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


Veltigar
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Just now, TheLastWolf said:

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

 

I ask, I ask!  Thank you!

Did you also dislike Panipat?

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4 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

I'm all but asleep, tomorrow I promise a veritable list 

And yeah I disliked Panipat lol

Honestly I am looking forward very much to seeing your reasons -- there is no doubt I'm going learn something, so thank you in advance. If you would prefer to do it by private message that's fine, though I don't really see any reason you need to do that.

In the meantime, thanking you for your effort and energy in advance, here is this -- 

 

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14 hours 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

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

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. 

 

I'm binging Breaking Bad - just started season 4, and I don't agree with this. I wasn't feeling the first couple of episodes of season 1 only, but after that, it has been a very good and enjoyable show to watc, especially in seasons 2 and 3.

Do I currently (as of 4x01) find it to be one of the "best shows ever"? No, but I'm enjoying it for sure. 

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6 hours ago, Zorral said:

Honestly I am looking forward very much to seeing your reasons -- there is no doubt I'm going learn something, so thank you in advance. If you would prefer to do it by private message that's fine, though I don't really see any reason you need to do that.

In the meantime, thanking you for your effort and energy in advance, here is this -- 

 

Ok first of all those weren't used in battle, just ceremonial parades :lol:

Second, I don't think I've to explain why I don't consider mainstream, commercial, historically inaccurate, manipulative, right-wing religious fundamentalist propaganda films as cinema. I could be bothered to appreciate the music, cinematography, screenplay, acting, direction or any facet if it was at least competent and not godawful. Maybe to an outsider it may seem as an entertainer but I'm sick of being fed that same old bull.

Here are some good Indian historical epics, international ones have better experts than me.

Jodha Akbar

Asoka

Padmaavat

Mughal-E-Azam

Ponniyin Selvan (upcoming)

Bajirao Mastani

Lagaan

Hey Ram

Marudhanayagam (filming paused for years, may/may not resume)

Rang De Basanti

Any of Satyajit Ray's numerous masterpieces, but in this context, Shatranj Ke Khiladi

 

If I wasn't so strict about intl stds, I'd include Baahubali, Kesari etc

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9 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

Ok first of all those weren't used in battle, just ceremonial parades :lol:

Second, I don't think I've to explain why I don't consider mainstream, commercial, historically inaccurate, manipulative, right-wing religious fundamentalist propaganda films as cinema. I could be bothered to appreciate the music, cinematography, screenplay, acting, direction or any facet if it was at least competent and not godawful. Maybe to an outsider it may seem as an entertainer but I'm sick of being fed that same old bull.

Here are some good Indian historical epics, international ones have better experts than me.

Jodha Akbar

Asoka

Padmaavat

Mughal-E-Azam

Ponniyin Selvan (upcoming)

Bajirao Mastani

Pazhassi Raja

Lagaan

Hey Ram

Marudhanayagam (filming paused for years, may/may not resume)

Rang De Basanti

Any of Satyajit Ray's numerous masterpieces, but in this context, Shatranj Ke Khiladi

 

If I wasn't so strict about intl stds, I'd include Baahubali, Kesari etc

Right, I hear rumours that RRR maybe India's official Oscar entry 2023. If then, another year wasted.

contd...

Marakkar/Sye Raa (half heartedly)

Urumi (beautifully shot)

Mother India (first of the three to be ever nominated, Lagaan is above and Salaam Bombay not historical, yet re Ebert's review)

Paradesi (2013)

Aayirathil Oruvan (2010)

Karnan ('64) Veerapandiya Kattabomman, Kappalotiya Tamilan etc more like filmed plays of that era, but cinema then was studio bound

Andha Naal ('54) first real noir

Madrasapattinam (lacks nuance)

23 am Pulikesi (spoof/satire)

 

omitted manikarnika, thugs of hindOsthan, shamshera, mohenjo daro, Mangal Pandey, earlier mentioned/discussed etc for being crap.

Thats it i think, arthouse ventures in this genre here are weak from low production quality so left that too.

Edited by TheLastWolf
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I watched the first episode of Yellowjackets yesterday. Curious to see how that will continue.

