Video Streaming Recommendations (formerly known as recoomendations)



  • Part of my distaste for these superhero shows might have a bit to do with how I read the comics.  Definitely the Daredevil and Jessica Jones titles... those were extremely well-written and thought-provoking, and they made the "powers" secondary to the humanity.  So, for those titles, it's a case where the book is always better than the movie.

    But most of these superhero stories put the powers first.  And I get that.  That's the deal with these stories.  It's about cool powers and cool costumes and hammy dialogue and bad guys with either funny or evil powers.  The humanity comes second.  Even in my late teens, I began moving away from cape & mask comics to ones that dealt more with no-powers or the occult or... I dunno... comics where it wasn't something where getting bit by a radioactive spider turned you into a superhero instead of giving you leukemia.  So much of dislike about these superhero shows and movies is because I just don't really like the superhero genre.

    But there's also a problem that many of these shows (and movies) seem to discard  any genuine character personality development so they can cut to the big final fight scene.  That's part of the medium.  I get that.  But it makes for a poor transition.  Many of these superhero shows (Luke Cage comes to mind) start out pretty good, but then they shift gears into a path that takes them to the grand finale fight scene.  Boring!  They seem incapable of smoothing over that transition to make it more palatable and not feel like everything that came before was just idling the time away until the fireworks.

    I've heard Legion is good, but I don't watch Hulu.  Won't do anything with commercials anymore.
  • I about 9/12s enjoyed Punisher. I thought the two lead actors were good, and I thought they did OK at getting at what's compelling about Frank's character. (Basically Batman but shooting people instead of beating them up.) The other 3/12s was the disposable subplot about the young vet turned terrorist - Like all Netflix superhero shows, longer than it should have been. Also heroes taking beatings that should cripple you for life, but back in action the following week. I told my wife not even to watch Punisher, she had enough trouble with the violence in 

    Of all the Netflix Marvels, I enjoyed Luke Cage second only to Jessica Jones season 1. Looking forward to the new Luke, coming up soon.
  • Okay, the next first episode of a Netflix original is...


    Image result for mind hunter

    As best as I can tell, the premise of this show is how the behavioral analysis of serial killers at FBI's Quantico office first began.  I don't know if this story is based on a true story or just wholly fiction.

    As we know all too well, I can't remember anyone's names not ever.  So, we've got young dude and old veteran (from now on referred to as Dude and Vet).

    Episode begins with Dude as an FBI hostage negotiator on the scene.  He's doing things by the book, and we're led to believe he's doing it well.  But the criminal holding people hostage says crazy things (kind of in an X-files way).  It sparks some curiosity in Dude.

    Later scenes at the FBI lead us to realize that Dude has been increasingly interested in the Why of crazy.  Eventually he goes back to college to learn more.  That leads to some things.  He has conversations with other FBI vets about the Why Of Crazy.  Near the end of the episode, he's recruited by Vet to be part of his one-man (now two-man) behavioral analysis department.  But that's just a part time job with the FBI.  The main thrust of their job is to go from city to city to help train local police departments.

    In one such city, in Iowa, after their seminar is over, one of the local detectives approaches them for help with a particularly gruesome crime.  Both Dude and Vet try to apply their knowledge about gruesome/unexplainable/illogical crimes, but they can't do more than offer brainstorming and conjecture.  Eventually Dude & Vet have to admit that they're still in the dark about this kind of crime.

    That's the message to us that the rest of the series will be about Dude & Vet coming out of the darkness and figuring out the lay of the land with Crimes of the Crazy.

    Dude is an okay character.  Not sure he's that compelling and the actor does an adequate job with what he's given to work with.  He has some charming moments.  The writers hook him up with a love interest in the first episode.  It's kind of tedious, though the actress gives her character a real charisma, so this part of the story never comes close to ruining the show.  Actually, as I type this, I regret that they didn't give her the role of Dude.  But I suppose they couldn't.  Did the FBI have many female agents back in the 1970s?  (I believe the show takes place at the end of the decade.)  There's actually a brief passage during the first episode where the FBI's lack of diversity is presented as an issue.

