the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Adventures of Brisco County Jr - Sadly, this had no captions. I managed to follow okay, but that’s not a certain thing without captioning. Most of the DVDs also interacted oddly with my laptop in as much as they refused to go back to the menu when a given episode ended. I’d get a black screen. When I clicked ‘menu,’ it would restart the episode I just watched. I needed to let that play for at least fifteen seconds before the menu button would take me to the menu rather than back to the black screen. I think that Bruce Campbell plays the same character, with minor variations, over and over. It’s a fun character, but I think that too much all at once doesn’t work as well. I’d rather have taken longer getting through the twenty seven episodes than the library due date would allow. Still, I had fun. It reminded me a little bit of The Wild, Wild West TV show in terms of throwing in anachronistic technology. I’m not sure I’d quite call the stuff with the orbs story arc, but that’s the best description I have for it. I'm also puzzled about the pacing of the show and the decision to put the resolution to Bly and the orbs when it did.

Archer season 1 episode 1 - I got ten minutes in and didn’t encounter anything I thought was funny or interesting, so I gave up.

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders - I’m glad that Adam West got to play Batman one last time. Scott and I laughed through this animated movie because the writers understood how the old Batman series worked. If you remember that and liked it, you’ll enjoy this.

Beauty and the Beast (2017) - I didn’t actually manage to pay attention while this movie played. I kept wondering why I wasn’t just watching the animated version. I had the general impression that many of the actors weren’t quite right for their roles.

DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games - I enjoyed this one. I didn’t pay as close attention to who was doing what as perhaps I should (to the point of not being clear what the various villains wanted), but I enjoyed watching the titular Super Hero Girls winning by being smart and generally good people.

Defiance pilot episode - Scott and I found ourselves not really caught by this. We developed no investment in the characters or the setting. The setup reminded us a bit of Eureka crossed with Mad Max, just without the fun. We didn’t even finish the pilot; both of us wandered away to get ready for bed with the big fight still ongoing.

Doctor Who: Terror of the Zygons - I remarked to Scott that the Zygons and their technology looked rather a lot like someone kept dumping layers of latex paint over rubber in order to get weird color combinations and texture. This being a Fourth Doctor story (with Sarah Jane and Harry), that might even be what they actually did. It would have the virtue of being cheap.

Doctor Who: The Time Meddler - First Doctor with Vicki and Steven. I’m not sure how I feel about this one. It wasn’t bad by any means, but a lot of things looked kind of cheap in terms of the costuming and such. I suspect, too, that the Monk has less impact when he’s not the first other person with a TARDIS that one has seen.

Doctor Who: The War Games DVD 2 - Second Doctor with Jamie and Zoe. I watched the first DVD of this set some time between mid-January and mid-May. I thought I remembered hearing how this particular episode ended, and I was right. I can see why people want fix it fic for that. I'm curious as to whether or not there's any explanation ever given for how the memory thing worked and what limitations it might have.

Fresh Off the Boat assorted episodes - Cordelia watched this, and Scott and I saw some episodes. I was a little amused that I managed to place the setting, time-wise. I liked parts of this, but I’m not sure how I feel about the mother as a character.

Gilmore Girls assorted episodes - Another show I occasionally watched with Cordelia. So many bad decisions without ever, quite, hitting disaster. I don’t think I could watch the whole series because, even if I got past the embarrassment on the screen, I’d get too annoyed with the characters after a certain point.

Justice League Dark - This was neither terrible nor spectacular. The ‘plot twist’ at the end could be seen coming a pretty good distance off. At one point, Scott asked, “Why is Batman even in this?” The character did some useful things, but he really didn’t fit the group of characters or general tone of things. I guess having Batman is a selling point? The characterization seemed generally sharp, but I never really connected with any of the characters in the sense of them being people. As the focus was very heavily on the plot, I suspect it’s not a surprising response. I think that what I want is more of an ongoing series of episodes rather than a movie. I’m more likely to enjoy superheroes that way.

