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Hello guys! (new guy here) I think I am kinda getting sad cause Fargo season 2 has ended..One of the best series I've been watching so far..These feeling and universe the Coen brothers made is absolutely stunning! It reminds me of the perfect character and black humour aura of (my old time fav) Breaking Bad!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Is anyone watching War and Peace?

 

I love the book and I'm somewhat in awe of Tostoy. This TV series feels quite condensed, so unlike the book there isn't a lot of time for characters and ideas to infuse gradually. I look for some depth of understanding of Tolstoy and sofar it's not there. In a film piece of any arbitrary length, one could distinguish one's effort by an incisive, clear vision of a few key moments. Prince Bolkonski's expanded little moment lying wounded on the battle field after waving the flag, for example....but no.

 

I love actors Brian Cox, Stephen Rea, James Norton....This show wasn't worthy of them. And I don't think they were well cast, except for Rea as the snakey Prince Vasily.

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  • 2 weeks later...
And Dr Who has gotten very nice looking considering the humble beginnings.

 

Gotta say I much prefered the humble beginnings. Maybe it now has a budget but I think the new Dr Who is sheeeeeeeeeeeeeee eyte! It has become a bit better in more recent years but it's still at a very low ebb.

 

Looks a bit flashier tho.

 

Freya

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Don't know why, but I just started watching The Wire. I saw the pilot some time ago and couldn't quite remove the memory of Hornblower while watching the McNulty character. Some time later, trying again, I really like it. Several really interesting characters that won't end their evolvement till the final season, I hope.

 

Before you get too deep into the Wire, you might want to watch the Corners. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0224853/

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I don't watch a lot of TV, but occasionally catch Modern Family, or Cougartown when it was on. I caught maybe an episode a month. TV to me now is like TV in the 70s; mostly junk.

 

I guess my favorite shows are SciShow, SciSchow Space, Numberphile and every now and then V-Sauce. Local and network news seem to get trimmed more and more with each passing year.

 

*EDIT*

Sorry, I didn't mean to insult anyone. Just to make myself clear I think production values in today's TV are at an all time high, and the smart shows (Mad Men, Parks and Rec, Modern Fam, and so forth) are several orders of magnitude funnier than I Love Lucy or Petticoat Junction or other pre-70s sitcoms, but the so-called reality genre and shortened news, I think, has really brought American TV to an all time low.

 

It's like the smart shows are smarter (which is good), but the dumb shows are dumber, and there's more dumb stuff than smart stuff, and it appears to be more popular.

 

It's like there's a quality schism developing. :angry:

 

And that's my www.cinematography.com soapbox moments. Thanks. :)

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I will admit the early Dr Who had a certain charm.

I have great memories of Tom Baker and his super long scarf. Definitely one of the best Doctors. And the stories that he was in (during that particular time period) were so well written and imaginative. Very atmospheric too. Though you have to laugh at the cheap props at times lol.

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I've been watching SyFy Channel's "The Expanse" this season, I like it quite a bit, it's rather ambitious in its scope. The photography is nice and gritty, though the sharpness can be unflattering at times to some of the actors.

 

I've also been watching the "X-Files" reboot, though I missed the second half of the first episode because the football game before it ran over and my DVR didn't know it was getting delayed. The second episode was hilarious though I was surprised at how over-lit the night work was, I guess this was their "comedy episode" look, next week's looks a lot moodier.

 

I've seen three episodes of "War and Peace" (it just started airing two weeks ago here in the U.S.). Compared to the Henry Fonda / Audrey Hepburn version from 1955, this is less truncated. Certainly Paul Dano seems better cast for Pierre than 50-year-old Henry Fonda was, though Fonda did a good job of charting Pierre's spiritual journey. It's hard to not think of Audrey Hepburn as Natasha, and Wifred Lawson as cranky father Bolkonsky was a memorable performance in the 1955 version. I like the soft anamorphic-lensed photography and the hot windows, reminds me a bit of "Barry Lyndon" at times.

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I had been following the expanse and quite enjoying it. Saw e09 and 10 last night. Detective Miller is a really interesting character. Visionary moments where he sees the little birds alternately flapping then inexplicably pausing. I'm well drawn in. The indian looking woman, UN diplomat, a wonderful character, played by a fantastic actress. The adventures of the space ship crew are or were sort of off to the side, more dynamic, less spiritualized or something. Now Miller has joined them, so I wonder where to now.

 

The X Files reptile man episode was really odd. Duchovney as though he had just come from a bender on the Californication set. The implausible reptile man, played by kiwi comic Reece Dharby. How wierd can things get. It's somehow extra wierd because he's a kiwi.

 

War and Peace is growing on me a bit. I still have a problem that the main actors don't look like Tolstoy described them, or at least how he somehow made me imagine them. Pierre was a big oaf. Kutezof was huge and fat, almost narcoleptic, often sitting as if asleep in the shadows while his generals argued as if he wasn't there. Andrei Bolkonski was smallish, slight, intense, internally vigorous, luminous, conflicted and brilliant......