    Vet is much more compelling as an actor and a character.  I don't know who he is.  He's really familiar.  He kind of reminds me of the actor who played Buzz Aldrin in The Right Stuff, but it's not him and I don't recognize anything on his Wikipedia page.  But he's looking right for the role.

    I'm definitely watching more of this show.  Updates to follow.

  • Next first episode of a Netflix original is:

    The Rain

    Image result for atlas f missile silo

    There will be spoilers that follow.  I am giving a rundown in real time.

    Okay, this show is only sixty seconds in and it's already irritating me.  Just use fucking subtitles!  It's so distracting when they do a crappy job of dubbing in English language on a foreign show.

    There's some kids celebrating some school stuff at school.  Whatever.  Keep getting distracted by how their mouths make shapes that don't conform to the words they're "speaking."  The celebration is suddenly interrupted by one of the kid's fathers dragging her off.  Uh oh.  Danger.

    Now they're driving like maniacs trying to get somewhere.  There's two kids now... the older daughter who was at school and her snotty younger brother.  Despite the fact that the parents (in the front seats) are freaking out and the dad is driving like a maniac, the snotty boy is acting like a snotty boy and is oblivious to his father driving like a movie star and his mother freaking out.  Reports are coming in over the radio that people are having violent allergic reactions to the rain.  The kids fighting in the back seat distract the father and causes him to crash the car.  A huge black wall of clouds approach from the distance.  Now they're screwed.

    Or maybe not.  Running through the woods, they get to an underground bunker.  The father tells the daughter that the rain is carrying a virus that kills people.  The father says he knows how to cure it.  He leaves the bunker.  Everybody is acting weird... as in bad acting.  The snotty boy is really a poor actor.  I mean, shit, he's like seven or something... it's not his fault.  He has a lifetime ahead of him to learn his craft.  But this is why I typically hate shows where a kid is in a primary role.  Because they're awful.  Not their fault, but they are.  I'm hoping they kill his character off soon.  And it's not just him.  The older daughter is pretty poor, too.

    Great, now the kids have caused more problems.  It's only been like a couple hours since the father left.  He's not expected back for weeks, if not longer.  But there's someone banging on the door to the bunker, and even though the father told them he wouldn't be back for weeks and even though he said don't open the bunker door for any reason, and even though the mother is telling the kids to ignore the banging, the annoying kids are convinced it's their father and they go up and open the door.  And, of course, it's some random dude in the death throes of the rain virus, and somehow the mother pushes the dude away from the kids and ends up in the rain and they both die.  The kids whine and cry.  It's a really stupid scene.  I'm sure it's meant to be dramatic, but it's just silly and unaffecting.  Quite honestly, the mother was pretty irritating, too, so I'm glad she was killed off.  But now it's just the kids.  Lame!

    This just isn't getting any better.  There's radio contact with some other kid somewhere else.  There's a lot of snotty whining from the boy.  The girl is talking to an empty decontamination suit as if her father was in it.  There's a bunch of flashbacks that seem to imply that the virus rain was the father's fault to begin with.  And some other stupid stuff.  And the disconnect from the bad English dubbing never stops being distracting.  The episode ends with the kids dancing to pop music.

    Oh for fucks sake.  I typed that last sentence thinking that had to be the end of the episode.  There's still another fourteen minutes left!  The show's only like 45 minutes long and it feels like it's been on forever.

    Now there's a stupid montage of life in the bunker.

    Okay, hold on.  Five years pass.  It's not the same stupid kid actors.  Now it's teenager actors.  Not much better actually.  God, she's STILL talking to that decontamination suit like it's her father.  Is that supposed to be touching or sentimental or heartbreaking?  It's none of those things.  It's dumb and stupid and BORING!

