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Ok... just finished The Good Guys, by Shane Black... Russell Crowe & Ryan Gosling. Absolutely the funniest and purely entertaining movie I've seen in a while. Gosling manages to play a uniquely inept stumble-bum of a PI that just makes the movie work. Highly recommended.

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Been watching Forged In Fire again.  Its simply the best show on television.  Its a competition, but the competitors work together and help each other, end up being friends.  There is no sabotage, nonsense, drama, backstabbing or anything.  They're all working hard side by side and cheering each other on.  And there's so much to learn.

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Watched "Atomic Blonde" over the weekend. Disappointed after the hype. While Charlize Theron is amazing, and the visual style is fun, ultimately, the movie just didn't go anywhere interesting. Though I'm clearly the target demo for this kind of movie (high concept, well choreographed action movie with a soundtrack from my high school and college days) the ending was a let down... and I always feel like I'm being patronized by the past several years of pop-culture obsessed with the '80s. It is either hipsters too young to have lived it thinking the retro is cool, or people actually my age who don't get it, that their nostalgia is clichéd already.  Seriously, if one more movie uses Queen/Bowie "Under Pressure" or "99 Luftballoons" for the soundtrack, I'm going to punch something.  (There were two songs, remakes of "Blue Monday" (original by New Order also in the movie) and "Stigmata" by Ministry that were really interesting, so I'll give 'em that.)

 

Seriously, Cusack and Strummer (ex of the Clash) scored the perfect '80s soundtrack in '96's Grosse Pointe Blank, and it has never been topped. Cusack and I are exactly the same age, and I somehow feel his movies definitely tracked alongside my life. Was I an angsty teen overly romanticizing Peter Gabriel songs?  Yes. Did I work/run a record/CD store? Yes. Was I a jaded hitman at one point? No comment.

 

Back to Atomic Blonde... I'll need to watch it again... but the major, brutal fight scene in the apartment building that lasted a good ten plus minutes and seemed to be a single take, was freakin' amazingly well filmed. I'll need to go back and watch it for the possible jump cuts, but they were minimal and incredibly well disguised if they were there.

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Jessica Jones season two.

 

It was solid enough but I felt it took a long time to get going and then, funnily enough, too  long to resolve.  I'd have liked to see 8 tighter episodes instead ... but a lot of people say that about a lot of the Marvel Netflix shows.

 

Jessica commits way, WAY too many crimes in this season for my tastes, though - both in present day and flashback.  Giving the odd break and entry and assault pass because of genre convention is one thing - nobody invites Batman in to snoop around their warehouse and knock their guards out, after all - but some of the things done this season would be justified with actual serious jail time.

 

I know it was a thematic point - she said herself the line kept moving and she kept stepping over it - but it still bothered me a bit.

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4 minutes ago, DasBroot said:

Jessica Jones season two.

 

It was solid enough but I felt it took a long time to get going and then, funnily enough, too  long to resolve.  I'd have liked to see 8 tighter episodes instead ... but a lot of people say that about a lot of the Marvel Netflix shows.

 

Jessica commits way, WAY too many crimes in this season for my tastes, though - both in present day and flashback.  Giving the odd break and entry and assault pass because of genre convention is one thing - nobody invites Batman in to snoop around their warehouse and knock their guards out, after all - but some of the things done this season would be justified with actual serious jail time.

 

I know it was a thematic point - she said herself the line kept moving and she kept stepping over it - but it still bothered me a bit.

 

I really liked this season, and the moral complications of it, until the last couple of episodes. Not only did it take too long to wrap up, but Jessica became a very weak and incompetent character... which no matter her other flaws, she was never that before. Her utter compliance to her mother and willingness to compromise herself and relationships did not strike me as consistent with her character. Property crimes... meh... whatever... but she became complicit in murder (cops and guards, not just a serial killer) and endangerment of others.

 

I'm always surprised when women writers/creators/show runners still feel the need to paint the female main character in terms of trauma and victimhood, weakness and indecision, rather than some level of strength of character. That felt like a real problem to me at the end of this season.

