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Watch, Watching, Watch -- Keep the change you filthy animal!


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1 hour ago, Ran said:

I figured it was something like that, but still, I have to quibble about it. The fault may be in Hollywood, but end result is that it's there on the screen, and it was a (small) detraction.

 

 

 

I don't actually mind that at all - Fred Hampton looked older/more mature than 21, to the point I'm even more surprised at his age when he was murdered. While so many actors in their early 20s look really baby-faced.

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

Also, finally got around to seeing Burn After Reading, the one film that escaped me from the Coen Brothers oeuvre. I'm not sure why I was never quite motivated to see it, except I recollect being put off by Brad Pitt in the trailers; his character, Chad, is this hyper, dim-witted fitness trainer and it feels just a bit too forced to work for me. It's a farce with a black comedic edge but ... it's not really funny?

I can't say I laughed at anything. It had a good, angry performance by John Malkovich and interesting work by Clooney and Swinton (together again, in much funnier circumstances, after their stellar work in Michael Clayton), and McDormand and Jenkins and even Pitt (after my misgivings) are all perfectly good in it as well. It just falls flat with me to the point where I realized I spent more time wondering if the shots of feet purposefully marching along in the hallways of the CIA were a homage to Dr. Strangelove, or if they were a nod to some other film that I couldn't quite place, moreso than I thought about anything else going on in the film. 

For me, whenever the Coens make a serious film (Miller's Crossing, Fargo, No Country); they always follow it up with some shaggy dog story (Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, Burn After Reading). I've never been sure why they do this, maybe it's just their way of relieving themselves of the darker material :dunno:

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6 hours ago, Isis said:

Is The 4400 a reboot? I stupidity thought it might be a continuation of sorts, of the original. 

Yes, it's a reboot. Same premise, takes place in present time,  different characters (although there is at least one character whose power and role in the show somewhat resembles a character from the original), different story and different themes. Here, the authorities act with fear and suspicion immediately and keep 4400 locked up before they have even started to exbibit; also, so far all the 4400 we've seen have either been POC - mostly black - or members of other minority/marginalized groups. (Mind you, so are many of the representatives of the authorities.)

It's pretty good so far - surprisingly good for CW.

Edited by Annara Snow
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2 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

I've no idea what this show is trying to be about.

I keep seeing the They Sayers say it's about showing us how no matter what goes on, even apocalypse, human beings need to tell each other stories.  :dunno:   Personally nothing I've heard about the series has made me eager to jump into it, and I haven't. Which means I could be missing out.

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4 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

I'm struggling a bit through Station Eleven.

The first episode was good. The 2nd episode was weird and confused the hell out of me, the 3rd then slowed down the pace going in the past and nearly lost me. The 4th was a strong episode and I got interested again, and now I'm halfway through the 5th and it's another ridiculous slow burn. The common positive of all the episodes is the superb acting. But I'm not that enthused about all the main characters being linked to the actor dude, who I really don't like. I've no idea what this show is trying to be about. Humanity I suppose. It's spending an awful amount of time looking into the past. 

I'll keep powering through.

Interesting. See, it's the odd episodes that I was more into. I liked seeing the backstory and then seeing it connect to the present. You seem to be the opposite. Nothing wrong with that but it's interesting to me given what registered for me.

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4 minutes ago, Mexal said:

Interesting. See, it's the odd episodes that I was more into. I liked seeing the backstory and then seeing it connect to the present. You seem to be the opposite. Nothing wrong with that but it's interesting to me given what registered for me.

Oh, I don't mind backstories, but devoting entire episodes to tell a character's backstory tends to kill the plot pace.

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1 minute ago, Corvinus85 said:

Oh, I don't mind backstories, but devoting entire episodes to tell a character's backstory tends to kill the plot pace.

It does... but I think the plot pace is deliberately slow cause what becomes important is less the "plot" but the interconnections between the characters. I found the present day to be boringish for most of the show.

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Just saw Eternals. I figured that any MCU film that so thoroughly divided critical opinion had to at least be interesting. 

Not bad. I think it had some problems but there's a lot to like there. Mostly it seemed overloaded with sub plots which contributed to some pacing issues. 

On the other hand, there were some great human moments and the humorous and emotional bits seemed more natural and less the product of script doctoring. This film also resists the disturbing trend of interrupting action scenes with comedic punch up. The heroes also face some genuine moral choices. Great direction. Great performances. 

Its a bit of a mixed bag but I'd have to say I'm siding with the audience on this one.

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46 minutes ago, Kalibuster said:

The CIA debrief at the end with JK Simmons is absolutely amazingly funny. The rest of the movie not so much, but that whole scene is incredible. 

That is true. I did enjoy the CIA bits with Simmons and Sledge Ha-- er, David Rasche.

