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What Are You Watching? Infinite Season


#8472

I was grateful that it took itself more serious than I expected and didn’t go for wall to wall comedy. However, it’s a crowd pleaser and wouldn’t be anything compelling for a sci-fi fan. I think making it look similar to Star Trek was the big mistake, and really what fueled the harsh criticism.

It’s nothing special, but it was a decent way to kill time between football games. I didn’t change the channel to catch the beginning of the Dallas v Giants game so there’s that. If it had been for the Packer game though, I wouldn’t have hesitated.


#8473

Yeah, that’s pretty much what I meant by sparseness. There’s a plot but it’s just a good conceit for the characters to react to, and the season trailer (bar one or two teases) has me relatively interested in how they’ll go about reacting to those.

But in terms of being compelling for a sci-fi fan, hell nah it wouldn’t.


#8474

Agreed. I’ll probably tune in again next week between games because it’s convenient.


#8475

I watched The Orville. It was not as bad as the reviews would have you believe. Yeah, it had pilotitis: introductions of characters, relationships and premise in a very short amount of time. There was a lot of stiffness in the delivery of dialogue, especially the jokes. I can see its potential to be a pretty decent series once it finds its legs.

I like the idea that it will be a lighter series that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I’ll keep watching.


#8476

Yeah, I thought it was a good start the the new season.

After Roanoke and this first episode i have renewed hope for AMS.


#8477

Hated the music in the Orville tho… I know what they were going for, but it just didn’t fit.

Anyways, saw the russian Guardians… meh… Some good, some bad, mostly bland. Didn’t help that the subs were utter shit… but I was able to get the general gist of it, I mean, it’s not like it was a deep plot or anyhting. Still, I suppose that’s the closest we’ll get to a Winter Guard movie, so there’s that. The speed-dude was fairly well made… the bear-man… errr not. Really shitty FX on him, and on the villain and his latex body suit.

I dunno, knowing that it was made for 5 mil, kinda makes it impressive, buuuut, I’ve watched Night Watch, and that was probably made with a similar budget and it’s soooo much better it’s not even funny. And it’s also like almost a decade old… So while I’m tempted to give The Guardians a break, honestly I won’t 'cause I know Russian cinema has produced better movies. I guess as a first SH attempt it’s passable, but barely.


#8478

I watched Trainwreck and thought it was ok. Fairly conventional as these kinds of movies go, but pretty funny in places, and with celebrity cameos that actually added to the movie rather than being for their own sake. Schumer gets some good laughs but I ended up feeling it was Bill Hader who grounds the whole thing in the ‘straight man’ role.

(Although playing a character called Doc Connors inevitably made me disappointed he didn’t eventually turn into a giant labcoat-wearing half-man half-lizard.)


#8479

Oh, and Tilda Swinton is great in it, but then she’s Tilda Swinton so you knew that.


#8480

I initially mis-parsed that and got all excited for a moment :frowning:


#8481

Lucifer was actually enjoyable, contrary to what I’d been led to believe.

Yes, yet another “straight cop working with quirky amateur to solve crimes” is a criminal waste of the “Lucifer on holiday from Hell” concept. But if you just take it on its own merits it is a good example of the genre. Like all of these things it stands or falls on the personality of the “quirky amateur”, and so far Lucifer is entertaining enough to be watchable and give some good laughs. It remains to be seen whether he remains entertaining or becomes insufferable, but for now I’ll probably keep watching (though maybe not religiously) (no pun intended :wink: ).


#8482

The last three or so episodes of Rick and Morty have really been a streak of “cool sci-fi idea with absurdity” that I think the two episodes prior to those didn’t quite gel with. It’s been near Season 1 stuff where the implications aren’t too blunt and it allows for a fun romp and for you to put two and two together with how screwed up things are. I like that.


#8483

I found it a bit distracting, too. I hope they tone down some of the Star Trek homage elements moving forward.

Seeing that Brannon Braga is involved, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s throwing in bits that he always wanted to do in a Star Trek series but knew he could never get away with.


#8484

I quite liked the Star Trek elements, a lot put a smile on my face but I agree that they should tone them down.

I generally enjoyed it. I think as a sci fi fan i actually enjoyed it more as I’m happy with things that have sci fi elements even if they are light candyfloss like this, it’s nice to look at and has warmth in its parody, much like Galaxy Quest.

I’ll happily stick with it.


#8485

One aspect I liked is the lack of transporters. They have to use shuttles to go down to planets and the like.

Something else I like is that the Orville is not the “pride” of the fleet. It’s not the biggest or most prestigious. It’s a mid-level ship with a mid-level captain.


