[watching] What have you seen recently?

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Guvnor

The Guvnor
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I just watched Austin Powers Man of mystery again.
It must be two decades since I last watched it.
Got to say I was quite worried that he would turn out to be some kind of horrible sexist misogynist farce that was no longer watchable.

It isn't ..

It's groovy baby.
It's still better than a load of Bond films
It doesn't take itself seriously
It has some very funny pratfalls visual gags and toilet humour
The whole henchmen running joke is brilliant
Whilst it has some ladies dressed up in 60s outfits, the character who takes his clothes off and sends himself up as a sex symbol is Austin Powers himself

8/10 still recommended
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
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So, bit of gardening on the allotment, then back for Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Now I really did not like the character Fat Bastard when I first watched it, but you know what? It's just crude and funny.

The Will Ferrell Mustapha running joke had legs, well, in make shift splints
Loved the Jerry Springer bits

Still a good plot, utterly whacky, 7/10
 
Currently watching The Umbrella Academy and Castlevania, both on Netflix.

My son-in-law is a big fan of Castlevania, both the show and the videogames on which it is based, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I like the characters, and it has some entertaining plot twists; but what I like most about it is that killing the Big Bad Evil Guy doesn't stop the rest of his Dark Horde, they are still out there plotting and have to be dealt with. Most shows would have killed the BBEG and then had the protagonists ride off into the sunset, all well with the world. This feels more believable.

I started watching The Umbrella Academy on a whim, but it has hooked me, I admit. It plays to my suspicion that those with superhuman powers would pay for that with some kind of mental instability. So far it looks like it will also play to the currently fashionable trope that using time travel to fix things only makes them worse, but we shall see.
 
I’ve been binging on a lot of Netflix and Amazon prime recently. Saw all the Altered Carbon, Expanse and just this week I watched the original Uk version of Utopia which was so prescient considering what is happening at the moment. I also saw Mr Robot which is excellent. The Expanse is very much like the future history that Larry Niven came up with, belters, the flatlanders on Mars and Earth.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
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watched
Assault on Precinct 13
by John Carpenter, 1976
I watched the remastered version on Amazon Prime and it's a very interesting and well made tense modern siege film, with gang members besieging an odd bundle of folks in an almost closed police precinct.
It has been described as "zombies with no zombies" but it should also be noted it is a rewrite/remake of Rio Bravo with John Wayne, and maybe it's a continuation and transitional film exploring the US mythology of individualists holding out against the horde with their beloved firearms.
It's very Carpenter, with his excellent trademark pulsing music driving the tension. It's not too long. The leads of Austin Stoker, Darwin Joster and Laurie Zimmer put in good performances, and the issues of race, gender and ghettos are touched on sympathetically.
There is violence, but it's not the orgy of automatic fire and A-team nonsense, this is single shots and shotguns.
It's excellent and worthy of a rewatch every few years.

9/10
 
I saw that listed on Amazon Prime but it had 2021 as the production year so I thought it was just another remake. Is it the original? If so I'll be giving that a watch. It's one of the few Carpenter movies I haven't seen (I'm a big fan of Carpenter especially They Live, The Thing, and Big Trouble in Little China).
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
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I saw that listed on Amazon Prime but it had 2021 as the production year so I thought it was just another remake. Is it the original? If so I'll be giving that a watch. It's one of the few Carpenter movies I haven't seen (I'm a big fan of Carpenter especially They Live, The Thing, and Big Trouble in Little China).
Yes that one.. the 2021 is a total error.
 

Dom

Administrator
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Obviously, I'm watching Loki (Disney+) which is engaging me more and more. I am intrigued by the set up and three episodes in, loving it. Bizarrely, the rest of the family are distracted by The Bad Batch and aren't watching at the moment.

I'm also watching The Gloaming (also Disney+) which is nominally a detective series, but it has hints that the dead are close by in some liminal space (the 'gloaming' of the title) and it's quite intriguing. It goes with characters that are a bit broken and all the more human for it. It's set in Tasmania and the photography is absolutely gorgeous and atmospheric. The whole story links back to an unsolved murder that one of the detectives was involved in as a teenager (not a spoiler, it's in the blurb and in the first episode).

