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Trigger Point (2022)

Jed Mercurio-produced bomb disposal drama, feels like a Mercurio production (although he didn't write it) complete with earnest, authentic-sounding police procedure and Vicky McClure. Nothing too twisty or obtuse here, story is pretty straightforward and you'll get no prizes for guessing the culprit. There's a general coldness to this, the office politics feels sterile, it needed a Ted Hastings for sure. Bomb disposal segments were okay and had enough tension, but that's drama on a plate for writers, hard to mess that up. I suppose the standard plot is preferable to the unsatisfying twistiness of Bodyguard, although that obviousness may be a turn off for some. 

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Conversations With Friends (2022)

 

Not completed and won't be. Fuck me, Normal People was great but this is an exercise in 'what if every character is an unlikeable bellend, but not in an entertaining way like Succession'.

 

Painful, painful stuff. 

 

Also, despite supposedly being about four main characters, some of which are lesbian and bi, it's really about the straight white girl and the guy she fancies. Just like Twilight or 50 Shades. And the others aren't as well characterised, funnily and are just caricatures. It's real 'Dumbledore is gay (but not in the books)' stuff.

 

Shite. 

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Ozark

 

Finished the last series.

 

A great series that very definitely ran it's course. Felt a bit like there were a few too many twists and swerves in the last series and, more than ever, the plot was driven by everyone being unbelievably stupid.

 

Still worth watching, though.

 

4/5

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Under The Banner of Heaven

Finished up this 7 part series tonight. It's based on the real life murder of a young woman and her baby in Utah in 1984. And the involvement of the Mormon church.

 

I thought this was really excellent. The cast are all top class - Andrew Garfield, Daisy-Edgar Jones and Sam Worthington are the big names but the support are all good as well. It looks great and really captures the blandness of the mid-80s but mixed with some beautiful landscapes. It's well paced and the 7 episodes is enough to cover the story and not feel bloated, even with a 90 minute last episode. 

 

There's some shocking moments and some good twists. But reading a bit about the real case it looks likes the writer of the book it's based on took a few liberties with the facts. And the TV show has invented a few characters to make events more dramatic but that's only a minor criticism. There are a lot of flashbacks to Mormon history which I found a little pointless at first but they all tied in with the contemporary crime by the end. 

 

Hulu in America so piracy only here for a while I think but definitely recommended.

4.5/5

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WeCrashed (AppleTV+)

 

The Social Network was brilliant, and with the Apple budget behind this we thought to give it a go.  Wasn't disappointed!

Good balance of documentary, drama and comedy.  I even thought Jared Leto was alright in it, who I normally don't like at all apart from his performance in Dallas Buyers Club.

 

Recommended 4/5.

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Pistol (Disney +)

 

Better than expected I suppose - the fact that it's shot in 4:3 ratio and only available in standard HD (just about) does it a bit of a disservice and hides a lot of work that obviously went into it to get the look and era right - lots of attention to detail there, even if you can pick holes in the script, I don't think the same could be said of the visuals here.

I enjoyed the bits more of when they appeared calmer, episode 5 and 6 were too hyper and they seriously weren't that wired all of the time.

I thought the guy that played John Lydon nailed the voice completely. It'll be interesting to learn what the real Lydon thinks of it all, from what I've read so far he's only judged it from the trailer - I'm sure it hates a lot of it just "because", but I don't think Danny or the script writers pandered 100% to Steve's memoirs here. I think Lydon's real beef is the approach to producing the thing in the first place without being consulted, which is disappointing admittedly.

 

3.5/5

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Finished up a new one tonight called The Baby. It's a Sky/HBO horror-comedy-drama about a young woman who finds herself as the guardian of a baby. She doesn't want this baby but whenever she tries to get rid of it, by giving it to the police or a hospital, something tragic happens. Is the baby a monster? Is it possessed? Is she imagining things and doing the awful crimes herself? 

 

This was really good. A totally wild tone that slips between comedy and terror effortlessly. It's funny and sad and a bit scary sometimes. And it's all wrapped up nicely at the end of 8 episodes. I think it will be on one of the Sky channels at some point and is definitely worth watching.

