Re: Recent movie/TV playlist [titles without stand-alone thread]

apologies for my absence. life has been crazy busy for me for a while. in jan, i went to the studio for a week to finish up a new PM recording. since then, work has been kicking my ass, complete with travel, so i've been unable to find time to post. however, that hasn't stopped me from watching a ton of stuff. time to try to catch up. from memory...

Tacoma FD - finished s4, which ended up being the final season. really amusing watching this after watching Yellowstone, as the cowgirl chick is chief's daughter on this show. anyway, s4 was funnier than previous season, still an amusing show. i wouldn't say "must watch", but it's good enough. the move to Netflix wasn't enough to save it, but at least they got to finish this season. i hear tell the Broken Lizard troupe has now moved onto filming Super Troopers 3, so at least there's that.

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer - as i said nearly six years ago when i first watched it, a tight, dread-inducing film. i had been wanting to watch this again since first viewing but just never got around to it. now in the context of everything he's done since, was great seeing Barry Keoghan killing it so hard in this film. really great film. still obtuse, but very enjoyable.

Eastern Promises - i feel like i watched this previously, but if so, i didn't post about it. re-reading what you guys said, starting back in 2007 when O-dot used to post here, i agree with him and Mike. really good film, quite enjoyable. didn't love the ending, but doesn't take away from how great the rest of it was. bleak, but earned. great cast. certainly more enjoyable than Cronenberg's more recent output.

Surf II: The End Of The Trilogy - don't know how this slipped under my radar back when all i did was rent bad horror films from the local place, but apparently it did. my friend insisted i watch this movie. it sounded really dumb but i agreed. it is in fact really dumb, but pretty goddamn amusing. wild seeing people like Eric Stoltz and fucking Cleavon Little next to the likes of Ron Palillo and Eddie Deezen. plot is entirely ridiculous, and something that simply wouldn't be done today. they all looked like they had a lot of fun doing this pile of dung. well worth a watch if you've never seen it.

Suitable Flesh - Joe Lynch tries to channel Stuart Gordon, with several folks - including Brian Yuzna - producing this HP Lovecraft adaptation of "The Thing On The Doorstep". Heather Graham, Bruce Davison, and Barbara Crampton lead the cast here. while there is a strong try-hard "girl power" motif in parts, this is a quite enjoyable throw-back effort and worthy addition to the catalog of Re-Animator and From Beyond, although never attains that level. very enjoyable to see Babs back in her wheelhouse here, she's still sexy as hell. some interesting re-works of the source material, but also some that stick close to the intent. i was quite surprised as i was expecting much less from this. pretty damn good flick. recommend checking it out.

Poor Things - went into this relatively blind. i mean, i've seen the trailer, but still didn't really know what this was. trailer doesn't do it justice at all. it's a very bizarre film. can't really wrap my head around how to really describe it. it's part fairy tale, part Frankenstein re-telling, part coming-of-age, part love story. the world looks like Tim Burton does retro-futurism, so you're never quite sure when this is supposed to take place, which is actually a really good way to do this film. emma stone crushes this as the adult baby who goes through birth to, say, around 30 years old during the course of this film, including puberty and "discovering her body", let's say. but she's far from the damsel in distress you might expect in a traditional fairy tale - she was raised/created by Dafoe's Frankenstein's Monster (essentially, although never really mentioned directly), who is a brilliant scientist/surgeon, so her entire approach to life is purely analytical and 100% direct. that decision is what makes this film work. does create a lot of "fish out of water" moments as her naiveté about life presents itself (really, kind of is the story). Dafoe's character's name is "Godwin", which results in Stone's character calling him "God" the whole film, so there is some allegory there i'm sure about creator/creation. some very absurdist moments in this film as well. i'll just say you shouldn't believe the trailer, which makes this look like some kind of musical, or low-key sequel to The Princess Diaries or something. it's nothing like that. i loved it, it's quite amusing, very smart, frequently sexy (with lots of "furious jumping"). just very well done. still, have to say, i'm about Ruffalo'd out. while he's good in this as the asshole, he's very hammy and hatable. maybe that was the intent. if so, mission accomplished.

