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    1. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      10 votes
    2. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      4 votes
    3. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      7 votes
    4. A review of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'By Jeeves'

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      I watched the streamed version of 'By Jeeves' today. I have thoughts that I want to express.


      There’s a saying in show business: “If you have a good strong finish, they'll forgive anything.” (Well, maybe it’s only Rose in ‘Gypsy’ who says that, but it has wider applications.) This show was the opposite of that. I was going along with the badness of the adaptation, the absurdity of the plot, the silliness of the narrative framework, and the falseness of the characters – and then the ending came along and trumped everything else with its awfulness.

      For starters, the narrative framework was silly. Bertie Wooster is due to give a banjo recital at a local hall, but the banjo goes missing, so his valet Jeeves convinces Bertie to entertain the audience with a reminiscence. But rather than commit wholeheartedly to the story, Bertie and Jeeves keep popping out of it with references to bad props and lighting and music. At the times when the plot went along as normal, it was quite an enjoyable play, for what it was. Then Jeeves would appear with a car built from a sofa and some cardboard boxes, or a ladder going to nowhere, or a pig mask (more about that later), and destroy the mood. I wish the writer Alan Ayckbourn had committed to the plot, rather than framing it in this way. It felt silly. It set the wrong tone. P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster stories are comedies of manners, not farces (although they often contain farcical elements). The comedy is subtle, not broad.

      On the matter of tone, I noticed a distinct lack of the 30s slang which gave the original stories their flavour. Bertie spoke generic upper-class English in this play, rather than the lingo of his time and his culture.

      With regard to the story, I’m not sure where this plot came from. I don’t pretend to have read all the Jeeves and Wooster stories, but I do have the book that the setting for this play comes from: ‘The Code of the Woosters’. The backdrop of Totleigh Towers and most of the characters in the play come from this novel. But the plot is nothing like the book. It has elements that are reminiscent of Wodehouse’s stories, such as characters pretending to be each other (which was too over-the-top in this play), and Bertie having to steal something to create a diversion, but the plot itself is an invention of Ayckbourn’s (I assume).

      The scene near the end of the play with the whole household running around chasing a man in a pig mask, while singing about hunting and implying that they think it’s a real pig, was jarring. The pig mask came from the framing narrative, where Bertie’s trying to give a banjo recital but has to tell a story instead. Jeeves is stage-managing the story-telling, and produces a pig mask that he found in the back of the theatre for Bertie to wear when he acts out breaking into Totleigh Towers and pretending to steal a bag of swag because… who cares. He wears the mask as a prop to tell the story. But, in the story that Bertie is telling, the other people see a man wearing a pig mask, and start talking about a chauvinist pig, a real pig, and hunting wild boar. If the pig mask came from the theatre, then it wasn’t used in the original fake burglary, so the people wouldn’t have seen a man wearing a mask, so they wouldn’t have been singing “It’s a Pig!”

      I get the feeling that Alan Ayckbourn didn’t really understand the source material, and wrote his own play, using some names from the original stories.

      As evidence of this, Bertie Wooster himself was wrong. He was far too competent and intelligent. Situations kept happening to him, rather than being caused by him. He’s not supposed to be a sensible man surrounded by useless people; he’s supposed to be one of those useless people, but lacking the self-awareness to see himself as such. He’s supposed to be just as useless as his friends Gussie Fink-Nottle and Bingo Little. But he didn’t feel like that in this play. (I also wonder if the actor playing him wasn’t a bit too old for the role. Bertie seems like a man in his mid-20s to early 30s, whereas the actor seemed about a decade older than this.) I may be influenced by the fact that I’ve recently started re-watching the ‘Jeeves and Wooster’ television series: I think Hugh Laurie [actor] and Clive Exton [writer] had a great take on the character of Bertie, while this play missed it entirely.

      Other wrong moments in the play include the song “Half a Moment” which was far too romantic and sincere for this play, and the song “It’s a Pig!” which added a tone of absurdity (as mentioned before). And the song “What Have You Got To Say, Jeeves” was totally misjudged. Bertie turns on Jeeves, and accuses him of incompetence. That’s out of character for Bertie; he always knew that Jeeves was the smart one.

