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Veltigar

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  1. It is. I watched it faithfully every week on live TV, but had to tape the final episode. It really has pretty much everyone who was part of the Reagan administration and still alive in there. Pretty much everyone, even the unrepentant Reaganites like James Baker seem to believe Reagan didn't have the intellectual qualities desired of a president. But hey, he was a great communicator and a better actor than people gave him credit for, as he was able to fool the population into thinking he had their best interest at heart, while his cronies were really shitting all over them released as they were from a POTUS who didn't understand what they were doing. I was watching a discussion show about Trump's appearance at CPAC and the guests in the studio (so called America experts) situated the beginning of the rot in the rise of Newt Gingrich. I am however, convinced by this series that you really have to look at Reagan's rise to explain for the sad state of American democracy and discourse. He lowered the bar for what was to come. Oh no, not another streaming service I haven't even heard about this one.
  2. I have watched a few good things lately. First, I was finally able to see The Two Popes. It's a nice film. Nothing earth-shattering, but Hopkins and Pryce are always great and the Catholic Church remains fascinating, so I enjoyed it. Still, as fas as Pope related entertainment goes it cannot hold a candle to The Young Pope of a few years back (although it is far better than The New Pope, the more I think about that series, the more my dislike for it grows). I also caught up with most of BBC's The Serpent. It's based on the crimes of serial killer Charles Sobhraj, who murdered young tourists between 1975–1976 in Asia and who was finally caught by the dogged pursuit of a Dutch diplomat. Again nothing transcend, but it was a genuine good time. I particularly liked how they nailed down just how different the times were. The Seventies aren't that long ago, but the crimes Sobhraj commits (or rather the methods he employs) would be unthinkable in today's world. I finally finished Showtime's The Reagans... The fourth and final episode was just bat shit insane. Ronnie apparently let Nancy decide a lot and she used a fucking astrologer to determine policy? I feel like it's quite hard to hate them for their malign influence on American democracy, as they were clearly idiots. The onus here is clearly on the general public who really have no clue what qualities make a good POTUS. My favorite watch of the weekend however, was definitely News of the World with Tom Hanks. I just like westerns, so that definitely biases me, but I thought this was an excellent outing. A real Sunday afternoon movie of the type they don't make enough of nowadays. I wouldn't be surprised if I return to this in the years to come.
  3. Finished the latest episode of Resident Alien. It is actually getting better, which is great, as I was already enjoying it from episode 1. As I have said a few times before, it's good old-fashioned fun. This one will not win any prizes, but it's light and fun. I still warmly recommend it!
  4. According to IMDB, when the author of the original novel received the script for The Handmaiden, she remarked that she liked it but that it would be more accurate to state that the movie had been inspired by her novel instead of being an adaptation. Also not a big fan of Oldboy really. I seem to have some trouble with Korean films which I don't really have with Japanese or Indian films. Apart from Parasite (and genre outings like Train to Busan and Kingdom), I don't think I ever jumped fully on the bandwagon for any of the acclaimed films they have turned out. Still, I have quite some stuff left to sample so perhaps I'll find my magic mix. EDIT: IMDB not IMDN
  5. Been catching up with the usual suspects, being Resident Alien and WandaVision. The former was just as enjoyable and fluffy as always (I can't believe no one else seems to be watching this on here), while the latter was a step down from the previous three episodes which were really great. I hope episode 8 will resemble episodes 4-6 more quality wise. After that I watched some films, first there was The Handmaiden, a Korean film from 2016 from the director of Oldboy with whom I believe many on the forum are already acquainted and which is often hailed as a modern classic. Secondly, there was Nomadland, which is a very recent film which has broken the record for greatest number of awards on the festival circuits ever. I have to admit that I wasn't as enthused by either as the majority seems to be. I'm not going to offer a hot take and say they are garbage, both are objectively good films, but the amount of praise is not in balance with the actual quality of the movies in my opinion. For the Handmaiden, I thought the first third was quite weak. That is of course part of the narrative set-up, but they could have found a way to make that first act more engaging. I also felt like I didn't really get a good feel for most of the characters, particularly our main villain