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Movies vs Series

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DareDaniel
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Movies vs Series

#1

Post by DareDaniel »

I wanna share my thoughts on how I feel about movies and series.

Movies have been my favourite media since I was a kid. I've seen, at this point, more than 3000 movies.

However, I've never cared that much about series. I prefer movies over episodic experiences. It's way less time consuming to watch a movie than a 60+ episode series. There's also much more creative freedom in movies.

There's a huge potencional in series when it comes to character development. Six Feet Under was amazing.

But I feel like other shows drag too much. Battlestar Galactica had too many filler episodes. I also didn't care much about middle scenes in Breaking Bad. Lost became garbage after 2 or 3 seasons. I liked Daredevil S01, but I had no motivation to keep watching it.

I also don't like to wait for new seasons. I loved Stranger Things S01, but still didn't get in the mood to watch Season 2. I loved Cobra Kai, but I hate that I need to wait another year to watch the next season. However, it's fun to grow with series. Ive been watching One Piece for 10 years, so by now it's part of my life.

I think that is always good to have a series to watch. Something to pick up when I don't feel like watching anything else. But I also create my "series of films" by watching all movies from a certain actor or director.

Overall I prefer anime series to live-action series. Neon Genesis Evageliim is a must-watch series in order to watch The End of Evangelion. Samurai X is fun, but not mandatory if you wanna watch Trust and Betrayal.

What are some good series for someone who enjoys mostly movies?
I wanna watch Twin Peaks. I was having a blast with it a few years ago but then my weed was all gone for weeks, so I dropped it. Also, for some reason, Buffy looks so much fun.
Last edited by DareDaniel on June 3rd, 2018, 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#2

Post by flaiky »

A great film is easier to find than a great series, but I think a great series is more satisfying than a great film. I love that feeling of becoming obsessed with a show, getting intensely invested in the characters and their world and anxiously waiting to see what happens next. It can be a really special experience and absolutely worth the time investment. But yes, many go on too long and lose their magic. It's incredibly frustrating when a creator or network lacks the self-control to end something while still on a high. But you mentioned Six Feet Under, my #1 piece of media/art of any sort, and that's a great example of a series ending at exactly the right time and it's a big part of why it's such a wonderful, effective show. It happens. And there's no way that story would be better as two hour film, right?

Which shows are good for someone who mostly enjoys movies? Well, the ones that follow a single story arc the entire time, I'd say, rather than having an episodic approach. These are becoming more and more common. Game of Thrones is perhaps the best example - nothing in it could be called a pointless subplot; on the contrary, everything that happens (which is a LOT) spirals off from the very fist episode, which is a pretty incredible feat. Have you tried it yet? It's also very cinematic, of course. Breaking Bad was equally amazing at this IMO, but you said you've seen it...If you love SFU you might love This Is Us, I personally see a lot of similarities, but it's much more sentimental (well earned sentiment IMO, but it needs to come with this warning).

I haven't watched a whole load of TV myself, and I have a bad habit of simply rewatching, the ones I already love, but I'm increasingly enthusiastic about the medium.

(Sorry if this is a shit reply, my sleeping pill is heavily kicking in :wacko: )
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#3

Post by maxwelldeux »

I actually come from the opposite end - my first love was always TV, and I've only recently come to love movies. I've always really valued character development and getting to know people, which is why I had always gravitated towards TV. But there are stories you can only really tell via TV (and vice versa), and it's good to have some balance.

Six Feet Under is fantastic - and has what I consider to be the single greatest series finale ever.

My Recommendations (10/10)
The Wire: Honestly, there's a reason this keeps getting brought up as one of the best TV series ever. It's that good. I was skeptical going in, and the first few episodes are slow. But it picks up and ends up being DAMN good. Wife and I did all 60 episodes in two weeks.
The Newsroom: Brilliant news/political drama. Each episode was fantastic, the characters were developed and evolved, and the story arcs were fascinating.
The Killing: (I apparently like "The [word]" shows...) Great mystery series. Very dark, but holy shit does it make you tense. Great character development, especially for the leads.
Better Off Ted: Quirky comedy that's like a cross between Arrested Development and The Office, set in an R&D laboratory. Hilarious. Only lasted two seasons short, which is what allowed it to stay pure.