11 hours ago, Annara Snow said:

I'm binging Breaking Bad - just started season 4, and I don't agree with this. I wasn't feeling the first couple of episodes of season 1 only, but after that, it has been a very good and enjoyable show to watc, especially in seasons 2 and 3.

Do I currently (as of 4x01) find it to be one of the "best shows ever"? No, but I'm enjoying it for sure. 

Well, two things here:

1. You are in for a treat. Season 4 and 5 are wildly better than anything that came before. I think there is in general a consensus about this show peaking near the end.

2. Coloribus et de gustibus non disputandum est of course. I watched season 1 years ago when it was first broadcast on television and I'm not even sure that I saw the last episode back then. That's how not drawn into it I was. I started watching it from scratch during the pandemic and still found it a chore. Same for season two, although it picks up slightly. Due to critical acclaim (and pandemic boredom) I powered through and I'm happy I did.

The first seasons are very much a slow-burn, but all that set-up pays off near the end with that amazing final season and the spin-offs that exceed Breaking Bad. Better Call Saul is also a slow burn, but I was able to live with that because I found the characters a lot less annoying than Breaking Bad.

Unfortunately I cannot explain this properly without giving spoilers for the series in general, so I'll put it in spoiler brackets here:

Spoiler

The brilliance of Breaking Bad stems from the complete 360° sympathy turnaround they manage to have you do first on Walt's character and then every other character.

In the beginning, Walt is presented as a good guy and he's surrounded by annoying characters. The son, Hank but especially man-child Jesse and Walt's hag of a wife and loony sister-in-law. You feel for this brilliant mind who just drew the short straw in life and is therefore surrounded by squalor and destined to die a grizzly death before his time. You understand the unfairness of it all and you root for him to succeed despite the fact that he's doing some unquestionably unethical and criminal stuff.

By the end of the show however, it is clear that Walt always had Heisenberg in him. That he was a lowlife piece of shit who was only kept in check by his loved ones. Skylar (to give but one example) turns from a shrew into a completely understandable character. If she came across as harsh before, it is because that was what was needed to keep Walt in check. 

Now that was a very long introduction to say that the end-result turned out to be absolutely brilliant, but in order to get here they first needed to show us the world from Walt's perspective (where Skylar is a nag and everyone is basically beneath him and annoying). I myself responded quite badly to the initial "annoyance" phase, which is why I started to enjoy it way more later on.

For someone who is okay with a slow burn and who does not respond as strongly to that "annoyance" phase I can see that they like it much earlier than I did.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Veltigar
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To be honest I have never really gone back and tried to rewatch Breaking Bad, I'm sure I would find it initially annoying as well. Back when it came out though, those early seasons I thought were great. Maybe they seem a little clumsy or low brow these days, but at the time there was something really quite powerful about Walt's bumbling beaten down father figure, that has been crushed by life and his own failures, finally pulling himself up from the gutter, the motivation being his own impending death. As a concept I think it is really strong and that got me through a lot of those early seasons. 

I think the show went from being something that was clearly designed for a broader mainstream audience, to something a bit deeper and interesting as time went on. I think back to that first episode and it starts and ends with Walt in the desert in his underpants. That is kind of the level they were going for at the time, and for me it kind of worked. It was fun, full of these big crazy set pieces, like the bath of guts falling through the floor. Yes it had characters that were overblown and a little paper thin, but whats good is that they ended up being fleshed out as times went on for the most part. 

Better Call Saul is a pretty different show. It is A LOT slower. It is too slow at times, too the point where you wonder if they are doing it out of vindictiveness. But it also has brilliant changes of pace, some gripping episodes and has built a series around 2 minor characters from BB and made them more real and human than maybe any characters from that original show. 

I still think BB is the better show, there are just too many patches of BCS that drag and there has been a lack of momentum around it that makes each season tend to blend into each other, but it is a classier, more artistic and deeper show that has some higher highs than BB.

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1 hour ago, Veltigar said:

I watched the first episode of Yellowjackets yesterday. Curious to see how that will continue.

Well, two things here:

1. You are in for a treat. Season 4 and 5 are wildly better than anything that came before. I think there is in general a consensus about this show peaking near the end.

