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Started watching Solos on Amazon Prime.  A seven-part anthology series introduced by Morgan Freeman that features a single actor in each 20-25 minute episode. (Has a little sci-fi thrown in.) First four episodes have been fantastic. Like watching a series of good one-man plays, commenting on the human conditions of pain, loss, fear, etc. Highly recommended.

@mneeley490 posted:

Watched the final season of Goliath. Went out with a bang! My wife commented on how great it would be to have a Bosch/Goliath crossover.

I wanted to love Goliath right from the start. And there is much to like about it; Billy Bob Thornton is excellent as is the entire cast. From the so hot Tania Raymonde (who I actually thought was really a man a first in Lost), to the fantastic Nina Arianda, to the equivalent of the similar Mandy relationship to Bosch in Bosch role of Billy McBride's daughter played by Diana Hopper everyone is great.

As an LA fan I love the locations particularly his home base around south of Santa Monica pier. Here the love of LA and its places are just as well done in Bosch.

However, there was just something too over the top when it came to the bad guys. Some of them, like William Hurt in the first season, were like the supervillains in a comic book movie. The bad guy in the second season had a evil act he liked to perform. Finally ending with a truly bizarre scene that you would only find in a twisted manga book or perhaps in torture porn movies like Saw or Hostel. It was with trepidation that I approached the third season and soon found indeed, that it was going toward some supercharged bad guy in a story that seemed to be partly Chinatown on steroids'.

So I did not make it to the fourth season. After reading my critique do you think I still should? There was a lot to like.

The Korean filmmakers certainly has a certain point of view and they often incorporate horror to make points about their society. Certainly the epitome of this movement was the great film Parasite of 2019 (the last time I was in a movie theatre.) Now there is equivalent of this riveting movie in the streaming series on Netflix, Squid Game. I'm not going to say anything about the plot except to say the less you know the better. Watch it soon because someone you know is anxious to spoil the plot-point for you.

@The Old Man posted:

The Korean filmmakers certainly has a certain point of view and they often incorporate horror to make points about their society. Certainly the epitome of this movement was the great film Parasite of 2019 (the last time I was in a movie theatre.) Now there is equivalent of this riveting movie in the streaming series on Netflix, Squid Game. I'm not going to say anything about the plot except to say the less you know the better. Watch it soon because someone you know is anxious to spoil the plot-point for you.

did you like the squid game?

I was hoping more for more twists and turns but ended up finding an enjoyable quick thrill ride through the series.

@g-man posted:

did you like the squid game?

I was hoping more for more twists and turns but ended up finding an enjoyable quick thrill ride through the series.

I've only seen the first 2 episodes. Perhaps it collapses under its own weight or cleverness? I'll see. I do like the M. C. Escher reference.

Third tonight. One thing you can say about the Koreans is the Koreans are very talented at blending naturalism with the most off the wall science fiction, horror and amped up crime stories.

Last edited by The Old Man
@Rothko posted:

HBO had a Sopranos marathon so I dvr'd them all and am watching the first season.  So good.  I'm not sure I'll be able to get through the entire series; I did think it went down after the second or third season when it was first out.

Interesting - you may have a different perspective with some time gone by. The only part of the whole series I didn’t care for was his dream sequence about being a traveling businessman.

@billhike posted:

Interesting - you may have a different perspective with some time gone by. The only part of the whole series I didn’t care for was his dream sequence about being a traveling businessman.

That traveling businessman stretch was rough.  I rewatched the first season and they were more caricatures than characters;  I think as the series went on the acting became more nuanced and natural, and the layers of the characters were peeled back.  I still have it ranked as my favorite television series.

@patespo1 posted:

That traveling businessman stretch was rough.  I rewatched the first season and they were more caricatures than characters;  I think as the series went on the acting became more nuanced and natural, and the layers of the characters were peeled back.  I still have it ranked as my favorite television series.

I loved when some of the crew went to Italy, and Paulie got clowned for being a classless mook. 🤣

@Rothko posted:

HBO had a Sopranos marathon so I dvr'd them all and am watching the first season.  So good.  I'm not sure I'll be able to get through the entire series; I did think it went down after the second or third season when it was first out.

I curated (that's the new word for "chose") a viewing recently. It decided not to watch the first season and I stopped when FBI agent started working on Adriana, just all too depressing.  They I jumped again, not watching the shooting or aftermath of Tony.

There certainly are a number of not good episodes and I am in the hating the finale camp (and did not watch it nor the last few episodes of the series), but I was again impressed with so much. Great writing, great ensemble acting and great production. It triggered the second golden age of television--of which we're still in--and it should be esteemed for it.

@winetarelli posted:

Going to have to watch “Squid Game”. If for no other reason than to know what everyone is talking about.

I can't say I "enjoy" it at this point but it is fascinating and impossible to stop watching after four episodes. Certainly some of the most disturbing scenes of any movie or TV show ever (No, I refuse to watch The Human Catapiller, and this is not in the simple mode of a sick thriller.) And yet, so far, each episode at some point redeems itself and soars to new heights. Do not watch it with someone sensitive.

