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


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1 hour ago, Ran said:

I remember years ago, when Buffy was still airing, just scoffing a people going on about it -- the commercials for it looked so silly. Then one day we had nothing better to do, an episode from the 2nd or 3rd season (this was in reruns) was on, decided to watch... and we were hooked. The humor and banter worked for us, the characters, etc. 

I'm not sure what I'd call the "quintessential" Buffy episode that features all of its key aspects in a self-contained package, the one episode to try to see if Buff clicks or not. Maybe "The Wish" from the third season? It goes a bit dark. Or if the zanier side of things, perhaps "Tabula Rasa" from the 6th season.

Neither of these are good introductions to Buffy. The whole point is that characters are different than they usually are, and it's seeing thoes differences that makes the episodes interesting.

The Wish is one of my favorite episodes, but it only hits if you're already a Buffy viewer.

Big finales, like Becoming and The Gift, or season 1 Prophecy Girl, are quintessential Buffy but again, only should be viewed after having seen all the seasons/episodes before.

If I were to pick an early episode that is great and also quintessential Buffy and does not spoil too much/doesn't depend on what came before, I'd pick Lie to Me (episode 2x07), which was the point at which I really fell in love with the show. The only thing that the episode spoils is what Angel is, and I think everyone who's even heard of Buffy knows that already. (Or almost everyone. I've seen one YouTube reviewer who was not spoiled on that and was really surprised watching episode 1x07 Angel.)

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 I think that if someone has made the effort to not watch the show, the very basic outlines of what it is and, more importantly, what they think it is is already there. "The Wish" and "Tabula Rasa" change things up in a way that promises to not make it what they actually expect... but signposts the real qualities of the show. IMO, I think "The Wish" in particular works in a self-contained way even though it's twisting all sorts of aspects of the story up until then. 

Edited by Ran
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3 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

Confession time, never watched a single second of Buffy.

Watch it!!!!! The highest level of entertainment experience I’ve had in years and years. I would say start from the beginning, even though I would have stopped at the end of season 1 if it hadn’t been for Ran’s advice to stick with it. I was blown away within 3 more episodes so it was 200% worth it. But maybe starting with season 2 is an option as well, if you don’t feel patient enough to get through the slightly embarrassing self discovery phase that season 1 was for the show. 

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5 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

:shocked: Long overdue visit to the shrink ig, what made you undertake such an ordeal?

PS hope it was pirated, can't bear those _____ screwing the box office

It was on Netflix and I'd heard good things. And those good things were largely true, I have to say. It's a three hour movie that doesn't flag for even a minute, contains stunning set pieces, great performances, lots of variety and is a ton of fun.

5 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

Jingoistic FTFY and they may or may not have tried to evade Hindutva, but it was there crudely in many scenes.

Yeah, that's the main drawback. As I say, I'm not qualified to comment on even how crude it is, I don't have the context, but even in my level of ignorance the movie towards the end clearly begins to edge into propaganda. But I don't have enough info to know how far it goes from 'fuck colonialism' (a message we can all get behind) towards 'fuck anyone who isn't Hindu'.

The only thing I would say is that clearly the level this movie operates on doesn't lend itself to subtlety and nuance.

I might well watch Vikram, I've heard good things about that one too. :)

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6 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

I'd have recommended Vikram

Vikram was very good.  However it is entirely different in intent than is RRR and the rest of the films in that mode.  I watched them for entirely different satisfactions, though, as I posted here at the time, the Hindi jingoism rather marred the sheer elation that the film evoked in its other aspects.

BTW, I see these on Netflix, which pay a license to stream for subscribers.  I don't ever watch pirated stuff, etc. -- for one thing I'm too terrified of infestation of malware, etc.  I know, I know -- lots of people tell me of certain 'free' sites where this isn't a problem.  But I don't feel comfortable at all watching like that.

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Lovely essay concerning  Miyazaki's's Princess Mononoke, Henry Weinstein, Miramax, Neil Gaiman, the US release of the film vs. Japanese and Miyazaki's conceptions and perceptions.  Spoiler: Weinstein behaves like the thorough dick that he is.

