[watching] What have you seen recently?

The Last Days on Mars. Sci-fi horror with multi-national cast. Rip off of Prometheus by way of 28 Days Later. Not bad for all that. I'll take an unpretentious schlock fest over Ridley Scott's Chariots of the Gods style noodlings every time. Could have done with a bit more effort to make the exteriors look like Mars though, and planetary gravity works just the same there despite only being 1/3 of Earth's. Who'd have thunk it?
 
Watching Dark on Netflix. It is a very good German Series (watch it with subtitles). Starts off with a missing child and goes from there. It's sci-fi / Supernatural vibe is subtle and very well done. Season 2 is on its way. Highly recommended,
 
Watching the Season Finale of The Orville . A Show which has consistently been good with cast and stories. A lot of enjoyable pew pew pew and set pieces. This is a Season 3 we need and not Star Trek Disco.
Having shown us he can "do" Star Trek, Seth McFarlane shows us he can also do Star Wars. He didn't just save up his pennies for a special effects fest. Just listen to the MUSIC in the first half. Star Wars.
 

Dom

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Watched Spider-man - Into the Spider-verse with the youngster on Friday. We both absolutely loved it. Of course, animated Spider-man is one of the things that he was brought up with as we had 6 or 7 volumes of the animated series on DVD.

The better half then suggested we watched the opening of Guardians of the Galaxy to revisit Quill dancing with the space-rats, and somehow we were still watching it over an hour later. Had to stop at that point as the rascals needed to go to bed.
 
We watched The Prestige, based on the Christopher Priest book of the same name, yesterday. I have had the DVD for years (birthday present shortly after it was released in 2006 I think...) but never watched it. Read the book even more years ago, so I can’t be sure how true to the book it was. It’s a tense, complex, psychological thriller about obsessive rivalry between two Victorian stage magicians. We really enjoyed it, but it demanded concentration throughout, and is quite dark in tone, so our next film needs to be something lighter... I feel the need to dig out the book again too now, for when I (finally) overcome Memories of Ice.
Interestingly (or maybe not, if you’re not me) The Prestige teamed Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale and Michael Caine again following Batman Begins, and also stars Hugh Jackman to extend the superheroic connections. Oh and David Bowie as Nikolai Tesla.
 
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So I watched The Wandering Earth film last night.
A Chinese made epic film.
Completely bonkers premise with Earth sent off out of the troubled solar system to another star via huge Earth Engines, thrusters, on the planet’s surface.
The visuals are just stunning to watch and there are great action sequences too.
I watched it dubbed as I was a little tired but when I watch it again I’ll go for the subtitles.
 
We watched The Prestige, based on the Christopher Priest book of the same name, yesterday. I have had the DVD for years (birthday present shortly after it was released in 2006 I think...) but never watched it. Read the book even more years ago, so I can’t be sure how true to the book it was.
Saw The Prestige at the cinema when it came out. Really enjoyed it. Read the novel some time later. The difference between the two that stands out for me is that the book has a typically Priest-like ambivalent ending (for the life of me I don't understand the ending of The Glamour despite reading it 3 times and in different editions) which I also found terribly melodramatic, like something from a Hammer movie but not in a good way. As I recall the film had a much more definite conclusion.
 
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Bit of a rant, sorry.

So last year I gave up on trying to keep up on the CW DC shows - Green Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow.

But I still occasionally browse the listings. And at a loose end yesterday, I noticed they'd brought Lex Luthor into Supergirl. So I watched what I thought might be an appropriate episode.

Wow! I LIKED this iteration of Luthor. OK so the ex-sitcom actor playing him wasn't the best but his level of devious scheming and pre-planned gimmicks was awesome. Really good writing. A proper Lex Luthor.

So I kept watching. And it's like the writers had finally got their hands on characters they were long time fans of and gave them great service - Otis and Miss Tessmocker (I dunno the spelling) were both the best they've ever been. And they introduce a great opponent for Supergirl and Melissa Benoitt is still an amazing actress. (When her and Grant Gustin - Flash - get out of these contracts, they are going to be stars.)

But four episodes later I find NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. To fill the old-time 26 episode a series model, time is padded with irrelevant sub-plots about minor characters. And I remember why I gave up on the CW series. I no longer enjoy long form continuous narrative TV series. I suspect if the series was cut to the length of a Netflix series or -even - a single movie it could be awesome.

But I've had to stop watching.

Again.
 
***SNIP***

But I've had to stop watching.

Again.
The only issue I have with the CW DC shows is each series runs for far too many episodes. There is too much filler material intermingled with the main story arc. Black Lightning has a limited episode count per series, probably due to the fact Netflix co-produce the series, and there is a lot less filler and the story runs more smoothly. Plus it doesn't tread water for four or five weeks. I know Arrow has been cut back to just 10 episodes for it's final series, and that's because it will build up to the crossover event in December.

Overall, the Lex Luthor story line is one of the best reasons why to watch Supergirl right now. The Children of Liberty story line is kind of rubbish, but it does play on what's going on in America right now both socially and politically.
 
Shades of Darkness - series of ghost story adaptations, made by Granada TV in the early 1980s. They're very well put together with good production values and featuring well known UK actors like James Bolam, June Brown and Francesca Annis. Many of the tales are a bit too ambiguous for their own good though and come to unsatisfactory conclusions.

If you like the BBC's ghost stories at christmas you might enjoy this, while at the same time recognising it's not quite as good.
 
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