My Recommendations (9/10)
The Corner: This is the miniseries that inspired The Wire. Where The Wire chronicles the police and the drug dealers, The Corner chronicles the lives of the drug users and victims of the drug trade in inner-city Baltimore. Emotional and poignant.
Arrested Development: It actually is that good. The first three seasons are like one long story, and feels very movie like. VERY bingeable series. Season 5 just came out, so you can get all the way through it.
The Looming Tower: Brand new miniseries, this tells the story of the rivalry between the FBI and CIA and how it led to 9/11. Great acting and great story.
Parks and Recreation: It's funny, and is one of the better examples of character development in a sitcom. Stays remarkable awesome throughout.

Docuseries
The Story of Film: An Odyssey: If you like movies, watch this. 15 episodes covering the history of film. Really informative - I actually intend to make it an annual tradition to rewatch this.

Other:
24: Each season is it's own thing. The first few seasons are awesome - great tension, and great lack of character development within each season (it all takes place in a day, so the characters shouldn't grow much). There is next to no cross-season arc, so you can pretty much wait in between seasons for a long time.
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#4

Post by Pretentious Hipster »

I feel like even my few favourite shows had their share of filler. A huge flaw of series.

Some Adult Swim shows are the best because each episode is 10 minutes long or even shorter. Harder to make filler if an entire season is less than 2 hours.
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#5

Post by DareDaniel »

As someone who has always prefered movies over (american) series, I've been spending way more time on series lately.

Series have such huge production costs now they basically feel like serialized movies. I'm talking ofc about series than follow a common plotline instead of random episodes ("Kung Fu", "Star Trek"...). Even "The Sopranos" turned me off due to its episodic format, didn't feel like a movie which is what I'm aiming for. It became normal to have movie stars in tv series and big name directors are trying different new things on tv as well. Since seasons feel like movies, it's fun to binge watch entire seasons in 2/3 days. Series like "Game of Thrones" and "See" make me forget how cheap tv used to look with amazing world building and epic movie quality, streaming services have been investing millions per episode and it shows. Plus, I've noticed how these services have been investing in asian shows as well such as "Alice in Borderland", "Kindgom", "Tokyo Vampire Hotel" and "Followers", which look much better than the average jdrama or kdrama. Never thought I would say this but the current state of tv/streaming is way more exciting than movies.

Other good series that I've been watching include:
-Stranger Things
-Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet (so funny and I'm not even into american comedies)
-Cobra Kai
-Unbelievable
-Big Little Lies
-The Boys
-Euphoria
-The Mandalorian
-11.22.63
-Devs
-When They See Us
-Narcos
-Too Old to Die Young
-Watchmen
-Don't F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer
-Mindhunter
-Chernobyl

And obviously Twin Peaks: The Return, one of mankind's greatest achievements.

This list can grow so much this year, I've so many on my watchlist. I'm currently watching "The Morning Show" :wub:
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#6

Post by Torgo »

DareDaniel wrote: June 3rd, 2018, 11:11 pm However, I've never cared that much about series. I prefer movies over episodic experiences. It's way less time consuming to watch a movie than a 60+ episode series. There's also much more creative freedom in movies.
.. fast forward:
DareDaniel wrote: April 6th, 2021, 4:39 pm As someone who has always prefered movies over (american) series, I've been spending way more time on series lately.

-Stranger Things
-The Boys
-The Mandalorian
-Narcos
-Watchmen
-Mindhunter
-Chernobyl

And obviously Twin Peaks: The Return, one of mankind's greatest achievements.

This list can grow so much this year, I've so many on my watchlist.
:sweat:
It's crazy, innit?

Trust me you're not alone with that. I used to say that I basically don't watch series, but Breaking Bad & Game of Thrones broke me. When it comes to entertainment (can't judge anything auteur/artsy on that), 2020 & 2021 will very likely make the movie scene look even paler compared to "TV"/VOD formats.
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#7

Post by xianjiro »

For me it's a distinction that I just don't care about - I like 'em both. And shorts too!

What I don't understand is why so few series have engaged me like the Golden Age of HBO with the likes of Sopranos and Six Feet Under. I also really like Deadwood, Rome, Carnivale, and Sex and the City. I actually have slowly acquired all on disc over the years.

