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Thread: Stranger Things (Season 1)

  1. #26
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    Quote Quoting Dead & Messed Up (view post)

    In terms of storytelling, the thing also reminded me uncomfortably of how I felt watching Jurassic World and The Force Awakens - that I was watching someone trying to gratify me by giving me the exact thing I enjoyed once, but with no real sense of adventure or upending expectations or getting at the thrumming engine at the center of those experiences.
    So what are you comparing this to when you say this.

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  2. #27
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    So what are you comparing this to when you say this.
    I don't understand the question.

  3. #28
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    Quote Quoting Dead & Messed Up (view post)
    I don't understand the question.
    You say when you were watching this, you felt like you were "watching someone trying to gratify me by giving me the exact thing I enjoyed once"- Presumably because when you were watching Jurassic World, you were thinking of Jurassic Park and The Force Awakens >> A New Hope.

    So what source material was the comparison you drew while watching Stranger Things? Was it one IP? Many? Or just an overall sensation?

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  4. #29
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    This was awesome.
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  5. #30
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    You say when you were watching this, you felt like you were "watching someone trying to gratify me by giving me the exact thing I enjoyed once"- Presumably because when you were watching Jurassic World, you were thinking of Jurassic Park and The Force Awakens >> A New Hope.

    So what source material was the comparison you drew while watching Stranger Things? Was it one IP? Many? Or just an overall sensation?
    Oh, got it. The most predominant ones were probably Firestarter and E.T. and Stand By Me/The Body/It.

    As an example, King's "Shop" and "Arrowhead Project" in general felt like touchstones for the villainy of the film. But it didn't feel like there was anything new here. No greater sense of their purposes, no real sense of Modine's character ambitions beyond the most obvious (he wants foreign intel or whatever), nothing specific. It was so broad. Bad guys bad, white-haired guy leader (even E.T. gave dimension to Peter Coyote). Why not take the opportunity to tweak it? Is this group actually mysterious in a meaningful way, or are they just obscure? (As I recall, King's "Shop" was pretty lame.) The only creative thing about the group is Cronenberg-Gate, a nifty rejection of shimmery special effects portals.

    As another example, like I said, the monster chasing people didn't feel interesting. It felt like a post-Giger, post-Cloverfield aggregation of basic creature design. Slick and grey and all mouth. The series goes to great pains to nod to Silent Hill and Pan's Labyrinth, but when push comes to shove, its monster is just a set of jaws, whereas those stories had monsters that felt more symbolically/psychologically exciting and engaging. They meant something important to their stories. And it's like this series decided, "Yeah, we should have a monster too!" but never quite tied it to the story on any deeper level. Again, it's catalyst.

  6. #31
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    Fair criticisms.


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  7. #32
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    Quote Quoting [ETM] (view post)
    The kids did so much better than those in Super 8, it's hardly even a comparison.
    I was actually thinking the exact opposite while watching this. Those kids in Super 8 are sooo much better than the kids here. :P

  8. #33
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    That makes me want to watch Super 8 again.

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  9. #34
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    Fun thing I heard the Duffer Brothers say. I think everyone recognizes the references to Spielberg, Carpenter, and King as they run across the entire series like a big salad bowl, but the brothers actually specifically wanted the three generations of characters to not only have separate stories, but play out in different '80 universes that are tonally different from one another. So they tried to do that by writing each of them distinctly as a specific homage to one of those '80s giants.

    So the adults are in a Spielberg movie (very specifically Close Encounters, I think), where flawed individuals come into contact with an extraordinary event that forces them to hold onto the optimism and hope that they've lost. The teenagers are in a slasher movie, where the themes of high school and sexual frustration are juxtaposed with the supernatural and you see the virginal girl having to become a fighter to violently beat a monster. And the kids obviously are in a Stephen King coming-of-age novel where friendships are tested in an adult manner they've never experienced before when they have to rely on each other to take down an overwhelming evil.
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    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
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  10. #35
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    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    I was actually thinking the exact opposite while watching this. Those kids in Super 8 are sooo much better than the kids here. :P
    I watched them back to back, and I really didn't care much for the kids in Super 8, except for Fanning, of course, who is superb. It's not the kids' fault, either. It's just that the story is so paper thin and pointless that it barely registers emotionally, at least for me.

