Discuss and Rate the Last Thing You Watched (non-movies)

Old_Hunter_77

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Oh, some more:

Our Flag Means Death
My wife and I really enjoy What We Do In the Shadows so I kind of assumed this comedy pirate series would be like that. But after two episodes, we're giving up on it. It's just not nearly as funny. I like pirates, I like Rhys Dharby, I like satire, but this shows doesn't have any punchy moments or really funny stuff? Shadows leans into its absurdity harder and I guess that's what makes it appointment viewing, while Flag is just kind of ... "ok, I see what they're going for, just... meh."

The following three not-very-good films I watched on an airplane, the place where my standards plummet the hardest because movies are the fastest way to waste time when I also don't care if I fall asleep.

Hope Springs
Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones are a long-married couple who don't sleep together, literally or figuratively, so they go to therapist Steve Carrell for help. A low-key drama that tries to hit on sensitive subject material totally falls flat in its plot and pacing for me but we're dealing with the heaviest of heavyweight acting chops here with Jones and Streep so, you know, there's that.

Eternals
*sigh* Marvel....
This was the first Marvel movie that when it was out I decided, no, this is too stupid looking, I'm not just going to see every f'n' Marvel movie, it's too much. But here I was on a flight that was exactly as long as its running time so what the heck. And yeah, it's so stupid. You know how this whole time there are god-like beings fighting over the fate of literally half of all life? Well that ain't nothing because actually there are more realer godder like beings really fighting for the actual real fate of all life or something. But also they're robots but also have feelings for some reason?
But worse is that it's 2 and a half hours, dear god why. OK I guess it's cause it's a big cast but honestly they could have done without half of them.
All of this would be fine if the action were cool (I still enjoyed the Thanos movies despite their bloat because of the action sequences), but it really is just famous people zapping green screens with glowing bullshit. Angeline Jolie gets to do some choreography that looks cool that I honestly just credit to how freaking gorgeous and cool Angeline Jolie always is. Everybody else mostly just does that army waving magic bullshit that is boring I can't believe people enjoy this. I think Elizabth Olsen is the only actor who ever figured out how to make this look not lame.

John Wick
I only knew this movie had Keanu Reeves and it has a sort of fandom (?) but, my god, is it stupid. Just murder gun vengeance porn. The whole hotel concept is like something out of the lamest edgelord video game setting. And everybody is constantly saying the name of the movie, it's so weird.
 

Xprimentyl

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John Wick
I only knew this movie had Keanu Reeves and it has a sort of fandom (?) but, my god, is it stupid. Just murder gun vengeance porn. The whole hotel concept is like something out of the lamest edgelord video game setting. And everybody is constantly saying the name of the movie, it's so weird.
...That's a bit like disliking porn because of all the nudity and explicit sexual content. Not saying you should have liked it, but criticizing a thing for being what it's supposed to be is pissing into the wind. Maybe you didn't know what to expect going in (which is surprising given the first film came out 8 years ago,) but you got exactly what the film intended: gun vengeance porn.
 

Old_Hunter_77

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...That's a bit like disliking porn because of all the nudity and explicit sexual content. Not saying you should have liked it, but criticizing a thing for being what it's supposed to be is pissing into the wind. Maybe you didn't know what to expect going in (which is surprising given the first film came out 8 years ago,) but you got exactly what the film intended: gun vengeance porn.
Sure, fair enough... I think for some reason I expected like, a plot, or something, and something less cheesy than bad Russian accent guys killing a dog and stealing a car and that is why revenge. It's basically a B movie and that's fine but I didn't expect it to be so aggressively corny. But that's ok.
 

Xprimentyl

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Sure, fair enough... I think for some reason I expected like, a plot, or something, and something less cheesy than bad Russian accent guys killing a dog and stealing a car and that is why revenge. It's basically a B movie and that's fine but I didn't expect it to be so aggressively corny. But that's ok.
The Wick films are more a tale about "waking a beast" in a seriously dangerous man trying to quietly bow out of his lethal profession. That's to say, it wasn't about a plot so much as it was establishing that John Wick is someone you don't want to fuck with, even over the most trivial matters. It's more to establish the character than a larger plot beyond his existence.

Again, no fault of your own if you didn't like it, but a lot of people (including myself) really "got" it for its escapist's fantasy. I mean, we all play videogames; who hasn't imagined a "god mode" run where you headshot every enemy? It's entertainment not even trying to disguise itself as lofty cinematic art.
 
