[generic] What have you viewed recently?

We watched the first two episodes of X-Men '97 yesterday evening, a series which carries on from the X-Men animated series of the 1990s. The first episode literally picks up from where the original series left off and carries on with the themes of Mutant and Human integration and those who oppose it. Back in the 1990s, this theme was an analogy for racism and "otherness" that even to this day are still remains a major issue, hence why the series continues to include it. And yes, the series is set in an alternate 1990s, with a slight Cyberpunk asthetic. The new series is simply packed with nostalgia for the original animated series, from the music and opening credits, and is crammed full of MCU Easter Eggs. We absolutely loved it.

Interesting bits in the spoiler tag.

In the wake of Professor X's "death", Magneto is Charles' sole heir and takes charge of the X-Men and appears to be a reformed character.
Both Morph and Bishop are upgraded to the main X-Men roster in this new series.
Morph is non-binary, which makes sense since they're a shapeshifter.
There's still friction between members of the team.
Storm looses her mutant powers and Beast believes it's permanent. I do hope Storm comes back into the series and we can explore her loss of power and how she might regain it.
The Friend's of Humanity (FOH) act as antagonists for these opening episodes.
Gambit charging Wolverine's claws to take down a new Master Mould was kind of cool, but I thought anything he charged exploded?
The villain X-Cutioner makes his debut.
We find out that Rogue and Magneto were romantically involved in the past.
And that episode two cliff-hanger with a second Jean Grey turning up at the door plays into the comics, with the story about a clone of Jean. I won't say anymore.
 
I watched Leave the World Behind (Netflix) last night. I’m still not sure what I make of it.

It’s a slow moving and slightly weird apocalyptic tale of a family on holiday outside of New York when a massive cyberattack happens, and then two strangers arrive. I was nearly frustrated with where it ended except for it wrapped up the story needs of the youngest family member so well. It left me with questions and hope.

It looks great, but sometimes I felt the dialogue was more like a play where someone was exploring a concept, in this case who do you trust and help. It didn’t quite feel natural.
 
The Gentlemen
Netflix

I was disappointed in the series and we abandoned it after episode 4. I enjoy Ritchie's movies which are archly faux but have rhythm, punch and a satisfying structure that progresses from setup to setup. This was flabby and wasted good actors acting well on a poor script and a flailing collection of unconnected sub plots.

Dune
Part Two

Oh my god. 11, I tell you, 11.
We rewatched Part One on Saturday night and then watched Part Two at IMAX on Sunday night.
The changes from the novel were just right, Timothee Chalumet was on top form, Austin Butler was excellent and was the whole cast. The cinematography was to die for, and the graphic and character design with it's nods to so many people, Möbius and Jodorovsky of note, was just wonderful.
The second half of the book is less focused, not least because of Paul's acculturation and then his revelations and doubts. The film is the same, it drags a little at the midpoint, but it's necessary to cover the ground and it does it well and pays off.
I can't decide if I want a third movie. I may read Dune Messiah again to decide.
 
Just finished: Avatar: The Last Airbender (Netflix live action version)
I've only seen odd snippets of the animation, so no particular attachment to it, but I do know what the characters are supposed to look like and they absolutely nailed the casting for this one. Prince Zuko is the stand-out for me, although it's hard to ignore Daniel Dae Kim having the time of his life as Fire Lord Ozai. And the special effects are fantastic, really making the whole magic/martial arts combo look cool. I'm looking forward to series 2.

Just started: Judge Dee's Mystery (new Netflix version)
Despite being a detective novel enthusiast, I'd somehow never heard of Di Renjie. Two episodes in, I'm getting what I want from a detective show - lots of Judge Di investigating crime scenes, finding clues and making deductions - plus a bit of martial arts and wirework from his fighter and rogue friends. I have a suspicion this will form the basis for the Tian Xia Pathfinder campaign my husband wants to run.
 
Watching The Gentleman Netflix series, Guy Ritchie's TV spin off from his film of a few years back. Kaya Scodalerio's on good form as dope queen Suzy Glass but otherwise it's business as usual in Ritchie-land i.e a right royal barrel of cockney monkeys. Enjoyable enough on that level I suppose.
 
Last edited:
The Flash (NOW TV)
Quite simply the worst film I have ever seen. I went on a 15 minute rant yesterday to the kids detailing how utterly shite it is, from opening scene to mid-credits nonsense. It looks terrible, acts terrible and makes very little sense, which is remarkable considering how ubiquitous Flashpoint is to DC mythology. Utter bollocks. And that's offensive to bollocks.

Wonka (DVD!)
Now, this is a different kettle of bananas. What an absolutely charming, engaging and funny homage to Wilder's film this is. Timotee Chamalamadingdong is great, the gang of faces from UK Lovey Central Casting are great. Hugh Grant is amazing as the Umpalumpa. It brill. Love it.