      Ah, Jeeves. Poor Jeeves. He might be the title character in this play, but it doesn’t do him justice.

      For one thing, where are his sartorial judgements? A running joke in the stories is that Bertie wants to wear a particular item of clothing, Jeeves advises against it, and Bertie wears it anyway. After the action is over, and Jeeves saves the day, Bertie stops wearing the item. It’s an indirect way of him acknowledging Jeeves’ intelligence and apologising to Jeeves for not paying attention to his advice. That never got a mention in this play.

      Then we get to the ending. The denouement was wrong. So very very wrong.

      In the stories, Jeeves is subtle, even Machiavellian, in his manoeuvres. He solves problems by manipulating things and people quietly behind the scenes. He gets a letter delivered to the wrong person. He distracts someone with a new romantic interest. He plays on people’s character weaknesses. In this play, he spins a prop fountain to move Cyrus Budge into Bertie’s position. Not only does he break the fourth wall to implement his solution (in the story that Bertie is acting out, the fountain would have been real and not able to be spun), but that solution is very uncharacteristic of Jeeves.

      And that’s just the beginning of the bad ending. Suddenly, all three sets of star-crossed lovers couple up, without any resolution. They just... get together. They literally run across stage into each others' arms.

      And then… and then…

      … the replacement banjo arrives and the play goes totally off the rails.

      I have a feeling that Ayckbourn and Lloyd Webber thought they were creating the proverbial good strong finish, after which audiences would forgive them for butchering the Jeeves and Wooster stories. Instead, they were jumping up and down on the corpse of those stories.

      Jeeves gives Bertie a silent banjo and tricks him into thinking it’s playing music that everyone else can hear. Then Jeeves suggests a full chorus accompany Bertie – at which point the entire cast comes on stage wearing costumes from 'The Wizard of Oz'!

      This is just further evidence that Alan Ayckbourn and Andrew Lloyd Webber never really understood the nature of the material they were adapting. They put cheap laughs into a play that’s supposed to be a subtle satire on the wastrel upper class of the 1930s. Like I said before, the Jeeves and Wooster stories are a comedy of manners, rather than an open comedy. They’re subtle comedy, rather than broad comedy. You don’t laugh at a Wodehouse story, you smirk knowingly - or, at most, you chuckle quietly. And I don’t think the writers got that at all. They wrote this play to get laughs, rather than smirks.

      Also, the use of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is anachronistic. The Jeeves and Wooster stories are set firmly in the milieu of the 1920s and 1930s. In the framing narrative, everyone in the hall listening to Bertie is dressed in the fashions of the 1930s. However, the ‘Wizard of Oz’ movie wasn’t released until 1939. Yes, the books were published 30-40 years earlier, but the costumes used in this play are from the movie versions of the Oz characters. As the most obvious example, one person comes out dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West, complete with green make-up on her face, but the Wicked Witch did not have green skin in the orginal book: that only came from the movie.

      The ending is a shambolic climax to a play that didn’t know where it was going to begin with.

      Two minor notes to finish up with:

      • Someone needed to tell the actor playing Cyrus Budge how to pronounce his dialogue. It’s “stomach UPset”, not “stomach upSET” (that is, “upset” used as a noun, not an adjective). And “incandescence” might originally have been a French word, but it’s not pronounced in the French style.

      • It was a joy to see the actor who plays Paula in ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ as Honoria Glossop in this. She managed to upstage Bertie in the one scene she had with him, and it was a delight to watch.

      6 votes
    5. What are you reading these days?

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction or poetry, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk about it a bit.

      Previous topics

      Previous topics are listed in the wiki.

      21 votes
    6. The entire plot of The Last of Us 2 and one major cutscene has been leaked

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      This is an image which contains spoilers for the entirety of The Last of Us 2, proceed at your own risk

      A major cutscene also got leaked. This is a link to that cutscene. Proceed at your own risk.