The LEGO Batman Movie - We started laughing pretty much immediately and kept laughing. Scott’s of the opinion that this is the best Batman movie ever made. Then I bought the movie and rewatched it.

Leroy and Stitch - This wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. It wasn’t particularly great, either, just… mostly harmless. If we’d had it around when Cordelia was about four, I’m sure she’d have watched it several times. (As it is, she couldn’t believe that I was bothering to watch it because it must be both terrible and embarrassing.)

Merlin season 1 - My big problem here was that I found all of the male characters completely unlikeable. Gaius bothered me least, but I still wanted to shake him until his teeth rattled. I liked Gwen and at least found Morgana interesting when she was on the screen. Could we have a show just about Morgana and Gwen, please?

Mulan: Rise of a Warrior - The first copy of this we got from Netflix was damaged and unplayable (one of those cases of somebody having carefully glued a crack back together so it wasn’t obvious). The second copy played, but we couldn’t get either of the audio tracks to be consistently audible. Pretty much everything that the main characters said was impossible to follow in either language without reference to the subtitles (not that I could have followed the Mandarin even if it had been possible to hear it). I suspect some sort of bad mixing because the music remained audible throughout. Scott had trouble believing that everyone didn’t identify Mulan as a woman, just looking at her. This is very much a war movie through most of the run time with understated (but heartbreaking!) emotional arcs and a lot of battles. Not so much on the dramatic single combat, either. I suspect that the whole thing would work better if I understood the historical context and so had more than a general idea of why the war mattered. Disney would despise the ending.

The 1900 House - Sadly, no captions. I watched anyway and managed to follow most of it, but why did PBS not put captions on this? Are they that expensive? This is a reality show with a modern family spending three months living as if they were in 1900, in London. I had to look up Queen Victoria’s dates because I kept stumbling when they referred to 1900 as part of the Victorian Era. She died in 1901, so it was actually, just barely. The first episode focused on the process of the show runners finding the house and fittings and doing the necessary renovations (including a lot of safety inspections). There were a number of explanations of things that they were had done differently from period-- For example, no arsenic in the wallpaper and burning modern, cleaner and safer coal. The second episode covers the problems of the first week or two. The family is vegetarian but needs to eat meat during the three months. The kitchen range doesn’t work properly (there’s a technician in twice to try to figure out why and how to make it better. The fact that no one whatsoever uses ranges like it anymore makes repairs more challenging. They almost couldn’t find one at all when they were setting the place up). The father in the family has difficulties using a straight razor. The third episode deals with two rebellions-- The mother and daughters sneaking in modern shampoo, and the youngest child (a boy) refusing to eat the food-- and with the family hiring a maid. I’m amazed at the number of applicants they got for the job given the circumstances. I’m assuming that they actually paid the woman more than 1900 wages. The final episode was not actually satisfying. I think that, when I checked the DVD out, I was hoping for more detail about what things were like in that era. The focus, instead, was on how much the family hated the way things were. That’s probably more effective reality TV, but I wasn’t actually looking for reality TV, you know?

The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World - A series of forty eight lectures by Professor Robert Garland of Colgate University. The primary focus is ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and Rome (more Imperial Rome than Republican Rome) with occasional excursions into other places (just one episode on Persia!). Africa, Asia, and the Americas appear not to have existed in that time. The details of life in the areas covered are fascinating, but the title promises much more than the lecture series delivers.

Shakespeare: The Word and the Action - Lecture series by Professor Peter Saccio of Dartmouth College. I gave up on this halfway through because the lecturer’s voice irritated me enough that I couldn’t focus on what he was saying. Some of that may be that this is the sort of thing that interests me much less than the history lecture series do. I’d be more interested in Shakespeare in cultural and historical context than I am in literary structure and characterization and symbolism completely divorced from context.

