[watching] What have you seen recently?

Another one who is binging Fort Salem. It is very good Show. The Worldbuilding excellent and cast are very good.

There will be a Season 2 I am hearing. We need answers to the cliffhangers, and what cliffhangers they are 😁.

Recommended to all, it is worth your time.
 
Fort Salem - finally finished.

Give these guys a budget! And a military consultant.

Mind you what money they do have, they hoard to spend very wisely.

I often side with the “villains” and I just LOVE it when us ordinary humans use our skills and ingenuity against all those gifted homo superior types. So, YES, I loved those voice boxes!
 

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Rune Priest
Just finished watching series 5 of Better Call Saul. Have now embarked on Deutschland 86. Also watching tasteless suburban family sitcom Cuckoo.
 
TLDR: Classic Who anomaly for the die hards.

Here’s one from out of left field. We all know Amazon Prime fills out its library with some absolute sh!te.

They just pointed me at one of their peculiarities called “Airzone”.

It’s from 1993. A Nicholas Briggs penned thing. Seems like a sort of precursor for Big Finish. Looks like it was filmed for thrupence on a super-8 camera over a weekend. (OK - I’m exaggerating- it’s a bit better than that.) an Eco-thriller in the Doomwatch/Edge of Darkness mode.

Thing is, it stars four “Doctors” - Baker (C), Davidson, McCoy and (more a cameo) Pertwee. And Nicola Bryant (Peri). And Briggs himself, of course. (Oh and Alan Cumming for good measure.)

None of the “big four” is playing their Doctor. In fact EVERYONE is showing that they are proper character actors and making sure they’re clearly playing different characters from those in the series. All perform very well, despite the production limitations and (sorry Nick) limited script. I was particularly impressed by Nicola Bryant but all were great - even Briggs himself. Baker of course steals the show but only because McCoy - though eccentric - steps back and lets him.

I don’t know how to judge this. But if you’ve got a spare hour, have any nostalgia for classic Who, have Amazon Prime and want a Wierd diversion for an hour, well worth watching.

Thing is - mild as it is - and though they’re clearly playing different characters - seeing Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant making out feels....wrong.
 

Nathan

Rune Priest
TLDR: Classic Who anomaly for the die hards.

Here’s one from out of left field. We all know Amazon Prime fills out its library with some absolute sh!te.

They just pointed me at one of their peculiarities called “Airzone”.

It’s from 1993. A Nicholas Briggs penned thing. Seems like a sort of precursor for Big Finish. Looks like it was filmed for thrupence on a super-8 camera over a weekend. (OK - I’m exaggerating- it’s a bit better than that.) an Eco-thriller in the Doomwatch/Edge of Darkness mode.

Thing is, it stars four “Doctors” - Baker (C), Davidson, McCoy and (more a cameo) Pertwee. And Nicola Bryant (Peri). And Briggs himself, of course. (Oh and Alan Cumming for good measure.)

None of the “big four” is playing their Doctor. In fact EVERYONE is showing that they are proper character actors and making sure they’re clearly playing different characters from those in the series. All perform very well, despite the production limitations and (sorry Nick) limited script. I was particularly impressed by Nicola Bryant but all were great - even Briggs himself. Baker of course steals the show but only because McCoy - though eccentric - steps back and lets him.

I don’t know how to judge this. But if you’ve got a spare hour, have any nostalgia for classic Who, have Amazon Prime and want a Wierd diversion for an hour, well worth watching.

Thing is - mild as it is - and though they’re clearly playing different characters - seeing Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant making out feels....wrong.
The Airzone Solution is a classic and well known to older fans of Doctor Who. It was shot on videotape on a very low budget and is more of a fan film than actual professional production. At the time, Nicholas Briggs was heavily involved in fan made productions. The reason why it came about was because there was a straight to video Doctor Who release planned for the 30th anniversary and it was canned by the BBC very early on. The actors were all tied into making this production and so Nick Briggs, who knew them all from various interviews he conducted in the 1980s, invited them to appear in what became the Airzone Solution. The rest is history.
 
UPGRADE: Netflix Original.

HIGHLY recommended. Basically it does what it says on the tin but you couldn’t do much better with such a limited budget. A writer/director to watch. They KNOW they’re being derivative but they wear their influences on their sleeve to the extent that spotting references to them becomes a joy in itself. It knows we’re going to spot all the familiar plot tropes and so jumps straight to them rather than padding the story to fill time and save money.

Also an actor to watch. I so believed what was happening that it took me a while to spot what he was actually DOING as a physical actor. It’s the old you can save a million bucks on special effects through acting job.

All of this makes something which is greater than the sum of its parts and isn’t anywhere near as predictable as I’ve made it sound.

