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Dopesick

There are no supervillains. Everyone was just “doing their job”. Marketing marketed the drug, sales pushed it, doctors did their due diligence. It’s all a composition of small little lies. So, it wasn’t a cited study, but just a letter to the editorial, but who cares, right?
The series has almost a zombie apocalipsys feel to me. To the point of “nothing will save you from this”. Not Anonymous Alcoholics. Not rehab. Not Jesus. There’s no escape.
Rosario Dawson performance is astonishing. Such as shame it’ll be wasted on something like Star Wars.

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Boys S02

Stormfront is a fun new addition for sure. But the second season is basically Homelander’s show.


For the first couple of episodes, I was pessimistic. But the show does well what it does: showing a N-sided conflict.


Stormfront kills Kimiko’s brother. We have The Boys, who now want revenge.

But by doing so, she also seized the agenda, so Homelander is envious.

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“Painkiller” vs “Dopesick”

Both series cover the same even, the Opioid Epidemic in the 90s, but from different perspectives.
Painkiller is more of a crime drama, where the Sackler family and their salesmen (and more importantly saleswomen) are presented like in “Wolf from Wall Street”.

Sackler constantly sees his diseased uncle approving his actions, even if just in his head.
Dopesick is much more down to earth in many aspects. It focuses on a doctor, a community leader, and how he feels he failed his community.


It’s also interesting the different approach to the lead female character. While Painkiller undersexualizes her while oversexualizing the saleswomen, Dopesick does exactly the opposite.

Sackler in Painkiller is Jack Nicholson’s Joker. Sackler in Dopesick is Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker.

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Knives Out

Enjoyed it less than I expected. And in general, it was a different movie from what I thought it would be.
I expected it to be a parody hermetic mystery where the Patriarch stages his own death to prove how rotten his family is. The family indeed turns out to be rotten, but not in the way I’d expect.

 

The writing is quite good, I must admit. For example not a single person remembers from which country the nurse, Marta, originally from. They all say different South American countries: Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil. Ironically, I myself made the same mistake, thinking that Anna de Armas was born in Brazil. She’s from Cuba.

 

Then they’re also making fun of the youngest girl in the family begin “some crypto-marxist-gender studies student” while the youngest boy is “alt right Nazi troll”. Figures. Speaking of the youngest girl, Katherine Langford looks like she was filming in between “13 Reasons Why”, without even changing the makeup.

 

Here are a few interesting explanations to what’s going on in terms of storyline structure:

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Silo S01

Finished watching first season of Silo.
As far as thrillers go, this one is pretty solid. The cliffhanger at the end of every, fucking, episode, is a bit too much, but still, it’s fun to watch.
I liked the twist with George.

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Conker’s Bad Fur Day – What Happened?

I didn’t know that Conker was in fact a cheap attempt to capitalize on Mario 64, which got overshadowed by Banjo-Kazooie.

 

And that it got most of it acclaim after it failed in sales.

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Boys S01

The writing of the first season is just brilliant. They talk about “Mallory” since the first episode. But you don’t discover who that even is until the 7th.
Also, the entire Butcher revenge story starts with him presuming that his wife went missing, because Homelander raped her. And there’s a video from security cameras of her going into a room with him. But… that’s only half of the story. Homelander then told that Becca indeed carried his child, which should have been impossible, but she died during childbirth. Turns out, both are lies.
What the authors also got right is the fact that there are more than 2 parties. It’s not just The Boys versus The Corporation (I can’t spell its name for the good of me). Everybody has their own agenda. Including terrorists in the Middle East and in South Asia. It’s not just about USA.

 

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Boys S01

“Whatever the price, I’ll pay it”

Nothing unexpected for those that have seen or read Watchmen. But still I’d say pretty well executed. It has a lot to say about media and corporate culture. And a bit about vengeance.

Was great to see Dominique McElligott from Hell on Wheels getting the attention.

