[rant] Entertainment Rants

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by The Wisp on Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:45 pm

Werel wrote:
The Wisp wrote:Just saw the first episode of a series called "black mirror". Google the first episode summary, I don't understand what point the creators were trying to make. I felt like they were trying too hard.

Funny you should say that. I felt like that premise was explored so organically and perfectly I wanted to stand up and cheer. Plus, I think it's great to take speculative fiction to a place where the "what if" can be as simple as
Spoiler:
"what if the PM had to fuck a pig?"

But all the reviews saying "this appalling garbage should never have been aired" just enhance my enjoyment, so. Wink

I guess I just felt like it was trying too hard to be dark and cynical and profound but not having quite enough there to justify itself in the end, like a student film. Also saw the second episode, and I felt similarly.

The premise was handled well given how ridiculous it was though, I'll give them that.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Werel on Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:27 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:Based on what I've heard and read about it, I think they intended for it to explore ideas about peer pressure, leverage, media cycles, and gossip, among others. Not even necessarily making a point about any of them, since you might agree or sympathize more with the PM, the antagonist, or another creature in the story.

I find it abstractly intriguing in ways that are perhaps similar to Under the Skin, but also like that film, I think I have to pass on actually viewing it for now.

Agreed, especially the bolded bit. I'm a little allergic to the concept that all art needs a clear Point, rather than serving as vicarious experience and/or producing affect, and I think it did the latter two things well. (Under the Skin was my favorite movie of last year, so you're probably right to group them under similar taste profiles. Wink)

The Wisp wrote:I guess I just felt like it was trying too hard to be dark and cynical and profound but not having quite enough there to justify itself in the end, like a student film. Also saw the second episode, and I felt similarly.

Huh, interesting! I didn't get any "dark" or "cynical" off the pilot at all; if asked to describe it, I'd probably reach for the word "comedy." Same with the second episode. I think if I tried to view either episode as Very Serious Statement Pieces, I might also come away feeling like they were juvenile, but both felt pretty tongue-in-cheek to me.

Then again, like takuan mentioned, I was rooting for the antagonist in the pilot-- maybe one's take on the episode's relative darkness vs. hilariousness depends on how much you want to high-five the perpetrator? Razz
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by The Wisp on Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:33 pm

I do tend to take art too seriously at times Razz Viewing it as a black comedy changes how it appears significantly.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by eselle28 on Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:45 pm

I thought that first episode of Black Mirror was strange and only okay. I felt it was trying a little too hard to be timely. The second episode didn't do much for me at all, mostly because I immediately had a bunch of questions about the general state of the world that the episode never attempted to answer. Now, the third episode I thought was quite amazing - well-drawn, realistic characters and a technology that's not too far past what today's technology can do.

I haven't watched the second season yet, but I have reasonably high hopes for it. I suspect the episodes will continue to be uneven in quality, but that's kind of the nature of an anthology show. I kind of like the idea, if only because it means some new and perhaps odd science fiction scenarios might make their way to the public.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by eselle28 on Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:46 pm

Okay, Netflix, how about we come to a truce? I'm sure you don't want to use up all your bandwith showing things to people who fell asleep a long time ago. On the other hand, if I'm marathoning a half hour show like Attack on Titan, asking me if I'm still watching once every 3 episodes means you're asking me every hour. How about you pretend I'm watching a movie and ask me every 6-8 episodes or so? As it is, I feel like I'm being couch potato-shamed.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Guest on Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:30 am

eselle28 wrote:Okay, Netflix, how about we come to a truce? I'm sure you don't want to use up all your bandwith showing things to people who fell asleep a long time ago. On the other hand, if I'm marathoning a half hour show like Attack on Titan, asking me if I'm still watching once every 3 episodes means you're asking me every hour. How about you pretend I'm watching a movie and ask me every 6-8 episodes or so? As it is, I feel like I'm being couch potato-shamed.

Hehehe, just so it doesn't think you're asleep, press play while the "Next Episode will start in..." so it can not bug you. ;3

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by nearly_takuan on Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:48 am

Got started on Dollhouse today. There's a brief scene in the second episode where Echo returns from an arranged "date" with what we are meant to infer is an exceptionally fat and lonely man.

She spends the entire scene criticizing media body image standards and makes only brief and vague references to the man's "personality" so she can demonstrate how thoroughly convinced she is that she's in love with it. (And nothing else about him. Descriptions of the Dollhouse as a fantasy fulfillment service are greatly overstated.)

The client gets to choose what the doll is for, but the Dollhouse employees often get to decide how the doll will actually fulfill that objective. But whether it was the client or the Dollhouse staff who were unable to imagine a woman loving a fat man's physical characteristics, we may infer that the show's writers were equally unimaginative.

And of course the actual purpose of the scene is to show how completely Echo believes in each role she is given, and show the audience (and our proxy, Boyd) how pitiable her situation is.




