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Wa Wa Watching Nothing


TheLastWolf
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Still feeling moderately shit, so here’s what I watched yesterday. 

Downton Abbey the movie as part of my Downton Abbey rewatch, which felt way too fast paced now (compared to 2019 in the movie theatre when I hadn’t yet seen the series). But it made me  nostalgic for the series as well as for 2019 which was the last and most happy and peaceful  year before the shit tsunami hit. So sweet, pretty enjoyable, visually beautiful, feel good. never a bad choice. 

Tolkien - I started this one months ago, might have been an entire year as a background movie for ironing and stopped midway through. But turns out I really enjoyed finishing it and The Great has made me appreciate and enjoy Nicholas Hoult’s acting style. Its atmosphere was really in line with the period movies I’ve been watching, it was heartwarming and full of lord of the rings parallels that made me nostalgic for Lord of the Rings and the 00s when I was most obsessed with Lord of the Rings. I will rewatch this movie, because I want to appreciate the first half of it too. 

The Last Duel - yes I got back to this, because I want to consider myself an adequately open minded person. I can appreciate it, but I can’t say I liked it much. Generally, it dragged on a bit, which I’m sure is down to several reasons, the attention span of the audience, its fundamental structure of retelling the same plot from 3 perspectives, a general slow pace, some odd editing choices . I was a bit lost at their historical accuracy and attention for detail choices as well. Like why give the contemporarily absurd wig to Matt Damon but have married Jodie Comer walk around with flowing maiden hair (and not even be frowned upon by her mother in law) instead of a headdress? I could go on and on nitpicking weird details they didn’t pay attention to. There was this circumstance, upon which the entire story rested, that wasn’t explained or put into context in any of the povs. 

Spoiler

How was it virtually possible for Jodi Comer, a noblewoman to be left alone in the house without a single servant in hearing distance? Whatever business did a medieval widowed grandmother have in town that made her take ALL servants and retainers? Did the grandmother stay alone without servants when Jodie Comer went to town with her friends? Was this a regular practice for medieval grandmothers at all? Because we have never seen this particular or other grandmothers do anything like it or nor did anybody make a passing mention to establish it. But say we accept this presumably not irregular event. Did Adam Driver go to the house with the premeditated intent to have sex (expecting compliance)? How did he know Jodie Comer was alone? Did he send his man ahead to snoop? Why didn’t we see this, why didn’t anybody ask? Did he just try his luck and see if the lady may be entirely alone? Or did he go there with a specific purpose, say speak with Matt Damon and simply capitalized on the opportunity? It just seemed such a bewildering coincidence without any context. 
but the movie spent time on Matt Damon trying to prevent horse breeding because that’s mEtaPhOriC? Come on. You are better than that.

The acting was fine, especially on Adam Driver and Jodie Comer’s part, because I’m sorry, when I looked at Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, all I saw was Matt Damon and Ben Affleck - in ridiculous hair styles. The curse of an all star cast. The atmosphere was grim, dreary, cold and uninviting, very much your usual grim medieval vibe, I don’t remember the score if there ever was one. I did warm to Jodie Comer’s character but it wasn’t really enough for the story to grip me. I applaud the choice of subject matter because it was brave and said more about a relevant issue than any shove down your throat streaming platform messaging ever did. I applaud the nuance, the approach. It’s just that the film failed to captivate, it felt like a big, fancy paint by numbers project. 

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Disliking The Last Duel is a virtual crime around here apparently! :D. I don't even remember what it was about it I didn't like but I wasn't a fan. I totally agree that the haircuts were an issue however!

I finished The Venture Bros, it's taken me a number of years to get there but I did. It's such a strange show, and it seems to evolve and change quite a lot as it goes on. The first couple of seasons are the most fun where it is a Johnny Quest parody, it then goes into it's awkward teen phase. This was about seasons 3 & 4 where it was changing tone quite a bit and moving characters on in their lives.

I really respect that it's a show where characters change and grow, nobody stays the same. At the same time I often missed the early dynamic. Having Hank and Dean grow into teens was interesting but maybe less funny than before, and Brock all but goes missing from the show which is a shame. The show basically becomes The Monarch show for a while, and I really only found that interesting when it hit The Blue Morpho story (which was maybe one of my favourite plots). Then towards the end the show's focus seemed to narrow and I didn't love where it went. 

Next I'm going to try and get hold of the movie which apparently closes out the show. A bit like the recent Loki season, this is a show where I often feel like I've missed a ton of info (I in fact did miss the movie from the end of season 5 I think, so I was confused after that), and the plot just kind of jumps about, expecting you to follow along.

