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Post by azriel on Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:16 pm

Made me laugh when he said.....
Spoiler:
"you are what you eat" Smile

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Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:11 pm

pale  blurg dunno if I can watch any more of it.

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Post by azriel on Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:57 pm

Hoo hoo, I can. Im liking this version a bit too much me thinks. Its cuz they have made Dracula too human, too manly. I can feel towards him as if he were my neighbour. He is definitely NOT the Christopher Lee type ! When the Count isn't being all scary & vampiric hes quite a 'gentleman'. He holds a conversation, has charm & wit, hes interesting to talk too, has a sense of humour, all the things I like in a man, a human man. All these make it easy to respond to him. Until he turns, & then you remember what he really is. Im so looking forward to the last episode Smile Its been a cracker so far !

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Post by halfwise on Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:45 am

Have you seen Only Lovers Left Alive?  It has Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in the lead roles, and is basically about how vampires would survive in the modern world.  The best line is when their bratty neice visits, and drains the life out of their best friend.

"You drank Philip?  How could you drink Philip?"
"Well, he was so cute..."

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:20 am

{{ Well watched episode one of Dracula. Yeah, its a pretty good reimagining. Its by no means a close adaptation of the book, but it is a wonderful blend of a dozen different cinematic versions combined with some new ideas that work pretty damn well.
Spoiler:
It looks and feels like a classic vampire film, and I like that, its got a scary maze like castle full of endless passages and staircases, its got bats, wolves and we still follow the books basic premise and outline, if very reimagined. Its got a couple of classic lines to watch out for, and a shot that's very Hammer House red eyed vampire fanged hissing at camera Christopher Lee Dracula and references to Nosferatu and some of the Italian Dracula films of the 60's and more I am sure I missed.

The biggest addition is of course Van Helsing now being both a nun and a woman therefore. This is the sort of thing I could have baulked at if she were not so darn likeably written and played. Making her a nun was a good idea as it both gives a religous angle to Van Helsing as well as a believable reason why she is well educated for her day and age. And Moffat gives her some of those 'feminist' lines he occasionally peppered his Who with, in this case the most obvious in response to Dracula demanding to know who she is gets the reply, "All your worst nightmares, an educated woman with a crucifix." But it works for the character as she is presented as by no means flawless so there is still a sense she could screw things up and does, resulting in all the nuns beng slaughtered and her forcing herself to listen to it happen as her 'punishment' for her mistakes. So her intellect and bravado are balanced out by her misjudgements as a character. She never feels like she is there just to make the point a woman can be as good a Van Helsing as a man, she feels genuinely earned in the story as a character in her own right, serving the narrative. This is a very good example of how to change a classicly male character to a female one without screwing it up or making it seem forced or done just for the sake of doing it.

I also like how the horror is handled as it comes in a variety of shapes and forms, there is atmospheric horror using the castle setting, shadows, light and dark in a very classic cinema fashion,then there is outright body horror and gore that at times remindedme of evil dead 2 when it came to the animated corpses, and subtle unnerving horror, such as when Dracula is carrying about a crying baby in a bag and simply keeps replying to Harkness increasingly desperate queries that there is no baby. Its very disturbing. As too is the notion that Dracula keeps his 'brides' stuffed in boxes.

Which brings me onto what for me so far was the most interesting thing about it in term s of adding to the Dracula lore, there is a question being raised throughout about the 'rules' of being a vampire, he needs invited in, but Van Helsing questions why, whats stopping him? He can't stand sunlight, but why? He reacts to crucifix, but he doesnt seem to believe in them or a God, and openly mocks Van Helsings religous beliefs with "And I thought you were intelligent." Later he comments that crufixies work, but not for the reason they think.
And he gives some information on his condition, or at least his victims- they become undead beasts for the most part, a few retain intelligence most are mere animals, zombie like reanmated corpses, but all suffer from endless hunger and desire for blood. And Dracula has been experimenting, trying to create someone like himself to breed with, a vampire who retained all his human aspects. Our attention is delibretly drawn to all these question around how and why the vampire rules work so I assume there will be answers to why later. But it sets up some interesting qiestions.
For a first episode thats as long as some Dracula films, at 90 mins, its paced well and doesn't drag but rather unfolds Harkness tale of being in the castle in good order, giving it time to breath and for us to see the quite astounshing physical transformation in both Dracula and Harkness (really the actor playing Harkness looks like he starved himself between first and last appearence) with Dracula draining Harkness into a undead whilst becoming ever  younger and more english as a result- which seems to be another rule, that Dracula can absorb something of the person they drain, knowledge and intillect.
And yes Halfy that does mean though he starts with a classic Transylvanian accent he ends up by episodes end with one more like Harkness's, English, with a very slight trace of cockney acccent occasionally in some words, its London, but its not full blown cockney London by any means, no Dick Van Dykeness.

