Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Movies & TV’ Category

A movie movie that gets better as it goes along: “Mindhorn”

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Netflix has a new comedy up, a Netflix Original: Mindhorn. It’s a movie movie (a movie about making a movie—in effect, a backstage story), though in this case the plot is driven not by a movie but by a 1980s TV series of the “bionic human” genre. Mindhorn is about some of the cast today and also includes a fan. The protagonist of Mindhorn is the actor who played the hero of the series who is now a has-been scrambling for acting roles.

The opening is good (especially the cameo with Kenneth Branagh as himself), but my expectations were low. The movie surprised me, though, by getting better and better as it went along. Satisfying.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 May 2017 at 10:37 am

Posted in Movies & TV

Casting remix

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A cute way to do impressions. And if you watch a lot of movies, as I do, you’ll enjoy this.

Written by LeisureGuy

16 May 2017 at 10:57 am

Posted in Movies & TV

Netflix: The secret codes that unlock 1000s of hidden movies

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Anyone who has used Netflix know how lame their “browse” function is (and Amazon Prime is no better). James Titcomb in The Telegraph describes how to find some movies you might not otherwise see:

Netflix’s incredibly niche, personalised subgenres have long captivated movie nerds, from “Steamy Crime Movies from the 1970s” to “Period Pieces About Royalty Based on Real Life”.

The genres, based on a complicated algorithm that uses reams of data about users’ viewing habits to recommend exactly what a particular user is into, number in the tens of thousands.

When Netflix thinks you’ll like sentimental Spanish-language dramas or gritty tearjerkers, they’ll show up on your home screen, but aside from that, they’re not easy to find.

But a simple web address trick has emerged showing how you can find any one of these genres simply by switching a number in a URL.

If you’re logged into Netflix, enter http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/XXXX  into your browser’s toolbar to bring up one of the thousands of genres in Netflix’s library.

“XXXX” is a series of digits – 1089 is “Mind-bending Movies”, for example; while 354 is “Movies Starring Matthew McConaughey” – currently a genre of one film.

Not all numbers will result in a subgenre, and given Netflix’s ever-changing algorithms, they might move around every now and then, while there may be regional differences meaning that some codes don’t work.

Codes for the main genres are available here. At the foot of the list is a link to a list of even more.

NetFlix streaming by alternate genres (main list)
. . .

Continue reading.

The list begins:

Written by LeisureGuy

1 May 2017 at 4:03 pm

Posted in Movies & TV, Technology

A Review of Reviews of “The Handmaid’s Tale”: An interesting pattern emerges

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Kevin Drum’s post is well worth reading. It begins:

Below are excerpts from a baker’s dozen reviews of Hulu’s new adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. Can you figure out what they all have in common? . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 April 2017 at 9:59 pm

Francine Prose has an interesting take on “Big Little Lies”

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Full disclosure: I haven’t seen any episodes of Big Little Lies, even though it is set here in Monterey. Still, I found Francine Prose’s comments in the NY Review of Books fascinating:

On the surface, the popular HBO miniseries Big Little Lies would appear to be nothing but surface: scenic shots of picturesque Monterey, California; multi-million-dollar mansions with panoramic ocean views; stylishly dressed families eating breakfast at kitchen islands the size of many Manhattan kitchens; the melodrama of soap opera ratcheted up by the same narrative hook—a murder has been committed, but a chorus of peripheral characters debate who the killer might have been, and coyly refuse to tell us who was killed—used by several other premium-channel series (The Affair, True Detective) to inspire viewers to keep choosing their shows over the other available Sunday-night distractions.

Watching Big Little Lies at first feels like eating a pint of ice cream in one sitting, alone. It’s highly enjoyable, as long as one doesn’t think too hard or deeply about what the series is telling us. Not only does it address our aspirational real-estate fantasies and notions of sustaining female friendship; it also considers the misguided ways in which we raise (and smother) our children, the more distasteful realities of marriage, the perpetual, damaging, and frequently violent war between men and women, and the ubiquity of bullying—not only among schoolchildren but also among the adults who presumably know better.

Based on the novel by Australian writer Liane Moriarty and adapted by David E. Kelley and Jean-Marc Vallée, Big Little Lies portrays a group of women whose privileged lives are, predictably, neither as easy nor as enviable as they might appear. As Madeline, Reese Witherspoon—projecting herself into the world like something shot from a cannon—faces a host of first-world problems: her tense relationship with her ex-husband and his sexy young yoga-instructor wife; her resentful teenage daughter; her sweet but boring second husband; and the resultant frustrations that she passionately channels into a community-theater production of the musical Avenue Q. Her friend Celeste (Nicole Kidman) has given up a law career to raise twin sons and placate her husband Perry (Alexander Skarsgård), a man whose attractiveness and charm conceals the soul of an abusive, controlling psycho.

In the first episode, Madeline meets a young woman named Jane (Shailene Woodley) who lives in a modest bungalow that—lacking a terrace on which to sip cocktails as the sun sets over the Pacific—is, by local standards, a Dickensian hovel. A single mom, Jane has moved to Monterey to start a new life with her son Ziggy, the product of a brutal date rape. Madeline, who loves causes, takes on Jane as her pet project, especially after Jane runs afoul of the ferocious Renata (Laura Dern). A powerful Silicon Valley CEO, Renata feels despised and persecuted because she is the only one of the women who works full-time, and her free-floating, manic rage soon finds its inappropriate targets in Jane, the vulnerable newcomer, and the unfortunate Ziggy, who is accused of bullying Renata’s daughter.

These charges, and the children’s unwillingness to refute them, make Jane wonder: Is Ziggy a sadist like his father—or a victim like his mother? Tormented by two equally dire possibilities, Jane recalls . . .

Continue reading.

The conclusion is particularly striking.

Written by LeisureGuy

9 April 2017 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

Great martial-arts movie on Netflix: Rise of the Legend

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And it really is extremely good in plot, characters, fights, effects. The sets are so elaborate they must be CGI, but they certainly look real to me. Worth watching, IMO: Rise of the Legend. There’s a fair amount of flashback, but it’s pretty easy to follow.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 April 2017 at 10:11 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

“Double King,” an interesting animation short by Felix Colgrave

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And he has more on YouTube.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 April 2017 at 11:15 am

Posted in Movies & TV

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