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

Piscian

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She-Hulk Episode three

I like pretty much everything we're doing here. I like the idea of making Marvel MCU a bigger more diverse place where super-heroes and villains and nonsense running around are common place. It always kinda irked me that for much of the MCU there were basically just 7-8 heroes on the whole planet. I'm looking forward to Marvel bringing the MCU more inline with the crowded universe comics. Unfortunately this has already had the side effect of untrustworthy quality variance with films like eternals being utter shit and increasingly questionable CGI choices.

Throughout this episode She-Hulk is wearing a business suit and theres this painful uncanny valley effect where her suit looks like rubber it doesn't really move organically or shift with the light. If its a real suit I'm blown away, cause every scene she looks like a big CGI doll. I can't find any behind the scenes VFX which I think is kind of interesting because usually companies will show cool stuff like Andy Serkis crawling around as Gollum, but I can't any proof that actual mocap was done for She-hulk. I found one comment in the full cast and crew that says there was brief mocap during the court room scene, but its for Titania.

Malia Arrayah https://www.imdb.com/name/nm7070883/?ref_=nm_mv_close is listed as "On set reference" for she-hulk and she is tall as fuck, but what does "on set reference" mean? Because it doesn't sound like motion capture. I checked and unfortunately, or fortunately for him, Andy Serkis is given full character credit on everything I could find so I dont have a reference for whether or not "On set reference" is the same as motion capture. What I'm getting at is that She Hulk is only 6'7". Gwendoline Christie is 6'3". Malia is 6'5". Why not literally just have her play She-Hulk, in a suit, and then use CGI painting to make her look like She-hulk?

The only thing I can fathom is that they just had studios bid on it and went cheap. Notably this was done by Trixter VFX. They have a pretty solid pedigree https://www.trixter.de/projects/ although notably their serious CGI work has been on films I thought looked like shit - Strange 2, Shang-chi and black panther. Not to say those films were bad, but in each scene which it was full on CGI scenes I thought they looked awful. Are they the "B studio"? idk, they worked on GOTG 2 which looked pretty good. I've heard theres a lot of issues now with VFX studios getting rough contracts with low budget and time constraints.

As far as the quality of the shows writing and acting? Its fine. Im having fun. I suspect if this were an hour long show I might be more discerning, but clocking in at like 20 minutes I'm not feeling that sense of "slog" I felt with Ms Marvel which was boring and looked like shit. I actually look forward to seeing who she represents next week. Mooney claims the shows starts to come together in episode 4.
 
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BrawlMan

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So how do you rate it? Or do you have any point to discuss?
Not much really, just happy that the review and analysis finally came out. I still dislike evangelion, but I'm happy Bennett was able to make peace with it and have a thorough discussion. This is the second part, and the first part I posted back a few months ago. He was late on the video cuz he had a lot of stuff going on. I will say that he goes for deep dive for a Anno and his history with Gainax. It does get dark (the first part is actually a little darker), but not all is doom and gloom. It does show all the bull crap that comes with the anime industry in the behind scenes. I'm just glad those corrupt and Gainax are gone now. If you have not watched the first part, I recommend you watch it now, and then later go to the part two. Keep in mind both videos are about an hour and 45 minutes.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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The House of the Dragons ep2

So again, I've never seen a single episode of GoT. I assumed it was a dark fantasy show because you have giants and dragons and people named Sansa and Sersi. What I'm getting from Dragon House is soap opera stuff (teen girl resents dad/dad wants to remarry/uncle wants dad's job/cousins fucking each other/everybody wants somebody out of the way for some selfish reason). You get dumb game show moments like when the dad surprises everyone in the room with who says he wants to marry and the daugher runs away screaming I hate you. Or when the Hillary Clinton expy mutters about "the people" preferring to burn the kingdom to the ground before a woman is elected presi I mean queen. How was it up to "the people" again? You have a monarchy. It's fun, soapy, trashy, kinda dumb. I don't know what else I expected.
 
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Piscian

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LOTR: The Lords of the rings of mordors power Ep1&Ep2

Short Review: Its good shit.

Long Review:
The first thing I was stricken by is how well produced this is. Its very clear exactly what the 30mil per episode budget went to. The first two episodes could have been the start of a new LOTR trilogy and if you told me it had a 120mil budget I woulda believed you. More importantly, there's a clear care being used here. This is not a "whatever get it done" TV show where the cardboard shows on the edge of the screen. In comparison to this shows like Witcher or Wheel of time look like highschool productions.