 

4/5

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Russian Doll (series 2)

 

Not sure how to feel about this. Really well shot, the lead actress (Natasha Lyonne) is utterly brilliant, I like the concept of the plot, but it was a bit all over the place in execution. I mostly enjoyed, but felt like I was tolerating it at times.

 

3/5

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Colin’s Sandwich (1988-89, BBC Two)

 

The late Mel Smith stars as Colin Watkins, the missing link between Reggie Perrin and David Brent. The sandwich is a serving of anger on two slices of self-doubt, the pessimistic Colin unsure he deserves success. Stuck in a dead-end job at the British Rail Complaints Department, in series 1 he gets an all-important first commission as a horror writer. Cue the writer’s block, procrastination and distractions of a social life with his long-suffering partner Jenny (the brilliant Louisa RIx) there to help him. She faces her own problems but is frustrated by Colin’s lack of communication and support for her. Complicating things further is the on-off relationship of friends Sarah and Richard, into which Colin and Jenny are dragged.

 

Series 2 starts with Colin’s story being published and an offer to work with a top-name director (Nicholas Ball) on a screenplay. The director makes Colin jump through hoops and rewrite as Colin’s inexperience shines through. Then there is a dramatic twist in episode 5 that sets up a downbeat ending.

 

Mel Smith’s performance is natural and understated, his thoughts are often vocalised to portray what he is going through. There is a strong supporting cast including the ever reliable Mike Grady as Colin’s best friend Des, Lee Cornes as work colleague Graham and Annette Crosbie as Colin’s mother Joyce. One episode centred around waiting for a phone call feels quaint and dated, but so much of the humour around misunderstanding and lack of confidence, plus the large vein of pathos, still hits well. Colin’s rants and flights of fantasy move it beyond a workaday workplace comedy. A forgotten gem that finished too soon. 5/5

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Outlaws: Season 1 & 2

BBC comedy drama by Stephen Merchant, following a group of strangers thrown together on community service who go deeper and deeper into the world of crime in Bristol.

 

This has a great cast, including rather randomly Christopher Walken (playing more than just a headline grabbing cameo, he's definitely part of the main cast) and the typical Merchant humour that he fits into everything he does. While it's an uneven series, with Merchant getting most of the jokes\ being the butt of most jokes (along with the community service official), and the rest of the cast playing things straight into some pretty dark (but well warn) themes, it somehow works. That said, the dark themes are never shown in a particularly gritty way, so it never stretches beyond just post-watershed entertainment. I suspect it never intended to, either. It's a Stephen Merchant piece. 

 

It's very on the nose with its culture war commentary, painfully so at times especially early in the first series, but I just rolled with it. The two series flow into each other nicely and things escalate in a satisfying but predictable way, though both series conclude rather too neatly. I enjoyed it.

 

Special mention to the actress who could be considered the lead, Rhianne Barreto, who plays Rani. I thought she really stood out by the end, could have a bright future. 

 

3/5.

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The Summer I Turned Pretty

 

An Amazon YA drama about a bunch of rich, pretty people having a nice Summer. The main story is a of a young girl who finds herself at the centre of a love-triangle containing herself and two brothers. There's some misunderstandings, some tears, parties, mild tragedy and it all leads up to a debutant ball. It plays like an episode of The OC with an Amazon budget.

 

This was good for what it was. Nice characters, scenery and acting. And a really good pop soundtrack. 

 

2/5

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Obi Wan - 2/5

 

15 minutes of half decent moments surrounded by utter nonsense and shite filmaking in general. 

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Noble House (1988) - 4 corporate takeovers out of 5

 

Remember when six hour mini-series were a "major television event"?  The 80's was chock full of them.  V, Lace, Roots, North and South.  Anyway, I remember catching this on late night BBC way back when it was first broadcast and vaguely remember enjoying it and not seeing it until over 30 years later on Talking Pictures TV.