 

I’m not that into comics to recognize all characters. Homelander seems like a combination of DC Superman and Marvel Captain America. Starlight is Supergirl, Mave is Wonder Woman, and the Deep is clearly a stab at Aquaman.
The most interesting part is that all characters have not only bad sides, which is expected from sick bastard Warren Ellis is, but also good ones. And they go from one to the other all the time. The Deep is introduced as that nice guy, welcoming and friendly. Then the moment he gets the opportunity, he decides to take advantage of a new girl on the team and basically rapes her. Obviously a bad guy. Then we get to see how he thinks he’s a “diversity hire”, and that he doesn’t do enough good, so he tries to rescue a dolphin from the aquapark he himself promotes. And fails. So now he’s almost a comic relief character.

 

And that’s even before we speak about Homelander. Homelander is the start of the show, the almost omnipotent antagonist.

 

He’s a killer, a rapist and a psychopath for sure. But he’s also deeply insecure, and it’s shown brilliantly.

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Green Knight

I expected some kind of dark fantasy, but it turned out to be more of a mystical puzzle, that defies all expectations.

 

A ghost asks from Gawain to fetch her skull from the bottom of the lake. Classic.
— If I go in there and find it, what would you offer me in exchange?
— Why would you ever ask me that?

 

An owner of a castle asks from Gawain to give him what he doesn’t have. Classic.
Then, when asking for the magic belt, hero just refuses, and the owner goes “alright” and simply leaves.
And the fox, which I assumed to be sort of a guide to the underworld, stops and dissuades the hero from going any further?

 

Was delighted to recognise Barry Keoghan, who played the simpleton in Banshees of Inisherin. He plays a similar role here as well: simpleton that is not that simple.

 

Part of my puzzlement is because British kids study the original poem at school. While I had to figure out what’s the moral themes of the original tale, and what the new tale tries to say.

Just one example is that Arthur is never called by name, and simply referred to as “the King”. Another is that in the original poem, the owner of the castle and the Green Knight are the same person, while in the movie, they’re trying to tell you that it’s him, but also it’s Gawain’s mother.

Speaking of which, Morgan wasn’t Gawain’s mother in any of the poems, although she’s portrayed as Arthur’s sibling in some.

 

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Spectre (2015)

If Skyfall was Dark Knight, then Spectre is John Wick. All the aesthethics of a secret assassin club are there:

 

Then in the second half it goes full 70s on you. With supervillain’s base set in a crater, supervillain torturing Bond with drills and Bond escaping using his watch, shooting from AK47 from one hand.


When Cristopher Waltz told Bond that he captures his girl and now there’s 3 minutes to save her, I thought it’s a clever nod. But no, he actually captured her in 15 minutes she was away, and put a 3 minute bomb on her!


With all that, the part I didn’t like was Bond shooting supervillain’s helicopter from a pistol. It was just lazy.

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Silo S01

First episode was rather weak. Hermetic sci-fi can be rather dull, “we don’t know what’s outside”, “the government is lying to us”, all that stuff.


But with Rebecca Ferguson appearance, it becomes much better. Despite her rather “woman in pants” role, she does have that subtle mimics that makes everything better.

 

Also, it’s funny that everyone is using Python in the Silo.
And we watched another TV series, completely unrealated, called “Anne with an E” recetly, and a lot of cast came straight from there.

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Skyfall

Decided to watch it simply because YouTube threw the Adelle’s “Skyfall” song at me.

Main themes: getting old. A steamship dragging an old Napoleonic-times warship. “Old dog, new tricks”.
There are a few jibes at the series origins: “What were you expecting, an exploding pen?” coming from the New Q is rich.
But do they really tried to step away from the roots? The villain is certainly a cartoonish one.
The scenes in London were fun to watch. The other scenes – not so much.
The one good character is the Vice PM, because he actually shows some development. At first everyone expects him to be a bureaucrat that is “unused to field work”. Then we’re told that he was a colonel held by IRA for 5 months. Then there’s the shooting scene, where he actually proves himself. It’s all a buildup for Judi Dench getting tired of playing M.