  11. #36
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Alright, finally got around to finishing it, and as much as I feel it's definitely entertaining stuff, it mainly just made me want to re-watch Close Encounters, The Goonies, The Guest (especially for the SURVIVE-scored bits since they did all the music here), A Nightmare On Elm Street, E.T., Under The Skin, Alien, Beyond the Black Rainbow, The Visitor, The Monster Squad, and even Midnight Special, which I didn't love but felt like it's a strong spiritual companion to this. Those are just the first things that came to mind, too.

    I think the first three episodes (which I watched when they were first released and then went away without internet for a bit and subsequently got too busy to continue immediately after) are the strongest, Episodes 4 to 6 are pretty sluggish and wheel-spinning, and then the last two are solid enough to tie it all together neatly enough, but ultimately proving to me there's not much for me to grab onto emotionally beyond the clever pastiche.

    By the end of the season it also did very little to convince me that the Nancy/Steve/Barb storyline adds anything meaningful to the overall story beyond providing the sort of '80s romance / slasher texture that 8 mentioned. Also if Modine's character [
    ]

    I'll gladly watch another season and I do love the score and think a lot of the characters and little elements are very charming, but ultimately, I can't pretend I love it or say I think there's much originality going on here, and it makes me wonder if the people come across both in real-life and online who're ecstatic about it have seen or truly value the movies I mentioned above.

    At least we can agree this is the best thing Shawn Levy has ever had a hand in directing?
    BlacKkKlansman (Lee, 2018) – **** / 9.1
    Murder On The Orient Express (Branagh, 2017) – ***½ / 8.3
    Mission: Impossible – Fallout (McQuarrie, 2018) – ***½ / 8.8
    Blindspotting (Estrada, 2018) – ***½ / 8.4
    Leave No Trace (Granik, 2018) – ***½ / 8.6
    Eighth Grade (Burnham, 2018) – ***½ / 8.5
    Sorry To Bother You (Riley, 2018) – **** / 9.2
    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Bayona, 2018) – **½ / 5.9
    2001: A Space Odyssey [in 70mm] (Kubrick, 1968) – **** / 10

  12. #37
    Since 1929 Morris Schæffer's Avatar
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    Episode 4. This thing is becoming more goosebumpy by the minute. One thing that irks me.

    4 episodes in and no one has actually had the bright idea to talk to the Dr. Brenner (Modine) character.
    MOVIES

    • Suspiria (Argento, 1977) ♦♦♦ -- rewatch
    • The Predator (Black, 2018) ♦♦
    • A Star is Born (Cooper, 2018) ♦♦♦½
    • Sleepless in Seattle (Ephron, 1993) ♦♦
    • Lukas (Leclercq, 2018) ♦♦♦
    • The Meg (Turteltaub, 2018) ♦♦½
    • Ant-Man and the Wasp (Reed, 2018) ♦♦½
    • Skyscraper (Thurber, 2018) ♦♦½
    • Blow Out (De Palma, 1981) ♦♦♦
    • Tomb Raider (Uthaug, 2018) ♦½
    • Mission Impossible - Fallout (McQuarrie, 2018) ♦♦♦♦
    • Sicario: Day of the Soldado (Sollima, 2018) ♦♦½

    TV

    • The Vietnam War (2017) ♦♦♦♦ // Homeland (S7) ♦♦♦♦ // The Bridge (SE/DK) (S4) ♦♦♦♦
    • The Americans (S6) ♦♦♦♦ // The Walking Dead (S8) ♦♦♦ // Designated Survivor (S2) ♦♦

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  13. #38
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    This was wonderful, the only real weakness of note being Winona Ryder, who was bloody awful.

    Superb story telling. I want more. Lots more.

  14. #39
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    I thought Winona Ryder played a very good concerned parent.

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  15. #40
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    Winona's great. Her character's bad.
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
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  16. #41
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    I felt like I could see her acting.