Last edited by The Old Man
@irwin posted:

Been watching Squid game.  I find it disturbing.  I think we’re half way through, and I suppose we’ll watch the rest but I am not sure I understand why it is so popular.
I am also watching “Guilt” which is a masterpiece theater thing on pbs.   I like that a lot.  

it's a more visual commentary about today's society, individualism and getting ahead. 

"Hey as long as I survive"  or "hey there's someone who gets killed everyday" kind of crowd.  The ending of the series is directly finger pointed at today's societal ideals.

@irwin posted:

I get it.  But, and this won’t spoil anything, why the repetitive use of The Blue Danube waltz music and the Haydn trumpet concerto?  

the blue danube is kubrick influence.  think beethoven's 9th in clockwork orange for instance.

The other pieces of bravado classical pieces were thrown in  to show a more classy affair vs say, K pop music.  Only rich people listen to classical music =)

@g-man posted:

the blue danube is kubrick influence.  think beethoven's 9th in clockwork orange for instance.

The other pieces of bravado classical pieces were thrown in  to show a more classy affair vs say, K pop music.  Only rich people listen to classical music =)

I figured it was because (I think) one needs not pay royalties for the music.

@irwin posted:

I get it.  But, and this won’t spoil anything, why the repetitive use of The Blue Danube waltz music...

I saw its use as a tip of the hat to "2001:  A Space Odyssey."   Much of 2001 takes place in a sterile environment which eventually becomes a killing field. In the same way the Escher-like stairway in Squid Game (I believe the only place that piece is played) also turns nto a place soiled by blood.

As for the series itself there has been for some time a movement in Korean cinema that mixes horror with social commentary. The height of that was of course "Parasite." Now this streamer tends to go further. I do warn certain people away from it. I definitely find it superior in its intention to American torture porn.

@The Old Man posted:

I saw its use as a tip of the hat to "2001:  A Space Odyssey."   Much of 2001 takes place in a sterile environment which eventually becomes a killing field. In the same way the Escher-like stairway in Squid Game (I believe the only place that piece is played) also turns nto a place soiled by blood.



interesting that you went with 2001, i def see kubrick but i figured it was more clockwork orange.  Take a game that is known, then adulterate it, and for what?  for the enjoyment of someone else.

For anyone who remembers and liked Connections with James Burke, there is a similar show on Discovery+.  It's called Six Degrees with Mike Rowe. While not quite as polished as Connections, it still creates interest thru humor and re-enactments, and of course you have Mike Rowe, who probably rivals Tom Hanks for most-likeable personality in entertainment.

Last edited by mneeley490
@mneeley490 posted:

For anyone who remembers and liked Connections with James Burke, there is a similar show on Discovery+.  It's called Six Degrees with Mike Rowe. While not quite as polished as Connections, it still creates interest thru humor and re-enactments, and of course you have Mike Rowe, who probably rivals Tom Hanks for most-likeable personality in entertainment.

We used to have Connections viewing parties in the seventies.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been shocked at how good a series is.

I have never once in my life liked feel-good “chicken soup for the soul” dramatic comedies. At no point had it ever happened — in fact I actively detest them, both in concept and in execution.

“Ted Lasso” is absolutely brilliant. One of the best things I’ve seen on television in many years. It is joyful and necessary in these times, and anyone who hasn’t watched it would be doing himself an extraordinary service to.

@winetarelli posted:

It’s been a long time since I’ve been shocked at how good a series is.

I have never once in my life liked feel-good “chicken soup for the soul” dramatic comedies. At no point had it ever happened — in fact I actively detest them, both in concept and in execution.

“Ted Lasso” is absolutely brilliant. One of the best things I’ve seen on television in many years. It is joyful and necessary in these times, and anyone who hasn’t watched it would be doing himself an extraordinary service to.

I guess I have to figure out how to watch it.  I don't think I've used Apple TV before.

The thing is the 37+ minute episode, which started in season 9, is finally getting to Larry David. That, and the yearly release schedule he's maintained for a number of years now, is very grueling. He often is playing a caricature of his caricature of himself. Season's 11 second episode, Angel Muffin, is perhaps the worst episode in Curb's history. A big problem is the "everything Larry does is rude" schtick is often forced. I found it actually got tedious in this episode. However, there are always a few laughs and it's great to see places in Brentwood like the Brentwood Country Mart and other westside "landmarks."

Last edited by The Old Man
@The Old Man posted:

The thing is the 37+ minute episode, which started in season 9, is finally getting to Larry David. That, and the yearly release schedule he's maintained for a number of years now, is very grueling. He often is playing a caricature of his caricature of himself. Season's 11 second episode, Angel Muffin, is perhaps the worst episode in Curb's history. A big problem is the "everything Larry does is rude" schtick is often forced. I found it actually got tedious in this episode. However, there are always a few laughs and it's great to see places in Brentwood like the Brentwood Country Mart and other westside "landmarks."

