[watching] What have you seen recently?

This weekend I watched:

Penda's Fen: 1970s tale of a confused adolescent experiencing a series of paganistic visions in the English countryside. I have seen it before but this was the restored version on the BFI DVD release. Not so taken with the mystical stuff as I was on previous viewings but the cleaned up print looks great and some of the themes it touches on still resonate today e.g. the military-industrial complex, malevolent ruling elites, and corporatism vs individualism. Much of it was filmed near where I live so I had some fun location spotting and seeing how much had changed in the intervening years. In many cases not a lot.


The Glass Man: Psychological thriller in the wake of the 2008 crash. Man loses his job in the city, doesn't tell wife, then burns through his credit cards and bank account trying to maintain his middle class lifestyle. One evening a debt collector comes to call...great performance from James Cosmo as the heavy but found the film overall too long and talky - some of the dialogue is so repetitive and mannered I thought at times I was watching a David Mamet parody.
 
Season Two of The Dragon Prince is a subtle build, layering character and world-building advances again and again, rather than the action and drama of the first. The structure, tone and animation reminds me more and more of Legends of Korra - and that is not a bad thing! There's clearly much more going on here than meets the eye though, as the 'Dark Elf in the Mirror' subplot is excellently done. There are clear advances for the main characters - Callum, Rayla and Ezran, but even the secondary ones like Claudia get palpable advances in ... unexpected directions.

I'm probably not the first person to say this, but its a setting screaming for a RPG workover... almost certainly Fate Accelerated flavoured
 
In my opinion, The Umbrella Academy is simply one of the best superhero TV shows I've seen. I never read the comics, but I was hooked from the get go, and loved how the characters were flawed and emotionally scared thanks to their upbringing. I highly recommend it.
I am having real problems with it, I see the quality but it just seems quirky for quirkiness sake, finding that hard to see past,
 
Really enjoying Star Wars Resistance a lot more than I expected, since let's face its a kids cartoon, and I was intially a bit dubious about the cell-shaded animation style. But I quickly warmed to it and its teenage hero, who bumbles around a quite terrifying situation and comes out ahead. The plot pacing is satisfying and not rushed as well.

Like everyone and his dog I'm lapping up the medieval Korean Zombie Fest that is Kingdom but I've got distracted by Six Dragons a historical drama set in the same period but at the beginning when the Six Dragons of the title are establishing the Kingdom of Joseon (which is the setting for Kingdom).
 
Season Two of The Dragon Prince is a subtle build, layering character and world-building advances again and again, rather than the action and drama of the first. The structure, tone and animation reminds me more and more of Legends of Korra - and that is not a bad thing! There's clearly much more going on here than meets the eye though, as the 'Dark Elf in the Mirror' subplot is excellently done. There are clear advances for the main characters - Callum, Rayla and Ezran, but even the secondary ones like Claudia get palpable advances in ... unexpected directions.
Season two of The Dragon Prince certainly builds on the first, and yes the sub plots are rather good too. It will be interesting to see what happens in season three.

We also started watching Curfew on Sky One, and I must say that it’s surprisingly good. It reminds me of Mad Max meets The Hunger Games.

Endeavour has just finished its run on ITV, and it is building up to its climax and the lead into Inspector Moorse. It also wrapped up a some threads from the last series loose ends. I believe two more series are planned, with the next one airing in 2020, taking the series into the 1970s.
 
Oh The Dragon Prince, gets a thumbs up from the Newport Household. Our H is the dedicated viewer, but I'm catching enough while I'm working/cooking from the Kitchen in the open plan to follow through. Fantastic on all levels :)
 

Guvnor

Administrator
Staff member
A thread to discuss film and TV that you’ve seen recently.
Just finished season 3 of Dragon Prince, and I soooo want more.. remarkably intriguing story lines.
Now for a lovely third season of Zapped which is generously a box set on UKTV Play. Delighted to see that Munty (the town) is in the Western Marches... now if that doesn't mean anything to you then you don't know your OSR.. he he he
Oh and Steve Coogan is in it...

Check out this episode of Zapped on UKTV Play. https://uktvplay.uktv.co.uk/shows/zapped/watch-online/5852067716001
 
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Dom

Administrator
We had a family outing yesterday to see Captain Marvel at the Vue in York, despite all the hate that certain sides of the internet have been spreading because it has a strong - and vocal - female lead. We all really enjoyed the film[1]. For me, it wasn't the best Marvel Cinematic Universe film, but it was right there at the top. I'd put Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.1, Black Panther and Captain America: The Winter Soldier above it, but it was really close.

The film has interesting character development, a diverse cast and a great action plot. It meshes the more traditional Earth-bound MCU movies with the films with the more space-bound films, and leaves a great set up for Avengers: Endgame later this year. I quite liked the way that we saw some of the Kree before they become villains in the earlier films. The digitally de-aged Samuel L Jackson is splendid and brings his best singing voice to the film! The second cut scene is funny too. I'll never look at our cats in quite the same way!
___
[1] Captain Marvel[2] is 'cool in both ways' according to Nathan (12). I've not managed to get him to expand on that yet.
[2] And I believe it should be Captain Mar-Vel according to Carol Danvers (although Nicky Fury disagrees).
 