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Trunkage

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Sure, fair enough... I think for some reason I expected like, a plot, or something, and something less cheesy than bad Russian accent guys killing a dog and stealing a car and that is why revenge. It's basically a B movie and that's fine but I didn't expect it to be so aggressively corny. But that's ok.
Plot just gets in the way
 
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Thaluikhain

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John Wick
I only knew this movie had Keanu Reeves and it has a sort of fandom (?) but, my god, is it stupid. Just murder gun vengeance porn. The whole hotel concept is like something out of the lamest edgelord video game setting. And everybody is constantly saying the name of the movie, it's so weird.
Well, given that the movie name is the main character's name, not that surprising that it's said a few times, surely?
 

Agema

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John Wick
I only knew this movie had Keanu Reeves and it has a sort of fandom (?) but, my god, is it stupid. Just murder gun vengeance porn. The whole hotel concept is like something out of the lamest edgelord video game setting. And everybody is constantly saying the name of the movie, it's so weird.
Just consider the progress though: they fridged his dog rather than his wife.

Although very, very marginal progress, given the dog was a representative last gift of his wife who'd recently died of an illness.
 

XsjadoBlaydette

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Nathan For You (Prime)
Been meaning to try this out for a while due to a premise sounding like it had to be seen to be understood. An awkward embarrassing (intentional) personality has a reality TV show claiming to help businesses do better, amongst other job "advice" snippets. Except they're all bad and the person doing them is bad. It's achieving a specific type of comedy niché, perhaps shared by It's Always Sunny a little, a sub genre of comedy. Ok, there is a word I'm trying not to use here, but after checking freedictionary.com it appears there's literally no other choice....

Screenshot_2022-08-04-00-47-52-80_4641ebc0df1485bf6b47ebd018b5ee76.jpg

See!?

Screenshot_2022-08-04-00-48-18-13_4641ebc0df1485bf6b47ebd018b5ee76.jpg

My hands are tied here. This is not competitive free market opportunity. We need more words. And freedictionary.com needs to know about them! How about squeaving? Alright, this is multiple layers of squeaving. Squeave comedy? At any point you could be squeaving at the main guy, the seemingly oblivious citizens under his cameras, the various skirting of legalities, and moralities, the uncertainty of how much is real reaction or even real but 'low-key knowing' reaction. It's hard work on the squeave muscles tbh, so have decided 2 episodes at a time is safe dosage for now, but no more.
 

Bob_McMillan

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Been watching The Good Place, from one of the dudes behind The Office, Parks and Rec, and Brooklyn Nine Nine. Aka, some of the best comedy series of the past two decades.

Really enjoying it so far, they totally got me with the first season twist. Honestly I have no idea how I was not spoiled for that before. I will say it doesn't make me straight up laugh out loud as much as some of the other shows I mentioned, but the overarching plot and character arcs make up for that. It still is a funny show of course, but I did find myself becoming attached to these characters and invested in what will happen to them.
 

Thaluikhain

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La Fortuna

Spanish/American drama about a legal battle about a shipwreck containing lots of gold. Quite decent, but unnecessarily long.
 

Dalisclock

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Oh, some more:

Our Flag Means Death
My wife and I really enjoy What We Do In the Shadows so I kind of assumed this comedy pirate series would be like that. But after two episodes, we're giving up on it. It's just not nearly as funny. I like pirates, I like Rhys Dharby, I like satire, but this shows doesn't have any punchy moments or really funny stuff? Shadows leans into its absurdity harder and I guess that's what makes it appointment viewing, while Flag is just kind of ... "ok, I see what they're going for, just... meh."

The following three not-very-good films I watched on an airplane, the place where my standards plummet the hardest because movies are the fastest way to waste time when I also don't care if I fall asleep.
Yeah, pretty much the same here. I like Pirates and ships and such but this didn't click for me. I know why they went for a comedy because then they could get away with them not really doing a ton(none of these guys really do much sailing) nor are there nearly enough people to actually crew that ship, but it still doesn't really work. And it's too bad because Stede bonnet is kind of the perfect Pirate to do a parody show about, considering he really did just up and leave his family to become a pirate, apparently because he was bored.
 

gorfias

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Only two episodes to go.
Watching this new episode.
What I'm loving
Breaking Bad was about a good man that goes bad. He changes.
Better Call Saul has been about a hustler that cannot change. Yet from the beginning we've been seeing glimpses of him working at a mall. Laying low post Breaking Bad. He seems to have changed.
And yet finally, this and the last episode, there he is, hustling again.
Funny they appear to have given away one thing I thought would happen
we see him on the phone asking for Kim. Appears she will live to the end of the show. So it appears.
 

