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What are you watching?

Annael
Half-elven


Jan 4, 5:20pm

Post #1 of 17 (492 views)
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What are you watching? Can't Post

I know Aragorn the Elfstone is preoccupied these days, so I took it on myself to start a new thread as the old one has fallen off the page.

I went to "Aquaman." I give it 2.5 stars out of 5. Most of the movie reminded me of other movies: Avatar (the underwater world), Black Panther (heir to the throne has to fight for it). The plot is too basic as are almost all of the characters; CGI battles were overdone & there were too many of them, but Jason Momoa is a lot of fun to watch (as is Patrick Wilson as the major baddie). Main take-aways: the technology that allows older actors to play themselves as younger is pretty cool, and I want a giant seahorse.

My main objection is that while Orm's desire to rule the undersea world and use its technology to destroy the land dwellers recalls the plot of "Black Panther," in the latter film there was debate over how Wakanda might choose a different path. There's none of that in "Aquaman," it all just comes down to "Orm must be defeated," and so the movie misses a great opportunity to address the issue of how we are polluting our oceans and what, perhaps, might be done about that.

Also watched the first episode of season 2 of "The Orville," which was disappointing. Our assessment of this show so far is that Seth McFarland can't make up his mind whether he's doing another comedy set in the current culture or a sci-fi show set in the future; the result is a show that looks futuristic but where everyone (aliens too) act and speak like they're in "Family Guy." In the first season he did have some good plots and in some ways went into more difficult decisions than "Star Trek" ever used to (not anymore, now that "Discovery" is showing), but I find the juxtaposition doesn't work that well.

Started watching "God Friended Me" and am loving it. Now there's a show that's not afraid to wrestle with some meaty questions.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around Ö The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Jan 4, 5:51pm

Post #2 of 17 (430 views)
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I agree with you about The Orville [In reply to] Can't Post

We enjoyed the first season because of the questions and issues raised and despite the often sophomoric humor. I like SOME humor, mind you, but it's not necessary to see how low you can go.

The first episode of this season was a disappointment, bland and predictable in too many ways. We'll see where they go from here.

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow....


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 4, 6:20pm

Post #3 of 17 (428 views)
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Season four of The West Wing. [In reply to] Can't Post

All seven seasons have become available on demand down here so after having watched the first three seasons repeatedly on DVD I'm looking at the fourth season - not one I remember fondly as Sam Seabourn leaves and is replaced with a character I didn't like, but I was reminded that Aaron Sorkin was still involved at this point so thought I'd give it another go.

I'm five episodes in and I can see why I stopped watching early in season five when the show was first broadcast: it's lost its early mad energy.

As for Aquaman, unlike you I found little to like, other than Jason Momoa. It was great to see local man Temuera Morrison on screen again (he played Aquaman's dad) but he didn't really nail any particular US accent, did he?

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Starling
Half-elven


Jan 4, 6:58pm

Post #4 of 17 (418 views)
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Derry Girls [In reply to] Can't Post

It's brilliant, so it is. Laugh
I have also been watching The Good Place, but I can feel myself going off it now. It's just becoming too Groundhog Day-ish for me.




Annael
Half-elven


Jan 4, 9:25pm

Post #5 of 17 (406 views)
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I read one review [In reply to] Can't Post

that said The Orville is basically a sitcom in a sci-fi setting. I'd agree with that. Too bad it can't strive to be a sitcom on, perhaps, the level of "Modern Family" in a sci-fi setting.

But maybe it will get there.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around Ö The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jan 4, 9:51pm

Post #6 of 17 (407 views)
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"BlacKKKlansman". Also "Crazy Rich Asians". [In reply to] Can't Post

Crazy Rich Asians is a pleasant romantic comedy. A few days after I saw it, I was driving one of our guest artists to the airport, and upon learning that she was originally from Singapore, I mentioned this movie. She said it was a treat to see a number of local actors whose work she'd enjoyed growing up in supporting roles (most notably, that of the heroine's mother). She also advised me not to read the "trashy" books upon which the film is based.

