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


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3 hours ago, Annara Snow said:

I think the way Dawn was introduced and her presence explained was very clever. 

Her main role is really how she changes Buffy's arc and circumstances. Season 5 was great, maybe the best BtVS season IMO (the overall arc and character arcs are strong, and the season is consistent with no really bad episodes; no other BtVS season has all those things going for it at the same time), though as an only child, Buffy was more personally relatable to me before.

Yes, I agree that the how a clever solution. Even though that wasn’t quite clear at the time of that post, it took a couple episodes for that story to fully fledge and prove to be as cleverly thought out as it is. 

Still, the “what” and “for what purpose” parts are interesting. A magically inserted sister to establish a new family dynamic and stronger family responsibility feels like a bit of a stretch and there may have been other ways to achieve the same end.

Well I find her dynamic with Dawn very relatable, too relatable to enjoy in fact, but I do prefer only-child Buffy as well. It fit the character better. 

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Finished Stranger Things Vol 4.  Enjoyable, if protracted.  The lack of resolution is a pity though.  A fifth season seems a bit much for this story and these characters, especially if the episode length continues at 90+ minutes.  But a fun watch overall.

Also finished Endeavour S8, which I believe is the series finale.  This has been a very good show throughout, even if S8 required prequel Morse to descend into alcoholism and self-pity in order to set up the original character.  Jim Strange’s growth as a more balanced character compared to the mercurial Morse continued as a good contrast.  The third and final episode was ridiculously contrived to set up a horror film scenario for maximum tension.  Bad choice by the writers for the final chapter but still a very good series.

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16 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

Also finished Endeavour S8, which I believe is the series finale.  This has been a very good show throughout, even if S8 required prequel Morse to descend into alcoholism and self-pity in order to set up the original character.  Jim Strange’s growth as a more balanced character compared to the mercurial Morse continued as a good contrast.  The third and final episode was ridiculously contrived to set up a horror film scenario for maximum tension.  Bad choice by the writers for the final chapter but still a very good series.

There's a ninth and final season. It has been filmed/is filming now for airing end of 22/early 23.

Binged an Icelandic volcano-based drama this weekend called Katla (that's the name of the volcano). If you enjoy dark, moody, weird shows where odd things happen and you can't quite work out what is going on but the background scenery is amazing then close your curtains and snuggle up for this one.

I also watched a rubbish made-for-TV-looking film called Lost Girls which is about a woman looking for her suspected murdered daughter and bonding with other left behind women (mothers, sisters, daughters) in the same situation. It was just weak and uncompelling. It could have been from the 1990s instead of a few years back. Do not recommend.

I am trying to watch The Strangers. Another film that I felt I should have seen - as a fan of horror films, it gets referenced now and then I don't appreciate the references because I haven't seen the film. So far I have gotten 30 minutes into this 90 minute film and I have to keep pausing it in case anything terrifying happens. 

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My midsummers viewing has largely been reduced to waiting for new episodes of Hulu's "OLD MAN" and HBO's "WESTWORLD".

Not a lot to rave over currently.

I'm keenly aware that many of the show's I would probably love are on streaming platforms I currently do not have or shows/movies where the production isn't available yet or worse, has been canceled.

Edited by DireWolfSpirit
Fucking Spellcheck!
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Strange New Worlds: watch it, even if you've given up on Star Trek because of Discovery or Picard. It's a breath of fresh air.

And have started Thief (as I said I would; RIP Jimmy Caan and only 20 minutes in but had to remark on that absolutely stunning opening section. What a mood setter! Tha score by Tangerine Dream (weird to think that Christopher Franke was involved in this, but I see he was a very long-running member of hegroup), its editing like a scalpel, Mann's direction, cities at night, rain in dark alleyways. Brilliant start.

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23 hours ago, Mexal said:

Having just finished this, it gets better. Brilliant show. Highly recommended.

Can confirm.  Binged it this weekend.  Very good show.

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Finished The Terminal List. I've seen some mention on the web about it being controversial. Not sure about what really. Definitely unoriginal, a run of the mill revenge story in the modern era, a less gory Punisher. Chris Pratt did a decent job in what I think is the first 100% serious role I've seen him in. The finale was somewhat silly.

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I didn't bother past the first episode. As much as we all bitch that his own aura comes out through his characters too much, consistently grim and unsmiling Chris Pratt wasn't very engaging.

Also, as is the case with plenty of online content these days, the audio made it nearly impossible for me to follow along. The dialogue was too muffled during both action scenes and the many Earnest Whispering scenes in the opener alone. I like to listen using two small stereo speakers, but I was constantly adjusting the volume the entire episode to try to hear what the hell they were saying. Since the show was completely bland and uninspiring anyways, I don't really have any interest in the rest.

I watched the episodic extended edition of The Hateful Eight on Netflix. I have huge respect for the craft of the movie in general, but other than "wow what a great shot they lined up for that scene" I had little fun watching the cast of literal eight hateful characters chat it up  in full turn-it-to-11 Tarantino dialogue until its inevitable climax of hyperviolence. Ah, well, I knew exactly what I was getting in to.

