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    Originally posted by slackster View Post
    Watched the new Borat film on Amazon Prime. It was alright. A few laughs and toe-curling moments.
    Yeah, we watched it today as well and thought much the same. It has some bits where I was practically watching it through my fingers.

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      Queens Gambit is very entertaining. It starts as a sad story about an orphan in Kentucky and ends like Rocky IV.

      It feels like a true story but in reality, there hasn’t been a female #1 chess player, let alone an American one in the 60s. And it shows her tournaments as mostly knock out cup tournaments. But that isn’t how chess works, is it? There are a lot of draws, I thought so it’s not like that, is it?

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        Originally posted by Tony C View Post
        Modern Family is, I realise, a huge show but one that has completely passed me by. This is a bit like admitting that I'd never seen The Simpsons. Anyway seen about six Modern Family episodes from Series 1 earlier and haven't laughed so much in ages. Terrifically well written gags and great characters. Little Manny is an absolute gem.

        Only twelve years too late.
        As a result of this post, I gave Modern Family a go over the weekend. While not loving it, I managed to get through 22 episodes in 3 days, so it's certainly easy to watch.

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          This could go in the WTF? thread, but watched I’m Thinking Of Ending Things film on Netflix. Didn’t have a scooby what it was all about yet it was still pretty mesmerising. 2 tortuous road trip for a couple in the snow, an awkward dinner with parents, a stop at a sort-of Dairy Queen, and an old High School which centred around the janitor bumbling about. Lots of cultural and philosophical musings. And Oklahoma! the musical. FIN.

          I did read up on it after which made it a teeny bit clearer what the hell was going on, but you’d never guess it just from the movie itself.

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            I gave up on that pretty quickly. I read about the story it was based on and it sounded like the film version was much more confusing and ambiguous and I just don't want to put up with that shit right now or maybe ever.

            It occurs to me that that's the sort of thing I would have really wanted to see in college or any time in my 20s and talk to other people about so I could feel like I was challenging myself and learning about cinema. But I just do not give a shit about that director bullshit any more. Don't get me wrong. I don't want to watch The Bachelorette or whatever. But just give me something that tells a cohesive story that makes sense and makes me care about the characters somehow. The Twilight Zone was excellent at this. It could be a mystery and still not be frustrating.
            Last edited by Hot Pepsi; 26-10-2020, 17:19.

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              I don’t blame you, HP. But though me and the missus were going “eh?” and “wtf!” at regular intervals, it was an intriguing watch with good acting, great visuals and some pseudy-wisecracking dialogue. Reminded me of late 60s Godard in its inpenatrableness.

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                I feel like I'm becoming anti-intellectual or anti-art and I don't want to be, but I feel almost resentful when I try to watch something like that. I felt a little better when Mark Maron said that he didn't want to watch it either.

                Although, at least I'm Thinking of Ending Things seemed to have a point. It was about trauma and loss and stuff. A lot of "challenging" programs seem to just be inscrutable for it's own sake. I blame Lost for that. I gave up on that after season 1 because it seemed to really not be about anything but itself.* I felt like that about The Third Day. In both cases, I do really like the actors involved, but it's just not for me right now.


                *At the time, TiVo and digital cable systems that allowed you to easily catch-up with shows was a novelty, and it seemed to just be designed to take advantage of that. In the past, there's just no way you could build an audience if everyone had to see every episode. But now that's just taken for granted and sharing "theories" etc online just seems tedious.

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                  Originally posted by Hot Pepsi View Post
                  I gave up on that after season 1 because it seemed to really not be about anything but itself.* I felt like that about The Third Day.
                  The Third Day was pretty clearly about parenthood, especially motherhood, on both loving and debased levels. Other things too, but predominately that. I agree 'enjoy' might not be a good description of the experience, but 'irresistible' fits.

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                    I didn't get that far into it to appreciate that. I may try later. But insofar as it was about parenthood, it seemed to be about the saddest possible aspect of it.

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                      Antebellum is pretty decent.
                      watched both series of Bad Blood this weekend. The Italian twins in the second series are hilarious.

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                        Just finished watching Strike on the bbc iPlayer, which is based on Robert Galbraith’s (aka JK Rowling) 4 books about Private
                        Investigator, Cormoran Strike. Overall, I enjoyed it, especially the episodes based on the first 3 books. There were 4 episodes based on the fourth book which turned out to be too many , also the storyline was a bit convoluted, so I didn’t Enjoy these as much. I noticed that JK Rowling was one of the Executive Producers, so the series stayed pretty much in line with the books (I had already read the first three books a while back).

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                          Originally posted by Tony C View Post
                          Modern Family is, I realise, a huge show but one that has completely passed me by. This is a bit like admitting that I'd never seen The Simpsons
                          I'm pretty sure I've never seen a complete episode of the latter, nor could I name more than about three characters, which probably makes me unique on this board.

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                            I'm up to episode 2 of S4 on Schitt's Creek and am now painfully aware that it will be coming to an end soon. It's such a fantastic programme, it's fast becoming one of my favourite of all time.

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                              Originally posted by Simon G View Post
                              I'm up to episode 2 of S4 on Schitt's Creek and am now painfully aware that it will be coming to an end soon. It's such a fantastic programme, it's fast becoming one of my favourite of all time.
                              I know what you mean but you're only half way through.

