Whatcha Been Watching?

This is the place where you can confab about all the other stuff besides videogames.
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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Alex79uk » August 1st, 2019, 6:31 pm

Oh yeah no doubt, I really enjoyed the first few episodes. American Gods is another she abandoned after one episode that I really want to watch. Started it again last night on my own but fell asleep watching it >_< I love the book though so really want to get it watched. The comic adaption is really good, too.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Simonsloth » August 7th, 2019, 9:59 am

Just finished watching The Boys last night and I can honestly say I loved it and cannot wait for season 2. It’s only 8 episodes so not a massive investment and I would thoroughly recommend it.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Alex79uk » August 7th, 2019, 11:19 am

Just watched The Long Night episode of GoT. Holy moly, everything is surely an anticlimax after that?

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by clippa » August 7th, 2019, 12:19 pm

Just got done watching chernobyl the other night. Not a lot to say about it other than it's worth a watch, though perhaps not if you're trying to quit smoking.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by ThirdMan » August 8th, 2019, 10:17 am

Some Asian cinema courtesy of the Criterion Channel.

Hirokazu Koreeda's Still Walking which, despite the achievement of his most recent release, Shoplifters, is now my favorite of his works. There's a lovely little 'making of' feature included in the Criterion release that shows the director very carefully and deliberately crafting his scenes, a hands-on approach that belies the naturalness of his end product.

Lee Chang-Dongs's Secret Sunshine. This was my first Chang-Dong and what an introduction it was. Jeon Do-yeon's central performance is astonishing and worthy of her Cannes success. However it's notable that in the accompanying interview Chang-Dong singles out Song Kang-ho's (The Host) performance. He says that the subtlety of Kang-ho's dialect and delivery will be lost on audiences outside of South Korea. It's a particular type of dialect and apparently Kang-ho does it better than anyone else.

Edward Yang's Yi Yi. This is why I love foreign language film! I know nothing about Taiwan. I'd no idea it was so Westernised until watching this 3-hour epic. A window into a culture and city that I would otherwise never have. Yang's Taipei Story and A Brighter Summer Day are also on the Criterion Channel so they're next on my list. I'm not sure how it's taken me until now to approach his work.

Hu Wei's Butter Lamp, his 2013 Oscar nominated short filmed in Tibet. A lovely 'fictionalised documentary' with a charming 'cast' and a breathtaking final shot.

Akira Kurosawa's High and Low. Step aside Ikiru and Seven Samurai, I now have a new favourite Kurosawa and it's the most unlikeliest of things - a police procedural! Except it's so much more than that. Toshiro Mifune is his usual self - no subtlety, all presence. This is the clearest example yet of what some see as a criticism of Kurosawa, that he was a 'Western' director making films for foreign consumption. Perhaps, but he was bloody good at it.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by KSubzero1000 » August 8th, 2019, 10:36 am

High and Low is definitely one of Kurosawa's best. Always nice to hear people discover this one. Absolute gem.

Haven't seen any of the others - will investigate further on occasion. :)

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by duskvstweak » August 8th, 2019, 1:40 pm

I remember really liking Stray Dog as well. I might be wrong in thinking that was Mifune's first time teaming up with Takashi Shimura? I know I'd like the Criterion Collection to give it the blur-ay treatment.
In regards to Mifune, I still haven't seen Red Beard or the Samurai Trilogy. I think I enjoyed the documentary, Mifune: The Last Samurai, though it was a bit short for my tastes.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by duskvstweak » August 8th, 2019, 1:45 pm

ThirdMan wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 10:17 am
Some Asian cinema courtesy of the Criterion Channel.
I didn't know this was a thing. I might have to check out that free trial...

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by ThirdMan » August 8th, 2019, 2:14 pm

My recent Orson Welles binge:

The Lady From Shanghai. As an Irishman I really ought to balk at the idea of re-watching Welles' infamous top o' the mornin' accent. Yet this is a classic noir that I keep coming back to despite the studio-tinkering that compromised Welles' vision for Sherwood King's pulp novel If I Die Before I Wake. Peter Bogdanovich's commentary highlights the many ways in which the film was taken from Welles' grip, not least in the sexy, summertime close-up of Welles' ex-wife Rita Hayworth, which is completely at odds with the tone of the piece. The final scenes include Welles' angular, hand-painted sets, drawing deep from German expressionism. A delight.

Othello. 'Welles in blackface' and yet he seems to have gotten away with it. Welles' interpretation of Othello doesn't focus on the Moor's ethnicity; his version could have easily been played by anyone. Plus Welles was colourblind when it came to staging Shakespeare. His 'Voodoo Macbeth', produced in Harlem with a troop of black actors, reinvented the Bard for the American stage and he would often wear dark make-up to fill-in for his regular actors. The make-up was simply a tool to help get the show on the road rather than a form of ridicule or racial posturing. This is a fine screen adaptation but one that could have sat awkwardly on Welles' CV, however his inherent progressiveness means that, unlike Sir Laurence Olivier, he managed to dodge a retrospective bullet.

