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Watched, Watched, Watching: It's not the plane, it's the pilot


Veltigar
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I rewatched Mr. & Mrs. Smith the other day and I am again struck by the difference in perception between my younger and current self. I remembered this as a bit of carefree, sexy fun with two charismatic actors with a lot of chemistry handsomely shooting their way through a bunch of faceless goons.

It is that, but I couldn't find much enjoyment in it. For some reason, I had never noticed just how awful the two lead characters are. They are assassins, so that's a given you say, but Hollywood usually sugarcoats these types of characters by giving them a code so that they only go after people who are evil themselves or some bullshit along those lines. It's not much but usually enough to handwave the violence on display.

Here they don't bother to do that at all. Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt's characters don't actually do it, but they come very close to killing cops, FBI agents and innocent passerby's with their antics throughout the film and you feel like they don't really care. On the one hand, I almost feel like I should be impressed by the screenwriters just flipping off everyone and not putting the standard excuses in there. I do however feel that this was not an intentional omission. They weren't trying to make a statement, I guess they just didn't want to expend screen time on it and felt it wasn't necessary with two magnetic lead actors like that.

It makes the film hollow however and I don't think I'll rewatch this anytime soon. The film now joins Hidalgo, Windtalkers and Atlantis in the "shameful-proof-that-my-younger-self-had-no-taste" list.

I have also been slowly catching up with Better Call Saul. I hope I'll be caught up in time to join the specific thread for it, because there is always so much to unpack in there. This is really a great series.

19 hours ago, Raja said:

So I finished The Bear, and woof, it was a ride and quite good. It's exactly my kind of show, funny but tinged with sadness. I'm not from Chicago, and only been there a couple of times but I love when a show can give me a feel of the city, and it does that in 8 episodes which are sometimes as short as 20 minutes.

I think the music supervision is probably an underrated part of the show, a lot of the tracks seem to be from Chicago bands & artists, or at least about the city. I feel like few shows can give you such a sense of place, and The Bear does that really well.

And ofc there's all the other stuff with the performances and the diverse cast. It's not a particularly plot heavy show, but I think those are my favourite kind of shows.

I thought the series was great. The Bear is definitely one of those shows I'll be plugging to people in the hopes of raising its profile. I think I have a good track record with those (Derry Girls, Ted Lasso, Harley Quinn, etc.) to convince some people to give this a shot :) 

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41 minutes ago, Veltigar said:

It makes the film hollow however and I don't think I'll rewatch this anytime soon. The film now joins Hidalgo, Windtalkers and Atlantis in the "shameful-proof-that-my-younger-self-had-no-taste" list.

You wont believe it, but mine consists of these too!

Does it have Waterworld by any chance?

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Season 3 of the Orville has been pretty disappointing. I have this memory of Seasons 1 and 2 being funny with a Lower-Decks-like playfulness, and now I'm wondering if that's just because I watched them at night during the first lockdown when I was drunk. 

Season 4 of The Dragon Prince is arriving on Netflix in November. Quite hopeful about that. 

 

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7 hours ago, dog-days said:

Season 3 of the Orville has been pretty disappointing. I have this memory of Seasons 1 and 2 being funny with a Lower-Decks-like playfulness

While Lower Decks is fantastic, I found the Orville's frequent attempts at comedy to be mostly pretty bad and distracting from the story. I'm enjoying the more serious direction it's gone in since the early days.

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15 minutes ago, felice said:

While Lower Decks is fantastic, I found the Orville's frequent attempts at comedy to be mostly pretty bad and distracting from the story. I'm enjoying the more serious direction it's gone in since the early days.

I've mostly been finding myself in Scandi "oh god does anyone in this universe ever smile?" Noir territory and checking out mid-episode. 

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The Gray Man was a fairly terrible adaptation of a pretty decent book. None of the changes really made sense to me or made it better except maybe adding Ana de Armas. $200m of meh.

