We just watched the first episode tonight, and it looks pretty good for its age (even if it’s obviously still a world away from HD versions of shows and movies shot on film).
I like that there’s been no attempt to revise the effects, and no obvious tweaks to the visuals or sound. It feels like the show as I remember it - usually revisions to this kind of material don’t turn out well, despite good intentions.
I had forgotten how much of it was wordplay and jokes based around language; I remember those kinds of jokes from the books more than the TV show. So it was nice to hear those again (for the first time in a long time).
Also, the way the book is brought to life on-screen with the animations and diagrams still really holds up. I’m looking forward to watching the extra feature about that.
Elementary has often had the weird problem where they cast too good. They cast Natalie Dormer as Moriarty right before she became too big to come back to the show, and I think Ifans was busy back in England for a lot of the time they wanted him on the show, so he ended up only being in a handful of episodes.
I think this is pretty harsh. The show is not without merit.
I’ve watched every series, although I couldn’t finish Coven, because I found it really boring and I stopped watching Hotel.
In general, I think each season starts quite strong and then loses it, some more than others.
I think the show is often badly structured across the episodes and there’s very litttle restraint to be had. The writers are not very good but they do come up with some good ideas and those ideas are often translated very well to the screen - even if the ideas are mostly influenced by other movies.
I’ve felt some of it to be quite unique in its feel, it can be funny at times, some of the imagery designs are pretty great, the opening credits are a work of art. Some of the disturbing imagery there is the best I’ve ever seen in any horror movie or show and whoever designs the credits continually comes up with these unsettling little things every single year. Even after 7 series before it the opening credits to season 8 are incredible. Absolutely award worthy and worth watching the show at least once for alone.
Murder House started well, it was quite scary to being with, very sexy in places as well. I felt it went off the rails and some episodes were better than others.
Asylum I thought was excellent, probably tried to fit too much in which was to its detriment overall, but I really enjoyed it.
Coven was terrible. For me it lost two of the most important aspects of the show. The horror and the sex. Bored the shite out of me.
Freak Show started very strongly. Some of the stuff with the clown was pretty horrific and disturbing. Once it started to focus too much on the circus freaks i lost interest.
Hotel was too much of a mixed bag. I’ve no idea what they were trying to achieve there. I gave up pretty quickly and I thought that was going to be my last. Although I did watch every scene with Lady Gaga in it when it came on Netflix.
Roanoke I gave a chance to and I actually thought it was very good for at least 75% of it. It did enough to win me back over. It was a great idea but just lacked the restraint to be truly brilliant, which is where the show always falls down. I still hold this season in high regard but it started off a lot better than it finished.
Cult swept me away for the first 4 or 5 episodes. I loved the start of it. Very topical, very disturbing. I also like how it painted both left and right extremists as assholes, because that’s what they are. The temptation for most people is to focus on the right only and give the left a free pass. It pokes fun at them, which takes balls these days because some of these fuckers just love ruining people’s careers and lives, as we’ve seen recently with the James Gunn incident.
Apocalypse has just started in the UK and the first epsiode was a total mixed bag and I did feel my attention wavering, however the opening credits, the terrifying idea that doesn’t seem so far from reality of arsehole world leaders pressing the big red button and the customs designs of the guys at the nuclear bunkers with the gas masks on was enough to keep me riding over. As was Evan Peters who I think is amazing.
I love a lot of the actors and the amount of scenery getting chewed. Evan Peters reinvents himself every year, compliment him with the likes of Joan Collins, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Lady Gaga and at best you’ve got some tremendous actors letting loose at worst you’ve got the sheer curiousity factor of seeing how they get on.
After the strength of Roanoke and Cult AHS is now a yearly event for me that I look forward to. I kinda know what to expect now in terms of quality or how the show is done, but every season being different feels like opening a twisted gift each year and quite excitedly peering inside.
I love that it comes on as the weather starts to get colder and the nights get darker and I’ll take whatever horror I can get on tv.
I… remember mainstream opinion being a bit different from that. Not that I didn’t like it, but…
There’s a lot of wasted potential in the story. They take quite some pains to build this dystopian scenario with Earth and Elysium and around midway it all turns into one big fight against Kruger - who is fun as a character, but shouldn’t have been the antagonist. Jodie Foster was wasted. Also, the movie’s politics turn out to be painfully naive towards the end.
I did like it as an action movie, and it had stunning visuals. I also love the design - those shots of Elysium were amazing! - and the approach to tech, which I felt was close to some aspects of Gibson’s cyberpunk. There was a lot to like. But the story fell short.
Was the shaky-cam as bad as I remember it being?
I actually owe it another watch. The effects when they rebuild Krueger’s face were so cool. It sold me on that ridiculous moment pretty much immediately.
