Starts off as a murder mystery, seems fairly generic and mildly futuristic (not the bees!!!). One of the future “hints” becomes possibly relevant.
But this is a waste. I want ‘Black Mirror’, not ‘CSI-without-the-goth-chick’.
A waste of time (yours, mine, the crew’s, the actors’), a waste of a decent basic idea, a waste of the last ‘Black Mirror’ episode in the series.
It’s competent, sure, but that seems to be the baseline for these (thankfully). It’s a little creepy and dark, but that also…
Basically it’s a pretty generic and predictable whodunit. It’s not worth half an hour of your time, let alone one and a half. If you insist on seeing every ‘Black Mirror’ episode, it won’t hurt. But you won’t be surprised, at least nowhere *near* the level of BM’s best. You’ll be: “Oh…mmmm…ah!…mmmm…ohhh…that’s creepy…hmmm…ahhh…oh. That’s it?”
The story is basically about unpopularity having fatal consequences; internet based/related, of course. The government doesn’t give a fck about your privacy in the future. (Errr…I can stretch my imagination). The internet/technology are used for bad purposes. (Ditto).
I’m not underselling it…I LIKE this series. This is just a huge disappointment as the last (for now), especially after ‘Nosedive’ and ‘San Junipero’.
Guest Review: “No, no…stop that. It’s gotten mediocre. It started off with a nice little idea about grannies attacking young men, but now it’s gotten mediocre. Those characters are pretty badly made…time’s too long for a vicar.”
Really…it’s not worth more. Watch or don’t, it won’t mean anything.
Crusading atheists/antitheists…just, stop it. Please.
“People are killed in the name of religion” is a popular refrain from them.
Well, I think insane people kill people because they’re insane. You know, like in ‘Seven’. John Doe, if you’ll notice, is insane. He also *identifies* as Christian. But he’s not, obviously. He’s a lunatic. People aren’t killed by John Doe because he is or is not Christian. People are killed by John Doe because he’s a lunatic. The fact that he identifies himself (falsely) as a Christian is completely unrelated.
If he were a devout atheist, and killed people for *believing*…would that mean that atheism is dangerous? I mean, by the logic of “if anyone of X does something, it applies to all” that you like to (try to) use, it goes both ways. Assuming character was atheist and killed people for not believing, according to the CA/A argument that “religion is harmful” because a miniscule minority of people that identify as religious do harmful things, therefore (according to your own argument) atheism would be proven dangerous. So therefore it must be campaigned against.
Which is utterly absurd. And illogical. And ridiculous.
I mean, don’t quote the fcken Crusades as “an example”…a lot of things happened CENTURIES ago. Gimme a fcken break. Read Paul Feyerabend’s reponse to that piece of BS.
The reason people do harm (where applicable) is this alone: people choose to do harm (where applicable).
You can assign any “reasoning” you want to it, but (to use the ‘Seven’ example) John Doe’s behavior is not because (and therefore the following groups are DANGEROUS!…*SATIRE…SATIRE…SATIRE*) he is:
– Over age 30
– Under age 90
– Owns a glowing cross night light
– Urinates when necessary
– Defecates when necessary
– Identifies himself (incorrectly) as Christian
He’s a lunatic. The above groups should not be maligned because of that.
Here’s a question for CA/A’s: Do/did you ever watch ‘The Daily Show’? Or ‘The Colbert Report’? MST3K? ‘Cheers’?
And did you not do so (in part, at least) because it was comforting in a way? You were “part of the crowd”, “one of the guys”, etc? It was company, in a way? Friendly company when you wanted it?
How would you feel if someone went out of their way to invade your personal space to tell you “It’s not real! You’re not really part of that!”?
Assuming (and I am not saying this is TRUE, or that I BELIEVE it, but CA/A’s do) that religion is false, “unreal” (like the above)…so what?
Assuming that people take comfort in their religion, that it helps them in times of trouble, that it makes their lives happier, that they enjoy the sense of community…
Just leave ’em alone, man. I mean…get over it.
