What are you watching?

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« Reply #240 on: December 26, 2019, 09:16:51 pm »
Well, Mr. Robot concluded.  His Dark Materials first season is over.  We just also finished the first season of The Witcher.

Now we just wait for The Good Place to start back again at the beginning of January and then we also have The New Pope coming up on HBO.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasűrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #241 on: December 26, 2019, 11:00:39 pm »
Well, Mr. Robot concluded.  His Dark Materials first season is over.  We just also finished the first season of The Witcher.

Now we just wait for The Good Place to start back again at the beginning of January and then we also have The New Pope coming up on HBO.

I got to see episode 1 of Mr. Robot - but haven't finished the series yet. Is The Witcher any good? I read the book, not bad.
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« Reply #242 on: December 26, 2019, 11:03:58 pm »
I got to see episode 1 of Mr. Robot - but haven't finished the series yet. Is The Witcher any good? I read the book, not bad.
It's alright.  Since I never read the books or played the games, I don't have anything to compare it to, but it's mildly entertaining.  If you know the source material though, the show is likely something of a letdown though.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasűrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #243 on: December 30, 2019, 05:44:25 pm »
Mr. Robot Spoiler Discussion

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TaoHorror

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« Reply #244 on: December 30, 2019, 06:03:25 pm »
So I started watching Evil ... Anyways, I've laughed a few times ( with the show, not at it ) and there's something to work with, so I'll keep watching it and let you know if it devolves into full on crap or we get somewhere.

UPDATE: Well, they're devolving into mass market crappy tv, that's too bad as there's some rich conversation to be had between religion and atheistic science. Just a bit here and there and that's all and the last few episodes of the season was typical boring light corruption stuff with Catholicism ( not too bad, but still - not that the Catholic church doesn't have it coming, but to touch on it here is a bit out of scope - I will give it props for not drowning itself, but could've avoided it altogether, just cheapy stuff to maintain interest ). And the whole victim suing her helpers, that's Law & Order bullshit. I'll keep watching when it picks back up and let you'all know if it ever comes around to something interesting. I will say the Demonology is fun and edgy, especially for prime time tv, so I'm impressed with that. Michael Emerson is a demonic mother fucker in this, they did a great job with his character and his evil psychology is buyable even though it moves a bit too quickly, but kinda has to being a tv show, but would be better if it was slower, more dramatic like with cable/episodic tv - like instead of corrupting a different person each episode, it would be more intense if it was a treatise on how one can lead another single person to radicalize, the time it takes, the path toward destruction, self-destruction, etc.
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« Reply #245 on: December 30, 2019, 06:14:30 pm »
Watched the move, The Report ... as in The Torture Report about the study that was conducted on the CIA torturing terrorists suspects for information back after 911. A movie is only as good as it's weakest link and so it goes with this one - very poorly directed. That's too bad as the story is fascinating and they loaded this thing up with some good actors. Just jumps around in time with no art to it at all, a jumbled mess. I was looking for a contrast between it and Zero Dark Thirty and all we got was a cameo mention of ZDT when it was released during the timeline of the movie - whatever. A blown opportunity to explore what really happened beyond ZDT, would've liked to know how the ZDT director got her research so wrong, if she did at all - I'm left with wondering which movie was more accurate because this one was so poorly done. The story is cool, seeing how the CIA broke laws to kill the report from being released ( if they did, this POS of a movie is so bad, I wonder how much of it is accurate ). If you don't mind being bored and ignore the dumb directing, there is some interesting story here.
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« Reply #246 on: December 30, 2019, 06:29:02 pm »
Well, they're devolving into mass market crappy tv, that's too bad as there's some rich conversation to be had between religion and atheistic science.
Sounds like typical "culture industry" sort of stuff.  Just like GoT devolved into as well.

