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What are you watching? 2018 edition


#1458

A dying breed.


#1459

I haven’t seen all of the original three seasons but most of them, and none of S4.

Although it’s a Netflix show now, weird licensing complications mean that it’s not available on Netflix Australia (which we have), but is on cable (Foxtel) which we also have - stumbled upon it around midday today where one of the channels was showing the entire season. Watched a few eps and found them good enough (taped the rest).

We watched Wild Wild Country over the past two nights, Netflix’s 6 part documentary series about the Rajneeshi commune out of Oregon in the early 80s. It’s an intriguing, bizarre story but the last 1.5 - 2 episodes were a bit of a drag compared to the start.


#1460

I got to the end of season 5 of the Blacklist with its big twist/reveal that CHANGES EVERYTHING and… I think I’m done. The show’s groaning under the weight of its own preposterousness now. And Liz has long since stopped being a sympathetic character.

I did read an interesting fan theory that Spader’s character is actually Liz’s mother after gender reassignment when she disappeared which would be suitably ridiculous.


#1461

Blacklist really should have ended midway through Season 4. Everything since then is just treading water.


#1462

Yeah, Season 5 was just not good and the twist was so obvious and drawn out. Spader is still very fun and charismatic in the role, but that’s not enough reason to keep watching. Liz is a pretty awful character at this point.


#1463

I worked for in a movie theatre for a couple years; projectionist was the one hat I never wore, but we had a lot of competent workers up there, and knew exactly what to do to fix problems, and they never failed to address them when they happened. Of course, this was with the old reel system. I have no doubt that when things went digital a lot of theaters thought they could skimp up in the booth, which really is a shame. Just because it seems to be easier doesn’t mean they shouldn’t maintain the responsibility.


#1464

Started watching Riverdale last night with Mrs S and watched eps 2 and 3 tonight.

Not my normal choice of tv but I have enjoyed stuff like Friday Night Lights and the OC in the past.
I do enjoy high school shows, still yearning for the early seasons of the likes of Buffy and Smallville.

There’s Some stupid shit going on and the music is really not my bag, however it’s a really easy watch and it’s not annoying me as much as other shows of this ilk.

My wife is really enjoying it so it means we should breeze thru this first couple of seasons fairly quickly then move onto Defenders and Punisher.


#1465

UPGRADE is an excellent film and mix of science fiction and horror. It has a high production value for something so low budget and manages to pull off a lot of action that many more expensive films can’t. It looks a lot better than Altered Carbon for example.

The movie is very well constructed. If you’re familiar with the genre and movies like it, a lot of the twists will be obvious, but it does eventually defeat expectations and even though it pretty much does not leave much space open for a sequel. It builds a pretty broad and interesting larger world around the story. It did feel much more holistic and put together than I thought it would be from the trailer. Like Ex Machina, I don’t expect a sequel, but it is an interesting world that could support other stories.

It should have really good word of mouth, but I don’t feel like it was promoted as well as it should have been. My wife thought that the lead actor Logan Marshall Green was Tom Hardy for most of the movie - which is ironic since the relationship between the hero and the chip in his head could be compared to Venom and Brock.

If it had been Hardy, I think the film would’ve gotten stronger push or if Blumhouse had gotten a bigger studio to handle distribution. I feel like it actually let the theaters down because they really could’ve filled the seats for this film. Seats that Solo wasn’t filling. It will be interesting to see if Hotel Artemis gets more play because of Jodie Foster, Jeff Goldblum and all the other cast members people will recognize from other films and television.

Logan Marshall Green was the only recognizable face in this movie, and, again, many people might mistake him for Tom Hardy.


#1466

Possibly, but that’s not how Blumhouse works.

They make most of their films cheap, everyone works for union minimums and that includes the cast. The advertising budget is well established and varies a bit, but not hugely, everyone participates on the back end, which can be a big pay day because of the lower upfront costs.

Blum isn’t playing the game the same way everyone else is. At least for now. Maybe that will change? But he’s said repeatedly (and then backed up what he’s said by how he’s continued to work) that he’s comfortable with his business the way it is.

And he should be.

EDIT:
I’m very glad to hear it’s a good film.


#1467

Watched the Ghost in the Shell live action film from last year - I have seen the original anime but that was in the 90s when it was released and I was a dumb kid so found it very boring. Never had any love for it; barely remember anything from it.