There is no causation between religion and ANYTHING harmful. So please, again…(I think M. Palin said it best):
(3:49 – 4:20)
FAIR USE: CRITICISM – The above is a good clip from a Monty Python sketch, and also is a great example of someone going ON, and ON, and ON…
It was bound to disappoint after ‘San Junipero’, but I’m disappointed it disappointed this much.
At first, you see what seems like a well-run, well-organized, spotlessly clean black and white fascist dictatorship (notice the highstep) that is hunting monsters they call “Roaches”; protecting “Civs” and keeping their order.
There are some things you’ll notice (if you decide to watch) that are decent touches…but by this show’s standards, they’re mediocre at best. Competent.
You’ll form opinions, you’ll make guesses. It’s good enough for that.
But it’s just too predictable. The coldness gives way, in a way…but I’m never caught by surprise. I mean, I SEE the idea; the warning, the contrast, the slow change…but it’s done poorly. It loses its (potential) power because it doesn’t compel.
I mean, I actually had a ‘Wolf Raiders from VALNA STAR!’ (sp?) flashback to one (poorly directed) scene, but by that point…ha ha ha ha ha ha…
I WAS STUCK THERE!
Easily the highlight, for me, comes at the end of the ending credits.
Now THAT is ‘Black Mirror’ at its best. But it’s…ten seconds? Maybe fifteen? Hell, if you turn it off at the “end”, you might never see it. But is that worth watching the whole thing? *shrug* Even at his worst Brooker is better than some at their best, so…
Is that a great statement on Brooker or a sad statement on everyone else? Or who cares?
A tolerable but completely unnecessary watch.
Inspirational Quote: “We oughta burn the whole forest down, huh? Give those Roaches nowhere to run.”
11/30/16: I think I gave the credits too much credit. Oh well…it seemed clever for a while.
The main thing that I like about ‘Black Mirror’ creator Charlie Brooker – besides the fact that he can write and direct well, making his episodes worth watching in the first place – is that his style is generally similar to Rod Serling’s, host of another show that Brooker’s has been compared to.
And it’s this: He doesn’t tell you what to think, he *makes* you think.
He writes (at least some) very powerful scenes, in episodes that CLEARLY *could* make a definite statement, that could say “This is right, that is wrong, and here’s why…”
Instead he makes them as “real” as possible, as impressive as possible, as emotional as possible, as POWERFUL as possible…and then, when he could take all of that and very cleanly and tidily (and simply, easily, commonly) put his opinion on it with an end that says “THIS is the point”…he doesn’t. He just lets it go, as it was, and you watch and wait for the comforting, easy-to-understand and easy-to-agree-with ending, and it never comes. It just…ends.
Because of this, you *have to* think; you have to wonder about the different points, the different emotions, the different viewpoints, the different meanings.
Is yours, eventually, what his is? Or what he thinks it should be? Or what he wants it to be?
Maybe, maybe not. But because he doesn’t TRY to force an opinion on you, you are forced to come up with one. And that provokes thought. And sometimes, that provokes some serious thinking and emotion, and opinion. But that’s the point: it’s YOUR opinion. It’s your emotional/intellectual analysis of what has happened and how you view it, from your perspective.
And thinking is a good thing. Thinking, feeling, considering. All of these are good, and often one or more are missing in many shows/movies…because it’s easier (and more commercial) to write something with a definite and obvious opinion behind it; to make it clear *THIS* is the right and *THAT* is the wrong, and here’s why.
By not clearly defining an opinion, by leaving that fairly ambiguous, it provokes YOUR opinion. It makes you think. And that is a very good thing, I think.
Message to Brooker: PLEASE, PLEASE write a movie.
I want to add something to my A List. I want to be blown away, inspired. You certainly are *capable* of doing it, as you’ve proven three times already.
Do me, and the the world, a favor: MAKE A MOVIE.
Spend a little more time, flesh out what would make a great episode, and make a great movie.
“We are asleep. Our Life is a dream. But we wake up sometimes, just enough to know that we are dreaming.”
“Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.”
“There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.”
Hard to believe I would start off with that, the way this started…but I was wrong. You fooled me, I admit. Good job, and thank you.