La Brea - as i have said here several times before, this show is ridiculously amusing. they finally returned for their final 6-episode sprint to the end, and they were back in crazy, insane, ridiculously mockable form. top-notch MST3K-style fun to be had here. it's insane how this show wraps - after everything they've been through, everything just kind of works out for everyone left alive, with zero thought given to anyone that died along the way. people are nearly literally skipping down the hill hand-in-hand, off into life, as the credits roll. so goddamn funny. i've previously posited that the creators/writers have to be in on the joke here, that there's no way they created this earnestly, so now that it's over, i looked them all up. that was kind of a bummer, as it looks like most of them are just kind of "staff writers", who have worked on all the "big" major network shows, just going from gig to gig. their resumes don't read like they did this on purpose. yet, i still say there's no way someone created this masterwork of self-aware ridiculousness in a serious way, like this was meant to be taken seriously. just impossible. anyway, now that it's over, i highly recommend watching this show. excellent stoned viewing material, so goddamn funny. just plow through the overly-serious lows in s2, it does get back to the insanity of s1. such an anomaly that a show that succeeds in a huge way that's the polar opposite of their intent. glad it ended, but very glad it ever existed. thank you, gods of mediocrity, for allowing this to exist.

Re: Recent movie/TV playlist [titles without stand-alone thread]

Lawmen: Bass Reeves - i assume this is plural because the plan is to focus each season (should it be renewed) on some titular lawman from history, we're just starting with bass reeves. fine by me, as this show was pretty damn good. another taylor sheridan "old west" tale that works well. although, there are some plot points that are begun and go nowhere. basically, any attempt at side story or anything not involving bass is useless here. could have been much tighter and 2-3 episodes shorter without any of that. i understand from the opening credits that this is based on a couple books, so i assume this was done in an attempt to service the source material, but i'm guessing that in the book, these side stories go somewhere or something meaningful happens. not so in this miniseries. all of that being said, well worth a watch. good action, enjoyable if kind of goofy central plot. bass' accent drifts in and out over the course of the show, but it's nbd. if you like taylor's stuff, same thing here, just different context.

Re: Recent movie/TV playlist [titles without stand-alone thread]

Beacon 23 - new Lena Heady-led series. premise had potential, but Lena deserved far better writing than this. lots of nothing happening, then a ridiculously irritating ending means my recommendation is: avoid. nothing to see here, sadly.

3 Body Problem - very interesting premise here. i guess it's based on a 3-book series from a Chinese author, which i haven't read so i can't speak to the adaptation, but from what i understand, a lot of the hard science has been "dumbed down" to the point of being able to be quickly represented in this 8-episode first season. as this is from Benioff and Weiss, it has a ton of GoT alums on cast, which is quite welcome. Davos Seaworth's character is fantastic, and a great illustration of his acting ability. Samwell Tarley is only in the first couple/few episodes, thankfully. he's just goofy and distracting. several others do very well here, decently written. but again, similar issues here with the last couple seasons of GoT - lots of time setting up speeding to the next event. this whole season feels like its entire job is setting up the next two seasons. at least this time, the books are done, so hopefully there's a wealth of material for them to pull from and they don't start trying to invent storylines, because we all know how well that worked for them in the past. still, pretty good show that i will say i recommend only because the promise of future seasons is pretty big. if it is one-and-done, i wouldn't recommend it, as it doesn't really go anywhere.

Re: Recent movie/TV playlist [titles without stand-alone thread]

Brain Donors - little-seen Turturro vehicle from 1992 finally gets a new Blu release from 4k scan (i will never understand why they don't release a 4k UHD version if they've done a 4k scan), and my preorder arrived last week or so. finally got the opportunity to re-view this film. i worked at a movie theater when this first came out and i remember my midnight pre-screening only attracted one other employee. he was very confused by this very brief film, but i loved it then, and i love it now. it's so beyond goofy. as it's a Zucker Brothers production, you can imagine the jokes are quite literally every goddamn line. some are more subtle than others, but if you are laughing at something, you likely missed two more jokes. it's also loosely based on the first two Marx Bros films, so that should give you an idea of tone. there is also a lot of visual humor, courtesy of Bob Nelson, which is pretty great. also fantastic seeing Nancy Marchand in a perfect "straight man" role here, with the context of her future iconic run as Livia Soprano in mind. quite prolonged and amazing claymation opening and closing credit sequences as well. while i'll acknowledge this film isn't for everyone, i fucking love it and have been quoting it for over three decades, so it's great to have this new release. looking forward to checking out the commentary tracks included, although they aren't with the cast. if you've never seen it, get yourself in silly mode and put it on - you'll thank me.

Re: Recent movie/TV playlist [titles without stand-alone thread]

Constellation - this was a very wild show. very hard sci-fi plot here. multiple alternate timelines twisting and turning, sometimes intersecting. a pretty great portrayal of extremely complex concepts as well as an exploration of grief. noomi rapace and jonathan banks were both great, but by the time you get to the end of this, you realize that the actual star of the show is the character of alice, played by young twin actresses rosie and davina coleman. if they want it, these girls have a long career ahead of them. very well done show. recommend checking it out.