Filming Othello. Welles' own documentary about the making of his film. The best moments are those of the increasingly rotund Welles free associating about the creative process. Another highlight is his dinner-table discussion with his friends and Othello collaborators, Hilton Edwards and Micheál Mac Liammóir, founders of Dublin's Gate Theatre where Welles first tread the boards as a paid professional. The sight of these three men, drinking deep from bottles of wine and living the art life, filled me with warmth.

Return to Glennascaul: A Story That is Told in Dublin. Directed by Hilton Edwards during one of the many breaks in the filming of Othello, this short ghost-story is featured as a bonus supplement on Criterion's Bluray release. It's an unremarkable production however the sight of Orson Welles hitchhiking around the outskirts of Dublin, in the early hours of the morning, means I at last have something in common with the great man.

Citizen Kane. The greatest movie ever made, except it isn't. It isn't even Welles' greatest. Yeah, I said it, so whatchagonnadoaboutit! Roger Ebert, in his excellent audio commentary, correctly describes Kane as one of the first great special-effects pictures. In virtually every shot there's visual tricks and techniques being employed. It's notable that Welles gave cinematographer Greg Toland equal billing on the credits screen and spent the rest of his life lavishing worthy praise on the man he called the best in the business. Toland was indeed a master of his art and this is certainly his masterpiece.

Macbeth. I had a difficult time with this. It's one of Welles' low-budget passion projects that's simply too damn indie for its own good. It feels claustrophobic, and not in a good way as befits the source material. The potential is evident but the budget was too low and the conditions too restrictive. Welles had to beg, borrow and steal to make this picture and it simply wasn't a success. His decision to record the dialogue separately, his preferred style during his European exile, is at its most unsuccessful here.

The Magnificent Ambersons. Welles' second feature film, his most severely compromised and my own personal favourite. The dinner-table discussion about the advent of the automobile and what it might mean for humanity is a beautifully measured, dignified scene. I can only dream of the film this might have been if RKO hadn't focus-tested it into oblivion and threw the unwanted celluloid into the sea. Yes, really. The re-shot final scene, created without Welles' involvement or input, is sentimental crap but it still cannot drown-out the magnificence of the Ambersons.

The Immortal Story. This, Welles' first colour film, was a 'made-for-TV-movie' that any other director would kill for. It's one of Welles' most under-seen successes. It's such a stunning, sensual piece of work with Erik Satie's 'Gnossiennes No. 3' as its main theme. It's a silk blanket of a movie about the struggle of bringing a tall tale to life. It's easy to see why it captured the imagination of Welles, the Baron Munchausen of Hollywood.

The Stranger. An accomplished production that Welles created to keep food on the table (no small task in the Welles household) and prove to himself that he "could still shout cut". Routine, but not insignificant. Welles as a Nazi. Edward G. Robinson as a Nazi hunter. Hard stares are exchanged, cigars are smoked, shots are fired. It's noir, baby.

F for Fake. Welles explores magic, trickery, illusion and outright lies. This could have been created at the outset of his career and served as a personal manifesto. A fictional documentary, smoke and mirrors, a movie about movies. The dapper but dangerously obese Welles on-screen with his smoking-hot, real-life Croatian love-goddess, Oja Kodar. What a life you lived you old bastard. (If any of that sounds sexist, then watch the movie and you'll understand that that's exactly the point).

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by ThirdMan » August 8th, 2019, 2:49 pm

duskvstweak wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 1:40 pm
I remember really liking Stray Dog as well. I might be wrong in thinking that was Mifune's first time teaming up with Takashi Shimura? I know I'd like the Criterion Collection to give it the blur-ay treatment.
In regards to Mifune, I still haven't seen Red Beard or the Samurai Trilogy. I think I enjoyed the documentary, Mifune: The Last Samurai, though it was a bit short for my tastes.
I've quite a few more Kurosawa's to watch. I haven't seen Red Beard yet either, or Stray Dog in fact. I don't think I've seen any of Mifune's work away from Kurosawa although the Samurai Trilogy is on the Criterion Channel so hopefully soon.
duskvstweak wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 1:45 pm
I didn't know this was a thing. I might have to check out that free trial...
Make the most of it! It's not available in Ireland so I had to jump though a number of hoops to get it working. The Android and Fire TV apps only show a fraction of the content. Think of them as a highlights reel. To access the A-Z you'll have to use a web browser and from there you can search by director, country, language and genre and add them to your watchlist.

I think the Fire TV has to be the most recent model. There's been a number of complaints about that. I'm not sure what other formats it's available on.

The majority of content on there is from either Criterion or their Eclipse imprint. If they published it in HD, that's what you'll get. The quality is fine for the price and especially so considering the library you're drawing from.

They also license a lot of movies from other right's holders.

So far about 20-30 movies leave the service each month, although most of these are the third-party stuff. There's also 30-40 added each month.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by duskvstweak » August 8th, 2019, 3:56 pm

Okay, so I've seen...