My first notes seem irrelevant after watching the whole thing, but here’s a bit of it:
Low-key and convincing from the start. I buy the lead; the wilder cohort is decent. The former stays good, the latter…in a manner of speaking, gets better – just give her some time.
There’s a scene where – based on my perception of the story – I felt it TOTALLY lost it: completely out of character, focus lost, destined for mediocrity at best. Fortunately I was wrong…give it a chance.
It “recovers” (even before I accepted the gaffe as…acceptable?) and stays on course for a while. Parts are low-key, calm, sedate…tranquil, in a comforting way. The music, the backgrounds, the acting, the silences; seem to, for parts at least, slide into this state, this feeling.
The futuristic twist comes with about a third left, and is interesting…and quite a changeup. The state, the feeling…they seem to make sense now, totally, as at times before.
I said in a previous ‘Black Mirror’ episode review that “I wouldn’t ruin it for you”. In THIS episode, I mean it. Don’t read the summary before you watch it, just watch it. It will produce a real experience, I think.
Magic Card for this episode (in multiple aspects): “Tranquility”.
Near the end, there’s a fairly powerful speech, and a choice is made.
In keeping with recent posts, here is a movie clip.
FAIR USE: CRITICISM – A great clip from a good movie.
The choice made in the episode is FAR more difficult, but is has some relation.
Powerful ending. And perfect song. Watch the credits, too.
Truly touching, truly emotional. Truly…that is to say, REAL.
Like a deep puppy once said: these moments always come. They may be rare, they may be separated by huge gulfs of darkness and despair. But they are there, waiting for you if you wait for them. And that is worth living for.
Lots of deep thoughts here, potentially. And I can’t imagine making the decision made at the end, by the cohort. It’s made in the dark, and…somehow, as was wondered, TO ME…it cheapens reality.
If it MIGHT be as the cohort imagined…even MIGHT…I’d like to say I would decline. Fantasy or reality; how much can you live in the first, without making things in the second – things filled with pain, joy, sadness, love, hate…LIFE – meaningless?
Incredibly difficult, but…I would never cheapen the true emotions of my reality. No matter how tempting. And even if…well, it means a different, and total, end. The emotions and memories I have, that I cherish, are too powerful for that. Too real.
Inspirational Quote (from a book): “Our bodies are given life from the midst of nothingness. Existing where there is nothing is the meaning of the phrase, ‘form is emptiness.’ That all things are provided for by nothingness is the meaning of the phrase, ‘Emptiness is form.’ One should not think that these are two separate things.”
The story seems more interesting; maybe that’s because it’s not expected to be anything as…”thrilling”? – no Ultimate Virtual Reality – and it keeps your interest, mildly, as it goes along. Mild but constant…and growing slowly, at least for a while.
Also, it seems quite plausible: it could happen. Today. (See “NSA”)
About halfway through it stops growing and starts fading. It tries to get more and more scary, like an action movie that just blows MORE and MORE sh1t up to try to stay “THRILLING!”…and it doesn’t, it just gets more implausible.
When it gets past that (when the hard part seems over), it gets back to being more human, more about human interactions and feelings and characters. And the ending is worth watching, I think.
Message: Never trust blackmailers.
Message Two: Noone is perfect…everyone is flawed. So “take great care” in what you judge, and who you judge, and how you judge yourself.
FAIR USE: CRITICISM – One of the best scenes from a very flawed but quite intriguing movie. Maybe I should re-visit it, in fact…
Inspirational Quote: “There’s no cure for the internet, it’ll never go away.”
Recent message from Alexa.com regarding my website ranking:
“We don’t have enough data to rank this website.”
You had “enough data” for the past two months+, you have just as much now…MORE, actually.
I suggest you change that message slightly…here’s an idea:
“We don’t have enough of your money to rank this website.”
Yeah, that has a nice ring to it.
Though, this does solve the problem of “Do/should I give a fck about my alexa.com ranking?”