 

Some of the pithy, potent moments in the book are still to come...

 

James Norton, who plays Prince Andrei, is in a wonderful little post WWII drama called Grantchester. It's a real delight, very perceptive, well observed.

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I kept up with American Crime into S02.

 

I enjoyed S01. A sort of unflinching observation in minutae. Almost every character is deserving of compassion. Quite bold and expansive. In S02 there are the same qualities of theme, shifted to a different kernel, a fresh object of observation. The same excellent ECUs are there, allowing a character to move in frame rather than have the frame fidget to accomodate the character.

 

But, the same actors, from S01, have returned, as different characters, with often opposite qualites. As though these characters existed in a parallel universe. Somehow, for me, this is a wierd, intriguing thing.

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Hey Carl,

 

I get the feeling that most people look to Netflix etc for good stuff. Televised broadcast here in NZ has sunk very low. And who would have guessed that "reality" was all about competitive cooking, renovating, auction hunting

 

The American Shameless? That intro I think is one of my favourite intros ever.

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Yes, the American version of Shameless. I saw a few eps of the British version (at a friends' place), which looked great, but ended up missing the full series.

Either way the American version was excellent.

 

Another great series I binged on (courtesy of Netflix) was: Orange is the New Black. Just could not stop watching.

 

Of the more traditional American fare, I find Gotham mildly interesting. Tried Jessica Jones for a while but haven't been able to get into it. Daredevil wasn't too bad. I tend to fall asleep during these types of shows. Which would be fine if I wasn't then waking up in the middle of the night on my couch with a sore neck.

 

I haven't seen the X Files reboot, but would love to see that.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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  • 2 weeks later...

Those who have Hulu (or you can find it somewhere else) should watch 11.22.63, adapted from Stephen King's book and produced by JJ Abrams, starring James Franco. Shot on the Red Dragon with anamorphic Hawk lenses, it looks absolutely great, very distinct look, with a 2:1 aspect ratio as well adding to the look, the lighting is gorgeous, and it looks and really feels like the 60's, obviously, it'd be better to shoot period stuff on film, but the production values are off the charts here.

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Seinfeld. This is a classic, but maybe my observation will not be:

 

I like it when there is normal lighting, and then one character says something particularly poignant (transcending comedy) and then the lighting will go into hard lighting, lit from one side.

 

Most wouldn't say that Seinfeld is moving, but there was definitely something up with a few of those episodes. It does have a heart in places!

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Oh yeah, Vinyl looks awesome. It's shot on the Sony F55, Rodrigo Prieto talked about it on the Sony website, they tested super 16, 35 mm, etc, he said the super 16 was mushy and soft on the big screen (weird, considering super 16 can be really sharp (considering it's super 16 of course) as seen in Steve Jobs), so they tested also other digital cameras, and Marty Scorsese liked the look of the Sony F55, and they added film grain to it, and Prieto felt it was really interesting, having some form of analog quality but with a much sharper image.

 

I don't get why they didn't shoot 35 mm, Prieto just mentioned the super 16, anyway, it looks very very good.

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Oh yeah, Vinyl looks awesome. It's shot on the Sony F55, Rodrigo Prieto talked about it on the Sony website, they tested super 16, 35 mm, etc, he said the super 16 was mushy and soft on the big screen (weird, considering super 16 can be really sharp (considering it's super 16 of course) as seen in Steve Jobs), so they tested also other digital cameras, and Marty Scorsese liked the look of the Sony F55, and they added film grain to it, and Prieto felt it was really interesting, having some form of analog quality but with a much sharper image.

 

I don't get why they didn't shoot 35 mm, Prieto just mentioned the super 16, anyway, it looks very very good.

 

Interesting, it had a very strong grain pattern in some shots so I was not sure if it was 35mm or not. Just goes to show in this day and age its about the look and the feel not necessarily the tool.

Edited by Shawn Sagady
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Mmmmmm, it doesn't look like film though, at least, not to me, that's the problem with saying things like that. There's a completely different feel to both, and I still feel, like many, that film does things that digital cannot replicate. Anyway, it's interesting to see that some people are fooled and can't really tell the difference once film grain is added (although it does not replicate at all the look imo).

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I was lucky to see a demo of the Live Grain process over at HBO a few weeks ago. They do the work on "Vinyl". It's the best grain process I've seen to date, because the effect is dimensional -- they scan film at different exposure levels and then tonally map that over the image so that the shadows get the grain of underexposed areas and the highlights get the grain of the overexposed areas, etc. rather than have one grain level laid over the whole image like the other grain processes work. The effect is fairly convincing, and it naturally changes depending on whether the shot has more highlights or shadows in it, just like when intercutting color film, rather than have a monolithic layer of the same grain over everything playing on a short loop.

 

They even have scans of b&w negative and reversal stocks -- it was fascinating when we got to play around during the demo to stick the grain of 16mm Tri-X b&w reversal over a color image, very beautiful in fact.

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