 

Based on James Clavell's 1,000 page novel of the same name, it follows Ian Dunross (Pierce Brosnan), the Tai-Pan (head) of Struans - the "Noble House" of Hong Kong business.  Struans is in financial trouble and looking for a partner to invest.  Step in Par-Con, headed up by Linc Bartlett and his spunky sidekick Casey Tcholok (Deborah Raffin).  But Par-Con have their own motivations and they may involve Struans nemesis for the past 150 years, headed up by - and I'm not making this up - Quillam Gornt (John Rhys Davies).  Gornt also sends Orlanda Ramos (Julia Nickson) to seduce Bartlett, but they end up falling in love...  Add in opium trader Four Finger Wu, Burt Kwouk as the Tai-Pans comprador.  Gordon Jackson and Dudley Sutton as HK policemen.  A whole bunch of "it's *that* guy!", like the one who tried to kill Indiana Jones at the start of Temple of Doom.

 

Set over four 90 minute episodes, this is glossy, high budget telly for the time.  And it's ridiculous in a good way.  The entire first episode is exposition by dialogue while Brosnan runs the full gamut of 80's business cliches and goes between charm and shouting (which he clearly thinks indicates ruthlessness).  Rhys-Davies is having an absolute blast as the bad guy, Raffin makes the most of a paper-thin character.  Special commiserations to Nickson, who is given dialogue more wooden than the junks in Victoria Harbour.  Every sentence clunks in the first place, think Anne Hathaway's "love" speech in Interstellar but done about ten times throughout the thing.  It's daft, silly fun for the opening three episodes.  Absolute hokem.

 

As an example, there is a scene set on the thinly disguised Jumbo floating restaurant.  Which then is set on fire and traps all the main players on the top deck of a burning building/boat.  Nickson simpers as she cannot swim.  Tcholok offers to goes in first and does so, in a dive that would have won an Olympic medal.  As Bartlett and Dunross try to alpha male banter each other, Rhys-Davies appears from nowhere.. with a pregnant woman in tow and shouts as only he can "She is with child!".  I fucking howled.  I was expected some kind of crane, or complex lowering procedure but nope, they just chuck her off the burning building/boat, brief shot of her climbing into a rescue dinghy and well, that's that.

 

And then the final episode absolutely rocks!  It's like they got different writers in, and it rockets along desperately trying to tie up all the plot strands it has set up and the various twists and turns as its plays out are genuinely fun and entertaining while getting seriously dark in places.

 

$20 million it cost back then and you can see it on the screen.  If you are in the mood for tolerating 80's melodrama that - Rhys-Davies apart - takes itself a bit too seriously, then it's hugely enjoyable.

 

Talking Pictures TV will probably repeat it in a couple of months or so, or you can find it on YouTube.

You'll know if you want to watch it because I'll post the opening credits, which are absolute peak "introduce each character by having them stare slightly to the side of the camera"

 

 

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The Bear - *****
 

New FX show, probably my favourite show of the year so far.  Brilliant characters, script, soundtrack and some incredible food photography.  It ended beautifully but I really hope there’s a second season, I want to spend some more time with these guys. 
 

IMDB synopsis: Carmen Berzatto, a brilliant young chef from the fine-dining world is forced to return home to run his family sandwich shop - the Original Beef of Chicagoland - after a heartbreaking death in his family. A world away from what he's used to, Carmy must balance the soul-crushing reality of trading in Michelin star restaurants for the small business' kitchen filled with strong-willed and recalcitrant staff and his strained familial relationships, all while grappling with the impact of his brother's suicide.

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On 24/06/2022 at 23:40, Silent Runner said:

The Summer I Turned Pretty

 

An Amazon YA drama about a bunch of rich, pretty people having a nice Summer. The main story is a of a young girl who finds herself at the centre of a love-triangle containing herself and two brothers. There's some misunderstandings, some tears, parties, mild tragedy and it all leads up to a debutant ball. It plays like an episode of The OC with an Amazon budget.

 

This was good for what it was. Nice characters, scenery and acting. And a really good pop soundtrack. 

 

2/5

 

And the main actress is an unlikeable twat. The actress playing her mother is, shockingly, 61. She looks about 40.

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11 hours ago, Plissken said:

Noble House (1988) - 4 corporate takeovers out of 5

 

Remember when six hour mini-series were a "major television event"?  The 80's was chock full of them.  V, Lace, Roots, North and South.  Anyway, I remember catching this on late night BBC way back when it was first broadcast and vaguely remember enjoying it and not seeing it until over 30 years later on Talking Pictures TV.