A more compelling scene comes a bit later, when Victor confesses he wishes the Dollhouse did exist, in a way that momentarily led me to believe he wanted to use its services—but the truth (in that moment) is that he hates his life and would willingly become a Doll himself to wipe away his own past. Of course, a twist at the end of that episode prevents that particular idea from being explored in the same way.




What the fuck is filmmakers' fascination with childbirth scenes?


Last edited by nearly_takuan on Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Guest on Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:29 am

Not impressed with the Ant-Man trailer. Completely lackluster and makes the movie look like it's gonna be shit. I hope I'm wrong and I don't even like Ant-Man.

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by nearly_takuan on Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:31 am

Man is rude to waitress, so let's stab him in an artery and make him empty his pockets. Justice. Humor. Agent Carter is the best and most feminist hero.

("Rude" is grossly understating it, but death threat + shakedown is still a disproportionate response.)
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by The Wisp on Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:26 pm

I don't understand the older gamers (30+) who complain that modern gamers are "coddled" and "spoiled" because games aren't difficult in the way they were in the NES and are "doing it wrong" when we use guides to play games like the original Zelda game. Like, aren't games supposed to be fun? There's a big difference between a game that is challenging because it clever or complex, and game that is challenging because it requires rote trial and error with no thought. Honestly I think these people are blinded by nostalgia. Honestly, these games were hard because of a mix of the developers needing to make an otherwise short game last longer and/or poor design.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:57 am

This was going so well. I really do like Dollhouse now that I've finished the first season. There were additional problematic bits but nothing that really burned into my memory.

Except now at the start of season 2 we have Whiskey basically raping Topher, and it's okay because a) she's just doing it to get information from him and b) he has a boner. It wouldn't do for a woman to actually want sex, or for a man to not be into it. (And of course the boner means he's into it.)
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Enail on Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:36 pm

I always felt like Dollhouse was a show that wanted to address issues of consent and autonomy in a progressive and complex way, but a combination of relying on some lazy tropes and mindsets, including very problematic ones, and a general inability to focus and tell their story clearly landed up with them sending quite a lot of really awful messages along with some good ones.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:42 pm

Yeah, some scenes almost have me believing the reviews that claimed the show was "feminist", and others make me wonder if this isn't the most sexist thing I've watched in the last five years. I get the same mix of feelings following my current favorite comic books, but usually there's proportionally more of the former and less of the latter.

As a general rule on this show, when a man hits a woman, he's being abusive and brutal and inflicting severe psychic trauma; when a woman hits a man, she's either carrying out Justice and Retribution or just being a crazy bitch, and the man quickly recovers and forgets it ever happened.

Oh, good. Pregnancy episode. Echo, normally torn between her uniquely powerful and enduring personality/"soul" and her cognitive programming and memories, has both (along with all other sources of reason) entirely overridden by her ladypart hormones.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by The Wisp on Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:05 pm

In my opinion Joss Whedon's works have not been as femninist (at least in his writing) as his reputation would suggest. He says the right things in interviews and speeches but I don't think that outlook always ends up in his writing and directing. I give him props for writing lots of female characters, but his work is inconsistently feminist and still draw on gendered stereotypes. Also his understanding of what a "strong female character" is rather one dimmensional.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:16 pm

The Wisp wrote:In my opinion Joss Whedon's works have not been as femninist (at least in his writing) as his reputation would suggest. He says the right things in interviews and speeches but I don't think that outlook always ends up in his writing and directing. I give him props for writing lots of female characters, but his work is inconsistently feminist and still draw on gendered stereotypes. Also his understanding of what a "strong female character" is rather one dimmensional.

Yes indeed.

And now we have a criminal that the Dollhouse has been ordered to resuscitate. Maybe a sociopathic criminal, eh. Maybe a serial killer, kinda more morally gray. No wait, he serially abducts and kills women, so now we know he doesn't deserve to live. (Just to make sure we're all on the same page, my gripe is that they explained he was a kidnapper and serial killer, then later revealed to the characters that he's a kidnapper and serial killer of women, and treated that as a significant escalation in stakes.)

Meanwhile (same episode), a professor's unfulfilled fantasy is apparently to mansplain his education to an impressionable female student. Wait... how did he manage to leave that unfulfilled this long?

Naturally, both are also anviliciously misogynistic strawmen for "women never pay attention to me so I have bad thoughts".
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by eselle28 on Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:36 pm

The Wisp wrote:In my opinion Joss Whedon's works have not been as femninist (at least in his writing) as his reputation would suggest. He says the right things in interviews and speeches but I don't think that outlook always ends up in his writing and directing. I give him props for writing lots of female characters, but his work is inconsistently feminist and still draw on gendered stereotypes. Also his understanding of what a "strong female character" is rather one dimmensional.