From SEP on Adorno:
Quote
There Adorno argues that the culture industry involves a change in the commodity character of art, such that art's commodity character is deliberately acknowledged and art “abjures its autonomy” (DE 127). With its emphasis on marketability, the culture industry dispenses entirely with the “purposelessness” that was central to art's autonomy. Once marketability becomes a total demand, the internal economic structure of cultural commodities shifts. Instead of promising freedom from societally dictated uses, and thereby having a genuine use value that people can enjoy, products mediated by the culture industry have their use value replaced by exchange value: “Everything has value only in so far as it can be exchanged, not in so far as it is something in itself. For consumers the use value of art, its essence, is a fetish, and the fetish—the social valuation [gesellschaftliche Schätzung] which they mistake for the merit [Rang] of works of art— becomes its only use value, the only quality they enjoy” (DE 128). Hence the culture industry dissolves the “genuine commodity character” that artworks once possessed when exchange value still presupposed use value (DE 129–30).
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasűrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #247 on: December 30, 2019, 07:15:17 pm »
From SEP on Adorno:
Quote
There Adorno argues that the culture industry involves a change in the commodity character of art, such that art's commodity character is deliberately acknowledged and art “abjures its autonomy” (DE 127). With its emphasis on marketability, the culture industry dispenses entirely with the “purposelessness” that was central to art's autonomy. Once marketability becomes a total demand, the internal economic structure of cultural commodities shifts. Instead of promising freedom from societally dictated uses, and thereby having a genuine use value that people can enjoy, products mediated by the culture industry have their use value replaced by exchange value: “Everything has value only in so far as it can be exchanged, not in so far as it is something in itself. For consumers the use value of art, its essence, is a fetish, and the fetish—the social valuation [gesellschaftliche Schätzung] which they mistake for the merit [Rang] of works of art— becomes its only use value, the only quality they enjoy” (DE 128). Hence the culture industry dissolves the “genuine commodity character” that artworks once possessed when exchange value still presupposed use value (DE 129–30).

Sounds about right, well said. It seems just when Hollywood has learned something, like pay the fucking writers, it slips back into it's old bad habits analyzing art from a business perspective ( this movie was a smash hit, what made it so, solicit feedback from viewers - can the "special sauce", serve it in another movie - like putting beer in every dish since it worked in this one soup that everyone loves ). I wonder if this stems from a shortage of competence to meet demand, people out of their depth rising in the ranks to fill vacancies.
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« Reply #248 on: December 30, 2019, 07:37:55 pm »
Sounds about right, well said. It seems just when Hollywood has learned something, like pay the fucking writers, it slips back into it's old bad habits analyzing art from a business perspective ( this movie was a smash hit, what made it so, solicit feedback from viewers - can the "special sauce", serve it in another movie - like putting beer in every dish since it worked in this one soup that everyone loves ). I wonder if this stems from a shortage of competence to meet demand, people out of their depth rising in the ranks to fill vacancies.

I think it's somewhat cyclical, but still comes down to economics.  Thing is, even most writers buy into the "culture industry" model, since they are (generally) less "artist" and more writer.  So, they'll tend to write what "sells."  The industry also seems to have periods of risk-taking and risk-aversion.  Or, at least, seem to try to "balance" there far toward the "averse" portion, which makes financial sense, but doesn't really deliver the "best quality" art, in all likelihood.

But, considering the teleology, the aim is the make money, not really to make great film/shows necessarily.  That might well be someone (the director, a writer) but it's not the industry's aim as a whole.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasűrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #249 on: January 02, 2020, 01:14:27 am »
Consolidating - rating 2 movies that under-performed:

Ad Astra: has a 6.7 IMDB rating and deserves it. I watched it last night on a friend's recommendation ... wtf. Good story, should've been more exciting. Boring as fuck for a fascinating topic and theme. Stupid cheapo thrill stuff added for no fucking reason ( like getting attacked by "raiders" on the Moon - you're the US fucking military, you can't have it both ways with a Mad Max meets the military scenario - whatever ). Has a few moments, I guess - the theme/message/story all was sound, just dumb directing.

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker. Fuck, man. Big let down, I guess I'll put my comments in spoiler, but don't bother, too fucking stupid to watch. I mean, I was so excited for Abrams treatment given how much I liked Rogue One ... but then this descent into mediocrity, sigh, someone shoot me in the head and be done with it.

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« Reply #250 on: January 02, 2020, 12:53:54 pm »
Consolidating - rating 2 movies that under-performed:

Ad Astra: has a 6.7 IMDB rating and deserves it. I watched it last night on a friend's recommendation ... wtf. Good story, should've been more exciting. Boring as fuck for a fascinating topic and theme. Stupid cheapo thrill stuff added for no fucking reason ( like getting attacked by "raiders" on the Moon - you're the US fucking military, you can't have it both ways with a Mad Max meets the military scenario - whatever ). Has a few moments, I guess - the theme/message/story all was sound, just dumb directing.