and I also don't really see the need for their convoluted plan Another thing I didn't care much for were the sex scenes. I don't know what the other people who saw it felt, but to me they felt very voyeuristic. I can't help but compare this film to the far superior Portrait de la jeune fille en feu, which I think handled the dynamic of a queer relationship much more respectfully (including the sex and nudity aspect of it all). Nomadland on the other hand I enjoyed more. It's an odd mix of documentary realism (having real nomads play most of the characters) and Malickian vistas which is really beautiful. Fran felt like a very real person throughout and while she isn't some great exemplary human being (she's not the nomad equivalent of Uncle Tom), the film poignantly argues that she is deserving of our love and care regardless. It is great to see this level of empathy in a film and I might adjust my score for it upwards in a few days, but part of the reason why I didn't like it is that you can just see the critic hype train rolling out celebrating it less because of the film itself and more because of paratextual elements outside of the film's inherent quality (It's filmed with real people ; it makes an important comment on current America ; no one looks like Hollywood ; All the people in it are senior citizens, etc.). Still well worth a watch though!
  6. I finished Mordew by Alex Pheby today. It has been a long, long time since I read any fantasy by a new author but while I was shopping for some completely unrelated non-fiction, I came across the marvelous cover of Mordew, picked it up and read the following description: Naturally, I was intrigued. Bought the book and finished it. There is a lot people will find familiar in there (There is some Dickens in there and I assume some Peake as well, but the latter I can't say for I have yet to read Gormenghast) but it is presented in an energetic and very imaginative way. The world-building is very intriguing and I'm curious to see where it goes. If it builds further on the strengths of this first book it might be a trilogy that can stand the test of time
  7. Yeah, I read it. Good summation although I'm not sure whether the final argument goes for Another Round. Is Denmark a nation knows for making good movies? You have Vinterberg and Refn but apart from their filmography (which isn't entirely Danish, Vinterberg made Far From the Madding Crowd before Another Round and Refn's ego has been too big for Denmark for years now) I can't really think of Denmark as a film-making nation. I know about the different 'Woods but it's kind of a mouthful to refer to. Anyways, I will not argue with the diversity of India. There are a few aspects of diversity you mention where it isn't strictly speaking number one (I recall a study from a few years ago that put Singapore on top) and linguistically speaking it has been well documented that Papua New Guinea cannot be beaten for diversity (They have like +800 languages)., but I reckon India ranks high on all the aspects above and therefore is the most diverse across all categories. Glad to hear she's off age XD Anyways, I can imagine that you don't see the connection between a beloved child hood property and the bard straight away if you haven't though about it deeply. It is more problematic when people point it out and don't immediately see how much sense "Lion King = Hamlet with the stars of Tiger King" makes
  8. The weird thing was that it was totally 100% historically inaccurate as well. They basically invented that sub plot. Have to admit I didn't dislike it, but it does feel kind of unnecessary when you take that into account. I member that movie So... how old is she exactly? Never really understood the love people have for Eternal Sunshine. It's one of those films I put in the severely overrated category, but I'll probably get flack for that one XD What I dislike about these films is more the futility they inspire in me. I can do depressing and weird if done right, but I feel like Anomalisa and I'm thinking of Ending Things never gave me a reason to invest. His oeuvre is a bit like Malevich's Black Square. Perhaps not impressive on its own, but it gets power from the context in which it is made. It's good that someone out there isn't making cookie cutter conveyor belt products, but that's about all I can say in defense of his directorial efforts. Most of it was forgettable but the Normally, I'd say that it once again proves the Academy Awards' lack of relevance, but I haven't seen enough of the competition here to judge. Perhaps it was a poor year for foreign films? Anyways, Vinterberg and Mads Mikkelsen are a match made in heaven usually. Both acclaimed, the story at first glance is interesting and there is the tragedy of Vinterberg's daughter dying during production to propel it forward. Not to mention that I hope people realize that Jagten should have been given the award years ago instead of rewarding La Grande Belezza (or the great Felini rip-off as I like to call it). This is interesting, I'm going to check his writing out. A good film critic is invaluable and I have never found a good one for Bollywood films Thanks for sharing!