It occurred to me halfway into the episode that my ocd hadn't kicked in. I hadn't nitpicked anything except small things that amused me like the impractically large pile of helmets. So I actually tried to nitpick. Nothing, and specifically I was impressed by the wardrobe. Middle earth, small town tavern? Full of filthy farmers in their work clothes. Harfoots? look exactly hobbits that live in the woods. Even the ceremonial armor and robes the Elves wear look appropriately lived in, hand smithed or woven. Have no fear this does not look like Streaming D&D fanfix. It looks like the movies. There's no static shots. There a scene where somebody is plodding through a scary swap and the camera follows the perspective to share the characters experience with the audience. I would compare this favorably to stuff like Labyrinth and Legend. I feel like everyone "wants to be here" in the production.

To what may be my benefit here I am not a LOTR fan. I fell asleep reading the books. The only way I got through the extended movies was to get high as fuck on a weekend and plow through it with a budget of trailmix, kettle chips and vodka. I still absorbed most of it. I know whos who, but if this show gets anything wrong thats different in the simarilian or draft pages or whatever fans obsess over I wouldn't catch it.

In that context, I wasn't like biting my nails waiting on this. In fact I was concerned it was another streaming service cash in like Obi-wan, telling a story no one asked for and doesnt add anything to the lore. To my surprise I'm finding this approach compelling and interesting. I wasn't aware Elves were in middle earth unwillingly, that they started out more as a stationed army than a race living side by side with humans. The relationship between humans, elves and the evil is more complex in this period. I'm more intrigued by how this sets the stage for Hobbit & LOTR. Keep in mind all I know is some rings got made.

This kinda feels like what the Star Wars prequels shoulda been. I don't feel like I "know" exactly what's going to happen. There's also no painfully dry exposition to be found here. In lue of exposition however, there's probably 4-5 plot threads happening with as many groups of characters. To its credit, each of those is "interesting". I'm not like "ah fuck I gotta watch these assholes for another 10 minutes". Even the harfoot are lacking that sickly sweet charm of the hobbits and the shire. They remind me more of the pecks in Willow.

Anything else I get into would be pointless spoilers. Suffice to say when the second episode ended I tried to will the TV to make another one appear which means, to me, it's a 10/10.

1662173755152.png
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Short Review: Its good shit.

To what may be my benefit here I am not a LOTR fan.
You are correct.

I wasn't aware Elves were in middle earth unwillingly, that they started out more as a stationed army than a race living side by side with humans.
Elves originated in Middle-earth as a single race; during the "biblical" portion of the story they're led in a massive exodus towards Valinor, which is where the show opens (with little Galadriel being bullied for no reason). But large contingents of Elves branched off during that exodus and chose to remain in Middle-earth, basically becoming their own separate race. When the other Elves returned from Valinor they committed genocide on the way, which is why they're not allowed to return to Valinor.

(Humans appeared much later than Elves, as did most things on Middle-earth, which is why they look down on pretty much every other race with an air of condescension. From their perspective they've been around since the beginning of time and used to pal around with the gods themselves way back when they were on good terms. Everybody else is an upstart newbie)
 
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The show is airing. The reviewers are moving.

We come to it at last. The great ratings battle of our time.
 

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Throughout this episode She-Hulk is wearing a business suit and theres this painful uncanny valley effect where her suit looks like rubber it doesn't really move organically or shift with the light.
It doesn't help that the suit so very clearly does not fit her impossibly large body. Who even makes suits that big? I'd imagine clothing is one of the hardest things to animated, so I was wondering why they made the decision to have her wear something loose and flowy instead of fitted.

But she wore poorly fitting suits as regular Jen, which reflects her whole "take me seriously" thing. I'm guessing becoming more confident and getting better fitting (and probably more revealing) clothes will be part of her character arc.
 

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Arrow: Season 7 (3/5)

As I write this, I'm still unsure how exactly to rank this season. It may in fact be the worst season of Arrow that I've seen, a position previously held by season 3. Season 3, on one hand, pissed me off in some areas, but it at least made me feel. There's at least some elements that were really well done and I rember to this day, such as Oliver's duel with Ra's. Season 7, however, is just some grey blob of stuff that has nothing particuarly dreadful, but nothing that really sticks out either, and if anything, is a hollow echo of prior seasons.