  17. #42
    Since 1929 Morris Schæffer's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting megladon8 (view post)
    I felt like I could see her acting.
    I too think she's overdoing it a little bit. If this was a movie released in December, one might be forgiven for thinking she's after something.
    MOVIES

    • Suspiria (Argento, 1977) ♦♦♦ -- rewatch
    • The Predator (Black, 2018) ♦♦
    • A Star is Born (Cooper, 2018) ♦♦♦½
    • Sleepless in Seattle (Ephron, 1993) ♦♦
    • Lukas (Leclercq, 2018) ♦♦♦
    • The Meg (Turteltaub, 2018) ♦♦½
    • Ant-Man and the Wasp (Reed, 2018) ♦♦½
    • Skyscraper (Thurber, 2018) ♦♦½
    • Blow Out (De Palma, 1981) ♦♦♦
    • Tomb Raider (Uthaug, 2018) ♦½
    • Mission Impossible - Fallout (McQuarrie, 2018) ♦♦♦♦
    • Sicario: Day of the Soldado (Sollima, 2018) ♦♦½

    TV

    • The Vietnam War (2017) ♦♦♦♦ // Homeland (S7) ♦♦♦♦ // The Bridge (SE/DK) (S4) ♦♦♦♦
    • The Americans (S6) ♦♦♦♦ // The Walking Dead (S8) ♦♦♦ // Designated Survivor (S2) ♦♦

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  18. #43
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    On the other hand, I thought she was out-acting a lot of her scene partners. Especially the guy who played her ex husband.

  19. #44
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    Quote Quoting Sycophant (view post)
    On the other hand, I thought she was out-acting a lot of her scene partners. Especially the guy who played her ex husband.
    Definitely agree.
    So you found God, huh? That's awesome. See, Mom kept calling out for him but he wasn't around. I guess Jesus was down at the mill forgiving all the drunks. Who knew?


  20. #45
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    4 episodes in. The one problem I have is that the characters just feel like references rather than actual characters. But here's hoping they remedy that in season 2. I love everything else from the story, to the science fiction elements, to the phenomenal score and soundtrack.
    Last Five Films I've Seen

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    Assassination Nation (Levinson, 2018) 9

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  21. #46
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Morris Schæffer (view post)
    I too think she's overdoing it a little bit. If this was a movie released in December, one might be forgiven for thinking she's after something.
    As much as its popularity is at insane levels right now and Netflix is very good at getting their shows nominated, I still feel like the series is possibly too genre to be recognized widely by things like the Emmys next year, but I can easily see Ryder be the one big representative nominee for the show. A winner, even, since there's a nice comeback nature to it all.

    I do agree that there isn't very much to Joyce on paper but that she brings a lot more to her with the actual performance. The moments she's left alone on screen without dialogue is when she's the most compelling.
    BlacKkKlansman (Lee, 2018) – **** / 9.1
    Murder On The Orient Express (Branagh, 2017) – ***½ / 8.3
    Mission: Impossible – Fallout (McQuarrie, 2018) – ***½ / 8.8
    Blindspotting (Estrada, 2018) – ***½ / 8.4
    Leave No Trace (Granik, 2018) – ***½ / 8.6
    Eighth Grade (Burnham, 2018) – ***½ / 8.5
    Sorry To Bother You (Riley, 2018) – **** / 9.2
    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Bayona, 2018) – **½ / 5.9
    2001: A Space Odyssey [in 70mm] (Kubrick, 1968) – **** / 10

  22. #47
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    They agree with Meg on Winona Ryder at 11:30


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    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies

  23. #48
    David Harbour needs to be in more things. Dude's good.
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  24. #49
    Overall: pretty good. I liked all the characters and actors with the exception of Ryder, who I thought was shrill and annoying, not necessarily by design. I liked the tone and atmosphere, but the sloppy plotting really got to me in the end: the blood theory which makes no sense when you have a semi-important character walking around with blood all over his face unmolested, show-horning Ryder into the search for Will in the underneath, just so she could scream hoarsely some more, the Modine character in general, inept government agents who cannot catch a bunch of kids on shoddy bikes from like 20 yards away, how many times the "Eleven steps in to save the day" card was played etc...

    One more pass at the screenplays would have made a world of difference.
    Last 10 Movies Seen

    You Were Never Really Here
    (2018) 74
    A Quiet Place
    (2018) 65
    The Little Mermaid (1989) 59
    /The Lion King (1994) 55
    The Sheriff in Town
    (2017) 42
    /Pacific Heights (1990) 62

    Ready Player One
    (2018) 53

    /Deadpool
    (2016) 67
    Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017) 61
    The Death of Stalin (2017) 67

    Stuff at Letterboxd


  25. #50
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    As if there was any doubt


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    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies

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