  9. I saw quite a lot of films and series recently. Too many to really write up, but The Dig with Carrey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes was as good as advertised. Resident Alien, Allan Tudyck's new show on sci-fi continuous to be be a light piece of fluff in a rather enjoyable way. I also find myself enjoying the new episodes of WandaVision I was ready to check out after the first three, but the fourth one got me back again. It is now getting better every week. Tried to watch The Wanting Mare, but that turned out to be one of the most pretentiously boring pieces of schlock I have started in quite some time. I quit after half-an-hour. Been enjoying The Reagans, the documentary about proto-Trump which is very well made. Got one episode left of that. I watched Another Round from Thomas Vinterberg last weekend. It stars Mads Mikkelsen and after their previous partnership (the devastating Jagten) I had high hopes of this. It turned out to be just okay. Never would have imagined them making such a completely forgettable film together. I'm Thinking of Ending Things was next. I know Kaufman is a darling of the indie crowd but this felt like such a pointless film. Especially the car scenes which go on and on and literally go nowhere. Apparently one of his quotes is " I don't know what the hell a third act is" and I'm glad at least he knows that himself. Still have to see Synecdoche and some of the stuff he's written for other directors but what I have seen of his so far doesn't really give me an incentive to delve deeper into his back catalog.
  10. She can't act and now she's out. Wonderful. Didn't follow the whole thing and don't need to, her leaving is enough to please me
  11. Hey, that was in movie 1, I didn't rewatch that one Aside from that, I'm not saying he needs to get rich of this thing. If Spiderman wants to stick to only being moderately selfish (since he refrains from becoming a FTE superhero), he still needs enough money to keep himself fed, clothed and housed. All the non-illegal ways of making money I provided as examples above could do that easily. Not to mention the added advantages. If he doesn't want to get rich, he can have companies that endorse him spend more money on charitable donations. Think about what a Spiderman Foundation would be able to do? Instead of waiting for poverty and despair to drive people into crime, he could bring them meals-on-weals, educational grants, proper housing, etc. to alleviate their suffering immediately. Plus, there is the effect his image could have on things. There is this one scene were Peter jumps of his bike and tells some kids who saw it to sleep early, eat their vegetables and all that kind of crap. Imagine him doing that as Spiderman on TV, what effect would that have on childhood obesity in NYC? Anyways, we're digressing. The fact of the matter is that I still have not seen a clear retort for my assertion that this movie is not internally consistent. It's easy to jump in on one example provided (though I do find it funny that everyone steers clear of my argument about Parker callously exposing his "precious" secret identity), but why not engage with the entire argument, namely that this movie frames its story along serious lines (e.g. I have to protect my secret identity otherwise bad guys will murder my family or life is hard because I have money problems and have to juggle those with being Spiderman) but then does not really treat these topic seriously at all? Now, that makes me not like this film (well, that and the casting but let's park that somewhere else for now), but it is perfectly possible to admit to some property not being very good on one dimension of storytelling and still loving it. Lord knows, I have my guilty pleasures as well. I mean, look at what J. Jonah Jameson is doing with his brand at the moment. Clearly Peter has no problem with being portrayed as the menace of NY, because he keeps selling his damn picture to a dude who shits all over his brand and is basically slandering him on a daily basis XD When Peter was stuck in that elevator with that random PR agent, he should have fallen on his knees and offered to do unspeakable things to that guy if only he'd take him on as a client and help him clear up that mess Not really relevant for this discussion about the movie, but nice to see that someone is engaging with the material XD Perhaps I would have preferred that? In any case, his hardships don't need to be financial in nature. There is no question that the existence of superheroes wouldn't always be rainbows and butterflies, but then it would perhaps be nicer not to create unnecessary drama by zooming in on a non-issue like his personal finances. I would also reiterate the point I made up top about no one engaging with the gist of my argument, but only zooming in on the example of Peter's personal finances (and not on the whole my secret identity is superduper important but I don't take any trouble to maintain it) which I gave to indicate the internal consistencies within this film
