Derik Badman's Journal

2020-01-13 17:19

Watched Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story last night, and, like Little Women it lived up to all the hype. I can't say I have a lot to say about it, except that it was very well done and engaging to watch. It feels rare to have watched 2 movies in a row that got a lot of end of year praise and that didn't disappoint. Though I just heard that Greta Gerwig was apparently snubbed for best director in the Oscar nominations, though both movies are up for picture, screenplay, and various acting awards.

Finished up The Witcher season 1, sadly, I think the last episode of the season was the worst one. It might not be a coincidence that it is the one that seemed to most be original show material. It depicted (and heavily changed) an event only summarized in the stories, and in doing so added a lot of stuff that seemed unnecessary, irrelevant, or just pointless. It seems like the writers want to build up Yennifer's character more, and also provide extra... narrative investment for a few side characters, but in the end it feels like they stray too far from the main characters and end up getting a little too dispersed with the narrative focus. They also went with a lot more effects and big fights and such than really needed, all of which seemed a little too Game of Thrones-y to me. I still really enjoyed the series and am looking forward to a second season, but I do wonder if knowing the original made me enjoy it less for seeing the differences and thinking that many of the differences were unnecessary or tonally inconsistent. It did also make me want to reread the books again, or play the game some more.

Was feeling crappy today, so gave up on work early to sit on the couch this afternoon and watch tv. Ended up finishing up The End of the Fucking World season 2 which was a darkly funny pleasure. It doesn't seem like it needs another season, nor would I be excited for one, the ending felt like an ending.

Then watched Under the Skin which I've been wanting to watch since it was on some best of lists for 2014. It's a hard film to easily describe. Science fiction but mysterious, plain, slow... lots of long takes and unmoving camera shots. Aliens (clearly, though one must just infer that) with no explanation or backstory. The filming and the sound were beautiful and occasionally disturbing. Scarlett Johansson plays this alien woman and is really amazing in it, completely different than she was in Marriage Story. Seems like one of those movies that I'd need to watch again to better understand it. Not something I would recommend to a lot of people.