However, besides Breaking Bad, I'm not sure ANYTHING (especially GoT) has drawn me in the same way. Can't remember my first true binge watch, but I think it was like season 4 or 5 of Sopranos when I literally just kept feeding in the discs with occasional breaks for food or bathroom. There have been some things that I've felt a bit more compelled to watch (Vikings or The Last Kingdom), but nothing really like that again. And while watching things on Netfilx can aid in binging, I can't think of anything that I've done more than a few episodes in a stretch before wanting to do something else.

But there is still one big thing with series for me: does it have an overarching theme or is it just a string of shows. For example, I really enjoyed watching Wentworth and Orange is the New Black at almost the same time. (I've also seen Oz and Prison Break front to back, so have some "depth"). But it's clear with all of these that they ran through their original, and compelling, arcs fairly early in the series run and so they stretch their inciting situation(s) and characters in ways that actually renders the series much less effective. But hey, who's going to say no to continued work, right? Okay, occasionally an actor - either because they have another commitment (a guy from Bridgerton just did that) or because they are bored and want to do something else - will jump ship, but notice something like The Big Bang Theory didn't lose characters, it' gained them.

For me, most of these shows outlive themselves. Those that don't are generally well-written enough that they can continue exploring the characters and themes without it all going to some insane, illogicial conclusion. While two season of Rome was just fine by me, I could have imagined that getting drug out the same way. Luckily the expense of such a production shut it down and it remained a fine whole. Wentworth on the other hand has gone the soap opera route and resurrected a villian. Oy vey!

And need I remind us this isn't limited to series TV - we've got a great example if we compare The Lord of the Rings with The Hobbit. I'm a massive fan of what Jackson, et al did with LofR. Even with the 12 hour extended cut, they had to leave out important plot points from the books, but the films still work and we've got characters who feel they've completed their 'journeys' at the end of movie three. The Hobbit on the other hand - a much 'lighter' tome to begin with - gets stretched out in a way that makes the original story almost meaningless. Eight Harry Potter movies was just fine, but of course WB still wants to cash in. I'm nowhere as interested in this followup series nor the characters, but it's gone better than I expected. And then the granddaddy of all modern movie serials: Star Wars. Hmmm. Seems plenty of consensus that the original three Lucas films were enough, some don't mind the second batch while others hate them. Not sure how the jury feels about this current batch. (Haven't seen any of the Mandalorian, so no idea there.) Yes, the Star Wars universe is vast and you can do just about anything you want with it, but should you?
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#8

Post by Torgo »

xianjiro wrote: April 6th, 2021, 7:28 pm And then the granddaddy of all modern movie serials: Star Wars. Hmmm. Seems plenty of consensus that the original three Lucas films were enough, some don't mind the second batch while others hate them. Not sure how the jury feels about this current batch. (Haven't seen any of the Mandalorian, so no idea there.) Yes, the Star Wars universe is vast and you can do just about anything you want with it, but should you?
Mandalorian is the best thing to come out with Star Wars since almost 40 years, and I think that just wouldn't have been possible in the 90s. It's pure cinematic quality in episodic form.
2nd trilogy ranged from "unbearable" to "average / quite good" for me, 3rd trilogy from "average" to "great", but overall, I would be happier if they just ditched all and revived it with Manda alone, and only Manda. (Other spin-off films were alright enough, didn't watch any of the dozen other series, don't have the slightest interest)
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#9

Post by mjf314 »

I used to watch mostly movies, but for the last couple of years I've been watching mostly series, and the majority of them have been Asian. The good thing about Asian dramas is that they usually have a limited number of episodes, so they don't go on and on forever like American TV.

I think there are a lot of Asian dramas that would appeal to movie watchers, but unfortunately they're completely unknown on this forum. Here are a few trailers to hopefully get people interested.

The Gifted (Thailand, 13 eps) - supernatural/mystery/thriller - About a group of students with superpowers (a little bit like Sky High, but less comedy and more thriller).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c3FJXZBmIk

Signal (South Korea, 16 eps) - detective/crime/supernatural - A detective finds a walkie-talkie that allows him to communicate with a detective from the past, and they work together to solve cases (one of those cases is the same case as the one in Memories of Murder).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Sv1ZToV_y0

Hanzawa Naoki (Japan, 10 eps) - thriller - It's about a guy who works at a corrupt bank... But it's much more suspenseful than you would ever expect from a story set in a bank.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q65JX2qGIwk

Unnatural (Japan, 10 eps) - medical/detective/mystery - A team of forensic pathologists investigate the cause of death. If you like "case of the week" detective shows, you'll probably like this one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aWxHSFVmLc

