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Post by azriel Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:13 pm

Something else I found that felt like irony.....
Spoiler:
In the last episode, Matthew Beard, who played Jack, was Dr Liebermann in Vienna Blood, I can see a play with words here.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:06 am

{{ Finished all three episodes.
Spoiler:
Got to say I was not at all sure about how episode 2 ended in the modern age. It made episode three seem at first quite disjointed from the preceding two. Partly as we suddenly had a bunch of other characters to deal with, all from the book, just moved about a bit (well 123 years) so Lucy that Dracula becomes enamoured with is there and the other Johnathon, here for convenience and lack of confusion I assume changed to Jack,partly just losing the period setting.

I think out the three episodes two was my favourite, it flew in for me as I watched and was a speedy 90 minutes of tv. Each episode effectively introduces a whole new cast, in episode 2 besides Agatha and Dracula we get a whole new bunch of passengers on the ship transporting Dracula to England. In the book we get reports of how the journey was cursed, Dracula stalked the crew and passengers, but we never saw it, here we get effectively an entire episode just covering this journey and I loved every minute of it, from the setting and how it was shot to the characters of the crew and passengers and especially Sister Agatha's final showdown with Dracula.
Of all this adaptation though it was part 3 that felt most like Mofffats hand the most, as much of what was set up in episodes 1 and 2 comes to fruition in unexpected ways in the modern day in episode three. The set up and pay off felt very Moffat to me.
Draculas decision to let Minna go means she made it back to England and used her fathers fortune to set up the Jonathon Harker Foundation, with its secret agenda of finding and studying Dracula with an aim to destroying him, and his decision to drink Sister Agatha's blood meant when her ancestor drank Dracula's blood she got her ancestor with it.
And all those questions I mentioned in my episode one review, about the rules of Dracula come to the fore in the finale, where we find that the rules are not rules at all, just habits and customs built up over centuries by Dracula till even he believes them, but all as a means to hide his own real shame, his fear of dying.
And I have to admit at having found something more satisfying in Agatha using her intellect to persuade Dracula that ending it is better than going on eternally in shame, and his choice to drink her diseased poisoned blood and kill them both is for me in this telling more fitting than a classic Van Helsing action showdown with Dracula burning in the sunlight.

But whilst I felt the modern day for the finale served the plot well I was so enjoying the period setting of the first two episodes that its hard to shake some disappointment at the time shift. And not least because it seemingly deprives us of Sister Agatha, even though the same actress plays her descendant in the future. But its a testimony to the writing and performance of that character that when modern Agatha, having imbibed her own ancestor through Draculas blood, slips in to Sister Agathas mannerisms and speech it feels like greeting an old missed friend.

Lucy's fate was suitable horrific, and I liked that she was the only vampire staked to turn to dust, as she was cremated, nice touch that. Also liked, well liked maybe wrong word, horrified maybe, by the notion a certain percentage of people remain conscious and aware even as they lie in their coffins rotting and crying out never to be heard- making for a very nice use of the children of the night line (also similar in concept to Moffats Who episode Dark Water in which the dead remain conscious, then it was a trick as other wise its a bit too full on dark for Who, but here its no trick and explored in all its horrible implications).
I still find the shift in time a bit jarring, but all in this was an imaginative and interesting retelling of a very old story and was well worth the watch.
}}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:19 am

{{ Also got round to watching the BBC adaptation of Dickens A Christmas Carol.
If you dont want a fuller review then the short crabbit version is, it's shit.  Evil or Very Mad

Spoiler:
The longer version is its not badly written, its well shot, the sets are excellent, effects and performances good, mainly good (I'll come back to that when I talk about Scrooge) and musics fine.
What I really didn't like however was the reason I don't think it works as A Christmas Carol- their version of Scrooge.
You see in the book Scrooge is a miserable old bastard, a miser, unpleasant, seemingly uncaring and without thought for others, but we are shown more than that, though his wit is cruel its still wit, he knows how to make a joke, even under duress as in when he decided that Marleys ghost is probably a hallucination brought on by a bit of bad beef and tells the ghost that “There's more gravy than grave about you.” He has quite a few lines like that, designed to make even the reader smile a little at Scrooge and even with Scrooge, it makes him a tiny bit sympathetic. And secondly to accompany that little light of wit there is how he treats himself, he is not greedy, nor covetous, nor desiring of others possessions or goods, he doesn't have servants or people to control and boss over, he lives alone in a single room, barely heated, and eats gruel. He is broken because he came, over his life, to slowly lose everything important to his growing love of money and his equal growing disdain at humanity and the human spirit. He is not deliberately or even uncaringly cruel, he's just an unbelievably tight arsed miserable old bastard who wont spend a penny for his own comfort let alone anyone elses. And through the ghosts we see he was not always like that.
Because of this when his salvation finally comes we are rooting for him. The little good we could still get hints at within him win the day and become the whole man. And we are as pleased about that as Scrooge is and everyone ends the story happy and full of xmas cheer. That's the point.

