Whatcha Been Watching?

This is the place where you can confab about all the other stuff besides videogames.
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Simonsloth
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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Simonsloth » April 17th, 2018, 10:56 pm

Episode 1 is fantastic! I recommended it to everyone after I saw it but the rest of the series couldn’t quite live up to the opening

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Alex79uk » April 18th, 2018, 1:33 pm

We are stuck in a bit of a TV rut at the moment and can't find anything to watch. We must have watched the first two or three episodes of a dozen series over the last few weeks, but either I'm not on board, or my girlfriend isn't enjoying it, or we both don't like it. Loads of stuff, Westworld, Sneaky Pete, Seven Seconds, the Netflix show about the cartel filmed half in Spanish (I've forgotten the name!) but just can't find anything. She's not really in to sci-fi or futuristic stuff so not even bothering with Legion or Mr Robot (both of which I may watch on my own). Going to try that new Western series on Netflix next (Godless) as that looks good. She claims she doesn't like westerns, but has enjoyed several movies in the genre recently. Hoping to find something that sticks soon!

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Simonsloth » April 18th, 2018, 10:06 pm

You’ve probably already seen it but have you tried a handmaids tale? My wife loved it. I know it was out ages ago but we only just got a chance to see it.

We are watching wolf creek on fox at the moment. It’s trashy but fun. Other recent recommendation would be black mirror new series.

I can’t even count the number of shows I have on the go which she gave up on (Fargo, westworld, legion, walking dead, twin peaks..).

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by macstat » April 20th, 2018, 7:47 pm

I realized I was behind on Archer so I decided to watch it from the beginning. Danger Zone !!

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Scrustle » April 22nd, 2018, 10:46 am

With all the talk lately of Travis Strikes Again, and Suda51 making a comeback, I started feeling like I should explore Grasshopper's back catalogue a bit more. So to start that off, I decided to take a look at Short Peace. It's actually a compilation of anime shorts from various notable people from the industry, as well as a small game from Suda/Grasshopper. The game didn't get a decent reception, so despite always being somewhat interested in it, I stayed away from it before. I've yet to actually try the game out though, but I did watch through all the anime shorts. They were pretty interesting. Each one is only about 10-15 minutes long, and they all make heavy use of CG, and actually ends up looking pretty good. Something anime usually falters with. Also, massive spoiler warning.

The first short, "Possessions," is about a travelling artisan in Japan. I can't remember the exact time period it's supposed to be, but he's dressed like one of the villagers from Princess Mononoke, so around that time period. He gets caught in a storm walking through a forest and seeks refuge in a small shrine he comes across that is full of discarded things from other travellers. After he falls asleep he starts getting haunted by all the spirits of the discarded rubbish in the shrine. Instead of being scared he just fixes everything. Repairing umbrellas, patching up blankets and such. The animation of these haunting scenes is pretty impressive stuff, and the character animation is surprisingly good, given what I was expecting from the CG. Very expressive main character. His design and the way he moved and emoted somewhat reminded me of the Street Fighter 4/5 characters actually. Even had the same kind of oversized hands and feet.

The next one, "Combustible," is set in Edo period Japan. The whole thing is presented to look like a woodblock print, with the whole short being letterboxed with the decorative style you see on those scrolls prints, and with many of the shots being presented in that semi-isometric perspective you often see with them too. Pretty amazing to look at. And while Possessions did a good job of working with the CG to create its style, this one does a good job of hiding it. Took me a while to work out that it even was CG. This one is about a young aristocratic woman and her relationship with her childhood sweetheart. Most of it focuses on a period leading up to her arranged marriage to some unknown suitor, which she can't bring herself to go through with. In her frustration and despair at having to go through all the ceremony of presenting herself to someone she has no interest in, she accidentally throws her fan in to a nearby lantern, which quickly catches fire. Instead of calling out for help, she decides she'd rather let the flamed grow than have to go through with what she's being forced in to. So the fire ends up spreading around the whole district, with the fire brigade attempting to stop it by knocking down buildings in the way. The woman's childhood friend also happens to be among the fire fighters. Something he always wanted to be as a child, even to the point where he intentionally got himself disowned by his family by getting tattoos so he could join. The short ends with him chasing after the woman on the rooftops and she is panicking and trying to escape the flamed, but eventually gets engulfed right in front of him. This one was also a feast for the eyes, but for very different reasons. Amazing presentation, and the flames were also really well done. A sad little tragedy too.

