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  1. Yay!!!! I loved Incredibles 2, but I'm delighted that Spider-Verse won the Oscar.
  2. I've never said this about the Syfy channel in the history of ever... but that was the correct conclusion.
  3. I was disappointed to see that Jessie Buckley didn't win Rising Star. I've watched her in two things recently, Beast and The Woman in White, and she seems endlessly talented, like she's acting at a higher level than the people around her.
  4. I liked Event Horizon back in the day, so I thought, “yeah, sure, why not?” when I came across Nightflyers. Wrong, wrong decision. It’s just terrible, from start to finish. So erratic… and so incoherent by the end it made Helix look well-written. (Helix is also terrible.). I should’ve heeded the bad reviews. I actually sensed that this was going to suck until the end when Thale tried to burn a guy alive, and D’Branin responded with, “Oh, but he didn’t try to murder that guy with psychic powers, just with fire, so it’s OK.” Why I was even surprised later when the guy he tried to burn alive hung out with Thale? Why was I even still watching, is the better question. Rowan was my favorite character for the first half, because he was the (somewhat) voice of reason. Simply because he kept contradicting that flake, D’Branin. Sample exchange: D’Branin: “The aliens are talking to ME!!!” Rowan: “There’s zero evidence of that.” They were both right, I guess. But by the time Rowan became Jack Torrance for an episode and a half, then instantly got better, yeah, he was just as insufferable as the rest of it. Hard pass on season 2, not that it’ll get one. I'm going to look up this shit's writers and creators next, so that I can identify their work later and skip it.
  5. I laughed so hard at this, I cried. Twice. The first time was when pigeons stick to Miles' hands and he repeatedly smacks into windows while they peck him. The second time was this line: "It looks like a child dressed like Spider-Man dragging a homeless corpse behind a train." Because that's exactly what it looked like. And then they decapitate a snowman, and it sticks on Peter B's head. I am usually immune to slapstick, but the sheer absurdism on display got me so damn good. I would watch a sequel about "dad bod" Peter B. working to reconcile with Mary Jane. Seeing so many teen/young-adult versions of Spider-Man has made me indifferent to origin stories, so watching Peter at a different point in his life, in a mature relationship, seems appealing. Though... I recently rewatched Now and Again, so the appeal might be an offshoot of my nostalgia for its married couple, and wishing it had more episodes.
  6. This was fine but didn’t inspire any enthusiasm. Mostly, I surprised by how unoriginal it was, copying not just Futurama… there were scenes in 1.6 - Swamp and Circumstance where I thought, “Wait, didn’t The Last Airbender do that years ago?” It also bugged me that it feeds into a lazy trend of using drinking as shorthand to show that a woman is flawed, as if writers aren’t sure how women are flawed. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been distracted by this, but I watched Sharp Objects this week. Apples and oranges… but Disenchantment is “fake edgy” in comparison. I did laugh occasionally, like when every ship crashed while Bean worked in the lighthouse or when the scepters thrown by the king all landed in the same bar, The Flying Scepter. Some of the throw-away lines or visual gags were more interesting than the rote main characters. If I watch season 2, it’ll be for them.
