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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iL1K_l8Jyo

 

I was eager to see “High Flying Bird,” Steven Soderbergh’s sports drama released Friday on Netflix. Bursting with strong ideas about the legacy of slavery and late-stage capitalism--it concerns the chess moves made by an agent during an NBA lockout--and a magnetic lead performance by Andre Holland, the movie is always compelling. Still, there’s something artificial and forced about the project, a trait that also plagued “Unsane,” Soderbergh’s previous movie shot entirely on iPhones.

 
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Just watched "At Eternity's Gate." Willem Dafoe is incredible as Vincent Van Gogh, and to me the movie is better than a lot of this year's best picture nominees.

 

I also finally watched "Bad Times at the El Royale." It was good but not great. Definite reminders of the Coen Brothers and Tarantino. 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCEYXnDNcrg

 

“Never Look Away,” an Oscar nominee for foreign language film and cinematography, is an epic 188-minute drama about a German painter haunted by his childhood under first the Nazis and then the East German regime. It’s a sweeping, romantic movie about history, love, and sex, but mostly it’s about art and the creative impulse. It’s the kind of classic cinema that they say they don’t make anymore. I loved every minute and am thankful to have seen it on the big screen.

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Let me rant about Bohemian Rhapsody. Spoilers ahead.

It's not as bad as the Jimi Hendrix biopic but that's not saying much. I actually saw A Star Is Born recently too and I kind of wished I saw this first, it's blandness might have made me like ASIB more. The home version I saw also had the full Live Aid concert, which I don't really understand the point of, I guess if you've ever wanted to watch actors lip sync to Queen for 20 minutes than it was probably worthwhile. It failed to make Freddie a captivating, or even understandable character. Also, I don't feel like anyone who worked on this movie had ever played in a band or written a song because none of that stuff is portrayed naturally. The whole second/third act was about Freddie feeling held back by Queen, so he leaves the band and goes solo for awhile, then he fires the guy keeping them apart and they reunite for Live Aid. Live Aid was their first show in years! Except, Wikipedia mentions: "Queen never split up, so Live Aid was not a reunion. They released The Works in early 1984 and then toured worldwide. The last show of the tour was eight weeks before Live Aid." So, the whole crux of the movie was bullshit. There was other things too, like Freddie meeting his longtime girlfriend the day of Queen's first concert. Or Freddie finally getting together with his boyfriend and immediately introducing him (and coming out to) his family right before Live Aid. Obviously any biopic movie will move things around to make them more cinematic but this felt particularly obvious and egregious. 

As far as these large focus music biopics go, I think Walk The Line was way better. Smaller focus biopics like Love & Mercy or abstract ones like I'm Not There made much better movies and I think gave me a better understanding of Brian Wilson and Bob Dylan, respectively.

Honestly, I can't believe this got a Best Picture nom. People sit and talk down about Black Panther getting a nomination but Black Panther was a much better film than this and at least had something to say.

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I was glad to see Endeavor (season 5) up on Amazon Prime finally. It's getting hard to catch a lot of these British shows due to BritBox and Acorn.

 

One of my absolute favorites, along with Shetland and Broadchurch.

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Peer-pressured by some of you into watching "Abducted in Plain Sight."  Pretty much everyone in the movie was either breathtakingly stupid or unspeakably evil.  Some were both.  I didn't like it very much. 

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I, as well, will sing the praises of Russian Doll. Had no idea what to expect. Loved every bit, except maybe the conclusion. Need to rewatch and process.

 

Just finished it up last night. I really enjoyed the last episode. Pretty cool concept for show. I wonder if there are talks of a 2nd season. Perhaps, they will go with a whole different set of characters and keep the same concept.

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Had a ball with Miracle Workers which just premiered on TBS last week. It's a limited series (7 episodes) where Steve Buscemi plays God. It's from Simon Rich who did FXX's equally creative Man Seeking Woman.

 

I'll post my thoughts on True Detective on Monday. Can't believe this season is already in the books after this Sunday.

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My wife and I are watching a show that some of you might like.  It's called Breaking Bad.  It's about a high school chemistry teacher in New Mexico who is diagnosed with cancer and starts to manufacture crystal meth ...

 

(But seriously, I'm not sure why we never watched it when it was originally on.  It's not the kind of thing that she typically likes but she's totally hooked.)

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Just finished it up last night. I really enjoyed the last episode. Pretty cool concept for show. I wonder if there are talks of a 2nd season. Perhaps, they will go with a whole different set of characters and keep the same concept.

 

I'm pretty sure season 2 is confirmed.  I've read that it was pitched as a three season show, but I guess there's no way to know if that's how it will play out.

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