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What Have You Watched Recently?


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Staying where we are with near unlimited internet finally got to watch the Witcher, fabulous, especially for someone who read the books.

 

watching umbrella academy now, like it so far.

 

saw the protege in theater. Enjoyed it, seemed fairly smartly written. Only annoyance was the casting of Keaton in the role he played. He did a good job and the part is intelligent, but I really felt the age difference of he and Maggie.

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Blazing Saddles: "You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know...morons." (DVD)

 

Wonder Woman 1984: Much better than I expected, though not as good as the first one. (Netflix Blu-ray)

 

Raya and the Last Dragon: Interesting animated film, a good watch. (4K UHD)

 

The Mask of Zorro: Good take on the Zorro story, with a soundtrack which will get stuck in your head. (4K via Movies Anywhere)

 

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: You know, the good one. New release looks great! HDR grading is carefully done, and corrects some of the flaws in the older Blu-ray release. (4K UHD)

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               —————————-SOME SPOILERS????———————————-

 

    Here we are at the fourth episode of What If? and I predict that this one is is the one that gets talked about on the ‘net the most.  For this review I’ll call it Dark Strange and it goes to the heart of Time, Alternate Realities and how things work in the MCU.  Or don’t work as the case may be.  Those who try to set things like the rules of Time Travel in stone will hate it.
 It may go without saying at this point that the voices were wonderfully cast and acted. The story itself however seemed to have enough plot holes to drive a truck through. (a joke at this line would be a spoiler)

  I’m just going to give you the advice of that International Man of Mystery; Austin Powers and say “Try not to think about it too much and just enjoy it.”

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        ———————————————-SOME SPOILERS?_____________________________________________
 

    Well let me cop to this first...I never got into The Walking Dead, and I always thought that the whole Marvel Zombie thing was a cheap advertising stunt run amok.

   For those who don’t follow such things the term Marvel Zombie was coined sometime in the ‘60’s or ‘70’s for Stan’s Marvel Bullpen columns for someone fanatical in their love for the comics.  It was then taken in the community as a slam for somebody who ONLY read Marvel.  No DC, no indie books, no anime, no nothing...and was annoying about it.

   Then came the success of the Walking Dead series.  Marvel’s promotional staff leapt on the idea of a special issue incorporating the term into a whole book.  And like a science experiment escaping from the lab a phenomenon was born.
   The episode was good enough and I suspect will be a “To be continued” situation.  I did spend a lot of the episode mistaking the character with the thick accent for Michael Morbius (The Living Vampire) who will be featured in an upcoming movie, but it was just one of “those wombats” from the Ant-Man film.

    The things that are always good were good here. (How soon we become jaded.) and I believe many of not most of you will enjoy this offering.    Me, I’m just waiting for next week.

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1 hour ago, wcw43921 said:

That's a heck of a note--I could have sworn Ward Batty  coined the phrase "Marvel Zombie"--but apparently not.


    You could be right, but that’s where I first saw the term used and was told that’s where it came from.   But what in the name of Shuma-Gorath is a Ward Batty?   I know a Roy Batty, but he’s gone now...like tears in rain.

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Vuelta a Espana

The final Grand Tour of the year. Missed the first episode as it was not screened for no explained reason. It was not on ITV4 but Quest and this was edited from Eurosport and GCN. Coverage would have been better on ITV4 but that is my personal preference. Two of the recent Olympic champions were present in Richard Carapaz and Primoz Roglic. Roglic had won the previous two editions and was thus aiming for a third. Fabio Jacobsen who had previously been badly injured in 2020 returned to action and not only managed to won stages but won the Sprint Jersey outright. The fact that Jacobsen was riding with the Wolfpack in the same way as Mark Cavendish did in the Tour de France should be no surprise. The two other cyclists who had a good race were Magnus Cort Neilsen and Michael Storer. The latter won the King of the Mountains Jersey whilst the former won the Combativity award for the entire race. But Roglic won the race despite not having the jersey for the middle week. It was billed as one of the toughest races and the mountain stages were a bit savage. The last stage was a time trial into Santiago de Compostela instead of a race into Madrid. It marks Roglic out as one of the best racers of his generation with three consecutive editions of the same Tour. the record for the Vuelta is four. The last person to win three editions of a Tour was Chris Froome with wins in 2015, 16 and 17 in the Tour de France. Interestingly no-one has won three Giros since 1985 or since 1974 if you want three in succession.

 

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice

This film is saved by Ben Affleck as Batman and Gil Gadot as Wonder Woman. And nearly sunk by Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor. Should Superman really be interested in Batman's fight against crime ? But I am glad that someone realised that the gratuitous civilian deaths of Man of Steel needed to be addressed. I am glad I did not see this in the cinema. But the oddity is that both Justice League and Wonder Woman aired on free to view TV before this film.