  7. I know nothing about Andersen except for Faerie Tale Theatre. I'll have to IMDB her some time.
  8. So, I liked Impulse. It turned out to be so much more than its sci-fi pitch, and its unrepentant focus on the emotional layers to sexual assault was really impressive. I don’t know if it was greenlit before or after the #metoo movement began, but regardless, Impulse came out at the right time. But I am here to rant about how lazy and repetitive the writing is. I’m all for the symbolism of repeated patterns in storytelling, but Impulse is so effin’ repetitive that… there are four abductions in S1. Two in the same family even—Henry, the daughter, later her mother—both kidnapped by the same guy, Luke. The female deputy was also technically abducted when held at gunpoint and forced to drive; it just happened to be by the DEA. Throw in Henry being pressured into Bill’s car, feeling panicked and trapped when he refused to take her home, and we’re at four. FFS, four, like the writers had no other ideas. All abductions were carried out in a car, with the woman ultimately escaping the car, because obviously, the entire season is a repeated pattern of Henry’s attack and her escape from Clay’s truck. Scene after scene is a variation on that event, each showing a different outcome. And for a while, this echoing of the attack is fascinating. It feels like a vindication to see all the other ways that Clay could have behaved besides sexual assault. Clay chose rape, none of the other men with Henry did. The problem is that in order to stick to the scaffolding of replaying the attack, the writers have to manufacture drama by making the show’s female characters act foolishly. One example: it’s galling that, days after being assaulted, Henry would get out of her stepsister’s car, stranding herself on the side of the road, to confront her attacker’s brother. Henry’s instinct for safety made her evade Luke at the school and get into Jenna’s car to begin with, but she then strands herself with him?! It’s also not in character for Jenna to drive off, leaving Henry alone with a threatening guy. And it’s not believable that Henry would then get into Bill’s car after both an assault and kidnapping by his two sons. There’s a lot of manipulation in that sequence—Bill talking Henry into the car and later into blaming the Amish boy, and also of the audience into expecting Henry to use her superpower to escape. It’s standard horror-suspense, especially Henry getting into Bill’s car, but it still makes her behavior seem contrived just to repeatedly put her in danger. And that’s tiresome, even sexist writing. I’ll check out Season 2, though. I’m interested to see where they go with the characters and larger Jumper-verse.
  9. The outcome was adult Jennifer’s self-awareness that she was sexually abused as a child. The outcome was her deconstructing “the tale” she wrote as a child to reframe it as abuse. She also called her abuser a rapist to his face—that was the breakthrough. Mirroring documentary film-making, this is about the process of exploring and exposing a truth, not about an, again, extrinsic label like "justice". I’m guessing it was set a decade or more ago. The Tale is autobiographical, and the director, Jennifer Fox, mentions being in her 40s during her investigation.
  10. My sympathies, @bilgistic, for encountering anything even remotely similar. I second the “wow” for The Tale. It is stunning, riveting, horrifying, with some of the best storytelling and film-making that I’ve seen in years. Calling it unflinching seems like such a cliché, but the word fits. I kept expecting the camera to pull back or cut away—because that is what TV does—but The Tale doesn’t let you, the viewer, turn away or avoid any part of Jenny’s discovery. And that is its power. It lays bare just how subtle and manipulative abusive relationships, or even adult-child interactions, can be, too. Everything about this seemed authentic, even the portrayal of Jenny breaking away from the abuse. It was a fraught decision that she built up to, I’m sure, but I liked how simply it was executed: Jenny calls and says she’s not coming, and then further severs contact by retrieving her horse a week later. This might seem like an odd thing to like, but having the “Oh. I don’t have to be around that person.” realization can be one of the most empowering moments a child (or adult) can experience. And most abuse stories focus on escape or rescue… on extrinsic action. The Tale subverts that by showing how a child, a girl, can make a decision to protect herself and then set it in motion. Which is powerfully important. This is now the baseline against which I judge all child-abuse movies and shows, I think. Near the end, I began to think back to 13 Reasons Why. Not to take away from its attempts to discuss teen mental health, but The Tale makes it look stereotypical now.
  11. Wait, so this isn't the Netflix show Anne with an E? I completely missed that there was another remake that aired on Masterpiece. Even though the/your reviews aren't favorable, I might look for this at the library.