  12. Endorsements, licensing deals, pictures with fans, etc. Not exactly rocket science to come up with a legal way of making a quick buck as a superhero in that setting (not to mention the illegal things like robbing a bank or you know, impounding money from drug dealers, etc.) . Heck he could even make more money delivering pizza's as Spiderman than as Peter Parker
  13. On my quest to revisit more high-quality Alfred Molina performances, I watched Chocolat yesterday. It's one of those movies I must have seen once or twice back in the day but hardly had any recollection about. Just goes to show you that memory isn't perfect because I greatly enjoyed it. It was really surprising to see how many heavy-hitters were in this. You have Juliette Binoche, Judy Dench, Johny Depp, Alfred Molina, Carrie Ann Moss, Lena Olin, Peter Stormare and a bunch of other actors you have definitely seen before and who are always reliably good. It isn't surprising then that the acting was phenomenal. Really enjoyed seeing all these great actors working together. The story itself is very diverting and it does a very good job at portraying this kind of cloistered, small-minded village world which Vianne and her chocolate magic are able to blow open completely. Obviously it is again a sort of hyper-real version of what such a village would have been like in real-life, but it is crazy to think just how short ago this takes place and how common these types of villages were back then (there are probably a few still out there, but it must surely be a dying breed). I think the only place where the story doesn't add up is the timing. If I'm correct, I guess they imply that all of it happens during Lent, but forty days seems a bit short to get this entire story to come to a boil. Still, a real nitpick all things considered. Really sad that this came out in 2000. It deserved more awards than it got, but in a year with Gladiator and Crouching Tiger, you know it's going to be tough. Still, they should have beaten Erin Brockovich for a best actress nod I'd say. I mean, if they are inconsistent and one-day convince me that they are completely able not to pee on my carpet and the next day I come in and they crap everywhere I feel like I have reason to dislike those puppies Good that you expanded a bit, but I do feel like you are making quite a lot of assumptions. I actually remembered them being cartoony, with the exception of Alfred Molina's performance (who really belongs in a better movie, but I have beaten that dead horse enough to make my point). Even if I hadn't seen and remembered them, the fact that Sam Raimi directs them is a pretty clear give-away. That being said, I didn't necessarily dislike it because it wasn't realistic. I am very happy to accept a piece of entertainment that goes beyond realism (case in point, Sam Raimi's onw Army of Darkness). Heck, I think the most cartoony character of the entire Spiderman trilogy is J.K. Simons editor and he's hilarious. However, even when a piece of entertainment tries not to be realistic it has to be internally consistent and I feel that this movie failed on that front. Like, why is Peter Parker making such a big deal out of his secret identity while he's seemingly doing everything in his power to reveal it? How come he's struggling for money while this world (which is basically our own but with superhero's and a casual disregard for human life and the laws of physics) should offer him plenty of ways to improve his financial situation? And I could go on, but there is a mismatch there because it feels like it takes a cartoony set-up and tries to infuse realism in there without actually finding a good way to connect them intellectually. That's just lazy in my book. Obviously, it doesn't help that I dislike both Dunst and Maquire as performers, that's a bias I'll gladly admit too, but that's definitely an important aspect of it too.
  14. Exactly, so pretty good! I don't remember being insanely bored by it or wishing that someone was waterboarding me instead of having to sit through the film, which is pretty good
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