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47 minutes ago, Argonath Diver said:

Also, as is the case with plenty of online content these days, the audio made it nearly impossible for me to follow along. The dialogue was too muffled during both action scenes and the many Earnest Whispering scenes in the opener alone. I like to listen using two small stereo speakers, but I was constantly adjusting the volume the entire episode to try to hear what the hell they were saying. Since the show was completely bland and uninspiring anyways, I don't really have any interest in the rest.

Back when the 1st season of The Witcher was released I had to start using subtitles since I was unfamiliar with the lore so I wanted to make sure I knew all the names. Since then I've pretty much gone with subtitles on every TV show and movie I stream. But yeah, without subtitles I also would have given up on The Terminal List

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Same. Subtitles are on by default for everything, has been like that for years.

Im not sure what it is, I always suspected because I don’t have amazing surround sound speakers that the mixing for most tv shows merges everything into one audio track and speech becomes muffled. Some modern movies are just awful however, Tenet isn’t alone in that regards.

Going back and watching older tv, the sound is often so much clearer.

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'Got caught up on some Netflix.

Man vs Bee:

Pretty good. I was never a big follower of Mr Bean but I suspect this is very much in the same mould. Good light entertainment that doesn't take much time to consume. I laughed.

The Sea Beast:

The first five minutes were little clunky, but I really enjoyed this movie. It had me smiling almost start to finish. Good cast. Some really impressive visuals that almost looked photorealistic in some places. A bit of a "How to Train Your Dragon" vibe but with more cuteness overload. Sigh, the cuteness.

Surprisingly, it had some interesting themes regarding propaganda and militarism I was totally not expecting. A bit, "on the nose", but it was handled well. It could even be an Iraq war allegory if you squint really hard. I'm not kidding. 

I really enjoyed this movie. Recommend. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Same. Subtitles are on by default for everything, has been like that for years.

Im not sure what it is, I always suspected because I don’t have amazing surround sound speakers that the mixing for most tv shows merges everything into one audio track and speech becomes muffled. Some modern movies are just awful however, Tenet isn’t alone in that regards.

Going back and watching older tv, the sound is often so much clearer.

I think this is the thing. Sound mixes assume a sound bar at a minimum. When I was house sitting recently, they had a TV with sound bar and sub woofer and I had no problem with dialogue. I don't have that in my apartment. If I have a bit of white noise because of a fan running or window open, it gets really hard. 

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46 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

I think this is the thing. Sound mixes assume a sound bar at a minimum. When I was house sitting recently, they had a TV with sound bar and sub woofer and I had no problem with dialogue. I don't have that in my apartment. If I have a bit of white noise because of a fan running or window open, it gets really hard. 

I did have a sound bar, not an expensive one, but it didn’t improve things too much. I think proper surround sound would make the difference as mixing is often designed for .. I guess 5.1? It’s frustrating there doesn’t seem to be any settings on a tv that actually help the issue.

My older relatives have almost given up on modern tv for this very issue. It’s like the whole industry is run by Christopher Nolan.

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1 hour ago, Heartofice said:

Same. Subtitles are on by default for everything, has been like that for years.

I tend to do this by default, always when I watch anything on my phone (commuting) as it means I don't need to have the volume very high. However, my husband (whose hearing is less good than mine) hates having subtitles on by default. :huh:

Urgh. We finished Stranger Things S4 last night. I am just done with this show now. I find the 'emotional' parts of it just absolutely painful to watch. It reminds me a little bit of the HP films - the story is mostly engaging but I feel zero emotional connection to the characters and I don't really care if something bad happens to them. It was bad enough that the ST finale was over two hours long but my goodness how much did they drag out the end? I left the room to wash up when they got to the 'it's snowing' part. If I had been on my own, I would have watched it on x1.5 just to get through the excruciating "sad" parts. Even the 'Eleven using her magical powers bits' are just painting by numbers now. I mean how many times can someone be defeated and then just feel the love of their friends and be inspired that tiny bit more to just... wave their hands around while concentrating really hard? It's just predictable and dull. 

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There are quite a few shows on my list that I want to watch, such as Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Barry, but I feel like I should finish Stranger Things first, as well as Ms Marvel. I'm finding both quite a struggle to stay engaged with however. I was thinking maybe it was a problem with my own lack of attention, but I just whizzed through Umbrella Academy and The Boys with little issue, so I think its something else.

With Stranger Things, my problem with it is that I just don't like the characters very much, and the show is kind of leaning on you liking spending time with them in order to engage with it. On the surface they should be the sort of people you'd want to be around, a cast of fun, memorable kids that are all easy to pigeon hole. But really I find them all quite irritating, not cute in a way the show wants you to feel. Mike is just pathetic, Dustin is really grating now, Will is permasad, Jonathan looks like he's cracked out.. and Eleven, who I've always felt was better on paper than in reality, is just a series of tv tropes than a person (maybe I can say that about the whole show)

So as soon as I find myself enjoying it, the show does something to make me feel agitated and annoyed, usually its yet another bullying scene.

As for Ms Marvel, I have been trying to continue, but I do think that initial magic has gone for me. As the story progressed I just lost interest. I am not the audience, I think it really is for younger teens, and thats not me. It is however a cut above most other Marvel TV shows which has been a bit a of a disappointment. 

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Finished Thief. Great neo-noir. What an amazing debut film from Mann. Had I realized how much it resonated with Heat, I probably would have gotten to it earlier. Caan's Frank and DeNiro's McCauley are peas in a pod. 

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