Whatcha Been Watching?

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ThirdMan
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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by ThirdMan » October 1st, 2019, 8:31 pm

Stanshall wrote:
October 1st, 2019, 2:32 pm
I can't get that to work, unfortunately :(

Unless something has changed in the UK?
It's still restricted to the US and Canada.

I have it working in Ireland for the past four months without any problems.

If you have an Android phone I can show you how to set it up. You don't need a VPN subscription or anything like that. There's no cost other than the Criterion subscription itself. That will allow you to watch it on your Android device or web browser.

However if you try to hook-up a laptop to a TV via HDMI it won't work (that's the one bit of competent security they do have).

To get it working on my TV I had to buy an Amazon Fire TV stick and register it as an American device. It has to be the latest 4K model for some reason (there's some technical bollocks in the older versions that doesn't work with the Criterion app). The stick is pretty much useless for all other streaming services because virtually everything else is tightly geo-locked. So for me it's a dedicated Criterion device but, quite honestly, it's the best money I've spent all year.

The whole process is fairly convoluted and took me hours to figure out. But with detailed instructions, you should be up and running in under an hour.

The only downside to my method is that it involves rebooting your Android device temporarily to set it up as a US-based device, in order to download the Criterion app. So you'll want to back up your photos etc. first. Other than that it's child's play.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by ThirdMan » October 3rd, 2019, 11:24 am

Ready or Not (Cinema)

A very enjoyable comedy-horror. Our stock heroine marries into a family that aren't all that they appear to be, while she also has more spit and bite than her pleasant demeanour would indicate. So far, so ordinary, yet in its execution it's a cut above its genre peers. It looks great, for one thing. It has an attractive golden hue that really sets it apart from the type of scream fodder we're used to. The sub-text isn't very deep but it's certainly there and has something to say about bringing generational, old-money wealth to a swift and brutal end.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by ThirdMan » October 3rd, 2019, 12:01 pm

clippa wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 6:30 am
I didn't know that about Stallone and his facial paralysis.

Was it common knowledge and everyone was just ruthless in their bullying back then or did he keep it relatively quiet?
Probably not common knowledge back then. And it still isn't by the sounds of things. I first heard it mentioned when Copland was released in the late 90s. In that film Stallone's character plays a put-upon local sheriff with a hearing problem. It's one of his better performances. Some of the press coverage spoke about his character's vulnerability in the context of Stallone's own dissabilty.

Sly doesn't need my sympathy or support but I've always had a soft spot for him since then. If there's such a thing as the 'American Dream' then Stallone (a kid with an inexpressive face and speech difficulties who became Hollywood gold) is surely it.
clippa wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 6:30 am
wake in fright...was expecting a "no rooroos were harmed in the making of this film" at the end but it just says some bullshit like "professional kangaroo murderers were used during the kangaroo scenes, this animal charity gave us the thumbs up, so everything's alright".
Wake in Fright was directed by Ted Kotcheff who also directed First Blood, so you missed out on the perfect segue!

I still haven't watched it however I remember reading some articles about the kangaroo hunt when the film was released on Blu-ray as part of the Masters of Cinema collection.

According to Wikipedia Kotcheff is a professed vegetarian and has defended the hunting scenes.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by clippa » October 3rd, 2019, 1:02 pm

Yeah, I did a little digging after I posted that and saw the rambo connection, huge coincidence!

There's a quote on the wiki page where the cinematographer mentions those "professional licensed hunters"
According to cinematographer Brian West, "the hunters were getting really drunk and they started to miss, ... It was becoming this orgy of killing and we [the crew] were getting sick of it." Kangaroos hopped about helplessly with gun wounds and trailing intestines. Producer George Willoughby reportedly fainted after seeing a kangaroo "splattered in a particularly spectacular fashion". The crew orchestrated a power failure in order to end the hunt
That wiki page also linked to this article - http://dannypeary.blogspot.com/2012/10/ ... right.html
DP: The most controversial aspect of your film is the kangaroo hunt in the outback, when the drunk Grant and his drunk new loutish friends gun down numerous kangaroos that are caught in their headlights. I know you actually went out with a couple of licensed, professional hunters and filmed that.
TK: I don't believe in hunting, I don't understand the pleasure of shooting an animal. And I especially despise anyone who would kill an animal for a film. That would be unspeakable. I was bemused as to how I'd pull this off because it had to be the climax of the film. This weighed on me. Then an Australian on the crew said, "You know, Ted, they kill hundreds of kangaroos every night on the outback." I said, "They do? Why?" He said that big refrigerator trucks go out there and they send out six pairs of hunters in different directions with state trucks and they shoot a dozen kangaroos and bring them back. They skin off the pelts, which are valuable for those toy koala bears we give to our kids, and they hang the carcasses in the refrigerated trucks. I asked what they do with the carcasses. He told me that they send them to America for the pet food industry. I said, "You mean that America's cats and dogs eat kangaroo?" He said, "Yeah. It's a big business and they make a lot of money." I was appalled. To give myself a way out, I went to a couple of the hunters and asked if I could sit in the back of their truck and photograph them shooting. That's what I did. That's how I got all that bloody footage that is stomach-churning.
DP: Was Grant always supposed to enjoy the killing or did you decide that later?
TK: It was always there so Grant could discover he had the ability to shoot them without feeling badly about it. Why is it that when men get together they have to display virility to each other? I'm macho! I've always thought that's one of the worst characteristics of men!
DP: That's very much what your film is about.
TK: Exactly. I've never understood that about men.
You could cut that scene or redo it and the film wouldn't be any worse for it. The fact that I thought it looked staged and it wasn't, why not just stage it? It's not a documentary.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by ThirdMan » October 3rd, 2019, 1:21 pm

