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Watch, Watched, Watching: Hindsight in 2020

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2 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

I really need to catch up on Endeavour. Still halfway through season 3!

Oh my gosh, yes you do. We watch it as soon as it airs. I read recently that we are up to 30 episodes for Endeavour and that Morse only had 33 so that means we may only get another three more, because then that would bring them both up to the same number of episodes. (I don't know how many Lewis had but I doubt I'll be watching that ever again anyway.)

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My wife isnt interested in Endeavour, otherwise we’d watch it over dinner after our daughter’s asleep (I’ve most of the dvds).

I like Lewis, but LF being a tool in rl would probably spoil a rewatch. 

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I watched The Highwaymen, The Two Popes and Darkest Hour over the past few days (in this order - which I believe affected the opinions I formed about all three).

The Highwaymen

Spoiler

is a beautifully shot and masterfully acted story with interesting characters and a not-so-captivating story. While it was pure joy to watch Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson act, the storytelling itself did not reach up to the standards the acting and the cinematography set. While the writers attempted to shoehorn various layers of human and societal drama into the plot, none of these were explored deeply enough to build the necessary tension that will maintain the audience’s attention for two and a half hours. Having said that, the final subversion and anti-climactic ending was just what the story called for and the film delivered it without failure. 

The Two Popes

Spoiler

brought acting performance to an even higher level if possible. Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce are enough to make any scene without story or context enjoyable and this film even made a strong attempt at the latter two. Characters and human drama was the driving force of the film in both the linear and the retrospective timelines. Another aspect I particularly loved was the treatment of language. Both actors delivered several lines in a foreign language and each part that was in English made sense to be in English. This is extremely rare and highly respectable both in terms of writing and acting.

As for the storytelling, I had one disappointment only, and that was not exploring the history and background of Pope Benedict. While the writing made Pope Francis a complex character who had made controversial choices with good intention in the past and suffered their consequences, the same never happened for Benedict. He was casually labeled “nazi” by some background characters and the story never cared to offer any further discussion of his personality and past (possibly because of its own progressive agenda - which is would not have been lost to Benedict’s character’s getting more depth). He remained the barely more than one dimensional, ambitious and bigoted Nazi, who saw sense in his old age as he made friends with the humble and progressive Bergoglio and remembered his love for music. Now “nazi” isn’t a label you can throw around without context and no, the fact that Ratzinger was German born is not enough to label him Nazi, reality is a tad more nuanced than that.

Beyond this hiccup, the film was captivating and endearing with breathtaking acting. 

Darkest Hour was somewhat of a disappointment to me after the previous two films.
In my opinion the film started twenty minutes before it ended. The central conflict was unclear (Was it Churchill’s staying in office? Was it rescuing the army stuck in Dunkirk? Was it war versus negotiations?) until the last two minutes of the runtime, and the fate of Dunkirk soldiers was left to be resolved in the true events recounting before the end credits. I realize it’s not a spoiler, because everybody studied history, but rescuing the army was (one of) the epicenter of tension in the story.  the film often found itself torn - and lost - between re-enacting the iconic Churchill moments for no purpose (other than trying to bathe in the charisma of a magnificent historical figure) and trying to tell a story (that was for the longest while quite difficult to identify).

Supporting characters were painfully one dimensional, except for Churchill’s wife maybe, into whose life story we got a tiny drop of insight. Lily James had a surprising amount of screen time for a character who had no personality, purpose or background. Her acting skills were completely lost to the pointlessness of her character.
Gary Oldman worked astonishing hard and still failed to make me believe even for a second that I’m following Churchill,  and not a talented actor who is trying his absolute best to the point of breaking to imitate Churchill. The character felt so done, every twitch of muscle, every grunt, every word, every step felt composed, calculated,  over-practiced and unnatural. The prosthetics just did not cut it, the entire Churchill persona appearance, movement, gestures felt fake and make-believe because of how hard everybody was trying.
It was an all right enough film with beautiful cinematography and a few memorable moments (end speech, underground, admitting defeat and agreeing to negotiate), I just didn’t see the Oscar in it. 

Edited by RhaenysBee

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5 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

I like Lewis, but LF being a tool in rl would probably spoil a rewatch. 

O gawds yes. I loved LF until he revealed himself.

I'm doing a rewatch of HBO's Rome.  Each time I love Pullo more and dislike the depiction of Cleopatra more.  And Atia is even funnier.

Have just received the dvds for Vera's series 9, and Death in Paradise's series 8 too. Ya, this way I do see them a year later than broadcast, but I get to see them all at one go, which I love to do.

 

Edited by Zorral

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I finally watched Requiem for a Dream. What a wild and depressing last half hour or so. I loved the different versions of Lux Aeterna throughout too. Although when you do heroin your eyes constrict, not dilate. Come on, Aronofsky.

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I watched Ocean's 8 coz it came up on Netflix. It's fine, but it's weird how the film gets ten times better after the heist. If the whole film had been written like that it'd have been as enjoyable as any of the original remake series.

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28 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

I watched Ocean's 8 coz it came up on Netflix. It's fine, but it's weird how the film gets ten times better after the heist. If the whole film had been written like that it'd have been as enjoyable as any of the original remake series.

