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Early July: what are you watching?

CuriousG
Half-elven


Jul 1, 5:34pm

Post #1 of 22 (435 views)
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Early July: what are you watching? Can't Post

July is here, so as we northerners huddle in air conditioning and those "away South" huddle in heated movie theaters, or home theaters, or wherever people huddle (not judging!), what are you watching?

The Witcher: (on Netflix) I gave this a second try since I didn't like it much the first time yet it has all sorts of fans, so I tried to be open-minded and watch the whole 1st season again. Alas, my reaction is still the same, mainly because I can't warm up to any of the characters, with the exception of Tissaia. That actress played an ordinary house servant in Downton Abbey, but always looks so regally beautiful in this show that I've got quite a crush on her, and it helps that she personally has some principles, whereas everyone else is so completely self-serving.

There's also a recurrent technical sloppiness to the show, such as people will be outside in daylight like it's noon, saying it's late and time for bed, then a new camera angle where it is dusk, then back to a noon shot, then back to dusk, then--yes--back to noon. That kind of sloppy editing happens a lot, and I don't look for it, it just jumps out at me. Oh well, maybe the 2nd season will be better.

Black Spot/Zone Blanche: (also Netflix) I think way too many shows are labelled "slow burn" when they're really just slow and boring, but this is one that lives up to that description. I am mainly watching it to polish my very rusty French, and I've probably already seen enough police shows for one lifetime, but the cases are often interesting and take surprise twists, and then there's the season-long question about what's happening with the forest, and just how supernatural is it? As a teaser, I'll reveal it really is supernatural and it's not just people hallucinating. But I won't reveal more.

The show delves a lot into characters and their relationships, so at times I catch a whiff of soap operas, but it's not too heavy. And I would say it's similar to Longmire in cooking up real characters that aren't one-dimensional stereotypes, so kudos for that.

The Mountain Between Us: (Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, plus a dog) I like both actors, so this was a fun movie to watch. Premise: they're on a personal airplane that crashes in the Rocky Mountains, and somehow they have to survive and rely on each other for quite awhile and eventually set out for help because none is coming for them. Gee, a man and a woman alone--do you think they might get romantic? As survival movies and unlikely romance movies go, I didn't find it cliche, so I enjoyed it. And spoiler: no, they don't eat the dog, and how could you think of such a thing!


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jul 1, 9:46pm

Post #2 of 22 (390 views)
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Resistance - 3/5 [In reply to] Can't Post

Cinemas reopened here a couple of weeks ago and I got the chance to see this movie about Marcel Marceau when he was in the French Resistance in World War II.

Two actors are stand-outs: Clemence Poesy as one of the resistance fighters and Matthias Schweighöfer as the charming, chilling Klaus Barbie. The movie's worth seeing just for the two scenes that feature them both.

Sadly, the let-down is Jessie Eisenberg as Marcel - he can't quite step away from 'Jessie' to become Marcel, and it's distracting.

An unexpected joy was seeing Bella Ramsey in a significant role - she who won so many fans as the take-no-nonsense Lianna Mormont in Game of Thrones. Smile

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

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s 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.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


sevilodorf
Grey Havens


Jul 1, 11:39pm

Post #3 of 22 (384 views)
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Fringe -- John Noble as Walter Bishop [In reply to] Can't Post

Walter is the best part of the show.
Astrid is next especially Astrid in the Alternate Universe coming to talk to Prime Astrid.

The whole Peter and Olivia romance.... why did it have to be? Couldn't they just have remained team mates?

I'm nearing the end of 5 seasons. The Observers as evil villains ....hmmm if they truly have the ability to see all the future paths why in the heck are they so easy to fool?

There are highs and lows but you can count on Walter and Astrid.... too bad there's not more Gene the Cow in Season 5 -- Gene in polka dots and party hat...

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com
Home of TheOneRing.net Best FanFic stories of 2005 and 2006 "The Last Grey Ship" and "Ashes, East Wind, Hope That Rises" by Erin Rua

(Found in Mathoms, LOTR Tales Untold)




CuriousG
Half-elven


Jul 2, 1:46pm

Post #4 of 22 (335 views)
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Lucky you to be able to go to a cinema! [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope future movies you see will be in the 4-5 star rating.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jul 2, 1:50pm

Post #5 of 22 (332 views)
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I liked that silly cow [In reply to] Can't Post

Though I only got past 2 seasons. I liked Walter too. I guess I felt like each show followed the same formula (mystery event > Walter recalls his past working on a secret project > frenzied resolution), so my interest waned. But as I'm running out of things to watch, I should give it another try. Not every sci-fi show can be as airtight as The Expanse.