Nirvana in Fire (China, 54 eps) - historical/political - It's very epic, and I've seen reviews that compare it to both Game of Thrones and The Count of Monte Cristo.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8SvjkPa3VM

The Legend of the Condor Heroes (HK, 59 eps) - wuxia - A must-watch for all wuxia fans. The story and characters are far better than anything I've seen in a wuxia movie. The fight scenes and music are good too. My only complaint is the not-so-great video quality, but it's watchable.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhGG9FlhfpU
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#10

Post by Onderhond »

I've tried several series throughout the years, since everybody keeps telling me that they're pretty much long movies nowadays, but I simply don't see it. Apart from some anime series, I find series pretty dull, overly long and hard to complete. I still feel the star of a series is a writer, whereas for films it's the director. That difference is what defines my main problem with series.

I've seen some Games of Thrones, but to me it just looks like cheap LOTR, a series of films I think is pretty low on the ladder to begin with. I've tried Breaking Bad, but didn't get past half an episode. Which felt like it had enough material for at least 3 films already. I tried Alice in Borderlands because I like the films of Shinsuke Sato, but quit after three episodes (not one of which I managed to finish in one sitting). It's just cheap and repetitive. I also went through the first two series of Twin Peaks last year (because I wanted to see the film). It started off rather decent, but the only really interesting thing about it is that one song and it is repeated endlessly. Those two series are god knows how many hours long, but it never got as weird as Lynch gets in his films.

Series are more about narrative, characters and familiarity. The latter in particular is a big negative for me, as I prefer to be surprised. Or least carry the hope to be surprised.

The only one that looks truly interesting is Sono's Tokyo Vampire Hotel, but since he made a film version of that one, I'd rather just watch that.
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#11

Post by Torgo »

Onderhond wrote: April 6th, 2021, 10:18 pm I've tried Breaking Bad, but didn't get past half an episode. Which felt like it had enough material for at least 3 films already.
Huh?
Yeah, well, maybe really don't bother with watching the 5.5 season :innocent:
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#12

Post by outdoorcats »

Damn, "cheap Lord of the Rings" looks a lot better than The Lord of the Rings (and pretty much anything else):

(spoilers, I guess, for those still planning to watch the series?)


It's practically a renaissance fair shot on someone's camcorder! :P

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
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#13

Post by Onderhond »

Torgo wrote: April 6th, 2021, 11:28 pm Huh?
Yeah, well, maybe really don't bother with watching the 5.5 season :innocent:
I looked up my old rant, which basically goes like:

"looks like a low budget 80s straight to VHS B-flick, the main character feels like a cheap William H Macy replacement and the first 30 minutes had enough plot to fill at least two feature films".

So yeah, if that was supposed to be the pinnacle of TV series I'm not game. Also checked the the GoT clip above, which I find highly unimpressive. I cannot look at the arrow rain and not think how much more impressive it was in Hero. But to be honest, I've never been a fan of these chaotic/realistic/random battlefield scenes. I'd rather see the 300 version.
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#14

Post by outdoorcats »

But "cheap Lord of the Rings" though?

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
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#15

Post by Onderhond »

outdoorcats wrote: April 7th, 2021, 7:53 am But "cheap Lord of the Rings" though?
Yes, I think even LOTR looks better, and my ratings for those films are 0.5*, 0.5* and 0.5*.
I watched quite a bit of GoT during dinner, but never once felt the need to continue watching when my dinner was finished.
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#16

Post by outdoorcats »

But "cheap Lord of the Rings" though

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
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#17

Post by Onderhond »

Yups.
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#18

Post by Cippenham »

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... r-30-years

Who has seen the Soviet Lord of the Rings. No checks so far I think
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#19

Post by DareDaniel »

mjf314 wrote: April 6th, 2021, 8:24 pm I used to watch mostly movies, but for the last couple of years I've been watching mostly series, and the majority of them have been Asian. The good thing about Asian dramas is that they usually have a limited number of episodes, so they don't go on and on forever like American TV.
I used to watch a lot of these in highschool/early college and today I have a total of 73 series seen. It was either that or anime what I watched the most, for the same reasons you mentioned. American series just didn't click on me but I guess I wasn't lucky with my picks:

Lost - so many flashbacks
Battlestar Galactica - so many fillers
Breaking Bad - loved the first and last seasons, but I never got into the hype and Aaron Paul's meme acting turned me off
Star Trek - because it was always mentioned in lists of best series ever. today this is just dated and I didn't like the episodic structure

"Six Feet Under" was the only exception which made me feel like series could give me something else that movies couldn't.
Torgo wrote: April 6th, 2021, 6:34 pm Trust me you're not alone with that. I used to say that I basically don't watch series, but Breaking Bad & Game of Thrones broke me. When it comes to entertainment (can't judge anything auteur/artsy on that), 2020 & 2021 will very likely make the movie scene look even paler compared to "TV"/VOD formats.
I only watched Game of Thrones in late 2020 and yeah, it was amazing. It took 4 seasons for this show to won me over but in the end it was just unforgettable.
I have way more series that I want to watch than movies from 2020 and 2021. It's been terrible lol. Same with modern japanese cinema which is what I prefer for movies.
I don't care about classics or european cinema either so that saves me a lot of time in invest in series. Btw it's not like I suddenly prefer series over movies now, I just feel happy I can enjoy more things now.
Onderhond wrote: April 6th, 2021, 10:18 pm The only one that looks truly interesting is Sono's Tokyo Vampire Hotel, but since he made a film version of that one, I'd rather just watch that.
You will miss the superior and original version of "The Forest of Love" if you decide to skip the Deep Cut just because it's longer and episodic.
outdoorcats wrote: April 7th, 2021, 4:26 am Damn, "cheap Lord of the Rings" looks a lot better than The Lord of the Rings (and pretty much anything else):

(spoilers, I guess, for those still planning to watch the series?)


It's practically a renaissance fair shot on someone's camcorder! :P
That episode makes the battles in Lord of the Rings looks so amateur and childish. :lol:
I also didn't get the "cheap" comment.

This is what cheap tv looks like for me:


(In 2006 visual effects looked much better in movies)

However in 2021 you can't look at these trailers without thinking they look like modern movies:


Last edited by DareDaniel on April 19th, 2021, 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#20

Post by Onderhond »

DareDaniel wrote: April 7th, 2021, 10:15 am
Onderhond wrote: April 6th, 2021, 10:18 pm The only one that looks truly interesting is Sono's Tokyo Vampire Hotel, but since he made a film version of that one, I'd rather just watch that.
You will miss the superior and original version of "The Forest of Love" if you decide to skip the Deep Cut just because it's longer and episodic.
If I got a penny every time I've read such a comment and ended up disappointed afterwards. Even Sono's Love/Exposure "only" rates 4* in my book because it's simply too long for what it brings. More of the same usually means a lesser score for me. And it makes it progressively difficult to get to the end.

And the trailers you posted still look like subpar blockbuster flops to me. The kind where the director's job didn't involve much more than shouting "cut" and "it's a wrap". It doesn't even begin to approach what I consider quality cinema.
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#21

Post by Lammetje »

Onderhond wrote: April 7th, 2021, 8:16 am
outdoorcats wrote: April 7th, 2021, 7:53 am But "cheap Lord of the Rings" though?
Yes, I think even LOTR looks better, and my ratings for those films are 0.5*, 0.5* and 0.5*.
(u), (u) and (u)

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#22

Post by Pretentious Hipster »

No matter your opinion on tv shows (I hate the vast majority), Nathan for You is essential.

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#23

Post by Torgo »

Pretentious Hipster wrote: April 7th, 2021, 1:31 pm No matter your opinion on tv shows (I hate the vast majority), Nathan for You is essential.
Mh sure, let me wait for Onderhond's review first.
:P
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#24

Post by Lakigigar »

I'm in trouble with tv-series too... They drag on for way too long, and it's not consistent.

Like i recently started watching Vikings. Like with many tv-series, i liked the first season a lot, but than when everyone says it starts peaking only in season 2 and season 3, i started to think they were absolutely bad, and i have that issue with many series (like Walking Dead, Prison Break). Lost was ok but i watched that as a kid.

The other kind of series is Euphoria and 13 Reasons Why, but i don't really see the appeal of it. They kinda feel overrated.

I certainly have some issues with tv-series. But I simply could be watching the wrong things. I loved the first season of The End of the F**cking World though!