I found several moments in the episode cringe inducing. But the last scene very funny.

@winetarelli posted:

This past Sunday’s “Curb” was a full return to form. It dragged on a bit too long in the last 40%, but it was also hilarious.

Well...yes, it was a great improvement. What Larry David has pulled over for 11 seasons is very difficult. For those in the know, it was Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House that stood in for the exterior of the synagogue. It's been used in many films including Blade Runner and the original House Haunted Hill.

I am torn on wheel of time having grown up a better part of my middle/high school and college years reading the epic story.

There are certainly moments that story feels like it's weaved together better, but the first episode is terrible.  It pays homage to every non sensical teenage drama angst required of any show that belongs on CW and none of the maturity in topics that robert jordan tried conveying

The backstories and alot of the characteristics of alot of the main characters have been shifted around with some characters having unnecessary storylines added and thrown away on a whim.

One of the main things missed with the start of the series is the world building.  Yes, the series is beautifully shot, unfortunately it doesnt really show case the grandness of things that Robert Jordan tried to portray.  One is that 2 rivers is suppose to be a town t hat is able to field 3000 archers later on in the story, yet the series makes 2 rivers look like a small tribe or village at best.  This wasn't meant to be the shire.

Few things that the series did definitely get right, the pace was definitely great.  The books spent alot of time world building visuals and feel.  Something that can be achieved much more quickly with visuals, and there are flashes of moments where the series nails it.  Movements of shadows, the motions behind weaving, all work well.

This series is exciting to watch if one goes in without the background of reading the books, it's a bit of a let down if you're looking for something that follows the storylines due to the fact one may have spent alot of time reading hte books and reflecting on how the characters developed through the 2 decades the books took to finish and for me to read.

I was always a science fiction nerd over fantasy. Though of course I'd read Lord of  the Rings, and think its film adaptation is great. It wasn't until both the books and TV series of Game of Thrones that I found myself interested in a fantasy. And of course there's something about Martin's books (at least the first three) and the series that transcends the genre.

"This series is exciting to watch if one goes in without the background of reading the books." Well...as a non-reader of Wheel of Time I watched the first episode with no real pre-conceived notions. I could not finish it. Just compare the first episode of GoT to WoT and there just isn't the depth of characters, and even story, in the latter. And certainly the actors can't compare.

However, my ex-wife, who is a mild fan of the genre, is continuing to watch. She also finished the first season of Foundation which I thought was dreadful. She did say it picks up in the final three episodes but I just can't bring myself to watch more of it.

Last edited by The Old Man
@The Old Man posted:

I was always a science fiction nerd over fantasy. Though of course I'd read Lord of  the Rings, and think its film adaptation is great. It wasn't until both the books and TV series of Game of Thrones that I found myself interested in a fantasy. And of course there's something about Martin's books (at least the first three) and the series that transcends the genre.

"This series is exciting to watch if one goes in without the background of reading the books." Well...as a non-reader of Wheel of Time I watched the first episode with no real pre-conceived notions. I could not finish it. Just compare the first episode of GoT to WoT and there just isn't the depth of characters, and even story, in the latter. And certainly the actors can't compare.

However, my ex-wife, who is a mild fan of the genre, is continuing to watch. She also finished the first season of Foundation which I thought was dreadful. She did say it picks up in the final three episodes but I just can't bring myself to watch more of it.

yea i agree, the first episode is absolutely terrible.  the 2nd episode is where it starts picking up a little better, 3 and 4, they at least start relaying the ground work for the WoT storyline.

The just rush too much through all the character development just to hit a few "talking points"

@The Old Man posted:

I'm afraid Curb Your Enthusiasm may have stayed too long at the fair. This week's episode was a mirthless affair except perhaps for a few chuckles near the end. At this point I'm only watching it for some views of my favorite places in LA and Brentwood in particular.

There have definitely been some LOL moments this season, and we won't stop watching, but it has been a little forced at times.  I think the addition of Vince Vaughn has been great. 

@Rothko posted:

Wrapped up Season 4 of Yellowstone and then watched 1883.

Now starting "Star Trek - Picard"

Waiting for the next season of Outlander to begin next month.

Are you watching Season 1 of Picard?  Two isn't out until 3/3.

We're 100% caught up on Yellowstone and 1883.

We're going back and watching/catching up on The Crown.  We're in Season 3 at this point.

Star Trek fans Disco Ep 8 went live last night.

Finally finished all six seasons of Line of Duty on Netflix and it's probably the best cop show I've seen.  Then we watched the one and only season of Bodyguard, created and written by the same guy who did Line of Duty.

If you like a slow burning storyline leading to sudden action, real surprises, and lots of twists and turns, but still within the realm of possibility, you gotta try Line of Duty.  Bodyguard is also good but Line of Duty is better.

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