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STRANGER THINGS (Netflix)

post #1 of 658
Thread Starter 

Looks kinda interesting, right? It's Winona Ryder vs aliens! Okay, we had that in Alien 3 Alien Resurrection but this time they took her kid and she ain't gonna stand for it. (Well, she might do. I dunno. I haven't seen it.)

 

 


Edited by MrSaxon - 6/9/16 at 11:02am
post #2 of 658

She was in ALIEN RESURRECTION. Sorry, I'm bored.

post #3 of 658
Thread Starter 

post #4 of 658

Wow.  This looks so up my alley that it's ridiculous.  I hadn't heard of this until just 10 minutes ago, but now it's shot right to the top of the list of things I'm most excited for this summer.  Feels equal parts Spielberg and King, and the aesthetic looks completely on point.

post #5 of 658

I'm on board.

post #6 of 658

'80s Spielberg: The Series, huh?  I'll give it a shot.

post #7 of 658

This looks good! Around the time I grew up too. I just turned 51, so I am just a bit older, but I love the look of this.

post #8 of 658

Being an late 70s/80s child this is completely in my wheelhouse. I'm down for some 1980s inspired spookiness!

post #9 of 658
Looks like Super 8 2!
post #10 of 658

So trailer two just surfaced. On first run through I'm spotting ET, Cocoon, Aliens, The Abyss & Poltergeist, but I'm sure this short trailer is ripping off several other films. What am I missing?

 

 

post #11 of 658

IT. A lot of Stephen King in there.

post #12 of 658
About to fire this up. Anyone else checking this out today?
post #13 of 658
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reminder. Somehow forgot this came out today but I can see the AV Club gave the first episode an A-, so I'm definitely going to check it out!

post #14 of 658
About to start the first episode...
post #15 of 658

 

just watched the first episode

reminds me of The Monster Squad..a group of kids getting together to look into weird stuff.

4th in their group just up and disappeared one night. There's a shadowy dark thing lurking and wetly growling at loners.

There's a shaved head girl wandering around in a hospital gown.

Music is very Tangerine Dream. Some camera clever work.

Darkly humorous and dead serious.

Eight episodes all available now.

post #16 of 658

Watched the first three tonight. Loving the environment, music, and suspense, but hard to get a grip on some of these (often shallow) characters, and they've already killed off my two favorite people, rather cruelly, I might add. I sense the possibility for a couple of deep threads, but I doubt they're going to be followed.

post #17 of 658

So on the fence?

post #18 of 658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post
 

Watched the first three tonight. Loving the environment, music, and suspense, but hard to get a grip on some of these (often shallow) characters, and they've already killed off my two favorite people, rather cruelly, I might add. I sense the possibility for a couple of deep threads, but I doubt they're going to be followed.


Finished the first 3 as well, and I pretty much agree. I think the casting is on point, but the characters are a little lacking, if that makes sense. I love the heck out of those opening credits, though.

post #19 of 658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post
 

Watched the first three tonight. Loving the environment, music, and suspense, but hard to get a grip on some of these (often shallow) characters, and they've already killed off my two favorite people, rather cruelly, I might add. I sense the possibility for a couple of deep threads, but I doubt they're going to be followed.


YES.

 

I'm loving this show, so far, though. And despite the wee issues, I'm invested. Completely. 

 

 

Also, WINONA RYDER.

post #20 of 658
Quote:
Originally Posted by User_32 View Post

IT. A lot of Stephen King in there.

Firestarter too. It's a neat Stephen Speilking amalgam . . . but unfortunately I'm in no rush to finish it.
post #21 of 658
Yes, I was wondering why the show isn't as gripping as much as I thought it would be and it's the characters. They're streamlined and few too many at times too.
post #22 of 658
Spielberg King love child seal it. I'll start today.
post #23 of 658
On Episode 7... The show gets better everybody!
post #24 of 658
I'm rather liking it. It could totally unravel like Super 8 at a moment's notice, but I'll certainly finish it pretty quickly.
post #25 of 658
It doesn't, but my one main gripe with the show is that it pretty much wears its many influences on its sleeve, to the point where you can probably do a pretty consistent beer game.
post #26 of 658

I'm 5 episodes in, and this show is such my jam.  I'm fine with the litany of references sprinkled throughout, as I'm a lover of all early Stephen King books.  David Harbour should be Alan Pangborn in every adaptation from here on out.  Winona Ryder and all the kids are amazing.

post #27 of 658
Is it a miniseries or is this the first season?
post #28 of 658

I sincerely hope so.  It's set in 1983, so if it continues I'd like to see the actors grow as the characters might.  Maybe a 1985-87 setting?

post #29 of 658
It would be nice to continue the characters, but it might make for a weak story from now on. I mean, once the season ended, I wasn't compelled to see anymore of it.
post #30 of 658
Just finished, they nail the landing. The finale is fucking wonderful. Nobody give up on this show!
post #31 of 658
The take off is definitely rough but they stick the landing. Somehow the charm of the actors overcome the shaky writing.