After that was "Gambo." Another one set in pre-industrial Japan. Set in a small village that is being tormented by some disgusting red demon. A wandering samurai comes in to town, looking for a giant white bear. The townspeople ask him instead to help them with this demon, who is kidnapping all the young women of the town. The only one left is a young girl who looks about 7 or 8ish. It follows her for a while as she goes exploring in the woods, despite being told not to, because of the demon. She comes across the white bear, which she names "Gambo," presumably because the scars on its face look like it spells that out. The bear then wanders off, stumbling across what looks like a fallen meteor. It walks inside, finding a missing woman from the village, who is half engulfed in this disgusting fleshy construct, that seems to be using her as some kind of incubation chamber for the spawn of the demon. She begs Gambo to kill her, to which the bear obliges. At this point the demon shows up, and the two fight in a brutal, visceral scene that is quite disturbing in a way. At one point it seems like the demon strangles Gambo to death, but the samurai and some of the villagers show up to help, as they were looking for the young girl, who is watching this scene from the sidelines. Eventually with the help of the humans, Gambo beats the demon, in a pretty gory way. This one had an interesting art style. It was somewhat trying to hide the fact that it was CG, but not like Combustion did. The non-human characters also had this kind of scratchy, sketched look to them, which actually ended up working really well. Help make those creatures feel like they were wild and dangerous. The short overall was somewhat disturbing and gross. In a kind of body horror sort of way. But also interesting since this bear was supposed to be some kind of heavenly being, and the demon is heavily implied to be an alien. It put these supposedly supernatural beings in a light that grounded them in a way that made them feel like real creatures, that kill and bleed like any other.

Lastly there was "A Farewell to Weapons." This one was set in a post-apocalyptic future Japan. It follows a small arms decommissioning squad as they explore bombed out cities looking for leftover warheads from some long ended war. During their exploration, they come across an autonomous mech tank that they try to destroy, but just relentlessly peruses them, even past the point where they think they've destroyed it and leave it to go underground to find more weapons to dispose of. Being trapped underground with the thing, and having run out of all the weapons to use against it from their supposedly successful previous attempt, they struggle and panic to fight back, they end up being killed one by one, either by the tank or falling debris, etc. Eventually only two are left, and they escapes the collapsing underground, thinking they have finally destroyed the tank in the process. Of course though, they have not. One of the pair is incapacitated, so the tank quickly deals with them. The other gets out of their malfunctioning exosuit in an attempt to escape. He finally realises that the tank is tracking them by their dog tags, so he throws it off, and the thing suddenly stops being aggressive, and starts playing robotic, automated voice clips at him. After completely vaporising his clothes and telling him that non-combatants shouldn't be in the area, it presents him with a pamphlet on why "this war is rational," before then walking off, leaving the naked man enraged, throwing rocks and rubble at the machine. This one I didn't like as much as the others, for most of it anyway. The art style didn't try to do anything fancy. Was pretty standard sci-fi anime style. The CG looked good, but it didn't do anything interesting with it. The characters were also pretty boring, and most of the short was just an extended sequence of the squad trying to blow up the tank. Apparently this one is based on a manga of the same name, so perhaps the characters are more fleshed out there. I liked the last scene though. An amusing juxtaposition that highlighted the irrationality of war, and the horror of autonomous weapons. Something kind of comedically poignant about the helpless naked man furiously, fruitlessly trying to lash out at this cold, thoughtless machine that just destroyed everything he lived for, and then tries to tell him that everything it did was justified from a removed and disconnected position. An obvious commentary on modern war, and an extrapolation of where it could be heading.

Overall it was a very interesting and enjoyable experience. Most of the shorts were great from a visual perspective, and despite being short, each had a compelling tale to tell. Combustible and Gambo were probably my favourites. They had more going on in them than Possessions, and were more consistently engaging and visually interesting than A Farewell to Weapons. Didn't expect to have progressively more to say about each one as I went through them, but hey, another post way longer than I was intending it to be. I guess it's always easier to say more about something that you can pick apart and criticise than something you just think is all around good. Anyway, I would encourage people to check Short Peace out for themselves, even if you don't bother with the game at all. Even if I've spoiled everything, these shorts have more appeal as being visual experiments I think, and aren't really about deep characters or twisting plot lines. It's also really cheap to pick up. In fact, the version with the game seems to be much less expensive, given that it was a bit of a flop. I picked it up new for just £5, while the collection of shorts without the game was like £25.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by duskvstweak » May 6th, 2018, 6:52 pm

Started Barry on HBO, but I've only watched the pilot because I need to finish The Tick on Amazon. I think the wife and I are going to start watching the Expanse, since I've given up on reading the series.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by duskvstweak » May 25th, 2018, 4:13 pm

Missed Deapool 2 last weekend, got to it last night. Enjoyed it much more than the first. Personally, I just found the sequel to be funnier.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by DomsBeard » May 25th, 2018, 8:38 pm

Watched Batman Ninja last week.