Also, I watched Justin Timberlake and Benicio Del Toro in Reptile on Netflix. It's interesting in that it's a very bog standard crime thriller that is shot as if it's a Kubrick movie, but it doesn't need to be shot as if it's a Kubrick movie. The director is another music video director which explains it. Del Toro is just really good though, and it was an above average movie overall.

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My wife and I went to GRRM's movie theater, the Jean Cocteau Cinema, last weekend in Santa Fe.  The movie theater itself is excellent, and if you are going to visit Santa Fe, you should try to see something showing there.  My wife reports that the drinks menu was very good, the seating was excellent, and the venue is the perfect size to see a flick.

The movie showing that day was The Lost Boys.  I remember the film coming out, but I didn't see it because vampires don't interest me.  Also the guys I knew who did see it at the time reported that it was "very gay".  In the 1980s that term could have meant that it wasn't a very good film, since it was used as a pejorative term.  Either way, this meant that I didn't see it until this weekend.

And I can report to you that the film was both lousy in a particularly 1980s-movie sort of way, and also "very gay" in the way we might use the term today.  So many lingering shots of young men, including a greased-up topless saxophone player that had everyone in the theater laughing, including the many gay dudes watching the film with us.  The two women in the film serve no purpose other than to be objects of desire for two main characters.

And holy smokes did a lot of 1980s popular films stink in terms of presentation, continuity, and plot thickness.  This one suffered from all of those issues, as characters appeared and disappeared from the main story without explanation; moved in space and time without apparent relationship to Newton's Laws of Physics; took action, dressed, and said things without any clear motivation; and generally presented a show I would call "Junior Varsity Goonies, but with Vampires".  Or possibly, "Bush League Stand by Me with Vampires".  All of the things that The Auralnauts make fun of in media from the 1980s and 90s were present in this film, and nothing else was likeable enough to retrieve it from below the line.

The cast of actors was probably the reason why it was a popular film, as it was chock full of the teen actors of the 80s.  Too bad they didn't have much of a script to work on, and indeed, some of them did almost nothing but smirk and pose like they were in an MTV music video.  Alex Winter, for instance, says almost nothing, just vogues around dressed in leather.  Kind of a waste.  On the other hand, the dialog that IS on screen is pretty bad, and makes the Coreys and Kiefer Sutherland sound like they have a mental deficit.  The general plot is right out of an episode of Scooby Doo circa 1978, combined with an 80s-style love story, so the cringe is perpetual.  So bad.

Seeing a film like this serves as a reminder that we really have lived in a sort of Golden Age of film-making over the past couple of decades, where movies and television have both served up thoughtful, exciting, well-acted shows.  Plus Nicolas Cage.

Edited by Wilbur
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20 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

and also "very gay" in the way we might use the term today. 

That's Joel "Batman needs nipples on his costume" Schumacher for you.

I think it's a cult classic more than a good film -- all the fault you point out are definitely there -- but it does have some verve to it, particularly in the cinematography (from, if you'll believe it, Michael Chapman -- i.e. Raging BullThe Taxi Driver) and has a pretty memorable soundtrack.

Not sure when we'll ever get to Santa Fe, but if we ever pay George and Parris a visit I do mean to check out the cinema, love the story behind it. Ideally to see some older film rather than something new.

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4 hours ago, Ran said:

Not sure when we'll ever get to Santa Fe, but if we ever pay George and Parris a visit I do mean to check out the cinema, love the story behind it. Ideally to see some older film rather than something new.

The whole area from Taos through Los Alamos to JemeZ Springs and of course, Santa Fe itself is well worth your effort.  Incredible high desert vistas and beautiful leaves changing color in Autumn?  Check.  Coffee with chocolate, salt and hot pepper?  Check.  Manhattan Project museums and exhibits?  Check.  Apple pie with Hatch chilies?  Check.  Pueblos, Spanish architecture, National Park Service styles, slot canyons with cliff dwellings?  Check.  Subterranean restaurants serving New Mexican reyenos?  Check.  Meow Wolf weirdness?  Check.  More artist colonies than you can shake a stick at?  Check.  Multiple National Parks and Forests?  Check.  Sky Islands?  Check.  Open-top train excursions?  Check.  I highly recommend it to you, as the mix of cultures and styles is rich and interesting.

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3 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

The whole area from Taos through Los Alamos to JemeZ Springs and of course, Santa Fe itself is well worth your effort. 

Been to Santa Fe once, to visit George... well, nearly 20 years ago. Loved what I saw of it, he and Parris showed me around the area where the Georgia O'Keefe museum is, had a nice dinner out around there at the Bullring. But it was a flying visit, as I was going cross-country at the time.

