[watching] What have you seen recently?

"A Murder of Quality" - Thames TV adaptation of early John Le Carre novel with Denholm Elliot as George Smiley investigating a murder at a Dorset public school. Elliot and Glenda Jackson make a really good Holmes and Watson style duo, the one intellectual, the other practical. Almost wish they'd been given their own series.
 
The Devil Rides Out - Satanic fun in the home counties courtesy of Hammer films. Reminded me of a Call of Cthulhu scenario: Disparate band of investigators, vintage motors, cultists, spells and wardings, SAN loss and mysterious tomes.
 
Went to the cinema to see Anna and the Apocalypse last night. Christmas zombie high school musical, very funny in places, poignant in others. Worth seeing if you liked Shaun of the dead.

Catch it quick though, I doubt it'll be on for more than a week if last night is typical of the audience figures. It turned out to be a private showing for the four of us.
 
As you know, I've been watching Black Lightning on Netflix. A nice Superhero with charming leads confronting real issues through a typical Superhero soap opera. Constructed and delivered as a weekly series. Not designed to binge watch.

Nice.

But tonight I've just watched episode 6 of series 2 and they've suddenly turned on a least three taps of sheer darkness. It's gone all American gothic and WOW! Everything just suddenly slotted into place. New characters - and villain - that felt like they'd always been there - as if there's been a whole parallel series going on. Top notch acting from everyone. (Well the kingpin clone is still a bit weak.) where do they find these actors from? If you've got the opportunity to watch it the start watching. 42 minutes felt like a movie. Sold us one fight to think that was it for the episode and then threw in a bigger battle at the end. And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, the cavalry came over the hill in real hero moment to the tune of Frigging Apache!
 
Cloud Atlas - not a great fan of the Wachowskis but they and German director Tom Twyker deserve plaudits for doing a good job of putting David Mitchell's sprawling novel on screen and making some bold casting choices. Although...it does feature some of the dodgiest ethnic make up jobs since the heyday of the Two Ronnies (I seem to recall Barker in particular had a penchant for playing Chinese roles and he wouldn't look out of place here).
 
Cloud Atlas - not a great fan of the Wachowskis but they and German director Tom Twyker deserve plaudits for doing a good job of putting David Mitchell's sprawling novel on screen and making some bold casting choices. Although...it does feature some of the dodgiest ethnic make up jobs since the heyday of the Two Ronnies (I seem to recall Barker in particular had a penchant for playing Chinese roles and he wouldn't look out of place here).
Yeh but they knowlingly reversed it at the end casting a Asian actress as a white period lady just to show US how it feels.

I enjoyed it but with all of these "linked portmanteau" pieces I feel that the form exists to disguise wekanesses in some of the individual tales. In particular in this case if you took the Future city story out and put it together as a single story it would be very weak.

I feel the same was about the Earth bound bits in The Expanse.

And (blasphemy I'm sure) in the (brilliant, groundbreaking) final two episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation if you pulled out the story bits set in "the past" and showed them solo they'd be especially poor.

But often one of the other tales compensates. The future storyline in TNG. And, in Cloud Atlas, the Prisoner-esque nursing home sequence is a hoot!
 
Yeh but they knowlingly reversed it at the end casting a Asian actress as a white period lady just to show US how it feels.

!
I enjoyed it and I'm sure there was nothing racist intended but I just thought some if it looked really ropey e.g the archivist in the Seoul segment. That said, Hugh Grant in the Timothy Cavendish story looked really weird despite playing a Caucasian, along with his accent I thought the net effect was like a mutant Michael Caine. Possibly that was intended?
 
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In the case of "Mortal Engines", sort of post apocalyptic dieselpunk, with a futuristic timeline, but with technological gadgets as dreamed by earlier futurologists in the last century (though the authour Philip Reeve wrote the first novel of this series on the cusp of the Millennium).
 
I don't watch the Flash

I don't watch Green Arrow

I don't watch Supergirl

I DO watch their annual cross-over. This year was a good investment of my time. Rollicking good fun. It's a "spot the Easter egg" fest.

AND a set up for something truly epic next year.
 
I have just seen “Into the Spiderverse”.

With respect to all my friends and the respected critics who’ve raved about this film..... I humbly disagree.

Dear God what a mess!

When you work in animation you can do literally anything you want. It doesn’t mean you should.

It’s like when you tipped out your toy box and made a silly story up with all the different toys of different styles and scales with crayons. Dear God, so many crayons!

It makes the mistake many animes do of drifting so far from reality into their own fantasy world they lose any grounding in reality they might have had. The climax takes place amongst such random abstract backgrounds that it completely lost me.

I celebrate the fact that we now live in a world where a film like this gets made and is considered mainstream movie. I just wish they’d spent a bit longer on the script and shown more subtlety and restraint.

A marmite movie, I guess.
 
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