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What Are You Watching? Infinite Season


#9139

The BBC are repeating Back In Time For Dinner this week. I watched the second series (Further Back, which was repeated last week, giving a full 20th century spread, nicely) when it aired, but missed this original series. It’s quite a good show - the family are very likeable, which helps enormously to make it work. I do wonder if the format would collapse a bit if they’d picked a family with a mother who could cook though, as a lot of the culture shock “wasn’t this all terrible” stuff relies on Rochelle being utterly useless at cooking, while the father, Brandon, who normally cooks, isn’t allowed to help.

The 50s episode feels nicely topical to Brexit (mind you, what doesn’t these days) by thoroughly puncturing all that rose-tinted nostalgia for the good old days of simple living, by showing it to be gruelling and grim, with the kids basically getting through the first few years/days eating as little as possible.


#9140

Does this mean that you didn’t get the Down in Mexico scene? If so, that is a shame.
I recently watched the movie again a few weeks ago and mostly enjoyed it, though it’s the second half which I prefer (with the really great long, single take shot in the bar/cafe). It’s interesting that this is the only movie where Tarantino was the cinematographer. It must have made it hurt more when it became the first of his movies to be dismissed by everyone.


#9141

Yeah I didn’t see the Down in Mexico scene, but I don’t think it really loses out without it.
Although I can see why it would play better when it was released solo overseas. Buffs it out.

What really caught me about Death Proof is just how taut it was, especially that first half, that cutting around stuff helped keep up the momentum. The second half, which I enjoyed, felt a bit less interesting. Which was part of the gag, in that part of the backstory “in-film” is that it’s another production company finishing the unfinished movie…so that was also really good overall. Yeah, I’m not the biggest Tarantino fan but this goes up there on my list of faves of his.


#9142

Finally watched the M. Night Shyamalan film SPLIT last night. It was a decent film, dragging a bit too often, but I loved Betty Buckley’s performance and was intrigued by the text of her character’s Skype presentation.

And that final scene!! Either I wasn’t paying attention to on-line comments, or everybody did a great job of keeping this a secret. That one moment vastly improved my opinion of the film, and of Shyamalan


#9143

It’s the first one. :slight_smile: They’re already filming a follow-up:


#9144

I love how Split actually improves Unbreakable…which was already a fantastic film, by finally developing a motif from that movie that was never really made much of in that first movie.


#9145

Unbreakable was always planned as a trilogy. M. Night Shyamalan had just lost a lot of his horsepower to get it made by then.


#9146

I know, but Split in particular was meant to be a subplot of Unbreakable to begin with.
It only became the second installment after the fact. And the idea that it was meant to be a subplot means that Unbreakable actually was going to play with this motif that it introduced but never did much with.

Now having had that subplot, even in its own movie, makes Unbreakable so much better on reflection of it.


#9147

While I preferred Planet Terror to Death Proof, they were both just okay at best. PT worked better for me because Rodriguez genuinely tried to make the movie look and feel like something from the 1970s, which was the point of the exercise.

DP was just too Tarantino. It felt like two short films stitched together. If you liked DP, you may enjoy Highwaymen (2004).


#9148

I’ll check it out.
Planet Terror I think was just very effects heavy, that kept edging on taking me out of what was meant to be a B-Movie experience. But I didn’t have that problem with Death Proof, as Tarantino plays the whole “horribly made old movie” gimmick to the fullest hilt. Edgar Wright put it best in an interview where he said that “Planet Terror is the movie the posters promise, but Death Proof is more true to how those movies actually were”.

And I’ve seen my fair share of crappy movies, and one of the things that is actually pretty endearing about the “good” ones is how boring they are until suddenly they aren’t anymore. Planet Terror, fun Rodriguez movie, but Death Proof…from the voice dubbing flubs to the harsh jump cuts, to the fact that two different titles that pop up allude the idea that it’s two films stitched together and all that…so good.


#9149

That quote is spot on, the only is issue is that Grindhouse films were generally terrible and so is Death Proof.


