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What are you watching? 2018 edition


#1023

Some of the characters are definitely still finding their feet (5 eps in) but I am forgiving it as they are the third (or fourth, though I never watched the one with Adrienne Paliki) versions of them so they’ve become a little messy in trying to bring along elements I think. I thought Toby Stephens would be the character I loved the most but Maureen is a great character and her motivation is shown well. So far, John’s motivation is non-existent.

Smith I think works soundly as she has extremely clear motivation and they brought the right elements. I think the aim has been and always will be the character you love to hate. When it goes to a Smith scene I can feel myself already feeling that feeling of “Ugggghhh, this horrible scumbag again…”


#1024

I think they did a very good job of recreating the relationship Dr. Smith and Will had in the original show, and giving it a decent justification in an era of more sophisticated, discerning TV. Of course Wil’s going to believe her more readily than Don and the other Robinsons do , she’s an adult and he’s like 10.


#1025

With Smith she comes off as my go-to “OH SHIT” character. Not like in shock, but in an expectant ohhhh shit. Just can’t wait to see what she does and how.

Yeah, I loved that as well. The dangerous situation means that Will is going to be looking for things/people to lock onto and Robot and Smith are better than his parents at the current moment. There’s this clear surrogate theme going on there.


#1026

I think the show is a bit of a mess, it’s half panto and half McGuyver in space. It’s almost competent; the showrunners obviously know what they should do to structure a show and create characters, but they’re just not very good at it. Adding in the people from the other Jupiters is a misstep for me, it distracts from the family too much

I may never finish this season.


#1027

Just noting as I’m reading this Parker Posey is being interviewed on Live with Kelly and Ryan. She dislikes tight clothing and likes the Dr. Smith character. Ryan has garlic in his tea. I’m halfway through a cup of coffee.
-Add: Then Joe Morton was on, and he’s always cool. He was going to be a psych major, changed his mind at college orientation. Good! Didn’t need the competition. :money_mouth_face:


#1028

Out of context, this is delightfully bleak.

Chin up Steve, spring IS coming!


#1029


#1030

Limmy turns up on a few interview podcasts I listen to. It seems from those the most reluctance for new series and material comes from him rather than the BBC or other broadcaster. He likes his rather DIY approach to things.


#1031

I watched King of Kong today. The idea of a documentary about people going for Donkey Kong high scores had never had much appeal to me before, even as a die-hard gamer, as I’m not really into the medium for the digital pissing contests of high scores and leaderboards. But all the news about Billy Mitchell’s high scores getting disavowed had me intrigued.

It’s an interesting film and there are two things that stick out to me. First is that I think it plays with the timeline of the achievements a bit. When Weibe is at the Guinness World Record attempt thing at the end, there’s a sign on top of the DK machine which says he has a 1,000,000+ score, but that’s not been shown or mentioned in the film, I think. As a coda, we find that he set a million score on his own machine, before the world record event. They clearly hold that info back to have an uplifting resolution when one doesn’t occur naturally.

The other thing is that, although it’s impossible to remove hindsight from my viewing of the film, Mitchell’s behaviour is so shady that I can’t believe it’s taken this long for him to be discredited. Someone starts coming at this high score and he magically produces a much higher score, but on a low quality video tape, despite earlier claiming that only live scores count. His continued reluctance to even engage with Weibe, let alone compete with him is a huge red sign that’s something else going on.

Actually, there’s more. It’s interesting that the (painfully stereotypically nerdy) high score judge guy quits the adjudication/ranking company after the live event where Mitchell sends in his taped 1 million. We don’t see that guy again. The cult like environment built up around Mitchell is quite creepy, but the worst has to be the guy Brian Kuh, who sees himself as the #2 DK player and so keeps hanging around Weibe at the arcade and calling Mitchell to update him on his scores. It’s fascinating seeing his sort of nerd-macho arrogance crumble as Weibe quietly outclasses him.

Weibe comes across as a really nice, interesting guy and it’s a shame it’s taken eleven years for his legitimate achievement to be validated.


#1032

Ready Player One - This film was like pure weaponized nostalgia. I love how it kept the same basic framework and beats of the book but departed enough to be an entirely different experience. Especially in the challenges, it skewed to things that were more visually exciting. I was also impressed with how well it trimmed unneeded elements and handled exposition for such an enormous world with ease. It’s likely you could spend a whole day just looking for Easter eggs in this film. Another departure I loved was how they characterized Halliday and Og less as Jobs and Wozniak and more as original characters. Making Halliday a bit Spectrum was brilliant and fit into the themes of the book and film perfectly. Ultimately, the film handles the main lesson of the book very well and doesn’t feel heavy handed making this film pure 80’s Spielberg. If you’re looking for a good time, this is the film.