    She finally ventures outside.  So, it's five years later.  I wonder what life on Earth is like after a killer virus rain?  She's wandering through the Nordic countryside at night looking for people.  It's a lot like Walking Dead scenes when the crew is wandering through deserted cities looking for supplies.  But, y'know, not nearly as well done.

    And now she's back at the bunker.  There's some crying and kind words and it's like they're reciting the directions for allergy medication.  They've decided to leave the bunker the very next day.

    Oh hey there's hope.  The air vents are blocked and they both might die.  Ah, I got my hopes up for nothing.  The brother is dragging the sister up the stairs to get outside into the fresh air.  Lame.  It was just a stupidly stupid way to generate some melodrama to get them outside.

    Oh, hey, gunmen.  Why do I expect that this threat to their lives as the credits roll will turn out to be a banal plot twist and they become part of the crew and BFFs.

    Awful stuff here.  Didn't even get the beautiful Nordic scenery (which is the primary reason I even selected this show to begin with).  I definitely won't be watching another episode.  I don't think you should either.

  • Okay, next first episode of a Netflix original is:


    Image result for 3 srie netflix

    Okay, so basically we’ve got a Hunger Games but where the winners are designated more like the process of acceptance to a Graduate program than by killing each other.

    Kids reach a certain age where they get to apply to leave the slums of their life for a heavenly existence on the other side (island to island).  The kids go through a series of interviews and logic/spatial tests. The tests see if they’re one of the 3% of the population that gets to live the highlife on the Offshore.  There’s some drama with teamwork and relationships and cheating.  There’s cryptic hints at mysterious backstories.  Meh, whatever.

    There’s also some drama about a resistance that fights against the government running the 3% process. I assume the resistance is a haves vs have-nots thing, but that’s never made clear.

    You never really get the sense that the kids are poor or living in the slums.  The costume design people have the characters dressed up and in makeup that makes them look like they’re gussied up to look like homeless people in some bad Globus & Golan 80s action film or, I dunno, a Paul Abdul music video.  The only time they have a shot that tries to capture the immensity of the slums, it looks like an amateur model city.  The whole thing comes off as low budget.  It doesn’t ruin the show or anything, but there’s something about all of this that seems to lack the gravitas that the show indicates it needs to possess for its success.

    It’s mindless entertainment, but the good kind.  I’ll probably keep watching more episodes until the show starts going downhill.
  • Okay, some follow-up thoughts on Mindhunter and 3%.

    Kiiiiinnnnndd of spoilers to follow.  No specifics probably, but depending on how pure you want to be going into a show, you may not want to read further if you're going to watch either of them.

    So, Mindhunter.  A solid show.  Not excellent, but very good.  There wasn't any real lull or dead time during the first season.  Strangely, there also wasn't any huge moments either.  I sort of liked that it was understated.  I mean, serial killers are the featured characters along with FBI agents... it would've been too easy to go with fireworks.  There are some parallels to be drawn in terms of storytelling between this show's first season and the first season of X-files.

    The show did a decent job finding some compelling actors to play the serial killers... but not across the board (thankfully).  Some of the killers possessed no charisma at all, which is really as it should be.  The actor who played Richard Speck, however, was outstanding.

    The three main characters were fine.  The Vet (referenced above) was by far the most compelling.  The Kid (or the Dude... whatever I called him before), he was okay.  There was something interesting in the final episode where his characters revealed some substance.  In fact, there's been something about his character and the "future serial killer" that has been nagging at me.

    Okay, so each episode begins with scenes from somewhere in Kansas and there's this guy going about his life as a home security specialist.  It is slowly revealed that he is or is planning to become a serial killer (literally just sixty seconds at a time at the beginning of each episode).  They never give any timing for it.  There is a part of me that thinks eventually The Kid/Dude becomes that guy, and these little vignettes are set in the future.  Or it just could be the "main bad guy" that drives season two of the show.  Probably the latter, but still.

    Anyways, Mindhunter was a fun, interesting watch, and I'm looking forward to season two.