Annael
Immortal


Jul 2, 4:13pm

Post #6 of 22 (326 views)
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thanks for those recommendations [In reply to] Can't Post

Can't bear it when dogs die/get hurt in movies. Can never see "I am Legend" because the dog looks EXACTLY like my German shepherd and I know it doesn't turn out well for her. But I have wanted to see "The Mountain Between Us" because of . . . well, Idris and Kate, what's not to like? And Zone Blanche sounds like my thing (love Longmire, want to polish my own rusty French). Agree on Witcher. Will give Season 2 a try.

We've been watching "Partners in Crime," a recent reboot of the Tommy & Tuppence Beresford mystery series. I liked the earlier one with Francesca Annis, but this one is so poorly written it's hard to stick with it. Basically Tommy & Tuppence run about ignoring all the warnings, missing important clues, walk right into dangerous situations, blurt out information that should be secret to all the wrong people . . . it's totally unbelievable that their uncle-in-MI5 would EVER employ them on cases, they are the most inept operatives ever with no skills except Tuppence's learned-at-school ability to pick locks with a hairpin. Also, they rush off to other parts at the drop of the hat leaving their dog alone in the house for days, apparently.

We got to watch my dad on TV. He's a former PT boat commander and the Smithsonian interviewed him for a segment on "Stealth Boats." He did really well.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words.
-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967

My Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/...id=1590637780&sr=8-1



(This post was edited by Annael on Jul 2, 4:18pm)


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Jul 2, 6:35pm

Post #7 of 22 (323 views)
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The Mandalorian [In reply to] Can't Post

We're finally getting around to The Mandalorian, after hearing from multiple friends and relatives what a great show it is. And you know what? It's a great show!

You can see the Scriptwriting 101 tropes being ticked off---backstory, check, reversal, check---but at only 35 minutes the story doesn't linger on any one trope long enough for it to pall. Not even the Star Wars references. If you get them, the story is enriched, if not, well, we're onto something else now.

The one lone-gunslinger trope that is shattered here, and to excellent effect, is his rescue of the Child, aka "baby Yoda" to us fans. The Child is small and vulnerable and cute as all-get-out, but may not be as helpless as it looks...

Well, we have two more episodes in the first season to go and are anticipating the second, starting in October, I hear.

Our main complaint is with the lack of lighting in so many scenes. Night scenes are almost impossible to see, and many interiors are almost opaque. I realize special effects work better in low light, but come on, have pity on us oldies with poor eyesight!

I'm not thrilled with how violent it is, either, but it's cartoon violence, and the original franchise isn't exactly pacifist.

As my older son said, this just proves that the Star Wars universe is vast enough for stories that don't require a Skywalker Smile

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....


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jul 2, 9:01pm

Post #8 of 22 (309 views)
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A published author, a dad on TV--you folks are high achievers. Congrats! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jul 2, 9:45pm

Post #9 of 22 (309 views)
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It was lovely and strange [In reply to] Can't Post

to get back to the old habit of going to the cinema, even if other cinema-goers are still annoying. Tongue

The school holidays start next week so it'll be mostly kids' movies for a while. I'm just biding my time until the movie studios finally release their big movies - like A Quiet Place 2, the next Bond movie, Tenet, Wonder Woman...

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

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s 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.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jul 4, 6:13pm

Post #10 of 22 (280 views)
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Underline the lack of light in Mandalorian--it is a strain on the eyes! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


the 13th warrior
Rivendell


Jul 7, 4:25am

Post #11 of 22 (251 views)
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Saw Dracula Untold w/Luke "Hobbit" Evans--Two Fangs Up [In reply to] Can't Post

 Hello CG, a few yrs after the fact, but I finally viewed Dracula Untold w/Luke Evans who was surging along being Bard when Drac came out. Thought it was a very creative humane take on the inhuman man monster vampire. It gave him strong understandable motives to become a vampire; to save his kingdom, wife the queen and his son the prince. Good twist in that he wanted to be one to wage a one man,vampire war on the invading turks. That's a theme that coppola used in 1990's dracula w/oldman, ryder, hopkins, reeves - that vlad the impaler/dracula was a transylvania patriot standing against the turkish infidel enemies of christendom. (interesting that the moslem warriors felt the west was infidel territory as well.)