Anyway, season starts with Oliver in prison after the end of season 6. This didn't do much for me at the time, but in hindsight, these are probably the best sequences in the season. At the least, they're something a bit different, and the most brutal (which I like - Arrow is a show that I actually prefer when it's being brutal and bloody). Oliver's stuck in prison with a bunch of people who want him dead, Ricardo Diaz infiltrates the prison to kill him, he realizes his buddy is a serial killer, etc. Also, Talia appears for a bit, as the two do a sort of breakout to reveal the insidious actions going on. Which is neat. I'm sure Talia will play a strong role in this season...absolutely...

So, Oliver is released, and there's a new Green Arrow on town, while he and his team are effectively deputized by the SCPD. Meanwhile, John and Curtis are working with Argus hunting for terrorists, or something. This is less engaging, but alright, season, you've got me, for now...

So, the Green Arrow is revealed as Emiko Queen, who is Oliver's half sister. She seems to be pursuing her own vendetta. More stuff happens, nothing too offensive. That said, if this is the middle of the season, it's not too bad, really, it's just that there's nothing that really stands out in any particular fashion. Going by recent seasons, season 5 had Prometheus well into his mind games by now. Season 6 had the team split down the middle. Season 7, on the other hand, is just bog standard average. And okay, fine, average isn't "bad," but I just don't have anything to say about it. But okay then, what about the flashbacks?

Well, Little Jimmy, season 7 doesn't use flashbacks, but flash-forwards, and they're stupid. Lost is a great example of flash-forwards, Once Upon a Time is a decent example of flash-forwards, Arrow season 7 is "oh honey, you can't do that." Leaving aside the fact that the flash forwards depict Star City as a dystopia (so basically, none of what the characters did in 6 plus seasons mattered), but none of it is interesting. That's a subjective assessment, true, but I just didn't care about the flash forward stuff, or at least, I cared about it less and less. In part because as things move on, it becomes more and more distant in relevance to what's going on in the present, in part because the budget just can't handle what it's going for (for instance, we have robot "Zetas" that are clearly just actors in body suits), in part because I just didn't care about anything. Also, it's in this sequence that we get the "feminism episode" and like the similar episode on the Flash...no. Just no. If one concludes that the flash-forward is meant to be a season long backdoor pilot for Green Arrow and the Canaries, that sort of explains things, but that show was never made, and it effectively cannibalzies season 7 to make it happen. And the thing is, if you wanted to do flashbacks, why not do them for Emiko? Not that Emiko is the best character in the world, but at least that would serve to flesh out his character further rather than these wankers.

So the flash-forwards are drek, but surely, SURELY season 7 can pull off a landing, right? Hah, I wish.

It's towards the end that I started to realize that Emiko is an example of a "parasite villain." As in, their accomplishments are largely built over what prior antagonists have done, only it's her claiming credit. For instance, it's revealed that Emiko, hating Robert Queen, set the bomb on the Queen's Gambit. That isn't an issue by itself, but what IS an issue is when the writing tries to spin this as Emiko being the mastermind for all of Olvier's trials. She set the bomb, ergo he was stranded, ergo, everything that's happened to him over the entire series can be traced back to her. It's outright stated that Emiko is a manipulator even more impactful than Prometheus. This is...no. Just no. You don't build a villain up by telling us what an awesome villain they are, and if we want to look at prior villains that influenced Oliver's development, two words - Slade Wilson. Allies on Lian Yu, enemies in season 2 and onward? Prometheus, who mindfucked and tortured Oliver so much that he broke him in what I'd argue was one of the show's greatest episodes? Nah, he's just a poser. FFS, it's seven seasons, and including Emiko, that means 3 of the 7 main villains have been bow-wielding dopplegangers, so now she's riffing off Malcolm Merlyn as well. Ah yes, Malcolm Merlyn, who, through him, made Thea Olvier's half-sister. The show even points out that this is a repeat of history, sicne Oliver now has TWO half sisters.

Point is, Emiko is a pastiche of past villains that the series wants us to believe is better than all of them, but it does nothing to earn it. Even her group, the Ninth Circle, is a poor man's version of the League of Shadows (right down to the costume design), who also wants to burn Star City (like season 3), with a confrontation of "you will watch your city burn," (like season 2), and, um, yeah. Like I said, season 7 doesn't do anything too irritating (at least not to the extent of season 3), but there's nothing that really stands out, and the stuff that does stand out does so for the wrong reasons.

You know, come to think of it, do you know who I'd replace Emiko with? Artemis. Y'know, that character from season 5 who betrayed Oliver? Who has a semi-legitimate grudge against him? Whose fate was left up in the air at the end of season 5, and I don't think has even been mentioned since then bar a single instance? Yeah. Frankly, I'd go with that. It would be another doppleganger villain of sorts, but at least Artemis isn't a parasite villain. It's ironic that I've mentioned Once Upon a Time, since the Black Fairy is another example of this, and fails like Emiko in the same way, but while Emiko is certainly a better character, the 'parasite problem' remains.