The reveal that Harkness not only throughout the first half of the episode is in fact undead the whole time, and that his written version of what happened turned out to be the equivilent of him just writting 'dracula is great i love dracula' over and over for page after page was nicely handled too. In fact all the main reveals worked well, that one, Minna being the other nun, they all hit their mark.
Dialogue is a nice blend of classic style and dashes of trademark Mofftat wit and a little of his puzzle boxing withthe map and the architect but it's Gatiss life long love of and studying of classic horror in all its mediums that I think is playing the strongest hand with this one.

Should talk about Dracula himself really. As old creepy Dracula the perormance is very classical Dracula indeed, with touches of Coppala's old Dracula among it, but once rejuvinated by Harkness's blood and young we get less of the brooding cursed with having to drink blood and be undea dof some versions and more gleefully enjoys and delights in the killing and carnage Dracula, often with a witty remark, taunt or observation to accompany it. This could perhaps become annoying over three 90 minute episdes, we shall see, but in this first one it works to make him one of those villains you guiltily enjoy seeing in action just to see what diabolically evil or twisted thing he will think to do next. But he is also good in the quiter moments, menacing Harkness and in hs conforntation at the Nunnery gates with Van Helsing. So on their Dracula, so far so good.
I am looking forward to the remainder.

Oh and caught a reference one each to Who and Sherlock. Minna's letter at start includes a refrence to the 'adorable barmaind at the Rose and Crown' which was victorian Clara, and later Van Helsing claims she got the information about Harkness and traced his fiancee through a 'detective friend in London'.
}}

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Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:29 pm

I agree with your analysis Petty

Spoiler:
I think the genius of this portrayal of Dracula is you get a real tangible sense of how he could cast a spell on literally anyone whether man or woman, he is irresistible. The power of his personality can make a logical man walk out of a protective circle or make anyone fall in love with him. He is a male siren calling people to their destruction. I really liked the female Van Helsing, she is the only one to match him, and he recognises that. She is sarcastic, diffident and never lets him control her. She is truly his nemesis. I also think that her being a nun has saved her from becoming an animal or a zombie, its like she is a sub-species of vampire. She has been infected by Dracula but it hasn't destroyed her, it probably made her stronger and invincible. I am really enjoying this, apart from the yuckfest. Laughing  

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Post by azriel on Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:43 pm

I know I havent enjoyed a tv prog as much as I enjoyed Dracula. This gorgeous Dane has turned the staid & I dare I say stale old Vamp on its head & thank gawd for it !!!!! A couple of thoughts skipped about inside my head. He was never as strong as people think I feel. He said he absorbed conscious from the blood he drank ? so, any intellect comes from that & not his own character ? A rather vulnerable state to be in I think. Wonder if he got to sticky grips with a vegan or vegetarian would we see him extoling the helpfulness of herbs ? But, it worked very well for this Vampire.  Poor old Bela Lugosi, wonder if he's flapping round the old Oak tree ?  Tho he may well have loved it ? Wonder if Mr Lee had any reservations about this one ? Dracula changed & I loved it more each episode because I saw myself in him. Not the blood bit no, I much prefer tea but, the improvement of your self. For me Im trying to be a better person ( minus the fangs Smile ) Agatha was SOOOO hands down the best person opposite him & I arrived at the conclusion why. They behave like a married couple. A married couple still in LOVE. At the end its him & her you see swallowed up in the golden flash. He found his long lost love & I thought I could see the pain in his eyes for one second when he knew Agatha ( Zoey ) had cancer ? He had to save her, couldn't wait to see her in another reincarnation because did she have any children or siblings ? & is that not what the story Bram created is about ??? Eternal love ? A love that goes beyond death, time, the ages ?  Another thought....so iconic it becomes a tad boring...( familiarity breeds contempt )  Gypsy women in horror films, tv etc, will always tell you you will meet a tall dark handsome stranger...…( oh yes Draccy baby ) They never say....a short chubby Ginger ?? ( I like short chubby Gingers Smile )  and Dracula fits the style of a 'tall, dark, handsome, stranger. He will never come again. In him tho I saw how much we have inflicted our own characters into him. That's why each version of the Legend gets better & more enjoyable. Compare Claes vampire to Klaus kinsky for example ? Christopher Lee put the wind up me & I needed the loo after HE swept thru but, he spoke so little & I got over the horror of him because that's all he did. He was quite tho frightening, he had red eyes, big fangs then he'd swoosh orrrf. Not much to go on there. Ive seen comedic vampires ( Dance of the vampires aka Fearless vampire killers ) "What we do in the Shadows", then there's Salems Lot. Ive seen several sorts of Vamire films but, this Gatiss/Moffat version was the best one for me ! I am SO glad they got together & did this !!!!