 

Based on James Clavell's 1,000 page novel of the same name, it follows Ian Dunross (Pierce Brosnan), the Tai-Pan (head) of Struans - the "Noble House" of Hong Kong business.  Struans is in financial trouble and looking for a partner to invest.  Step in Par-Con, headed up by Linc Bartlett and his spunky sidekick Casey Tcholok (Deborah Raffin).  But Par-Con have their own motivations and they may involve Struans nemesis for the past 150 years, headed up by - and I'm not making this up - Quillam Gornt (John Rhys Davies).  Gornt also sends Orlanda Ramos (Julia Nickson) to seduce Bartlett, but they end up falling in love...  Add in opium trader Four Finger Wu, Burt Kwouk as the Tai-Pans comprador.  Gordon Jackson and Dudley Sutton as HK policemen.  A whole bunch of "it's *that* guy!", like the one who tried to kill Indiana Jones at the start of Temple of Doom.

 

Set over four 90 minute episodes, this is glossy, high budget telly for the time.  And it's ridiculous in a good way.  The entire first episode is exposition by dialogue while Brosnan runs the full gamut of 80's business cliches and goes between charm and shouting (which he clearly thinks indicates ruthlessness).  Rhys-Davies is having an absolute blast as the bad guy, Raffin makes the most of a paper-thin character.  Special commiserations to Nickson, who is given dialogue more wooden than the junks in Victoria Harbour.  Every sentence clunks in the first place, think Anne Hathaway's "love" speech in Interstellar but done about ten times throughout the thing.  It's daft, silly fun for the opening three episodes.  Absolute hokem.

 

As an example, there is a scene set on the thinly disguised Jumbo floating restaurant.  Which then is set on fire and traps all the main players on the top deck of a burning building/boat.  Nickson simpers as she cannot swim.  Tcholok offers to goes in first and does so, in a dive that would have won an Olympic medal.  As Bartlett and Dunross try to alpha male banter each other, Rhys-Davies appears from nowhere.. with a pregnant woman in tow and shouts as only he can "She is with child!".  I fucking howled.  I was expected some kind of crane, or complex lowering procedure but nope, they just chuck her off the burning building/boat, brief shot of her climbing into a rescue dinghy and well, that's that.

 

And then the final episode absolutely rocks!  It's like they got different writers in, and it rockets along desperately trying to tie up all the plot strands it has set up and the various twists and turns as its plays out are genuinely fun and entertaining while getting seriously dark in places.

 

$20 million it cost back then and you can see it on the screen.  If you are in the mood for tolerating 80's melodrama that - Rhys-Davies apart - takes itself a bit too seriously, then it's hugely enjoyable.

 

Talking Pictures TV will probably repeat it in a couple of months or so, or you can find it on YouTube.

You'll know if you want to watch it because I'll post the opening credits, which are absolute peak "introduce each character by having them stare slightly to the side of the camera"

 

 

 

Man you're not joking. Him from Lovejoy is in it!

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Umbrella Academy season 3

 

Stranger Things can go fuck itself, this is the best show on Netflix, IMO.

 

We blew threw this in one sitting, (food and piss breaks being accounted for), and loved it.

 

Now limping through The Terminal List on Amazon, which should be called Terminally Dull.

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16 minutes ago, Steve McQueef said:

Now limping through The Terminal List on Amazon, which should be called Terminally Dull.

 

It's staggeringly lumpen, isn't it? Pratt acting like a man being made to make it against his will.

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On 02/07/2022 at 09:52, sammy said:

The Bear - *****
 

New FX show, probably my favourite show of the year so far.  Brilliant characters, script, soundtrack and some incredible food photography.  It ended beautifully but I really hope there’s a second season, I want to spend some more time with these guys. 
 

IMDB synopsis: Carmen Berzatto, a brilliant young chef from the fine-dining world is forced to return home to run his family sandwich shop - the Original Beef of Chicagoland - after a heartbreaking death in his family. A world away from what he's used to, Carmy must balance the soul-crushing reality of trading in Michelin star restaurants for the small business' kitchen filled with strong-willed and recalcitrant staff and his strained familial relationships, all while grappling with the impact of his brother's suicide.

Me and the missus binged that this weekend.