Now the BBC version goes for darker and gritter and more contemporary in themes, the result of which is that Scrooge and Marley's business is no longer left undefined, instead of going into Scrooges past to see his school days (though those I will come to, we do see them but for a different reason) his relationship with his sister and father, his isolation in the holidays as the only boy left, his employment with Fizziwig, and then his fiancée and his slow loss of her to his love of money and acquiring it, to the point he barely notices at the time her leaving, instead of that we get a look at his businesses and the result of them.
So in an obvious nod to Grenfell we see the slum block he owned that burnt down, then we get more nasty evil corporate schemes and finally the mine they owned where they cut back timber costs meaning the mine was not properly maintained resulting in a mine collapse and the deaths of many men, boys and pit ponies. Everything we see and learn about this Scrooge makes him increasingly more irredeemable, and the final thing topping that is the performance.
Its not its bad as such, more all Scrooges lines seem to be delivered in the same low voice, there is nothing animated about this Scrooge or witty or likeable, and 'animated' is an adjective I would use to describe even miserable Scrooge of books beginning, he's always animated. He isn't nasty to people just for the sake of it, he does it for pleasure - when the charity guys come in they speak to Bob, its Scrooge who delibretly engages them solely to be outrageous at them in his miserableness, he clearly enjoys it.
This BBC Scrooge has nothing enjoyable about him, he doesn't even enjoy being a bastard he's just completely uncaring, he's a horrible souless man who has done horrible things. As a result you don't want him redeemed at all and don't feel he deserves the second chance when he gets it. And so the whole narrative falls flat.

Now they do try to address this, but the manner of it I don't think works. The first way is when we do see his lonely school days it now has the added thing that the school master has done a deal with his father to have him there at the holidays so the head master can sexually abuse him. And the other thing is to make his cruelty couched in the idea he is conducting an experiment on what the price of people is. This is exemplified by the addition of a scene where Bobs wife (who to help meet BBC quotas is now black as is one of his children) comes to see Scrooge to ask for a loan of money for Tiny Tim to have an operation. Scrooge offers her the money if she will come round on xmas day to his house and sell herself for it.
She turns up, strips under obvious duress only for Scrooge to tell her he was not interested in her sexually, just in what the price would be to buy her love and loyalty to her husband and family, her own morals and principles. In short he's not a miserable old tight arse any more, he's just a complete cunt.
Likewise his redemption is framed in the sense that he has discovered a new formula about humanity, the worth of the human spirit.
But the additions just make a dark story even darker when it was too dark already for a story about a man's redemption.
For me making Scrooge a complete monster with no likeable qualities as a character, excusing that as he was abused as a kid so not his fault, it doesn't wash.
So despite much thats good, visually, in the direction, some of  the dialogue (I liked the expansion of Marley's part and making Bob less of a wimpy downtrodden type than is normal) but when the main issue, the redemption doesn't work because you don't want Scrooge redeemed then something is amiss.
I wouldn't recommend it. Best Tiny Tim Ive seen however so there is that. }}

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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:35 pm

Sounds like they tried to turn Scrooge into an IDS type Tory, there is no coming back from that.
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Post by Mrs Figg Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:26 pm

now that I have wifi I have been watching a load of new stuff that I missed. I have to say that I am obsessed with 'SAS Who Dares Wins', and 'Hunted' is a fascinating social experiment. I really enjoy Hunted, and its quite freaky to know how under surveillance we are all the time. They had one series made in the US too.They have Celebrity Hunted as well, the one with Boris's dad was entertaining.

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Post by Amarië Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:37 pm

Dracula is done! Finrod was not too thrilled, wasn't the best he had seen. Too much talking I think. Not enough action.

I say this is a perfect example of how Moffat - dare I say it - should always be forced into a smal box. That's when he does his best work.

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Post by chris63 Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:41 am

Watching series 3 of Expanse. What a great show, just gets better and better.




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Post by Forest Shepherd Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:37 am

halfwise wrote:Have you seen Only Lovers Left Alive?  It has Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in the lead roles, and is basically about how vampires would survive in the modern world.  The best line is when their bratty neice visits, and drains the life out of their best friend.

"You drank Philip?  How could you drink Philip?"
"Well, he was so cute..."
I have a copy of it, and it's been a favourite of mine for movie-night with the uninitiated.

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Post by azriel Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:53 pm

Forest Shepherd wrote:
halfwise wrote:Have you seen Only Lovers Left Alive?  It has Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in the lead roles, and is basically about how vampires would survive in the modern world.  The best line is when their bratty neice visits, and drains the life out of their best friend.

"You drank Philip?  How could you drink Philip?"
"Well, he was so cute..."
I have a copy of it, and it's been a favourite of mine for movie-night with the uninitiated.


I keep meaning to watch this film and still haven't. Smile

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Post by halfwise Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:56 pm

Before it I never would have thought of Tida Swinton in a comic role, though it's dark and very sly with the comedy. She's playing it straight, but definitely has timing.

