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Watch Watched Watching: The Rambunctious Cinema of Terrence Malick

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Had watched Black Window and really liked what I was awake to see. It was great to see Johansson as Black Widow again. The story was serviceable and the humour and early action worked for me. I did fall asleep before (what I presume) was the big long action scene at the end - but I woke up in time to catch the end to that. And then, as I was super awake from my nap, I was able to read through the end credits for that final scene, which was very good. I might've found the right formula to enjoy similar movies.

Last night I watched Southern Comfort (1981) by Walter Hill, about a squad of Louisiana Army National Guards doing an exercise in the Bayou antagonizing some local Cajuns with events escalating from there. It stars Keith Carradine, Powers Booth and Fred Ward. Hill made this in-between The Warriors and 48hrs, both of which I've watched several times, yet this was the first time I've watched Southern Comfort. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this. The soundtrack by Ry Cooder surely helped set the right mood for the setting, Louisiana Bayou. I hadn't thought of Ry Cooder in years but I immediately recognised his style. I've read that Hill didn't set out to write a metaphor for the Vietnam War but was only looking to make an action thriller - it's hard not to make that conclusion, especially adding in the town scene for some context, which elevated it to an interesting movie, IMO. 

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3 hours ago, RumHam said:

Those movies were so odd. I'm a sucker for horror so I enjoyed them quite a bit but:

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The bread slicer kill was soooo brutal compared to the rest of that first movie. I loved it for that but geez. 

I don't understand why, if it wasn't the witch getting your blood on her bones made you a target? And like the little brother knew Ziggy had done so? I think he says "there was a survivor" but there were dozens of survivors. The only thing that made Ziggy special was that she bled on the bones and that obviously wasn't in the newspaper. 

The "C. Berman" twist was also telegraphed pretty much the minute they used just an initial. Then the hair color and the relationship with the sheriff. I'd be surprised if anyone watching didn't figure that out before the reveal. Except the kid brother is shocked by it? So she just told that whole long story about her sister being murdered in the third person?  

I liked the last part a lot more than I thought I would, given the setting doesn't evoke any nostalgia. That little kid with the stick is creepy as fuck.  

Agreed on part 3. I found it more interesting than I thought I would based on the time it took place. I was happy when it switched back over to 1994 for the last 45 mins or so. I kept wondering what the sheriff was going to do to produce an heir to pass down the tradition to?

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On 7/16/2021 at 3:57 PM, Zorral said:

Quite enjoying the second season of the Spanish series, El Cid, on amazon prime.  But I am having period history contretemps here.  At one point King Sancho of Castile sends his man, the supposedly young* Ruy/Rodrigo of Vivar, to take an army to a city, whose ruler isn't paying the taxes owed to Castile's throne.  How in the world can a kid command an army, moreover one who has no title, not family relationship with anyone powerful,  who isn't even a knight (a great number of plot points are involved, blocking of Rodrigo from achieving the state of knighthood)?

Quality of horses: A+

Quality of mules: A+

Quality of swords and blades: A+

Quality of castles and cathedrals and stable and scenery: A+

* The actor cast for Rodrigo is much too old (though young) to be the young squire of the first season, and this one too.  Evidently they think casting him too old for the young Rodrigo is OK, since then he'll be appropriately aged in the long career of the man who becomes mío Cid de Vivar.

I finally finished it. I can't quite love the show, but it's certainly not bad. It clearly has limited budget, and it's trying to do a lot with the little it has. 

Quality of costumes and armor: B+ The civilian clothing is fine, the mail and helmets look fairly good and authentic, but the costume department should have been given more money to give all those soldiers surcoats with insignias. It was awful watching battle scenes and not being able to distinguish who's who; not helped by filmmakers being unable/unwilling to show battles in any way but a chaotic brawl.

The story moves so fast. It's clear they don't have much time to through Rodrigo's life and career.

I laughed and was somewhat disappointed in the character of Oiubreda/Alberta.

Spoiler

Here was a non-English show stereotyping an English person, like so many English shows have done with non-English characters. The irony was not lost on me. I also wasn't sure why a king would marry the daughter of a Saxon noble after William's conquest of England, when the Norman nobles started getting more influence. But later they say that she was the daughter of the lord of East Anglia, and I realized that she probably had a lot of Danish blood in her. Still that axe of hers is fantasy, something Sauron would wield in siege of Mount Doom, rather than a normal human being.

 

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2 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

I laughed and was somewhat disappointed in the character of Oiubreda/Alberta.

:agree: I thought, among other things, that somebody had watched a bad translation of The Last Kingdom too many times!

Though, yes, by the 11th century, vikings had arrived in Southern Spain as raider plunderers, and subsequently at times joined the Andalusian courts as mercenaries and guards.  But this time period is way too late for that sort of thing, pretty much, as in Gaul, etc. we'd already had the end of the Merovingians and the divisions of Charlemagne's empire.