Last edited by azriel on Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by halfwise on Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:50 pm

I wonder if it's showing up on our side of the pond yet? Sherlock only had a day or so delay, but I don't know if this one has been picked up.

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Post by halfwise on Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:55 pm

BTW, looking at the trailer, something bugs me: blood doesn't splash like that.  It's stickier.

BTW2: Morfyyd Clarke is in this.  Isn't she pinged for the Amazon Tolkien series as Galadriel?  How's she doing in this one?

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Post by azriel on Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:57 pm

Sorry Halfy ! I should have used spoilers !! I Hope I haven't ruined it too much for you ? Shocked

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Post by halfwise on Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:22 pm

Oh, hey! it's streaming on Netflix! Watching the first one now.

Don't worry about spoilers. I mean, it IS Dracula. No big surprises there.

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Post by halfwise on Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:43 pm

Impressions so far are good, though nobody could deliver the line "I do not dvink....wine" like Bela Lugosi. I'm glad they did not attempt a mirror reproduction.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:08 pm

I really enjoyed it too. It was very definitely by Moffat. It got quite Sherlocky at one point. Not sure which episode I like best, 1 or 2, or maybe both. Razz some great acting and a new look at a very old story.

it also brought a whole new meaning to "leeesten to zee cheeldren of zee night, heeer how zey seeeng"  Shocked affraid

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Post by halfwise on Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:58 pm

Oh good, I hoped that line would come - the chronology must be different.

I'm loving the nun - the acting is brilliant, the lines wouldn't jump off the page without her.  But she brings so much to her part, tuned to perfection.

Edit: okay, line didn't come. But I prefer the book version anyway: "...vat music zey make."


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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:27 pm


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Post by halfwise on Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:50 pm

So got through the first episode.

Spoiler:
I quite loved the line from Mina "Did you ever think for a minute I wouldn't come for you?"  For centuries it's always been men saying some variation of that line.  Women have only said it to children.  They finally closed that gap.

I didn't like the big bang-up ending with wolfes and tear-off masks and such.  I think they did too well up to that point to have an ending like that.  Cheapened it.

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Post by azriel on Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:13 pm

Something else I found that felt like irony.....
Spoiler:
In the last episode, Matthew Beard, who played Jack, was Dr Liebermann in Vienna Blood, I can see a play with words here.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:06 am

{{ Finished all three episodes.
Spoiler:
Got to say I was not at all sure about how episode 2 ended in the modern age. It made episode three seem at first quite disjointed from the preceding two. Partly as we suddenly had a bunch of other characters to deal with, all from the book, just moved about a bit (well 123 years) so Lucy that Dracula becomes enamoured with is there and the other Johnathon, here for convenience and lack of confusion I assume changed to Jack,partly just losing the period setting.

I think out the three episodes two was my favourite, it flew in for me as I watched and was a speedy 90 minutes of tv. Each episode effectively introduces a whole new cast, in episode 2 besides Agatha and Dracula we get a whole new bunch of passengers on the ship transporting Dracula to England. In the book we get reports of how the journey was cursed, Dracula stalked the crew and passengers, but we never saw it, here we get effectively an entire episode just covering this journey and I loved every minute of it, from the setting and how it was shot to the characters of the crew and passengers and especially Sister Agatha's final showdown with Dracula.
Of all this adaptation though it was part 3 that felt most like Mofffats hand the most, as much of what was set up in episodes 1 and 2 comes to fruition in unexpected ways in the modern day in episode three. The set up and pay off felt very Moffat to me.
Draculas decision to let Minna go means she made it back to England and used her fathers fortune to set up the Jonathon Harker Foundation, with its secret agenda of finding and studying Dracula with an aim to destroying him, and his decision to drink Sister Agatha's blood meant when her ancestor drank Dracula's blood she got her ancestor with it.
And all those questions I mentioned in my episode one review, about the rules of Dracula come to the fore in the finale, where we find that the rules are not rules at all, just habits and customs built up over centuries by Dracula till even he believes them, but all as a means to hide his own real shame, his fear of dying.
And I have to admit at having found something more satisfying in Agatha using her intellect to persuade Dracula that ending it is better than going on eternally in shame, and his choice to drink her diseased poisoned blood and kill them both is for me in this telling more fitting than a classic Van Helsing action showdown with Dracula burning in the sunlight.

But whilst I felt the modern day for the finale served the plot well I was so enjoying the period setting of the first two episodes that its hard to shake some disappointment at the time shift. And not least because it seemingly deprives us of Sister Agatha, even though the same actress plays her descendant in the future. But its a testimony to the writing and performance of that character that when modern Agatha, having imbibed her own ancestor through Draculas blood, slips in to Sister Agathas mannerisms and speech it feels like greeting an old missed friend.

Lucy's fate was suitable horrific, and I liked that she was the only vampire staked to turn to dust, as she was cremated, nice touch that. Also liked, well liked maybe wrong word, horrified maybe, by the notion a certain percentage of people remain conscious and aware even as they lie in their coffins rotting and crying out never to be heard- making for a very nice use of the children of the night line (also similar in concept to Moffats Who episode Dark Water in which the dead remain conscious, then it was a trick as other wise its a bit too full on dark for Who, but here its no trick and explored in all its horrible implications).
I still find the shift in time a bit jarring, but all in this was an imaginative and interesting retelling of a very old story and was well worth the watch.
}}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:19 am

{{ Also got round to watching the BBC adaptation of Dickens A Christmas Carol.
If you dont want a fuller review then the short crabbit version is, it's shit.  Evil or Very Mad

Spoiler:
The longer version is its not badly written, its well shot, the sets are excellent, effects and performances good, mainly good (I'll come back to that when I talk about Scrooge) and musics fine.
What I really didn't like however was the reason I don't think it works as A Christmas Carol- their version of Scrooge.
You see in the book Scrooge is a miserable old bastard, a miser, unpleasant, seemingly uncaring and without thought for others, but we are shown more than that, though his wit is cruel its still wit, he knows how to make a joke, even under duress as in when he decided that Marleys ghost is probably a hallucination brought on by a bit of bad beef and tells the ghost that “There's more gravy than grave about you.” He has quite a few lines like that, designed to make even the reader smile a little at Scrooge and even with Scrooge, it makes him a tiny bit sympathetic. And secondly to accompany that little light of wit there is how he treats himself, he is not greedy, nor covetous, nor desiring of others possessions or goods, he doesn't have servants or people to control and boss over, he lives alone in a single room, barely heated, and eats gruel. He is broken because he came, over his life, to slowly lose everything important to his growing love of money and his equal growing disdain at humanity and the human spirit. He is not deliberately or even uncaringly cruel, he's just an unbelievably tight arsed miserable old bastard who wont spend a penny for his own comfort let alone anyone elses. And through the ghosts we see he was not always like that.
Because of this when his salvation finally comes we are rooting for him. The little good we could still get hints at within him win the day and become the whole man. And we are as pleased about that as Scrooge is and everyone ends the story happy and full of xmas cheer. That's the point.

