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My first movie of 2020 was a re-watch of "Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood." Looks even better a second time through.

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I've had two weeks off work. Which means lots of movies and TV.

Late 2019 / Early 2020 films + television:

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: great! QT got me again with these historical films.

Knives Out: great! The second best film of the year with Chris Evans in it.

The Rise of Skywalker: pretty good!

Echo in the Canyon: Everything felt fake and forced. Seriously, listen to the incredibly scripted conversations between Jacob Dylan, Beck, and Regina Spektor. The super phoney audience applause every time someone would sing their first part in a song. Never before has a documentary offered such little insight. Why was Tom Petty in it so much? He's from Florida. He has nothing to do with The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, etc. He wasn't even making records till ten years later.  It felt like after he passed they just edited in everything they had of him. Brian Wilson and David Crosby were great though. I just saw another music documentary, called Carmine Street Guitars which was much better than this. Honestly, as someone who was neither alive in that era and has never been to southern California, I thought Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, a film with a great deal of fiction in it, gave me a better understanding of that scene and era.

Fleabag seasons 1 + 2: I thought the first season was pretty decent but didn't see where the hype was. Season 2 though was a masterpiece. 

Letterkenny season 8: Letterkenny, Kim's Convenience, Schitt's Creek...  We're in the golden age of Canadian comedies/sitcoms. Outside of The Good Place, this might be the funniest show on television. Season 7 and 8 came back-to-back almost but I thought 8 was a little stronger.

You season 2: This thing was basically more of the same for the first nine episodes and then went off the goddamn rails in the finale. 

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Fleabag seasons 1 + 2: I thought the first season was pretty decent but didn't see where the hype was. Season 2 though was a masterpiece. 

 

I recently binge watched both seasons of Fleabag and couldn't believe how fantastic it was on multiple levels.  Truly brilliant.

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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: great! QT got me again with these historical films.

 

Echo in the Canyon: Everything felt fake and forced. Seriously, listen to the incredibly scripted conversations between Jacob Dylan, Beck, and Regina Spektor. The super phoney audience applause every time someone would sing their first part in a song. Never before has a documentary offered such little insight. Why was Tom Petty in it so much? He's from Florida. He has nothing to do with The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, etc. He wasn't even making records till ten years later.  It felt like after he passed they just edited in everything they had of him. Brian Wilson and David Crosby were great though. I just saw another music documentary, called Carmine Street Guitars which was much better than this. Honestly, as someone who was neither alive in that era and has never been to southern California, I thought Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, a film with a great deal of fiction in it, gave me a better understanding of that scene and era.

I thought Once Upon a Time was just too long and too slow, and didn't have a story to tell. Wasted opportunity with having two great magnetic leads. The last half hour almost made up for the rest of the film, but I found it completely lacking of any great Tarantino scenes or dialogue.

 

Couldn't agree more with your assessment of Echo. The shots of Jacob Dylan just nodding along with whatever his interviewee had to say... He looked so bored.  

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Echo in the Canyon: Everything felt fake and forced. Seriously, listen to the incredibly scripted conversations between Jacob Dylan, Beck, and Regina Spektor. The super phoney audience applause every time someone would sing their first part in a song. Never before has a documentary offered such little insight. 

 

Couldn't agree more. Someone recommended it to me. I watched 10 minutes and gave up. 

 

I watched a couple of movies on a flight Tuesday: John Wick 3. Parts were fun, but the action scenes are getting really reptetive. I will most likely skip the inevitable (and strongly hinted at) #4. Also watched Blinded by the Light. I good, but short of great, movie. Directed by the director of Bend it Like Beckham which is still a favorite of mine. Doesn't live up to it, but seriously fun. 

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Couldn't agree more. Someone recommended it to me. I watched 10 minutes and gave up. 

 

I watched a couple of movies on a flight Tuesday: John Wick 3. Parts were fun, but the action scenes are getting really reptetive. I will most likely skip the inevitable (and strongly hinted at) #4. Also watched Blinded by the Light. I good, but short of great, movie. Directed by the director of Bend it Like Beckham which is still a favorite of mine. Doesn't live up to it, but seriously fun. 

 

 

I thought Once Upon a Time was just too long and too slow, and didn't have a story to tell. Wasted opportunity with having two great magnetic leads. The last half hour almost made up for the rest of the film, but I found it completely lacking of any great Tarantino scenes or dialogue.

 

Couldn't agree more with your assessment of Echo. The shots of Jacob Dylan just nodding along with whatever his interviewee had to say... He looked so bored.  

 

Glad you guys agree with me about Echo. I assumed it was going to be good since the Rotten Tomatoes was so high. And Winston, you're definitely right about Jacob just nodding along. Early in my career, before I was a middle management sellout, I interviewed people on TV, often about things I didn't care about (community events, local sports, that sort of thing), and learning to fake enthusiasm for that stuff is a skill in its own but clearly no one on set pulled Jacob aside and talked to him about it. There's ways to do it while still being yourself but nodding along with bored eyes isn't it.

As for Once Upon a Time, yeah the first 3/4 was slow, but not nearly as slow as Death Proof. I guess growing up on Tarantino and Twin Peaks has conditioned me for long scenes that go nowhere. It's strange that Tarantino gets a pass. If this was some first time director I would have bailed after 20 minutes.

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His Dark Materials - good Dr Who type (when Dr Who is/was good) entertainment. More time to fully develop the plot than the movie flop. Great child actress and believable CGI for daemons & bears etc.

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We watched the below over the weekend -- funny stuff, my 7 and 10 year thought it was hilarious, the wife and I thought it was great, too A lot of great cameos. 

 

Via Netflix: John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch

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Watched Marriage Story over the weekend.  Great acting and painful to watch. 