      It seems that QA testers were promised bonuses when the game was going to launch, but with the indefinite delays, those bonuses obviously got pushed back. Considering that the menu language of the cutscene is Portuguese (I think), I wouldn't be surprised if someone from South America, where QA probably got outsourced to (Naughty Dog is infamous for their bad work culture) was depending on that bonus, especially with the covid situation.

      I don't know how to handle this situation discussion-wise right now. If you want to spoil yourself for whatever reason (maybe not planning on buying the game, whatever) and discuss the plot of TLOU2, please mark everything as spoilers (you can use sections to hide sensitive info). Everyone else, tread lightly.

      EDIT: Actually, a lot more cutscene got leaked, here's the links in the section:

      https://streamable.com/fnhdhs

      https://streamable.com/sx0ob9

      https://streamable.com/lguem4

      https://streamable.com/nwkj8g

      https://streamable.com/97ajcx

      https://streamable.com/15lozi

      https://streamable.com/d0jpos

      10 votes
    7. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      9 votes
    8. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      10 votes
    9. I finished playing through The Witness

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      MAJOR SPOILER WARNING


      What I Did

      The game took me around twenty hours to beat, and I stretched that out over the course of about two months. Sometimes I would dive in deep and play non-stop for an hour or two, but most of the time it was me playing it almost piecemeal, for ten or fifteen minutes at a time. Enough to get through one or two panels that I had been stuck on and then stop again.

      I would have liked to do longer gaming sessions with it, but I found that I sort of had finite mental resources to apply to the game. I would hit a panel, be thoroughly perplexed, stare at it for 10 minutes while trying different solutions in my head, on paper, and in the game. Nothing would work, so I'd stop the game. The next day I would boot it up and, more often than not, have the solution in a minute or two--sometimes even the first try! I think my brain was working on these in the background.

      Something that helped me massively was not letting myself get intimidated by the game. As I would work myself farther and farther down a strand of puzzles, I would instinctively start to feel the pressure that they were getting harder and harder each time. Rather than feed into that feeling, I simply reassured myself that each puzzle was its own thing, and each one had a solution right there, staring me in the face. I just had to find it.

      What I Loved

      I think the game is gorgeous. Stunning. Beautiful. An absolute joy to look at. It made me realize that we don't often get vibrant color in games that aren't pixel art. I also think the world is beautifully designed. The island is a memorable place with lots to explore.

      I also loved the game's ability to teach you its rules wordlessly. The line puzzles aren't just puzzles--they're a language. The whole game felt like some geometric force was trying to communicate with me, but first it had to teach me its alphabet, grammar, and syntax.

      Furthermore, I can't tell you how many times I would fight for a solution to a difficult puzzle, feeling it was nearly impossible all the way, only to find the seemingly one right answer. The only way it could possibly work. The next panel? The same damn layout but with an added rule that ruined my prior solution! I loved that the game made me rethink my own thoughts and forced me to see, quite literally, that there is often more than one way to solve a problem.

      What I Felt

      I was probably 12 to 14 hours into the game when I accidentally stumbled onto the knowledge that there were lines that could be activated outside the panels. I can't remember where I was but holy hell can I remember the feeling. I've got goosebumps right now as I type this from revisiting it in my memory. It was the sublime feeling you get from a great plot twist. There was a sense of revelation, the feeling of frission, and a newfound respect and appreciation for the design that went into the game.

      What's sad is that it shouldn't have taken me that long. I saw the circles and lines throughout the environment as I made my way around the island and just assumed that it was a sort of visual motif, or maybe a stylistic flair, much like the game's sort of cartoony, polygonal look. Finding out that I could, in fact, trace them just like every other line I'd been making for the past ten hours was absolutely flooring to me. Experiencing that moment is one of the high points in all of my gaming history. It was the moment the game went from "this is definitely a clever game!" to "FUCK...this game is SO. DAMN. SMART." After that moment I think I spent two hours frantically running around the island hunting environmental lines. Now that I knew what to look for, they were EVERYWHERE. Hiding in plain sight! I was stunned. In absolute awe.