    The show 3%, on the other hand, not so much.  Most of my criticisms from earlier still hold.  I binge watched the entire first season and the first episode of the second season, and that's it.  Done.

    The writing is really pretty bad.  I mean, it's a poor man's Hunger Games, but without the cool effects.  The writing is pretty bad, especially in terms of character development.  There seems little consistency or logic to what any one character does, and their backstories and motivations are superficial at most.  I was hoping that maybe more money would have been invested in the show for season two.  But it doesn't appear to have been, because the first episode of the second season had all the same flaws.

    You never get the scale of things.  The City never feels that large or that poor or anything other than set at some studio lot.  The teeming masses of poverty only ever reach the tens of people in a tight shot of a street.  There's the drunk crazy lady that does a poor job of acting drunk or crazy, and only seems there to try to signify how bad things are, because the writers and directors and set people can't really pull it off by showing it.

    Look, I watched all four Hunger Games movies.  I liked each subsequent installment less than its predecessor.  By the fourth movie, I was watching it just to see it through.  But it had lost any little bit of gravitas that it had earned in the first movie.  But I probably should have stopped no later than the second movie.  That's how I feel about 3%.  I should have stopped after the second episode and moved on.  It was never awful, but it was never much better than good, either.

    But if you liked all four Hunger Games movies and wished they made another, then you'll be happy with 3%.

    P.S.  If someone tells me 3% gets waaaaay better in Season Two, I might forge ahead.

  • Started watching Van Helsing.  Not a Netflix Original, but instead something on SyFy (which, had I known, I probably wouldn't have even pressed play).

    I just finished the second episode.  I'm not really intrigued.  The characters all seem the result of a focus group.  None have anything distinctive about them.  They're all kind of vague, as if this show is their "second job" and their main career is featured roles in Panera Bread commercials.

    Has anybody watched this show?  If you tell me it gets better, I'll keep watching.  But after wasting time binge watching 3%, I'm kind of skittish about investing in another mediocre show.  I mean, it doesn't have to be seriously compelling or anything, but at least fun to watch or at least pretty to look at... kind of like Altered Carbon, actually.  Or a Blade movie.
  • I liked MINDHUNTER too. The adjective that I'd use, and I didn't expect it as such, was "bookish". It's a bookish show about serial killers.
  • That's a good word to describe it.  I was very glad that the show took a restrained tone with such a lurid topic.

    Hey, is there anyone here that can either briefly summarize or link to a decent site that does the same about the Defenders season?  I'm thinking I might try picking Luke Cage back up.  I never finished season one, but I think I might just quickly binge watch it.  But I just read something about season two that says it picks up where Defenders leaves off... and there's just no way I'm watching Defenders.  Hell, I didn't watch Daredevil's second season or most of Jessica Jones and I refuse to watch anything else with that bland Danny Rand character in it.

    So, gimme some spoilers.

  • That Iron Fist show... which I did watch all the way through... was so close to doing something cool, but really fell short.  Part of it is that I blame the show for being a superhero story.  That's not the writers/producer/director's fault.  The kind of superhero story I like isn't the kind of thing most people want.  I guess where I feel more justified in asking for that kind of show is because characters like Matt Murdock and Jessica Jones and Luke Cage aren't your typical superhero story, and the "powers" (if they even have any... Daredevil doesn't, for instance) are a secondary quality to their humanity.  It's their humanity that defines their powers.

    Okay, but that tangent aside.  What really disappointed me about Iron Fist is that the perfect storyline for that show was ACTUALLY IN THE SHOW.  Colleen Wing was, in my mind, the true Iron Fist.  Her story was the most compelling, and, for that matter, the actress was far more charismatic than the dude who played Danny Rand.  The reason I was able to make it through that entire first season was about half way through, I began viewing the show as if Colleen Wing was the main character.  It worked.


