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2 hours ago, TrustMe said:

I remember as a kid in the 1980's watching a documentary of the Memphis Belle from the 1940's, by a film crew who flew with the MB on its final mission over Nazi Europe. It was an excellent documentary, much better than the 1990's film and I bet this new TV show.

William Wyler filmed it iirc. A great piece of work.

A few years ago some of the original film used to make it was discovered, much of it never used before. So they reprocessed it, overlaid it with ex aircrew narrating it, and released it as The Cold Blue. I saw it some years ago on sky, and it was superb.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

William Wyler filmed it iirc. A great piece of work.

A few years ago some of the original film used to make it was discovered, much of it never used before. So they reprocessed it, overlaid it with ex aircrew narrating it, and released it as The Cold Blue. I saw it some years ago on sky, and it was superb.

 

 

Excellent find Stuart. I didn't know what it was called.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not from 2023, but the free channels I look at via Roku have a couple of police procedurals from GB/UK/Blightystan that caught my interest;

The Ghost Squad; https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0479612/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

just started in on Ghost Squad.

Line of Duty; https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2303687/?ref_=nm_flmg_t_30_act

1st season of Line of Duty was great, season 2 is very disjoint from season 1 so I'm less enthusiastic so far.

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Surprised no one has mentioned Blue Samurai on Netflix.

I'll refrain from detailed commentary atm because it's... quite a mixed bag.

I will say... the first five episodes are just this remarkable crescendo of storytelling and action (hints and inspiration from both Andor [in how they so eloquently weaved separate stories together] and John Wick) that reached a pinnacle in the 5th episode.  That 5th episode is, and I'm not saying this lightly, the best piece of episodic TV I have ever seen... until the last 5m.

The series takes such a remarkable dive in the last 5m of that 5th episode and through the rest of the series that I barely finished it.  While I never saw GoT nosedive when it came out... the sheer difference and drop in quality of this series reminded me of the discussion back during the last season of GoT.

Still... if you haven't seen this and want to see some of the best TV out there I highly recommend watching up through the last 5m of the 5th episode and stopping there.  You won't be disappointed.

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3 hours ago, Stefan Fredriksson said:

Line of Duty, very good indeed. Except iirc last episode, which I remember as a stinker.

There is continued rumours there will be a 7th season, a 3 parter, to tidy things up. So they might fix that.

I remember watching the first season, and it was pretty good. I couldnt get into the rest of them.

There is another BBC series I quite liked called called Hinterland. It can basically be described as 'Scandi Noir' but set in Wales.

 

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On 12/20/2023 at 9:44 PM, Stefan Fredriksson said:

Just started on Blue Eye Samurai, and 2 episodes in I am mightily impressed. Everything about it so far is great. Too bad it might go downhill later, only saw comments that the last episode was not too good. I will most likely finish it though.

When you finally finish it let me know.  That show has generated the most discussion in my group of friends than any other show we've all seen.  Some of that discussion would obviously spoil the ending if you haven't finished it yet.

Edited by Skywalkre
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I saw ep. 5 (still has the rest to go).

Small spoiler below, but nothing crucial.

 

 

I think end of ep. 5 was bad in one way, and that was Ringo's behavior. It was too inconsistent for me. Sort of "We need him to break with Mizu, but we can not find a better way." That, because I think Mizu's decision was the logical and correct one to take.

Edited by Stefan Fredriksson
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Finished BYS. Spoilers below.

 

 

Ok. Ep. 1-5 are great, with the small exception of Ringo's choice (which obviously later was fixed). I ascribe it to Ringo being somewhat naive. Episode 6 was imo outright bad, I got bored, and had low expectations for 7 and 8. But the last two were not bad at all. Akemi and Ringo back again, along with Seki and others. I enjoyed them except for the ending, which felt a bit cheesy. On the whole I liked it being a reveng-story at core, but Mizu's reason for going through it all felt to me farfetched. Overall beautifully done, and well told.

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On 12/23/2023 at 9:58 PM, Stefan Fredriksson said:

I saw ep. 5

Before getting to everything else... WASN'T THAT EPISODE AMAZING?!  The action, the misdirection with the play, the side quest at the start and the tragic story of that one prostitute, just... all of it... that episode was CRAZY GOOD.

And then they threw it all away with the last few minutes.

/sigh

Let's start with those last 5m.  Like you I thought it felt disjointed with how quickly Ringo turned on Mizu.  How was it dishonorable for her to ignore those guards and let them take Akemi?  One thing that bothered me with this series is that they never really explain what the hell honor even means in this society.  Given the fact they go out of their way to point out how fucked up Japanese society was at this time I kept hearing 'honor' and thought the writers were constantly mocking how it was meaningless.  Then at the end of ep5 Ringo gets a hard on over it because... reasons?

Akemi... I was not a fan with what the show seemed to be pushing in regards to her.  Take ep5.  Should I have felt sympathy for her?  If so... why?  She was a rich, entitled Karen who wasn't getting her way.  Boo-fucking-hoo.  She still lived a far better life than the prostitutes we met in that episode and throughout the show.  The fact that she had a little more proactive approach to her own defense doesn't make her a hero... and that little bit of proactivity didn't mean Mizu owed her anything (IMNSHO).