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On 8/27/2023 at 3:10 PM, DireWolfSpirit said:

Have been enjoying each new episode of the Paramount+ series "Lioness".

Good to know, will defo give it a go.

On 8/27/2023 at 3:10 PM, DireWolfSpirit said:

Also nearly complete with a complete rewatch of Boardwalk Empire.

it's been astounding to remember the amount of talent assembled for the cast over the 5 seasons BE ran.

Just amazed they were all apart of this one series.

This! Have been thinking about BE lately, after watching s06 of Line of Duty. It's definitely on my must rewatch list.

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I finished The Fall of the House of Usher and loved it. Any fans of Flanagan’s work already shouldn’t be disappointed. It had some genuine scares but nothing close to Hill House. The entire cast killed it too. Especially Bruce Greenwood and Cugino.

I can also see people disliking it, due to its heavy handedness or exaggerated style, but I dug it all.

Also, The Lost Boys is a classic. How dare you?

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9 hours ago, Wilbur said:

So many lingering shots of young men, including a greased-up topless saxophone player that had everyone in the theater laughing, including the many gay dudes watching the film with us. 

I literally have a t-shirt with that dude on it. You're just a hater. 

1 hour ago, Ramsay B. said:

Also, The Lost Boys is a classic. How dare you?

Seriously. Boo this man! 

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15 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I think all you need to know about the Lost Boys is contained in this scene.

 

I was confused by the guy and thought it was ridiculous that Shumacher got some bodybuilder to pretend to be a musician and singer...

But that's actually Tim Cappello, and he really did look like that. Also was saxophonist for Tina Turner in the 80s and 90s, apparently.

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I have to say I was never as much of a fan of Lost Boys growing up as I felt I should be. Maybe I was just a little too young for it, but even at at about 10 or 11 years old I thought a lot of it was kind of lame. Even then I could tell that Oily Sax Man Tim was not cool. 

I much preferred Goonies and Monster Squad. I'll leave Lost Boys for the horny teens.

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On 10/16/2023 at 4:25 PM, Tywin et al. said:

This may be an unpopular take, but I think Halloween and most of the series isn't very good. Halloween 3, which is the only one without Meyers, is pretty funny though. That's why I prefer the Friday the 13th movies. They're so dumb you can't help but laugh through most of them.

Vividly recall seeing Halloween 3 in a hotel room on a trip to New England about 10 years back, Maybe I will just watch parts 2 and 3 and then stop.

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Finished The Bastard Son and the Devil Himself (slightly randomly retitled Half-Bad after release) and thought it was very good. The actors were solid but the strong point was the direction, reminded me a bit of someone trying to do YA fantasy Battlestar Galactica circa 2003 but with a bit more control over the crash zooms. Pretty good vfx but they didn't go overboard with crappy looking CGI. Also enough closure so the cancellation and lack of a second season is not a huge problem (it's a New Hope ending rather than an Empire Strikes Back one).

Another very solid David Gyasi fantasy role as well, he was also outstanding in Carnival Row (although he's a major co-lead in that, and is in Bastard Son for about 10 minutes in total).

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Have been making solid progress on another stalled TV-series, namely The Great. It's a series I am very fond off, but it isn't my all time favourite despite its obvious qualities. My major gripe is that it usually takes quite some time to get going and these past months I just didn't have the energy for it.

I was stalled at episode 5 for God knows how long, but I have now been able to watch it and the episodes just after that and it is surprising how quickly this show can go from kind of there to enthralling. Perhaps I wasn't in the right state of mind for it earlier, but now I'm really loving it.

Such a shame that it won't be returning for a fourth season, but it will definitely be a show I will fondly look back on. A shame it flew a bit under the radar of popular acclaim. It's a bit like Barry in that way.

Anyways, my favourite thing about this season is probably going to be

Spoiler

Catherine's winter outfit, more specifically the one she wore at the icy lake with Peter. That was one of the most dazzling pieces of costuming I have ever seen.

 

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Two episodes of the new All creatures Great And Small have aired and I'm concerned. Episode 1 was meh, and episode 2, well, sucked. Both even in comparison to the most recent Christmas episode, which I wasn't entirely happy with. Oy veh...

Fortunately, my other wholesome show, Our Flag Means Death, is still going strong, defying the sophomore curse.

Still no news of a second season for Deadloch - maybe that's why Eddie is moonlighting as a pirate on OFMD! (She fits in well.)

(OT question: Do the show titles look boldened to you? My laptop croaked and the old one I'm using right now doesn't show bold, including sth like unread topics. Weird.)

 

Edited by Mindwalker
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