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What are you watching? 2019 edition


#4064

Netflix doc series An Innocent Man which only further makes clear that you do not cooperate with police even if you are innocent. Get a lawyer and keep quiet.


#4065

#4066

Caught Bumblebee yesterday. I can see why lots of people like it, but I thought it was too much of a Xerox of E.T. and stuff like that. However, this is more like what I expected from the franchise when they announced Spielberg was a producer a million years ago.


#4067

Watched Slice over the weekend. It’s terrible. The plot makes no sense, it’s almost entirely unfunny (I laughed three times) and Chance the Rapper is not a good actor.

I also watched the Little Mermaid. It’s a live action film Netflix and the filmmakers are clearly hoping you’ll confuse with a Disney remake. I say this because the preview shows the mermaid singing. The thing is the movie isn’t a musical. That’s the only song in the entire film and it comes out of nowhere. It’s literally just there for the preview. The film is very low budget and bad but in a hilariously kind of way by the end so it ended up being enjoyable.


#4068

Watching Teen Titans Go to the Movies again…and so tempted to revise my end of 2018 list and move it to the number 1 spot.

It’s so much fun. Just as good as first time round but reinforces my memory of it.


#4069

Yeah, I’ve watched it a couple of times with my son over Christmas and it’s still great. I keep noticing new things each time I see it (Robin’s crap hand-dancing in the car during the Upbeat Inspirational Song About Life cracks me up. And the Lion King scene just gets better and better with every watch.)

Between this and Lego Batman it puts the lie to the idea that DC movies can’t have a sense of humour about themselves.


#4070

I thought it had a theatrical release. I might be misremembering but I’m sure I went to the cinema to see this as a kid.


#4071

I’m not actually sure, I just assumed it was a TV movie from the quality and the TV show origin.


#4072

Yeah it was out in the cinema. Was still a year or two before we had a cinema locally though so I rarely got to see many films in the cinema back then, though I think it was on around the same time as Problem Child which I won tickets to go see so I don’t think I had a choice to go see it any way because of that but I remember being wowed by the posters.


#4073

I watched the Ballad of Buster Scruggs last night. It’s not top level Cohen brothers, but it is still great in the way they tell stories. The Gal who got Rattled was my favorite of all the stories (Buster Scruggs was second) - that story will stay with me for a long time to come.


#4074

Are all the Coen bros movies on netflix? That could lead me to get a subscription.


#4075

Jon Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous

Despite loving stand up, I’m pretty tepid on most American comedians. But whenever I subscribe to Netflix, I try to give a few a go. I’ve never heard of Mulaney (well, the name’s vaguely familiar) but the auto-preview had swayed me. And the full show didn’t disappoint. The material about school assemblies with anti-kidnapping safety tips was great. I also like that there’s only the merest hint of trying to add some kind of outside narrative to the show, which is one of the things that bugs me with American stand-up specials.


#4076

Mulaney is one of my favorite stand-up acts. I’m always up for his specials.


#4077

Yeah, all of Mulaney’s stuff, excluding his sitcom, is great. I love the Oh, Hello on Broadway special on Netflix too.

His Law & Order bits are the first things of his I knew:


#4078

#4079

Oh, yes! I’ve seen the Ice T thing before. And I recognise him as Spider-Ham now Todd mentions it.


#4080

I watched the first half of Ilang: The Wolf Brigade a while back and only got around to finishing it yesterday.

Which kinda tells you all you need to know? It’s a live-action Korean remake of the anime movie Jin-Roh: the Wolf Brigade, which is adapted from a story in a manga called Hellhounds: Kerberos Panzer Corps. The Kerberos saga is overseen by Mamoru Oshii, best known in the west as the director of the Patlabor and Ghost in the Shell movies, and is a mix of manga, anime, live-action movies, and other mutimedia which started telling the story of a brutal police special forces unit in an alternate totalitarian Japan, but sorta pivoted to talking about people who scam free meals in restaurants. It’s a bit odd, to say the least. Over here, it’s probably best known for the toys and kits of police in power armour that looks like it was designed by Nazis.

Ilang is a stand-alone thing, set in a Korea that’s on the verge of reuniting. An opening montage sets up the backplot - the Special Police were founded to combat a revolutionary group called The Sect, and given carte blanche to deal with the problem as they see fit. Following a massacre of schoolgirls, the Special Police begin wearing face masks to wall themselves off from the psychological trauma, further dehumanising themselves as well as making them feared even more. Unfortunately, this is all in the prologue, and it’s really the most interesting thing about the movie.

What follows is a pretty straight adaptation of Jin-Roh anime, - a Special Police officer is haunted by a young woman who blew herself up to try and take a couple of cops with her rather than be arrested, and he winds up making a connection with her alleged sister. But said sister is being used by a rival police branch in an attempt to take the Special Police down, and the plot eventually unravels.

It’s competently executed for the most part, and the action sequences - most notably a shootout and chase that starts in a skyscraper restaurant - are over the top and a bit silly, but somehow didn’t drag me too far out of the moody plot, which is more akin to a spy thriller. The final confrontation between the two police forces feels more like cathartic violence, or a Terminator movie than the cumulation of an action story. Really, it feels like a curiosity. I feel it was better than the middling reviews made it out to be, but it’s far from essential.


#4081

Charlie Brooker’s Bandersnatch, while most definitely an intellectual curiosity in its enabling of the audience to generate 1 trillion alternative story lines with 5 alternative endings, I found set off irony alerts all over the place.

Surely the premise that the protagonist’s apparent decision making, and hence perhaps our own, was really at the behest of some external agency flies in the face of the audience enabling trick itself?

Of course, such is the genius of the man, that that irony may well have been his intent.

I much preferred the first episode of series 3 which, for me, was in the same league as ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Big Brother’ in importance. That carried forward the same important message that Establishment control abides, whether through eugenics, political/propaganda or, now, social media.


#4082

I think Oshii made a few live-action movies in Japan based on the same source material. The production quality wasn’t very good, though.

Live action adaptations are hit and miss. I was surprised how much I liked the live action BLEACH movie, though. Primarily because I don’t like the anime or the manga at all.


#4083

There’s a lot of deliberate commentary on the subject of choice in there. In the ending that gives you a 5 star review he tells you he simplified the game by removing many choices, giving the illusion of choice but really you are following the path the author wants.