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What are you watching? 2019 edition


#3924

Just the first fifteen minutes from what I’ve heard. You should be fine.


#3925

For those in the US (or with a VPN), the Deadly Class pilot is online:


#3926

Somehow it had passed me by that Vic and Bob had started a new series of Big Night Out, after the special a year ago.

I started watching it tonight, and as a big fan of Reeves and Mortimer it’s slightly painful to say that it’s not very good. Partly it’s the nostalgia factor - hearing half-hearted cheers as old jokes are resurrected is understandable, but it would be nicer if their material was provoking genuine regular laughs instead of taking the easy option of playing to fans.

There still are occasional funny moments - I’ll always love their sense of the absurd, and the genuine affection between the two of them - but I don’t know if I’ll make it though the whole series.


#3927

I always thought this scene at the end of a 3 hour movie is quite sadistic.


#3928

You can train your bladder over time - yesterday at work I didn’t have my first loo break until 4.00pm, after drinking a coffee and several bottles of water all day.


#3929

#3930

Yesss Bill Burr on Rogan!


#3931

Saw Death of Stalin a few days ago, and it was a lot of fun. As a political farce, it worked very well, but I am not quite sure how well Iannucci’s style and the historical background fit. I mean, this was clearly a fictionalised version of the Soviet Union, one in which everybody talks and behaves like, well, characters in The Thick of It. The absurdity of which is a lot of fun, but the other thing is that the background is of course also fascinating in and of itself, and I’d also love to see a movie taking that on in a more accurate way. And maybe this movie would have worked just as well, or even better, if it hadn’t been set in 20th century Russia, but in a completely fictional context.

Anyway, this was what it was - a farce using certain political events but also a style of more absurd comedy to show the mechanisms of power as mundane and yet quite terrifying. Absolutely fantastic cast, too, with everybody at the top of their game.


#3932

Hit me up when you’re 45.


#3933

Yeah, it was a strange juxtaposition of absurd humor and political catastrophe. It’s like setting a sitcom like NIGHT COURT in 1930’s Germany where it hears nothing but cases based on the 1935 Nuremberg racial laws.

However, it worked for me because I think it is possibly in essence more accurate than a dour, serious dramatic take on the material would have been. Human life is absurd and it only gets more absurd when times are bad. I think it’s a bit dishonest to leave that out.

Like when I was watching TOO BIG TO FAIL, the HBO movie about the financial crisis. It had some funny moments, but they were mostly quick comic relief. However, watching it, the whole situation of the story was filled with absurdity. Timothy Geitner (Crudup) would tell Paulson (Hurt) that this is what the government needs to do. Paulson would reply that whatever Geitner suggested was unconstitutional, defied every principle of capitalism, wouldn’t work and even if they could do it, he wouldn’t do it.

Then some bank would collapse, and Paulson would be like “remember that thing I told Tim we would never, never, never ever ever do? We’re gonna do that.”

And that would happen over and over in the movie, but it didn’t seem like anyone noticed that was hilarious and, I think, it’s much more accurate to depict these guys who get us into these messes as the clowns they obviously are.


#3934

I’m not at all religious or particularly keen on Christmas carols, but Howard Goodall’s documentary about them on BBC4 the other night, The Truth About Christmas Carols, was really interesting. I especially liked the look at regional variations of carols. If you missed it, you should catch it on iPlayer.


#3935

Thanks - I like Goodall but didn’t know about this.


#3936

That was enjoyable, thanks for the recommendation.

I’ve moved from that to another Goodall-related festive show, and it’s an old favourite: Blackadder’s Christmas Carol.

(AKA Hagrid: Origins):


#3937

Watching the new Watership Down. It has an amazing voice cast in terms of big names, and despite never having seen the much-loved original animated version or read the book, I was interested in this just for the actors involved.

But the whole thing feels oddly cold and unengaging, partly due to the pseudo-realistic CGI animation (which makes a lot of the characters look dead-eyed and interchangeable) and partly because the script is really flat, rarely giving anyone the chance to really have any fun with their character.

Only Olivia Colman and Peter Capaldi really manage to bring their characters to life, but even then the whole story is so overwhelmingly dour and serious that they serve as rare highlights.

Tonight’s first instalment was 1hr40m, split into two chapters (presumably so it can also be broadcast in 50m chunks for hour slots), and there’s another concluding part of the same length tomorrow. I’m not sure I can sit through that.


#3938

The original absolutely traumatised me as a kid. I vaguely remember watching it in the cinema and being terrified.


#3939

I’ve heard a lot of similar accounts over the years. Apparently the new one is not quite as graphic and brutual, but it still has its moments.

My wife is a fan of the original and quite liked the new one, anyway.


#3940

@Christian , @BeingHenning - the graphic novel that the film is based on is well worth a look, as is the next one the same team did, Death To The Tsar.


#3941

I saw Mary Poppins Returns, and found it very charming. Blunt is great, and I really enjoyed the songs.


#3942

Three hours twenty!
I’ve never seen more than the first couple of minutes of the original animated Watership Down either (which has a really horrible 70s stylised look for some reason) and its bleak rep doesn’t have me desperate to check out either. Especially not at that length.


#3943

I checked it out and apparently it’s a co-production with Netflix, so probably designed more to be watched as 4x50m.

It still feels far too long for what it is, though.