Yeah, we watched this as well.  The set up was pretty good, but then it all failed to develop into, really, well, much of anything.

We just watched Parasite.  Neat movie.  I think it would be awful dubbed, but I also just don't like dubbing.  It was good, although I think there was some cultural idiom we were of course missing.  Still, I'd recommend it if you don't mind subtitles.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasűrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #251 on: January 13, 2020, 12:22:04 am »
Joker

Finally saw this thing. I don't know what to think of it yet, I'm still mulling the thing over. I think my problem is the total was smaller than the sum of it's component parts. Many of the scenes were very well done, some cool, intense stuff to work with. But added altogether and it just wasn't exciting. The ending was pretty good, but not good enough to justify the slow roll up to it. The makeup and Phoenix was excellent, but it was a kinda weird mix of intensity without depth, kinda a conundrum of a thing - it was at once too deep and not deep enough. It would've been a mistake to make the thing a deep dive into mental illness, but at the same time it was just a patchwork of stuff. It simply had no feeling to it - like I wasn't rooting for or against Joker - which is fine, not saying we as viewers need to have skin in the game, but I simply didn't give a shit one way or the other. I wasn't offended, scared, excited or thrilled. I wasn't even a voyeur.

It was poorly directed, pure and simple. The story had legs, but not filled out. The actors were very good, good cinematography, ok sound track ( not great, but it was fine, I guess ).

EDIT: I will give it points for translating Feck's uncomfortability to the viewer, I was antsy watching scenes unfold, wondering how bizarre he would behave in "normal" social situations. So that was good.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 01:55:15 pm by TaoHorror »
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« Reply #252 on: January 13, 2020, 01:05:31 pm »
Not sure if anyone was/is watching the Netflix show Messiah, but it was fairly interesting.

I think you can see it in a sort of Kellhus-ian way too.  Show is kind of alternatively well-done and kind of not, but overall I think it's worth a watch.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasűrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #253 on: January 13, 2020, 07:13:07 pm »
Not sure if anyone was/is watching the Netflix show Messiah, but it was fairly interesting.

I plan on watching it. Gonna watch The Witcher first.

I watched The Terror, Season 2. Not as good as the first season, but that's a pretty high bar, the first season was excellent. But Season 2 was pretty good. It's a slow crawl to the end, but worth it. Some not-really-so spoiler stuff below, but it is information you don't get until near the end, so I'll put it in spoils. The only knocks are the first 2/3 of it is an investment, it's slow moving. But it's a pretty good period piece, some nice historical fiction about the Japanese Internment Camps here in the USA ( some serious bullshit going on there - the actual history, I mean, hard to believe it really happened given our "protections" ). Good story, acting and ok directing. Certainly not required viewing, but some good stuff with this thing.

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« Reply #254 on: January 18, 2020, 09:45:08 pm »
I watched The Godfather of Harlem. Good stuff, I liked it. Damn good acting. Cut a few small corners ( like convenient encounters ), but most of the stuff was well written and timed believably. Several well written misunderstandings between the characters and it's during the early 60's, so kinda cool to see some historical figures in action. My only significant criticism is the other older mobsters were played by perennial mob tough guy actors and that was a mistake, they weren't very good, but not a big deal.

Evil - fuck, can't believe I'm still watching this stupid thing ... but it's called Evil, so I guess I am. Pretty much drive by crappy tv, but the bad guy is excellent as I said before. I wasn't going to bother bringing up this show again, but the end of the current episode had me laughing hard and loud - I'm not sure if I'm laughing at it or with it, don't know if it was intentionally supposed to be funny or what. Would like to hear some other's thoughts for anyone else watching. It's possible it's good writing if the dude is hallucinating - I will give the show some props as it kinda leaves the door open just a touch that some of this stuff is true or false, either way. That said, too many episodes were just so badly written - it's like the show is trying to have it both ways, being interestingly mysterious pared with bad stories targeting mass market audiences. Man, this show would've been so much better on cable than prime time - oh, well.
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