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Author Topic: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?  (Read 762 times)

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8BitMonk

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Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« on: February 05, 2018, 01:44:17 am »
Blew through all 10 episodes of Netflix's new Altered Carbon series and thought it was absolutely fantastic. It has a Blade Runner/film noire vibe with cyperpunk/neuromancer aspects. Great production quality, acting, action and a solid whodunnit story. Anyone else check it out?
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Howard_Casto

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Re: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 02:05:51 am »
Yeah I was going to recommend it.  The only problem with it is the entire series jumps the shark at episode 8.  The twist was stupid, predictable, and didn't really make any sense.  Also it has the same catastrophic flaw in logic that Demolition Man had.... if prisoners aren't conscious during a prison sentence, then they haven't learned anything nor have they been rehabilitated, therefore you would be releasing criminals back into society. 

That being said, the first 8 episodes are damn good, so I would reccomend everyone check it out and watch all but the last 10 minutes of ep 8 and pretend that the show got cancelled.  ;)

shponglefan

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Re: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2018, 08:25:49 am »
Why am I only hearing about this now?  Enjoyed the book, didn't even know it was being made into a series. :/

8BitMonk

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Re: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 09:43:04 am »
Yeah I was going to recommend it.  The only problem with it is the entire series jumps the shark at episode 8.  The twist was stupid, predictable, and didn't really make any sense.  Also it has the same catastrophic flaw in logic that Demolition Man had.... if prisoners aren't conscious during a prison sentence, then they haven't learned anything nor have they been rehabilitated, therefore you would be releasing criminals back into society. 

That being said, the first 8 episodes are damn good, so I would reccomend everyone check it out and watch all but the last 10 minutes of ep 8 and pretend that the show got cancelled.  ;)

Interesting assessment. I didn't find the twists (there are several to be fair) to be obvious or that it jumped the shark at 8, I liked the whole thing. The plot hole occurred to me but I just assumed there's unexplained reasoning, perhaps there's virtual counseling going on in VR while your stack is imprisoned. :)

Some critics have railed on it pretty hard which I don't get. There's also been some bs about whitewashing which is ridiculous considering the theme of this universe is being able to jump bodies and the fact that the original source material was an asian man transferred into a white mans body.
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Howard_Casto

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Re: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2018, 02:07:53 pm »
Well she says that it took her 250 years to find a way to get him out and it took a wealthy elite with enough influence to get him out and yet, once she betrayed the rebellion she instantly got unimaginable money and power, so she could have asked for her brother in another sleeve (so nobody would recognize him) as a condition for her betrayal along with all the cash and clones.  Even if that didn't fly, she says herself that she's now a captain of industry and I'm guessing that didn't happen overnight, so she could have gotten him out a lot sooner than 250 years.  Even ignoring all of that there is this weird incest vibe going on and we are supposed to believe that she's lost all of her humanity yet she still loves her brother enough to try and get him out a full 250 years later.  Yeah it's a bit of a nonsensical mess.

Honestly I saw it coming a mile a way but I kept thinking "no, this show is too good for them to pull that cliche", and boom they did.  I kept hoping that with the remaining episodes they would explain away the inconsistencies in that maybe she was lying and there was another reason, but nope.

Actually, no, they make it pretty clear from the first episode that the criminals aren't conscious while thy are in storage.... to him his murder had just happened (thus the freak-out) and he even had to ask how long he had been out.  So it's not an unexplained reason... just poor writing.

The white-washing accusation is ridiculous.  The show has two male leads... the white guy that plays him now, and the Asian guy that plays him in the flash-backs.  Even ignoring that, I haven't seen that many Asians in one show since Fresh off the Boat.  There were good representations of many ethnic groups in the series. 


So like Bright, it has a lot of problems, but also like Bright, the acting, casting and general world building are good enough to ignore a lot of those problems.

opt2not

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Re: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2018, 06:38:27 pm »
Oh hey, another show Howard likes that I find is crap.