BlacKKKlansman is agit-prop, sometimes adroit and sometimes clumsy. I tend to be slow with faces, so it took me a little while to realize that the Jewish cop who goes undercover in a Colorado Springs chapter of the Ku Klux Klan was played by the same actor who portrays Kylo Ren in the Star Wars sequels. Also somehow I never knew before that Steve Buscemi had an actor brother. The title character is solidly embodied by John David Washington, son of Denzel. Speaking of which, remember how the ending of Malcolm X, an earlier Spike Lee film, broke the fictional frame to feature Nelson Mandela and others explaining the contemporary relevance of the title character? Something similar happens in this film, but it's even more explicit--appropriately so (and that follows a number of 2010s political references amusingly scattered into the late 1970s dialogue).


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Lorien

Jan 4, 10:32pm

Post #7 of 17 (399 views)
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Good point [In reply to] Can't Post

I would have liked a stronger environmental message from the film too - and also, why did Orm never attack the land again in the movie after the one tidal wave? I found his logic to be underwhelming - though Wilson himself was very good, and looked the part.

I love The Hobbit. Always will.


Aragorn the Elfstone
Tol Eressea


Jan 5, 12:31am

Post #8 of 17 (395 views)
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Many thanks, Annael. [In reply to] Can't Post

And my apologies, guys. I really intended to get back on track after putting up the last post.

I'm getting ready to post some information on what's been going on with me in the Fiesta Thread, if any of you care to know.

No movies this week for me. Hope you guys have been seeing some good ones!

"The danger with any movie that does as well as this one does is that the amount of money it's making and the number of awards that it's got becomes almost more important than the movie itself in people's minds. I look at that as, in a sense, being very much like the Ring, and its effect on people. You know, you can kind of forget what we were doing, if you get too wrapped up in that." - Viggo Mortensen


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 5, 7:12am

Post #9 of 17 (386 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

Storming Juno (Canadian TV movie/documentary 2010). About the only film I know of telling the story of the Canadian military forces participating in D-Day. The film switches back and forth between the true stories of Corporal Dan Hartigan who was airdropped into Normandy behind Juno beach on the night of June 5-6, 1944, Lieutenant Bill Grayson of the Regina Rifles who led his men in storming Juno beach, and Sergeant Leo Gariepy who commanded a Duplex Drive Sherman tank that also landed on Juno beach. The acting is a bit uneven, the switching narration can be annoying and confusing, sometimes itís obvious the film was shot in two weeks with a cast of a couple of dozen, and not the highest caliber cgi is used to fill in the blanks. But it is also obviously a production of love and respect. The last part of the film consists of very moving interviews of Canadian WWII veterans.
-Highly recommended for those who can see beyond the blemishes.


Zombie Land Saga (Japan anime 12 episode series 2018). This is rather hard to explain. Itís about a zombie idol group. A group of seven young ladies who died but were brought back as zombies. Zombies who perform choreographed J-Pop songs on stage. They wear makeup to hide their zombie appearance. But sometimes they lose a body part or three if their performance gets too demanding. Which only seems to make them popular. And they do occasionally try to eat their audience. Which seems to make them even more popular. The first two episodes are hilarious. I was rolling on the floor laughing out loud and scaring the cats, the dogs, and Wifey. But starting with the third episode something subversive starts to happen. Itís no longer about zombies. Itís about people who happen to be zombies. People who once had lives and dreams, and now must come to terms with their condition and find new dreams. Still funny as heck, though.
-Very highly recommended if you can stand zombies, J-Pop, and subtitles.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.Ē


Kelly of Water's Edge
Rohan

Jan 5, 12:12pm

Post #10 of 17 (365 views)
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If I remember [In reply to] Can't Post

The last seasons had one of the most interesting storylines (in my opinion) - the civil presidency race between Matt Santos and Arnold Vinick, played excellently by Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda. Yes, it's an ideal that might be unreachable in real life, but our current politicians here on both sides should take note that even though fictional, this is the template for how it should be done.

If that sounds good to you, I wouldn't give up :-).


Annael
Half-elven


Jan 5, 2:56pm

Post #11 of 17 (348 views)
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no worries [In reply to] Can't Post

PM me any time you want me to sub.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around Ö The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Annael
Half-elven


Jan 5, 3:02pm

Post #12 of 17 (344 views)
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second episode [In reply to] Can't Post

the sci-fi part was way cool, a true "Star Trek" plot, but almost got lost because too much attention was given to the other plot - which should have been the "B" plot not the "A" plot. But if that reviewer is right and MacFarlane wants to do a live sitcom while wearing a captain's uniform and running around the bridge of a starship, it makes sense now.