 

Best show I've seen this year. Its just 8 perfect episodes. Jeremy Allen White in the lead is astonishingly good.

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Jurassic World Dominion

 

A terrible film and an atrocious end to the worst trilogy since Star Wars. Any of them, they are all rubbish ;)

 

I wish I had been extinct before seeing it/5

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12 hours ago, Dark Soldier said:

Me and the missus binged that this weekend.

 

Best show I've seen this year. Its just 8 perfect episodes. Jeremy Allen White in the lead is astonishingly good.

It is amazingly good, love it when a show comes out of nowhere and just blows me away.  I’ve not seen White in anything before, he absolutely rocked it, but the whole cast are fantastic.  And the food, Jesus, I feel hungry just typing this post out.

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10 hours ago, Gabe said:

Jurassic World Dominion

 

A terrible film and an atrocious end to the worst trilogy since Star Wars. Any of them, they are all rubbish ;)

 

I wish I had been extinct before seeing it/5

Ha, I didn't even notice this was the wrong thread, such was my haste to unload my withering contempt for it :lol:

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On 02/07/2022 at 09:52, sammy said:

The Bear - *****
 

New FX show, probably my favourite show of the year so far.  Brilliant characters, script, soundtrack and some incredible food photography.  It ended beautifully but I really hope there’s a second season, I want to spend some more time with these guys. 
 

IMDB synopsis: Carmen Berzatto, a brilliant young chef from the fine-dining world is forced to return home to run his family sandwich shop - the Original Beef of Chicagoland - after a heartbreaking death in his family. A world away from what he's used to, Carmy must balance the soul-crushing reality of trading in Michelin star restaurants for the small business' kitchen filled with strong-willed and recalcitrant staff and his strained familial relationships, all while grappling with the impact of his brother's suicide.

I want to watch this, is it available to watch legally in the UK anywhere? (I don't have sky :( )

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James May - Oh Cook!

 

Affable gammon / Tim Martin cosplayer James May somehow persuades the fools at Amazon to give him loads of money to make a cookery show, even though he clearly has little interest in any of it and spends most of each episode getting steadily pissed while everyone around him does all the work.

 

I'd hesitate to describe this as good - you'll not exactly be inspired to recreate any of the recipes on display here - but May's sheer disinterest in all of it is quite entertaining and it's amusing enough to stick on in the background.

 

2/5

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2 hours ago, PeteJ said:

I want to watch this, is it available to watch legally in the UK anywhere? (I don't have sky :( )

I don’t think it is yet unfortunately, although@Dark Soldier may know differently.

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The Umbrella Academy (Series 1 & 2)

I only read about this for the first time on Saturday morning and am completely obsessed with it and have rinsed two 10-episode series already. It's so good. Dysfunctional family of superheroes is the basic premise, but there's so much more to it. Sharp, funny writing, cracking visuals, brilliant performances from pretty much everyone.

 

I'm on episode 2 of series 3 now and so far it's just as good.

 

I love this folder, every time I look at it there's some amazing programme that started two or three years ago which I completely missed when it started and now have hours of it to binge on.

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The Umbrella Academy Series 3

 

I caught covid and felt absolutely awful over the weekend, I watched this with a raging fever and it helped me feel okay and forget about my aches.

 

4/5

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Posted (edited)
On 02/07/2022 at 09:52, sammy said:

The Bear - *****
 

New FX show, probably my favourite show of the year so far.  Brilliant characters, script, soundtrack and some incredible food photography.  It ended beautifully but I really hope there’s a second season, I want to spend some more time with these guys. 
 

IMDB synopsis: Carmen Berzatto, a brilliant young chef from the fine-dining world is forced to return home to run his family sandwich shop - the Original Beef of Chicagoland - after a heartbreaking death in his family. A world away from what he's used to, Carmy must balance the soul-crushing reality of trading in Michelin star restaurants for the small business' kitchen filled with strong-willed and recalcitrant staff and his strained familial relationships, all while grappling with the impact of his brother's suicide.

 

I only became aware of this through knowing of Matty Matheson (Who produces and stars in it) 

 

Dear god man, some of the food he makes! 😮

 

I've got it queued up to watch, but it's nice to see it getting lots of praise here. 

Edited by Arn X Treme
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