We're on Episode 6 and it's been a struggle.  From the gratuitous sex scenes, the overacted and hard to understand Latina Detective (wtf is with all the spanish dialogue??), to the various plot holes I've been having a hard time sitting through it. It wants to be like Blade Runner so hard, but it lacks the budget to give it that full cyberpunk metropolis feeling. They need to seriously hire 3x as many extras for some of those city scenes.

The only saving grace for the show is the personality of AI hotel concierge.

Which leads me to another point, there are too many themes going on here. It's like "hey look at us, we're sci-fi!". They have cyber simulations or The Matrix constructs, AI sentience, cyborg technology, cryo jail ala Demolition Man...I'm just waiting for them to break out Parallel Universes and Time Travel and they'd have the complete set.

Meh, I'll watch this to the end of this season I guess since I'm invested now. But overall the show is forgettable.

8BitMonk

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Re: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2018, 12:21:40 pm »
Man there's just no pleasing some people.  ;)

I thought maybe the reason Rei waited so long to free her brother was because her deal with the Protectorate was only to save herself, he was a traitor of the highest order and needed to be made an example of. By getting Bancroft to eventually do it she may have been trying to beat the deal she made with them.
  • What's gratuitous about the sex scenes, unlike some other shows it actually plays into the plot.
  • The acting is fine, the cop is Latino so she's gonna speak Spanish occasionally, I don't get why you find that so off-putting.
  • You think the production quality is low because the streets didn't have enough extras on them? I thought the visuals were excellent.
  • The sci-fi themes all blended nicely it wasn't like they shoe-horned in some random unrelated themes to try to check a box, I really don't get your point here.

Why would you waste 4 more hours of your life watching it if you really dislike it that much?
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Re: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2018, 12:58:18 pm »
Iím about half way through. Itís fun. Torture episode was interesting.

opt2not

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Re: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2018, 01:18:43 pm »
Respectfully I disagree with you. Itís ok, not everyone has to like the same things.
It makes us ďindividualsĒ with our own tastes.
I just have higher standards is all.

Look, the world just feels empty. It doesnít have the fullness they are trying to sell you on, because they blew all their budget on set design but not on extras. Case in point is the chase scene with that bald tattoo guy. There were like maybe 5 people in the streets during the day and he manages to ďbumpĒ into all five while running? Just run around them, idiot! You have so much room on the street because there are few extras!!

The visuals are hit or miss at best. VR sequences are super budget with thier Contour Line photoshop filters.
Or they blur the edges of the screen making it ďlook dreamyĒ.
Another point to why this show has obvious budget constraints is they filmed it in Vancouver. I recognized at least 5 major locations: The Sea-to-sky suspension bridge, the Glowbal/Telus building, Stanley Park, Granville Hotel, and the First Nations Heritage Museum.
Just add some camera tricks, soft focus and an outdoor noodle bar in the rain and youíve got Blade Runner, right??  Bzzzt, wrong. Blade Runner had more practical effects to make it feel authentic, it had varied lighting, rather than everything being grey and even lit. Not cheap rate compositing tricks to make you think itís that gloomy, gritty, other-worldly, dreamy, or even full (which they've failed at).

Acting: Ortega got better by the 8th episode. Guess it took her that long to get in the groove. But for the first half of the series her accent would be either too thick, sheíd rush her lines, or over exaggerate a reaction.
Iím having the opposite problem with the sister, sheís not acting enough. Itís hard to tell when sheís mad or not! If they casted her as a AI I could see her selling that better. Her line delivery is just awful. I'm assuming she added to the failure of Doll House (probably not, but what else is she notable for?)

Sex:  I was put off by how quickly they jumped into a sex scene and how every attractive main female character had to have a full nude scene. Ortega, Pointy nips rich lady, Sister...Iím only on episode 8 so Iím sure someone else gets a nude scene.

No I donít agree with you on the themes. This show is definitely checking off the Sci-fi list. Like I said, Iím waiting for them to add parallel universes and time traveling to compete the set.