Sanshiro Sugata
The Most Beautiful
Sanshiro Sugata Part II
The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail
One Wonderful Sunday
Drunken Angel (I was wrong. This was Mifune and Takashi Shimura first time together in a Kurosawa film)
Stray Dog
Scandal
Rashomon
Seven Samurai
Throne of Blood
The Hidden Fortress
The Bad Sleep Well
Yojimbo
Kagemusha
Ran

I still have half of his films to watch. The man was non-stop.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by duskvstweak » August 9th, 2019, 1:03 am

ThirdMan wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 2:49 pm
duskvstweak wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 1:40 pm
I remember really liking Stray Dog as well. I might be wrong in thinking that was Mifune's first time teaming up with Takashi Shimura? I know I'd like the Criterion Collection to give it the blur-ay treatment.
In regards to Mifune, I still haven't seen Red Beard or the Samurai Trilogy. I think I enjoyed the documentary, Mifune: The Last Samurai, though it was a bit short for my tastes.
I've quite a few more Kurosawa's to watch. I haven't seen Red Beard yet either, or Stray Dog in fact. I don't think I've seen any of Mifune's work away from Kurosawa although the Samurai Trilogy is on the Criterion Channel so hopefully soon.
duskvstweak wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 1:45 pm
I didn't know this was a thing. I might have to check out that free trial...
Make the most of it! It's not available in Ireland so I had to jump though a number of hoops to get it working. The Android and Fire TV apps only show a fraction of the content. Think of them as a highlights reel. To access the A-Z you'll have to use a web browser and from there you can search by director, country, language and genre and add them to your watchlist.

I think the Fire TV has to be the most recent model. There's been a number of complaints about that. I'm not sure what other formats it's available on.

The majority of content on there is from either Criterion or their Eclipse imprint. If they published it in HD, that's what you'll get. The quality is fine for the price and especially so considering the library you're drawing from.

They also license a lot of movies from other right's holders.

So far about 20-30 movies leave the service each month, although most of these are the third-party stuff. There's also 30-40 added each month.
I'm glad you brought this to the forum! I guess this is what Film Struck became?
It's available on my Roku and it's looks real nice. In terms of Kurosawa, it has most of his films and in production order no less. I'm definitely going to get the free trial and dig through it all. Thanks for mentioning it!

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by ThirdMan » August 9th, 2019, 8:41 am

duskvstweak wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 3:56 pm
Okay, so I've seen...

Sanshiro Sugata
The Most Beautiful
Sanshiro Sugata Part II
The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail
One Wonderful Sunday
Drunken Angel (I was wrong. This was Mifune and Takashi Shimura first time together in a Kurosawa film)
Stray Dog
Scandal
Rashomon
Seven Samurai
Throne of Blood
The Hidden Fortress
The Bad Sleep Well
Yojimbo
Kagemusha
Ran

I still have half of his films to watch. The man was non-stop.
You're well ahead of me! I've only ticked off half of those. So that means I have (gulp!) 75% of his filmography remaining.

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ThirdMan
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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by ThirdMan » August 9th, 2019, 8:43 am

duskvstweak wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 1:03 am
I'm glad you brought this to the forum! I guess this is what Film Struck became? It's available on my Roku and it's looks real nice. In terms of Kurosawa, it has most of his films and in production order no less. I'm definitely going to get the free trial and dig through it all. Thanks for mentioning it!
My pleasure. Yeah Filmstruck when bust so Criterion pulled away and set-up shop themselves.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by clippa » August 11th, 2019, 4:03 pm



Such a shame what happened to Chris Morris. I don't think I could sit through that even out of morbid curiosity.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Alex79uk » August 12th, 2019, 5:01 am

Hmm yeah it doesn't look too great. A bit of a falldown from stuff like Jam and Brass Eye. I think the trouble is with his classic stuff, it's most of it has come true, so where does he go now? It's scary how prophetic stuff like Brass Eye and The Day Today really were.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by duskvstweak » August 12th, 2019, 7:12 pm

I guess I've been in a 90s mood? The wife and I watched the Fugitive, the Firm and Being John Malkovich. I hadn't seen any of them before and they're all pretty good, aren't they?

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Alex79uk » August 12th, 2019, 7:35 pm

We're watching season three of The Handmaids Tale. I really enjoyed the first and second seasons, despite (because of?) the relentless, oppressive bleakness, but season three is sooooooooo slooooooow....!

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by clippa » August 18th, 2019, 8:29 pm

One Cut of The Dead
Image

Really good! Recommend you go in blind. It's great fun.
Spoiler: show
Gah! Thought this was a horror movie, it was a feelgood family comedy in disguise!
Dirty rotters. They got me, smiling with dribbly eyes by the end. I'll have to watch something really gory to cleanse my palate now.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by clippa » August 19th, 2019, 1:40 am

Incident In a Ghost Land
Image

Man, this was so cool! A gloriously horrible fairytale.
I think the line early on "Ugh, this looks like Rob Zombie's house" is a huge neon signpost that most of the critics seem to be missing.
Takes your average American, hollow horror film, dials up some of the dodgier aspects until they're uncomfortably visceral, lampoons some of the more cliched tropes, and whips it all up into a great big colourful bowl of razer blade candyfloss.

After seeing "The Tall Man" I thought he must have just got lucky with Martyrs, but he's back on form here. It starts off a bit rocky but it's worth sticking with.
Ignore the score, it be braw.

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