The Breadwinner - This film couldn’t be more diametrically opposed in tone from the previous film. I’ve become a huge fan of Cartoon Saloon through The Secret of the Kells and Song of the Sea. So it was never a matter of if I was going to see this film but when especially when it was on Netflix. This film takes an even more serious tone setting itself in Taliban controlled Afghanistan near the beginning of a war that will be quite familiar to most of us but unknown to most of the characters of the film. The film illustrates the oppressiveness of the Taliban regime especially towards women. When a young girl’s elderly and disabled father is unjustly imprisoned by the Taliban for petty reasons, their family is left to starve. With only an infant male in the house, there is no one to even go buy supplies with what meager money they have as women are not even allowed out of the house without their father, brother or husband. So in order to fix this, the young girl dresses as a boy and is mostly allowed to freely pursue what she likes though is still very much concerned with getting her father back. The film weaves the entire story together along with a bit of a mystery that drives some of the relationships in the family through a story told by the young girl. It is a very tough film that ends with a bit of hope. I would highly recommend the film but not if you’re having a down day as it’s themes are quite weighty despite the view some would take of its chosen medium.


#1033

Yeah I remember him saying on Richard Herrings Podcast something along those lines but have in my head he said somewhere later he regretted it kind of walking away from it. I’m sure I read that but it’s a very hazy memory.


#1034

I really enjoyed Lost in Space. Although it was more of a prequel to the actual being lost part, it had a ton of stuff that floats my outer-atmosphere balloon…

Engineering fixes - I have a few scripts written for a comic called Run, Raygun, Run (that I can’t afford to make yet) that is very much a sort of science-y, mcguyver-y thing based on the sort of ideas they used to use in the chemistry term project books where Robinson Crusoe would use science to survive on a desert island. So obviously all that stuff was well up my street. There was a fair bit of movie science but that doesn’t bother me if the adventure element is strong enough.

Decent stakes - I thought the danger and peril was pretty consistant and enjoyable, the episode ‘Pressurized’ I thought was an excellent piece of television. Adding other humans was a piece of genius for two reasons - It made the Robinsons be normal everymen to begin with but during the story we could easily see the dynamics in which they began to stand out and, secondly, it gives us a good sense of what they are trying to return to which grounds the set up a good deal. They aren’t lost in Voyager terms of distance or with a return seeming impossible, there’s a reasonable chance they can make it to Alpha Centauri, they just have to survive.

Maureen Robinson - Ok so my granny that got me into comics was called Maureen so maybe there’s a touch of bias but over the course of the series I felt she was one of the strongest adventure female roles I can remember. She’s realistically smart and fearless and kind of leaves her husband looking useless a lot of the time, it’s great.

The music - I love the theme anyway and love they kept it and are using movements of it but the incidental score is pretty great, regardless. They also sometimes flirt with the music of the movies LIS is channeling - Star Wars with the Eels, Jurassic Park with the episode that feels Jurassic Park-y, Harry Potter when Penny calls science magic when her and Will rebel… I’m sure there’s more I didn’t notice. I love that sort of thing.

Overall it looks really great, is well made and has pretty solid pacing - Tone wise I’d put it in the same box as Jurassic Park - just fun family adventure. It’s very clearly family orientated but manages any adult themes reasonably well. I felt a little eye-roll in the last episode but I kind of expected it to be less subtle as it ramped up to a finale.

I’m looking forward to more and actually think it’s the first Netflix series I’ll enjoy a repeat viewing of just for fun.

Could probably make a drinking game out of the amount of times somebody asks, “Where’s Will?”

Reminded me of this every time…


#1035

I think adding the other colonists was one of the best things about the new version, and I was a little let down that the Robinsons, Don, the Robot and Smith were on their own at the end


#1036

I have a feeling they’ve still a major part to play. I definitely think we’ll see this guy again…

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#1037

Well someone’s got to spin some fly beats on the Resolute


#1038

I too agree that the other colonists added something more to the show.

But I’m glad they’re gone. Their weight can be felt more now.


#1039

I think a full season solo would be good as long as we get to see more of the overall humanity arc play out, later. Those plot threads can only hang loose for so long before that weight will start feeling diminished if there’s no movement on them.


#1040

Oh, of course.
It’d be a shame to have it stand like the movie where there’s this overarching threat that never resolves.


#1041

It’s absurd, which is fine, but it’s weird to gather all these comedic actors and not have any laugh out loud moments.

It reminds me a lot of Duckman (which I loved) in tone.


#1042

I think the material may work better with comedic actors who can swing between funny and serious with skill and ease.

I loved Duckman, too.