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 Post subject: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:38 
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Season Four now available on Netflix.

I watched the first episode last night, 'USS Callister', and it's a fine start to the series. It's obvious that Netflix are able to chuck a fair wedge more cash at it than Channel 4 did, and whilst 'We spent a load of money on this' is of course no guarantee of quality, I do get the sense that it's allowed the writers and directors to realise concepts and ideas that would have been impossible with previous budgetary constraints.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
The episode even has a sort of happy ending, which I don't mind as there's a limit to how much unremitting bleakness one has the stomach for. So whilst 'Shut Up And Dance' in Season 3 was incredible, I don't mind a bit of 'San Junipero' now and then.


I guess we're all on board with Black Mirror already, but if anyone hasn't yet watched it, get on Netflix and watch it all.

ALL OF IT. NOW.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:01 
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Callister is a very, very good episode indeed. As you say, the budget has expanded the potential scope -- my wife and I both remarked that this was basically a slightly shortened film.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:12 
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I really enjoyed it but
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
Copying someone from just their DNA? I liked Jesse's cameo at the end though.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 15:37 
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It looked a bit obviously star trek rip offy from the stills - is it more than that then? Seth what's it has already done that

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 15:45 
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Bro do you even Black Mirror? Of course it's more than that.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 15:48 
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MrChris wrote:
It looked a bit obviously star trek rip offy from the stills - is it more than that then? Seth what's it has already done that


Giphy "omg":
https://media3.giphy.com/media/QjrrSbYaqgi1q/giphy-loop.mp4


EDIT - Well done giphy, you glorious bastard. (For once.)

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 20:48 
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Holy crap, episode 2 was directed by Jodie Foster!


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 22:52 
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I hope my daughter lets us watch one tonight. I'm sure nothing will be ever as good as San Junipero, but I'm still totally hyped for it


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 18:00 
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Hooray, Helen independently started watching from the beginning because she read something that said 4 is really good! I'm more than to watch over and she's already sorrowing the end of series 2.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 19:24 
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After seeing this thread Joan's and I started watching this last night. Very bizarre! And quite clever with its messages too. Sounds like we have a lot to look forward too.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 22:20 
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Trying to pass Iceland off as Scotland in Crocodile is intensely distracting, especially when they used some of the same locations as The Lava Field (also all the left hand drive cars)


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 22:23 
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Apparently it’s set in Iceland, albeit an Iceland where lots of people have Scottish accents. It’s not made explicit anywhere that it is Scotland. http://ew.com/tv/2017/12/29/black-mirro ... interview/


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 22:34 
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Everyone has British names and speaks English, with a Scottish accent and everything's in English including hotel names, street names on Satnav, things like the fire extinguisher signs in offices and what people call places but apart from that yeah!

Edit: that link says netflix interfered, and they really shouldn't have, or should have done it properly.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:11 
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First episode was very good, although these were not new concepts for Black Mirror.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
It feeds on the modern idea that geeks are spiteful bastards:P Meth Damon and McPoyle on top form. This show has always great casts. Although the guy was definitely evil, i don't know if i would call it a happy ending. Seems like a terrible way to go, even for a bad guy like him. I didn't felt good at the end at all, but that's how Black Mirror is.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 14:12 
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Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
Bro do you even Black Mirror? Of course it's more than that.

Not so far, no - whilst the previous three series have looked interesting enough I've always had other stuff on the go. Currently e.g. Billions and Flash. I'll definitely give it a go when I get a chance as I love me some Brooker.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 15:02 
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Because you lot are frotting off about it, I've now watched the first two of series 1 - it's fairly good, innit?

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 17:48 
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I'm four episodes into the new series, and it's a massive step down in quality compared to the prior series.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 22:45 
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Episode 1 was great but not 'AAA' Black Mirror. (850/1000)

Episode 2 felt like it was retreading some old ground, but still good. Solid three and a half stars out of five, maybe four, if you were feeling generous. (765/1000)

Episode 3:

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
Erm, the guinea pig saw it all. I fail to see the point of this one. 'Something will be watching everything eventually' or suchlike? Yes it was bleak and dark, it set things up very well and was consistently interesting until it became obvious where it was going, and I don't feel like it much took me anywhere. 600/1000


Let's see what the rest of the season does.

I do feel like it's a while since it's really soared though, last season had the obvious highlights of San Junipero (which was fucking fantastic) and Shut Up And Dance, with a couple of other solid episodes and even the weaker couple still being very good - but it's not quite got that 'The Entire History Of You' vibe about it anymore.

Still a million miles from entering the 'TWD CURVE OF DOOM' though.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:31 
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Kinda cool that it's resurrected the sci fi anthology series concept though. We've got Bryan Fuller doing a reboot of Amazing stories, Jordan Peele doing the reboot of Twilight Zone, and there's that C4 Philip K Dick series.

