Post by Ian J. Ball Post by Ubiquitous
What did you watch?
My lack of productivity is starting to be a problem - I'm going to need
to start doing actual work today... :(
The Alienist: Angel of Darness (recorded) - "Ex Ore Infantium" (ep.
#2.1). Frankly, an inauspicious start to the season (though, IIRC,
season #1 started slow too...). Anyway, Sara Howard is now working as a
P.I. (she's proto-"Frankie Drake"!!) for reasons that are not made
explicit (I don't recall her getting fired from the cops, so she must
have left, but they don't tell us why), and she, Kreizler and Moore have
been draw into the case of a woman who was executed (by the electric
chair) for murdering her child, when in fact her child was stolen by
some kindof nefarious (illegal adoption?!) ring. Soon enough, an actual
infant turns up murdered too.
I hope ep. #2.2 is better than this one was...
golf - The St. Jude Classic Day 3, which frankly I didn't pay much
Angels Fallen (Tubi) - OK, this was terrible - *this* is the level of
movie Siffy used to show in their Saturday Night Siffy flicks: i.e.
incredibly low-budget, and horribly directed, with a generally worthless
script. (Though, occasionally, Siffy movies would suprisingly surpass
this expectation, but it didn't happen often...)
The only reason I did watch this is because it co-stars the lovely
Nicola Posener from the "Mythica" series, but she wasn't in this enough
to make up for the generally horrible execution of the material.
Recommendation: Avoid at all costs! even in you like Posener.
The Last Kingdom (Netflix) - Ep's #4.9 & #4.10. So I finished out season
#4. I had seen one or two people knock this season elsewhere on the
internet, but I thought season #4 was quite good - tells a mostly
cohesive story (that seems to stick mostly to the actual history!!),
with good plot and character developments, and the new characters that
were introduced were generally good (the worst of these was probably
Uhtred's daughter Stiorra, but even she was mostly OK).
If there was a disappointment here, it was that Uhtred didn't finally
finish off the ever-tedious Brida (this character has been the show's
bane its whole run, but she's straight from the books, and I suspect
she's just the same there too...), but I strongly suspect that's finally
going to come in season #5.
But season #4 ends in a good place, which I think sets up a promising
I will certainly be watching when season #5 is released. :)
Sleeping with Danger (Lifetime) - It's nearly impossible to make a
self-deluded abuse victim sympathetic, which means this flick suffers
through about its first 3/4 from this. It's only in the movie's last 30
minutes when Elisabeth Rohm's character gets her s*** together, escapes,
and then hunts down her psycho abusive husband that the story becomes
The Kissing Booth 2 (Netflix) - After I finished "Sleeping with Danger",
I decided I wanted something "light" to watch, and figured this would be
a quick diversion.
It's not - this clocks in, not at the expected 90-100 minutes, but at
*two and one-quarter hours* long!! This pushed my viewing time on this
to past 12:30am. :|
Anyway, it took me a while to remember what happened in the first
"Kissing Booth" film, but it did slowly come back to me. I actually
thought this one was better than the first film - lighter and funnier -
at least through its first half or two-thirds, when it starts getting
increasingly bogged down in its own romantic melodramas.
I don't think I actually watched it, but for some reason I was thinking
the first movie had to do with a kissing booth that was also a time
machine. I think there *might* be a movie with that plot, but under a
slightly different name.
Post by Ian J. Ball
But Joey King manages to make what would be a really annoying ingenue
lead in other hands at least mostly sympathetic (and generally amusing).
Despite this flick coming to a pretty complete conclusion (with only
one uncertainty involving our heroine), which would have served well to
wrap this up, the geniuses behind this have conspired to do a "Kissing
Booth 3" film, which I assume will either take place with our heorine in
her first-year of college, or will take place in the summer before she
goes off to college.
Next up: I may decide to tackle the second "To All the Boys I've
Loved Before" flick on The 'Flix...
That's on my watch list.
The Umbrella Academy (Netflix streaming) - Picking up with episode 2, I
binged through the entire second season. I figured I'd watch maybe half
the season, but the episodes just flew by. It held my interest with
ease, unfortunately, season 2 was mostly a rehash of season 1.
In season 1 the heroes time traveling brother, "#5" shows up after being
missing for years and tells them he's just returned from decades in the
future (but now he's stuck in his younger body) where he's been working
as an assassin for an agency that polices the timeline. He warns his
family that the world is going to end in a few days. They spend all of
season 1 trying to stop the apocalypse while agents from the time police
try to stop them.