    I mean, think about it.  She's presented as one of those local heroes of the community... helping youth learn to defend themselves while also not being a weapon... finding some emotional and psychological tranquility within.  She's a complete badass herself.  She can kick the asses of goons and thugs that threaten her.  She's traveled A Road.  Her past in violence and street fighting for money shows she stepped off her path and lost her way, but was able to find it again and redeem herself.  She's street smart, Of The City, but still wants to help people.  Her jaded nature, how life shaped her, is constantly battling again her desire to experience hope and optimism.

    AND THEN... it gets even deeper.

    It turns out that the family she was raised in... the community of people that helped her become so much better... it's the mutherfucking HAND!  We've been told over and over that they are the enemy (even dating back to the Daredevil show).  Now, as viewers, our perspective is challenged, just like Colleen Wing's is being challenged.  And she's got Danny Rand who keeps telling her that her family... the only family she knows... are the bad guys.  And Rand and the Hand (mediocre band name there) are fighting back and forth and Wing is in the middle.  She's getting torn apart.  And she comes to realize that neither side is particularly innocent, but discovers that her family, The Hand, are nowhere remotely innocent... including her own sensei.

    But Wing finds a way to bridge that divide.  She helps Rand out, but not because he's the big hero main character or because his way is The Right Path, but because Wing has found reasons of her own to step up and do what is right.  And in the end, she traverses that path successfully.  Colleen Wing is the true hero of this story.  Colleen Wing is The Iron Fist.

    It would be nice if they gave this character (and the actress) her own show.  I would watch that.

  • I watched a movie on Netflix for a change...

    In the Shadow of Iris

    The only reason this caught my eye is that I own the soundtrack to it.  Based on the moody cinematics (It's raining in France!), I can see why they chose A Winged Victory for the Sullen as the soundtrack band.

    It's a nifty movie, plenty enjoyable.  Lots of deception and intrigue and plot twists, so there's no real good way to describe the movie without dropping a spoiler or two.  It's a good movie when you want to be challenged but not too much.  And it's plenty pretty to listen to and watch.  Maybe an hour and a half duration?  It went by fast.

  • "Recoomendations" still drives me cRaZy.
  • rostasi said:
    "Recoomendations" still drives me cRaZy.

    I thought it was an in-joke by one of the Old Guard; esp. given the quality of Netflix productions. :D
  • I can edit it and put a "k" in for you if you like.
  • Yes, "rekumbadations."
  • rostasi said:
    Yes, "rekumbadations."
  • @jonahpwll; I will give Defenders a shot.

    First, belore spoilers, I'd say just watch it... Danny Rand plays way better in this than in Iron Fist. Lots of things do actually. Danny Rand, next to everyone else, you can see how he's just a spoiled rich kid who fell into a super power the same way he fell into his money.

    It's ALMOST like the opposite side of superheroes like Batman and Iron Man, who the trope is their super power is money; Danny Rand comes off like he's got a super power and the money and sense of entitlement are his kryptonite. I say almost because they didn't quite play it as well as they could have, but Danny is working with these other heroes who are all way older and way tougher and "I am the immortal Iron Fist" becomes a punch line.

    The other funny thing is how they make fun of Daredevil for putting a sock over his head. I think Jessica Jones says "you look like an asshole". It's like Daredevil's mask and secret identity are his major flaw.

    Colleen Wing gets a lot of screen time, along with Misty from Luke Cage (the woman detective); those two characters I think have their own comic so I could imagine a spin off for them. she gets some more development and closure, which I will spoil more below...

    I really liked Luke Cage season one all the way through, except, the gangster bad guy who is the guy from West Wing was about 1000 times more interesting than the ultimate bad guy who they set up for the final fight. I could have done the ultimate bad guy all together, but I won't spoil Luke Cage if you're going to watch it...

    For summaries I usually like Wikipedia; I haven't checked it for Defenders but it's usually ok to get a general sense of things.