Yeah, i especially liked 

Spoiler

Anne Hathaway not being the complete moron she would have been if it was played on its face. And also the extra heist behind everyone’s backs

 

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Both Ann Hathaway being on board and James Corden improved the film immensely, but also just the dialogue simply got better.



The extra heist was a nice idea but I'd have preferred it if they hadn't got Yen to, basically, do the whole thing. Kind of undermined the point of the spinoff a little.




One odd detail about the script that I did notice quite early and it carried through is that it seemed very bad at presenting names. I literally only remember Debbie and nine-ball out of the entire crew.

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3 hours ago, Zorral said:

O gawds yes. I loved LF until he revealed himself.

I'm doing a rewatch of HBO's Rome.  Each time I love Pullo more and dislike the depiction of Cleopatra more.  And Atia is even funnier.

Have just received the dvds for Vera's series 9, and Death in Paradise's series 8 too. Ya, this way I do see them a year later than broadcast, but I get to see them all at one go, which I love to do.

 

Currently rewatching Spartacus series; then Rome, then Britannia. When i get time

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47 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

 

  Hide contents

Both Ann Hathaway being on board and James Corden improved the film immensely, but also just the dialogue simply got better.

 


The extra heist was a nice idea but I'd have preferred it if they hadn't got Yen to, basically, do the whole thing. Kind of undermined the point of the spinoff a little.

 

 

 

 


One odd detail about the script that I did notice quite early and it carried through is that it seemed very bad at presenting names. I literally only remember Debbie and nine-ball out of the entire crew.

 

 

Part of this could be how all-star the cast was (or maybe just because i haven’t rewatched since i saw it in cinemas on release) but i also don’t recall the character names. To me they are Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Rihanna, Akwafina, Mindy Kaling etc.

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Watched Band of Brothers for the umpteenth time last week.  Good as always.  I did watch it on Amazon Prime instead of on my old dvds, but was annoyed at the end of every episode as they would autoplay the next one before the written recap would finish.  

I have now started a Justified rewatch.  Haven't watched any since season 6 finished.   Shit, just looked it up, and that was five years ago.  On episode 4.

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2 hours ago, RedEyedGhost said:

Watched Band of Brothers for the umpteenth time last week.  Good as always.  I did watch it on Amazon Prime instead of on my old dvds, but was annoyed at the end of every episode as they would autoplay the next one before the written recap would finish.  

I have now started a Justified rewatch.  Haven't watched any since season 6 finished.   Shit, just looked it up, and that was five years ago.  On episode 4.

I just started a Justified re watch aswell. I think its aged rather well. Probably because Boyd is so utterly brilliant right from the start. 

Edited by BigFatCoward

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19 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

My wife isnt interested in Endeavour, otherwise we’d watch it over dinner after our daughter’s asleep (I’ve most of the dvds).

I like Lewis, but LF being a tool in rl would probably spoil a rewatch. 

That's a shame. I think it's light years ahead of most other TV 'procedural detective dramas'. We've watched so much Lewis over the years. probably seen all the episodes multiple times anyway. Quite often happen across it late on a Friday or Saturday night when we are just making a cup of tea before bed then end up watching it until the end. Not any more though!

Just started watching the new Masterchef. Jesus. Gregg Wallace is so unpalatable. They really need to get rid of him. He makes it so hard to stomach.

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"The spread of coronavirus is shuttering film sets and closing movie theaters overseas"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2020/02/27/spread-coronavirus-is-shuttering-film-sets-closing-down-movie-theaters-impacting-ticket-sales/

Among film productions affected is this one:

Quote

A promotional tour and premiere scheduled to take place in April for the latest James Bond film, “No Time to Die,” has already been canceled.

 

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First episode of Altered Carbon S2 was decent. easy to get into and wisely kept some characters but changed enough to make it feel like a fresh start. Mackie/the script do a decent job of emulating the performances for the Kovacs character seen in s1.

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8 hours ago, Isis said:

Just started watching the new Masterchef. Jesus. Gregg Wallace is so unpalatable. They really need to get rid of him. He makes it so hard to stomach.

Whu? He’s just a cheeky chappy! I always find Torode too dour faced even when he’s giving compliments.

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2 hours ago, john said:

Whu? He’s just a cheeky chappy! I always find Torode too dour faced even when he’s giving compliments.

The issue for me is I dont beleive Gregg Wallace can cook better than the worst contestant. Reviews of his restaurants tend to support this. 

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17 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

The issue for me is I dont beleive Gregg Wallace can cook better than the worst contestant. Reviews of his restaurants tend to support this. 

His restaurant in Putney was awful and was closed down as far as I know.  He’s on the show as an Everyman character I guess, but him acting like he’s a cuisine expert never comes off

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I haven’t watched Masterchef in years but i was never much of a fan of either of the judges. I always preferred the rounds where others judged the chefs, e.g. what was, i think, the quarter final round where they’d cook for the food critics. Wallace was always my least favourite though.

Always enjoyed the challenges like catering en masse, be it for the army, for a TV production, a school etc. Do they still do those?

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