringe comedy difficult to watch, this one might not be your thing. Also, its more tragic aspects might fall flat if you'd rather not waste any sympathy on a bunch of obscenely rich, entitled but possibly kinda sad assholes.

  25. #5025
    Registered: May 2004
    Perhaps it's good that Nolan's Foundation never came to fruition, then? He just ended up awkwardly recycling bits of the script in his current project, much like his brother awkwardly recycled bits of his unproduced Howard Hughes script in Dark Knight Rises?

    It's at least good that they went in a different direction. S2 struck me as one of those sequels that tries to repeat all the twists of the first iteration on a larger scale, but given the nature of those twists it ended up just feeling like a parody of the original thing. I figured s3 would end up doing the same and just reveal that every human character in the show was secretly a robot that had had their mind replaced with someone else's. Glad they at least tried something different - too bad they didn't execute it well. Guess I'll pass.

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