Dom

Administrator
That film with Roger Moore with a beard, cats and an attack on an oil rig in it. I'm not sure why this film from 1980 sprang to mind last weekend, but it obviously made an impression on me when I saw it on TV in my early teens. I couldn't even remember the name, just that it was set in the North Sea and had Roger Moore in it. Google (or rather DuckDuckGo) was my friend. "North Sea Hijack" it was. Or "ffolkes", if you were in the US.

It's a reasonably simple thriller at heart; a North Sea supply ship is hijacked, and an oil production rig and drilling rig (whose majority shareholder is the UK government) are held to ransom. The Prime Minister - a Margaret Thatcher clone - and ministers decide that the only way forward is to engage ffolkes, a wealthy eccentric specialist retained by Lloyds of London to help defeat the hijackers. With less than 24 hours to go, the film is an enjoyable action romp as plans are made and changed as circumstances shift. Roger Moore is joined by James Mason and Anthony Perkins who seem to be enjoying themselves.

The one part of the film that hasn't aged well is Roger Moore's character's misogyny. This was a deliberate part of the plot in both the book and the film, and his character has a background story that explains why. The narrative for the film itself makes it clear that he's meant to be a dinosaur, and has some knowing looks between characters when he's at his worst, but it definitely jars. I don't think that it would have been written like this today but, to its credit, the film and character's responses to ffolkes are very clear that the attitude shown is wrong.

The eldest watched it and enjoyed it; the underwater sequences and the characters facing off were his favourites.
 
The eldest watched it and enjoyed it; the underwater sequences and the characters facing off were his favourites.
As I may have said before my favourite scene is Sir Roj on the train, necking Scotch from a bottle and then offering it to a suitably disgusted Angela Thorne. Pure class.
 
I have just watched a classic British farce "Meaningful Vote 2" the sequel to the hilarious "Meaningful vote". It does stretch your credulity a bit, but if you accept that it is just comedy it is great. Apparently Meaningful vote 3 is due out soon. I am hoping for the end of May.
 
I have just watched a classic British farce "Meaningful Vote 2" the sequel to the hilarious "Meaningful vote". It does stretch your credulity a bit, but if you accept that it is just comedy it is great. Apparently Meaningful vote 3 is due out soon. I am hoping for the end of May.
:eek:
 
Scotland: Rome's Final Frontier:
Maybe a little parochial but a nice insight:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01p66rv via @bbciplayer
If you find yourself in Auld Reekie with nothing to do for a couple of hours, the Museum of Scotland has a nice collection of Roman artifacts from the settlement period. If you can get the curator to give you a talk (or maybe do a guided tour?), he has a lot of nuggets of wisdom to share.
 

Guvnor

Administrator
Staff member
If you find yourself in Auld Reekie with nothing to do for a couple of hours, the Museum of Scotland has a nice collection of Roman artifacts from the settlement period. If you can get the curator to give you a talk (or maybe do a guided tour?), he has a lot of nuggets of wisdom to share.
I think the curator made this show!
 
My favourite supers series was Iron Fist and I have been saving series two as a special treat. It is not living up to expectations, the plots are lame excuses compared to the first series.

It is suffering from that ages old series dilemma, what do you do if popular characters from the first series have their story end with the first series? You should give them a good new story, or drop them. Not find any old excuse just to keep them in the new one. You will have seen this before I am sure, Heroes 2 anyone? Though that was still a good series, it is when the reasons of keeping them on become so lame it brings the series down.

Which brings me to another complaint, death has no meaning. We are seeing supposed deaths and people then returning in the next series or even the same one all the time now, it devalues the drama of a characters death, and is becoming endemic in SF and fantasy influenced series. Even the great ST Discovery as stooped to this, it opened TUA and regularly occurs in Travellers.

In Travellers
they sometimes don't die, their story is over but we keep the actor by saying he is "rewritten", rather tongue in cheek I thought. Indeed the ended the last series by deciding to rewrite the whole thing!

Marvels Inhumans has been a mixed bag and no second season is forthcoming. They were trying for something different here and I liked what they were doing, no superhero base, no association with government agency, no tie in to what you know like a high school or job in the city. It is fresh, but let down by some of the actors and budget not consistent with a supers city. Sure the story about the workers/elite and the caste system was tiresomely repetitive for the SF genre but that was true to the comic. Shame it did not take of.
 
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Marvels Inhumans has been a mixed bag and no second season is forthcoming. They were trying for something different here and I liked what they were doing, no superhero base, no association with government agency, no tie in to what you know like a high school or job in the city. It is fresh, but let down by some of the actors and budget not consistent with a supers city. Sure the story about the workers/elite and the caste system was tiresomely repetitive for the SF genre but that was true to the comic. Shame it did not take of.
The problem with Inhumans was apparent lack of budget. Attilan was basically three small sets. They mislaid or disabled at least 3 key characters from the off because they couldn’t afford to show their powers etc. The haircut was unforgivable. Unforgivable.
 
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