I think i'm going to watch Tokyo Vampire Hotel, Alice in Borderland and Followers because yeah Asian :p and also Too Old To Die Young because NWR :D Perhaps i'll like Twin Peaks too. Not sure if i will GoT (probably not) or Breaking Bad or The Wire (also probably not really).
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#25

Post by DareDaniel »

Lakigigar wrote: April 11th, 2021, 11:12 am I think i'm going to watch Tokyo Vampire Hotel, Alice in Borderland and Followers because yeah Asian :p and also Too Old To Die Young because NWR :D Perhaps i'll like Twin Peaks too. Not sure if i will GoT (probably not) or Breaking Bad or The Wire (also probably not really).
Watch The Forest of Love: Deep Cut also if you haven't yet. That one and Twin Peaks: The Return are my favourite miniseries
Also, both series have all episodes directed by Sono and Lynch, which makes them essentially films.
To be honest I just watched Twin Peaks last year because The Return has such great ratings on letterboxd. The first season is really good but the quality drops a lot in the second season. Also, you have to ignore how old it looks.. it basically looks like tv used to look lol. Totally worth the investment though as The Return became one of my Top 5 films of all time. I also loved Fire Walk With Me which I had seen many years ago but didn't feel the same same without watching the series.


I'm currently watching Gangs of London from Gareth Evans (The Raid movies)



"Subpar blockbuster flop" my ass.
Last edited by DareDaniel on April 12th, 2021, 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#26

Post by Onderhond »

Yeah well, give me Guns Akimbo any day. Not a big raid fan either to be honest, but even that looked better than the scene above. Camera work and editing really are subpar for that type of action scenes.
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#27

Post by DareDaniel »

Yeah well, that's just your opinion man.
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#28

Post by Onderhond »

That it is :)
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#29

Post by xianjiro »

wow - agreement on the forum! We need to pin those posts! :)
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#30

Post by DareDaniel »

Nah, we just agree to disagree. What I got from this discussion is that anything over 2 hours is too much of Onderhond's time. Plus, anything that doesn't look like Blade Runner 2049 is cheap tv. His opinions are based on half an episode and episodes watched as background while having dinner, I can't argue with that. Then you look at his favourite films and none of them are high budget productions. Cheap tv visual effects are not a problem anymore in Avalon.

Anyway, I had great fun binging His Dark Materials on the weekend. Like a very long blockbuster with all the story development that couldn't fit under 2 hours.



Yesterday I started watching Them. Episode 1 was pretty good and scary with Jordan Peele vibes.

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#31

Post by Onderhond »

DareDaniel wrote: April 13th, 2021, 12:04 pm What I got from this discussion is that anything over 2 hours is too much of Onderhond's time.
That's not far from the truth I guess. Out of 1141 personal favorites, only 180 are > 120 minutes (with an average of 103 minutes).
DareDaniel wrote: April 13th, 2021, 12:04 pmHis opinions are based on half an episode and episodes watched as background while having dinner,
Well yes, I'm not going to watch 8 hours of something just in the hope I might like it after that. I struggled through 2 seasons of Twin Peaks (which got consistently worse over time, simply because it stayed exactly the same), my interest also doesn't lie with narratives and characters. So sure, I might miss some crazy series that starts out pretty dull and makes complete 180s in atmosphere later on, but I'm tired of being disappointed by highly regarded series to worry about that too much.
DareDaniel wrote: April 13th, 2021, 12:04 pm Then you look at his favourite films and none of them are high budget productions. Cheap tv visual effects are not a problem anymore in Avalon.
It's not about the cost of the effects, but the precision of the direction. Most series are narrative-focused (style over substance isn't really a thing in series) and it's quite obvious that many takes are rushed. Whether that is because they needed to shoot 8+ hours of material or whether it has to makes sense fitting in between ad blocks doesn't really matter to me. You can feel how to format influences the direction and for someone who likes unique moods and deliberate pacing (both slow and fast), that's hardly ideal.
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#32

Post by xianjiro »

To take a slightly different tack, do you have preferences for the kinds of series you like - and for this, rather than talking genre, I'm curious how people feel about the running story style of series (like Game of Thrones) or something where each episode is a self-contained whole? Not sure of the best example for this latter type given that we represent so many countries, but I'm not thinking about Twilight Zone or Black Mirror anthology type series as much as things like cop shows where they have one episode to solve the crime, catch the bad person, and put the world right (usually until next week). Earlier Star Treks are a good example, both The Original Series and Next Generation. Of course most sitcoms are obvious examples, though things like The Simpsons and Big Bang Theory have thematic through-lines that connect episodes and offer another dimension for fans, but anyone can watch a single episode and still have some laughs - at least that's the theory. X-Files tended to mix the two, with some episodes being completely self-contained, others completely devoted to the 'mythology', and some with a hint, like a visit from the Smoking Man or an attack of the black oil.