 

Anna

This is a Luc Besson film about a woman who becomes a KGB assassin. It is not bad and a tad convoluted but it has Cillian Murphy and Luke Evans with Helen Mirren playing the head trainer of the assassins. A non-superpowered kind of Black Widow film if you will. It has one spectacular gunfight which is Anna's passing exam. It was a bit similar to Le Femme Nikita in the twist in the passing exam. Not bad.

 

The Mummy

I was surprised that I had not mentioned this beforehand. This is the Hammer version of the film with Christopher Lee as the mummy. Peter Cushing is the son of the man who finds the tomb and who unwittingly brings the mummy back to life. It has more charm than the Tom Cruise version. Worth repeated watchings.

 

The Fury

Kirk Douglas has a telepathic son and John Cassavetes wants him as a weapon for the USA. So he tries to have Kirk killed and 'saves' the son. kirk and John are ex agency so you know that it will not rest there. Kirk finds a girl played by Amy Irving who has mental powers and tries to get her to find his son. This is not a bad film and is not that well known.

 

Shakespeare in Italy

Francesco da Mosto present a two part documentary about Shakespeare's use of Italy as the basis for his plays which could be seen as reflections of contemporary England. The succession of Elizabeth for example as reflected in Julius Caesar. As Caesar is killed off early the play concentrates on who will replace Caesar. da Mosto travels around Italy speaking to various people about the plays. If you like da Mosto then you will like this.

 

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It's pretty uneven, but season one of Hacks turned out to be OK overall.

 

The Harley Quinn animated series was better than that after two seasons, but still uneven.

 

But season one of Doom Patrol was great! Very funny, good story, good characters...it's got just about everything I'd want in an offbeat supers TV show.

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The Incredible Hulk: Edward Norton version, a good watch. (Blu-ray via Netflix)

 

Frogger: Game show where contestants have to make their way across a bunch of obstacles, with the winner getting a gold fanny pack filled with $10,000. Think of it as a video game-themed version of Wipeout! (Peacock)

 

 

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Bourne IdentityBourne SupremacyBourne Ultimatum (Baron Zemo was Marie's brother!)

Hadn't seen them in several years. Still quite good.

 

Spider-Man 2. Still so good.

 

Batman: The Long Halloween. Part 2 is out now, so I'm rewatching Part 1 first.

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Malignant

Marketed like another James Wan Conjuring-style ghost story, it seems to instead be an homage to Italian Giallo movies and 80s body horror slashers. Hold onto your seats kids, this one is quite the ride! The batshit crazy quotient is much higher than any other horror movie I've seen this year; Barb and Star Go to Vista del Mar is the only thing that can compete.

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Punk

This is a 4 part documentary about the origins and progression of punk produced by Iggy Pop. The second part deals with Britain and featured Dave Vanian of the Damned and John Lydon which I really rather got into. Henry Rollins played a part in the evolution of hardcore punk in part 3 and part 4 dealt with punk becoming really popular with Green Day and the Offspring. Really quite good.

 

The Seventies

Documentary series dealing with all aspects of life particularly in America in the 1970s. Watergate was far more involved than I thought and had gleaned from previous documentaries. Television and politics are covered as well as the growth of terrorism and serial killers.  The Eighties, Nineties and 2000s were done by the same company. Well worth a look.

 

The Vice Squad

A prostitute is used by the police vice squad to arrest a psychotic pimp called Ramrod. When he then escapes from the police and hunts the prostitute who entrapped him, the police have to play catch up to find him and stop him.

 

The Severed Arm

A group of men are trapped underground and cut the arm off one of their fellows who had lost a drawing of straws so they could eat it to go on living. Moments later they are rescued. Some years later a severed arm is delivered to one of their number. The remainder are then hunted down and killed one by one but who is doing the killing ? Interesting idea but poorly shot.

 

The Creatures the World Forgot

This is the last of Hammer's cave woman films. And no model dinosaurs in this one either. After a volcano and quake force a tribe to move, the survivors settle in a valley and twin sons vie for their father's favour. But only one will emerge to lead the tribe. No dialogue. It is alright.

 

The Horror of Dracula

This is Christopher Lee's first outing as Dracula and it is very impressive. Short, sharp and to the point. Yes, it changes a lot of the book but it delivers with arguably the definitive Dracula and Van Helsing combination in Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Indeed the ending where Cushing runs the length of a table and rips open the curtains was not done by a stuntman but by Cushing himself. And CGI could barely better the destruction of the Count by sunlight. A must watch for vampire fans.

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