#8486

Yeah, I think that it adds a level of charm to it that would be lost if it was a runt or a pride.


#8487

I watched the Trank Fantastic Four movie last night. Well, over the last couple of nights actually, as I fell asleep halfway through when I tried to watch it the first time.

And that tells you everything you need to know, really. It’s not absolutely terrible - at least, not as terrible as I expected based on the awful reviews - and elements like the acting and effects are mostly ok. It’s just such a misguided approach for a Fantastic Four movie: everything is dull and grey, the first two-thirds of the film is full of slow, talky scenes building up to the origin, which is then followed by lots of slow, talky, grey scenes that gradually lead up to a quick action finale that feels a bit half-baked - and then the film suddenly ends.

There’s no colour or imagination here - which is what I think of when I think of the Fantastic Four - and there’s almost no personality to anything. It’s all so flat and boring that the whole film ends up feeling inconsequential and nothing-y.

I’m not sure who pushed for this approach for a Fantastic Four movie, but it just doesn’t suit the material at all. A shame, as with a wildly different take on the idea, it feels like the cast could have worked.


#8488

Good points. I expected a more punk take on the FF from Trank, but I don’t think he really went in with any strong take or intent for the film. Neither did Fox or anyone else it seems.

I think it could’ve been more “Real Genius” with superpowers. That might not have worked either but it seemed to fit best with what they had to work with.


#8489

It’s difficult to know for sure, as Trank publicly disowned the version that was released and said that Fox had created something quite different from his vision for the movie.

General consensus seems to be that the final act was the studio’s attempt to rescue the film (which makes sense, as it suddenly switches from quite a dark take on the FF - Ben as a killing machine working for the military, Johnny on the way to becoming the same, Reed using his powers to disguise himself while on the run in South America - to a more conventional superhero movie action finale).

I would be interested to know how Trank’s version would have played out, but as far as I’m aware that hasn’t been detailed anywhere.


#8490

Tried watching the Orville pilot yesterday. It’s not good. It’s not terrible either though. The humor doesn’t land and the writing isn’t good or interesting. Most of it falls flat. (Honestly, I have no trouble believing that it was meant to be an outright comedy until after the pilot was shot and then people realized it wasn’t funny.) Slight or inoffensive I think is probably the best word for it. The central idea is decent, the average Joes of the Federation, but no one involved has the talent to do anything interesting with it.


#8491

I watched the first episode of The Deuce last night, and it’s fantastic. The new David Simon show, it’s set in and around Times Square in the early 70s, with the show’s focus on how moral crusaders against the sleaze on the street drove the formation of porn as an industry in the US and the vague legitimisation of sex work via massage parlours and the like.

Like Tremé and The Wire, this is a show with a metric shitload of characters, with a few big names (James Franco as twin brothers Vinnie and Frankie Martino, who are fledgling mob frontmen, Maggie Gyllenhall as Eileen “Candy” Merrell, a prostitute who refuses to work for any pimp); a bunch of regualrs from past David Simon productions (Gbenga Akinnagbe, Larry Gilliard Jr, Method Man, Dominique Fishback, Chris Coy), and the obligatory WTF casting (Ralph Macchio as a vice cop?), and the 90-minute first episode is setting the scene for that huge cast, with many of them getting brief character sketches rather than a narrative direction.

But those character sketches, as well as the larger amount of screen time given to a few characters are fantastic viewing. Michelle McClaren of Breaking Bad fame directed the episode, and her camera roves around an amazing reproduction of 70s New York, peeking into sordid nooks and crannies. There’s a lot of sex, some of it quite graphic, but it’s very matter of fact, never erotic or tittilating. These two points combine when the camera pans by a phone booth and while Vinnie greets the man in the booth, we see that a prostitute is on her knees, servicing him. And his erect penis is in her hand as the camera goes by. There’s nothing pornographic about this, and while my instant reaction was pity- that getting off was both so important and so run of the mill that he was willing to do it in a phone booth - but the show doesn’t judge, it just presents.

There’s no romanticism of Times Square the same way Tremé did for New Orleans, and so far it doesn’t seem to present NYC as a metaphor for the decay of America like Baltimore was used in The Wire, but that may well come. There’s a lot of fun background moments along the way - one cinema is showing Mondo Trasho by John Walters, and there’s posters up for The Omega Man, which help make the story and setting feel lived in.

This is definitely worth watching, coming right on the heels of Twin Peaks conclusion means there’s no gap in peak TV drama. For another 7 weeks anyway. Well timed, HBO.