Skiptrace - This is a Jackie Chan movie. It’s not… Well, I think there was a plot, but neither Scott nor I could follow it. We were there for Jackie Chan and the fight scenes, and those were fun. Jackie Chan plays a cop named Bennie something or another who is, for reasons I lost track of, trying to drag a conman back home with him, cross country through parts of the Chinese countryside. This involves cars that break down, getting arrested on trumped up charges, stealing horses, and the conman repeatedly running only to have everything go wrong so that he has no choice but to go along with Bennie again. I think there were three different criminal factions, but I’m not at all certain.

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract - We liked this better than we expected to. We’re fans of the old cartoon show rather than of the comics, so we were worried that this version might not work for us. We were also worried, based on the cover art for the DVD, that we’d hate the character designs. Fortunately, the characters on the cover are not the characters as they appear in the movie. The story itself was pretty straightforward and without surprises, but the voice acting was good, and almost nothing was actively stupid (my main complaint in that direction was the way in which Gar was captured).

Teen Wolf season 2 episode 1 - Hm. I don’t think I actually care about this enough to watch more. Scott certainly doesn’t. Neither of us actually like any of the characters, and without that, we’re not finding any sort of hook to keep us interested. Maybe if there weren’t so many teenagers being teenagers?

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt assorted episodes - This is another show that Cordelia watched and that Scott and I ended up seeing part of as a result. I went back and forth between amused and repelled (I don’t do well with embarrassment humor). Generally speaking, I liked Kimmy and many of the other characters as long as I didn’t try to think of them as people rather than tropes.

Date: 2017-07-21 11:28 pm (UTC)
kalloway: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kalloway
Scott’s of the opinion that this is the best Batman movie ever made.

Scott is 100% correct.

Date: 2017-07-22 04:49 am (UTC)
cereta: Dick and Bruce from Hanging Work, as drawn by Ratcreature (Hanging Work)
From: [personal profile] cereta
I suspect Justice League Dark is a set-up for the animated Constantine that is (supposedly) in the works, starring the same guy as the one-season live action show. I suspect Batman was there to give them an excuse to call it a Justice League movie. Also, you know: Batman. My biggest complaint was Zatanna's outfit. She already has a sexified costume. Did they have to put her in something that had me half expecting a boob to pop out?

I really enjoyed the Judas Contract, and the way they reshaped it, although I'm really over the movies' infatuation with Damien (get me started on how they handled the Court of Owls storyline in the Batman vs Robin movie). It goes to show how times have changed that, unlike in the comics, Deathstroke wasn't sleeping with a 15-year-old girl, although the ick factor wasn't helped by how much bigger they drew him than her - very different aesthetics sometimes lead to bad places. Apparently, they're doing a sequel of sorts in the comics (although who can tell if the original is still canon.)

Um, yes. I just marathoned a bunch of these with the small fanperson (which did require a few, "What did he mean?" "They're talking about sex." "Oh. Ick." conversations ;), and am so glad to see someone else's take on them.

Date: 2017-07-24 06:44 pm (UTC)
cereta: Nightwing is pretty (Nightwing)
From: [personal profile] cereta
I was, frankly, as creeped out by the way Deathstroke kept promising Terra that he would sleep with her real soon now as I would have been by him actually doing it because I saw it as the same sort of abuse/manipulation. That is, him not doing it didn't make him a better human being because he wasn't not doing it because it would be wrong but because he didn't have to in order to control her.

Oh, I agree. The whole grooming aspect (grooming to be a tool if not a sexually) was really played up in this version.

Part of what bugged me about Damien is an admitted bias. In the comics version of the Court of the Owls, there's a fair bit of focus on Dick, in ways that I kind of get might not have fit into a 2-hour movie, but that I thought were way more interesting than a re-run of the Battle for Damien's Soul. I'm pleased that they've included Nightwing in the movies at ALL, given what went down in the BTAS/JL/JLU/BB universe, and he gets a decent amount of screen time and story focus, but, well, already explained ;).

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