special effects were very good, especially evans transforming into bats, the elements. looks like the film crew got out on location, not sure which country, but nice looking rivers, forests, plains. castle and costumes look grand. a few good battles,duels. but it really comes down to, and evans is great at this, whether vlad can control his impulses or will they control him in the end.


one similarity to king arthur w/clive owen. in that one, celtic arthur is taken into the roman empire army as a boy, trained all his life to be a knight of rome. in drac, vlad's son the prince is threatened with being pressed into service as tribute to the sultan's army, where he will live and train and serve. another angle, a twist--taking turn, literally have to serve the kingdom's enemies, sacrifice yourself to keep the peace, but at what cost. this demand figures heavily into the new drac plot and outcome was well done.


if you like dracula you should like this alternate take,new history version. if you are just a casual drac fan, this could fill in on the vlad the impaler guy you may have heard of--this goes into great detail on him, plays up stuff we know, but adds extra juice, spice, some new ingredients. Two fangs and two thumbs up, to check it out.


The 13th Warrior - Left Field Caliphate

"From the scroll rooms of Gondor, carving up wooden stakes, never can have enough stakes, can't tell what's lurking around these old castles."


(This post was edited by the 13th warrior on Jul 7, 4:26am)


Omnigeek
Lorien


Jul 7, 4:28am

Post #12 of 22 (252 views)
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A variety of things [In reply to] Can't Post

Superman the Movie
Blade Runner

Rurouni Kenshin (subbed)
Whisper of the Heart
The Cat Returns
From the Earth to the Moon
Heartbreak Ridge

YouTube channels
  • Virtual Legality / Hoeg Law
  • Physics Girl
  • Smarter Every Day
  • Hummingbird Spot
  • Clownfish TV
  • The Quartering
  • OverlordDVD
  • Nerdrotic
Yeah, that's a lot given it's still the 6th but it was a long holiday weekend plus I've been working from home and running some of the YouTube videos on the background while working on the computer ... having the hummingbirds feed on a large monitor behind my laptop is almost like having my set of feeders with dozens of hummingbirds ...


Annael
Immortal


Jul 7, 2:53pm

Post #13 of 22 (223 views)
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recently got hooked on Lucy Worsley's show debunking myths about royals [In reply to] Can't Post

Her glee, dressing up, and funny way of not-quite pronouncing her Rs delight us. But oh - politics has not changed at all, has it? So much false news, slander, and bribery. Elizabeth I comes off pretty badly, Queen Anne much better.

Oh, forgot - also "Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga." Friends who are big Eurovision fans prepped us by sending a 75-minute video they'd made explaining it and showing some of the more memorable moments from the show, good and bad. They then hosted a watch party & cued us about stuff like cameos.Tremendous fun. Had to watch it again and every morning I seem to wake up with one of the songs in my head. Dan Stevens steals the show, as does Molly Sandven who voices the climactic song "Husavik" (covering three entire octaves!).

I am a dreamer of words, of written words.
-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967

My Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/...id=1590637780&sr=8-1



(This post was edited by Annael on Jul 7, 2:57pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jul 7, 5:45pm

Post #14 of 22 (215 views)
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Infidels are in the eye of the beholder, aren't they? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for a thorough and insightful review, 13th! I have gone from "won't see" to "must see." I guess I thought the Dracula story had been done to death, but apparently not. Though, oddly, I suddenly have a desire to impale something; most likely, I'll settle for a pickle on a fork, lest anyone is calling the Authorities.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jul 7, 6:00pm

Post #15 of 22 (216 views)
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Thanks for the list [In reply to] Can't Post

Picking at random, I tried Virtual Legality on Youtube, which I enjoyed (a lawyer explaining legal issues to non-lawyers like me), so that was a good find. The people I follow on social media are reporters, politicians, and lawyers who can explain the legal issues that the first group reports on and the second group stirs up, and I find lawyers explain things much better in-person than the legal experts that media outlets conjure up, for whatever reason. (Well, probably because the media wants sound bites, and lawyers' explanations don't fit into them.)


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jul 7, 8:01pm

Post #16 of 22 (208 views)
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Liz #1 and propaganda [In reply to] Can't Post

For a childless queen, her "descendants" have certainly managed her brand image well, haven't they? I just watched the Worsley episode on Elizabeth I. While she was not unique at playing the royal propaganda game, it is pretty funny how we do think of her beating the Armada while we have no common knowledge of her disastrous Counter-Armada attack on Spain. History isn't always written by the victors, sometimes it's written by those whose language is the global lingua franca.