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Watched Marriage Story over the weekend.  Great acting and painful to watch. 

 

That's how I'd describe Uncut Gems. A great movie that I didn't necessarily enjoy. 

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amazon prime members should watch Fitzcarraldo. it's an incredible movie. pretty unreal that it was actually made. the documentary that les blank made about making this movie is equally as good (The Burden Of Dreams). 

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amazon prime members should watch Fitzcarraldo. it's an incredible movie. pretty unreal that it was actually made. the documentary that les blank made about making this movie is equally as good (The Burden Of Dreams). 

 

It's been on my list ever since seeing My Best Fiend a couple months ago. 

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Echo in the Canyon: Everything felt fake and forced. Seriously, listen to the incredibly scripted conversations between Jacob Dylan, Beck, and Regina Spektor. The super phoney audience applause every time someone would sing their first part in a song. Never before has a documentary offered such little insight. Why was Tom Petty in it so much? He's from Florida. He has nothing to do with The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, etc. He wasn't even making records till ten years later.  It felt like after he passed they just edited in everything they had of him. Brian Wilson and David Crosby were great though. I just saw another music documentary, called Carmine Street Guitars which was much better than this. Honestly, as someone who was neither alive in that era and has never been to southern California, I thought Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, a film with a great deal of fiction in it, gave me a better understanding of that scene and era.

 

 

This is on the money.  I really wanted to like this, but it was pretty flimsy.  The performances were mediocre, and none of the stories went into any depth.   Carmine Street Guitars was very good.  Haven't seen Once Upon a Time yet.

 

On the subject of music docs (maybe I mentioned these on the old thread) but the Roland Kirk doc and The Jazz Loft on Amazon are both really good. 

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It's been on my list ever since seeing My Best Fiend a couple months ago. 

where did you see that? It's been on my list since forever.

 

i finally did see Cobra Verde though. that was on Prime (or maybe Netflix)

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where did you see that? It's been on my list since forever.

 

i finally did see Cobra Verde though. that was on Prime (or maybe Netflix)

The Criterion channel app. Definitely the best movie streaming service out there. Huge art house / indy / foreign classics library. 

 

https://www.criterionchannel.com/

 

$11/month. 14 day free trial. 

 

If art house / indy / foreign flicks are your thing, I can't recommend it highly enough. 

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The Criterion channel app. Definitely the best movie streaming service out there. Huge art house / indy / foreign classics library. 

 

https://www.criterionchannel.com/

 

$11/month. 14 day free trial. 

 

If art house / indy / foreign flicks are your thing, I can't recommend it highly enough. 

i just canceled Hulu so i might do this... 

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I seriously decompressed with some camp/trash/popular binge watching:

 

The Witcher- cheesy in a self-aware way, gorey, over the top fantasy

The Mandalorian- I liked it best when it was a series-long arc, there were a few one-off procedural episodes in the middle that felt a little too Xena Warrior Princess for me, but the high parts were high.

 

I also watched His Dark Materials, and also thought it was an overall success. I've read all of the Pullman books from the series so I had pretty high hopes.

 

My wife and I finally finished Orange Is the New Black. We agreed two seasons ago that it had gone past its prime. The final season had a little more to offer, but was overall just okay.

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Strong start to HBO's The Outsider. Just started last Sunday. 2 episodes. 


The Mandalorian- I liked it best when it was a series-long arc, there were a few one-off procedural episodes in the middle that felt a little too Xena Warrior Princess for me, but the high parts were high.

Definitely. The standalone episodes (4, 5, 6) were a little bit weaker, but cool nonetheless.

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The Criterion channel app. Definitely the best movie streaming service out there. Huge art house / indy / foreign classics library. 

 

 

I'm a huge Criterion fan. Over the weekend I watched several early short films by the Safdie brothers ("Uncut Gems") on the streaming service.

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Strong start to HBO's The Outsider. Just started last Sunday. 2 episodes. 

 

Nice, The trailer captivated me. It's on the watch list for sure.

 

I finally made it around to Barry and I'm binging it at 2-3 episodes a night. It's so good. Has the same worlds collide wackiness that Dexter had, but less campy, more cool. Also very funny. 

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I'm a huge Criterion fan. Over the weekend I watched several early short films by the Safdie brothers ("Uncut Gems") on the streaming service.

I've been meaning to check those out. Saw Uncut Gems over the holidays. Fascinating, stressful film. Not sure I enjoyed it, or want to watch it again though. 

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Letterkenny season 8: Letterkenny, Kim's Convenience, Schitt's Creek...  We're in the golden age of Canadian comedies/sitcoms. Outside of The Good Place, this might be the funniest show on television. Season 7 and 8 came back-to-back almost but I thought 8 was a little stronger.

 

 

Last night, the wife and I just watched the 1st two episodes of season one --- man, what ride. Funny as hell. Looking forward to catching up.

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I finished season 3 of The Crown. What a way to tell the story of the 20th century. There was a lot of things I wasn't aware of either, like the disaster in Wales. Even as a socialist, anti-monarchist Canadian, I have to admit I find Queen Liz a compelling character. 
 

Definitely. The standalone episodes (4, 5, 6) were a little bit weaker, but cool nonetheless.

I agree with this BUT... I also liked having standalone problem-of-the-week episodes. TV is so serialized these days it was refreshing having a few episodic episodes, even if elements from those episodes did come together in the last few episodes.
 

Last night, the wife and I just watched the 1st two episodes of season one --- man, what ride. Funny as hell. Looking forward to catching up.


Nice!! Check out this video if you want some of the slang applied. Some of the things like 10-ply didn't make sense to me on first viewing but now I find I use them in day-to-day conversation.

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