There are moments that feel very JJ Abrams Super 8 trying so hard to ape a style/tone that they don't pay attention to the actual characters enough to make them real people, so they come off as ciphers, and the story seems almost afraid to do its own thing. It can get annoying.

But there are genuine moments of greatness where everything works, mostly in the second half. I think a season 2 is pretty much guaranteed based on the stellar reviews.

Its a fun show to pick out all the 80s references and there are lots of them. There's even some John Hughes sprinkled in there.
post #32 of 658
There's a bit of an annoying trend in movies and TV now of filmmakers desperately trying to harken back to 80s genre cinema. Its sweet but a lot of it is garbage.

Spielberg, Lucas, Carpenter and the rest were chasing their love of stuff from the 50s but the difference is they really made it their own... It didn't come off as copying, at all. They were skilled enough to use their influences more as a springboard than outright copying and as a result did stuff that was classic and totally original (Carpenter's The Thing is almost nothing like the Hawks version, Close Encounters/E.T. is almost nothing like the 50s flying saucer movies, etc)...something today's homage freaks seem incapable of doing. Part of it is they just don't have the raw talent those older guys had, so all they can do is trace outlines. I'd link to that "everything is now a remix" video but I'm too lazy.

If this sounds like I'm knocking Stranger Things, I'm not. I actually really like the show, at least when it found its own footing in the second half, but that first half was kind of hard to sit through for reasons I stated above. Ironically it could be the longer television rather than the shorter movie format that saved it. By giving the Duffer boys time to build, it bought them time to get their shit together...a luxury you can't afford in movies.
post #33 of 658
Totally!

I don't think the Duffer's are necessarily trying to do what those filmmakers did, just evoke their aesthetic and tell a fun story.

A lower fruit? Certainly. But it's still sweet.
post #34 of 658

I'm being told (via Facebook) that the ending of this show is GREAT.  Don't worry, I'm in it til the very end. 

post #35 of 658
It'll be interesting to see how they handle season 2. I think the homage thing might get stale, but maybe they have an ace up their sleeve.
I would love the show to do its own thing now and only occasionally homage something from the past. It has all the right ingredients for them to do something highly original. But I can see them believing the charm of the show is the love letter aspect, and they'd be half right.
post #36 of 658

I really don't know where the show is going to go. Will it be a True Detective thing?  Different era, different aping, new characters, new story, etc.

 

Or is it going to continue what we already have? I'm not sure how this all ends is promising an ever expanding story for these characters, but maybe I'm wrong. 

 

Also, a word on child roles, you don't have to have them shouting all the time. Children aren't always shouting! My biggest disappointment is them not giving Modine a more fleshed out villain. He's good at what he does, but the writing shifts him completely in one note territory. 

post #37 of 658
Modine was almost wasted. He was obviously meant to ape "Keys" from E.T. since Keys seems fairly sinister for 90% of the movie, as well as the villain from Firestarter.

But he's all surface...which can also be said about the show for the first half.
post #38 of 658

The show does sorta spin its wheels in that first half. You almost think it'll be completely plot driven. 

post #39 of 658

I completely loved this.

 

The atmosphere and overall vibe are outstanding, as are all of the main performances.  The kids are really, really fun together, and rather than finding the characters lacking, I was actually thought almost all of them - the kids, the teens, and the adults - were fairly well drawn for a genre show.  Winona Ryder delivers some career-best type work in this, and David Harbour, somebody I wasn't terribly familiar with before watching, has earned a bigtime new fan.  Damn, was he great.  I also found the plotting to be fairly compelling, and played into - and also subverted - familiar tropes in ways that I found interesting (just as examples, the mini-triangle between Jonathan, Nancy, and Steve doesn't play out quite like the more pedestrian version of it likely would, and a choice Hopper makes late in the game is more a more nuanced one than you might expect one of our "heroes" to make).

 

Nitpicks?  The "villains" are totally one-note, which is kind of a bummer.  I was hoping they would steal even more from E.T. and have them not be villains so much as antagonists, but in this case they pulled more from King's "The Shop" than from Spielberg.  I was also kind of unimpressed by some of the creature effects once they take the forefront in the second half, but that's a pretty minor concern, and they try to hide it as best as they can.