However... I wonder if with Akemi... that the show is setting up folks to root for her only to have her betray that support in the end.  A friend of mine pointed out that Mizu is no hero.  She's not out on a noble quest... she's just out to kill some dudes for very... bizarre reasons and she's lucking out in that trying to get to those dudes she's going through very bad people that the audience has no sympathy for and is rooting for their demise (like the old flesh seller in the opening episode).  Akemi at no point in this show, again IMNSHO, does anything to make me think she's a good person, either.  Some point to when she bought the prostitutes' freedom in the last episode... except she specifically says she's doing it not to be nice but because she needs people around her she can trust (and by having bought their freedom and hooking them up with sweet gigs inside the top echelons of Japanese society those former prostitutes will likely feel beholden to her).

One of the problems I had with this show was that by the end... I didn't care for anybody.  I stopped caring for Mizu for various reasons.  Taigen was... just this... weird character that I never felt sympathy for at any point in the story (his obession with winning back his honor just made me hate him early on).  I touched on Akemi's issues above.  Ringo, after that bizarre disownment of Mizu at the end of ep5, didn't garner any support from me, either.

Then there was the issue with how this show went from treating serious wounds seriously... and then just a few episodes later Mizu was shrugging off injuries that would have brought down any one of the Avengers.  There was no consistency in this department throughout the show.  It wouldn't have been hard to have paused the story for weeks/months after Mizu was seriously hurt at times to have her heal up and then continue on.

Then there's the basic problem with her 'quest'.  She's out to kill every white guy that was in the country when she was born because one of them is her father... and because Japanese society is so backwards everyone treats her like a monster... so instead of addressing the shortcomings of society she's out to kill these four white dudes.

W... T... F...?

My friend pointed out... what if one of these guys ends up being... nice?  Mizu lucked out in that the focus of this season was actually a legit dirtbag so she accidentally was doing some good in hunting him down.  Still... the more her quest was driven home throughout the season the less and less I was rooting for her because said quest was just so... weird.

In hindsight I don't regret watching it and would still recommend ep1-5(minus the last 5m of ep5) to anyone.  But I barely finished it and will be skipping season 2 of this.  What could have been...

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I usually never manage to analyse more than "good" or "bad". I agree with much, especially the motive for revenge, which in the end came close to retarded. Also the end, "Mizu goes to London", and Fowler allowed (??) hilmself to be imprisoned on the ship. The only possibility I can see is that Fowler has use for her when they get to England.

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On 12/29/2023 at 11:20 PM, Stefan Fredriksson said:

I usually never manage to analyse more than "good" or "bad". I agree with much, especially the motive for revenge, which in the end came close to retarded. Also the end, "Mizu goes to London", and Fowler allowed (??) hilmself to be imprisoned on the ship. The only possibility I can see is that Fowler has use for her when they get to England.

Something else I forgot to mention.

In the shows I've watched or heard good things about, a recent trend seems to be to make everything grey and no one is a true hero anymore.  I think Blue Eyed Samurai was trying to do the same.

The problem is... if you push everyone so far into the grey... you, as the viewer, have no one left to root for.  That was my issue by the end of BES - I didn't give a damn about anyone so why bother watching?

Sometimes these 'artists' try too hard to be artsy... and you just end up with 'meh'.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

OK, then. Has anybody seen Shogun 2024 yet? And what's the consensus?

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Not bad. Production is good, like the Rodrigues character, Blackthorne is convincing as a high-strung English Puritan. Swordmanship looks convincing, and the diminutive Japanese noblewoman wielding a naginata is absolutely historic.

Of course, the Spanish/Portuguese characters are more evil, and stupid, than the Japanese ones, but that is par for the course in a book by an English author.

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Is it any better than the original series?

I read the novel a million years ago, forgot about it, then watched the series. I thought it was pretty good.

 

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16 minutes ago, Ivanhoe said:

Is it any better than the original series?

I read the novel a million years ago, forgot about it, then watched the series. I thought it was pretty good.

 

Not trying to channel some Captain Obvious, but I would say it is different. More scenes that should be skipped in the modern one, for instance.

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I think they deserve credit for being historically accurate, where possible - including hurtling insults for half an hour screen time before the actual battle starts; might not be the best TV pacing, but is supposedly historically spot on, I've been told.

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Just finished watching Berlin on Netflix. I cant say ive yet seen the series it span off from, Money Heist, but it was entertaining as long as you dont consider the implausible bits too much. Kind of reminded me of a Spanish version of the UK TV series 'Hustle'.

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I am seeing this and that nothing to warrant talk about, but there is something that is quite irritating now, actors are incapable to fake drinking a beverage. It brakes all immersion.   Cheap TV films can look more competent just because the cheap actor just drinks something don't tries to fake it.

Edited by lucklucky
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