When season 1 ends (SPOILERS for season 1) the heroes learn that their
sister who they thought was powerless is actually the most powerful. In
a fit of rage she destroyed the moon which destroys the Earth. The
heroes do *not* stop this from happening. But they do put a bullet in
the head of the evil time police and jump back in time.
Season 2 kicks off with each sibling being deposited in a different year
in early 60s. They all think the other is dead and they are stuck in
the past so they begin new lives. The last to arrive is #5. He arrives
in time to see a nuclear war break out with the Russians. He makes
another time jump to a few days earlier right as the nuke detonates. So
now season 2 once again has the family trying to figure out what causes
an apocalypse and stop it with only a few days to pull it off. And once
again the time police are messing with them. That part makes *no* sense
considering they'd want to *stop* a nuclear war in the 60s. They kind
of, sort of, (but not really) explain this away by bringing back the
evil head of the time police who this time has a personal grudge against
them. Sure she was killed by being shot in the head at the end of
season 1, but turns out she has a metal plate in the head so she's back.
Season 2 felt like it had way too much filler. Everybody is living
their own lives, and no one wants to stop what they are doing to stop
the apocalypse. The fact their new friends will all die in a nuclear
holocaust if they don't act takes way to long to sink in. And they are
all just casually, actively messing with the timeline. One of them
*insists* he's going to stop the Kennedy assassination because he's a
hero and the President's not going to die on his watch. They are all
acting like that to one degree or another, with the exception of #5
whose is desperately trying to pull them together.
Don't get me wrong, it's not as bad as I make it sound. There are
definitely some good things. There's a lot of humor in the one who
starts a cult with words of wisdom from modern pop songs. And although
it didn't happen until the last two episodes, the finale was pretty good
with lots of action. I also liked that the dead sibling who was a ghost
in the first season got a much bigger role in season 2. Although I was
annoyed that everyone is so self absorbed that no one seemed to notice
or care that the ghost of their dead brother was around. Granted the
one of them who has the ability to see the dead, did actively lie and
say he wasn't there (because reasons), but even when it was clear he was
still around, no one really seemed to care.
If you liked season 1, then season 2 is must watch. If you hated season
1, then season 2 is just more of the same and should be avoided. The
set up for season 3 looks to be really good and hopefully will actually
go in a new direction.
Long Day's Journey into Night (3D blu-ray) - this is a 2018 Chinese
language drama. I never saw it before, but I stumbled upon it and read
many rave reviews. I decided to make a blind buy and hope for the best.
What I knew going in was it was film noir about a man searching for a
woman he once knew and that the movie starts in 2D and halfway through
it switches to 3D.
Since I have to read subtitles, and half the movie is in 3D, I had been
waiting for the right time to watch. Last night the timing seemed
perfect so I put the disc in. About 5 minutes in, I noticed the movie
seemed to be moving really slowly. It looked as great as all the
reviews raved about, but not a whole lot was happening, and I was
getting antsy. 15 minutes in and I had lost track of the plot. I tried
looking up plot descriptions online, and kept turning up empty. All I
could find was the same *basic* plot synopsis that I already knew. It
was also around this time that I started to have serious thought about
not even finishing the movie. But I figured if I hung in there until
the 3D part, things would pick up. But the movie continued to be
tedious. Nothing was happening!
I hit a point where a character made a comment about someone eating an
apple, and eating the *whole* apple. The next scene is a guy eating an
apple. I thought to myself, they aren't actually going to show this guy
just eating an apple, are they? But they did. I think at this point I
began to panic. I kept reading up on the movie and learned that
although the movie was technically a hit in China, it was infamous for
false advertising. It billed itself as a regular movie and opened to
massive box office, then when word got out that it was really an art
house flick, it tanked. I fell for the same trick!
It does legitimately look beautiful. But the plot is paper thin at
best. I suffered through it and a little over an hour in, it switched
to 3D, but that didn't really help the plot. The 3D selling point is
the last hour of the movie is not only in 3D, but it's all done in 1
unbroken take. From a technical standpoint, it deserves all the raves
and attention it received. The 2D looked beautiful and the 3D was even
better. And there are various scenes which stand out as truly
impressive when you know it's all done in 1 continuous take. But that
does nothing for the plot. It never stopped being tedious. Do not be
fooled by all the rave reviews. Run far away from this. I watched the
*entire* movie, so don't make my sacrifice be in vain!