(This post was edited by CuriousG on Jul 7, 8:02pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jul 12, 5:53pm

Post #17 of 22 (152 views)
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Hamilton--worthy of hype [In reply to] Can't Post

I got a month of Disney+ so I could watch Hamilton, and it lives up to all the hype. Who knew anyone could make American constitutional history into an entertaining musical? It sounds like the idea behind a Saturday Night Live or Monty Python sketch that instead puts people to sleep. I had to control my usual urge to look things up on Wikipedia while watching any show that makes me think, "Did that really happen?!" It led to a lot of reading afterwards. Hamilton wrote an open letter admitting to an affair that included blackmail from the woman and her husband? Aaron Burr wanted to liberate Mexico from Spain so he could become its king? Crazy!

With a month of Disney+ left, I've decided to watch some old movies for nostalgia's sake. Mary Poppins holds up well, and watching Saving Mr Banks right after it was enlightening. But Alice in Wonderland--I thought it was just plain weird and gave up halfway through, like listening to a friend's weird dream that you really don't want to hear about.

Othewise, I'm into season 2 of Schitt's Creek. I found season 1 a lot more consistently funny, so I'm just along for the ride now, waiting to see how future seasons go (I'm told they're much better). It reminds me a lot of Corner Gas: goofy people in a small town with some contrast with big city sophisticates, which goes all the way back to Green Acres and other old comedies, but it's a formula that can work.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 13, 4:30am

Post #18 of 22 (142 views)
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I knew! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Who knew anyone could make American constitutional history into an entertaining musical?


Hamilton meet 1776. I'm not saying one did it better than the other, just that they are both entertaining in their own ways.

#FidelityToTolkien


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jul 13, 3:47pm

Post #19 of 22 (111 views)
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I had to look that up on IMDB, but you're right--it's been done before. Sorry, Lin-Manuel. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


sevilodorf
Grey Havens


Jul 13, 4:21pm

Post #20 of 22 (108 views)
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Yes ... certainLEE.....1776 insider joke.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com
Home of TheOneRing.net Best FanFic stories of 2005 and 2006 "The Last Grey Ship" and "Ashes, East Wind, Hope That Rises" by Erin Rua

(Found in Mathoms, LOTR Tales Untold)




squire
Half-elven


Jul 14, 1:50am

Post #21 of 22 (96 views)
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"Molasses to Rum to Slaves" - from 1776, the Musical [In reply to] Can't Post

I was just rewatching some of my favorite numbers from this show, which was made into a fine movie during its run in the early 70s.


'Molasses to Rum to Slaves' sung by John Cullum as SC delegate Edward Rutledge

This song deviates from the light humor of most of the numbers: it's a bitter and angry defense of Southern slavery. It calls out Northern complicity in the slave trade and the resulting hypocrisy of the Northern delegates to the Congress who were trying to use the Declaration to abolish slavery as an evil institution -- that they themselves had long profited from.

'1776: The Musical' (1969; film 1972) may not be as up to date musically as 'Hamilton', and of course multi-ethnic and -gendered casting was unimaginable for a show like this back in the day. But the genuine interest in American history is just as good, if not better. ('Hamilton' gets away with saying its hero was an anti-slavery activist and man of the people, which he wasn't, because it's just such a darn good show.)



squire online:
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CuriousG
Half-elven


Jul 22, 9:18pm

Post #22 of 22 (66 views)
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"Alone," on History Channel or Amazon Prime [In reply to] Can't Post

I stumbled across this on Amazon Prime, a show that is like "Survivor: Solo." Ten men are planted on the northern part of Vancouver Island, with each one alone and miles apart from the others, never to meet, just to try to survive and outlast the others. They're only allowed 10 items, and they have to make their own shelters, start fires, and find food and water. No coalitions or voting people off the island, just men documenting their lives on camera.

I've only watched Season 1 so far, and I doubt I'll watch all seven, but it was interesting enough to binge. People call for rescue for some surprising reasons. There are menacing predators that show up on motion-activated cameras at night that really make it suspenseful. The area is beautiful: nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to fight for survival there. It's a mix of survival skills (& blunders), luck, and psychology. Most of them end up baring their souls at some point, which was rather surprising--men aren't brought up to do that, and especially tough survivalists. So while I wouldn't call it must-see TV, it had enough unexpected things happen that it kept my attention. And I was all wrong in how long I thought each would last, which made it entertaining too.

Anyway, you can watch it with commercials on History Channel's site, if you're interested (26 of 80 episodes are unlocked). The 1st season is all white men, but I noticed on a trailer for season 2 that they added some women and minorities.

 
 

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