Bonkers but brilliant would recommend

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by duskvstweak » May 27th, 2018, 5:23 am

DomsBeard wrote:
May 25th, 2018, 8:38 pm
Watched Batman Ninja last week.

Bonkers but brilliant would recommend
I almost picked it up this week. Gotta watch it soon!

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by kintaris » May 29th, 2018, 3:02 pm

I just finished Evil Genius on Netflix. Another intriguing insight into criminality in small-town America. It's not as intense as How to Make a Murderer (and this one is only four 45-minute episodes), but it's a careful study of characters involved in a horrific bank robbery gone wrong. Worth a go as a palate cleanser between long-form TV series.

Otherwise I'm also watching and obviously adoring Aggretsuko. I very much identify with that little red panda.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by duskvstweak » May 29th, 2018, 3:34 pm

kintaris wrote:
May 29th, 2018, 3:02 pm
I just finished Evil Genius on Netflix. Another intriguing insight into criminality in small-town America. It's not as intense as How to Make a Murderer (and this one is only four 45-minute episodes), but it's a careful study of characters involved in a horrific bank robbery gone wrong. Worth a go as a palate cleanser between long-form TV series.

Otherwise I'm also watching and obviously adoring Aggretsuko. I very much identify with that little red panda.
My wife watched that too. She grew up in that area, but wasn't around when the whole collar-bomb heist happened. She only heard about it for the first time from an episode of the podcast Do Go On, but now she freaks out whenever we drive by that spot.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Todinho » May 31st, 2018, 9:55 pm

So I watched a few movies I've been meaning to see for awhile now:

Creed- One of the reasons I didnt is because I really like Rocky Balboa as the closing chapter of the Rocky saga but man Creed erased any doubts I had pretty quickly, its an amazing movie in itself and as a new chapter in the Rocky franchise it has everything you could ask for. I really liked both MbJ and Sly's performances alot, and the whole really is about how both Rockys and Adonis stories meet in that particular moment that's where the heart of the movie is and Stalonne as always has some amazing lines. The movie is also a remake of the first Rocky in many ways but I didnt mind that because I think it does it well and uses that as a foundation to reach higher instead of solely banking on that like Force Awakens, also the fights here are amazing its very well shot and you feel every punch and I dare you not to be jumping out of your seat by the end rooting for mbj. So yeah great movie and maybe my favorite rocky movie now.

Get Out- So this was a movie I didnt know what to expect I just heard alot of praise for it and saw the poster and that was pretty much it, I certainly didnt expect to be a horror movie and I feel like I should just leave it there because I feel if I say anything more it kinda ruins the movie, I'll say that if I knew more about this movie then I did going in I probably wouldnt have enjoyed it as much, I'll say I was kinda of scared that the social commentary here was gonna be really on the nose but I actually thought it was pretty clever, really tense movie highly recommend it as well.

10 Cloverfield lane- Another great movie, probably my favorite performance from John Goodman ever btw, super tense and I was with it the whole time until the ending where the movie completelly shit the bed and I mean the last 20 minutes of this movie are a trainwreck of David Cage levels, like indigo prophecy levels of a trainwreck and Im not exagerating. It's to the point that it almost ruins the whole movie for me. So after been taken aback by that god awfull ending I went and did some research and found out that this wasnt originally meant to be on the "Cloverfield cinematic universe" it was a standalone movie that they added on the clover field elements later, and guess what that was what those last 20 minutes were about! So thanks JJ and Bad Robot for ruining a great movie with your bullshit.

Avengers Infinity war- I think this the best movie a infinity war movie could've been, I just loved it from beginning to end the thing the impressed me the most was probably the consistency of the writing like despite the movie not being writen or directed by James Gunn the Guardians of the Galaxy feel exactly like they do in his movies and they ended up fitting really well here, same goes for Spider man and Doctor Strange(who is way better here then in his own movie even), also how character motivations carry on from movie to movie I mean who knew that Thor would have an amazing character arc that spans multiple movies and that culminates here with him being the best character out of all of the heroes.
The main star though and the protagonist of the movie however os Thanos and if you'd told me years ago that the giant purple alien overlord would've been the most compelling character of this movie I would've laughed in your face and yet he is, they did away with all that comic bullshit of him loving death which I always found really dumb and actually gave him a pretty understandable motivation that still plays to the fact that he is crazy and determined but its just so much better. This was his movie and I really appreciatte the guts the Russo brothers had in making this movie the way they did, there were kids crying in my theather so they did their job, cant say Im looking foward for the next movie because of I imagine things will play out but with this one they knocked it out the park.