  12. Nearly a decade late, I have finally watched every episode of Fringe. This is an accomplishment for me, since I no longer have the attention span for years-long series, and because I actively dislike Season 1. I’ve tried to watch Fringe before and never made it out of Season 1. Until now. And I do now agree with the “It gets better!” cries. I really like certain aspects—the characters, Peter’s story…but I end the show with the lingering sense that Fringe never truly lived up to its potential. It echoed so many ideas or plots from shows like The X-Files or Charlie Jade. It even echoed its own ideas in later seasons, though it made good use of them. Anyway, my opinions are unoriginal, and years behind, but I like ranking things, so here is my list from favorite to least, and why: Season 3 It fully invested in two universes and made them both interesting! The story finally paid off many details from earlier seasons, including Cortexiphan, the machine, the prophecy, you name it. I enjoyed that it explored Peter and Olivia/FauxLivia with more heart than soap opera. Peter vanishing in the finale cliffhanger is great, too. Also: Broyles, LSD, and a twizzler. Season 2 Walter and Peter’s—also Olivia’s—backstories and conflicts reveal that Fringe’s strength is character, not science fiction, and the show steadily improves. The larger arcs and conspiracies with the shapeshifters and Walternate also focus it for the better. Though vague, the Observers are intriguing. The fringe-science cases are still boring. Season 4, the middle and end Setting aside the beginning (see below), S4 affords better purpose to the MOTWs from S1 than S1 did. Better use of David Robert Jones and William Bell, too. Peter’s yearning for his timeline, and the team getting to know each other again, didn’t strike me as a huge step down from prior seasons, and so I enjoyed S4—more than others, apparently. But Olivia, Walter, and Fringe are different, less vibrant, because of the timeline changes, and the show ultimately doesn’t recover from it here or in Season 5. Season 1 I still don’t care for it. I especially don’t care for the cop-show clichés that abound. And the fringe cases, the monsters, are… “echoes” really is the best word. S1 didn’t inspire any investment until almost the finale. But it does an okay job of world-building, at least, and Walter is at his most eccentric and original. Thus, I rank it above S5. Season 5 Technically, I enjoyed watching it a lot more than S1, but the storytelling was “last-gasp” in quality. Example: the scaffolding of the Betamax-tape scavenger hunt. It also felt like a double knock-back for Olivia and Peter to be estranged again, though it lead to touching moments, as always. I missed the multiverses, too. The series ends beautifully, though. Season 4, the beginning Stunningly anti-climactic after S3, and a massive mistake to not bring back Peter in the premiere. I guess Fringe thought it was exploring Peter’s absence, but really it was wasting episodes. And one of them was about an emotional fungus, FFS. So, there you have it. I don’t have a concrete list of favorite episodes, so instead I'll include an exchange that has stuck in my mind through all the marathoning. From 4x9, Enemy of My Enemy: Four seasons into the show, it was a touching reminder of what Fringe was really about: a father and a son, both learning to be better men.
  13. I agree, and I didn’t notice a significant difference to Series 3 either. It was engaging, funny—spider under the diaphragm is one for the ages—and risqué when it wanted to be. I’m also not convinced that Phryne and Jack starting a relationship automatically means the end of their banter or teasing. Phryne still has all those questions about the Chinese brothel, for example. I’ll concede that S3 is slow to start though, and that the second half’s episodes are better. (Same as with Series 1, come to think of it.) And some things were rushed—conversations, unfortunately. For example, at least twice, I noticed that Dot and Hugh apologized their way out of their conflict rather than articulating what they were thinking or feeling. The scene where Hugh returns from his fishing trip needed another 5-10 sentences, in particular. It’s easy to blame the reduced number of episodes for this rush, I suppose. Also, Phryne’s father… eh, he was both generic and irritating. But I did like that the season's ending focused on Phryne’s family and their history. It seemed like a callback in theme to S1’s final mystery, which was about Janey, her sister. (And to keep up, Series 4 could have concluded with a Gosford Park-esque murder involving Phryne’s mother. :-) ) Anyway, I am very glad to have discovered Miss Fisher’s… and I’m already tempted to rewatch it. ------- ETA: Hey thanks, @purist. That's very nice of you.
  14. There was a throw-away line at the beginning of ep 3.4 about Jack reading Zane Grey novels… I wondered then if Grey was popular in 1929 Australia, so I Googled him. Turns out he was very well-known after 1912 and that he even wrote about Australia—I had no idea, thinking him synonymous with the American western. And I believe now that Jack sending Hugh fishing is a callback to Grey, since he also wrote extensively about fishing, including some set in Australia and New Zealand. This added context helps greatly to mitigate my annoyance that Hugh just left without discussing with Dot how stressed out and angry he was, as does the fact that 3.4 lays the groundwork for the parallel of Hugh’s fishing trip with the women’s sanatorium in this episode, 3.5. Meaning, there are two “retreats” here, but with a dichotomy along gender lines: the man, Hugh, “has a think” to self-resolve his (internal) emotional turmoil while fishing, and the women at Aunt Prudence’s require (external) medical interventions or face hysterectomies. Symbolically, the gender stereotype of the intellectual vs. the biological. That the show explores the various women’s therapies and emerging psychological science of the time makes me once again glad at how progressive it is. Also, I am totally getting my Series 2 wish: Phryne and Jack are touching now, and it makes me smile.
  15. Heh. I chuckled at the North by Northwest homage.
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