clippa wrote:
October 3rd, 2019, 1:02 pm
why not just stage it? It's not a documentary.
TK: men... have to display virility to each other...
Maybe it's a simple as that. He wouldn't be the first director to let an ugly side of himself slip onto the screen.

I'm reminded of something Mark Kermode occasionally says about directors: they may direct the films but that doesn't mean they always know what they're about.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by clippa » October 3rd, 2019, 4:19 pm

Hehe, yeah, I think you might be right.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by ThirdMan » October 5th, 2019, 9:06 pm

Joker (Cinema)

A few thoughts.

In my opinion it's neither a masterpiece nor a call to arms for the world's disaffected loners. Ignore both the hype and the review-bombing, basically. As ever, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It's a strong piece of work with a dark and cynical underbelly.

I found the overt references to Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy quite distracting. Bringing to mind other, better, films is a dangerous game. The presence of De Niro only adds to that. I read elsewhere that director Todd Phillip's has misunderstood Scorsese's early work, that those films focus on misanthropes whereas Joker is an entirely misanthropic film. It's a fine distinction but one that I think I understand. I just don't have a problem with it.

It's Pheonix's film. He's outstanding. His is a very different type of Joker. Ledger's flick-knife prankster brought some real-world psychopathy to the character but Phoenix digs even deeper and finds a damaged and freefalling outsider. Gone is the highly-organised criminal masquerading as an agent of chaos. There are no hired-goons and forward planning here. This Joker is making it up as he goes. Volatile, unpredictable, a balloon bouncing on a needle.

Some of the more awkward (and enjoyable) moments are when he's viewed almost as an aspirational character. The low-angle shots, slow-motion dance sequences and pop soundtrack. He's 'fun', as the Joker is and should be, but it feels odd coming right after the scenes of carnage. I suspect that it's these moments of inner glory that have rubbed people up the wrong way.

Yet the sight of the Joker letting loose is what I wanted. There was no conceptual or ideological hurdle that I needed to clear beforehand. I simply enjoyed watching the white paint turning red.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by ThirdMan » October 6th, 2019, 3:02 pm

Le Havre (Criterion Channel)

This is my second Aki Kaurismäki film and once again it's another humane look at immigration in a European city. The perfect antidote to the xenophobic, divisive nonsense that's now part of the ambient noise of daily life.

Both films so far have been delightfully odd. Deadpan humour, washed-out images, a greenish hue across most environments and very precise compositions during close-ups. Even the Criterion thumbnails feature the same bold yellow font.

I guess this is his style right across his work. It's wonderful to see an auteur being so consistent and determined in his choices. It reminds me of Wes Anderson. Each new film feels familiar and welcoming even though the plots and themes are quite different.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by ThirdMan » October 8th, 2019, 6:54 am

I spent yesterday afternoon in the cinema for second viewings of Ad Astra and Joker.

Ad Astra was stronger this time around. It's still a bit confused about what it wants to be, especially in that half-arsed lunar piracy scene. The narration still feels unnecessary but works better when you're not second-guessing the direction the film is about to take. Knowing that the film will remain low-key allowed me to settle into its mood (again, that stupid action scene is the problem). I also saw it on a massive screen and that definitely helped. Images of space always feel very intimate to me and that increased sense of scale really helped with what is, in essence, a very personal film. It feels as if the opposite should be true but there really is something about the vastness of space that makes you look inward. The final exchange between the two characters hits its central theme a little too hard on the nose, and yet I found myself thinking back on my dad and wiping away a few tears. So it got me! Really happy I gave this a second chance.