    So the Hand is the major Bad Guy in Defenders. The Hand at it's core is five people (see, like five fingers). There is Sigourney Weaver, Bacuto from Iron Fist is back, A Japanese ninja guy that I think was from Daredevil, Madam Gau, and somebody else that I can't remember. Madam Gau is my favorite; I think she's awesome. I loved her back in Daredevil. I'm a sucker for hidden powers in little old ladies...

    The hand has this magical black stuff that makes them immortal and powerful. But Sigourney Weaver used all of it up to bring Elektra back from the dead. (She died at the end of Daredevil 2) Elektra is now the Black Sky, a superpowerful human weapon.

    (I liked her way better in this than in Daredevil 2 too. You don't really need Daredevil 2 for Defenders, but it would help, but long and short is Stick brought up and trained Daredevil and Elektra they are in love with each other but in a kind of toxic way and she dies oh and the Hand is digging this gigantic hole under a construction site. You probable want to watch Daredevil 2 before Punisher though...) 

    So the hand needs more black stuff, which they are trying to mine out of the giant hole.

    The hand member that I couldn't remember gets captured by Luke Cage, and they all question him, then I think Stick executes him. Another continuing theme is how Daredevil never wants to kill anybody but everybody else does...

    Elektra gets a mind of her own and kills or takes over the Hand. There's a magical wall protecting the Black Stuff, and it turns out that the Iron Fist is the key to it. Elektra tricks Danny into going off on his own away from the group and then tricks him into unlocking the magical wall.

    SPOILER about Colleen which you may not want to read because you like her character:

    Colleen and Misty and I think Claire (I don't remember all of this clearly) end up in a death fight with Bacuto. He takes Misty's arm off. (The implication at the end of the day was that Danny would get her a new bionic one). Colleen ends up beheading him, bringing some closure for how he betrayed her by being evil.

    End SPOILER about Colleen

    So the Defenders come together to stop the Hand/Elektra from getting the black stuff because not only are they evil but mining it will cause major destruction to New York City. 

    The black stuff turns out to be mined from giant ancient skeletons of some sort of dragon or flying serpent (It actually reminds me of the giant flying things from another dimension in Avengers but there might not be any real connection there).

    It ends up with a major battle deep underground. All four of them are there. Madam Gau is there, I think she's the only one from the hand left at this point, and Elektra is there and lots and lots of ninjas.

    There are explosives that are on a countdown to destroy the whole thing. In the end Matt wants to save Elektra. (She may have turned back to good or he may have just seen the good in her; sorry I'm terrible at this), so everybody gets out except Matt and Elektra and Gau and then everything collapses and the implication is that Matt and Elektra and Gau are all dead and gone now, and that's what all the remaining characters think. (Including Matt's Lawyer friend and Karen Paige; she's important in Punisher and it's not clear what the timeline for Punisher is compared to Defenders except Daredevil doesn't show up and Karen's very sad and lonely.)

    Then at the very very end they show Matt being cared for in a convent, so he's not dead. (I can't remember if he woke up or not). (So Gau and Elektra could be alive too...)

    So important things for Luke Cage; he's still in a relationship with Claire. Him and Jessica Jones have become friends again and are ok with each other. Misty lost her arm. He is the most comfortable in his own skin and most comfortable with his powers out of all of them I think. He was only in the Hand situation to protect New York or some people from his neighborhood so further Hand stuff doesn't seem likely for his season. Everyone thinks Daredevil is dead.

    Hope that helped and didn't just spoil the season while leaving you still needing to watch it!


  • Wow that was awesome @amclark2 I read it all!

    Some of that stuff happens in the comics that I've read long ago.  Some of it I think happens in the modern day comics, because every now and then I'll check something out and Misty having a bionic arm and teaming up with Colleen sound familiar (maybe a group called Heroes For Hire).  Elektra and Bullseye are two characters that have spotty histories in comic lore.  They were both created by Frank Miller in the 80s, and they were both really well done.  Because they became hot sellers when they appeared in issues, they were brought back repeatedly (from the dead in some instances) by the hack writers who followed Miller.  When Brian Bendis took over not that long ago for a run with the title that was even better than Miller's (who I think highly of), the characters were solid again.