Agema

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The Terminal List (Amazon)

Terminally dull and unoriginal. There's a certain type of person who will fucking love this: chiefly, "hang 'em high" people who are convinced the government and corporations are out to get them. In terms of the hours I put into this joyless death-fest, sadly I am not one of these people. I would say that this was deeply unsatisfying on almost every level. As a story, it is really just a fat bundle of tropes, in many cases badly written and implausible; it is completely grim, sidesteps countless things that could make it interesting, and is morally vacuous. Utterly disheartening.

I really object to anything that tries to have its cake and eat it by allowing a deranged vigilante to consistently also claim moral high ground by scrupulously sparing the "deserving". Except that at some point he has to slaughter a protection detail, but conveniently they are private military contractors. In reality, they would be everyday government agents doing their everyday job: they've been made PMCs because PMCs have that "gun for hire" moral questionability. This is sheer, contemptible cowardice on the part of the writers. Our hero goes on the rampage to avenge his family. But as a conveniently unanswered question despite the fact it should be prompted at numerous points, would his dead teenage daughter really approve of daddy massacring his way through a load of people in her name? It asks a question close to that near to the end, and then conveniently claims the required death anyway. Never mind that shortly after, it effectively decides that the answer is "Yes she would", albeit concealed in a way to blur that nagging, irritating issue.

I also just hate the idea that bad guys have to die. It's a weird, primal and vindictive mentality that disgrace, imprisonment, etc. are not punishment enough. And yet, although the USA does still have the death penality, it is used sparingly: this on the understanding that civilisation should not be about murdering everyone who crosses us. I let this slide for cartoonish action (e.g. Reacher, which was infinitely more fun): but this is not, and why should it be presented in such a positive light, with all the ethical dubiousness whitewashed?

In summary, avoid.
 

Gordon_4

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The Terminal List (Amazon)

Terminally dull and unoriginal. There's a certain type of person who will fucking love this: chiefly, "hang 'em high" people who are convinced the government and corporations are out to get them. In terms of the hours I put into this joyless death-fest, sadly I am not one of these people. I would say that this was deeply unsatisfying on almost every level. As a story, it is really just a fat bundle of tropes, in many cases badly written and implausible; it is completely grim, sidesteps countless things that could make it interesting, and is morally vacuous. Utterly disheartening.

I really object to anything that tries to have its cake and eat it by allowing a deranged vigilante to consistently also claim moral high ground by scrupulously sparing the "deserving". Except that at some point he has to slaughter a protection detail, but conveniently they are private military contractors. In reality, they would be everyday government agents doing their everyday job: they've been made PMCs because PMCs have that "gun for hire" moral questionability. This is sheer, contemptible cowardice on the part of the writers. Our hero goes on the rampage to avenge his family. But as a conveniently unanswered question despite the fact it should be prompted at numerous points, would his dead teenage daughter really approve of daddy massacring his way through a load of people in her name? It asks a question close to that near to the end, and then conveniently claims the required death anyway. Never mind that shortly after, it effectively decides that the answer is "Yes she would", albeit concealed in a way to blur that nagging, irritating issue.

I also just hate the idea that bad guys have to die. It's a weird, primal and vindictive mentality that disgrace, imprisonment, etc. are not punishment enough. And yet, although the USA does still have the death penality, it is used sparingly: this on the understanding that civilisation should not be about murdering everyone who crosses us. I let this slide for cartoonish action (e.g. Reacher, which was infinitely more fun): but this is not, and why should it be presented in such a positive light, with all the ethical dubiousness whitewashed?

In summary, avoid.
The only issue with sparing the bad guys in genre schlock like this is that they are seldom the kind of people who are self reflective enough to change their ways since they willing participants in a villainous conspiracy with no qualms about murdering children. And frankly, for some criminals, disgrace and imprisonment is not enough.
 

