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What are you watching? 2019 edition


True Detective Season 3 is… pretty slow for the first three episodes. I’m not really all that compelled to keep watching. In fact, I’m not exactly sure what the point exactly is at this part of the story.

Reminds me a bit of IN THE ELECTRIC MIST, an adaptation of one of James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux mystery novels. It may be the only time Burke’s been adapted, I believe, and the film is a mess with a few good actors trying to pull it out of the swamp. True Detective has a lot more mood and style, but way the mystery and story never quite seem clear or cohesive is very similar.


Yeah, after five episodes, there are occasional very good individual scenes, but I’m not that invested in the story as a whole.



It feeling more and more like season one was an anomaly.

This isn’t bad, I’m just not that interested.


I don’t know how you have all spent your weekend but I saw Kung Fu Hustle for the first time and loved pretty much every minute. For pure entertainment value, this probably matches any of my favourites. Why didn’t I watch this (or any other Stephen Chow movie) years ago?

I love the way that it’s packed with film references, using plenty as fodder for jokes, but it seems loving rather than exploitative. The action is all well executed and the knockabout slapstick is top tier. Just great fun. Does anybody recommend any other Stephen Chow films? Obviously I intend to watch Shaolin Soccer, so besides that?


King Fu Hustle is peak Chow. That said, the other movies are all great fun. Good of Cookery and King of Comedy are fun movies. Journey to the West is really really great, not Kung Fu Hustle but not far away. The Mermaid is really funny too, probably on the level of Journey.


I don’t really feel anything he’s done since matches Hustle, it’s amazing, not only is it an incredible spectacle, it has great dialog and a fantastic story and feels both original and unreplicatable, although I wish people would try.


Out of curiosity, have you watched the Rurouni Kenshin trilogy? It’s no Kung Fu Hustle but I think it exists within the ven diagram of what we both like. I meant to mention it to you before. @Tom_Punk may also like it and it’s not exactly wuxia but you may enjoy it too @Lorcan_Nagle (you may have seen the anime actually).


I haven’t, but I do remember you saying that they were pretty good a while back. I’ll try to check them out soon, seeing as how I like samurai stuff just as much as wuxia and martial arts movies. In an ideal world I’d read the manga first but it’s pretty long, and I’m still on the first volume of Dragon Ball y’know?


I’m glad you’re watching Dragonball from the begining by the way, but it is a bit of a slog getting to DBZ as some of the humour isn’t really in great taste and Goku is an absolute twat.

Funnily enough, Steven Chow co-produced the Dragonball live action movie after turning down directing it. I have a feeling he realized that, being a western production, he wouldn’t have enough creative control. Sure enough, he had hardly any say and it was a complete mess.

Disney now own the rights. I think we should start a petition to give him full creative control and have a re-do.


That, actually sounds like a worthy cause. I’m in.

As far as Dragon Ball goes, I’m really enjoying the fine line between naive and asshole that young Goku treads. Toriyama gives him the best facial expressions, which helps. The whole thing is really entertaining.


I think I would have enjoyed it much more if I had’ve watched it before DBZ but to my knowledge I don’t think it was ever broadcast in the UK. Going back to it felt to me like a backwards step because they took a fair bit of time to nail the formula. For me Yamcha was a real saving grace and I’ve grown a deep manly love for him.


My niece, being good and young (three) tends to watch movies obsessively. Her biggest obsessions have been My Neighbor Totoro, Moana, Frozen, Frozen Fever (a short that seems to be only available in a collection of Disney shorts, meaning we’re having to decide how much of the set to watch each time), and today’s showing, Winnie the Pooh (2011), which is great stuff, my favorite of her favorites. I’d meant to watch it since it was originally in theaters (kind of in love with Zooey Deschanel, who sings a few of the songs), so it was fortuitous that my sister acquired a copy last year, and that this year it became a favorite. This version of Pooh is just endlessly charming, and the songs tend to get stuck in the head very easily, even when she hasn’t watched it recently(ish). I have no doubt that it will be, er, back soon on the ol’ TV screen…


That’s a pretty good set of movies to be into. And it’s definitely the best Pooh animated movie.

As for Frozen Fever, it was available as a standalone DVD when it first came out, I think it may have been a Tesco exclusive.


I remember catching the last two minutes of an episode of it on Cartoon Network (or maybe Toonami or CNX) once, years after DBZ had debuted, and then couldn’t find it again.


Saw Alita Battle Angel at the cinema this morning. Action packed, cgi spectacle. The multiple plot points - mysterious origins; becoming a bounty hunter; romance; murder all championships - didn’t all hang together all that well (and the romance element didn’t really feel like it added anything to me) but I wasn’t that bothered given how quickly it nipped on from one to the other. I was surprised at how much I liked / cared for the main character. I was also surprised at Jennifer Connelly’s final fate of becoming a brain and eyes in a jar!


They packed parts in from later in the series and I agree they don’t naturally feel comfortable all being there and like you I didn’t find it a big problem. You get the feeling that it’s an adaption where they’ve had to leave out a lot to fit everything in but they nail Alita so well you get trailed along as story points fly by while you hold onto the back of the plot.


The second season of the Captain Underpants cartoon is still really great.


Happy Death Day 2U is a very, very dumb movie that can’t be bothered with things like consistency or dealing with dangling plots but as long as you’re willing to accept that it is pretty entertaining. It leans way more into the comedy and there’s barely any horror. In fact the slasher feels like an afterthought most of the time. But I laughed enough that I didn’t mind.


That’s a shame.
I really liked the first.


I became a charter subscriber for the new Criterion channel last night (I think it is only presently available in the US and Canada). As a charter subscriber you can lock in a lifetime price of $90 a year, which amounts to $7.50 a month even if they raise the price—a steal for a decent streaming service with all that they will offer when they start up in April.

Pretty excited for this.