I did really like the conflict among the Spanish brothers after their father divided his kingdom -- reflecting so well what happened with Charlemagne's a century and half or so earlier -- with of course, the legendary piquancy

Spoiler

of the sister's scheming.

 

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3 minutes ago, Zorral said:

Though, yes, by the 11th century, vikings had arrived in Southern Spain as raider plunderers, and subsequently at times joined the Andalusian courts as mercenaries and guards. 

As dramatized in Frans Bengtsson's famous The Long Ships. An adventurous historical novel about a young Viking named Orm, it was adapted into a not-very-faithful film featuring Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier that features the Andalusian setting.

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Posted (edited)

Reminds me i decided to jump into the 6th season of Vikings because was interested in their portrayal of the Rus. Not sure I fully was on board with their depiction as an orthodox Christian society wearing Mongolian armour in that time period. 

Edited by Heartofice

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

As dramatized in Frans Bengtsson's famous The Long Ships. An adventurous historical novel about a young Viking named Orm, it was adapted into a not-very-faithful film featuring Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier that features the Andalusian setting.

I've read that years ago. Enjoyable historical adventure book. I didn't know there was an adaptation.

One moment that stuck with me has to do with the protagonist's adventures in Andalusia.

Spoiler

When a caliph? or was it a Christian prince's servants tried to lift an enormous bell and couldn't, only for six of the vikings to put it on their shoulders and walk away with it.

 

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2 hours ago, Zorral said:

:agree: I thought, among other things, that somebody had watched a bad translation of The Last Kingdom too many times!

Though, yes, by the 11th century, vikings had arrived in Southern Spain as raider plunderers, and subsequently at times joined the Andalusian courts as mercenaries and guards.  But this time period is way too late for that sort of thing, pretty much, as in Gaul, etc. we'd already had the end of the Merovingians and the divisions of Charlemagne's empire.

I did really like the conflict among the Spanish brothers after their father divided his kingdom -- reflecting so well what happened with Charlemagne's a century and half or so earlier -- with of course, the legendary piquancy

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of the sister's scheming.

 

It's interesting how the show is able to weave its own plot, and still touch on all important historical moments. 

Spoiler

Like last season they trolled us with Sancho standing to inherit the entire kingdom, only to achieve historical accuracy in the final episode with the division of the kingdom.

Then in the final episode of this season, they teased us with Alfonso's fate.

That being said, I am reasonably certain that Sancho defeated Alfonso in a traditional battle. He didn't employ the Ramsay Bolton tactic of using 20 good men to sneak into the camp and somehow defeat all of Alfonso's army. That to me was probably the most ridiculous, immersion breaking moment of the show.

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

It's interesting how the show is able to weave its own plot, and still touch on all important historical moments. 

  Hide contents

Like last season they trolled us with Sancho standing to inherit the entire kingdom, only to achieve historical accuracy in the final episode with the division of the kingdom.

Then in the final episode of this season, they teased us with Alfonso's fate.

That being said, I am reasonably certain that Sancho defeated Alfonso in a traditional battle. He didn't employ the Ramsay Bolton tactic of using 20 good men to sneak into the camp and somehow defeat all of Alfonso's army. That to me was probably the most ridiculous, immersion breaking moment of the show.

 

:agree: 

Spoiler

Though dividing an army, holding back, concealing it, is a tactic that actual commanders did use, including Julius Caesar. 

Spoiler

Then there is the very famous hold-backer and side-switcher at the battle of Bosworth. 

These things seem to have happened not infrequently in battles.

I also have read The Long Ships, though some time ago! I have not seen the film though.

Edited by Zorral

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I saw Black Widow a few days ago.

I know I'm not the first one to say this by any means, but it would have made more sense to release this movie after Civil War - except obviously for the post-credit scene.

It was a fun movie though. I loved Florence Pugh as Yelena (who had the best lines). David Harbour was also great, loved the whole ‘family’ dynamic with all these characters.
(And the opening scene made me think “oh, MCU does The Americans”.)

But it is stilll a run of the mill MCU movie with a one-dimensional villain and half baked themes. (Just like, let’s be honest, the majority of MCU movies, with just a few exceptions.)

Spoiler

 

In particular, Natasha deciding to sacrifice a child as “collateral damage” didn’t get nearly as much attention as it should’ve. We didn’t get discussion about ethics and or much in the way of Natasha’s feelings about it (unless we’re too see it as a part of her nebulous guilt)…

…and if the whole Taskmaster thing in the end was supposed to be that, it failed to be. Partially because the film failed to clarify what exactly is the extent of Antonia’s injuries other than the burns we see on her face - which didn’t look that terrible to me. She was in an explosion and these burns are all the consequence? Incredibly lucky. OK, for all I know, maybe her body is all Vader-like, but they never said that, instead they just have Dreykov say “you blew up her face”. Once again, we get one of those scenes where Hollywood tells you someone is horrifically disgifured, but what they show just makes me go: "Is the though?" (insert the Thor gif)