The whole cloning, backup data issue is so clumsy and contrary to the living forever theme that people just look passed it. I keep asking myself, if you restore your backup in a clone, isnít that NOT you??  How is that a continuation of your mind? It's like a computer file, once you make a copy that's a whole different file! The whole idea is broken and they havenít explained how it really works.

As to why I keep watching is to have something to contradict all the sheep out there that recommend these shows to others, acting like their surrogate Marketing Teams. If you promote weak quality and people accept it like the status quo, then there is no need to improve.

We might as well all have frankenpanels with Angled joysticks with lightning mame art on all our cabinets.  :lol

 
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 04:43:28 pm by opt2not »

Howard_Casto

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Re: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2018, 02:42:12 pm »
Why would you waste 4 more hours of your life watching it if you really dislike it that much?

Because I like it, so he has to go out of his way bashing it.  If I had said I hated it he would have chimed in saying how great it was. 

Don't pay any attention to him... he keeps trying to convince everyone that Prime Federation Force was good, so there you go. 

opt2not

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Re: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2018, 03:23:28 pm »
Why would you waste 4 more hours of your life watching it if you really dislike it that much?

Because I like it, so he has to go out of his way bashing it.  If I had said I hated it he would have chimed in saying how great it was. 

Don't pay any attention to him... he keeps trying to convince everyone that Prime Federation Force was good, so there you go. 
Oh Coward_Hastro, is that really all you have? FF wasn't the only game I worked on, and it wasn't even remotely close to my proudest title. You're just jealous I actually am associated with a game development, your precious Nintendo at that, (rather than hacking up other people's work am i right?).

But, do you really want me to take a cheap-shot at you and make a "blind leading the blind" comment?

You're the one person we shouldn't pay attention to. You're too blinded (ha ha, well I did it) by fanboi'ism in many aspects that your word has nothing even remotely close to an unbiased opinion. I don't even know why you comment in these threads, we all know you ride dick the hardest once you like something.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 04:27:17 pm by opt2not »

8BitMonk

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Re: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2018, 04:56:10 pm »
Respectfully I disagree with you. Itís ok, not everyone has to like the same things.

^^ Back at ya. No one should be taking this personally, much of it is subjective.

I get some of your points but think you're being overly harsh in your judgements. I'd venture to guess most people aren't going to get hung up on much of what you mention. It'll be interesting to hear some other opinions, good and bad.

I just have higher standards is all.

As to why I keep watching is to have something to contradict all the sheep out there that recommend these shows to others, acting like their surrogate Marketing Teams. If you promote weak quality and people accept it like the status quo, then there is no need to improve.

I realize this was probably meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek but it comes off pretty dickish. So you're basically saying you have superior taste and anyone who disagrees with you is a mindless sheep? Also watching another 4 hours of something you hate just to save the general public from what you consider trash is a little goofy. :lol

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opt2not

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Re: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2018, 05:10:34 pm »
I get some of your points but think you're being overly harsh in your judgements. I'd venture to guess most people aren't going to get hung up on much of what you mention. It'll be interesting to hear some other opinions, good and bad.
I wouldn't be this harsh if it were a network TV series, but we're talking about a "premium" release on a paid subscription service.  Especially one that is trying to look and feel like an HBO contender.

I don't know man, do you really think the acting is that good? (from your original post)  I had a few cringy moments with Rei's delivery, especially during the flashbacks, and I still think Ortega is pushing her character too much in most of her lines. Like I said, episode 8 got better for her.


I realize this was probably meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek but it comes off pretty dickish. So you're basically saying you have superior taste and anyone who disagrees with you is a mindless sheep? Also watching another 4 hours of something you hate just to save the general public from what you consider trash is a little goofy. :lol
It was more to poke at H_C, he tends to post how he loves a thing, and if you don't agree with him it's a grand injustice.  He's willing to break friendships if you don't agree (he's stated this before).    I have no problems with you man, you're cool. 

No the points I laid out are why I disagree with the "mindless sheep" that tend to gloss over things in the vain of "not taking it too seriously". People have been posting this all over social media and forums that I frequent, and it's promoting something that isn't all that. 