The Water Margin (Youtube)
I watched through the series on a dodgy series with possibly Malaysian subtitles and in the latter stages, backed with a howling wind soundtrack that's very weird. However, its the Water Margin and still pretty enthralling. Watching it back-to-back makes it hang together as a storyline better and you get to see how much emphasis there are on characters I wouldn't have thought have that many appearances but are central (the Magus, Kung Sun Sheng, is a proper deus ex machina) and some beloved ones who aren't in it much (Lu Ta, the Flower Priest). We also noticed the lack of female heroes beyong Hu San-Niang, and the propensity of female characters to kill themselves! Or die, in the case of Yen Li. Still great and still like catnip to my gaming senses!
 
Avatar: The Last Airbender (Netflix live-action adaptation)
We've just finished watching this. It was rather good. Great casting, looked beautiful too. It has less of the humour from the cartoon, and some fun storylines were missing or reduced, but that's understandable really due to the shorter running time of this series. It mainly made us all vote to watch the cartoon again from the start, as it reminded us how much we loved it. :-D

Whitstable Pearl (UKTV Play)
This is a lightweight and enjoyable tv series starring Kerry Godliman as ex-police turned restaurant owner who starts getting embroiled in detective work in a small coastal town. What my mum refers to as 'perfect Sunday night telly' - two episodes in and she's not wrong. :)

Passenger (ITVx)
Watched the first episode of Passenger on ITVx. It's set in the fictional Lancashire town of Chadder Vale (and actually filmed in and around Bolton and Bury). It feels like it's trying to be everything all at once - crime drama, horror, comedy, kitchen sink drama - with some Twin Peaks lite thrown in too - going to stick with it and see if it settles down as I am not convinced it works yet. I like the setting, feels like an interesting modern day RPG location.
 
Dune
Part Two

Oh my god. 11, I tell you, 11.
We rewatched Part One on Saturday night and then watched Part Two at IMAX on Sunday night.
The changes from the novel were just right, Timothee Chalumet was on top form, Austin Butler was excellent and was the whole cast. The cinematography was to die for, and the graphic and character design with it's nods to so many people, Möbius and Jodorovsky of note, was just wonderful.
The second half of the book is less focused, not least because of Paul's acculturation and then his revelations and doubts. The film is the same, it drags a little at the midpoint, but it's necessary to cover the ground and it does it well and pays off.
I can't decide if I want a third movie. I may read Dune Messiah again to decide.
We loved it too. I feel like if he makes Messiah (which seems very likely), he has to include stuff from Paul of Dune too, which covers some of the events between the first two books, including some flashbacks to Caladan. I noticed some setup for the events of Paul of Dune was in there. Was it wrong that part of me wanted more of Feyd? Austin Butler was so good at bringing him to life, I ended up finding him far more compelling than Paul. :)
 
Both The Bad Batch and X-Men '97 continue to both be excellent, with the latter leaning really heavily into the 1980s comics. The Batch Batch saw the return of a popular character from The Clone Wars, named in spoiler below and with the potential for a possible spin-off. Rumours suggest that there will be a new animated series when Bad Batch ends after its current season.

Asajj Ventress returns but wielding a yellow lightsabre. Is the plan to make her more of an anti-hero and give her own animated spin off show?
 
The eldest child and I went back to see Dune Part Two as it hit the local cinema. Well worth doing, because the second time you’ve got through the shock and awe of the visuals and audio and can focus more on the nuances of what has been created. Absolutely wonderful.
 
Just finished Ghostbusters: Afterlife (currently on iPlayer) and really enjoyed it - much more than I expected.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dom
Just finished Ghostbusters: Afterlife (currently on iPlayer) and really enjoyed it - much more than I expected.
On your recommendation I sparked up iPlayer and watched this, and yes it was lovely and a very good retread homage. Pleased I watched that.
 
Just finished Ghostbusters: Afterlife (currently on iPlayer) and really enjoyed it - much more than I expected.

I have an irrational dislike of this film. Originally, I thought it was the concept of 'Oh, that remake wasn't good enough, lets have the son of the original director have a go' - like that meant it was somehow fated to be better. Then I thought it was the bizarre idea that replacing the OG Ghostbusters with women was seen as somehow a crime against humanity, but replacing them with the 'Kids from Stranger Things' is A-OK (added to this a sprinkling of my hatred of 'Kids on Bikes' genre)

Then I realised what it is, and it's the same with the new film - the missing music. You can throw in the entire remaining OG cast, Slimer, ECTO-1, the firehouse and everything else, but you're not telling me that there are parts of that film (and the trailer for the new one) where you want the 'Do do dododo dodo dodo!' to kick in.

No Ray Parker Jnr. No Ghostbusters!
 
I don't think your dislike is irrational - Mark Kermode didn't like it either. (And the Ray Parker Jnr music is in the end credits, but yes, I know what you mean about not having it during the movie itself - not that it would have fitted.)

I started to watch the 2015 remake but gave up after about 30 minutes, not because it was too woke, but because I wasn't enjoying it. This one, I enjoyed the mystery, and the build-up, and the links to the first one.

The new one, though, has all the hallmarks of sequel-itis.
 
The problem with Ghostbusters is that the truth of the matter is that only the first one is worth it. This is because it wasn't a conscious creation, it was something that came out as a sort of spontaneous output from a glorious clash of cast, writers and directors. They literally didn't know where it was going to go.

Every film after that, for different reasons, has been conscious of trying to do it and 'this is where they fail'.
 
Back
Top