So, Natasha tried to kill an innocent child, but ultimately it doesn’t matter because she failed, and it looks like the consequences could be easily fixed with a bit of cosmetic surgery anyway… and Antonia’s terrible fate (as her mental faculties seem to be fine without the brainwashing)  is really just down to how awful her villanous father was.  *yawn*

 

But I’ll say this - with the post-credits scene, they’ve smartly found a way to get people interested in the Hawkeye series. I wouldn’t have cared, but now I’ll tune in for Yelena

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I am increasingly enjoying watching Bergerac.  The quality of the image is generally poor, since this first season, from 1981, is so old, yet there is so much cultural history embedded in the episodes.  This is partly due to its location on the Isle of Jersey, which itself is liminal, as bi-lingual island in the Channel Islands, so close to France, with its own government, with senators instead of members of parliament.  The history of Jersey too, is so long, due to trade, piracy and smuggling being so very old. And now it is populated with tourists and rich people fleeing taxation.  Very rich ground out of which to keep coming up with new stories every week, and doing it for so many seasons.  What's also fun is seeing Brit actors that people like me only got to know slowly in their later screen careers, whether as reliable supporting actors, or protagonists, when they are quite young and getting going.

It's not a period series at all, but from this viewpoint it is historical.  However, if the screen quality and the haircuts and clothes were updated a bit, and there were iphones and later models of cars, nothing else in any episode would need to change -- the story lines and characters, particularly those around this place as a refuge of the wealthy to protect their wealth from taxation, and to do deals in France and the rest of Europe, need no updating at all.

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Started watching the series Counterpart.

Its the best thing I've found in a good while as the pickings have seemed stale recently.

J.K. Simmons plays himself and his counterself flawlessly and makes it great for the viewer to be along for the ride in this cloak and dagger with a parallel universe, good stuff so far.

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I watched Space Sweepers on Netflix. I decided to watch it in Korean with subtitles because its nice to hear the original performers voices. This film is actually in several languages which was kind of cool if a bit jarring. It had a somewhat shlocky "B" movie sensibility with really impressive practical and virtual effects. It also had a strong environmental message without being overly preachy about it.

But damn, what a bonkers movie. I kind of loved it but there was so much going on I didn't know what the hell was happening on half the time. By the end I got everything but, damn. Its a lot.

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I recall the 23rd of July to be a date I needed to remember. But I had forgotten why, until at Midnight here I turned on Netflix, and then I remembered. What could stop the perfect heist? On a plane? A vampire.....

Blood Red Sky

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Posted (edited)

Ted Lasso is back...and that's sure not what I expected to happen in the first 5 minutes! 

Spoiler

But from the moment I saw the dog, I was thinking - who the heck brings a dog to a football match? Who thinks it's a good idea to let a dog near a bunch of people running around? My dog would immediately be barking at them and running after them.

I also did not expect Jamie to be back that way, but it makes sense.

Will also watch Kingdom: Ashin of the North today.

Last night I finished the Danish Netflix supernatural mystery drama Equinox... and while the show had a great dark atmosphere and kept me interested, in the end the plot managed to combine a mystery that telegraphed what it was about halfway through or even earlier, loose ends (including plot points introduced as important n- in the last two episodes - not to ever be addressed again), and a really bizarre ending that made me go "WTF did I just watch? And why was this made?"
This show definitely wins this year's award for "Show Most Likely To Have Been Written by A Cult Member". (The final season of The 100 last year was obviously the first winner.)

Edited by Annara Snow

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9 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I recall the 23rd of July to be a date I needed to remember. But I had forgotten why, until at Midnight here I turned on Netflix, and then I remembered. What could stop the perfect heist? On a plane? A vampire.....

Blood Red Sky

So was there a "I'm tired of these motherfucking vampires on my motherfucking plane!" moment? 

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I've been eagerly awaiting the release of M Night Shamalyan's latest movie...

....'s wikipedia plot summary. Two sentences in and I'm already rooting for these people to die because of their terrible names. 

Married couple Guy and Prisca travel to a tropical resort with their young children Trent and Maddox as a final family vacation before they divorce. On the advice of the resort's manager, the family visits a secluded beach by a nature preserve. The beach is also visited by rapper Mid-Size Sedan

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36 minutes ago, RumHam said:

I've been eagerly awaiting the release of M Night Shamalyan's latest movie...

....'s wikipedia plot summary. Two sentences in and I'm already rooting for these people to die because of their terrible names. 

 

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Married couple Guy and Prisca travel to a tropical resort with their young children Trent and Maddox as a final family vacation before they divorce. On the advice of the resort's manager, the family visits a secluded beach by a nature preserve. The beach is also visited by rapper Mid-Size Sedan

 

I think I'd like to watch for the nature preserve. Haven't tried that flavour before. 

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5 minutes ago, dog-days said:

I think I'd like to watch for the nature preserve. Haven't tried that flavour before. 

Honestly I was reading for the Shyamalan Twist and based on the plot summary I would like to see it one day. Thankfully my memory sucks. 

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Sounds like Shyamalan was watching Lost and was like "how can I make this weirder."

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