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Banshees of Inisherin

What was that? Almost theatrical, with just a few actors and a few backgrounds: pub, Paedric’s house, Colm’s house, shop.
The best explanation I found yet is that’s an allegory to the Irish Civil War.

 

“Disproportional escalation” is a great definition.
Then Brendan Gleeson also played in “Michael Collins”, a movie about the Irish Civil War.
Also, the cutest donkey ever in the history of cinema.
“Inisherin” is “Island of Ireland”:

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*.AVI

Infinity War

Finally got to watch Infinity War. Now I get most of the Thanos memes at least.

Actually, I wantched it more than a month ago, during a flight. But I felt terrible boredom every time I tried to write something about it. And the only reason I decided to write anything about it is because otherwise I’d forget I even watched it, and may try watching it again.

There is Black Panther stupidity, like those Ancient Greece formations of sorts, when they decide to open the force fields “because reasons”. Certainly a lot of Iron Man, who became all powerful “because nanomachines”. But mostly, it’s a Guardians of the Galaxy show, believe it or not. Most episodes have this “cosmic opera” feel.

As far as villains go, maybe Maw appeared as a bonus scene in one of the previous movies? Others are just Monster of the Week, basically. I’m not sure why Marvel never bothered with actually developing their villains.

Speaking of villains, Thanos has the same issue as Ultron (took me a minute even to remember his name). One moment he can change reality around him. Another moment he gets beaten by a comic-relief (but so unbelievable beautiful) Mantis lady. And of course his plan to eliminate exactly half of the life in the Universe doesn’t make sense at all. Even as far as other supervillanous plans go.

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Ted Lasso S01

I’m not a fan of football at all. The only reason I decided to give that show a try was Hannah Waddingham. But luckily, it isn’t a sports drama. There’s almost no actual football in it.

 

It starts as a culture trip: ever-optimistic American comes to manage a football team in the UK.

 

The players are some of the common staples: there’s “Ronaldo”, there’s “Maradona”, and probably some others, but as I said, I don’t know much about football players.

By the half of the season, though, there is a surprising glimpse of deepness in Ted’s optimism crumbling as his wife, that stayed in US, asks for divorce.

 

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White Lotus S01

Finished first what was supposed to be the only season of White Lotus.
We are all slowly dying from the inside, old and young.
The series started with a closed casket. At first, it was obvious who’s in it. Then… not so much.
It’s beautifully filmed and structured. Each episode is a single day, starting in morning and ending with everyone going to sleep.
It turned out to be much more nuanced and less “in your face” than I expected. Like the commentary that you can’t “wear a hair shirt” because you are white all the time. The dialogues are beautifully written, in a very natural manner.
Going back to nuances, we are all used to dramatic changes. There are not many in White Lotus. And that’s a surprise. The unhappy newly wed wife stays with her husband. The black therapist doesn’t get her own practice. I’d say the biggest change is a boy that gets to row in a canoe for a while.

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Arcane S01

I decided to talk about how great Arcane is some more, with the example of Caitlyn and Vi.

We aren’t told that Vi is a lesbian. And it’s even suggested early that Caitlyn is attracted to at least one man.
Often it’s shown that when two lesbians meet, they just Fall in Love. Why? Because there are no other lesbians around, stupid!

That’s not how hetero stories usually work, though, right? There’s often a conflict, a tension, they even hate each other at the beginning, because they are different (one being man, and the other, being, forgive me, a woman).

So here’s a crazy idea. What if the same would be applied to a homosexual relationship?! I know, crazy, because those are two women, and all women are identical and have zero conflicts. But humor me.

And that exactly what makes Caitlyn and Vi relationship work. They have that conflict of being from different classes, and with Caitlyn being a policewoman, and Vi’s family killed by police during an uprising. But they struggle together, the complement each other. We see that evolution, and not just “well, that’s the first homosexual woman I’ve ever met, so it will have to do”.

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Arcane S01

Finished first season of Arcane.
This is not what I expected. But I think it was brilliant nevertheless.
The world feels bigger than the single city we’re shown.

