Author Topic: What Are You Watching? (DVD's & Blu-ray's)  (Read 15404 times)

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Neumatic

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Re: What Are You Watching? (DVD's & Blu-ray's)
« Reply #3645 on: November 22, 2017, 09:27:29 pm »
After two years of waiting, I finally got to see all of Red Dwarf XII.


Worth the wait.  "Time Wave" is the only bad episode in the bunch (and it's just REALLY bad), but everything else is solid.  Some of it is straight up classic Dwarf.  I still have an issue with the cinematography and lighting, it's a bit too cinematic and dark for a comedy, and something about the set design makes it look kind of cramped... it's strange.  Every decision makes sense and works, but at the same time... it don't gel, if that makes sense.

I also have to say that the special effects are really solid in this and the last series, the model shots are still on point (although the model itself isn't that highly detailed), the new ships and space stations are ridiculously detailed and snazzily designed.


"Cured" has the cast trapped on a remote outpost with clones of Hitler, Vlad The Impaler, and other famous evil characters... who are evidently cured.  It is bizarre, and I feel like they might have been able to play up the Agatha Christie meets The Thing motif they were going for.  It also really made me miss the gross-out monsters that the series used to have.  There were episodes that were straight-up horror, and it felt like this would have been right up that alley.

Also, the backstory given to the base stuck out to me, it feels like the writers (writer, actually) is trying to fill out the missing history of Earth and the universe.  Very odd.  Not complaining, they just do a bit more of that this series than in the previous series.

"Siliconia" is the source of the famous image of the crew as mechanoids:


I'll admit, when I first saw the picture, I was expecting something like "Fear Of A Bot Planet," with the crew in disguise as Mechanoids.  Instead, they're transformed and put through the paces they'd been putting Kryten through over the last 30 years when they're abducted by the Mechanoid Independent Liberation Front (the "MILF").  Mechanoid culture is always interesting when it's explored, but I think there could have been more there.

I also straight up forgot that Chris Barrie is an expert impressionist, so his Mecha-Rimmer quickly adopts Kryten's voice into his own.

"Time Wave" is the odd one out, it feels like a script from a completely different series.  The crew boards a ship from a society where criticism is outlawed.  It feels like some personal (and poorly conceived) tirade against participation trophy culture (which at this point I'm not sure even exists).

What's really galling is that this REALLY undoes something core to the heart of Red Dwarf: the fact that the crew are the last human beings in the universe and come across remnants of human society and the detrius they leave behind: robots, rogue AIs, broken ships, genetically engineered life forms, etc.  They had a bunch of clever ways to bring new characters into the mix, but just having a ship pop through a time hole seems just lazily.

I also didn't care for how flamboyalty effeminate the ship's captain was played as.  Terribly campy in a homophobic way, and it went on for so long.

"Mechocracy." Awesome episode.  After a near-disaster, the vending machines, lifts, and other mechanical elements go on strike when they realize they'd be left behind and demand equal rights and a representative on board.  Realizing what awesome power controlling all the machines on the ship would bring him, Rimmer decides to run for Machine President with Kryten running against him.  And there's a great cameo at the end by the one tie-breaking vote.  What's nice is that it was written and filmed two years ago (seasons 11 and 12 were filmed back to back because it's just so hard to get that cast together), so there's nothing Trump-y or May-y or Brexit-y in there, it's purely about politics without being contemporary politics, which is such a nice change of pace.

Also, Rimmer's brilliant promotion/demotion bit is so classic Dwarf (and he and Kryten look good in suits).

"M-Corp."  Finally installing long needed software updates, Red Dwarf's aegis changes from JMC to M-Corp, the universe's most powerful Apple-esque corporation that puts Lister in a microtransaction-powered nightmare where everything is M-Corp (and the way they show how he can't perceive non M-Corp items, including his friends, is wonderfully low-tech funny).  And another great shout-out to the earlier series with the ending.

"Skipper."  If this winds up being the last episode of the show (unlikely, I believe I heard DaveTV is big on doing series XIII), it's an amazing finale.  They way they demonstrate anti-causality, where you end up doing the opposite of whatever you intend to do, is equally brilliant and hilarious.  This is what Red Dwarf always did best, give us an insane SF premise and explain it using screwball humour.

The second half of the episode has Rimmer using the anti-causality rift to skip from dimension to dimension (hence "Skipper"), hoping to find a universe where he's not such a loser.  What follows is like a live-action version of "Crime And Punishment" from The Simpsons, and an excuse to bring back not just Holly and Captain Hollister, who hadn't been on the show since 1998![/i]. but they also rebuilt sets from the 1980s seasons AND used in HD-ified model footage from the 80s as well.  As a long-time fan, it's pure fan-service but it works perfectly in service of the story.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 09:30:19 pm by Neumatic »

 

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