Too many of the male characters are interchangeable "dudes."

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around Ö The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Annael
Half-elven


Jan 5, 3:43pm

Post #13 of 17 (341 views)
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watched the last episode of "A Series of Unfortunate Events" [In reply to] Can't Post

quite satisfying.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around Ö The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Jan 6, 3:50pm

Post #14 of 17 (284 views)
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I agree here, too [In reply to] Can't Post

The plot and sub-plot of the second episode should have been switched. Plus I'm getting very tired of Bortus and the---Machlins? Mocklins?---being such blatant ripoffs of Star Trek's Klingons. This episode in particular was part mockery, part fan fic. Still with the pathetic sophomoric humor.

If MacFarlane wants to phone in a sitcom set in space, fine, but I may not be watching. The moments of actual sf, of which there were quite a few in the first series, make me mourn what the show might have been.

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow....


Kilidoescartwheels
Valinor


Jan 7, 8:53pm

Post #15 of 17 (255 views)
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About "Aquaman" [In reply to] Can't Post

My first thought is that Aquaman and Wonder Woman had near-identical stories, in the sense that some Baddie was either starting a war (and willing to kill those trying to resist) or keeping the war going. I will say that WW probably had the better story, but Aquaman definitely had better visuals - the best being a shirtless Jason Momoa!Wink But seriously, COLOR! And much better CGI as well. It amazes me that Warner Bros, who produced the Hobbit movies, has relied on such poor CGI for its Justice League movies, so if nothing else Aquaman deserves credit for that. As far as the OTT action scenes, well yes and I was afraid that the movie would be too dumb because of guys riding sharks like they're on horseback. But that didn't turn out to bother me so much. So I'd give it a slightly higher score, probably 7 out of 10.





Kilidoescartwheels
Valinor


Jan 7, 9:08pm

Post #16 of 17 (250 views)
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Netflix movies: Outlaw King and Bird Box [In reply to] Can't Post

I caught these over the past week. I don't know how historically accurate "Outlaw King" is, probably not any worse than "Braveheart" but the reviews I've read go back & forth between "pretty darn accurate" and "no." I have no trouble believing his wife was held hostage and his brother was drawn & quartered. Yeah, it's got some messy scenes in it. Chris Pine did okay, still not sure why they didn't use a Scots actor but whatever. There was also a very brief full-frontal nude scene, again whatever. It cut from one scene to the next rather abruptly, but somehow still managed to have a slow pace. But the final battle scene was very much in keeping with "Braveheart," though I'm sure no horses were actually injured in the making of this film - or at least I HOPE SO!


"Birdbox" was a very different, original movie IMO. I haven't seen "A Quiet Place," but from what I understand it is a similar premise. In "Birdbox," something is making anyone who sees it kill themselves, and I gotta warn you this movie is BLOODY! Also (spoiler alert), not everyone is suicidal, some are instead either homicidal or very determined to "make you see" whatever it is. Now, that part isn't well explained. There's a guy in the beginning that theorizes these things are demons, but you never really see them. My hubby didn't like the movie for this reason, he didn't know what it was and there is apparently no way to fight them. But the movie sucked me in and I felt it was very intense. And kids, oh so adorable, and yes there were a few moments where I was saying, "No! Not the kids! Don't go that way!!!"Shocked Unfortunately, it has also inspired some foolish people to participate in "Birdbox Challenges," where they run around their apartments, row boats and even attempt to drive blindfolded! Netflix has asked people to NOT do that - makes me wonder what's wrong with people???Crazy





Meneldor
Valinor


Jan 9, 3:51pm

Post #17 of 17 (219 views)
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Megan Leavey [In reply to] Can't Post

(2017)
Based on the true story of a US Marine and her bomb-sniffing dog. One of the best movies I've seen when it comes to showing the war in Iraq, nearly as good at that as American Sniper, and way better than Hurt Locker. The ending got a little corny, but in a good real-life way.


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. -Psalm 107

 
 

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