 

 

There are things that are happening outside of it. Which is a great way to build a story.

 

 

Here’s just one example:

A mother, kind of a warrior-queen, exiled her daughter, Mel, for being too soft, to another city-state, Piltover.

 

 

But now her son is dead, and she needs the weapons that Piltover produces. We’re never told who she’s fighting. Because this is something outside of the story.

 

Being all “Spartan warrior”, she still enjoys the benefits of civilization:

 

And this is mostly shown, not told. Often in a single scene.

All the characters have their conflicts. Vi with being from a lower class, and her parents killed by enforcers. Jinx being torn between her sister the vigilante and her stepfather the mob boss, Silco.

Here Silco is being offered what he dreamed off, an independent state, in exchange for his step-daughter:

 

 

I mean, just look at those sequences. The offer, the contemplation, and the statue of the hero and his friend he killed in the background.

It’s so often that characters are given easy escapes. Not here. Even when Jinx eventually kills her stepfather to save her sister:

 

It only sets the scene for a larger catastrophy, the ultimate terrorist act, the attack on the Parliament, which is the cliffhanger for the first season.And I like the ineventability of this. The fact that you take a decission doesn’t mean you don’t end up hating yourself for it. Even if it was the right decission. The hate is still there.

It would again be easy for authors to make Silco point the gun at Jinx. Here, he was always using her! But he doesn’t. Adding the layer of ambiguity:

It wasn’t just an act, he does mourn her, he does try to do everything possible to save her.

And I could go on, on how Mel’s painting represents her longing for home.

 

Again, just a single shot, her standing, him almost laying down, the divide between.

And then we see in the last moments that she ruins it: telling the viewer that she rejects her mother offer. Again, “show, don’t tell” in the most brilliant form.

To me, it’s frustrating that they managed to pull this level of a story out of a universe whose entire purpose is to sell sexy costumers to teenagers. And then we have abominations such as Resident Evil movies, that do have excellent base material, but not the will 🤷‍♂️

 

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Mortal Kombat (2021)

The Hanzo and Bo Han introduction is brilliant. The origin of the kunai, how Sub Zero powers introduces and all that.

 

 

They made the hero a descendant of Scorpion, and a MMA fighter. MMA is all the rage, so I’m not even angry.
Kano was a surprise. More of a comic relief character.

 

There are a lot of little references. Like Kano trying to jump over Liu Kang’s sweep kicks. Kung Lao saying “flawless victory” after dealing fatality to the flying lady nobody remembers (Nitara).

 

Speaking of characters nobody remembers, Reiko was a surprise. They even recreated Liu Kang dragon fatality and Sonia’s as well.

 

 

 

Then there are smaller references: Katana’s fan in the background, Kano trying to steal the Amulet, Motaro in Greek vases.

 

The way fighters need to discover their abilities is more of a superhero-like.

 

But then, they had to establish abilities of a lot of fighters in a very short period of time. Tonfas were a surprise as well. But it’s a new character, and the actor is master of those.
Then there’s the appearance of Scorpion, with the iconic music (if there’s such a thing) and even more iconic “Get over here!”

 

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Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City

It’s a strange attempt to mash together Resident Evil 1, Resident Evil 2 with a bit of Code Veronica on top.

 

There is some notion that they knew what they were doing. First Aid Spray, Umbrella logos, Dr Birkin, Spenser Mansion. They did reconstruct the original intro of Resident Evil 2, the one with the truck, quite faithfully. And the one from Resident Evil 1 is pretty accurate as well.

 

Leon S. Kenney is a bit more… Middle Eastern, than what I’d expect. And Jill is also a little more… black.


They made Wesker one of the regular cops, friend of Jill. And mostly a clueless guy.

 

Then there’s Chris and Claire Redfield that were kids in an Umbrella orphanage. Completely unnecessary, I think. What purpose does this detail has, except a way of bringing Claire and Leon to the underground train, really?

 

 

I had zero expectations. But still, I mostly wished this would be over.