Agema

You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver
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The only issue with sparing the bad guys in genre schlock like this is that they are seldom the kind of people who are self reflective enough to change their ways since they willing participants in a villainous conspiracy with no qualms about murdering children. And frankly, for some criminals, disgrace and imprisonment is not enough.
I get "schlock": but this does not have the right tone for schlock. And it is abundantly clear that most of the conspirators have no truck with murdering children. There are probably only two who come off as irredeemably vile, three if you include a hired hand they employ who's technically not in on the conspiracy.

At one point, our protagonist terrorises a conspirator's wife and child to make the man do as he wishes. The man is probably the least blameworthy of the conspirators but he's due to die anyway, and at no point does the show stop and reflect on their distress and trauma. We're not supposed to dwell upon their suffering, they're barely even people. I know that US media has a hard-on for the military, but to some degree I simply question the assumed moral rectitude of a man who makes a living killing foreigners. Yes, it's war. But the enemy troops too are just soldiers (note we don't even really see their faces: a nice and easy way to dehumanise them). I already mentioned the PMCs as just murderable fodder which is iffy, although at least they do have faces. At all stages we are encouraged to sympathise with this guy - loving family man, honest soldier - rampaging through anyone who he feels like and expected to ignore the associated human cost.

Even the whole setup of the conspiracy is ridiculous. Drug testing uses a well versed path with volunteers: first a safety trial, then a small scale efficacy trial, then a larger efficacy trial. And yet here, they go straight from preventing PTSD in mice (I can overlook the bullshit science involved here, it is just TV) straight to using an unconvincing legal fiddle (which the Defence Secretary knows is a career-ender even if technically legal) to dose up SEALs without their knowledge. What. The. Fuck? Who would sign off this insanity when normal processes exist and would serve perfectly well? The drug would not be approved, because studies have to be scrutinised, and regulators would take one look at the Nazi-style science, ethical clusterfuck and be obliged to reject it. If by some miracle they fiddled it past and the drug were approved, it would end the Defence Secretary's career anyway because the manner it was tested would come out. The moral argument "blah blah x many miliary suicides a year we need to stop it with this drug" introduces somewhat of a justification, but it's grotesquely inadequate in the context of the easily avoidable ethical abuse. Then there's his best chum who gets the team murdered by informing the enemy they were coming. Something about them "dying with their boots on" instead of wasting away in hospital - an astonishing decision to make on behalf of over a dozen colleagues, who could have had any number of other ideas about how they wanted to go out.

So it's a total fucking mess on a lot of levels.
 

Gordon_4

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I get "schlock": but this does not have the right tone for schlock. And it is abundantly clear that most of the conspirators have no truck with murdering children. There are probably only two who come off as irredeemably vile, three if you include a hired hand they employ who's technically not in on the conspiracy.

At one point, our protagonist terrorises a conspirator's wife and child to make the man do as he wishes. The man is probably the least blameworthy of the conspirators but he's due to die anyway, and at no point does the show stop and reflect on their distress and trauma. We're not supposed to dwell upon their suffering, they're barely even people. I know that US media has a hard-on for the military, but to some degree I simply question the assumed moral rectitude of a man who makes a living killing foreigners. Yes, it's war. But the enemy troops too are just soldiers (note we don't even really see their faces: a nice and easy way to dehumanise them). I already mentioned the PMCs as just murderable fodder which is iffy, although at least they do have faces. At all stages we are encouraged to sympathise with this guy - loving family man, honest soldier - rampaging through anyone who he feels like and expected to ignore the associated human cost.

Even the whole setup of the conspiracy is ridiculous. Drug testing uses a well versed path with volunteers: first a safety trial, then a small scale efficacy trial, then a larger efficacy trial. And yet here, they go straight from preventing PTSD in mice (I can overlook the bullshit science involved here, it is just TV) straight to using an unconvincing legal fiddle (which the Defence Secretary knows is a career-ender even if technically legal) to dose up SEALs without their knowledge. What. The. Fuck? Who would sign off this insanity when normal processes exist and would serve perfectly well? The drug would not be approved, because studies have to be scrutinised, and regulators would take one look at the Nazi-style science, ethical clusterfuck and be obliged to reject it. If by some miracle they fiddled it past and the drug were approved, it would end the Defence Secretary's career anyway because the manner it was tested would come out. The moral argument "blah blah x many miliary suicides a year we need to stop it with this drug" introduces somewhat of a justification, but it's grotesquely inadequate in the context of the easily avoidable ethical abuse. Then there's his best chum who gets the team murdered by informing the enemy they were coming. Something about them "dying with their boots on" instead of wasting away in hospital - an astonishing decision to make on behalf of over a dozen colleagues, who could have had any number of other ideas about how they wanted to go out.