      At probably about the 15 hour mark, I found the movie room and had the input for one movie. It was a scene in which a man lights a candle and attempts to walk across a courtyard, and each time the candle goes out, he returns to the beginning. I took this to be a metaphor for the game--specifically that it is about the journey rather than the destination. As such, this was the point that I realized I wasn't going to get some revelatory story at the end of the game, and that making it to the end of the game, while definitely a goal, was not what gave the game meaning.

      The sub-takeaway from the film was the idea that the effort is worth it. The man in the film could have just crossed the courtyard and lit the candle at the end. The fact that he didn't showed self-restraint and a committment to the rule. I took this to be a comment on how the game is played. I could have looked up solutions to the puzzles online and just inputted them easily as a way of breezing through the game. While it would get me to where I was going (the end), what was the point? My playthrough was the lit candle route--harder because I was forcing myself to put in the work rather than taking the easy way out.

      Oh, and did I mention that the film also had an environmental line at the end you could activate if you went behind the screen while it was running? Genius. This game is SO. DAMN. SMART.

      What I Didn't Love

      Because I didn't pay attention to detail and made assumptions when I shouldn't have, I didn't realize that I could enter the mountain without all the beacons activated. My gamer mind simply saw OBVIOUS GATED DESTINATION and OBVIOUS DESTINATION GATE KEYS and went "yup, gotta get all of these to unlock the end!" As such, I overplayed my game a bit by doing all of that first. I was all set for entering the mountain to be the ending, especially because the village beacon felt like a "final exam" to the game, incorporating all of the other puzzle types. I kept coming back to it after learning a new symbol/rule and would chip away here and there until I finally got through all of it.

      As such, when I got into the mountain and there were even more puzzles I was miffed. My steam had run out. Add to that I'm pretty susceptible to motion sickness in games, so the flashing, scrolling, and color-cycling puzzles were deeply unpleasant for me. I literally had to look away from the screen for the scrolling ones. I solved them on paper and inputted them with the panels in my peripheral vision.

      The double-sided room below those was equal parts brilliant and frustrating, though I was impressed as hell with the room with the four sub-puzzles that fed into the larger one on the floor. Unfortunately, I ended the game on quite a low note, as the pillar puzzles at the very end turned my stomach on account of the rotating camera. I was able to power through those only because I knew I was so close to the end.

      What I'm Left With

      While I didn't love the ending, I, as previously mentioned, don't think it's about that. The game gave me 20 hours of puzzle-solving bliss in a beautiful, rich environment. It gave me legitimate chills when I figured out its secret. It made me think, it made me work, and it made me feel legitimately fulfilled. Good puzzle games make you feel baffled and then they turn around and make you feel brilliant. This one made me feel all sorts of brilliant.

      The game has so many legitimately clever moments. I loved the pagoda area where you have to look through branches at the right angle to see the solution. The last puzzle has two pieces of the answer, but a section is missing. After traipsing around, trying every possible visual angle, I look down and find a branch broken off at my feet. The missing piece. Brilliant.

      It was filled with little things like these. Little thoughtful twists or nudges. Each puzzle strand was an iterative sequence, and each time you thought you knew where it was headed, they'd push it further. Then further. More and more. Often in ways you wouldn't expect. It's not just that the idea of the game is good but that its execution is so rich and thoughtful that it makes me reverent.

      As for post-game stuff (because I know there's a ton I haven't gotten to), I'm taking a break from the game right now, but I might return to it a little later. I kept screenshots of puzzles I didn't solve or environmental elements that I was pretty sure were really activatable but that I couldn't quite figure out (the brown railroad tracks in the white limestoney area, for example).

      I have the inputs for a couple more movies that I haven't watched, so I'll probably go back for those. I know there's a challenge area as well, and I'm presumably equipped for it given that I did all of the beacons, but I don't know if I'm up for that. Not just yet, at least.

      What You Can Help Me With

      For those of you that have gone through the post-game content, do you recommend it? Are there certain things I should focus on? I'm not terribly concerned about spoilers, but if there's something "big" like the environmental line revelation, maybe just give me a hint or point me in the right direction.