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                                I started The Comedy Store on Showtime, which is a short documentary series about a stand-up club in Los Angeles (The Comedy Store). It started really well, with good detailed deep dives into some known comics and some lesser known to the broader public. I think I'm three episodes in. The third is mostly about bad boys of comedy that started there (Dice, Sam Kinison, and Richard Pryor). This episode was a bit too predictable and never really dug deep enough into why the jokes were funny, the comedians challenged the norms within stand up. For example, one of the interviewees talks about Kinison being raised in a very religious family and that preacher mentality/aesthetic influenced his stand-up work but that was it; they moved on. Seems like a good part to unpack. Anyway, I will finish the series because it's good enough, but certainly could have been better (or I'm predicting that to be the case).

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                                  Originally posted by pebblethefish View Post

                                  As a result of this post, I gave Modern Family a go over the weekend. While not loving it, I managed to get through 22 episodes in 3 days, so it's certainly easy to watch.
                                  I was adivised on here after my glowing post to give Modern Family a few seasons before it becomes a little stale and that's certainly the case. The laughs per episode ratio dries up substantially after that. I think we left after a couple of episodes of season 5 and probably won't be going back.

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                                    We've sat through the full ten episodes of 'Safe' over the last two days and still can't decide if we enjoyed it or not. The main issue is that it couldn't make up its mind what it wanted to be, a missing person police procedural drama or a dark comedy. Some scenes were tonally completely at odds with the rest of the piece. However there was clearly enough interest generated in the central plot for us to stick with it.

                                    Michael C Hall's English accent was effortlessly impressive I have to say.

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                                      The first episode of season 2 of The Mandalorian was released today.

                                      Very high approval ratings in chez Thistle.

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                                        Originally posted by Tony C View Post
                                        We've sat through the full ten episodes of 'Safe' over the last two days and still can't decide if we enjoyed it or not. The main issue is that it couldn't make up its mind what it wanted to be, a missing person police procedural drama or a dark comedy. Some scenes were tonally completely at odds with the rest of the piece. However there was clearly enough interest generated in the central plot for us to stick with it.

                                        Michael C Hall's English accent was effortlessly impressive I have to say.
                                        The best thing about that was Nigel Lindsay.

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                                          Originally posted by Sits View Post

                                          The best thing about that was Nigel Lindsay.
                                          Yes he was good, but the series was a real mixed bag. It had Agatha Christie levels of idiotic, implausible and completely unecessary narrative twists (what was the re-united father/daughter thing all about?) but clearly not enough to put us off.

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                                            Staged is self-indulgent.

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                                              Originally posted by Patrick Thistle View Post
                                              The first episode of season 2 of The Mandalorian was released today.

                                              Very high approval ratings in chez Thistle.
                                              It’s ace. It’s made me not dread the next month quite so much.

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                                                Originally posted by hobbes View Post
                                                Watched the first 3 eps of Brave New World yesterday.
                                                It's always a little odd in these joint US/UK productions when you see Han Solo and Demi Moore acting alongside a couple of people from Downton Abbey and Casualty. Colliding realities and all that.
                                                That said, so far it's relatively painless. It's been so long since I read the book I can't tell how faithful it is.
                                                It got cancelled so there'll only be one season.

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                                                  Originally posted by Sits View Post
                                                  Staged is self-indulgent.
                                                  ...and funny & entertaining.

                                                  People called 'The Trip' self-indulgent and it's been one of the best TV comedies of the last decade or so.

                                                  Isn't a lot of good art self-indulgent?

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                                                    New release films I've seen recently :

                                                    On The Rocks - Sofia Coppola reuniting with Bill Murray who co-stars with Rashida Jones. It's central story seems superficially slight but the father/daughter dynamic is believable & engaging.

                                                    It's a funny, warm film and both leads are on sparkling form with Jones just performance edging out Murray's. There's also a great minor turn by Jenny Slate

                                                    It's also lovely to see New York being New York in all its pre-COVID glory but it's bittersweet as it made me wonder when I'll see that again.

                                                    Rebecca - I've not read the book and haven't seen the Hitchcock adaptation in so long that I barely recall it so saw this Ben Wheatley directed version on it's own terms. It's visually gorgeous bit does have a bit of a chocolate box look to it. It's a Netflix production but one made for theatrical release but still feels a little televisual, like a Sunday night drama series.

                                                    I like both Lily James and Armie Hammer but the latter was a bit too one-dimensional to really convince on either side of de Winter's character. James was far more compelling but Kristin Scott Thomas gives the strongest performance as Danvers. Sam Riley plays an enjoyably greasy cad too.

                                                    Pixie - saw this last night on a punt as I wanted to squeeze in one more cinema visit before Lockdown.

                                                    It's got some great ideas (pitching itself as a West of Ireland Western is one) and a winning central performance from Olivia Cooke but is a bit patchy. It's not quite funny enough (especially as all the best gags are in the trailer), not quite tense enough as a thriller and wastes some potentially great supporting performances from Alec Baldwin, Colm Meaney and (especially) Dylan Moran.

                                                    It's also terribly baggily edited and the ending is tossed off in a very "Will this do?" manner.

                                                    All three are watchable but 'On The Rocks' is the real recommendation.
                                                    Last edited by Ray de Galles; 09-11-2020, 12:44.

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