Black Panther- A fun movie but since I watched it after Infinity war it certainly felt less impactfull, the visual design here is top notch though and I really like the vision of Afro futurism they presented here, Mbj does a great job here too as the villain but I think he isnt in the movie enough and I agree with Slavoj Zizek in saying that the real villain of the movie is Black Panther and it really is abit odd that the movie essentially culminates with an absolutist king with the aid of the CIA fighting against a guy that wants universal black liberation, within the context of the movie thats fine because Killmonger in evil but I think its an interesting creative choice in how the movie frames these "two sides" and I will say that Killmonger is way more in line with the ideals of the historical Black Panthers then the hero that uses their name.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by duskvstweak » June 1st, 2018, 2:49 am

Creed was fantastic, really did get my blood pumping, and I found 10 Cloverfield Lane to be a ticking time bomb of a thriller.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Alex79uk » June 1st, 2018, 7:46 am

I really enjoyed Creed, Get Out and 10 Cloverfield Lane, all of which I've seen in the last few months. Yeah I agree about the ending to Cloverfield Lane, it was a great, suspenseful thriller, then BOOM! Stupid ending.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by duskvstweak » June 6th, 2018, 6:04 pm

Just finished Barry on HBO. Thought that show was hilarious but it also got a bit too dark for my taste at the end. I'd love to find another show like it, but on the lighter side.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by duskvstweak » June 13th, 2018, 6:12 am

Started Westworld season 2. Close to being caught up. I'm enjoying this season much more than the slog that was the first. Much more focused, and a bit more sci-fi. Liking it.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Alex79uk » June 13th, 2018, 7:15 am

We finally started The Handmaid(ens?) Tale. It's great, but can't binge on it as it's too draining to watch more than one at a time!

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Whippledip » June 15th, 2018, 2:51 am

Alex79uk wrote:
April 18th, 2018, 1:33 pm
We are stuck in a bit of a TV rut at the moment and can't find anything to watch. We must have watched the first two or three episodes of a dozen series over the last few weeks, but either I'm not on board, or my girlfriend isn't enjoying it, or we both don't like it. Loads of stuff, Westworld, Sneaky Pete, Seven Seconds, the Netflix show about the cartel filmed half in Spanish (I've forgotten the name!) but just can't find anything. She's not really in to sci-fi or futuristic stuff so not even bothering with Legion or Mr Robot (both of which I may watch on my own). Going to try that new Western series on Netflix next (Godless) as that looks good. She claims she doesn't like westerns, but has enjoyed several movies in the genre recently. Hoping to find something that sticks soon!
In these situations I always recommend Justified, it gets it's dues I think, but it's never mentioned in the same breath as stuff like Breaking Bad or GoT but for me it's a really well written show with some of the best, wittest dialogue on TV that stands way above those shows. I would put seasons 2 and 3 up against any of the best seasons from any of the current critical darlings. It has some dark drama in there, but it's generally light hearted enough that it isn't a drain to watch over long binges. It has some growing pains in season 1, the first episode where I really thought, "Yes, this is a great show" was the ep with Alan Ruck as a dentist, episode 4 I think. It is a western, but it basically takes all the coolest and most fun parts of the genre and puts it in to a redneck drama series. Give it a chance.

Alternatively, you could watch Deadwood, very different, but everything you've heard about how good it is, is true. Also a show with incredible dialogue. I would actually recommend watching it with subtitles first time through. The script is so dense and layered that you kind of need a bit of time to actually parse what they said, and then to discern it's meaning and subtext. People have described it as Shakespearean for a reason. Also, lots of swearing. Once again, it is technically a western, but I certainly wouldn't lump it in the same group of movies and tv shows that are typical of the genre.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Todinho » June 18th, 2018, 3:29 am

Holy shit Westworld, I am literally shaking after watching the last episode I cant handle it, that might have been some of the best 1h of television I ever watched im speechless.

So I found this season as awhole to be abit of a mixed bag and I think there was some pretty shoddy writing in the season but are they picking things up as they get to the end. I think another problem is that season 1 to me is the final word on stories about AI gaining conscience and season 2 isnt really about that. If I had to classify I 'd say that season 1 is about the hosts and season 2 is about the park and everything going on there and that doesnt sound and isnt interesting, at first but now that they showed their hand Im really liking it and it was definetly worth sitting through some of the more iffy momments of this season to get here.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by duskvstweak » June 24th, 2018, 5:34 pm

I saw Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. It's got flaws and is the least "complete" of all the movies, but I had a great time. I could watch the first five minutes of that movie on loop for the rest of my life. Excited to see these movies go a little nuts. And yeah, if you didn't like the movie or flat-out hated it, I get it. But I'm willing to accept in my dino briefs, velociraptor socks and Jurassic Park t-shirt, that I might be a little bias.

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