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Watched, Watched, Watching: Saltier Things Part One


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7 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I have to say this was one of the most disappointing films I can recall in a long time. It looked great and the acting was pretty solid, but the overall story wasn't good and it just leaves you feeling miserable at the end. I cannot recommend it, sad as that is to say. 

I started this last night and took a break after 30-40 minutes.  So far it falls somewhere between artistically & stylistically strong and just laughably bad overall.  The animalistic capering rituals and the portentous speaking tones (the universally accepted way of conveying that something is historical, apparently) really don’t help it.  I’m not sure if I’ll bother further with it.  

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19 minutes ago, Iskaral Pust said:

I started this last night and took a break after 30-40 minutes.  So far it falls somewhere between artistically & stylistically strong and just laughably bad overall.  The animalistic capering rituals and the portentous speaking tones (the universally accepted way of conveying that something is historical, apparently) really don’t help it.  I’m not sure if I’ll bother further with it.  

Yeah, I thought that was an odd choice to include even if it's historically accurate (I have Viking ancestry, but have never really given it much thought. Safe to say they did some weird shit back in the day).

I tend to heavily favor movies over TV because it's easy to commit to a story that's only a few hours and see it out even if you're not enjoying it at first. Tons of movies can have two bad acts with a third that justifies watching the whole thing. This is not one of those films. It's your call obviously, but I would have preferred not seeing it at all instead of finishing it. Last time I felt that way recently about something I really wanted to see was a few years back with Bad Times at El Royale and I thought that was a lot better. 

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It may be that The Northman plays better in a cinema than on TV, I don't know. It worked very well for me, as I discussed last month after seeing it for the first time, but I do think it set a significant challenge for itself by presenting the bizarre and alien aspects of the Viking culture without any kind of modern, arch, "Hah hah, weren't they silly" sort of thing.

 

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6 minutes ago, Ran said:

It may be that The Northman plays better in a cinema than on TV, I don't know. It worked very well for me, as I discussed last month after seeing it for the first time, but I do think it set a significant challenge for itself by presenting the bizarre and alien aspects of the Viking culture without any kind of modern, arch, "Hah hah, weren't they silly" sort of thing.

 

I watched The Northman on TV and liked it just fine. I think it's probably an expectations vs reality kinda thing because it's so hyped up in some circles. Also, anyone wanting an impenetrable arthouse slow paced thinkpiece is going to be disappointed by how mainstream it is, and anyone wanting a big action Vikings blockbuster is gonna not like how weird and slow it is. 

Personally I really liked it, it hit all the right notes I wanted from it, I was especially happy with the level of historical realism around the costumes and language, which is a relief after attempting to watch something like Vikings:Valhalla

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The Northman, I watched it at the theater on a big screen and visually, great. Main part of movie, ok. Last third or so of movie not so much.

To each their own, some will like it, most will not.

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8 hours ago, Ran said:

It may be that The Northman plays better in a cinema than on TV, I don't know. It worked very well for me, as I discussed last month after seeing it for the first time, but I do think it set a significant challenge for itself by presenting the bizarre and alien aspects of the Viking culture without any kind of modern, arch, "Hah hah, weren't they silly" sort of thing.

 

I watched it on TV.  Granted, a massive TV with a 7.1 surround system. 

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The fookin' Peaky Blinders are back!  For the last time, at least via 'tv.'

Steven Knight Isn’t Ready for ‘Peaky Blinders’ to End
The cult British show’s final season is now on Netflix, but its creator has plans for a spinoff movie and says he wants to follow the Shelby family into the 1940s and ’50s.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/10/arts/television/steven-knight-peaky-blinders.html

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LONDON — Steven Knight knew something special was happening around “Peaky Blinders,” his TV crime drama, a few years ago, when the rapper Snoop Dogg asked to talk with him.

The pair met in a London hotel room, Knight said in a recent interview, and for three hours discussed the show, which is based on the real-life Shelby family that operated in Birmingham, in central England, in the shadow of World War I. “Peaky” reminded the rapper of how he got involved in gang culture in Los Angeles, Knight said.

“How the connection occurs between 1920s Birmingham and South Central, I don’t know,” Knight, 62, said. “I think you just get lucky with some projects and it resonates with people.” ....

...  My dad’s uncles were illegal bookmakers known as the Peaky Blinders, so he was in awe of them as a kid — whenever he saw them he was terrified and impressed, they were heroes to him. He would see them in immaculate clothes with razor blades in their hats and drinking whiskey out of jam jars.

And I know those streets, I know the pubs, I know the Garrison pub — the real one — and when I wanted to do “Peaky” I decided to keep the mythology rather than be like, what was it really like?