2. Coloribus et de gustibus non disputandum est of course. I watched season 1 years ago when it was first broadcast on television and I'm not even sure that I saw the last episode back then. That's how not drawn into it I was. I started watching it from scratch during the pandemic and still found it a chore. Same for season two, although it picks up slightly. Due to critical acclaim (and pandemic boredom) I powered through and I'm happy I did.

The first seasons are very much a slow-burn, but all that set-up pays off near the end with that amazing final season and the spin-offs that exceed Breaking Bad. Better Call Saul is also a slow burn, but I was able to live with that because I found the characters a lot less annoying than Breaking Bad.

Unfortunately I cannot explain this properly without giving spoilers for the series in general, so I'll put it in spoiler brackets here:

  Hide contents

The brilliance of Breaking Bad stems from the complete 360° sympathy turnaround they manage to have you do first on Walt's character and then every other character.

In the beginning, Walt is presented as a good guy and he's surrounded by annoying characters. The son, Hank but especially man-child Jesse and Walt's hag of a wife and loony sister-in-law. You feel for this brilliant mind who just drew the short straw in life and is therefore surrounded by squalor and destined to die a grizzly death before his time. You understand the unfairness of it all and you root for him to succeed despite the fact that he's doing some unquestionably unethical and criminal stuff.

By the end of the show however, it is clear that Walt always had Heisenberg in him. That he was a lowlife piece of shit who was only kept in check by his loved ones. Skylar (to give but one example) turns from a shrew into a completely understandable character. If she came across as harsh before, it is because that was what was needed to keep Walt in check. 

Now that was a very long introduction to say that the end-result turned out to be absolutely brilliant, but in order to get here they first needed to show us the world from Walt's perspective (where Skylar is a nag and everyone is basically beneath him and annoying). I myself responded quite badly to the initial "annoyance" phase, which is why I started to enjoy it way more later on.

For someone who is okay with a slow burn and who does not respond as strongly to that "annoyance" phase I can see that they like it much earlier than I did.

 

 

 

 

I haven't had the rkind of esponses to the characters you name here (which seem heavily and only  from Walt's POV), so I don't see it like that.

Spoiler

To be fair, I have been kind of spoiled from the start by GRRM's comment that "Walter White is a bigger monster than anyone in Westeros"... although that sounds like a typical GRRM exaggeration (come on, George... I don't know how bad he will get, but I doubt he's gonna be worse than Ramsay, Gregor, Rorge and the Bloody Mummers, or even Tywin Lannister for that matter.

But anyway: while it's hard not to have sympathy for Walt due to his situation, and I do relate to him a lot in some aspects - the resentment of being underpaid and underappreciated in your work in spite of your high skills - and the fact he's been told he is going to die soon and can't even provide for his treatment or for his family (and this feels like a social criticism: something is very wrong with the fact that you can't make a living or pay for your medical  treatment as a teacher, but earn tons of money as a drug dealer; though on the other side, there's also the fact that Walt being a white middle class respectable-looking family guy is why no one suspects him). But it's also clear from the beginning that a lot of what he does it not just out of necessity, but pride. He has a massive chip on his shoulder, pride is why he refuses help from Gretchen and Elliot, and he even resents the idea of charity; and he enjoys the status of a man who can make a lot of money off his skills and provide for his family. It is not just a necessity, it's like a power trip - and that's even evident in the pilot, with how it affects his sexuality and the drug dealing makes him feel virile again. It becomes even more obvious by season 2 - he is clearly very proud of the fact that he is the best at what he does and that he is finally getting the recognition and money that he should based on his skills. Multiple times, he refers to it as you would to a normal job and cleatly gets self-fulfilmment from it. He only decides (temporarily) to quit in season 3 because of Skyler's reaction and because he doesn't want to lose his family,