I still love the trailer, but it’s not quite the movie that we actually got.
One of the story issues is the insane level of medical equipment the off-world super rich have. Once you invent a machine that can do what it can do, you only ever need those machines. Even if they cost a trillion dollars each, they completely replace every other medical technique in existence. They would be in every town, saving the global economy a fortune in the process, making the rich richer.
As a concept they’re just too powerful for the story-telling job at hand; which is to fix two characters; Damon and the little girl.
I watched Edgar Wright’s BABY DRIVER for the first time last night. Very entertaining film with great performances, but I was somewhat disappointed that the film was not a realistic drama as I had been expecting based on the trailers and on the cast (Spacey, Hamm, Foxx, James). I thought it would be more like DRIVE and less like the FAST/FURIOUS series.
Still, I enjoyed the heck out of it, and was really pleased by the cameo performances by various faces from the music scene.
They worked okay for me where those two things are concerned, and even for Kruger. You can explain away the impact they should’ve had by saying they’re not just cost but also extremely resource intensive.
But deploying a few ships with hundreds of these things to Earth wouldn’t actually change a thing, then. In fact, they even wouldn’t if the machines work fine: you can heal people, but that doesn’t change a thing about the Earth’s fucked up state overall, and people living in poverty and hunger. They just keep being miserable, only now they get medically cured of the diseases they’ve developed every few weeks.
As an analogy, it’s even kind of worse, because it suggests that all we have to do to make the whole world a happy place is for the rich to share their wealth with the poor. But the truth is that even if you could suddenly lift everybody in the world to developed-nation-rich-person standard of living, the world does not have enough resources to survive that, and that you can’t just hand out wealth because there’s political and economic systems in place that make distribution difficult, and because in the long term, addiction to outside help can be counter-productive. And Elysiums’ wealth is actually based on exploiting the Earth, which is shown in the movie, so it’s not like you could keep that standard if you stopped doing that.
And yeah, asking to consider all that may be a bit much to ask of a sci-fi movie. But the thing is that in the way the movie depicts Max’s surroundings in the first third, it approaches these issues very seriously. And then at some point, Blomkamp decides he now doesn’t care about political issues anymore because he’d rather blow up Sharlto Copley a lot, which… fair enough, I guess. But it could’ve been more than that.
Thematically there’s a bigger picture of global exploitation, but the film explicitly aims at health care. It picks a battle and sticks to it.
The girl is ill, Damon gets ill, the people on the shuttle at the start are all looking for medical treatment, even the factory boss is paranoid about germs from his workforce.
But I still want to like the film, I think it’s got a lot of great ideas. I’ve always thought Blomkamp should hire a better writer to turn the film into a Netflix-sized TV show. Really get into all the details.
Hiring a writer would generally seem like the way to go, for Blomkamp. It’s why I’m looking forward to seeing him on a franchise like Alien or Robocop. I’d rather see him working from an existing script than as an auteur.
After Elysium, I have to say I’d also like to see him on a Gibson cyberpunk thing. I’d much rather see a Blomkamp Neuromancer than a Tim Miller one (which I’m kind of hoping doesn’t happen, to be honest). [I’d rather see someone with a more stylised aesthetic than Blomkamp on Neuromancer, really, but the idea of a proper cyberpunk Blompamp project appeals to me now.]
The Shape of Water: A beautiful looking movie but I found the story just okay. It felt like it would have been better if about 15-30 minutes had been cut. A tighter movie would served the story better. It was a nice fantasy film but I don’t think I’d watch it again.
Mr Inbetween: A new series on FX. Set in New South Wales, Australia, it follows Ray, a very low level hitman/enforcer as he balances his “work” and family and a new relationship. It is very grounded and has an intimate feel when watching all aspects of Ray’s life. It’s only six episodes and the first two have aired. I really liked it and will continue with the series.
Maniac: This is the Netflix series starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill. All ten episodes were directed by Cary Fukunaga. While beautiful and surreal, it just felt like a very weak version of Legion. The back half of the series was not as strong as the front half and that hurt the show a lot. It’s not bad by any means and has some good performances. I did enjoy it.
I probably shouldn’t comment because I haven’t seen the film, but the source material is about learning language. I mean, learning language isn’t just a convenient plot macguffin because Ted Chiang couldn’t think of a better way to have his character experience time differently, it’s the core idea around which the whole story is constructed. If they were to remove that idea from the film for some reason, they wouldn’t be making Ted Chiang’s story, they’d be making something different (which I suspect you may have liked better, but still…).
I hadn’t even thought about the timeline issue, to be honest. I don’t think it’s a big deal, I can overlook it as an error (by the writers, or in-character) or assume Kryptonians live 150 years or whatever. It’s too minor to affect my enjoyment