Finally, after Shirley Manson mentioned it in an interview, I'm starting to watch The Bureau, which is French with subtitles (Prime, £2.99 for series 1). It's a spy series based on DGSE operations and it is both low key and seems to be showing some decent tradecraft two episodes in. More cerebral than the others that I'm watching, I'm hoping it continues in this vein.
 
Just rewatched Castle in the Sky on Netflix and I had forgotten how much I love that movie, although I prefer the earlier English dub that was used when it was shown on British TV one Christmas many years ago. This was the introduction to Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli films for myself and my daughters and we watched it together countless times when they were growing up. It was also the basis for one of the whackier 2300AD adventures I ran in the '90s. Good times.

Ahem. The actual movie... in a steampunk alternate universe with magic rocks that can make heavy things float, a young miner and a farm girl with a mysterious ancestry join forces to race a pirate gang, secret agents and soldiers to be the first to find a long-lost floating city full of treasure. It's fast-paced, internally consistent, and suitable for children.

Miyazaki's environmentalism, while still present, is fairly low-key in this one compared to his later works; the focus here is on the story and the main characters. A personal favourite.
 
Running way behind, but having always loved The Bridge we've been watching the re-runs of the first series of The Killing which we missed at the time. Thoroughly enjoying.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
We are watching The Pleasure Principle on All4. It's a Polish/Czech/Ukrainian co-production and a series of killings of women (gosh what a surprise) in a curiously 'cold' fashion. It's an interesting idea but it just isn't very well done, it plods and the women all are identical (which may be a clue) and sadly some of the actors have such poor English (which they use as a lingua franca between nationalities) that we have to have the subtitles on for that as well as the Polish/Czech and Ukrainian.

Some nice performances, especially the two Ukrainian cops and the Polish and Czech sidekick cops.. but on the whole I'd not recommend it..

Oh, and Odessa seems to still be in the 1950s.. but that may have been a stylistic choice!
 
I've begun watching The Watch on iPlayer: it's actually a pretty good show, if you delete any awareness of Terry Pratchett from your consciousness. Good cast, great sets, the overall aesthetic is its own intriguing thing.
 
I've begun watching The Watch on iPlayer: it's actually a pretty good show, if you delete any awareness of Terry Pratchett from your consciousness. Good cast, great sets, the overall aesthetic is its own intriguing thing.
Is this the one which was being described as "punk aesthetic". That looked interesting and I was waiting for it to actually arrive. For me the great strengths of adaptations is that you get to see someone else's take on a beloved story. I shall have to make time to see it.
 
Watched Mythic Quest (Apple TV) over the last fortnight and it is good. Centred around the personalities behind the development of a massively multiplayer online game, it covers the bases of entertaining office comedy, project headbutting, geek culture and online communities. Both seasons have a single, mid-season bottle episode, which was rather nice, that looks beyond the office—the first at a couple of game developers and the second at a trio of copywriters. The second is solid because it makes for an entertaining backstory (and that's key), while the first season bottle is at a real tangent in tone and focus.

It's an American comedy with all the strengths and weaknesses that presents. I found the cast generally spot on and very good, with plenty of familiar faces. F. Murray Abraham is glorious as often cringeworthy Nebula Award-winning writer CW Longbottom. It feels like the two seasons could be the only ones, but obviously, you need access to Apple TV (of whatever means) to watch. Definitely recommended.
 
Is this the one which was being described as "punk aesthetic". That looked interesting and I was waiting for it to actually arrive. For me the great strengths of adaptations is that you get to see someone else's take on a beloved story. I shall have to make time to see it.
We watched the first episode last night. As Paul said, it's just as well that the blurb has 'inspired by Pratchett' as otherwise there'd be a shedload of angry fans...

My thought was it's a cyberpunk aesthetic.
 
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