      I also have a couple of lingering questions. Feel free to answer them unless you feel that it's better if I try to figure it out by myself.

      • What do the individual, standalone panels lying around the island do (the gray ones with the triangles)? I've figured out the rule, I just don't know their purpose.

      • Does finding all the environmental lines serve any larger purpose?

      • Is there story or lore in the game? Does the island or its frozen inhabitants get explained? I activated a few audiologs, but those were mostly philosophical ponderings rather than narrative.

      • How on earth do I get that environmental line with the railroad tracks? Of all the ones that I haven't been able to figure out how to get, that one's bothering me the most.

      Finally, to anyone who's played the game (which is hopefully anyone who read this), I'd love to hear your experience and thoughts. What was The Witness like for you?


      EDIT: Writing the post inspired me to go back into the game instead of sleeping. I watched two other videos I had found inputs for. One was a woman talking about freeing yourself from want, and the other was a man talking about science and knowledge. Interesting stuff.

      Then I started exploring and I found an environmental line made by the negative space in the sky when properly bounded by a cloud and wall from the exact right angle. This game is SO. DAMN. SMART.


      EDIT 2: Disregard where I said I was going to take a break from the game. I'm diving back in. I want to explore and find these environmental lines. It's so satisfying when you find one.

      There was one on a bridge leading from the village towards the foresty area with the orange trees. I could see it from the ground and knew it definitely was one, but I could never quite position myself right to actually trace it. I tried climbing in the castle area since it seemed like I needed to be elevated, but that didn't work. I tried it from the rooftops in the village, and that didn't work. Then I looked: the tower in the middle of the village! I'd forgotten to try from there because once I got to the top of that I headed straight for the mountain. Sure enough, that was the spot.

      Also, can we talk about how the sound is so satisfying when you get one? So good.


      EDIT 3: The game might be trying to teach me a lesson in freeing myself from want. Now that I'm fired up to dive back into it, it's hard crashing after I start it up. It loads fine and I can walk a few steps, then it locks up my whole system.

      I'm running it on Linux through Proton and tried all the different Proton versions assuming that was the culprit (it has crashed before) but the outcome is the same. I might be technologically barred from going further, which I guess is in the spirit of the game's ending and philosophy, right?


      EDIT 4: My OS had some graphics library updates for me today, and after installing them I'm back in business--no more crashing! (Sub edit: I spoke too soon. It crashed after about half an hour, but that's way better than what I was getting before). I spent a while traipsing around the island, looking for environmental lines. It's amazing how, in hindsight, so many areas or destinations that I thought were just kind of dead space are actually strategic locations for environmental lines.

      A good example is the very beginning of the game. You can get onto the roof of the overhang you first walk out from. At the beginning of the game I got up there, saw some pillows, and just thought it was set dressing in an ultimately useless space. Nope! Not only is there an environmental line you can get from there, but there's an audiolog as well if you're paying attention to detail (which, of course, I wasn't in my first go-around).

      22 votes
    10. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      7 votes
    11. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      6 votes
    12. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      7 votes
    13. Movie Monday Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      We haven't had one of these in a while, and given the amount of time people are spending indoors, I figured it might be good to share some movie recommendations.

      I will post my own comment regarding some movies I've seen recently, but I wanted to also share some quarantine / pandemic movies that might be interesting given the strange times we find ourselves in. Warning: they are probably not a great way to take your mind off things, if that's what you are searching for, hence why I'm separating them from my other comment.