Joker isn't one of my '5 star' films of the year but I'll probably see it a third time in the cinema before its run ends. It's just one of those films. The soundtrack was the standout element this time. I'm not sure what type of string instrument it is and I won't break the spell by looking it up. My feelings for a film haven't been this tied up with its soundtrack since Interstellar.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by DomsBeard » October 8th, 2019, 1:33 pm

I saw Joker over the weekend and I did enjoy it, however as a huge DC fan I didn't feel like this was a DC film or that this iteration of the Joker would fit in any kind of Batman universe we have had before. Phoenix is superb and deserves every allocalade going. I am wondering how my enjoyment of the film is down to never seeing Taxi Driver or King Of Comedy (I will check them out now though) as this has been referenced in many peoples thoughts,

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by ThirdMan » October 8th, 2019, 4:16 pm

DomsBeard wrote:
October 8th, 2019, 1:33 pm
I saw Joker over the weekend and I did enjoy it, however as a huge DC fan I didn't feel like this was a DC film or that this iteration of the Joker would fit in any kind of Batman universe we have had before. Phoenix is superb and deserves every allocalade going. I am wondering how my enjoyment of the film is down to never seeing Taxi Driver or King Of Comedy (I will check them out now though) as this has been referenced in many peoples thoughts,
I read an article yesterday about how the director got Phoenix on board by telling him that they're gonna smuggle a regular movie through the studio system by dressing it up as a comic book film. I'm not sure if there's any truth to that but it makes sense.

I'm not a huge DC fan but I've no problem with them shaking things up and creating this type of one-shot film. They've had some success with their Elseworld stories in the past and I just think of Joker along those lines. The key is to have the balls to leave it alone and not try to milk it or shoehorn it into a later film.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by DomsBeard » October 8th, 2019, 6:41 pm

Yeah I agree I also feel the film didnt need
Spoiler: show
to show the death of the Waynes again

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by ThirdMan » October 8th, 2019, 6:52 pm

DomsBeard wrote:
October 8th, 2019, 6:41 pm
Yeah I agree I also feel the film didnt need
Spoiler: show
to show the death of the Waynes again
Absolutely.
Spoiler: show
Zorro, the alleyway, the pearls. How many times have we seen it now? I cringed when they walked out of the theatre because I knew it was coming. Why, in a film that's playing fast and loose with the Gothan mythos, did they feel the need to further enshrine this one piece of lore? Silly.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Alex79uk » October 10th, 2019, 7:37 pm

Simonsloth wrote:
September 26th, 2019, 7:29 pm
Alex79uk wrote:
September 26th, 2019, 7:19 pm
Haha same here, my girlfriend wanted to watch it but has become less enthralled as the conspiracy stuff becomes more apparent, she just likes a straightforward police show, but I'm really loving the direction it's gone. Don't really remember seeing anything quite like this coming out of the UK before, not outside of Black Mirror anyway, which I guess is the closest I can come to finding a comparison, and it's a tenuous link at best.
Maybe it’s deliberate. Target the more persuasive demographic then lasso the rest of the sofa for the ride before the crowd pleasing conclusion. To be honest I hope that the end isn’t predictable and boring although I suspect it will be.

It’s line of duty with a sprinkle of Dan Brown. I hope they aren’t afraid to run down that path and be a bit different. It’s BBC so I guess they’ll play it safe.
So what did you think of the final couple of episodes? I thought it ended OK, but couldn't help feeling a little disappointed with how it all turned out. Left well open for another season though, I guess. There was a lot that never really got answered.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by clippa » October 11th, 2019, 7:20 am

El Camino is out in the wild



Might watch it tonight if I get the chance.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by clippa » October 11th, 2019, 6:19 pm

Mister America is out today too.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by clippa » October 12th, 2019, 8:16 am

El Camino was good, but it expects you to have watched at least the end of breaking bad recently. So it might be worth refreshing yourself. I can't remember what I had for breakfast. You don't need to remember, but I got the impression that it would have helped :lol:

Mister America was a dud, I'm afraid.
If you're not invested in on cinema, it'd be a total waste of your time.
Obviously they don't have the budget to cover the electric sun festival but a half vfa documentary and half rehearsal and back stage footage of dekkar/dkr would have been a perfect mix I think.
An unprecedented Zero bagger.

Still, gives me an excuse to post this.


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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Alex79uk » October 12th, 2019, 9:07 am

I'm desperately trying to find the Nick Cave film, One More Time With Feeling somewhere to stream. Netflix, Prime Video, Sky On Demand, nowhere has it! I think I'm going to have to actually pony up some cash :(

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by clippa » October 12th, 2019, 12:44 pm

I ruined Nick Cave for myself pretending he was singing about "sweet, hot cum" here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8L2qsMJX20&t=1m0s

After that I couldn't take him seriously any more.

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Re: Whatcha Been Watching?

Post by Alex79uk » October 12th, 2019, 3:42 pm

clippa wrote:
October 12th, 2019, 12:44 pm
I ruined Nick Cave for myself pretending he was singing about "sweet, hot cum" here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8L2qsMJX20&t=1m0s

After that I couldn't take him seriously any more.
This is... fucking brilliant. Unruin yourself. Nick is Jesus. (because Trent is already God).


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