Author Topic: Black Mirror  (Read 1918 times)

oldkid

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Re: Black Mirror
« Reply #40 on: October 29, 2016, 03:10:54 PM »
I will mention my failures briefly, without detail.  Sometimes so vaguely that people think I'm talking about someone else.  But I don't want strangers to feel pity for me, to think I am seeking their support in any way.

Different people use social media differently.  And because of the algorithms, we see social media as acting differently.  I see it as a base of local social activism, but I know that most people don't experience that.  Many people describe it as a place to see people's dinners or small talk, and I never see that.  I occasionally see people's rants or whines or cries for help.  That's just a part of my social media experience, but I bet others don't see that.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

sdb_1970

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Re: Black Mirror
« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2016, 03:48:15 PM »
I'm two installments in (always behind in terms of cultural literacy) ... And I'm looking forward to consuming it slowly (especially with the attempted Filmspot noms)
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Re: Black Mirror
« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2016, 05:46:26 PM »
Therefore, it's a shame that the final act is cringe-educing. You can see it coming from a mile away, but it's a hard watch. Here's a character so delusional that she'll so clearly pine for this dream moment that quickly falls apart. It's not necessarily bad, but it's a tough watch and I wonder if they couldn't have made it feel so on the nose at the end.
Perfectly described. There's a lot about the episode I like, and it comes up a lot as the best of the new series, but I'm not anxious to watch the episode again because I don't want to sit through that ending, which I don't even think is the best possible direction to go in.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Black Mirror
« Reply #43 on: November 18, 2016, 12:10:43 PM »
Shut Up and Dance

After two stellar episodes, this one feels so pedantic. An anonymous source begins blackmailing people into doing odd jobs. Each person has a reason to want to keep their dirty secrets hidden, even to the point of death. And the episode waits until the final act until it shows its hand, which there's no reason it couldn't have given that up at the beginning of the episode.

The most damning thing is that it lacks the interesting social critique of the previous episodes. They flung us into the near future and looked at the dark underbelly of our relationship with technology, this story lacks that. This could have taken place today and it never feels connected to society at large.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Black Mirror
« Reply #44 on: November 18, 2016, 07:23:55 PM »
San Junipero

This episode could shave about 10-15 minutes easily. There's too much focus on a love story that really doesn't have time to develop properly in an hour and it's not really the point of the episode. This show works best when the characters are vessels, much like The Twilight Zone. Here, the episode takes way too long to get to the high concept, but boy is it worth the wait.

I wrote this terrible script one time about people all living in a virtual reality and this episode captured a bit of the spirit I think I wanted but couldn't covey. VR is on the cusp of becoming creepily representative of reality. I consider myself tech savvy, but VR scares the heck out of me. What happens when we can just live in the machine?

The episode also conjures up ideas of heaven, the afterlife, time and mortality. And the end of the episode feels surprisingly optimistic given the dark ending of the other episodes but I feel like Charlie Brooker jabs at this world as kinda disturbing, especially the moment with the machine plugging in the "souls" of the inhabitants. And I feel like playing "Heaven is a Place on Earth" is ironic, not celebratory.

It's a shame the episode takes so long to get to that interesting idea. I would much rather have two thirds of the episode devoted to these ideas instead of spending a good chunk of the episode caught up in a romance that isn't what makes the episode thought-provoking and compelling.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Black Mirror
« Reply #45 on: November 21, 2016, 07:21:56 PM »
Man Against Fire

My favorite episode so far. For once, the extended runtime feels earned. There's the setup of the characters and world and then things turn sideways and the episode takes the time to delve into the blowout. I was invested in the character and the idea is fascinating. As we get closer and close to this kind of thing becoming a reality, we have to question how warfare is going to simultaneously evolve and devolve.

Malachi Kirby sells this episode. He pulls off the right amount of confused, tormented and convicted to make every emotional beat work. I saw the twist coming early on, but he sells the emotional weight of it perfectly. In the hands of a lesser actor, this episode would fall apart.

That's one area where I think Black Mirror has a bit of a leg up on The Twilight Zone. The production and performances are top notch where The Twilight Zone often drifted into camp. Where I think Black Mirror is lacking is in spreading itself too thin and the occasional writing fluke. This episode alleviates all of that and I hope going forward that this remains the case.

slowpogo

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Re: Black Mirror
« Reply #46 on: November 22, 2016, 10:11:52 PM »
San Junipero
This episode could shave about 10-15 minutes easily. There's too much focus on a love story that really doesn't have time to develop properly in an hour and it's not really the point of the episode. This show works best when the characters are vessels, much like The Twilight Zone. Here, the episode takes way too long to get to the high concept, but boy is it worth the wait.

It's a shame the episode takes so long to get to that interesting idea. I would much rather have two thirds of the episode devoted to these ideas instead of spending a good chunk of the episode caught up in a romance that isn't what makes the episode thought-provoking and compelling.

Maybe I misunderstand, but I feel like the technological ideas in Black Mirror are a means to explore human connections, whereas you seem to feel the opposite(?). From my perspective the romance is everything in an episode like this. Another example is the earlier episode The Entire History of You -- the technology is cool but the really interesting/disturbing part is the implications it has for human relationships.

I like that San Junipero took time to unfold the high concept, sprinkling clues along the way like the line "I hope your pain slider is set to zero." I think it could have actually used a few more minutes to flesh out Kelly's decision to stay in San Junipero when her body dies. That still worked but felt a little rushed. I guess I think if any episode merited a 90-minute run time it would be this one, way more than the last episode, which had its moments but was probably the weakest of season 3. I think San Junipero is probably my favorite of season 3...it felt very Ray Bradbury-ish and I thought the ending was more uplifting than negative.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Black Mirror
« Reply #47 on: November 29, 2016, 10:06:18 AM »
Hated in the Nation

BEEES!



BEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!!



Oh man, could I not take this episode seriously. And it's so dry and serious for such a goofy concept. This needed the tone of Playtest to pull it off, a good dose of camp to make this concept work. What we have here is almost The Happening levels of bad. It wants to be serious and menacing, but I just kept laughing at how dumb it was.

It also didn't help that I found Kelly Macdonald's performance unconvincing. Even Bryce Dallas Howard sold that awkward climatic scene in her episode. And I generally like Kelly Macdonald, so I'm sad she doesn't work here. I want to blame the tone or the writing, but I think a lot of it is a lackluster performance.


I think it's telling that the more serious this season tries to be, the less it tends works for me. Man Against Fire pulls it off, but the show's a lot more fun when you get stuff like Playtest and Nosedive that come across as a bit goofy and wry. Part of it might be that near-future setting that makes the fantastical element sometimes a bit too much to take. That's where The Twilight Zone works so much better as it often takes a leap away from reality into a fantastical realm. Black Mirror might be more culturally relevant, but the quality of this season is sourly lacking. Still, the show is interesting enough that I'm going to double back and watch the previous two seasons.

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Re: Black Mirror
« Reply #48 on: November 29, 2016, 10:19:14 AM »
For a brief moment it seemed Sam's taste had finally started to match up with my own. With Fantastic Beasts and now this, we've never been further apart.

Not even Kelly Macdonald. Wow!

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Black Mirror
« Reply #49 on: November 29, 2016, 10:26:41 AM »
I'm sure we'll find common ground again soon. Gonna try to watch the previous two seasons soon.