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Post by azriel Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:01 pm

She is a dam fine actress Smile Ive seen her in so much. She is quite androgynous to look at & I saw her cast as an Angel because of it ( I think ? ) I liked her in The Grand Budapest Hotel tho she wasn't in it long. was cast as an old lady I think ? OMG Ralph Fiennes was hysterical in it Smile

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Post by Mrs Figg Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:36 pm

Tilda Swinton is amazing. I loved her most in Orlando. The final minute of the film looking into her eyes has haunted me for 27 years.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:12 pm

{{ Watched this over xmas but havent had chance to discuss or review it- Mackenzie crooks version of Worzel Gummidge, broadcast on Boxing Day on BBC1.
Now Brits of a certain age, myself included, will think of Jon Pertwees loveable turn in the hugely popular ITV series of the late 70's and early 80's.
It had a very sitcom feel to it for want of a better genre and Pertwee played the character with an affable likeableness even when he was often being a stubborn arse.

For those who don't know the premise is a couple of city kids find themselves in the english rural countryside where they encounter Worzel Gummidge a scarecrow who can talk and move, turns out he is only one of many, all scarecrows are animate as well as a variety of other objects imbued with life like Aunt Sally whose made of wood. Anyhow kids meet scarecrows adventures ensue.

The Pertwee version was like this-



Mackenzie Crooks take on the character is closer to the original stories, there is more a sens of the mystism of the English countryside and his Worzel, whilst still likeable I felt struggled against the more realistic turnip head makeup. It makes him harder to instantly like as he looks a bit disconcerting and it sharder to express hmself, something Pertwee was a master at using every bit of his face.

Spoilers (and 1st episode is below so may want to watch that first)
Spoiler:
The story of the first episode is that the change of seasons is late in coming, Worzel remembers this has happened before and that there is a key to unlocking the seasons, which he and the kids must find to sve the farm and the crops. Anyhow turns out the key is actually a crop circle pattern t Shecarecrows instinctly dance into the fields to unlock the seasons.
And this is where the whole thing is a bit weird for me- you see the scenes where the scarecrows, in a variety of shapes and lurching forms, take to the moonlit fields in their dancing as this slightly eerie magical music swells in the style of old folk music, it all goes a bit Wickerman in mood for me. Its so reminscent of it that I was half expecting them to burn the kids alive to restart the seasons! Its an odd mood, but it may be one I am bringing to it solely due to my familiarty with Wickerman, but the mix of countryside, weird pagan rites, old folk music is really reminscent of its mood.
The kids in it are fine, they arent outstanding but nor are they annoying child actors so thats fine. And I havent watched ep 2 yet which seems to be getting more into the magic side of things with the second episode entitled the Green Man.
Its very nicely shot, its paced more like a classic kids tv show than a modern one and I approve of that, in fact it feels like the best of those 70's and 80's kids tv dramas- like Box of Delights or something of that calibre. Comparted to Pertwee version its more a kids drama less a kids sitcom.
But for me it all comes back Worzel, I think Crooks version will grow on me, there is a tenderness to his performance that Pertwees lacked, but there was an instant likeability and warmth to Pertwees version that Crooks somewhat lacks in the beginning.
Overall if youve never encountered the tales of Worzel Gummidge before heres the first episode to make up your own minds- }}


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Post by Mrs Figg Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:12 pm

I remember that show. Very Happy cant remember if I liked it or not. ah now I remember it was Catweazle that I liked.
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Post by azriel Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:07 pm

Hey ho off I go, skipping down memory lane Smile Folly Foot, Bell & Sebastian & who could forget ( and recover from ) The Flashing Blade ! Ha harrrrrr.



those poor horses !!

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:38 pm

{{ I did enjoy a lot Agatha and Dracula as a sparring duo, and Moffats trademark clever witty dialgue shines through too, but the performances seal the deal. }}


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Post by halfwise Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:05 pm

They found a real winner in that actress. What I like is that her 19th century personality was so much more interesting than her modern personality. This rings true: people didn't have entertainment devices to sink themselves into back then.

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Post by Mrs Figg Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:43 am

Channel 4 has a new season of 'Hunted' starting Feb 13th. Cant wait I love it! bounce   'SAS Who Dares Wins' on Sunday nights is pretty great too. I love those guys, they are so dour and sweary. Laughing
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Post by halfwise Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:33 pm

Once again I have to push Peter Gunn: bite sized pieces of film noire. Some of the directors are fantastic - the use of shadows and camera angles is as good as you'll see anywhere and better than 95% of what's out there.

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6155wz

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Post by azriel Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:20 pm

Was that Robert Stack on the phone halfway thru ?

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Post by halfwise Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:43 pm

I doubt he'd have a bit part at that stage in his career.

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Post by azriel Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:16 pm

Ok, Im wrong Smile it just sounded like him, ------- {{{ clever clogs }}}

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Post by chris63 Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:14 pm

Just started watching Altered Carbon. Really liking it. Got the potential to be a classic.



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Post by chris63 Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:18 pm

Series 2 comes out on the 27th Feb


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Television programmes [2] - Page 2 Empty Re: Television programmes [2]

Post by halfwise Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:37 pm

Netflix has really been running the gamut of TV shows. I think we're entering a new golden age of television with all these new studios producing content. It's a windfall for the acting profession as well.

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