So, yeah. This was a letdown. That said, barring anything unforseen, I'll be starting to watch season 8, so let's see if this series can be salvaged. Granted, it peaked in its first two seasons, but a man can dream, right?

Whatever. Arrowverse rankings now stand as follows:

28) The Flash: Season 7
27) Black Lightning: Season 2
26) Black Lightning: Season 1
25) Arrow: Season 3
24) Arrow: Season 7
23) Legends of Tomorrow: Season 6
22) The Flash: Season 5
21) Legends of Tomorrow: Season 3
20) The Flash: Season 4
19) The Flash: Season 6
18) Stargirl: Season 2
17) The Flash: Season 3
16) Supergirl: Season 1
15) Arrow: Season 5
14) Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1
13) Legends of Tomorrow: Season 2
12) Arrow: Season 6
11) Supergirl: Season 2
10) The Flash: Season 1
9) The Flash: Season 2
8) Legends of Tomorrow: Season 5
7) Superman and Lois: Season 1
6) Black Lightning: Season 3
5) Arrow: Season 4
4) Legends of Tomorrow: Season 4
3) Stargirl: Season 1
2) Arrow: Season 2
1) Arrow: Season 1
 
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PsychedelicDiamond

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The House of the Dragons ep2

So again, I've never seen a single episode of GoT. I assumed it was a dark fantasy show because you have giants and dragons and people named Sansa and Sersi. What I'm getting from Dragon House is soap opera stuff (teen girl resents dad/dad wants to remarry/uncle wants dad's job/cousins fucking each other/everybody wants somebody out of the way for some selfish reason).
Yeah, no, that's exactly what Song of Ice and Fire is.

Mind, I've only read the books and seen the first season of the series, but in its general effort to avoid all the grand Tolkien style mythic stuff it's mainly about the petty feuds of various pompous nobles. Which, in all fairness, is what a pretty big chunk of human history boils down to.

Matter of fact, a lot of it is dedicated to rolling its eyes as typical fantasy/fairy tale style stories. The joke is that it basically starts after the end of a stereotypical fantasy story, where the mad king and his dragons were overthrown by a heroic group of warriors and deals with the ramifications of such an event in a semi realistic feudal society.

Which is all well and good for what it is, but in execution it's mostly just a bunch of palace court drama that's not really any less stale than the alternative. I imagine that's why Martin is going out of his way to do anything but actually finish the last two books. You can't really resolve this kind of premise. The television series tried and I reckon it was widely considered very underwhelming. Again, haven't seen it myself, but that's the impression I got when it aired.

All the big intrigue about marriages and assassinations and heirs and illicit affairs and the occasional wars is pretty much all there is to it. It's Dallas with swords, effectively. You know, the funny thing is, Martin famously worked on Elden Ring and having all of that soapy stuff wrapped around Hidetaka Miyazakis tried and true metaphysics about the cycle of life and death and abstract divine forces was actually relatively succesful at making both feel a bit fresher again.

But I feel like left to his own devices, Martin's insistence on avoiding the mythical aspects of fantasy goes to show what they're there for in the first place. Martin famously once jokingly asked "What was Aragorn's tax policy?" I imagine Tolkien might have replied "What would knowing that add to the story?"
 
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XsjadoBlayde

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Only the first 2 episodes so far due to busy business, but currently it's a well crafted tense mystery horror series - would've gone with "miniseries" but a second season has apparently popped up on the site I use for checking what's where these days - there's a fair amount of legitimate creepy sights with certain grins some of the monsters wear too: aided by descriptions alluding to motives of nowt but the horror of otherworldly sadism and scenes of nasty human remains. It's inherently contained by its' narrative as every character is trapped within the snow-globe world they've stumbled into. Apart from a couple of awkwardly delivered lines here and there, I do feel invested and highly curious as to where this is all leading. So far so good. I look forward to being disappointed eventually either way!
 

Johnny Novgorod

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The House of Dragons ep3

How dumb was Game of Thrones about its battles?