    In the comics, Karen Page gets destroyed psychologically & emotionally by Murdock, disappears for a long time, returns with a huge heroin addiction, and is eventually killed by Bullseye... but it's part of a really nicely done story arc.  Not sure if that's happened yet in the tv show or not.  Also, I don't recall any time that Page and Frank Castle hooked up or even became friendly in the comics.  But for all I know, Karen Page was reincarnated or some shit and brought back by some hack writers and had some romance with Castle in some recent comics run.


    AH! I THINK I JUST FIGURED OUT WHAT YOU MEANT!  You didn't mean West Wing... you meant House of Cards!  You're talking about Mahershala Ali!  Yes, that dude was awesome in that show.  Especially how he interacted with Alfre Woodard.  Yeah, I stopped watching when they brought that cackling idiot into the story, after Cottonmouth died.  Also, I can't stand Rosario Dawson's character in any of these stories.  She's so awful.  I mean, she's fine as an actress, but the writers give her such mediocre stuff to work with.

    I might try Defenders for an episode or two.  Definitely feel ready to finish Luck Cage S1 and give S2 a chance.


  • Yes, House of Cards; oops! I’ve never even watched West Wing.

    And yes Rosario Dawson’s character gets some bad writing; the worst was in Iron Fist; I think Defenders redeemed her a little too
  • Watching Luke Cage 2 now- Colleen Wing shows up in episode 3, working together with Misty...
  • @jonahpwll "Elektra and Bullseye are two characters that have spotty histories in comic lore.  They were both created by Frank Miller in the 80s, and they were both really well done." <- This shall not stand. Bullseye was introduced a good decade earlier...admittedly a pretty run-of-the-mill Marvel badguy before Miller's DD run.

    I found the first episode of Luke 2 to be a bit of a snooze. We've been (finally) watching Madmen...hard to break off from that for a superhero confection. 
  • @Doofy Oooh you are so right.  I had forgotten that Bullseye was adopted by Miller.  In fact, I think one of the deluxe edition DD volumes I own includes a reprint of his first appearance in the title.
    But, yeah, like I said, a spotty history in comics lore...

    God, comics were so awful back then.  But I also miss that innocence of when I was just a little kid and all I cared about were cool powers, cool bad guys and good fights.  So many of the hammy covers and stories that make me cringe today were glorious to read back when I was kid.  Some of those covers (not the above one specifically) can make me time travel when I see the image, remember the first time I walked to the Main St. newsstand on my own through a Chicago blizzard just to spend my allowance money on some comic books.  I swear, I can almost feel the coolness of the snow right now, the warmth of the store, the touch of the comics as I slowly made my choices and the brilliant colors and exciting images.  The euphoria of doing an adult thing... journeying across town, with money I'd earned, and making a purchase with it.  That trip became a weekly journey of my childhood.

  • @Doofy 1. Luke Cage 2 was slow at first but it got better 2. I probably wouldn’t step away from MadMen for it either...
  • Ok Jonah; you need to watch Iron Fist Season 2. In spite of Season 1, I think season 2 might be my favorite Netflix Marvel series so far. Much improved
  • Thanks @amclark2 I'm definitely watching Iron Fist S2.  I read a whole bunch of spoilers, and it sounds like, eventually, they admit that I was right all along inre: Season 1 and start making the necessary adjustments.

    I just finished up Season 1 of Luke Cage last night.  I stopped originally with about four episodes to go just because it had become so awful... pretty much when they killed off Cottonmouth.  I almost wasn't able to plow through the rest of that season.  Excepting the fun and bold moments where Method Man made an appearance, the second half of Luke Cage was some of the cheesiest hack-a-thon writing I've seen yet from these superhero stories.  I'm hoping season two improves.  But I'm only gonna give it a handful of episodes.  If it's just more of the cheesy stuff, I'm out of there.