All with decent budgets, and top talent attached.

It would be a shame if Black Mirror faded into mediocrity, but there's been plenty of solid stuff so far at least

Edit: I hear Dimension 404 is pretty good too.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 22:30 
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Ooohh I very much liked Episode 4 (of Season 4).

Didn't feel like something of a riff on previous themes as 2 and 3 had been and/or be a bit weak whilst they were about it. (I mean, weak in Black Mirror terms, which is still really good.)

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
I hope this season has a real gutpunch of an episode like Shut Up And Dance, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:46 
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Crikey, I didn't think much of Episode 5.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
It doesn't even seem to be 'about' anything, having had a Google around it doesn't seem that it's supposed to be. Also, it looks like some material was cut out of it, not for censorship reasons but artistic reasons, but it seems to me it would have made a better episode if they'd left the excised material in.

No idea what Brooker was really going for here, although opinions to seem to be be polarised, with many people having a very high opinion of the episode.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:59 
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I really enjoyed it. I just took it for what it was, a tense little vignette of a near future when Boston Dynamics have fucked us all over.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:11 
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markg wrote:
I really enjoyed it. I just took it for what it was, a tense little vignette of a near future when Boston Dynamics have fucked us all over.


It's not very 'Black Mirror' though. Maxine Peake was great in it, don't get me wrong, but I struggled to extract any meaning from it. Black Mirror is usually smarter than that.

Oh yes and B&W, very arty.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 16:55 
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OK I finished the season.

Final episode was good, but rest of it was a total let down.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 18:56 
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LewieP wrote:
OK I finished the season.

Final episode was good, but rest of it was a total let down.


I'll finish it tonight.

Thus far I'd go:

Episode 1 - 800/1000
Episode 2 - 700/1000 (Rounded down from previous result of 765 for reasons.)
Episode 3 - 600/1000
Episode 4 - 800/1000
Episode 5 - 400/1000
Episode 6 - ???/1000

Even with a perfect 1000/1000 for the last episode, this will definitely be the weakest season of the four.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 22:51 
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Episode 6 was fantastic, I'll go 900/1000 for that.

I did think Season 4 came a bit too quick after Season 3, some of the episodes clearly needed a bit more time in the oven. But the best episodes were still really good.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 22:14 
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I liked this season a lot. Except for the Jodie Foster ep which was incredibly predictable.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 15:04 
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Watched half of s01ep01 over lunch. Damn that's good telly. I've missed out


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 15:15 
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Cras wrote:
I liked this season a lot. Except for the Jodie Foster ep which was incredibly predictable.

I’ve seen a lot of criticism of this episode based on it suggesting that using emergency contraception causes/equates to terminating a pregnancy and what a dangerous message that is.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 15:58 
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Mimi wrote:
Cras wrote:
I liked this season a lot. Except for the Jodie Foster ep which was incredibly predictable.

I’ve seen a lot of criticism of this episode based on it suggesting that using emergency contraception causes/equates to terminating a pregnancy and what a dangerous message that is.


Also very true.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 16:11 
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Mimi wrote:
Cras wrote:
I liked this season a lot. Except for the Jodie Foster ep which was incredibly predictable.

I’ve seen a lot of criticism of this episode based on it suggesting that using emergency contraception causes/equates to terminating a pregnancy and what a dangerous message that is.


I didn't know this. It was only when I saw some of the kerfuffle about the episode that I looked into it and was like, 'Oh, I see'.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:31 
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Both episodes 4 and 5 were the highlights for me, although I still haven't seen the last one.

Episode 4
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
was the feel good/San Junipero of the season. I enjoyed it a lot, and a The Smiths song makers everything better


I don't understand why the low opinions on episode 5
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
it was incredibly scary and tense. Pretty much terminator on steroids. The lack of overall setup and explanations make it even more nihilistic. The black and white helped a lot


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:51 
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I feel like I'm missing something about Metalhead (ep 5); it's a standard
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
terminator
style story with nothing interesting or distinguishing about it and a suggestion of depth in place of any actual depth. It's also almost Prometheus-esque in terms of characters being fucking idiots.
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
They all obviously understood exactly how lethal and implacable the robots are yet this woman managed to talk two other people into going up against them for the sake of a fucking cuddly toy? And it's not just like they were risking their own lives, they also obviously knew about the tracker tech so they were risking the destruction of the entire community they came from if they'd accidentally led one of them back home. It's just...nonsense.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 13:04 
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I’ve now finished S4. I don’t agree it was worse than previous seasons. It was certainly different; it feels like Brooker is deliberately stretching the formula. That’s a good thing in my book. The Toast memorably summarised every Black Mirror episode as “what if phones, but too much?” [1] but that’s becoming less accurate as the show goes on.

