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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 29 June 2018 at 8:08pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Starting THE FLASH on Blu-ray.

Two episodes in and I am enjoying it. Hoping for a lot of character development (ARROW seemed to get that right from the very start).
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 07 July 2018 at 10:43am | IP Logged | 2 post reply


On Netflix:

THE VIETNAM WAR: A Film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick [2017]

On the surface, sometimes a little too slickly-produced (I find the added sound effects and soundtrack cues a tad overdone and distracting), but loaded with invaluable info, footage and interviews.

Too heavy to "binge-watch," but I'm at least trying to watch an hour a night.  To call it powerful would be an understatement... it certainly is essential viewing.





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John Byrne
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Posted: 07 July 2018 at 10:58am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

About a year before I watched THE VIETNAM WAR I finally got around to reading an unbiased and comprehensive book on the subject. It was fascinating -- and more than a little depressing -- to begin almost half a century before the American involvement began, and to be aware as familiar names and places began to appear.

The Ken Burns documentary had a similar effect.

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 07 July 2018 at 12:42pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply


(For me, the doc is helping me to finally "put it all together."  I wasn't even alive during the '60s--born in '72--and this film is a sober reminder of how little I really knew, or could even put together, while growing up in the war's aftermath.  I'd certainly seen other films & docs, or read one or two books in my youth, but I've been having many "A-ha!" moments already, as the names, places & faces slip into their proper order and context.

Which book did you read, JB?  I may want to look it up myself, after I'm done with the documentary.)





Edited by Shaun Barry on 07 July 2018 at 12:43pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 07 July 2018 at 1:13pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

AMERICA'S LOST WAR by Charles F. Neu
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 07 July 2018 at 1:26pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I've also been watching The Vietnam War, and its absolutely wrenching at times.  I think part of what makes it so powerful is the quality of the footage from both sides.  In the past, seeing old grainy footage and pictures has created a certain amount of emotional distance for me.  This is something that happened long ago and far away.  But seeing a bunch of fresh faced kids with such utter clarity that I could be seeing people from the local college campus today, its sort of sinking in on a different level.  Its more immediate.
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 07 July 2018 at 1:35pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply


(Thank you kindly, JB!)



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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 07 July 2018 at 7:30pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

From the Ken Burns & Lynn Novick Vietnam War series I was quite impressed at how aware of what he was getting involved in Lyndon Johnson actually was, and yet he still got involved deeper and deeper! Also how much to blame Charles De Gaul was for refusing to consider liberating France's Indochina possession after WWII when so many were helping France rebuild after it's liberation! France got liberated so Indochina could stay in servitude and treated as second class in their own land? Ho Chi Minh had been an allie in WWII and written his constitution for his people based on the U.S. one. So many lost opportunities and ignorance it really is deeply sad. I hate to think of all the people died for nothing, I hope somehow it was for something, and I do think there were some awful communists involved executing a village chief as a capitalist land baron and cutting off arms the peace corps medics had given people vaccines in. Pol Pot in Cambodia was even bloodier and crazier, but when someone is setting fire to your home with a zippo it's kind of hard to be much of a lesser of two evils.

I've been watching some vintage BBC Adam Adamant and Star Cops episodes sparingly from DVD, and in honour of Peter Firmin's passing recently I put on some Clangers and Bagpuss.
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Phil Geiger
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Posted: 08 July 2018 at 11:25am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Finally watched the last 4 episodes of GRIMM. It was fun to to watch the series ending play out, although it was a tad predictable (for me, at least). I did like that they wrapped it all up and didn't leave an loose ends hanging (that I can recall).
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John Byrne
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Posted: 08 July 2018 at 12:04pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Rewatched first season of COMMUNITY. Fun to see the characters morph into their familiar forms so quickly. (Britta was actually SMART at the start, something they reference in a later season.)

I skip the Jack Black intrusion, and the snotty teenagers.

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 13 July 2018 at 2:35pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply


Finally finished THE VIETNAM WAR last night.  It wiped me out.



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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 July 2018 at 7:26am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Two TOS episodes: "Tomorrow is Yesterday" and "The Return of the Archons".

The first, in commemoration of the late Roger Perry, the second because it's another favorite that happens to be on the same disc.

In addition to being two of the best episodes of the first season, these serve as a very clear lesson that these vintage shows were not made with multiple viewing in mind. Series producers assumed the shows would be rerun once (or less, back when there were more than thirty episodes in a season), and one or two might show up as filler in later seasons when the dealines got crunchy. But the idea that the audience could watch the same episodes over and over was not considered.

This we get story and plot elements that are whipped past and not studied closely. And back in the day, we didn't mind at all!

