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Lol, yeah, I was in New York the week the original Matrix came out. All the papers were raving about Kore'eda's Afterlife, which came out the same day. Went to see both, with no expectations for The Matrix, which had received mixed-to-negative reviews. Loved it, of course, and went to see it again the next day - albeit feeling cheap and dirty for preferring this studio picture over the tiresome, twee Kore'eda movie... Of course, in hindsight, one can see that the critics have always been full of shit.

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TC wrote: 31/12/21, 09:26:30 Station Eleven - i've waited to start discussing this until i was sure of my opinion on it. it's a very strange show and took a few episodes to be sure it wasn't just goofy. it's bizarre in the way good original sci-fi can be - see Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, though not nearly as absurd. if you start watching, you'll be questioning if you should continue around episodes 3-4, but i recommend sticking with it. while the season is not over yet, it's cemented my opinion so far that it's a very strong show and i'd recommend watching. they are doing some very interesting things with the construct. it's well-written and well-executed. solid cast. lots of dark humor as well. many, many timelines that do eventually all sync and/or tie together. very curious to see if they can stick the landing on this.
Yes, they did stick it. I did not see
Jeevan being the doctor and them meeting again
. In hindsight, i should have, but it was nice to get a surprise in the last episode. Also kind of surprised
prophet didn’t kill that dude, or have the kids use all those mines. What, just because mommy said she loves you it’s all better now?
lastly,
alex said she wanted to stay there a year, then just left with prophet and his mom? So she wanted to stay with him, not there. Why? And why didn’t prophet and his mom just go with the symphony? Doesn’t make much sense. He just wants to go be a cult ruler with all his children i guess?
still, i did find the show really interesting and enjoyable. I’m sure there are some subtexts that completely went over my head as i’m not a shakespeare student, but it was quite interesting.

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TC wrote: 20/12/21, 07:56:08 Yellowjackets - i'm digging this show, but still can't really tell where this is going after six episodes. it's reasonably enjoyable. essentially a girls' high school soccer team gets thrust into a lord of the flies situation for 18 months (i think?) and we follow the surviving members around present day adulthood. we spend about half the time in "flashbacks" showing what happened in the wilderness and the other half with them as adults dealing with some unknown entity digging up their past. starting to feel stretched very thin. hopefully something happens soon.
Ok, re-reading this, shit did start happening, pedal to the metal, very soon after this. It ramped up to a pretty insane finale. Not really what i expected. But, and this is a big but, my wife and i look at each other after 30 min and realize that many of the threads they have will not wrap up in this episode. There is no way. And of course they didn’t. So what they did in this last episode only really matters if there is an S2, and then my concern is that it will be really, really stretched out. But, let’s not create problems where there are none - this was a hell of a season finale (really, last 2 episodes) and promises dark shit ahead. Here’s hoping they get renewed.

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TC wrote: 09/06/20, 06:18:17 Afterlife - ricky gervais show. it certainly has funny moments and all, but the overall tone of this show is very depressing. the second season more than the first. lots of tears to go along with the laughs. surprisingly touching show.
I guess it's technically After Life, which makes more sense. finished the third and i guess final season last night. really, really good show. gervais is an extremely emotionally intelligent writer in addition to comedic titan. looking forward to what he does next.

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Archive 81 - three episodes into this show and it's pretty great so far. initially the construct was annoying, because they were constantly breaking it (being careful not to say too much here), but now i'm starting to realize maybe they weren't. anxious to see where this is going.

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Well fuck me... Covid, my ex doing her usual fuckery and you know, life, has gotten in the way for a good while now...

Anyhoo;

No Sudden Move - A completely dull movie that thought it was SO much smarter than it was. Passable performances at best from all of the leads and an annoying camera lens that Soderbergh probably thought would look cool and retro but was just distracting.

Eternals - Worst Marvel "thing" since the Daredevil movie. Awful.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife - Completely passable film with a genuinely moving homage to films of the past. Maybe it was my state of mind right now, but I actually shed a tear during the final scenes.

Search Party s05 - One of the best shows no one's watched gets the perfect, BONKERS, final season.

The Silent Sea - Pretty good South Korean miniseries on Netflix. Always like Yong Goo in everything he shows up in.

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Eternals wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The characters are pretty weak and it doesn't fit well into the rest of the Marvel Universe - these two flaws being the source of much of the hate, I think. But it improves with the twist half way through, the underlying concept is fun and the various historical recreations and classical allusions keep one entertained. It's no masterpiece, but it's better than Thor 2 and Black Widow (and Nomadland).

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Nobody - odenkirk’s john wick film that knows it’s being ridiculous and leans into it. Goddamn was this a fun, funny film with great action. Loved it… up until
they just HAD to involve dad (christopher lloyd), which you could see coming a mile away. That is the moment i grimaced. I was laughing with it up until then.
Still, was probably better than i expected and definitely as good as i wanted.

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Landscapers - based on the real story of an older couple being convicted of murdering the wife's parents, starring david thewles. but the approach to this is very different than the typical docu-drama. tons of fourth wall breaking, bizarre fantasy sequences, etc. it's very uniquely done, and made you want to continue watching what is really kind of a boring story. i've never seen something done like this, it's really weird and often intentionally amusing. it's only four episodes, i'd recommend you give it a watch just to see how fucking odd it is.