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20220713-princess-mononoke-the-masterpiece-that-flummoxed-the-us
 

If reading the essay inspires an urge to rewatch Princess Mononoke, it's on HBO right now.

 

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I admit that Rhaenys' enthusiasm after initial skepticism has me vaguely interested in Buffy for the first time in my life.

I generally have a strong distaste for vampire anything, as well as little interest in teen melodrama. Hearing so much heaping praise that the show transcends what my impression of it was since it aired is very intriguing. 

Regardless of whether I eventually try it, I've enjoyed seeing someone discover something they truly cherish due to encouragement from forumgoers.

Edited by Argonath Diver
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True Detective. Finished season one. I've defended season two before, but I really think it's mostly pretty good. Some really bad dialogue takes you out of it, and the kid having the badge at the end at his school lunch is pretty nonsensical.  I like the "interstate porn" shots. Ferral and McAdams are great. I like the plot. 

The reason I'm posting though, is that I always loved that theme song and only just realized why. 

His voice is pretty distinctive but somehow I never made the connection. 

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6 hours ago, Argonath Diver said:

I admit that Rhaenys' enthusiasm after initial skepticism has me vaguely interested in Buffy for the first time in my life.

I generally have a strong distaste for vampire anything, as well as little interest in teen melodrama. Hearing so much heaping praise that the show transcends what my impression of it was since it aired is very intriguing. 

Regardless of whether I eventually try it, I've enjoyed seeing someone discover something they truly cherish due to encouragement from forumgoers.

I would temper expectations. The show is getting a lot of praise here, but I think it's a relatively niche audience who enjoys it to the extent expressed on this thread.

I tried watching Buffy myself. I was very determined to enjoy it and forced myself through the entire first season. I was not impressed. I found almost all of the characters irritating (the librarian character was a very charming exception), especially a certain character named Xander - every time he was on screen I had a strong urge to skip the scene.

The production values are extremely poor (not the greatest offense), I felt the acting was mediocre at best (again, the librarian being the exception), the villains were laughable, and it was an all around silly show.

But I am pretty hard to please. So it is entirely possible that you will find yourself landing far from my assessment. Still, I really do think it's worth tempering expectations. Aside from my personal evalution, on imdb the show is rated 8.3, which is decent enough, but doesn't even make the cut for top 250 shows.

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True Detective. Finished season one

I love season one of True Detective. Best performance of McConaughey's career.

Edited by IFR
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12 hours ago, mormont said:

It was on Netflix and I'd heard good things. And those good things were largely true, I have to say. It's a three hour movie that doesn't flag for even a minute, contains stunning set pieces, great performances, lots of variety and is a ton of fun.

Ok I kinda agree with you. It is definitely not slow paced, the set pieces are great considering the budget, the performances were too dramatic for my taste, as you yourself said

12 hours ago, mormont said:

The only thing I would say is that clearly the level this movie operates on doesn't lend itself to subtlety and nuance.

variety would always be there in a 'masala' movie, and it was a ton of fun to watch with my friends and ridicule it.

12 hours ago, mormont said:

Yeah, that's the main drawback. As I say, I'm not qualified to comment on even how crude it is, I don't have the context, but even in my level of ignorance the movie towards the end clearly begins to edge into propaganda. But I don't have enough info to know how far it goes from 'fuck colonialism' (a message we can all get behind) towards 'fuck anyone who isn't Hindu'.

There are many analyses about it but I don't want to spoil the fun by dragging the dirty politics here or anywhere.  

12 hours ago, mormont said:

I might well watch Vikram, I've heard good things about that one too. :)

Great! As someone said, the best promotion a movie can give itself is by being great. No one said that, I just made it up. But honestly, Kamal went everywhere from Cannes to the Burj Khalifa promoting it.

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16 hours ago, Zorral said:

Vikram was very good.  However it is entirely different in intent than is RRR and the rest of the films in that mode.

Fair enough. And glad you found it good. Some jerk critics at Rotten Tomatoes totally reviewed it out of context. Its like viewing The Terminator expecting The Tree Of Life.

16 hours ago, Zorral said:

I watched them for entirely different satisfactions, though, as I posted here at the time, the Hindi jingoism rather marred the sheer elation that the film evoked in its other aspects.