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Bill Collins
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Posted: 17 July 2018 at 3:05am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Just started watching Happy! on Netflix, an ex-cop teams
up with the imaginary friend of a kidnapped girl, it
stars Christopher Meloni from Law and Order SVU, and is
both both and action packed, it is co-written by Grant
Morrison(I find a lot of his stuff pretentious and
confusing), so i was unsure if i`d like it, but so far i
do!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 17 July 2018 at 6:49am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Couple more episodes of MARY TYLER MOORE. Once again amazed at how memorable these shows are, given how long it's been (decades) since I last saw them.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 17 July 2018 at 7:52pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE (1988)

Conceived as a means around a writers strike, this revisiting of the classic series re-used scripts from the original, slightly revised and updated to incorporate what was then modern tech. In the opener, Jim Phelps' protege is killed and it's difficult not to imagine the character as Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt and smile a little as he dies. John Delancie plays the opener's villain, and he does a fine job. Overall, I like the vibe of this remake as it stresses teamwork and clever timing while maintaining proper respect for Peter Graves' character and the original program.

I may skip ahead to the episode with the televangelist. Graves seems to particularly enjoy the role he plays in that one, if memory serves.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 21 July 2018 at 6:06pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

VEEP mini marathon.
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Tim O'Neill
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Posted: 22 July 2018 at 9:56am | IP Logged | 17 post reply



ROBIN WILLIAMS: COME INSIDE MY MIND - HBOs doc about Williams has been something I have been looking forward to since it was announced.  I followed Williams throughout his career and am a fan, but not because of a singular work.  Im a fan of his from an amalgamation of his stand-up, talk show appearances, and films.  He was a talent I followed because he had breadth between comedy and drama.  He was someone who would take risks.

And it all started with MORK AND MINDY, which I was a rabid childhood fan.  The film shows some footage of his improv running wild.  Its great to see how his formal theater training and improv created a unique voice that, as David Letterman indicates in the film, nobody could come close to replicating.

This is an ideal movie to experience his improv brilliance with also a window into the loneliness and insecurity that fueled his talent and some of the darker elements of addiction.


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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 22 July 2018 at 12:04pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Robin Williams for straight drama is someone I came to really admire and enjoy. I also watched Mork & Mindy at the perfect age for it but really wasn't much a fan of his comedy, but in Awakenings and Good Morning Vietnam he showed like Tom Hanks so much depth

By the way, the real Adrian Cronauer of Good Morning Vietnam died a couple of days ago. :^(

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/adrian-cronauer-dj-inspi ration-robin-001153581.html
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 5:46am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

PRIDE & PREJUDICE (BBC 1995).

A superb and well-cast (with the possible exception of Alison Steadman) adaptation of Austen's classic. 
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 26 July 2018 at 6:33am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Tim: I also caught the documentary. It was hard for me to watch some parts, especially the scenes of the MORK AND MINDY outtakes, with Pam Dawber's total delight of being in his presence. That really showed what it must have been like just to have been around him.
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 30 July 2018 at 1:20pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

THE VIRGINIAN

I haven't watched this in decades, but the DVDs brought back fond memories of when it aired on the BBC. My grandparents, who didn't own a telly, would come round for tea on the night The Virginian was on, and we'd all watch the latest goings on at Shiloh Ranch together. James Drury and Doug McClure were well cast and, watching now, I'm only surprised that Mr Drury didn't become a much bigger star than he was (maybe being on the show for a decade typecast him?). I'm also enjoying playing Spot the Guest Star - actors who I know better for guest roles on Star Trek, Time Tunnel or Man from U.N.C.L.E.  I was taken aback (in a nice way) by the 75 minutes running time of the episodes, so that each one feels more like watching a movie.

Maybe not the greatest TV Western of all time but certainly up there.
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Philip Obaza
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Posted: 15 August 2018 at 3:02am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

A complete re-watch of BOJACK HORSEMAN, which I began a few
weeks back. I'll be caught up just in time for the season five premiere on
September 14th.

I continue to be amazed at how funny, dark, and brilliant this show is. And
it's easily the best show ever made about L.A. by far.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 15 August 2018 at 2:30pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Binged the first season of THE GOOD PLACE starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. I have a problem enjoying sitcoms in the first place, but this one was especially difficult, Bell's presence notwithstanding.

SPOILERS:

 INVISO TEXT (Click or highlight to reveal):
I felt the first six episodes were a complete waste of time since the story doesn't really begin until the character of Janet is "murdered." Throughout those early episodes, I couldn't believe the show looked as if it were really going to wait all season to reveal the true, completely predictable nature of Ted Danson's character, but yep, sure enough, they saved it for the finale. Man, was that a slog. It was LOST done inland.

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