And then one other question: fess up - anyone like soap operas?
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#33

Post by sebby »

TV is great. Mad Men is better than 99.9% of films in the universe. Nathan for You is funnier than anything I have ever seen. I can't remember the last Sci-Fi/Fantasy horror that was as enjoyable as Lovecraft Country. Steven Universe has greater depth and is a more satisfying watch than any mainstream animated film in, errr umm, the universe. et cetera.
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#34

Post by DareDaniel »

Onderhond wrote: April 13th, 2021, 12:50 pm
DareDaniel wrote: April 13th, 2021, 12:04 pm What I got from this discussion is that anything over 2 hours is too much of Onderhond's time.
That's not far from the truth I guess. Out of 1141 personal favorites, only 180 are > 120 minutes (with an average of 103 minutes).
DareDaniel wrote: April 13th, 2021, 12:04 pmHis opinions are based on half an episode and episodes watched as background while having dinner,
Well yes, I'm not going to watch 8 hours of something just in the hope I might like it after that. I struggled through 2 seasons of Twin Peaks (which got consistently worse over time, simply because it stayed exactly the same), my interest also doesn't lie with narratives and characters. So sure, I might miss some crazy series that starts out pretty dull and makes complete 180s in atmosphere later on, but I'm tired of being disappointed by highly regarded series to worry about that too much.
DareDaniel wrote: April 13th, 2021, 12:04 pm Then you look at his favourite films and none of them are high budget productions. Cheap tv visual effects are not a problem anymore in Avalon.
It's not about the cost of the effects, but the precision of the direction. Most series are narrative-focused (style over substance isn't really a thing in series) and it's quite obvious that many takes are rushed. Whether that is because they needed to shoot 8+ hours of material or whether it has to makes sense fitting in between ad blocks doesn't really matter to me. You can feel how to format influences the direction and for someone who likes unique moods and deliberate pacing (both slow and fast), that's hardly ideal.
You don't like what you don't like and while I do agree with the fact that the best looking movies will always look better than the best looking series, you can't deny that the current state of tv/streaming looks much better than it did just 10 years ago.

I used to watch a lot of dramas in highschool/early college mainly from the 00s and nothing looked like this:



More and more movie directors try new things in series. Here's a trailer for Barry Jenkins's new project:



And a new record will be established with Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series which will cost around $450 million just for one season:
https://www.indiewire.com/2021/04/lord- ... 234630921/
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#35

Post by Onderhond »

DareDaniel wrote: Today, 9:26 am and while I do agree with the fact that the best looking movies will always look better than the best looking series, you can't deny that the current state of tv/streaming looks much better than it did just 10 years ago.
Oh, definitely agree on both points. It's just not enough for me to get invested in (certainly not for such long runtimes).

Edit: the next (and way more important step for me) would be to add clear visual signatures. Not make it look more expensive, but make it look more unique. Like some anime series have managed to do over the years.
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#36

Post by outdoorcats »

xianjiro wrote: Today, 4:39 am To take a slightly different tack, do you have preferences for the kinds of series you like - and for this, rather than talking genre, I'm curious how people feel about the running story style of series (like Game of Thrones) or something where each episode is a self-contained whole? Not sure of the best example for this latter type given that we represent so many countries, but I'm not thinking about Twilight Zone or Black Mirror anthology type series as much as things like cop shows where they have one episode to solve the crime, catch the bad person, and put the world right (usually until next week). Earlier Star Treks are a good example, both The Original Series and Next Generation. Of course most sitcoms are obvious examples, though things like The Simpsons and Big Bang Theory have thematic through-lines that connect episodes and offer another dimension for fans, but anyone can watch a single episode and still have some laughs - at least that's the theory. X-Files tended to mix the two, with some episodes being completely self-contained, others completely devoted to the 'mythology', and some with a hint, like a visit from the Smoking Man or an attack of the black oil.
I'm a bit ambidextrous here. My #1 show is The Wire, where individual episodes are nothing more than chapters and don't stand on their own, but seasons are self-contained novels with a beginning and end, each season with a new focus (and sometimes a new setting). My #2 show is The Leftovers, a show that most would describe as a continuous story, but particularly in later seasons shifts perspective from character to character every episode, functioning like a series of interwoven short stories. It's a bit like reading "Winnesburg, Ohio" or the complete short stories of Flannery O'Connor. My #3 show is Cowboy Bebop, an almost wholly episodic "bounty of the week" show where the episodes are self-contained, which the show uses to experiment with wildly different genres and styles from episode to episode.

