Apple TV+

Discussion in 'Television' started by DYohn, Jul 18, 2020.

  1. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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    I recently bought a new Apple TV device because we get free access to HBO Max via our DirecTV account, and the new Apple TV is supported where Roku is not. The Apple TV 4K comes with free access to Apple TV+ for a year, so we've been checking it out.

    Several interesting programs and exclusive movies are available. Here's a brief opinion on the ones we watched.

    "Dads"
    This documentary by Bryce Dallas Howard is a feel-good interview with several men ranging from the very famous to the every-man, discussing what it's like to be a dad. OK. Sappy in its attempt to be uplifting. We stopped after an hour and likely won't go back.

    "Dear"
    This is letters supposedly written to famous people telling them how others were inspired by their life. If you watch this, pick one of the celebrities who interests you and only watch that one because every episode is EXACTLY the same.

    "Lucy In The Sky"
    An over-long and ultimately pointless film starring Natalie Portman and a cast of good actors trying to breath a little life into a true story about a Nasa astronaut who loses it after her flight to the Space Station. You remember the story about the woman who drove across country to confront her boyfriend while wearing diapers so she didn't have to stop? Yea, that one. 2 hours that felt like 6.

    "The Banker"
    Another true-life dramatization starring the always good Sam Jackson being Sam Jackson and the usually excellent Anthony Mackie in a role with extremely limited emotional range. The story is two black men in the 1950's and early 60's who successfully become real estate tycoons in Los Angeles only to lose it all and go to prison by overreaching in their challenges to white-dominated America. This is supposed to feel timely, I suppose, and it is a good movie, but it gets preachy and has such a predictable ending that it feels trite. I know this story was true so they had to end it the way it ended, but damn they could have done much better.

    Next up will be the Tom Hanks WWII drama "Greyhound" about anti-submarine warfare in the Atlantic, but since every trailer shot is Hanks delivering some poignant line or worried look directly into the camera, I do not have high hopes. Report coming tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
  2. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Bronze Member

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    Interesting reviews. Not gonna lie I have the 12 month trial and I don’t think I have watched a single exclusive. Now, Netflix...
     
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  3. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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    Didn't watch any TV last evening, will get back to Greyhound soon.
     
  4. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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    OK, I watched Greyhound. I am not going to be kind.

    This WWII Naval warfare film set in the North Atlantic at the start of America's entry into the war (the film starts just after Pearl Harbor) is a predictable, stereotypical, boring attempt at telling a true hero story. I could nit-pick this one to death, but I'll start with Tom Hanks. Hanks wrote this screenplay (adapted from a book) and his Playtone company was one of the producers, and he was of course the star. Ignoring for a moment that a 60-something would be a Lieutenant Commander getting his first command and that command would be for the lead ship in a battle group (OK, it was war time, maybe they took old guys who should be retired and put them in charge, maybe he was really experienced we will never know from this movie) and ignoring for a moment that he would be a stelar tactician with immediate awareness of handling his ship like a Porsche at Nuremberg (those tin-can destroyers were maneuverable but not THAT maneuverable,) as the writer and producer you would think he'd create an interesting character to play. But no, he is a cardboard cutout of a WWII Navy Captain. The only attempts at any sort of character development were his need to pray, his apparent tendency to get seasick since he refused to eat, the fact that he was a tenderfoot since his feet started bleeding after being on them for 24 hours (new shoes maybe? Or just a device to show his "human" side?) and that there is a "girl he left behind" (played in one and only one scene by Elisabeth Shue who's toughest assignment was putting on a period hat.) Ugh. Worse than a comic book.

    There were lots of things right about this movie - they obviously had a Navy consultant - but just as much that was way wrong. No sailor refuses to eat (I could see the crew on the bridge thinking, "If you're not gonna eat it bring that shit over here!") and several incorrect communications incidents (no one says "repeat" on the sound-powered phones the correct term is "Say Again.") And other Navy-specific misses. But I said I wouldn't nit-pick.

    The movie focuses way too much on Hanks, maybe because the Executive Officer on the Greyhound is played by the excellent Stephen Graham who could act rings around Tom Hanks if he had been given more than 30 seconds of screen time. I found myself rooting for the German U-boats, never a good thing in a film about the American Navy. My wife left the room half-way through and said, "If they do something interesting like allow the ship to get the shit blown out of it, let me know." But no such luck.

    Overall if you want 90-minutes of mind-numbing escapism give this a try. But if you want a good movie there are better ways to use your time. 1.5 stars for the two or three thrilling near-miss action moments.
     
  5. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    That generally fits the narrative I've seen around Greyhound.
     
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  6. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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    Hamilton. I am sure this is a great live show. I did not like it on TV. No review, really, as I didn’t make it past ten minutes.
     
  7. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    Yeah, that's too bad. I saw it live twice before the "movie". I'm not sure how much of a difference that made but we all really liked the movie too.
     
  8. jasn

    jasn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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    First time seeing Hamilton was on D+ and not familiar with the music so we watched with subtitles. Loved it.
     

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