But even those things are kinda relatable - the pride, the wish for professional self-fulfilment, for respect... The trailts that feel really disturbing to me and that make Walt less sympathetic are his arrogance and his disdain for people he sees as lesser - such as drug addicts - and how blase he was about the deaths of such people (the meth addicts, Combo...) - as opposed to Jesse, who was shaken deeply every time - and it all culminates when he lets Jane die - which is his act so far (as of 4x01) I find the least forgivable. It's also a part of his toxic relationship with Jesse - Walt genuinely cares about him (as seen in season 3) but he also has an incredibly patronizing attitude and treats Jesse like crap most of the time. Maybe feeling superior is a part of it (and maybe one of the reasons Walt is trying to play a pseudo-father because he is losing that status at home due to the divorce, and also, we've seen how jealous Walt is of his son looking up to Hank more than him). Another disturbing trait is how good Walt is at rationalizing his actions and finding excuses for them. Although my sympathy was restored somewhat when I saw he did feel real guilt (especially over Jane, when he nearly spilled out the secret to Jesse in 3x10, which was a great bottle episode where technically nothing happened aside from trying to kill a fly, but I was at the edge of my seat multiple times when it seemed Walt was on the verge of telling the truth).

Jesse is a major screw-up that no one takes seriously, but he also - as it becomes more apparent over time - has more heart than Walt and finds it harder to be as ruthless. Even when he really tries to be, as in season 3, when he was angry, clean of drugs post-rehab and reeling from Jane's death and also looking for revenge for Combo. But his impulsive actions messed things up even worse, forced Walt to take more extreme actions to protect both his life and Jesse's life, and eventually, to make Jesse commit a premeditated murder. So, after season 3, I can say that not only is Walt toxic to Jesse, but they have one of these "We can make each other worse" relationships.

As for the other characters, the only ones I did find really annoying in season 1 were Hank and Marie - Hank really went on my nerves with his overblown macho showboating attitude, and Marie was a bored kleptomaniac who lived in her own world. But after having seen seassns 2 and 3, they are among the most likable characters on the show.

I'm not sure why anyone would hate Walt Jr. except, I guess, TV viewers usually hate teenage children of main characters and find them annoying? One guy who watched BB that I talked to said he found the son the most annoying character. I didn't have any particular feelings about him to start with, but in seasons 2 and 3 I felt really sorry for him because he really believes his father is a good man and has no idea what's going on.

The Skyler hate, which I've heard a lot about, is perplexing. I didn't see anything annoying about her in season 1; in season 2, she was the only one who wasn't buying Walt's BS and was smart enough to start suspecting something was wrong, although he almost managed to fool her again; and calling her a shrew or whatever is just downright weird - she only had the nornal human reaction of anger to her husband lying to her and deceiving her while putting her and their family in such a terrible situation. I have a lot of sympathy for her because Walt put her in such a messed up situation with no good options (where the danger of disgrace and prison is bad enough, but Walt put the entire family in direct physical danger by getting involved iwth some very dangerous people), so I can understand why she's started to get involved with the money laundering and all. It's been clear from the start that, however angry she is, she can't find it in herself to report Walt and send him to prison, bring disgrace to the whole family  and break their son's heart, and she also still cares about Walt enough to worry about his safety, even though she doesn't want to take him back (and I hope she doesn't). She's trying to make the best out of a bad situation, but in the process she's become an accomplice. And while giving Marie money for Hank's recovery is understandable, she's doing to her sister the same Walt did to her. I can't imagine how Marie and Hank would feel if they knew his recovery was paid by drug money, and his brother-in-law was the drug-dealer he was looking for all that time. It's like Walt's increasing corruption is also corrupting people around him, like Skyler, which is making her an interesting and morally grey character too.

 

Edited by Annara Snow
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6 hours ago, 3CityApache said:

I'm watching season four of Halt and Catch Fire and damn, this is emotional. It was a really good show in all previous seasons, but season four is a whole new level. Probably one of the rare examples of the show in which the last season is the best.

Halt and Catch Fire is one of those shows that only has an upward spiral, and I feel that's not because any season is really weaker than another, but because it keep building up on what came before, developing the characters and their relationships further and delivering emotional moments that come off after seasons of build up.

For me, other shows that do that include Dark (people who have issues with how complex the storyline was will say season 1 was the best when for me season 1 was great, season 2 was miles better than season 1, and season 3 blew my mind, but the show was great throughout), The Leftovers, BoJack Horseman, arguably Black Sails and The Americans (season 5 may have been slower and lighter on action and I would not say it's better than seasons 3 and 4, but it continues character development and has some incredible moments that build up to the great final season).

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