Monday, August 11, 2014

| tv time

It was great seeing you and your family, Enoto!

I will start up an email chain about your indecent proposal, Elzar. I think there's a BILLION things to address before digging into something like that, but you know me, it sounds like a potentially rad idea!


Watched a bunch of shit this past week over on demand, so here's some quick reviews:

They Came Together: From the guys who did one of my favorites, Wet Hot American Summer, and shows like Children's Hospital, it's a romantic comedy spoof. It's borderline Airplane-style at times, although not quite as gonzo. We liked it. I feel like it could have been better, but I don't know exactly how.

Snowpiercer: This one was weird(critics LOVED it, which I don't totally follow). It's the first English-language film from a well-known Korean director starring the guy from Captain America. It's the future, and everyone lives on this one train that keeps circling the world because outside is an ice age and you'll die out there. The back of the train is poor people, rich people in the front. Totally has a BioShock vibe to it that's pretty cool and there are a couple of great action set-pieces. Why's it weird? The tone is hard to pin-down. There's a lot of humor and a lot of dark Brazil/12 Monkeys-like dystopia stuff. I guess that balancing act didn't quite work for me. But, I think it's totally worth watching and it's got this interesting off-kilter political stance that was different and kind of refreshing. Not really a "feel-good" movie, but whatever, some dark sci-fi is needed sometimes.

The Raid Redemption: This one is a couple years old. A sequel just came out this year, in fact. It's a Malaysian action flick (from a British writer/director). I remember Ebert gave it a horrible 1-star review just because it's almost purely ACTION and he was feeling crabby about it, I guess. Cops raid a building that's undercontrol of a drug gang, ultra-violence ensues. If you saw Dredd, here's a less sci-fi, more kicky and shooty-in-the-heady version. There were some RAD fight scenes, and then some UGH-ultra violent shooty parts. Haven't seen the sequel, but it sounds like it addressed the complaints about lack of story/character in all the wrong ways, turning out to be kind of a slog.

Then, at work, I'm watching this 1-season "mystery" show on Netflix that came and went called Persons Unknown. It's not very good, but it's only 13 episodes, I believe, and I can watch these silly shows like nobodies business. Here's the description from episode 3 that cracks me up in how vaguely bad it sounds:
After a week of failed escape attempts, the hostages hope that a helicopter signals rescue, but it only hovers long enough to drop a mysterious box.
Hahahaha. It was even lamer than that description sounds. The story is, 7 strangers wake up in a mysterious hotel, plucked from their normal lives and dropped in this tiny empty "town" (looks like a "main street backlot"). They try to leave the town and they get shocked by some invisible ray or something. So it's like The Prisoner with NONE of the style of that show. Lost really set this trend into motion for a few years after it with all these weird knock-off mystery shows. I'll still finish it because, mystery.

Oldboy - Kind of connected to the above shitty mystery show, I saw the Spike Lee version of Oldboy recently. It was good/fine. Didn't seem needed since the original isn't really that old, but whatever, it was fun to watch and interesting to see what changes they decided to make. But here's my deal with Persons Unknown and Oldboy. Oldboy, both versions, sort of gives you an explanation for the prison that works in the world. The main bad guy of Oldboy is  ridiculous, but at least the prison that he uses COULD exist. With Persons Unknown, it seems SO inconceivable for an organization to do all the shit it's doing. Like it would be SO EXPENSIVE, it just doesn't click. I know, it's a tv show, but still, no matter who these dumb people turn out to be (and honestly they don't seem that interesting/"worth all this trouble" yet), it's a leap in logic that isn't working. LOST had the benefit of having some supernatural-element that makes all this nitpicking moot.