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The Kidnapping of the President (1980) - William Shatner, Hal Holbrook, Van Johnson, Ava Gardner.

 

The President is shaking hands while visiting Canada and is suddenly handcuffed by a man wearing a suicide vest.  He's forced into an armored car rigged to explode unless a South American Terrorist receives 100 Million Dollars in diamonds.  To complicate matters the Vice President has just been caught up in a scandal and has been asked to resign.  Based on the book by Charles Templeton.

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Kubo and the Two Strings. Very well done, non-Disney animated feature. Recommended.

 

Watched the first episode of Altered  Carbon. Looks promising.

 

Some episodes of Wakfu. Wakfu is a French MMORPG using turn-based strategic combat, and has a very anime-inspired feel. It's a sequel of sorts to Dofus, which is in the same setting and uses the same character classes, but has different mechanics. Both games are colorful and humorous, and so is the cartoon based on Wakfu. It's pretty much a fun adventure with a main character with a mysterious past and a destiny, set in a colorful, not too serious fantasy setting.

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I found Kubo and the Two Strings beautiful to look at and quite moving. A wonderful evocation of the folklore from a non-Western culture, to tell a deeply personal story with a universal message. It stayed with me a long time after I left the theater.

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2 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

I found Kubo and the Two Strings beautiful to look at and quite moving. A wonderful evocation of the folklore from a non-Western culture, to tell a deeply personal story with a universal message. It stayed with me a long time after I left the theater.

 

That's what I meant to say!

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Highlander -- It's been a really long time since I watched this*, and probably the first time that I actually saw it in widescreen. Its production values are strongly 80s**, and the story was generally enjoyable despite the plot holes. --On Hulu.

 

 

*I'm pretty sure that the last time was when a friend and former housemate of mine (now passed, unfortunately) grabbed it from the local video rental store. That would have been on VHS.

 

**Lightning effects which were obviously cell animation overlaid on the image, general pacing, costuming and hair, and even how scenes were blocked and shot. 

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I have binged RWBY on YouTube up to the end of Season Three. That, of course, resulted in an hour of utter shock and at least thirty minutes of shallow breathing afterwards.

 

Two more seasons to go and I'll be caught up.

 

That a web animation has the capacity to do that to me (who has seen the world destroyed onscreen on many occasions) is a great testimony to the talent of its creators.

 

RWBY Chibi, by contrast, is Internet comfort food in which dead characters in the regular series are still alive. it also means:

 

Beacon never fell, villains Roman Torchwick and Neo are still alive, and so on.

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On 3/26/2018 at 7:33 PM, Lord Liaden said:

I found Kubo and the Two Strings beautiful to look at and quite moving. A wonderful evocation of the folklore from a non-Western culture, to tell a deeply personal story with a universal message. It stayed with me a long time after I left the theater.

I have a friend from church who worked on that film. The dedication it takes to make movies like that is amazing.

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The X-Files season 11 Nothing Lasts Forever and My Struggle IV.

Mulder and Scully investigate an organ stealing ring and find an actress who has not aged in years. Bit of an odd episode.

The season finale sort of ties up the show perhaps for good. The bad guys get wiped out and maybe Skinner is dead and the X-Files closed again. The season was very good and it went out with a bang.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

 

It was fine. The franchise continues to decline, but it still has its moments.  It was nice to return to the Will & Elizabeth story.

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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Theatrical version) -- Still my favorite of the Trek movies after all these years. The 2016 Blu Ray release had both the Director's Cut and the Theatrical version on it, and both versions are very good. 

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What I loved about Wrath of Khan was its focus on the characters and their stories. Kirk in particular was given more depth than ever before. Spock was shown to have finally resolved his internal conflicts. Ricardo Montalban gave us perhaps the most memorable and compelling villain in the Star Trek franchise.

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We watched Jumaji: Welcome to the Jungle last night, having already seen it a few times in the theater. It’s still a really fun adventure movie after all these viewings. One of my favorites. 

 

It’s not a great film, but it’s a great movie.

 

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