 

Other than that, though, I was thrilled by this, and it hit me right where I live.  Hopefully we get a second season (as there are some interesting dangling threads left that could be explored, and I'd love to spend more time with these characters), but if this is all, it's a pretty self-contained and satisfying piece of work.

post #40 of 658

I've had the synth score stuck in my head since last night. 

post #41 of 658

I just watched the first episode. They really lucked out finding that clone of Mia Sara that hadn't been aged past 15 for the older sister role.

post #42 of 658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post
 

I've had the synth score stuck in my head since last night. 


I'm hoping a label gives it a release at some point in the near future.  Lots of great "Tangerine Dream meets John Carpenter" stuff in there.  Some pretty killer needle drops at times, too, so they could do a songs album if they wanted, as well.

post #43 of 658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post


Also, a word on child roles, you don't have to have them shouting all the time. Children aren't always shouting!

Goonies homage.

And I was not that impressed by Winona Ryder. Her acting was fine but the character was annoyingly overbearing and shouty. Like everything else she got better in the second half but she was just kind of an irritating banshee in the first half. It felt like the Duffers thought that would be charming or something but it comes off as grating.
post #44 of 658
A mistake I think they made was having Will disappear so early. From what I remember he has no interaction with his mother and brother before vanishing so we get no dynamic to help us care much...he's just another missing child...flashbacks don't really count, and even those seem more interested in aping more 80s pop culture (Poltegeist tickets and whatever band his brother let him hear on the stereo) than fleshing out his relationship with his family. The mystery kind of makes up for it but this is what I meant by the first half being mostly surface and genuine characterization taking a back seat to nostalgia and homages. Goofy kids shouting snappy dialogue gets tiring.

The thing I love about E.T. is it works just as well as a drama as it does science fiction and the characters act and talk like real people. The family dynamic before E.T. is discovered lasts just a few minutes but makes all the difference in the world for the rest of the film.

"Dad would believe me."

"Maybe you ought to call your father and tell him about it."

"I can't. He's in Mexico with Sally."

"Where's Mexico?"

Simple. Effective. Gets across a lot of information and emotional pathos in just a few short lines of dialogue at dinner.

I feel like the Duffer brothers watched all these movies but didnt pay enough attention. Again, love the show but its far from perfect. I love it more for its ambition than what it actually accomplishes as a whole.
post #45 of 658
Yeah they get more right in the mood and aesthetics. But it's flawed, just not terribly so. Like there are other things that I felt got in the way of the storytelling like.., the fact that I was already 3 steps ahead of the characters figuring out what was going on. The mystery wasn't as much of a mystery to me except for seeing how it all unfolded for the characters. But I called the parallel universe shit at the pool, because it was all shown anyway.

Also, it is annoying how it all looked like Silent Hill. I mean, how derivative can you get? And I think the Aliens reference was about all I could take from the Upside Down.
post #46 of 658
I just started this this morning and I want to stay in all day and finish it. It's the best Spielberg/King mashup with a dash of Half-Life you're ever likely to see. And the girl playing Eleven is astonishingly good.
post #47 of 658
Love this so far and I want to adopt Gaten Matarazzo as my kid brother. The kid is a natural comedic talent. I was cracking up when he kept going back to "Eleven" wanting to take her clothes off in front of the boys. Also, see the Millennium Falcon gag.
post #48 of 658
Yeah, just about to start ep 4 and this is pretty good so far. The Natalie Portman in Leon vibes from Millie Brown (Eleven) are ridiculous. Very talented actress.
post #49 of 658
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamotv View Post

Love this so far and I want to adopt Gaten Matarazzo as my kid brother. The kid is a natural comedic talent. I was cracking up when he kept going back to "Eleven" wanting to take her clothes off in front of the boys. Also, see the Millennium Falcon gag.

All of the kids are great, and the friendship feels very believable.  Dustin and Lucas bickering about Lando while hiding in the school bus was gold.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disciple_72 View Post

Yeah, just about to start ep 4 and this is pretty good so far. The Natalie Portman in Leon vibes from Millie Brown (Eleven) are ridiculous. Very talented actress.

She has a very emotive face, and was able to communicate a lot about her character's state of mind without dialogue.


Edited by Belloq87 - 7/18/16 at 2:07pm
post #50 of 658
I've only seen two eps and refuse to read this thread for fear of spoilers but just had to say it's really great 80's nostalgia and magic.
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