So it's a total fucking mess on a lot of levels.
See that exact same scene plays out in the first Taken with the guy from French Intelligence - arguably the modern genesis for stuff like this - but it understood the keep the stakes and setup basic. And now that I think of it, Taken at least let Neeson be a real asshole because if I remember right he shoots the wife, who would be utterly innocent and until that exact second knew him as a friend. Mind you, human cost was duly ignored there too. In fact when I first saw it was a little confused when Neeson's character wasn't arrested at the end.

Also that whole drug thing sounds utterly deranged. Like that's Norman Osborne levels of genetic tomfoolery and bullshit.
 

Agema

You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver
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See that exact same scene plays out in the first Taken with the guy from French Intelligence - arguably the modern genesis for stuff like this - but it understood the keep the stakes and setup basic. And now that I think of it, Taken at least let Neeson be a real asshole because if I remember right he shoots the wife, who would be utterly innocent and until that exact second knew him as a friend. Mind you, human cost was duly ignored there too. In fact when I first saw it was a little confused when Neeson's character wasn't arrested at the end.

Also that whole drug thing sounds utterly deranged. Like that's Norman Osborne levels of genetic tomfoolery and bullshit.
Taken is what I mean by cartoonish: it's nice and simple that he's taking down some guys who are uncomplicatedly criminal / evil. As you say, we are not left under illusions that Liam Neeson wasn't cynical and utterly ruthless right from them off. Sure, he loves his family and all, and sort of has good on his side, but he's not sold as a square-jawed, honourable warrior righting the world's wrongs. There's not much of a dividing line between him and John Wick.
 

Xprimentyl

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The Pentaverate (Netflix)

I have no idea where Mike Myers has been for the last 5-10 years (Shrek voiceovers aside), but he's returned here for a short comedy series about a secret society, the Pentaverate, who are basically the Illuminati... but nice. Mike Myers stars as most of the main characters in his traditional make-up, and clearly has some fun. He has some very able support from the likes of Keegan-Micael Key and Jennifer Saunders, and Jeremy Irons does a bang up job being Jeremy Irons as the announcer. It concerns a local Canadian journalist, Ken Scarborough, who sets out to save his job by exposing a global conspiracy.

This is a pretty dumb comedy, as you might expect from Mike Myers - lots of very cheap sex jokes, in-jokes and general imbecility. Plenty of this is just good-naturedly dumb without really hitting the mark, but it's also funny at many points, and overall, I think it was pretty good. I do love the bit which goes through a section with a lot of sexual innuendo and swearing, and then replays it without the swearing managing to come across as even more obscene. So stupid, and yet it works.

I also found the last scene - a real-world clip from early in Mike Myers' career - a very sweet and touching end that explains some of the inspiration.
I went back and finished the series after only watching a couple episodes which underwhelmed a couple months ago, and you're pretty spot on: really dumb, but fun and self-aware. This was clearly a passion project. Mike Meyers being every other character adds, I dunno, some charm, maybe? Like he's owning it and adding to the pile of absurdity. If nothing else, it was refreshing to see something new and whacky in an age where sequels and remakes rule the roost. (I particularly liked the scenes shot in Canada where Canada is "fuzzier" than America. I thought my fidelity was dropping in and out until they let me in on the joke.)

Basically, I wouldn't mind more stuff like this. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch the Austin Powers trilogy; The Pentaverate started an itch that needs scratching.
 

gorfias

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Sandman Season 1 Episode 1 on Netflix
A-
Based upon the Neil Gaiman comic series, Netflix has made what is, in the 1st episode, a terrific adaptation. The 1st episode reminds me of a comic where an artist kidnaps a muse.

The visuals, tone, casting are all top notch. I hope the next 9 episodes are as good.


EDIT: Started episode 2 and
Morpheus, the Sandman, King of Dreams, meets up with Cain and Able of the old 1970s horror comic books. Too cool for a nerd like me. 1659755659680.png
 
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