The answer to “Do I give enough of a fck about my alexa.com ranking to give them money?” is the same as the answer to “should I follow ‘keyword recommendations’ and alter my posts to make them less genuine and more popular?” and “should I pretend to have different opinions that align more with the collective?”
The first half – consisting of mediocre character development and totally un-gripping Basil Exposition – is worthless, except as setup.
I believe Tom Cruise sums my feelings up, to this point of the episode:
“What’s the point?? What’s the FCKEN point…”
Things start getting a little creepy in the second half (“the game”), but I mean…it seems uninspired, generic, completely devoid of impact. Like they scraped together bits here and there and patched together the-episode-after-the-really-good-one.
I would say “I won’t spoil it for you”, but there’s nothing really to spoil.
I mean, it’s kinda creepy, it’s competent, it’s obligatorily “dark”.
But there’s nothing here.
I thought this show was supposed to make you think? And feel? And care?
Inspirational Quote (from a Star Trek episode): “Where the laws do not operate, there is no reality. All of this, is unreal.”
Normally I only review ongoing series’ after they’ve ended, but in this case they made more after I thought they might be done. If I didn’t have any interest in the series, I wouldn’t bother, but I do (at least, did), so here goes.
A society absolutely dominated by mass-media in almost every aspect of one’s life. People don’t seem bothered by it, trying to escape it…they seem a seam (ugh) less part of it, and wanting to be accepted into the collective even more, and more…
Everything is enhanced to make grading others as easy and fast as possible. People seem either genuinely happy walking around spending as much time worrying about their grade/grading others as they do actually LIVING, or they do their best to appear so…for grading purposes, of course.
The best things that happen – either naturally, or more often artificially created or at least enhanced – are immediately captured on video/picture/text and uploaded to the collective, in the hope others will appreciate how good they are. This seems much more important than the actual things themselves…the joy of a moment seems to mean more as a way of gathering an up-tick in your rating than in actually ENJOYING the moment…sad.
Also sad that this is NOT totally “science fiction”. It’s science fact, in many ways. And some people probably can watch this and NOT see it as horror. But it is…this is a horror show of ‘Mean Girls’-as-society-ideal; the wonderful BEGINNING, of course…not the horrible, incomprehensible breakup of that ideal clique.
A lot of things are just down the road, sooner or later, if people continue to care more about what other people think than what THEY think, what THEY believe, and what THEY value.
Almost everyone is absolutely ruthless in pursuit of mass popularity…humanity is an afterthought to most, as are personal convictions, beliefs, opinions…’Mean Girls’ is baby-steps in comparison. Even genuine emotion mixes with fake, forced, artificial. It’s hard to tell the two apart…but don’t worry, soon it won’t be hard…it’ll be impossible.
Outliers remain, of course…but they just don’t GET IT…yet.
About two-thirds of the way through it lapses; it starts to explain everything you (For the Love/Lack of God, hopefully) already knew, as long as you were a non-computerized human.
FAIR USE: CRITICISM – A great, powerful clip…and one that fits here, strangely enough.
There’s a slow decline, unfortunately. Terribly unfortunate: from near-perfect and rising, to human.
Oh well. Brave new world, indeed.
The outcome you know is coming…has so much potential.
I mean, 15 million merits of potential…
hey…sort of, wow.
Great music, it builds (not as good as, but…) like ’28 Days Later’…and the emotion, you’ll find, isn’t so different.
The effects are very good and well-placed, the acting is convincing.
Great artistic touch when she looks up right before the end.
Very good ending; nothing maudlin about it…”there’s no vindication here, counselor. Or absolution, or benediction, or ANYTHING…”
Don’t miss the ending. It’s human.
Wow. It’s not ‘Fifteen Million Merits’, but it’s the first thing I’ve felt the excitement of NEEDING to post about in quite a while. I hesitate to praise it TOO much (perhaps two wows is a bit much), because the surprise of seeing something good after a lot of sh1t sometimes pushes the dial too high.
What’s my Alexa ranking now…F@CK THAT.
The best since 2.
Inspirational Quote: “You are just…too old to get it.”
P.S. – I enjoyed writing this…so it doesn’t matter if you like it, or not.