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Thread: What have you watched lately?

  1. #5526
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Sadly I found Dune rather underwhelming, but it is gorgeous to look at. Even just visually it’s worth seeing on a big screen.

  2. #5527
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    So the first two episodes of Foundation were ... meh, alright.
    It's mixing different genres. Rome meets Battlestar Galactica: the prime time drama.
    It likes music swells and "dramatic moments" to a fault.
    I'll watch more of it before giving more of an opinion.
    When it sticks with the storytelling, it has my attention.

    Edit2: In the interest of balance, I should say it has its pros, although you could probably guess them. The production design is top notch. CG graphics are pretty great -- I took a few mental notes for my own project -- but not what I'd call iconic. I wasn't taking screenshots like I would if it were, for example. Lee Pace & Jarred Harris are two of my very favorite actors of our era, and here they don't disappoint, and the other leads I can honestly say I like. And the dialog & plotting aren't bad per se. Alright. This ends the pros section of this post.
    I've watched them up to date and I agree that story has to snag me and it doesn't right off. I guess they are going for the slow development thing. The first episode was best so far though. The weird thing is I've read Foundation twice and still can't recall the plot very well. Not enough to do anything but pick out the main points. I mean, it has been twenty years but I still recall Dune well from much farther back. Anyway it's interesting enough to follow.

    Something I just watched was Brand New Cherry Flavor which started fairly normal with the first episode but began to spin into the outer reaches of freak out crazy town soon enough. It's creepy as hell once Boro the witchy woman begins her slow tweaking of spider web strands. Something about it reminded me of In the Mouth of Madness. It has that drawing you in where you know you don't want to go flavor. I followed the trail of entrails and puke kitties all the way to the end. Check and see if you are intrigued enough to.

  3. #5528
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I read (a good chunk of) Foundation last month and still can't remember it all that well.

    It's one of those classics that has a kind of charisma that makes you root for it even if you're not sure what you're rooting for.

    Our protagonist is a different gender, and that's not a small thing the way the show is playing it. I remember that much!

    (It got overtaken by my reading of A Memory Called Empire, though, which is another space opera -- actually with a ton of parallels with Foundation -- and that one really has me hooked. I ended up spending half of today reading it because I didn't want to stop. But it's not given me motivation to finish Foundation off, and the show only made that worse.)

  4. #5529
    No Time To Die

    So there it is, the final Craig Bond film.

    I started fairly ambivalent about this movie. I still don't know quite what to think of it, usually to me that means the movie's bad, typically, but it's not the case here. There are some genuinely good things in this Bond, bold narrative choices, bold characterization too. This is going to remain spoiler-free so I won't go into details, but here goes...

    Like the previous Casio Royale/Quantum of Solace diptych, NTTD serves as a direct sequel to Spectre, which in my mind is the worst of the Craig outings, and one of the worst Bond movies overall. There were production issues and delays, Danny Boyle was initially slated to direct but later dropped out and it doesn't help that there was much hype about Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge being brought in for script duties after the director swap, and I really didn't click with Fleabag... So let's just say that I came in with low expectations.

    Turns out that, in many respects, NTTD is a very respectable Bond movie, and an ambitious one at that. Comparisons abound with On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and with reason, as it explicitly hangs over the movie with all kinds of subtle and not-so-subtle references. Bold choices, I said above, and high stakes, believable stakes that lead to realistic and shocking consequences all the way to the final scenes... This is a movie where Bond hurts, where you actually do fear for his and his companions' lives, where the villain is pragmatic and cold and won't hesitate to shoot you, plot armor be damned.

    As a Bond movie, as the final Craig Bond movie, it works. It's not just a sequel to Spectre, it closes an arc that was started all the way back with Casino Royale. In The World is Not Enough, Q famously told Bond, "Never let them see you bleed." Daniel Craig's tenure as Bond has him bleeding, literally and metaphorically, a broken man haunted by personal demons, fighting to make a broken world better.

    However, the movie is not without flaws. It is long, and it makes you feel it, and there are several instances where some trimming could have made it tighter. If characterization as a whole improves overall, especially with everyone returning from Spectre getting much richer dialogue and scenes, the only exception to this would be with M's badass decay from Spectre and Skyfall, as his plot-related oversights prior to the movie caused the whole mess... The movie also introduces Lashana Lynch as the new 007 (not the new James Bond) and while I have no problem with her performance, I did feel her characterization was a bit on the nose to contrast with Craig's more "old school" approach.

    Discussing specifics would lead me to spoiler territory, so I'll just stop here. Overall, this is a spectacular Bond outing and a fitting send-off for Daniel Craig. The pacing is messy but the punches land and the movie sticks the landing in a way that both serves the story and is satisfying to me as a viewer. Like OHMSS before it, NTTD breaks the mold and goes where no Bond movie has gone before, ever. And for that, I think it deserves quite a bit of respect.

    Last edited by raph; 17th Oct 2021 at 08:54. Reason: typo

  5. #5530
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by raph View Post

    So worth the wait. Going again next week.
    I went and saw it yesterday with Digi - it was awesome. Want to see it again soon.

  6. #5531
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    We saw The Last Duel yesterday, a film that I did enjoy a fair bit, though I think it's somewhat conflicted in terms of its structure and themes. I'll have to think about these things some more, but what I can definitely say is that Scott is still a consummate craftsman, and the people he's working with are equally great at their craft. I can't remember any recent films set in some distant past that look as much like they just sent a camera back in time and filmed what they found. There wasn't a single moment where I thought, "Shame that the CGI doesn't look as good as the physical sets and scenery" - I'm certain that pretty much every single shot had some CGI magic in it, but it all just looks like a coherent, believable 14th century, at least to me. The acting is also very good, once you get over the crimes against hairstyle committed by the Matt Damon and Ben Affleck characters.

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