This was actually pretty good. I’m no ScarJo fan, but I managed to sit through the whole thing and only tuned out a bit during the final action sequence; still I’d give it a thumbs up overall. The plot’s fine and all the acting good, but the visuals - costumes, settings, effects - are amazing. I loved the world so much it made me sad we didn’t and won’t see more of it.


#1468

I rewatched the live-action GITS a couple of weeks ago, and I agree, it’s a decent film and it’s a shame it didn’t do so well (which to me seemed to be partly to do with the misguided ‘whitewashing’ controversy, and partly because the marketing didn’t reach far enough beyond the existing fanbase).

There are some great effects and very well-realised visual concepts in there, and the cast are generally pretty good too.


#1469

I thought it as fine, but not very memorable. It has big themes but treats them in a pretty blase way.

90’s cyberpunk isn’t my big retro thing anyway, so that was interesting to see on a big budget, but only interesting.

It felt a little late to the party really.


#1470

While rewatching it I was struck by how much of it seems familiar now through other stories that the original GITS influenced, particularly stuff like The Matrix.


#1471

I went to see GitS with a friend and we both really enjoyed it.

It wasn’t ground breaking, but it looked amazing and like you have said, it’s a world you enjoy spending time in.

I thought Johansson did a really good job and I am also disappointed that it underperformed - it was a lot better than many of the blockbusters that did very well that year.


#1472

Watched as much of TERMINAL as I could bear. It is pretty terrible. Not wholly irredeemable, but not good.

It really looks a lot like the trailer for HOTEL ARTEMIS. In the wake of John Wick, can we expect a whole bunch of these stylized “comic book” crime films to hit the screens?


#1473

The House
Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler start an underground casino with a friend to fund their daughter’s college tuition. Hilarity ensues. Almost.
It’s a good film, but not a classic. The main antagonist is under-developed and the daughter almost has her own plot thread. At not even 80 minutes, there was room to fix those (and I think some stuff got excised completely - Alexandra Daddario is credited, but I didn’t see her at all, nor Gillian Vigman).
But the actual amateur casino stuff is funny enough, especially a cameo from Jeremy Renner. I also quite like Ferrell’s character’s inability to due even simple maths. A stupid gag, but a decent one.


#1474

It’s always been a genre (sub genre?).

‘John Wick’ is the full on gunfight version, but back to ‘Thief’ and beyond, there have been crime movies with strong production design and photography.


#1475

My point more is that you could almost believe THIEF or HEAT, for that matter. Or Pierre Melville films like The Red Circle and The Samurai which is probably more influential on these movies.

However, John Wick is a flashy comic book world. Similar to Tarantino and Guy Ritchie. Crime movies from guys who only know about crime from movies.

This sort of film with a complicated (and entirely unbelievable) criminal society and an ensemble of characters with clever “pirate nicknames” has been around a while, but it really hasn’t been very popular for a couple of decades - even in the straight-to-video market. Even John Wick didn’t quite fit the mold since it really just focused on Wick and didn’t have all the unbelievably intertwined storylines common in the genre.


#1476

Having struggled with catching up with The Flash, which must be sooooo bad to non Flash fans seeing as even I spend the entire time watching in one long migraine inducing eye roll, I needed something else.

I tried Ozark. It is very watchable. Bateman makes it, there’s a lot of ‘seen this before’ but his character is wiley in a way which makes you root for him… his solutions range from “I can talk my way out of this,” to “Fuck it, just do what you want.”

It’s not amazing, but Bateman carries it well enough to make it worthwhile watching.


#1477

I rewatched all of the Mission Impossible movies. Love them, especially the last few.

The second one is definitely the weakest, but I enjoyed it more this time around, especially all the Thandie Newton stuff.

Rewatching the third one, I’d forgotten how little Simon Pegg is in it, considering he’s basically the second lead in the next two movies. He shows up briefly early on to do some tech stuff, then pretty much disappears until he’s needed in the third act. If he wasn’t played by Pegg, I’d probably have no idea who he was supposed to be.

The fifth movie plays better now then it did at the time. The ending felt like an anticlimax when I first saw it, but knowing that Sean Harris and Rebecca Ferguson are coming back for the next movie definitely improves it for me.