Re: Recent movie/TV playlist [titles without stand-alone thread]

Dream Scenario - was excited to watch this new nic cage film, as it looked like a serious film, which is a bit of a departure from his recent output. it is billed as a comedy, which is weird. while there may be some amusing moments because of the character's awkwardness, it's far from a comedy. of course, this is the industry that labeled Nurse Jackie a comedy for its entire run, so i shouldn't be surprised. anyway, this is an interesting film. there are some pretty transcendental moments in it, but those feel accidental. it kind of doesn't really go anywhere, and edges right up to the precipice of saying something then backs off. i really wanted to like it more than i did, as all the ingredients were there for it to be great, but ultimately i felt the parts were greater than the whole.

Re: Recent movie/TV playlist [titles without stand-alone thread]

getting caught up again...

Ripley - limited series take on the same book on which The Talented Mr. Ripley was based. while i haven't read the book, i sincerely appreciated this extended time with the characters and deeper dive into everything. this show is entirely presented in black & white which adds to the fantastic mood of it. it's a much darker take on the material, with the dark moments presented quite frankly and straight, which only adds to their effectiveness. massive film noir vibes from this. very highly recommended checking this out. it's really good.

Fallout - while i didn't play the games, my son did and he loved them, so i was familiar with the concept. really enjoyed this show! it's got a good amount of humor mixed with very dark retro-futurism, and of course walton goggins absolutely rules here, as you might expect. left open for another season or more, which i'm sure Amazon will do. while it's very hyped right now, i'd say it's well-deserved. some fantastic over the top kills and gore, too. you should watch it!

Conan O'Brien Must Go - only four episodes, which is tragic. i've missed Conan since his show blow up then vanished, and this scratched that itch. very funny take on the travel show. if you enjoyed his travel skits, this is for you. this is that, but in an extended format and free from the constraints of trying to be network TV. some episodes hit better than others, but there isn't a dud among them. dramatic show intro voice over by christoph waltz is fantastic. jordan schlansky is featured in one of the episodes, if you enjoyed conan's relentless tormenting of him. recommended, hope they do more. it's ridiculous in the best way.

Late Night With The Devil - went in knowing nothing about this film, and glad i did so. i'm not going to ruin anything for anyone who hasn't been subjected to spoilers yet, but i will tell you that i enjoyed this. it went hard in parts, and while i wish they would have gone harder, i thought the construct of it was beautifully executed. it's a good idea, if not entirely original, executed well. definitely worth a watch.

Them - i swear we talked about this here, but i can't find anything. of course it's difficult to search that title, so here's an attempt to hit keywords for future reference: Them is an anthology horror series on Amazon created by Little Marvin. the first season was three years ago and entitled Them: Covenant. it was a bit preachy, but not overly so, and not enough that i turned it off. while it took place in the '50s, so there was some racism involved, it was way more horror than focused on the black/white thing, which is great. it featured a character referred to as "Tap Dance Man", who was a terrifying take on a minstrel show performer. the second season recently dropped, and it's entitled Them: The Scare. this season is two episodes shorter and takes place in early '90s LA, against the backdrop of the Rodney King incident. without spoilers, it does tie into season 1 eventually, which took me by surprise. i wasn't expecting that, which was great. i found it to be way more entertaining than even the first season. it's part police procedural, part pure horror, and it works fantastically. i loved it. i'd like to talk more about it, but anything i want to say would be a spoiler. very well done show.

Snowfall - i have no idea how this flew entirely under my radar. like, to the point where i had no idea it existed. my son told me it was great and i needed to watch it. i looked it up, saw the thumbnail, and assumed this was not for me. i then watched a trailer and decided the marketing department completely failed this show. there are at least three different stories taking place during the same time, all told from their own unique perspectives, and they do occasionally and eventually intersect in the best of ways. this is the story of how crack came into being, overtook first LA then the country, and how it ties into the Iran/Contra/Sandanista conflict. the main character of Franklin Saint isn't based on one person, but is likely an amalgamation of several people, like Freeway Ricky Ross, Michael Harry-O Harris, Brian Waterhead-Bo Bennet, and Thomas Tootie Reese. given those names, if you remember this era at all, you should already know how this six-season run likely ends. but along the way, holy fuck is this an amazing show. people compare it to Breaking Bad, which i get, except BB frequently had humor injected into it. this show is 100% fucking dark from the beginning. they have absolute balls to kill off semi-main characters all along the way and illustrate just how ruthless everyone involved was. if you also somehow missed this show, all six seasons are streaming on Hulu. you should absolutely check it out. again, while it's sort of based on real events, it's probably more accurate to say it's "inspired by", as there is a lot of fictionalization happening here, used to great dramatic purpose.