#9150

Oh yeah, Death Proof is bad…but as an exercise in trying to be bad…it’s fantastic.
Just stretches of characters talking about nonsense and then - bam it’s in overdrive. That’s magnificent.


#9151

Captain Philips…well that’s a bit good.


#9152

Death Proof is awesome. I don’t even think it’s trying to be bad. Some of the effects and editing stuff, yeah. But the pulpy story it tells, and how Tarantino tells it, is genuinely great.

Planet Terror always felt like it was trying too hard. I found it boring, tbh. There are some good moments in it, though. I’m also not much of a Robert Rodriguez fan.


#9153

I meant trying to be “bad” in the sense of how something is trying to emulate that bygone era of low budget movies that are being run and rerun in efforts to make a profit. Planet Terror feels too slick, but Death Proof eschews that at every turn outside of the car scenes. It puts the work in to make it feel old and hokey…which is the entire point.


#9154

Definitely agreed. Cool Tom Hanks double bill; Captain Phillips and Sully.

(Stupid random thought. Keaton’ Batman. Jack Napier up on the catwalk, has just recovered his pistol. Sees detective. “Eckhard! Think about the future!” Fires pistol. Instead of seeing fat guy in trenchcoat drop, we cut to montage of Arron Eckhard’s future roles. Yeah, I should write for SNL!)


#9155

#9156

Yeah, well, there is that! :laughing:


#9157

I got to the end of series 3 of Dark Matter this week, and well, I guess the end of Dark Matter completely. Some stray thoughts, which I’m going to spoiler tag, because I think at least Ben hasn’t finished the show yet.

I really loved it. It had the unpretentious feel of Stargate that made that series so much fun to watch, mixed with an interesting and not over-explained space setting and great use of cliffhangers - I’d say Dark Matter has the strongest use of cliffhangers since the first series of Heroes (which, for all its faults, knew how to get you back for the next episode).
It wasn’t an overly safe show, either. Killing off One at the start of series 2 was a big move, and then following that up by taking out back-doors for his (or the actor’s at least) full return by killing off Corso and then the alternate reality Corso. Having Six betray the group was genuinely surprising, having him redeem himself with them a great continuation. The way the show was able to reposition Three after the death of One, from being the irritant thorn in the side of the ship’s conscience to a merc with a glimmer of humanity that he was trying to suppress, was impressive and made for a complex and wonderfully likeable character.
Adding to the crew in season 2 with Devon and Nyx threatened to be a bit Jonas-esque, Devon especially, but they managed to subvert that well - although Nyx’s death was a little awkward and telegraphed given that there was no reason for her to have stayed on the ship while the others went off. That Devon died without anyone knowing is a little heartbreaking and that’s impressive. (I also like that Devon and Nyx are named sort of in keeping with the crew’s number-names - Nyx as zero and Devon as seven. I hope that was intentional.
I liked that the show was able to mix in extra crew members in season 3, with Adrian and Solara, without it being too big a deal. That added to the mix well but didn’t stay too long or feel crowbarred in.
I do think the show was perhaps starting to go back to the well of the characters’ forgotten memories holding big revelations a little too much. By the end of the last series, they’re all about on their third revelation and the Android turning out to be based on Two’s creator/girlfriend was a little hackneyed. Plus, revealing Two was in a lesbian relationship plays in to the growing cliche of using bisexuality as coding for a female character being a bad ass, which I find a tad reductive.
I could have lived without Wil Wheaton as well. That guy bugs me.
And then that cliffhanger! Is Six dead? Guess so, but I wouldn’t say for definite. Two possessed by aliens (who stray perhaps a little close to the Goa’uld for writers who used to work on Stargate to get away with, but the Cthulhu-esque elements help there), Ryo looking as though he might reintegrate with the crew, an alien invasion!
Fuck SyFy for cancelling this without a conclusion.


#9158

For those interested, Film4 are showing Taika Waititi’s 2010 movie Boy tonight at 10:50PM: