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Post by halfwise on Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:50 am

Realized there are episodes of Peter Gunn online. If you enjoy noirish stuff this is not high art but very entertaining.

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x61550b

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:47 am

{{ So I braved episode 2 of the BBC's War of the Worlds. Remember how I said it would be interesting to see how much they fucked it up? Well the answer is a lot, but in surprising ways.

Spoiler:
The first thing of note is the structure and where the emphasis of the story is. You see George's story, which in the book is the main story and tells of all that befalls him in his attempts to find his wife, is here not even the secondary story but the third.
Rather the story jumps between George, his wife Amy and Georges brother in London as they attempt to escape for the coast, and future Amy with her and Georges child in a post-apocalyptic earth after the Martian war.

The upshot of this is that Georges story is lucky if it gets a third of the screen time as most of the focus goes on either current or future Amy.

Future Amy is looking for George who is missing presumed dead, so in a reversal of the book its now the fate of the man we no longer know (I see what you did there BBC, how progressive of you!). Future Amy lives in a world where though the Martians were defeated they have destroyed earth's environment with the Black Smoke and the red weed (which inexplicably now turns into red crystals for some reason). Amy and her child live in a sort of refugee camp somewhere outside London, everyone is slowly starving to death and humans are becoming infertile. Amy hears of a survivor from Horsell Common, but rather than George it turns out to be Ogilvy, who reveals he believes the Martians never planned on military victory in the first place, but rather on converting the planet to be like Mars ready for colonization, whilst Amy reveals that the she does not believe the official reason of how the Martians were defeated- in battle, but the reveal of what she thinks really killed them is the episode cliffhanger.

Besides future Amy we have the Amy that's contemporary with George as the Martian invasion is underway. She is in London trying to persuade the government that the threat is real. And as the government are all men they are of course unbelievably stupid, and despite probably being among the best educated men of their era none of them can do basic arithmetic and need the woman to prove herself by doing all the sums while they dismiss her for being a woman. Having persuaded the evil men of government she and George' brother then escape a rather sudden attack on London (none of the attacks have any build up, everyone is just chatting away then BANG! tripods attack!!). It avoids the usual things you might expect of Martians destroying classic and famous buildings, Houses of parliament, St Pauls, Tower Bridge, but alas we get none of that, and though alien invasion that destroys landmarks has been done plenty this is the book it happened first in! of all alien invasion stories this one has a right to it. Plus it really needs the spectacle to make up for the lacklustre characters at story lines. Where the book shows a sort of macabre delight in destroying landmarks (Orwell cycled about having fun in his head imagining which landmarks to explode!) this keeps the alien attacks to far shots or looming tripods over  buildings.

Anyhow Amy and brother escape London through some underground tunnels as the black smoke wipes everyone above ground out (and for some reason if you get got by the smoke you then die and turn into a cloud of smoke?). They eventually escape to the coast meeting an older lady and her near dead husband on a cart on their way to the coast and the whole band arrive on the beach with thousands of others spread along it, looking like a D-Day landing film.
Visually the beach stuff, with its masses of people and sheer scale of the disaster is the first time it really captures the book sense of the scale of the human refugees- but its almost instantly ruined by Georges brother putting Amy on a boat against her will before George somehow wanders onto the beach among thousands and bumps right into them. She jumps from the boat, the martians attack , they rescue a child, and then in a big bunch flee the beach as the navy take down a couple of martians.

Whilst there is a tripod or two taken down there is no Thunder Child scene as such, there are just a flotilla of warships sitting off shore barraging the beach. This is a huge shame, another issue is that the tripods get shot down way to easy. Whilst I'm all in favour of the Martians not being invincible the victories in the book are rare and usually short-lived. Here the army and navy seem pretty capable of taking down the tripods.  To compensate for that there seems to be a lot more cylinders landing all over earth than there ever was in the book. But it makes the Martians seem less formidable and it makes the British Army seem to capable when the point in the book was that the greatest military on earth could only put up a brief and ineffectual resistance to the Martian war machines.
So  George turns up on the beach, more on that in a moment, and everyone escapes the beach and then they go hide somewhere in a big government building only for a firefight between army and martians to happen offscreen and then a martian to crash onto the building.


So remember George, the guy this story is supposed to be about? Yeah nor the writer, after last week he goes back to his house and hides where he meets an artilleryman escaped from the recently destroyed army, so far so good to the book, save we get two or three book lines of dialogue, then we get a stupid invented section where rejoining another army unit George is forced to help fight the martians on pain of being shot as a coward and they go to where another Martian sphere is, this time in a muddy pool. This scene is complete repetition and therefore devoid of tension as a result. The sphere is destroyed, a tripod turns up kills everyone and George runs off leaving the artilleryman for dead. Its a complete waste of time.
He then bumps into an elderly couple and they decide to head for the coast where he reunites with Amy and his brother and joins them taking shelter in the big house.


So whats changed from the book? Well almost everything. The focus is now on the woman who get 2/3rds of the story present and future versions (and its 99% invention with only the slightest nods in the books direction), the mystery of where George is in the future replaces the not knowing where his wife is in the book. Most of Georges story is completely different the artilleryman is absent most of his personality and all his social commentary, there is no vicar, they don't get trapped in a house when a new cylinder lands on top of it, they don't witness the Martian's feeding or the first deployment of the black smoke. And needless to say there is no religious commentary on events whatsoever and what commentary there is is solely on Amy's story and is of the one note 'men bad/woman good' variety.
But the main issue for Georges story is that there simply isn't time for one, her tale takes up most of the episode and his line only takes a few scenes for him to find her again. George feels like an afterthought in his own story.

I actually found this episode more painful to get through than the first. Mainly thanks to its structuring. All the future flash forward stuff to this post apocalyptic world I could not care less about, it just broke up the telling of the invasion which is the interesting fun bit, with this overwrought melodrama and its tacked on environmental plot line.
Amy's story in the main narrative during the invasion is equally unwatchable in parts punctuated by clumsy 'ain't women so much better than these stupid men' moments. I also don't see what the point of making Georges brother a leading government figure was, it doesn't come into the plot in any useful way, it doesn't offer any new plot advantages and I suspect is solely there so he is another dusty older man who can frown on Amy and her sinful modern female ways, only to be proved wrong in the face of what a strong independent woman she is.

I'm not sure even for the sake of crabbit I can face another episode of this. Its closer to fan fiction than it is the book, its focus completely misses the target- an alien invasion story, and its shoehorned and clumsy social messaging kills characters and dialogue alike far more effectively than the Martians do. }}

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Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:50 pm

It makes George look like a dithering idiot most of the time. But fear not, worse is to come.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:40 pm

It makes George look like a dithering idiot most of the time.- Figg

{{
Spoiler:
All of the time! Made me start to wonder if they had delibretly cast for someone who could look mildly bemused and befuddled at everything from a crying child to an alien warmachine without changing expression.
And I really disliked how they used the pregnancy as his motivation with him telling anyone who was standing too close that he had to get to his wife because she was pregnant, as if she was an afterthought to the child. I think I much prefer the idea in the original that they are soul mates, friends, lovers and not that long married and he simply can't bear to think of life without her and holds onto the idea of getting to her and finding her as a means of keeping his own sanity. But then I probably only think that because I'm part of the Patriarchy!
Mad

'worse is to come.'

No   }}

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Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:22 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:It makes George look like a dithering idiot most of the time.- Figg

{{
Spoiler:
All of the time! Made me start to wonder if they had delibretly cast for someone who could look mildly bemused and befuddled at everything from a crying child to an alien warmachine without changing expression.
And I really disliked how they used the pregnancy as his motivation with him telling anyone who was standing too close that he had to get to his wife because she was pregnant, as if she was an afterthought to the child. I think I much prefer the idea in the original that they are soul mates, friends, lovers and not that long married and he simply can't bear to think of life without her and holds onto the idea of getting to her and finding her as a means of keeping his own sanity. But then I probably only think that because I'm part of the Patriarchy!
Mad

'worse is to come.'

No   }}


Laughing  indubitably my dear Crabbiteer, indubitably.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:49 am

{{ Well I watched the third and final episode of the BBC version of War of the Worlds.
Oh boy!
Spoiler:
I had wondered before it started exactly how they were going to adapt the book into a mere three episodes, the answer of course was they didn't even try. My overall feelings having reached the end of this is 'why did they bother at all? What was the point of this?' Its so unlike the book in every major way as to be almost entirely unrecognizable in narrative and characters and even setting. As a fresh piece of scifi its awful offering nothing new and old cliches in dull ways.
At least with Spielberg's version, much as I dislike it, its clear to see the thinking behind it, make it contemporary by using imagery associated with terrorism, playing on the fears of the time it was adapted in much the same way the 1950's version played on cold war and nuclear annihilation fears. But this? Its not been made contemporary so the contemporary stuff in it, the independent strong female taking the lead just feels out of place and awkward and the manner in which the aliens die, which remains effectively the same they die from disease from eating humans, is given a new spin by being made out to be a mystery to be revealed, but that's not adding anything new to it.
So this adaptation is neither one thing nor the other- it retains some of the concerns of the original novel but under-cooked to the point where it does come up it is laughable, it has a period setting with uncomfortable current social trends grafted on to it and it does nothing new with the story save convolute it and bend it to fit this new social messaging.
If your a fan of the original book you will hate it as its nothing like it, if your a fan of period drama you'll hate as it has all this contemporary social politics shoved in there, and if your a fan of original scifi you'll hate it as there is not an original thing in it.
And having reached the end much still puzzles me as to why- why the change of less than a decade from Victorian to Edwardian? - I still don't see a purpose to that and its actually to the detriment of the set up as Victoria is intertwined in the public consciousness with the idea of Empire, she was the Empress of India, the Monarch on whose Empire the sun never set. No use whatsoever is made of the change to Edwardian, so why do it?
Ok, so what the finale actually about?- well its split almost equally between Amy and Ogilivy in post apocalyptic earth where Amy 'remembers' how the war ended for her and recounts it to Ogilivy, including the reveal that the martians feed on people.
A big issue here is they shove all this in the final episode- we have never seen a martian till now (they are sort of spider like in this with three legs, of course they do, just like Spielberg's version, obviously they go about on three legged machines so they must have three legs, by which logic humans must have wheels!) and this is the first time we see one feed, and its not even that clear they are feeding and not just killing, it has to be pointed out in dialogue that is what they are doing to be sure the viewer knows.
Out of the party of four that made it to shelter in the house last episode the old lady is dying of disease and gets taken and eaten by the martians, the child gets nabbed too and George is becoming delirious with illness whilst his brother decides to try taking the fight to the Martians with molotov cocktails, but seems these Martians don't mind at all being set on fire as it doesn't even seem to notice it has been and kills the brother anyway- but not before George gets to have rant at him about Empire. Yes despite no set up for it, no Artilleryman or General Eden or any of the rest of the Empire related stuff, none of the characters or background of the book necessary to highlight the comparisons between Martians and British Empire from the point of view of those being invaded, we get this dump of exposition all about it anyway. It sounds like a teenager summarizing the books themes for their English class, only its meant to be real dialogue from an actual person.

So George goes on about primitive folk in the jungle seeing the British coming in their machines, belching smoke and with deadly unknown weaponry that strikes them down and its about as subtly done as a mugging. Its just awful and has absolutely no justification in what has gone before- it might be one of the main themes of the book but it hasn't even come up in any meaningful way in this adaptation till now and then its just stated.
So having eaten some ill people the Martians become ill and one of them dies.
Anyhow delusional George, having moved from books main character to third string character to now pathetic man character is being looked after in his sickness by Amy, who has of course remained strong, focused and stoic throughout whilst the menfolk fall apart around her, but finally he decides to go out to the aliens and give himself up to them as a distraction to let her escape. Its a stupid plan, stupidly carried out and utterly pointless. Its just the final insult in the books male lead characters coffin.
Meanwhile the revelation of the martians feeding on sick humans make them sick leads Ogilivy in the future to experiment with sick humans, he runs into a minor issue because the only place food still grows is on churchyards making everyone super religious and Ogilivy is a Darwinist and so frowned on, I assume this is a nod to the religious aspects of the book but as here it lasts about four lines of dialogue then the guy lets Ogilviy do it anyway it's also irrelevant and under-explained. Ogilivy's experiments let him come up with something that seems to kill the red weed and allow crops to grow again, and its on that revelation of I suppose hopefulness that it ends.

So yeah, if I had only two words to sum this up in I think, fucking awful, would be close to encapsulating my feelings about it. But my abiding feeling is just Why? Why was this made at all? What was its purpose supposed to be? It doesn't tell the original story not even close to it, it doesn't do anything with the original story that is actually new or interesting, and it wants to have contemporary ideas and thoughts in it so why make it a period piece at all?
And worse its tedious, its not even interesting, the structure of hoping about between two different story strands in one time line and a third in an entirely different time line ruins any flow or pacing, the 'main ' character of George is a useless ineffectual man whose death is as much a relief to the audience as it is to him, and Amy is so bland, dull and predictably out of place she doesn't feel like a real believable character at all and so you don't care about her or him at all. And then there are characters who are there but just for plot things so we don't get told anything about them or are given any reasons to care, among them the woman they pick up on the way to the coast who gets ill and the child they rescue from the attack on the beach- both are just there so there is someone for the aliens to pick off other than the main three cast members, but they are so blatantly there for that purpose you not only don't give a toss about either of them you are actively just waiting for it to happen as its clear that's all the purpose they have anyway.

Clumsily written, clumsily acted, clumsily produced and devoid of a notable reason for existing. The single most remarkable thing about this version, other than it got the green light at all, is that after the terrible opening episode it managed to continue to get worse from there on, quite a feat in itself.
}}

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:00 pm

Fine review! 8/10 levels of crabbit. Thumbs Up

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Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:48 pm

The other WOTWs set in modern times on the Fox channel is a lot better, they don't even try to follow the original, so you can enjoy it for what it is.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:28 pm

{{ I dont think my crabbit can take watching another butchering of one of my favourite books Mad }}

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Post by halfwise on Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:00 pm

Coming up on Netflix. Have to say I much prefer Henry Cavil in this role than Superman.


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Post by chris63 on Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:03 am

Looking forward to this series Halfy.

Never heard of Henry Cavil, but this Superman guy looks good in the role.

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:41 am

He played a kind of gardener-turned-model in I Capture the Castle.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:39 pm

He looks like a sexier version of Legolas.

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Post by halfwise on Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:34 pm

Yeah, you can't help but like him. Cavill's really taken to the role, I think he was eager to stop playing a goody two-shoes character.

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:57 pm

If you're into butt-chins and formidable jaw-lines.

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Post by halfwise on Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:22 pm


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Post by azriel on Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:30 pm

Oh my gawd, oh my gawd, oooooooooh myyyyyy gawd !!!! Henry Cavill is gorgeous !!! He just oozes sexiness ! I wanna be really really bad so he comes after me !!! Laughing

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Post by halfwise on Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:50 pm

Just watched the first episode. It was fun, not totally clear (plot threads introduced a bit too quickly), not the same compulsion to keep watching that Game of Thrones imposes. I give it a better than average rating, but not great.

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Post by halfwise on Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:25 pm

azriel wrote:Oh my gawd, oh my gawd, oooooooooh myyyyyy gawd !!!! Henry Cavill is gorgeous !!! He just oozes sexiness ! I wanna be really really bad so he comes after me !!! Laughing

He doesn't seem that hard to seduce: most people are afraid of him so he tends to take a shine to any odd woman who's brave enough to talk to him.  But he needs to be coaxed out of his shell.  I think you should go for it, Az. Worse that can happen is you get chopped up.  Nod

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Post by azriel on Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:46 pm

GO FOR IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dam right I would fluffy !! I wouldn't worry about the chopped up bit, I have ideas...…………..

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Post by azriel on Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:55 pm

Just watched tonights episode of Dracula on BBC 1 & it was well worth it !
Spoiler:
The Danish guy playing Dracula is quite a good idea. He played the old Count as the episode started & he was great. I was quite hooked. I liked the balance of creeps, witty dialogue & a smidgeon of tongue in cheek humour ! First line from the old count was, Im guessing, pure Gatiss. "I don't drrrrink…….wine" a little homage there. It just got better as the story carried on. I also lliked the freshness of it. A re'vamp' was just what the Dracula story needed & its getting it too. Harker is a dead man retelling the tale, he realises near the end of his speech that he's not actually breathing. The nuns he tells his horror story too I thought were suddenly going to jump up & declare they are vampires also but no, turns out one nun was named Agatha Van Helsing so Im hoping she is one of the family chaps. Hour & a half of me being glued to the gogglebox & thank god for it. TV of late has been boring, like plodding heavily thru grey cold porridge. Looking forward to Episode 2 Smile

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:56 pm

{{ Just about to watch it Az. Its getting very good reviews all round. Wouldnt be xmas without a Moffat hit! Very Happy }}

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Post by azriel on Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:57 pm

Good on yer Petty, I hope you enjoy it ? I look forward to reading what you think.

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Post by halfwise on Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:06 pm

So the word online is that Dracula has a Cockney accent and the seething masses aren't having it. How could this happen? How could the "I don't drink....wine" line be delivered in Cockney? Or did he code switch once he got to merry ole?

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Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:44 pm

hahaha Dracula it made me shit-a-brick Laughing

Sofa

seriously that was gross. affraid that's a sick sick tv show. Laughing

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