I wanted to keep it as if they were being viewed through the eyes of a kid. The horses are all beautiful. The clothes are all magnificent. I was a big fan of westerns; it’s like a western, and that’s how I wanted to keep it. ....

 

 

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RRR -- Ha! Others have noticed what we have about this film, that we all enjoyed, mostly, except for that part.

A Wild Indian Blockbuster Is Ravishing Movie Fans, but They’re Missing Its Troubling Subtext

https://slate.com/culture/2022/06/rrr-review-indian-blockbuster-netflix-hindu-nationalism.html

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.... In fact, RRR’s massive fame is more cause for concern than celebration. If we’re going to champion the film in part for its anti-colonial stance, we should likewise take stock of its uglier but no less important subtexts.

Let’s start with the religious iconography. This is hardcore Hinduism through and through, an apt representation for a country that’s employed authoritarian tactics to empower violent Hindu nationalism and transition to a de facto ethnocratic state. ...

.... Plus, one wouldn’t know from watching RRR that Muslim leaders were some of India’s most storied freedom fighters—not even from the gallery of famed independence icons at the end of the movie, with no Saifuddin Kitchlew, no Zakir Husain, no Asaf Ali. Some stink has already been raised about the fact that the song also excludes Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, the former of whom has become a pariah for India’s right wingers, the latter of whose assassin is now praised by many Hindu nationalists. (For a recent Indian film that does pay homage to the era’s Muslim activists, I recommend 2018’s Manto, also on Netflix.)

Obviously, one film cannot encompass everything, and as the filmmakers have themselves noted, RRR is sheer fantasy. I cannot fault viewers for enjoying RRR so much, whether they ironically lap up the superhuman stunts or get swept up in the thrilling anti-imperial action. I’m concerned more about the timing of it all, the global presence, the recipe for viral success that other filmmakers will be eyeing. It’s an ingenious form of soft-power propaganda, one that can be interpreted as positively asserting an otherwise-marginalized ideology. Other notable Indian films—the aforementioned Purab Aur Pachhim, LOC: Kargil, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, and many, many more—have raised fiery nationalism to nowhere near the same viewership. RRR seems to have figured out an apt formula. ....

 

 

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1 hour ago, SpaceChampion said:

Made For Love cancelled after two seasons.  I thought season 2 was really good satire, better than the first season.

Bummer -- that's been on our list to get to (after Ozark, Barry, Hacks, Russian Doll, etc.)

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On 6/10/2022 at 2:04 AM, Ran said:

It may be that The Northman plays better in a cinema than on TV, I don't know. It worked very well for me, as I discussed last month after seeing it for the first time, but I do think it set a significant challenge for itself by presenting the bizarre and alien aspects of the Viking culture without any kind of modern, arch, "Hah hah, weren't they silly" sort of thing.

 

I need to see this still.  And I want to.  But mainly because I thought I read that it's essentially a Shakespearean story at it's core...?

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24 minutes ago, Week said:

Bummer -- that's been on our list to get to (after Ozark, Barry, Hacks, Russian Doll, etc.)

I'm not sure I needed to see more, as the ending of season 2 is fine as an ending for the show.  Though it hints at a darker turn for the main character, it's possible she doesn't.

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1 hour ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

I need to see this still.  And I want to.  But mainly because I thought I read that it's essentially a Shakespearean story at it's core...?

It's Hamlet, Viking style.

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3 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Hamlet is the remake.

You could look back over a thousand more years and find examples that might have inspired someone like Billy from Greece, Rome or Egypt. Same stories, just from different eras. 

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1 hour ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

I need to see this still.  And I want to.  But mainly because I thought I read that it's essentially a Shakespearean story at it's core...?

I mean, "yes", but it really distracts from what the film is really about to focus on that aspect of the story. It's just a way into a richly, challengingly-realized landscape of the Viking world, both in terms of material and immaterial culture. The Hamlet of it is very primal and not really the core of the film, IMO. As I said before, I think the marketing about it all being a historical revenge drama was misleading because it goes a lot deeper into the "historical" part of that than the revenge drama part of it.

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14 minutes ago, Ran said:

I mean, "yes", but it really distracts from what the film is really about to focus on that aspect of the story. It's just a way into a richly, challengingly-realized landscape of the Viking world, both in terms of material and immaterial culture. The Hamlet of it is very primal and not really the core of the film, IMO. As I said before, I think the marketing about it all being a historical revenge drama was misleading because it goes a lot deeper into the "historical" part of that than the revenge drama part of it.

Did they have another option though? I've heard this criticism a lot, but I'm not sure a different marketing strategy would have helped it at the box office or improved people's overall thoughts on the film. 

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