Here it takes 3 years for the combined forces of two powerful feudal lords, including 2 fucking dragons and the full force of what I gather is meant to be the the most impressive armada in the world, to take over a shitty beach that's being guarded by what appears to be only a few hundred pirates. If you told me this was a send-up of the Battle of Thermopylae I'd remind you that lasted for 3 days, not 3 years, and there's no real geographical advantage shown in House of the Dragons either (nothing that would hold up the largest army in the world and their two god mode dragons anyway). Yes, the pirates tend to retreat into the caves by the beach. So what? Get in there and fuck em up.

By the end of the episode you have a single grown man slowly zig-zagging around sand in 60 pounds of heavy plate armor and a hundred archers aiming from above can't land a single fatal hit on the dude even though there're dozens if not hundreds of them and have been doing this for 3 years.
 
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gorfias

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Mike on Hulu

I hear Mike Tyson is angry about this show but so far I think it respectful of its source. I understand he is a public person but I'd hope he gets something from this as, so far, it follows what I've heard about him over the years. It is his life story they are telling.

I'm biased. Until maybe the mid 1990s, boxing was about the only spectator sport I loved and he unified 3 belts EDIT: And would defeat legacy champion Michael Spinks. So, A+

 
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twistedmic

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The House of Dragons ep3

How dumb was Game of Thrones about its battles?

Here it takes 3 years for the combined forces of two powerful feudal lords, including 2 fucking dragons and the full force of what I gather is meant to be the the most impressive armada in the world, to take over a shitty beach that's being guarded by what appears to be only a few hundred pirates. If you told me this was a send-up of the Battle of Thermopylae I'd remind you that lasted for 3 days, not 3 years, and there's no real geographical advantage shown in House of the Dragons either (nothing that would hold up the largest army in the world and their two god mode dragons anyway). Yes, the pirates tend to retreat into the caves by the beach. So what? Get in there and fuck em up.

By the end of the episode you have a single grown man slowly zig-zagging around sand in 60 pounds of heavy plate armor and a hundred archers aiming from above can't land a single fatal hit on the dude even though there're dozens if not hundreds of them and have been doing this for 3 years.
I haven’t seen the show, don’t plan on watching it either, but I have to ask- if the pirates retreat into beachside caves, can’t the dragons just hose the caves down with fire and burn away the oxygen?

I’m pretty sure that’s how the US forces cleared bunkers with in the Pacific during WWII.
 
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Johnny Novgorod

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I haven’t seen the show, don’t plan on watching it either, but I have to ask- if the pirates retreat into beachside caves, can’t the dragons just hose the caves down with fire and burn away the oxygen?

I’m pretty sure that’s how the US forces cleared bunkers with in the Pacific during WWII.
You try flying that theory over at r/houseofthedragon and see how they receive it. But yes, that was my first thought. It's not like they're dealing with a grand underground kingdom, it's just a bunch of pirates hoveled in the side of a cliff wide open to attack.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Its a very odd show with a very weird tone. Like we have She-Hulk literally making light of Hulk's depression and suicide attempt and losing the woman he loved and being enslaved for years and saying she deals with more pain and anger on a daily basis than he's done in his whole life because...sometimes her shoes don't fit. And its like wow, okay. Either women are completely shallow and self-absorbed to the point of emotional blindness, or women have the emotional maturity of a toddler and something as small as shoes that don't fit is enough to completely overwhelm them.
Either way She-Hulk has some very ugly things to say about women and how they fit in a superhero world.
It’s more than likely because the people writing this stuff are basically comprised of the underlined parts above. I was curious about the show but now I’m not so sure I want to suffer that much in the couple hours of relaxing time available, and before bed no less.


Anyways on topic, HotD episode 3 was the best yet. The show moves at such a fast pace now that it’s almost like whiplash from GoT’s pacing, but at least it’s easier to stay awake for. And wooboy was that battle scene done well. Apparently there have been a good amount of complaints about what went down, but really it’s ultimately following the books so idk where they expected that particular character to go anyways.

Also this episode fixed one of GRRM’s biggest complaints of GoT -
 

XsjadoBlayde

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I look forward to being disappointed eventually either way!
...

sigh

Having never watched Lost, it's a little weird to be thinking of it as this show neared the end of S1. But it was talked about a lot after it ended, and cultural osmosis seeps in like the psychological gangrene it is, so the main vibe emanating from ppl's experiences was that of "they were making this shit up as they went along and then it just ended. We feel tricked, cheated!"

Anyway, on an unrelated note, this new horror series written by the ppl behind Lost ended without answering any questions, while only adding more. And it did not feel anywhere near as smart as I first hoped. Once the 2nd season comes out, I'll give it a go, but if it continues this crap then I'm out, despite it being otherwise fairly watchable stuff.