    One thing that I believe I didn't mention previously about the Luke Cage series that struck me recently was how good the opening sequence is.  Or am I getting that wrong?  Not opening sequence... whatdyou call it... where they have the opening theme and credits roll.  That's well done.  Of course, the music throughout the show was excellent.  It just too bad the writers can't give an impressive array of actors something better to dig into.
  • edited July 2019
    After languishing in my watchlist queue for a very long time, I finally got around to watching this, and I'm very glad I did...
    Image result for stereo 2014

    The Netflix synopsis is this:
    Erik's peaceful rural family life is shaken by the arrival of sinister figures who claim to know him and a mysterious "friend" who may not even exist.
    The synopsis makes it seem like it's a horror movie, but it's more in the vein of "Unforgiven" or "The Hitcher" than anything else.  The story is actually pretty straight-forward in a lot of ways, and that is in no way a criticism.
    It's shot well, the soundtrack is good, the writing is excellent, and the movie's got a great flow to it.  It's a breezy hour and a half of a solid movie.  Definitely recommend it.
  • So, Netflix has cornered the market on shows that hybridize Travel Channel and Law & Order.  I just watched another one.
    The Valhalla Murders
    The Valhalla Murders - Territory Studio
    It takes place in Iceland and, yes, some people are killed.
    [No spoilers follow]
    This is pretty by-the-numbers stuff.  In fact, there were several times the detectives were sitting there with confused looks on their faces, unable to connect the dots, and my only reaction was, hey, if y'all spent a little more time at home watching Netflix murder mystery shows, you'd have this whole thing wrapped up by the second episode.
    There's eight episodes, each an hour in length.
    The pacing is pretty good, never gets bogged down in anything.
    The only reason to watch this show are the shots of Icelandic landscapes.  And, damn, are they good.  I don't really have anything nice to say about this show, but the cinematography made it all worthwhile.
    The actors are fine.  Nobody grates or turns in cringe-y moments.  The leads have a nice chemistry together, and there's a couple supporting characters that the actors did a nice job with.
    The writing is pretty formulaic.  There's a strange murder.  And then there's others.  There's mysterious politics in play.  There's job dissension.  The two main characters have problems at home, and, of course, there are some parallels to be drawn between home and work problems, and sometimes one bleeds into the other.  The plot throws in a couple lazy misdirects.  It's as if the writers thought, hey, we're doing this pretty much by the numbers, so let's have this little twist... not realizing that their little twist was also pretty much by the numbers.
    But, damn, those Icelandic city and countryside shots float my boat.
    It's not a bad show but it's also not very good.  But it is enjoyable to watch.
    It wouldn't surprise me the least to learn that the genesis of this show began with the Icelandic Tourism Board offered government funding to a production company able to crank out a formulaic show so Iceland could have its own Hinterland or Broadchurch and get some of that Netflix attention.  "Look," the tourism director tells the head of the production studio, "I don't give af what the actors say or do, just so long as they look great in front of massive views of icy mountains and pure blue seasides and driving across snowy fields interrupted only by the black line of highway.  I want lots and lots of awesome shots of Iceland."
    They got their money's worth.
  • We watched the Vahalla Murders on Netfix a year or so ago and quite enjoyed it - a typical Scandi Noir mystery that fills BBC 4 0n Saturday evening - slow passed with several twists and turns. In the UK they are far superor to many of our home grown murder mysteries (eg Midsummer Murders)
  • edited December 2021
    Sinatra's "Nancy" just came up in a playlist, reminding me of this great episode opener from "Better Call Saul"
    In two parts for some reason - Not the Frank and Nancy version. Absolutely great storytelling, if you know what's going on (Her legal career is ascending; he's on probation), pretty much every detail on the screen is relevant. Strongly recommended, at least for those who have made it through the death march that is "Breaking Bad" (also great, but sometimes a tough watch)

  • Bumped to highlight thread name change.
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