References I caught were Venom, Knightrider, 6 Million Dollar Man, Runaway and I’m pretty sure there were others I missed. I’m not sure if making up the chief henchman to look like the Sparks keyboard player was a deliberate choice or not.
 

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Rune Priest
Cold Light of Day: Low budget docu-drama style film about the Dennis Nilsen case, made in 1989. A spare and unflinching account of a serial murderer, with the killings taking place in a demi-monde of near Dickensian squalor. It's light years away from exploitative cr*p like The Fall or whatever most-mental-serial-killer drama is due next on terrestrial telly. Marred only by the police interrogation scenes in which the interviewing copper comes across like a Life on Mars/Sweeney parody. Well over the top and, I gather, not remotely authentic. The officers who nicked/interviewed Nilsen treated him with kid gloves so as not to put him off making a confession.
 
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Dom

Administrator
Staff member
Bizarrely, I’ve just listened to a podcast episode by Steve Hogarth (Marillion’s lead singer H) who lived obliviously next door but one to Nilsen while in The Europeans with the rest of the band.
 

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Rune Priest
Bizarrely, I’ve just listened to a podcast episode by Steve Hogarth (Marillion’s lead singer H) who lived obliviously next door but one to Nilsen while in The Europeans with the rest of the band.
My brother lived in the area when he first moved to London in the late 1990s. Not Cranley Gardens, but an HMO/bedsit not dissimilar to those shown in the film. Muswell Hill not my favourite part of the capital I have to say.
 
I like Superheroes, so take what I say with a pinch of salt.

I recently seen two films which have one thing in common. They’ve got people with Superpowers but they’re NOT blockbusters and they’re both all the better for it. Tight, focussed, small scale, coherent.

(1) New Mutants. I know I shouldn’t be risking life and limb going out to the cinema but - hey - do you know how long it’s been since I’ve seen a Superhero movie on the big screen?

If you’re wondering after all the delays, rumours and reshoots if it’s worth going to see - I’d say yes. There is nothing wrong with this film in the slightest. It’s not the best Superhero film I’ve ever seen but its far from being the worst.

Loved the characters. They’re basically a bunch of TTRPG characters. One is points-based and put all his points into a single power. Another is totally randomly rolled.

I’m not going to spoil anything. I’ll just say I’d really like to see what happens next. If the MCU were to pick up these actors in these parts I’d be really really happy. Sadly, I doubt they will.

(2) Freaks - lower budget German TV movie (possibly meant to be a pilot?) on Netflix. Budget is well-used with mostly story, character and acting with sudden over the top bursts of power. In the mode of the “Powers” TV series. IMHO - worth an hour and a half of your time. Better than the recent, more florid, “Project Power”. IMHO. Again, I’d happily see another chapter in this story.

Both well-made on their budgets within their self-chosen limitations. At the complete opposite end to “Endgame”. Excellent palate cleansers whilst we wait for Phase 4 to start.
 

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Rune Priest
I Start Counting: Psychological thriller from the late 1960s starring a young Jenny Agutter who is absolute extraordinary in the lead role as a teenaged school girl who thinks her step-brother might be a serial murderer. What could have been a very crass exploitation effort is handled with commendable restraint and the film often has a dream like quality to it which suits Agutter's ethereal performance. An unjustly neglected film.

Series 3 of Ozark. The acting continues to impress but most of the characters are such utter scrotes it's a difficult series to like. I don't think it has the moral complexity of something like Better Call Saul where there's a bit more light and shade to the protagonists. Some of the writing is shoddy at times as well e.g. the circumstances in which Laura Linney's character acquires the hotel for her second river boat casino - I think there'd be at least a police investigation and a few problems disposing of the estate of someone who died in the circumstances that one of the former co-owners did.
 
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Rune Priest
Just watched The Flipside of Dominick Hide - BBC Play For Today time travel comedy-drama. Peter Firth really good as the visitor from the future falling in love with bohemian shop owner Caroline Langrishe. He's got the right combination of knowingness and innocence, and would've have made a good Dr Who I think.
 
Watching Freaks on Netflix. Starts off with a young girl who is kept indoors by her paranoid father. It starts slow but is very engaging. It is a low key Superpowers/ Science Fiction film which is very intriguing.
 

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Rune Priest
Today watched a crowdcast about the British crime novelist Ted Lewis. He's best known as the author of the novel that Get Carter was based on but wrote several other books including a couple in the social-realist vein. The crowdcast features four modern UK crime authors talking about his influence on them and the wider genre. I was quite taken with Cathi Unsworth's description of the east of England as the Viking Coast, in contrast to the west which is the Celtic Coast.
 
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