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weekend round-up:

The Silent Sea - korean space sci-fi/drama on Netflix. while it was interesting, it was also pretty clunky. starring the guy from the excellent Train To Busan, who was once again great in this, it had lots of good ideas but just wasn't executed extremely well. lots of ridiculous two-dimensional characters and plot lines not well fleshed out. but, again - interesting and had some good scenes. can't say it's recommended viewing though.

The Last Duel - i really liked this film, eventually. at the beginning, the timeline of what's happening made me feel like i was crazy. i think they covered 12 years in like 10 minutes? i wasn't sure what the fuck was happening. it felt like a film adaptation of the cliff's notes of some events. it was really crazy and ridiculous. by the 20 minute mark, i just gave up even trying and figured that none of what happened leading to the gates they were rushing through was important, only that there was some history between the two main characters i was meant to understand. once i accepted that, it quickly went to "Part 2" and i understood the construct of the film. at that point, i was on board and it was pretty great. as it's ridley scott, lots of over the top violence, but also extremely well-acted. by the end i realized i had been suckered into loving another matt damon/ben afleck script. i remember that used to be a joke, but damn it these guys are good. this construct could have been a disaster in less adept hands but scott pulls it off quite well. recommended.

Peacemaker - four episodes into this. gone is the tongue-in-cheek humor of The Suicide Squad, which i quite liked. it's been replaced with massively shoe-horned woke-ism every step of the way. cramming nearly every conceivable social issue into this show seems to be the goal. i'm blown away we haven't been lectured on trans-gender children, CRT, or voting laws yet. while i like gunn's stuff typically, this feels like it was taken over by people that are incapable of executing his more subtle humor and satire and replaced with the writers of far-left leaning blog sites. it's ultimately just disappointing, given the potential here. still watching as there are moments of humor and some great violent scenes, but it's approaching that line of just being so irritating i bail, like SNL of the last five years or so. ironically, what they're showing is in contrast to what they're saying - the black characters in the show are the ones who are deceitful, lying, manipulative, and two-faced. they spent several minutes of one episode furthering the myth that Louis CK exposed himself to random people. i just don't understand who this show is for. sad.

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big d note wrote: 31/01/22, 09:43:21
TC wrote: 31/01/22, 07:20:57 they spent several minutes of one episode furthering the myth that Louis CK exposed himself to random people.
Myth? Louis admitted to masturbating in front of women who did not want him to.
two women who said yes when he asked if he could and later changed their minds? right. the show made it seem like he pulled his dick out at a random playground.

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oh yeah, forgot:
JFK Revisited: Through The Looking Glass - extremely dry, all fact documentary that on paper is about all the new records released and/or available since the 1991 film, but is actually about how the release of the film changed the course of history. kind of a victory lap for Stone, and really, it's well-deserved. lots of fact-based (on documents) speculation/implications here, not a ton of new information for anyone who's remotely been paying attention or interested in the subject. the take-away for people should be that the media being the propaganda arm of the government is not a new concept. always question. anyway, some larger leaps here that feel like there should be some in-between information presented, but i understand that in a month or so there will be a director's cut of this that is an hour or so longer, so i assume that issue will be addressed. have lots of caffeine before viewing - it's really dry. there's no added drama here, it's reviewing records with people that were there and/or are experts, etc. Also completely inexplicable why Whoopi Goldberg was chosen to narrate this. forget everything else about her, one of the most grating voices known to man. stone could have chosen literally anyone he wanted, and he pulls her for this? why? makes no sense. that's really the one burning question i was left with after watching this.

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dang, forgot another one:
The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window - netflix show that i thought was going to be more on-the-nose comedy, but is really subtle satire. played like a straight murder mystery 90% of the time, a very few parts straight comedy. it's actually a pretty good show with a pretty great ending. could have been a little more comedy-centric (but played straight), but still enjoyable. i guess there will be another season? unclear. keeping the episodes 30 min was key, it didn't wear out its welcome.

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I did wonder if the floaty, soap opera-like score was a cue that the whole thing was going to turn out to be a fantasy/dream, but it didn't end up that way. Yes, the tone was strange, which I guess has to be a good thing, although still not sure if I liked it or not.

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Murderville - netflix show where there is a new celebrity guest every episode who plays a main character but does not have the script (allegedly). six episodes. while the premise is interesting and has potential on paper, the reality of this was not very successful. only really the kumail nanjiani episode had a couple laughs. the rest were on a scale of mildly interesting to exceptionally bad. don't bother.

Nightmare Alley - GDT remake. i haven't seen the original so i have no context for this film. it plays like a two and a half hour twilight zone, but leans hard into very dark content. quite a roster of actors here who really carry the film on their shoulders. while i appreciate dark content and the handful of quite gory shots, there is still something grating to me about GDT's style. i can't put my finger on it. if you like GDT's work, you should like this. it maintains that fairy tale vibe while still being very much rooted in reality. don't get me wrong, i enjoyed it, but feel like i need to see it again to pinpoint what it is that irritates me about it. also, there are a couple scenes where the angle and lighting really accentuate the fact that bradley cooper has two entirely differently shaped eyes. they look like they belong to different people. over the course of one of those scenes he almost became alien-looking. once i saw that, it's all i could focus on.
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