The Weekly Summary #4

wingsd2A more productive week this week (if you can calling watching films and tv shows productive). No discs though, funnily enough- it was all streaming or films recorded off  broadcast channels. Sign of the times re: physical media or just me consciously steering away from those noir boxsets to shake things up?

Three Pines, TV series (Season One, 8 Episodes, 2022), Episodes 7-8 – Amazon Prime

13. D.O.A. (1948)

14. Kansas City Confidential (1952) – Amazon Prime

Unforgiven (1992)

15. Wings of Desire (1987)

16. Jung_E (2023) – Netflix

17. Narvik: Hitler’s First Defeat (2022) – Netflix

Jack Ryan (Season Two, 8 Episodes, 2019), Episodes 1 – 8, Amazon Prime

Attentive readers may note that I finished season two of Jack Ryan following yesterday’s post reviewing episodes 1 – 4. Yeah, I watched the final four episodes yesterday, staying up late last night for the final two. You know a show is good when you suggest staying up for one more episode and then even later for another. Binge-watching… reminds me of one Easter many years ago when I’d bought the DVD boxset (well, I did say many years ago) of season one of 24 and we wound up binge-watching the entire box of twenty-four episodes over the single weekend. In my defence, I will point out it wasn’t a rewatch, I’d not watched any of the show during its network airing so was merely catching-up on a well-regarded show that I’d missed. But anyway, that was my first experience of binge-watching, something that has largely come into its own with the rise of Netflix and other streamers which happily ‘dump’ entire seasons of new shows all at once. I still prefer the old-fashioned method of weekly drops, such as what Amazon did with Rings of Power a few months back, and The Expanse before it- I like the anticipation of looking forward to the next week’s instalment, and discussing it with colleagues at work or online. A social side to what is essentially a very solitary experience, of sitting down and watching something on a television.

So anyway, season two of Jack Ryan is very good, better than the first season I think and regards that second season in particular, the final four episodes were better than those first four- I really enjoyed how the script-writers brought all the various character arcs to their conclusion, and brought the seperate plot threads together in a very satisfying way. It may not have been ground-breaking or particularly extraordinary, but it was very well done and I always like a well-structured narrative with good character arcs. Its a very solid show and I look forward to watching season three.

A word regards my methodology with these weekly summaries- I’ve resumed counting ‘new’ films (those films I haven’t seen before, many of which are hardly new to most people) which is why some films have a numerical count against them and others don’t, and I’m also not counting TV shows. I didn’t keep any count at all last year and while I’ve not got a target at all regards an annual total, I’d just like to keep track for curiosities sake.

So now to my weekly summary of best and worst of the ‘new’ stuff. Well, best of the week is Wings of Desire, which I finally got to watch after all these years. To be frank, it didn’t blow me away, and its ‘best of the week’ status is more a reflection of the others, I guess. Wings of Desire is a film I likely need to watch again; its more of a tone-poem than a regular film, and while I’ve nothing against that (hey, I really like Terrence Mallick films after all) it did, I suspect, mean that its probably a grower. I also recorded it off a television airing on a commercial channel which meant I had to fast-forward through commercial breaks and that’s never the best way to watch a film, especially one like this one which establishes a mood and dreamlike space only for it to be broken every fifteen-twenty minutes. Back in the day, this was the way we tended to watch so many films but its really not ideal.

Worst of the month was Jung_E, a major disappointment considering that director Sang-ho Yeon previously made the excellent Train to Busan. I’ll get to posting a review shortly, so I’ll not go into it a great deal here, but my goodness it was stupid. Is there anything worse than stupid sci-fi? This was like one of those silly 1960s sci-fi b-movies I used to cringe at growing up, albeit with a bigger budget. I thought the genre had grown up out of that nonsense but apparently not.

So anyway, regards next week, I really have no idea. Maybe I’ll crack on with Jack Ryan season three (or maybe I’ll take a break); one film on my radar is Sergio Sollima’s 1973 Italian crime drama Revolver, starring Oliver Reed, which may seem a little obscure but I believe is well-regarded (I recall a Blu-ray release from Eureka last year) and which I’ve noticed is on Amazon Prime. Other than that, who knows? Other than reviews, I feel a rant about cinema prices coming on –  I haven’t been to a cinema since I saw Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, and while I wasn’t actually intending to go, I perused the prices for Avatar: The Way of the Water out of idle curiosity and I have to say, there’s little wonder it broke the $2 billion mark this week if folks are paying the same prices I saw. Also, I came across an absolutely fascinating article about AI being used for lip-synching that both excited and scared me, I’ll hopefully get chance to post about that.


3 thoughts on “The Weekly Summary #4

  1. There’s always loads of great films on All 4 (including, currently, Wings of Desire), but the ad breaks always put me off actually watching them, especially as you can’t fastforward them on catchup. I could pay for the ad-free tier, but it’s not as if there aren’t enough streaming services eating up my money as it is!

    Jung_E was on my radar, precisely because of Train to Busan, so that’s disappointing to hear. Not that it was a huge priority for me anyway, but I guess it’ll slip into that ever-expanding background “maybe one day” list now.

  2. Matthew McKinnon

    Have to echo Bob’s sentiments.
    All4 and ESPECIALLY ITVX make watching TV torture. It’s like a bad dream of the 1980s.

    We started watching ‘The Walk In’ on ITV’s streamer last year because all the episodes were up at once. But we stopped and decided to wait to watch them week by week on Virgin TV because the ads were so excruciating: so many of them, and so long.

    1. I genuinely NEVER watch ads; anything on tv, I record it and watch after so I can fast-forward through the commercials. Very often my mother-in-law, unfortunately in the habit of watching soaps, will rave about a really clever or funny commercial asking if we’ve seen it, and strangely my blank response and shake of my head never ceases to puzzle her.

      The idea of Netflix bringing back commercial advertising in order to reduce sub prices fills me with horror. If the sub gets too expensive I’ll just cancel, sod any cheaper option if I have to watch ads.

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