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I am after 7 episodes of Station Eleven and I like it a lot, though the number of wtf's during watching rises with almost every episode. 

The stories from just after the epidemic grip me the most, the present, not so much. 

Still eagerly waiting to see what the hell happened to Jeevan. After seventh episode I know what happened to Frank at least. 

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Watched the Lost Daughter last night. Interesting how it tried to tackle issues rarely if ever covered in films, although I think making the main character some kind of academic genius was a misstep. But generally, it seemed a little off in how people behave around each other even taking into account, as the film did, that people are weird.

Good performance by Colman obviously but I thought Jesse Buckley had the harder part to play.

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19 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

I've no idea what this show is trying to be about. Humanity I suppose. It's spending an awful amount of time looking into the past.

It's a show about trauma and recovery and the way memory works.  And it's also about hope.

The lines from the comic all point in that direction.

I remember damage.  Then escape.  Then adrift in a stranger's galaxy for a long time.  But I'm safe now.  I've found it again.  My home.

I loved that it spent so much time on the past, and loved how it weaved the three narratives of the pandemic, the aftermath of the pandemic, and 20 years later together.  Felt very authentic to me, with regard to the way memory works, especially when you've been through something so painful. 

Can understand that it won't work for everyone, but I think if you're just focused on the 20 years later plot and where it's going then you're missing out on a lot.

The other major theme is the value of art, and will admit that didn't resonate with me as much.  But ultimately I feel like that's tied into what it's saying about hope, and that was the more significant element to me.

----

My thoughts on the finale.  I really liked it and thought it did a great job bringing everything together.

Spoiler

My two favorite parts were -

1) The reunion between Kirsten and Jeevan.  Both the hug and also the fact that they didn't go into the drama of 'why did you abandon me?'  But instead focused on the joy and relief of seeing each other again.  And with their conversation about the past centered around what they meant to each other in that first year after the outbreak. 

2) The fact that they went back to Miranda to complete her arc.  And especially her backstory.  Felt like they added another layer to everything, when we find out what happened to her family and how it basically shaped the rest of her life.  She was my favorite character, and I found her story to be extremely sad but also extremely well done. 

 

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Loving Station 11.  I'd gotten the audiobook awhile ago but was never in the mood to listen to a pandemic book.  Watched the first two episodes last night and been looking forward to more all day.  Listened to a few hours of the audio book at work.  Love love love it.  

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On 1/16/2022 at 2:05 PM, Ran said:

I figured it was something like that, but still, I have to quibble about it. The fault may be in Hollywood, but end result is that it's there on the screen, and it was a (small) detraction.

Also, finally got around to seeing Burn After Reading, the one film that escaped me from the Coen Brothers oeuvre. I'm not sure why I was never quite motivated to see it, except I recollect being put off by Brad Pitt in the trailers; his character, Chad, is this hyper, dim-witted fitness trainer and it feels just a bit too forced to work for me. It's a farce with a black comedic edge but ... it's not really funny?

I can't say I laughed at anything. It had a good, angry performance by John Malkovich and interesting work by Clooney and Swinton (together again, in much funnier circumstances, after their stellar work in Michael Clayton), and McDormand and Jenkins and even Pitt (after my misgivings) are all perfectly good in it as well. It just falls flat with me to the point where I realized I spent more time wondering if the shots of feet purposefully marching along in the hallways of the CIA were a homage to Dr. Strangelove, or if they were a nod to some other film that I couldn't quite place, moreso than I thought about anything else going on in the film. 

 

 

I absolutely lose it laughing at any of the Malkovitch scenes, and specifically the way he pronounce "memoirs".  

Agree with Kal that the debriefing at the end was probably the actual funniest stuff in there.  Definitely some lighter fare but the Clooney / Sybian cracked me up too, as well as the McDormand / Pitt scheming.  

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Re-watched the 2011 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Brilliant script, well-directed by Tomas Alfredson (of Let the Right One In fame), beautifully lensed by Hoyte van Hoytema, and just an insane cast of actors -- Gary Oldman, John Hurt, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, Ciarán Hinds, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Graham, and I've probably forgotten a name or two. John le Carré makes a brief appearance at a guest at a Christmas party at the Circus. Watching this film always makes me think I really need to watch the Alec Guinness films... but also makes me think I should actually try le Carré.

Then watched Tick, Tick... Boom! on Netflix. Not my usual fare -- modern musicals are not generally to my taste -- but the biographical nature of it, and the praise I've seen for Andrew Garfield's performance, made it interesting to me. Lin-Manuel Miranda did a pretty good job directing it. Jonathan Larson's untimely demise was a tragic loss to theatre, but the film is largely about his struggles before that point. 

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