Ok I'll confess, I've had enough of the director's big budget multi starrer fantasies which heavily dented the box office collections of really good small scale productions during their run. I'm talking $7000 Robert Rodriguez El Mariachi types. And the nepotism, lets not delve into that shit

16 hours ago, Zorral said:

BTW, I see these on Netflix, which pay a license to stream for subscribers.  I don't ever watch pirated stuff, etc. -- for one thing I'm too terrified of infestation of malware, etc.  I know, I know -- lots of people tell me of certain 'free' sites where this isn't a problem.  But I don't feel comfortable at all watching like that.

I myself avoid pirated sites as much as I can and parasite myself on my cousins' and friends' OTT accounts, earlier it was my dad's Blu-Ray DVD rental subscription. But when my taste in cinema broadened, some arthouse films and uncut/director's cut versions are very rare to find legally. So... never mind. The risk of malware is real even in so called safe sites but its up to the individual to decide if the risk is worth it.

Edited by TheLastWolf
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5 hours ago, IFR said:

I would temper expectations. The show is getting a lot of praise here, but I think it's a relatively niche audience who enjoys it to the extent expressed on this thread.

It's considered a cult classic, beloved even 20 years later, has even been a subject of academic works, but I'm sure you have a better source for your claim that loving it is "niche"? Based on...?

Oh, the source is impression of season 1.

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I tried watching Buffy myself. I was very determined to enjoy it and forced myself through the entire first season. I was not impressed. I found almost all of the characters irritating (the librarian character was a very charming exception), especially a certain character named Xander - every time he was on screen I had a strong urge to skip the scene.

The production values are extremely poor (not the greatest offense), I felt the acting was mediocre at best (again, the librarian being the exception), the villains were laughable, and it was an all around silly show.

 

Sounds like you only watched season 1.

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I found almost all of the characters irritating

I will never stop being amazed that so many people think "I found the characters irritating" is a legitimate critcism of any show's quality. 

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But I am pretty hard to please. So it is entirely possible that you will find yourself landing far from my assessment. Still, I really do think it's worth tempering expectations. Aside from my personal evalution, on imdb the show is rated 8.3, which is decent enough, but doesn't even make the cut for top 250 shows.

Ah, yes, IMDB ratings, widely known as the most relevant and objective markers of quality....

Yes, I agree, Buffy is nowhere near the incredible quality of shows like Sherlock (#19, 9.0) or Friends (#43, 8.8). Instead, with its 8.3 rating it is closer to other low quality, non-top 250 shows as The Americans (8.4), Halt and Catch Fire (8.4), Normal People (8.4) - but at least it beat such gutter trash as  The Leftovers (7.8)!

 

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I think it's a perfectly reasonable decision that watching one season is more than enough if a show doesn't click with you. I personally wouldn't have the patience today to wait for seasons 2 or 3 for a show to get good.

IIRC, it was the fun and banter and some interesting twists that kept me going. I also saw the whole vampire/ monsters/ slayer thing as a clever metaphor for the whole teenage angst experience.

That said, I'm not sure how well it would hold up for me, which is one of many reasons I never rewatched it.

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7 hours ago, RumHam said:

 

A month late to the party pal:

Quote

I’m listening to my favorite movie podcast and I am literally shocked by what they’re reviewing. Has anyone heard of or seen Tiptoes? If not, Google it, but just look at the cast before reading what it’s about. How they got that many star actors to make what sounds like one of the most offensive movies ever I will never understand. It stars three, THREE, freaking Oscar winners.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cinephobe-ep-139-tiptoes-with-brad-williams/id1486118282?i=1000567474931

Edited by Tywin et al.
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33 minutes ago, Mindwalker said:

I think it's a perfectly reasonable decision that watching one season is more than enough if a show doesn't click with you. I personally wouldn't have the patience today to wait for seasons 2 or 3 for a show to get good.

A ton of 1990s shows would've been dead and gone if that had been the case.

Especially Star Trek: The Next Generation. You need to wait for season 3 for it to stop being absolutely horrible and turn good.

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