I agree, and I think public opinion is coming around to that conclusion as well. I certainly believe that Whedon is a feminist and much of his work was better than the norm in the 90s, when he developed that reputation, but he leans really heavily on some very problematic tropes. I've never watched Dollhouse and the problems with Buffy have been pretty extensively discussed. I'll add to the list that I though the handling of sex work in Firefly was kind of obnoxious. I have no problem with the portrayal of a happy, fulfilled sex worker, but then the show drifts off into stereotypes like "all sex workers are women," "female bisexuality exists for male titillation," and "sex workers need men to protect them from evil johns." It also set up a potential romantic relationship between that happy, fulfilled sex worker and a man who called her a whore, even though everything else about the universe suggests that sex work is a respected profession.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by waxingjaney on Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:42 pm

The Wisp wrote:Also his understanding of what a "strong female character" is rather one dimensional.

To summarize, Punisher with a vagina.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by eselle28 on Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:34 pm

I would have preferred my Golden Globes without the side dish of racism. There had to be some other way to handle the Sony hack.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by The Wisp on Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:57 pm

I'm tired of action movies being glorified animated movies with actors pasted in. Mix up the special and practical effects, have real sets and props whenever possible.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Guest on Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:02 am

I really despise the concept of the Death of the Author.

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Wondering on Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:24 pm

Finally got around to seeing The Hobbit, Part 3(billionty eleven).

Just as I suspected: Fighty Fighty McFighterson. And hardly any of what I actually wanted to see on the big screen: an awesome dragon.

And so much more that probably wouldn't even noticeable to most people who don't live and breathe Tolkien. But, in general, very disappointed and sad we had to arrange babysitting for something so not-good.

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:47 am

Rubber puppet face Billy Connoly made me sad.

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by eselle28 on Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:44 pm

So this is why I avoid the Witcher series, and is a great example of the kind of lazy storytelling that frustrates me in game writing.

I'm more than fine with sex and romance being included in game storytelling, but assuming it's the quickest way to establish a meaningful relationship between the characters and make the player care about the NPC is irritating. Did the developers even consider that some players might not find the NPC either sexually or romantically attractive, and that others might not identify very much with the trope of rescuing a female love interest? Did they even consider that in addition to sex, they could also add some detail that might allow a player who didn't fit that mold to care about the NPC for some other reason? (Yes, I know these questions are rhetorical, because the answer is almost certainly "no").
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by bomaye on Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:59 am

Aight, so, Gotham.

Jim Gordon and a whole bunch of bat characters when they were younger. A decent premise, a surprisingly topical idea (corrupt and brutal police), a show that's okay at best, some elements are really good and others not so much.

But the one that gets me every time, the portrayal of Edward Nygma aka The Future Riddler.

Like, look at The Riddler's character. Bombastic, supremely confident, the guy leaves behind clues that will lead to his ultimate defeat because he's the smartest guy in the room, who's gonna figure out his riddles?

What would lead a guy to become The Riddler? Why would he need a bombastic, supremely confident criminal personality? Probably because in his pre-Riddler life, he was the smartest guy in the room but completely ignored, almost invisible. He had nothing to bring to the table except his intelligence, and no one cared when he did bring his intelligence. The Riddler persona was the way to make them care.

Edward Nygma on Gotham sticks out because he's supremely weird. He's aspergers comedy from the early 2000s, a very out-of-date weirdo character who they put into lame awkward-nerd-hitting-on-girl comedy segments with Ms Cringle. He requires a lot more subtlety to pull off than they're giving him.

About the only thing they did that I felt they got right was that he has "the thing." "The thing" is what pushes bat-villains over the edge no matter what. Penguin's "thing" is that he can't be a nobody, so even if he's in the most dangerous situation imaginable, if someone starts mocking his status, he'll turn from a simpering coward into a bragging maniac. Harvey Dent was shown to have his "thing" pre-Two Face Nygma has his thing every once in awhile too, he tried to give Ms Cringle a weird riddle and when she didn't get it, he broke from spergnerd into an almost serious anger and "It's a riddle." And she still didn't get it, he repeated himself like he was speaking to a lower lifeform. THAT is the guy who will become The Riddler, not the guy they've mostly been portraying so far.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:40 am

Finally got 'round to watching my recording of The Flash from last week. What a horribly wasted opportunity.

tl;dw: Iris is hired by a journalistic organization and is essentially told up-front by her "idol" (whom we've heard very little about before now) that she's a worthless talentless lazy ignorant brat with entitlement issues. He brags on his own experience and mocks her for having "gumption".

Later she has an opportunity to do something that could be spun as extraordinarily competent and quick thinking...except that she doesn't really do that; she just plays directly into the hands of a villain, feels smug about said empty victory, and responds to the other journalist's "what was that?" with "GUMPTION!! Grin "

No. I don't know if the writers were trying to impart some kind of moral about the value of youthful spunk and go-getter-ive-ness, but I'm pretty sure all they really accomplished was making Iris seem like even more of a ditz and a waste of space on the show. She'd honestly be better off 'fridged like in the comics than she is now, if either way her sole purpose is going to be advancing the character arcs of the show's male extras.
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