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What are you watching? 2018 edition


#121

I loved Weeds, but never finished it, because I never got back into it after I’d finished the available seasons and had to take an unvoluntary break. Season 5 was the last one I saw; I need to finish this at some point.

Mary-Louis Parker is fantastic.


#122

JLJL speaks the truth


#123

Travelers S2 eps 5-12

Well, that was one the crappiest finales I’ve seen years, a long, depressing 40 minutes of total bollocks, combined with an omniscient, perfect arsehole villain, who kept pulling new abilities out of his backside.

So, in short you have this guy who has kidnapped, tortured and would have killed the team, engineered a plague to kill 30% of the world’s population, pulled the trigger on ordering a kid’s assassination Terminator-style, violated the minds of mental patients - causing severe brain damage - and then dumped them on the streets. Who’s idea of being ‘strong and stable’ is to kidnap everyone the team care about and severely fuck with them. And after doing all that, in this season finale? There is no pay-off, zero! It’s utterly unsatisfying, not at all entertaining and is your more-or-less standard ‘bad’ ending cranked up to 11 but done really, really badly.

The eps before that were generally far better, but such is the cataclysmic awfulness of the finale that it reverberates backwards to retroactively wreck all that preceded it too.

Whatever S3 does, its first opener is likely to be a massive, massive cheat.


#124

Murder on the Orient Express…Oof, what a dud. Such a good cast, completely wasted in a boring badly written film.


#125

Aye. Poirot was the only good part of it.


#126

Yeah, I liked that they played up his OCD side. Branagh definitely gave himself the best role.


#127

He really did. Honestly up until the mystery gets into full swing it’s just nice that he’s a weary and near cranky guy just trying to ride this train in peace. It’s really more that the mystery is so dully presented.


#128

‘Scandal’ at the BFI, another film in the John Hurt season, with Michael Caton-Jones, Stephen Woolley, Nik Powell and Michael Thomas.

I wish the Q&A had lasted longer. It’s a good film and they had a lot of anecdotes about making it.

It’s a film that was, thirty years ago, addressing the start of chequebook journalism (20 years before that!) as well as media and political hypocrisy and corruption.

According to one of the producers the film was written for TV (as a four part series) but was turned down by every TV station, and then, after being rewritten as a film, it was then rejected by almost all sources of UK funding, because no-one wanted to rock the boat and upset the government of the time (which was Conservative again). Some of the rejections were very angry about it.

But the movie got made and it stands the test of time very well. You can feel some areas are rushing through important points, in order to connect the dots fast enough, but it still works.


#129

What happened to Tonya wasn’t right. I don’t believe she was behind it, but I also think she just wasn’t cut out for fame and had no good people around helping her. It was a total injustice. I’m glad the movie gives her some redemption.


#130

Get Out

I don’t bother with much horror, but I was keen to check this out (before the Oscar noms, honest) given the cast and director. It really lives up to the hype. The premise and its slow reveal is masterfully done and incredibly creepy. Not only is Kaluuya brilliant, but also Allison Williams as Rose. But what I especially love is the character of Rod, who is wonderfully genre savvy and a smart addition to the story, quickly transcending the comic relief sidekick role he seems built for.


#131

I finally saw Coco today. What a lovely film. I found it quite moving in places.

There are some brilliant designs in there too, as well as the kind of amazing detail that we now take for granted in these kinds of animations.


#132

I saw Early Man, the new Aardman movie. It’s fine, which is slightly disappointing for Aardman. It looks lovely, but I didn’t laugh that often and found both the football/caveman jokes and the story fairly predictable.

It picks up in the third act when they get to the big game, but it never reaches the levels of Aardman’s other movies.

I do like to think Nick Park was brainstorming something to finally break through in the US after the disappointments of their last few movies, and his Eureka moment was “I know! An underdog soccer movie!”


#133

Worked with Shaolin Soccer


#134

That movie made less than $500,000 in the US. :slight_smile:


#135

Half a mil.
That’s some baller money right there.


#136

Hmm, a week’s salary for a top footie guy then?


#137

Tonight’s Inside No 9 was the first one this series that I found ever so slightly disappointing. There wasn’t enough in the way of interesting drama, and the twist was a bit too obvious to make an impact when it came. Still, quite a few funny lines and some good performances.


#138

American Assassin is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a while. It’s just so…blunt and staggeringly made. The movie never comes together in a sensible way and it’s just really funny to watch go down.

I watched it mainly because I think Dylan O’Brien is a pretty talented younger actor. His filmography isn’t great, but he’s usually the highlight in anything he’s in. No different here. He’s not given anything good to work with, but the earnestness of his performance does keep it from being just a painful mess.


#139

CALL OF HEROES is a very Chinese version of the Seven Samurai sort of story with a good payoff not nearly as downbeat as 13 Assassins.


#140

I watched the first three episodes of Glenn Howerton’s new NBC show, IP Bio.

It’s okay. Howerton’s character Jack is essentially a force of nature, singleminded in his petty objectives. It’s basically Dennis from Sunny as a school teacher.

And that’s the show’s biggest problem: Jack has no real resistance. Sunny has great character chemistry and dynamics. The characters don’t seem to connect with each other. It feels like a light network version of Sunny.

Howerton would be better off doing Sunny for now.