Now the BBC version goes for darker and gritter and more contemporary in themes, the result of which is that Scrooge and Marley's business is no longer left undefined, instead of going into Scrooges past to see his school days (though those I will come to, we do see them but for a different reason) his relationship with his sister and father, his isolation in the holidays as the only boy left, his employment with Fizziwig, and then his fiancée and his slow loss of her to his love of money and acquiring it, to the point he barely notices at the time her leaving, instead of that we get a look at his businesses and the result of them.
So in an obvious nod to Grenfell we see the slum block he owned that burnt down, then we get more nasty evil corporate schemes and finally the mine they owned where they cut back timber costs meaning the mine was not properly maintained resulting in a mine collapse and the deaths of many men, boys and pit ponies. Everything we see and learn about this Scrooge makes him increasingly more irredeemable, and the final thing topping that is the performance.
Its not its bad as such, more all Scrooges lines seem to be delivered in the same low voice, there is nothing animated about this Scrooge or witty or likeable, and 'animated' is an adjective I would use to describe even miserable Scrooge of books beginning, he's always animated. He isn't nasty to people just for the sake of it, he does it for pleasure - when the charity guys come in they speak to Bob, its Scrooge who delibretly engages them solely to be outrageous at them in his miserableness, he clearly enjoys it.
This BBC Scrooge has nothing enjoyable about him, he doesn't even enjoy being a bastard he's just completely uncaring, he's a horrible souless man who has done horrible things. As a result you don't want him redeemed at all and don't feel he deserves the second chance when he gets it. And so the whole narrative falls flat.

Now they do try to address this, but the manner of it I don't think works. The first way is when we do see his lonely school days it now has the added thing that the school master has done a deal with his father to have him there at the holidays so the head master can sexually abuse him. And the other thing is to make his cruelty couched in the idea he is conducting an experiment on what the price of people is. This is exemplified by the addition of a scene where Bobs wife (who to help meet BBC quotas is now black as is one of his children) comes to see Scrooge to ask for a loan of money for Tiny Tim to have an operation. Scrooge offers her the money if she will come round on xmas day to his house and sell herself for it.
She turns up, strips under obvious duress only for Scrooge to tell her he was not interested in her sexually, just in what the price would be to buy her love and loyalty to her husband and family, her own morals and principles. In short he's not a miserable old tight arse any more, he's just a complete cunt.
Likewise his redemption is framed in the sense that he has discovered a new formula about humanity, the worth of the human spirit.
But the additions just make a dark story even darker when it was too dark already for a story about a man's redemption.
For me making Scrooge a complete monster with no likeable qualities as a character, excusing that as he was abused as a kid so not his fault, it doesn't wash.
So despite much thats good, visually, in the direction, some of  the dialogue (I liked the expansion of Marley's part and making Bob less of a wimpy downtrodden type than is normal) but when the main issue, the redemption doesn't work because you don't want Scrooge redeemed then something is amiss.
I wouldn't recommend it. Best Tiny Tim Ive seen however so there is that. }}

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Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:35 pm

Sounds like they tried to turn Scrooge into an IDS type Tory, there is no coming back from that.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:26 pm

now that I have wifi I have been watching a load of new stuff that I missed. I have to say that I am obsessed with 'SAS Who Dares Wins', and 'Hunted' is a fascinating social experiment. I really enjoy Hunted, and its quite freaky to know how under surveillance we are all the time. They had one series made in the US too.They have Celebrity Hunted as well, the one with Boris's dad was entertaining.


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Post by Amarië on Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:37 pm

Dracula is done! Finrod was not too thrilled, wasn't the best he had seen. Too much talking I think. Not enough action.

I say this is a perfect example of how Moffat - dare I say it - should always be forced into a smal box. That's when he does his best work.

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Post by chris63 on Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:41 am

Watching series 3 of Expanse. What a great show, just gets better and better.




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Post by Forest Shepherd on Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:37 am

halfwise wrote:Have you seen Only Lovers Left Alive?  It has Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in the lead roles, and is basically about how vampires would survive in the modern world.  The best line is when their bratty neice visits, and drains the life out of their best friend.

"You drank Philip?  How could you drink Philip?"
"Well, he was so cute..."
I have a copy of it, and it's been a favourite of mine for movie-night with the uninitiated.

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Post by azriel on Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:53 pm

Forest Shepherd wrote:
halfwise wrote:Have you seen Only Lovers Left Alive?  It has Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in the lead roles, and is basically about how vampires would survive in the modern world.  The best line is when their bratty neice visits, and drains the life out of their best friend.

"You drank Philip?  How could you drink Philip?"
"Well, he was so cute..."
I have a copy of it, and it's been a favourite of mine for movie-night with the uninitiated.


I keep meaning to watch this film and still haven't. Smile

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