[1] which Brooker found so funny he worked it into an episode.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 13:15 
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Bamba wrote:
I feel like I'm missing something about Metalhead (ep 5); it's a standard
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
terminator
style story with nothing interesting or distinguishing about it and a suggestion of depth in place of any actual depth. It's also almost Prometheus-esque in terms of characters being fucking idiots.
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
They all obviously understood exactly how lethal and implacable the robots are yet this woman managed to talk two other people into going up against them for the sake of a fucking cuddly toy? And it's not just like they were risking their own lives, they also obviously knew about the tracker tech so they were risking the destruction of the entire community they came from if they'd accidentally led one of them back home. It's just...nonsense.


Yes I pretty much agree with all of this but I saw one review that interpreted the episode as being about hope and optimism, the human spirit and all that stuff, that in the middle of such a grim wasteland, people would still go to so much effort for such a thing.

I didn't get any of that myself, and personally feel it is by far and away the single weakest Black Mirror episode across all the seasons and specials.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 13:35 
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I think it's pretty decent. The whole series is about what happens when hunanity's relationship with tech goes too far, and it's clearly done so here. Robotics hasn't really been touched so far so it's an obvious place for the show to go. It makes you think about strides we're making in automation, in remote drones, in AI, and asks whether you could ever write the parameters for a fully independent robot that wouldn't potentially end up in this scenario, where the bots become manhunters.

And then it tries to present the idea of trying to live a normal life, when man is no longer at the top of the food chain.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 13:47 
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Cras wrote:
It makes you think about strides we're making in automation, in remote drones, in AI, and asks whether you could ever write the parameters for a fully independent robot that wouldn't potentially end up in this scenario, where the bots become manhunters.

And then it tries to present the idea of trying to live a normal life, when man is no longer at the top of the food chain.


All of this is absolutely true, but it accomplished all of that--admittedly quite deftly--in about the first ten minutes and then does pretty much bugger all with the concepts after that. Concepts which are far from original going in. I kept hoping the ongoing chase would somehow bring us to a location that made more of the story but it just never happened. And the black and white presentation just seemed like a wanky affectation which doesn't help it's case. Taken altogether I'm happy calling it the weakest episode of BM to date purely because even the ones that weren't as well executed at least attempted a more interesting premise.

ETA: misspelling 'affectation' as 'affection' is a bit embarrassing!


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 13:49 
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The black and white was gorgeous. It was really superbly lit.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 13:54 
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Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
I’ve now finished S4. I don’t agree it was worse than previous seasons. It was certainly different; it feels like Brooker is deliberately stretching the formula. That’s a good thing in my book. The Toast memorably summarised every Black Mirror episode as “what if phones, but too much?” [1] but that’s becoming less accurate as the show goes on.

[1] which Brooker found so funny he worked it into an episode.


I wouldn't say it's weakest season overall; the massive variability between each episode makes comparisons at that level almost pointless I think. That said, after reviewing episodes list prior to typing this up, it certainly feels like there's been no real stand-out "Jesus fucking Christ, that's horrifying" episodes whereas the last season was stuffed full of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 13:55 
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Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
The black and white was gorgeous. It was really superbly lit.


I'm not saying it didn't look nice, just that it doesn't seem to have been done for any real reason; and given that filming in b&w can often just be a lazy shorthand for 'meaningful and considered' it counts against you in my book if you never then do much that's meaningful or considered.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 14:16 
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I don't get why looking nice isn't reason enough. Perhaps they just preferred how it looked without colour.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 14:21 
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I didn't buy a colour telly to watch things in B&W. Ponces.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 14:21 
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Hearthly wrote:
I didn't buy a colour telly to watch things in B&W. Ponces.

You watched it in 720p though. Peasant


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 14:24 
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markg wrote:
I don't get why looking nice isn't reason enough. Perhaps they just preferred how it looked without colour.



Quote:
given that filming in b&w can often just be a lazy shorthand for 'meaningful and considered' it counts against you in my book if you never then do much that's meaningful or considered.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 14:27 
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I'd suggest it's intended more to be shorthand for bleak and dystopian rather than meaningful.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 14:29 
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DavPaz wrote:
Hearthly wrote:
I didn't buy a colour telly to watch things in B&W. Ponces.

You watched it in 720p though. Peasant

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 14:41 
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Cras wrote:
I'd suggest it's intended more to be shorthand for bleak and dystopian rather than meaningful.


That's no less lazy to my mind. And completely unnecessary; the bleak and dystopian setting and plot are more than enough to suggest bleak and dystopian in and of themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 14:45 
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I find the UK often doesn't have the scenery for it. Bit too green and pleasant land.

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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 14:52 
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Cras wrote:
I find the UK often doesn't have the scenery for it. Bit too green and pleasant land.

You've obviously never been to Fleetwood


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 Post subject: Re: Black Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 15:01 
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Fleetwood is very beautiful. You just need to stand on the beach and look at the Lake District (but ignore the nuclear power station).


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