Post by Ubiquitous
What did you watch?
Nearing the end of my summer session, so I took it super easy yesterday,
The Man in the High Castle (Prime) - Ep's #1.4-1.6. Got caught into
binging this because I wanted to see where it goes. The main thread was
Juliana returning to S.F., basically getting the cold shoulder from
<s>Harry</s> Frank (understandable) who is freaking out about getting
the rap for the assassination attempt (after Frank chickened out on
it!), and then the resistance prompting Juliana to get a job in th
"Nippon Building" where she ends up working for Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki
Tagawa)!! At the end of episode #1.6, Juliana makes a key discovery both
about where the films come from, but also a revelation about somebody
she knows! Meanwhile, EVOL!!1! Obergruppenführer Smith (Rufus Sewell)
brings in the Nazi saboteur working with Tagomi, and then tricks Joe.
Hey, look! - It's Michael Gaston playing a genuinely *good guy* and
not a smarmy asshole, for once!!
soaps: B&B - A more recent episode, as it starred the recent mousy
version of Hope Logan, who tells Liam that she's preggers.
DOOL - Gabi tries to use Vivian to get to "Jake", and Jake is
starting to believe that he's Stefan (apparently the DNA matched!!)
which Gwen doesn't like one bit! (I'm starting to wonder if it will turn
out that Jake is Stefan's twin...) Other stuff happened with stupid
preggers Allie, but it wasn't interesting.
Abducted (aka. Diverted Eden; Showtime Showcase) - This was not good -
obviously very low budget with only a couple of decent people in the
cast (mostly Scout Taylor-Compton, and Najarra Townsend in a bit part).
I didn't even really watch the whole thing, but I bring it up because I
wanted contrast it with another "action" movie I watched later...
Netflix doesn't seem to have this movie. They have a movie called
"Abducted" but different cast and plot.
Joker (HBO Go) - Arthur was right - you have to pay close attention to
this one, or you'll lose the details. For example, in the middle, there
was something that happened that didn't make any sense to me, but later
they provide the explanation for it, so it makes perfect sense.
Anyway, this is a tough watch, but a good origin story - this flick
definitely does sort of set it up so you can see how you get to from
this film to, say, the Joker we get in "The Dark Knight".
This flick also ends up being surprisingly topical.
Overall, this flick was well cast, but there was one (IMO) big
misstep - Douglas Hodge was *all wrong* as Alfred, and basically didn't
match *any* of the previous versions of Alfred. Maybe we can chalk it up
to Arthur's "impression" of Alfred, rather than it being the "real" Alfred.
I want to see this again, but I can't decide what exactly it goes with.
It's not in continuity with anything. And I have no intention of
watching Taxi Driver again. I'll probably watch it some random day when
nothing else is on and I'm in the "mood" to see it again. Or I'm
watching some other movie with the same actor or director.
Reprisal (Prime) - Similar to "Abducted", but *a lot* better done. Don't
get me wrong - the way both Frank Grillo and Bruce Willis end up
portraying their characters (and/or the way they were *directed* to play
their characters!) was highly, *highly* cheesy. But this was a much
better action pic all around when compared to "Abducted" - better
casting (e.g. hottie Olivia Culpo!), better directed, better action set
pieces, and obviously a bigger budget.
I guess the moral of the story is, for an "action" picture, there is
a "minimum" budget level, below which there's no way you can do a decent
action movie. (Which isn't likely true of, say, horror...)
Anyway, in this one Grillo's bank manager suffers PTSD after a
vicious bank job by an ex-military psycho (Johnathon Schaech - didn't
know he was still around!!), and starts working with his neighbor - a
retried cop (Willis) - to track the bank robber down. Wackiness, and
Never heard of this before. Added to the queue.
Hamilton (Disney Plus) Recording of the Broadway musical with the
original cast. I've seen the show live twice in San Francisco, and I've
listened to the Broadway cast recording soundtrack more times than I can
remember, so I went in as a huge fan with high expectations. I am very
happy to say this version did not disappoint. It was great to see
Lin-Manuel Miranda and all the other original cast members performing
for the first time. The only issue I had, and this has nothing to do
with the quality of the show itself, but since I'm so familiar with the
soundtrack album, I picked up on every little difference in this live
performance compared to the studio album. Little things like snapping a
finger, or taking an extra beat, even the audience applauding all stood
out to my ear. But then I'm really sensitive to things like that. I
own multiple copies of scores like Superman, and Poltergeist because of
minor differences that I notice while listening and have to get the
deluxe version of the soundtrack with every music cue and note in order
to properly enjoy it.
Mysterious Island (TCM) 1961 movie based on the Jules Verne novel using
Ray Harryhausen stop motion techniques. It's set during the civil war.
A group of union soldiers escape a confederate prison in a hot air
balloon and wind up on island populated with giant creatures. They
encounter other survivors, pirates, various giant creatures, and Captain
Nemo along the way. I went into this thinking I had never seen it
before, but about half way through when two people were getting encased
in a giant honey comb by a giant bee, then later when captain Nemo
showed up using a giant shell as a scuba tank, I realized I had actually
seen this before. It holds up well enough. I originally wanted to
watch the 1960 version of "The 3 Worlds of Gulliver" first, since it
also uses Ray Harryhausen stop motion, but I realized I might not have
time and since it had no other connection to the movies I planed to
watch, it could safely wait for later...or so I thought.
Journey to the Center of the Earth (3D blu-ray) 2008 movie based on the
Jules Verne book staring Brendan Fraser and Josh Hutcherson. The plot
is a bit muddled but basically Fraser plays an absentminded professor
who negligently brings his teenage nephew along with him to check out
some scientific data in Iceland. The two of them along with their guide
wind up learning Jules Vern's book was true, the hard way. It's not a
good movie or anything, but it has it's moments. This was an old school
3D movie with lots and lots of gratuitous in your face 3D effects. You
*know* it's that type of 3D movie the second someone pulls out a yo-yo.
They *always* have a yo-yo in these types of 3D movies!
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (3D blu-ray) 2012 sequel based on the
Jules Verne book. Following the events of Center of the Earth, Josh
Hutcherson has become obsessed with Verne and after receiving a
mysterious transmission from his grandfather (Michael Caine) he sets out
to find him. Dwayne Johnson replaces Frasier as the adult male who
comes along on the adventure. And Luis Guzmán and Vanessa Hudgens play
the tour guides whose helicopter they charter to get them to the island.
With the exception of the giant animals on the island, the plot of
this one had *nothing* to do with the 1961 version. But this movie did
make constant references to "Gulliver's Travels" as a plot point which
just poured salt on the wound since I didn't have time to watch it
earlier in the day like I originally hoped I would. The movie itself
was otherwise pretty mediocre. The 3D was flawless, but the plot bored
me most of the time. Say what you will about the first movie not being
good, it was at least interesting.