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I haven't read the book so I can't speak to the adaptation, but taken on its own I found it a fun enough mindless watch with some decent action, but it's not gonna be the new John Wick or Bourne that Netflix clearly want it to be. 

 

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8 hours ago, dog-days said:

Season 3 of the Orville has been pretty disappointing. I have this memory of Seasons 1 and 2 being funny with a Lower-Decks-like playfulness, and now I'm wondering if that's just because I watched them at night during the first lockdown when I was drunk. 

Episodes 2 and 3 of this season were easily the worst episodes of the whole show. The rest of the season has been better, and a few of the episodes outstanding, but it's probably the most uneven season to date. They've also done episodes which have good ideas but then have failed to dig into a disturbing aspect of the story or have had a crap ending, like the time travel episode. Gordon is completely fine with them destroying his alternate timeline existence, and Gordon's wife seems perfectly okay with him creepy-stalking her from 300 years in the future and destroying her life from the original timeline. That was Grade A WTF right there.

I'm also trying to work out what the New Horizons title was about. I assumed they were going on a mission for the whole season (which Episode 2 hinted at) but nope, it's just been the show as normal. I'm also not sure why they made a huge deal about that fancy fighter-shuttle in the first episode as they've done absolutely nothing with it since. I'm hoping it'll show up in the last two episodes.

It does feel like they're ramping up the stakes to try to top the Kaylon story from Season 2. I can see Moclus and the Krill joining forces or, even worse, a Moclus-Krill-Kaylon alliance of some kind to really put the screws on the Union.

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Samrat Prithviraj (2022) AP. Another, like GRRR that has a not invisible Hindi nationalist subtext.  But the fight scenes – film opens with a blind Hero in an Afghan arena, killing lions sent to kill him – are thrilling. In the first battle, Our Hero and his uncle take out a war elephant with an ingenious tactic that involves sliding beneath the elephant, while entangling its feet and legs with rope, pulling it off balance, which sends the archers on its back hurtling to the ground. This film has been banned in Kuwait and Oman. ?

Set in the 12th century, in a time of face-offs between the Turcic conquerors of Afghanistan and one of the Hindustan king of kings in what may roughly now be called Rajasthan determined to thwart their ambition to annex their kingdom as well. Herds of curly eared horses!

Once can't help considerpmg that Busby Berkley had nothing on Bollywood’s musical and dance sequences.

It opened in June; the film is determined to be a box office flop. But good to stream in one's happily a/ced tiny apartment in the 95 degree heat.

Edited by Zorral
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7 hours ago, Zorral said:

Samrat Prithviraj (2022) AP. Another, like GRRR that has a not invisible Hindi nationalist subtext.  But the fight scenes – film opens with a blind Hero in an Afghan arena, killing lions sent to kill him – are thrilling. In the first battle, Our Hero and his uncle take out a war elephant with an ingenious tactic that involves sliding beneath the elephant, while entangling its feet and legs with rope, pulling it off balance, which sends the archers on its back hurtling to the ground. This film has been banned in Kuwait and Oman. ?

Set in the 12th century, in a time of face-offs between the Turcic conquerors of Afghanistan and one of the Hindustan king of kings in what may roughly now be called Rajasthan determined to thwart their ambition to annex their kingdom as well. Herds of curly eared horses!

Once can't help considerpmg that Busby Berkley had nothing on Bollywood’s musical and dance sequences.

It opened in June; the film is determined to be a box office flop. But good to stream in one's happily a/ced tiny apartment in the 95 degree heat.

First RRR and now this!?

Whatever happened to standards and taste..tsk tsk

I watched coz I had to trash it.

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Recently, I have been binge-watching Better Call Saul.  I just started episode 7 of season 5.  That cold open was very romantic.  The next time grandma tells me about her "stories" and about Luke and Laura, I'll tell her about this.

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1 hour ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

Hive mind question?

Is it better to watch Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad first?

Which order would you recommend?