Finally, a little further down in my favorites I have LOST, which essentially functions as one continuous story throughout six seasons, with cliffhangers not only between episodes but at the end of seasons. This is the most common type of show nowadays, but the type of show I'm most hesitant to get into. For every show that actually pulls it off, it seems like there are thousands that fall apart as they are cancelled early, TV executives interfere, showrunners change hands...or most often, there was just no real broad plan in advance other than to try and keep audiences hooked with escalating ridiculous twists.

@DareDaniel - The Underground Railroad looks amazing. I am extremely dubious of The Lord of the Rings, which despite its title will actually be adapted from Simarillion stuff I believe. Also, from that price tag, deduct $250 million, as that is how much it cost just to secure the rights. The Witcher also advertised as one of the most expensive shows ever, but looked cheaper than Xena. Part of that was just incompetent direction (both inability to visually present even the basic information coherently, or the ability to hide cracks in the budget), but still, I can't help but wonder if there was money laundering or other financial shadiness behind the scenes.

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
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#37

Post by xianjiro »

outdoorcats wrote: Today, 1:04 pm
@DareDaniel - The Underground Railroad looks amazing. I am extremely dubious of The Lord of the Rings, which despite its title will actually be adapted from Simarillion stuff I believe. Also, from that price tag, deduct $250 million, as that is how much it cost just to secure the rights.
Yeah, that and Unfinished Tales, Lost Tales, and who knows what else in the multi-volume set of "companion books" that have been written/edited by both JRR and Christopher.

I think they are using LotR since that's a very known commodity and unless one is a serious fan of Tolkien, probably never even heard of the Simarillion let alone read it. I think some people will be very disappointed with it's lack of Bagginses and the other key players from the actual LotR.

I need to see how much companion stuff is available either in large print or ebooks through the library. I'm not going to hold my breath, though. Do know I've still got plenty of Tolkien reading yet to do.

I'll admit to being more than mildly curious: it's all going to depend on the creative team.
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#38

Post by OldAle1 »

I grew up with TV, and had much more access to it than to movies up until college, and the nostalgia aspect alone would probably keep me a little more interested in it than Onderhond is. Over the last decade or so I've been slowly going through all of the American sci-fi shows that were on when I was a kid - some of which I watched originally, some I never did; it didn't begin as any kind of cohesive project or anything, just something that was inspired by the newer version of Battlestar Galactica. Over the last half-year the show I've been watching has been Buck Rogers, surely the very worst of them, but it's still kind of fun and there's always stuff to notice about the way culture, and science fiction, and TV budgets have changed, which is enough for me. I tend to use TV often as something to watch while eating dinner, something I don't need to spend much mental energy on, etc.

But that's not all TV and there's certainly plenty of stuff that I love as much as most films. The cinematic qualities, or lack thereof, don't really bother me in the slightest - well, not most of the time - and as I am someone who is just as interested in narrative as anything else, the freedom that American TV since the 90s has had to tell longer and potentially much more complex stories than film can has great appeal. At the same time though, committing to 50 or 100 hours for a show just isn't something I want to do very often, and with a show that is heavy on continuity like The Wire or Breaking Bad, I'm not gonna watch it if I don't feel like having a regular schedule, which I really haven't done. So I haven't really watched much modern TV at all, because the stuff that appeals to me most is also the stuff that requires the most effort.

Oh, and I have ZERO interest in The Lord of the RIngs on TV, just as I have ZERO interest in Watchmen. One of the things I hate the most about contemporary American culture is this need to keep squeezing every popular franchise forever and in these cases it seems to me to go very much against the feelings of the original creators. I don't know, can't we just leave some original creations as they are, and not making them tools to make more corporations and a few actors and directors rich for generations and generations?
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