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What are you watching? 2018 edition


#1938

I can see why someone thought John Woo directing Mission:Impossible 2 would be a good idea, but the end result isn’t a particularly good film. It’s long, surprisingly boring at times and very pompously directed. That final fight between Hunt and whatever the hell Dougray Scott’s guy is called was completely robbed of drama and urgency by Woo’s stylistic choices, despite some impressive fight choreography.

And moments before that, they ripped off Doctor Who’s iconic motorbike scene from Survival! The cheek.

Anyway, despite being pretty naff, there’s some things I enjoyed in MI2. That general Y2K aesthetic, including a wonderful bit of DVD product placement durinf Hunt’s briefing (which makes little sense, because it doesn’t seem to be on a DVD). Metallica’s end credit song. And, despite how preposterous it all is, I do like the stuff with the latex masks. I don’t know if they’re enhanced with CGI (I assume not, given the state of CGI in the 90s) or very cleverly edited, but these films have made a real art of the usually hokey “it’s really this guy in disguise!” cliche.

Oh and the doves! So silly. And they’re even on the blu-ray’s main menu, sharing feature billing with Cruise.


#1939

Yes!

Edit: I love that it shows the band in Cruises signature running away from shit.


#1940

So Blindspot Season 2

We watched the finale trio of S1, which wasn’t great, but series 2 - fuckin’ hell, this thing is in freefall going “so far, so good” unaware its eventually going to hit the ground so damn hard it goes everywhere.

They reveal their main villain, who is absolutely pathetic. Oh, she ticks all the boxes - violent, psychopathic, manipulative piece o’ crap, but at no point do I get the sense that this is someone who’d people would follow, never mind die for. Then it comes to the mid-season finale…

It’s been doing the “there’s a mole” plot for a while, which tend to be crap in series like this because most of the time you can work it out. It’s either a minor supporting character or main who has legged it to another series, so is getting written out. In this case, it’s the former which they then add insult to injury on by revealing he had mad martial arts skillz. Yeah,no. Oh and he does all this betrayal stuff and then gets to leg it at the end that is massively unsatisfying.

Meanwhile, Shepherd goes full shitbag with the “watch your friends die”, “kill your X” and then, when it all goes horribly wrong, isn’t killed off. Given who the fight went down with, it should have ended with her as a corpse, but no.

Oh and the “good guys”? Now regularly hand people to the CIA for “interrogation”. Even for Dylan Baker, who plays governmental arsehole, it’s pushing it.

We’ve the discs so will likely see how it plays out, but as it’s a fair certainty I’m not going to see Shepherd get crucified, she likely won’t get what she deserves for being a torturing scumbag.

All in all, it’s a spectacularly messy fall… But hey, “so far, so good.”

Central Intelligence

Changing tack, watched this on Netflix last weekend and it’s an OK way to spend 90 minutes or so. The one big mistake it made is in being indulgent towards another piece o’ torture-loving crap.

Both of these bring to mind a couple of observations:

  1. When did torture become such a passe plot device? It used to be this awful, shocking thing, now it seems to be a standard part of TV plots.
  2. Also, what happened to villains you could at least respect? Because in both of these, Harris and Shepherd are simply pathetic.

#1941

Christel and I watched Neal Brennan: 3 Mics. It was funny but he also gets quite serious as talks about dealing with depression and his father. A very good special.


#1942

No, there were no characters from Sheffield or Hackney. There were two actors in an ensemble cast who came from there. :wink:


#1943

So, HBO’s Succession is filling all the House of Cards style holes in my heart at the moment. Each episode gets better and better, and it actually reminds me of early seasons of “Game Of Thrones” in some aspects. Show of the year for me so far.


#1944

#1945

Well, that explains it then - found the first 24 series crap and never bothered with the rest.


#1946

I liked 24 a lot, up until around series five anyway - but it was definitely written from a certain point of view, politically. And the trouble was that it felt the need to keep topping itself every season, so things got more and more extreme and torture became standard rather than shocking.


#1947

Part of the reason I gave the first series a try is it was written pre-9/11, which gives it a different cast to what followed.

Also, for all that agency feuding is a frequent plot device for US TV, in 24 it was taken to stupid levels, to the point where it hurt the story for me.


#1948

I watched the first season of 24. It was entertaining with the real-time aspect being a great hook. Yeah, it was OTT but it was fun.

I started to watch Season 2 but forgot to record an episode and missed it. This being the days of videotapes and before VOD and streaming, I had no way to get caught up so I stopped watching.


#1949

There was a lot of stupidity on many levels in 24, but it was still fun to watch just because they stuck to their principle so well and that meant that each season was such a rush. Oh, and for seeing Jack Bauer’s life being absolutely dismantled from season to season. Poor guy should’ve just stayed home in season 1.


#1950

Cue post-apocalyptic series trailer of devastated LA, cue voiceover:

And all this

Scene change to Jack:

Because this guy stayed in bed.


#1951

They really should have capped it all off with a season where Jack was the villain. It would make sense for all that he suffered to finally break him.


#1952

Anyway, I just came back from Incredibles 2 and I have to echo the generally lukewarm opinions of others. There are one or two decent laughs and moments of invention, but this skews too close to the original for comfort and sadly feels like it’s going through the motions a lot of the time. A shame as I had high hopes for this.


#1953

Yeah, that’s a great idea. If they ever do a new incarnation of the show, I hope they go with having Bauer as the villain.


#1954

Watching Wonder Woman for the umpteenth time. My mother thinks Gal Gadot is a terrible actress.


#1955

I say this gently but with respect; your mother is wrong, I have WW on too, and Gal is really good. Thewlis in this one, though…


#1956

She is a terrible actress. She plays the role ok but she has no emotional range and doesn’t ever act like a real person.


#1957

I like Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, but she’s not a very good actress. At least not at this point in her career. She could grow, though.