Breaking Bad, hand's down. Better Call Saul is to some degree an origin story, and it doesn't really make sense to see it first.

Moreover, BCS is better, in cinematic terms, because they've just gotten better at the cinematography over time. I think Breaking Bad, however good it often was, might suffer by way of comparison.

Edited by Ran
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21 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

You wont believe it, but mine consists of these too!

Does it have Waterworld by any chance?

Not determined yet, therefore I would have to rewatch it :) Not sure whether I want to destroy another memory because I do remember Waterworld as being pretty cool XD

19 hours ago, dog-days said:

Season 4 of The Dragon Prince is arriving on Netflix in November. Quite hopeful about that. 

 

Ah, excellent news! I wondered what happened to this.

1 hour ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

Hive mind question?

Is it better to watch Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad first?

Which order would you recommend?

I'd recommend Breaking Bad first, then El Camino (the film spin-off which you don't want to google right now, wait until after Breaking Bad) and finally Better Call Saul.

I'd recommend this for much the same reasons as Ran, only amplified. I have gone on record before and say that I find Breaking Bad an overrated series. If it didn't have such great reviews I would never have stuck out until season 4 were it becomes really good (with season 5 being a masterclass that retroactively makes the choir of watching the first couple of seasons worth it).

Better Call Saul is a completely different animal. Enjoyed it from day one and I'd say that show is a bit of a freak since it's indeed (much) better than its predecessor (don't think we can say that about a lot of prequels, even though we have to give credit to Breaking Bad for having done some heavy lifting to make this show possible). I do however think that Better Call Saul is at its best if you also know what happened in Breaking Bad. Part of the fun is seeing old faces pop up and speculating about connections between the two. 

 

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While the UK was having its little heatwave earlier this week I happened across a programme about the mountains of the Lake District. It was literally and metaphorically refreshing to watch something about snow and ice while it was so hot. Anyone with access to iplayer can watch the show, it's called Life of a Mountain. There are three hour long episodes about three different mountains. As well as the beautiful imagery there are interviews with people whose life and or/work is entwined with the mountains. There are some genuinely moving bits where people struggle to express just how much being able to spend time close to nature means to them. For any 'anglophiles' this is actually a great showcase of 'Britishness' (the people, way of life and landscape), much more so than anything you might see in fictional British settings.

And obviously I have been watching the footage of the ROP panel at SDCC. :)

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1 hour ago, Veltigar said:

Not determined yet, therefore I would have to rewatch it :) Not sure whether I want to destroy another memory because I do remember Waterworld as being pretty cool XD

Let it lie then...I loved it the first time too

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10 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

I watched coz I had to trash it.

I watched coz horsies! elephants! drums! dance! Remarkable cgi lions! Plus in these films the screen fights are really well done.

And, it is like 99 degrees, so what else shall I do?  O right.  There is more Miss Su to watch.  She's wonderful -- or the series is, the actors are.

Why did you have to to trash it, hmmmmm? inquiring minds ha! :cheers:

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Moonhaven, by episode 4 brings on the obvious from the beginning twist, but then reveals an out-of-nowhere twist that probably has something to do with the long game of whatever story this show is trying to tell.  The odd language I complained about earlier is I have to admit revealing of the metaphysical worldbuilding, and the actual backstory worldbuilding is starting to become intriguing.  The characters are revealing complexity too, and are more sophisticated that their cult language would seem.

Now I'll fall on the side of it being worth a watch.

 

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10 minutes ago, Zorral said:

I watched coz horsies! elephants! drums! dance! Remarkable cgi lions! Plus in these films the screen fights are really well done.

And, it is like 99 degrees, so what else shall I do?  O right.  There is more Miss Su to watch.  She's wonderful -- or the series is, the actors are.

Why did you have to to trash it, hmmmmm? inquiring minds ha! :cheers:

If you want to watch historical epics, Indian or otherwise, you can do a lot better. Just ask 

 

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