      • Contagion (2011) - Probably one of the more relevant movies, and certainly on people's minds. It's an interesting worst case what-if scenario, and actually tackles some of the political struggle with organizing around a pandemic.
      • Perfect Sense (2011) - Overshadowed by Contagion, which is arguably the better movie, but I liked the premise of this one: a disease that slowly takes away your 5 senses, one at a time. I didn't like the ending, but for a thought experiment it captured my attention. It threw in a love plot line which may or may not have been necessary when the reaction was more interesting, but it does help provide a ground floor experience of a more terrifying epidemic.
      • It's a Disaster (2012) - I have somehow managed to miss watching this movie, despite it being on my watch list for some time. A comedy, which may come in use in this trying time, it centers around a group of friends who invariably become part of a self-quarantine at their house.
      • Rear Window (1954) - A Hitchcock classic. Jimmy Stewart is confined to his NYC apartment due to a leg injury, and has all the time in the world to spy on his neighbors, where he becomes obsessive over a potential domestic dispute between a couple across the way.
      • The Lighthouse (2019) - Superb acting by Willem Dafoe. Two men, a seaman fresh to the trade and a seasoned veteran, are servicing the sole lighthouse on a tiny island as part of a contract. They are forced to stay longer than either imagined due to a storm passing through them. They get at their wits end with each other and their sanity slowly falls apart. Beautifully shot in black and white and with authentic vernacular, it really transports you to a different time period.
      5 votes
    14. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      9 votes
    15. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      7 votes
    16. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      6 votes
    17. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      10 votes
    18. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      8 votes
    19. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      7 votes
    20. A couple of thoughts about Annihilation (2018)

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Just finished Annihilation. Decided to share some random thoughts:

      The film looks absolutely stunning. Perfect blend of beautiful and horrifying. But the characters… ugh. They are your classical horror film bunch of idiots. And, as per tradition with the modern sci-fi horror, they're supposed to be “scientists”. Bah.

      It seems like both the screenplay and the visuals were heavily inspired by Roadside Picnic by the Strugatsky brothers, and possibly Andrei Tarkovsky's film adaptation, Stalker (1979), as well as a bit of his other sci-fi work, Solaris (1972), here and there. Honestly, if you like the idea of “alien shit twisting stuff around it”, and you like reading, you're way better off just reading Roadside Picnic.

      Why didn't most trees change? The flowers, the moss, and the animals get all kinds of wild twisted colours and mutations, but the trees remain just green? That really bothered me. They also don't mention all this mutated flora and fauna going outside “the zone”, which, I assume, would be a giant issue.

      That lighthouse would be so destroyed if it was really hit by an object of that diameter.

      I found it ironic that the psychologist of the team was the one who was severely depressed. Here in Russia we call that a “barefoot cobbler” situation. But the way the film shows severe depression is pretty accurate.

      Overall, I reluctantly enjoyed the film, but I couldn't stop thinking that all those visual effects and designs would be much more amazing in a Strugatsky bros. adaptation film.

      15 votes
    21. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      6 votes
    22. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      7 votes
    23. Star Trek: Picard S01E02 Maps and Legends

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Picard begins investigating the mystery of Dahj as well as what her very existence means to the Federation. Without Starfleet's support, Picard is left leaning on others for help, including Dr. Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) and an estranged former colleague, Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd). Meanwhile, hidden enemies are also interested in where Picard's search for the truth about Dahj will lead.

      8 votes
    24. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      7 votes
    25. Star Trek: Picard S01E01 - Remembrance

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Taking place 20 years after Star Trek: Nemesis, we'll be finally reunited with Jean-Luc Picard as he takes on the next chapter of his life.


      S01E01 - Remembrance

      At the end of the 24th Century, and 14 years after his retirement from Starfleet, Jean-Luc Picard is living a quiet life on his vineyard, Chateau Picard. When he is sought out by a mysterious young woman, Dahj, in need of his help, he soon realizes she may have personal connections to his own past.

      Anybody can create this thread! If you see the episode first, do it up!

      29 votes
    26. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      6 votes
    27. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      9 votes
    28. TV Tuesdays Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any TV shows recently you want to discuss? Any shows you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      7 votes
    29. In The Tall Grass (2019) is…

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      … essentially Cube 2: Hypercube. It's even written and directed by Vincenzo Natali, the man behind Cube. I didn't dislike it, in fact I liked it. But seriously, am I the only one who noticed that?

      Also, Harrison Gilbertson has big Aaron Paul energy. Especially in the voice.

      3 votes