The more practical truth is I'm subjecting myself to continuing this to the end because at this point I'm pot-committed. It's like how I felt with Star Trek Discovery, watch the first season, see if it gets better by the end...if not, cut it loose. This is a series I feel like I'll most likely cut loose.

8BitMonk

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Re: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2018, 05:47:28 pm »
It's cool, no problems here. Opinions are welcome, that's why I posted! :cheers:

I don't know man, do you really think the acting is that good? (from your original post)  I had a few cringy moments with Rei's delivery, especially during the flashbacks, and I still think Ortega is pushing her character too much in most of her lines. Like I said, episode 8 got better for her.

I honestly thought the acting was good, no cringy moments for me. I lower my expectations a bit for something like this, it's camp, I didn't go in expecting Oscar worthy performances. Rei's flat delivery I chalked up to being a stone cold psycho. :) Ortega was overly animated in spots but I thought it fit the characters personality.

I really enjoyed the story, I think it's deeper than most sci-fi and touched on some interesting societal issues that would go along with being able to live forever. The stacks as a plot point created some particularly interesting interactions since you didn't always know who was in what body. The effects looked decent to me overall, I didn't recognize any of the locations. I'll give you the PS contour lines for VR, not a fan.

I wouldn't say it's the best thing ever but taking a composite score, for my viewing tastes anyway, I still give it high marks.

 
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dkersten

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Re: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2018, 12:04:34 pm »
I liked it.  Story did take some turns that took away some of the appeal, got too complicated and stopped making good sense without a lot of working hard to connect the dots after each episode.  I could see where they could have thrown in some small things here and there to make it flow better, make better sense of some of the actions and reactions.

I have no idea if the series follows the book or books, I have not even heard of this until a couple weeks ago.  But the most common failure when translating a book story to a movie or TV series is when details are left out that make the story either better or just help to support the depth of the characters or the world it is all built in.  People who have gained familiarity with a story, like writers and producers, tend to lose sight of the fact that their audience is seeing this for the first time.  So they leave out details they just assume everyone will figure out, and it can make or break the success of the translation from text to video.  I felt that way in the last three episodes of the series.  I was having to make connections in my head to justify the actions of the character and I was not always right.  There was depth there but you had to construct it after the fact.

I also found myself going back to the start of an episode a few times to either figure out what was going on or pick up on some detail I missed while paying attention to something that didn't matter as much.  I like a deep story, but all too often the depth of the story was lost if you weren't making those connections on the fly.

But overall, I was highly entertained, and that is the point.  If I want to experience something introspective with tons of depth, I pick up a book.  If I want to be entertained for an hour, I watch a show.  You don't use a hammer to put in a screw, why do people expect to get the same experience of a book out of a movie or TV show?  How many movies or TV shows have done justice to the book or could hold a candle to a good book in general?  You will run out of examples before you run out of fingers to count them on.

As for the sex and violence, I thought it was just right.  To each their own, but I have watched enough PG shows in my life, and now I prefer more sex, more grit, more language, more violence, more emotion, and more disgusting human behavior.  It makes it feel more real to me.  People have sex.  People who have elevated hormone levels have a lot of sex.  People who survive traumatic situations have sex.  It fits the story and the situation.  Gratuitously rich people who have had too much of everything in their life resort to near sociopathic behavior while seeking enjoyment.  Maybe that is showing up in public with transparent clothing and nipples clearly visible, or perhaps it is paying people to beat each other up.  Hell, it happens today, why not in a distant future where they are immortal and have had hundreds of years to degrade into the worst possible humans?  This, to me, makes sense, and when portraying people like this I don't want it hidden or just talked about, I want it to be part of the show, even if I find it disgusting.  It's part of the immersion to me.

My favorite shows out there are things like GoT, Shameless, Detour, Billions, Ozark, and Ray Donovan.  All different genres, different types of shows, but they have one thing in common:  they don't pull punches.  If the character is ---fouled up beyond all recognition--- up, they show them doing ---fouled up beyond all recognition--- up things.  If they have sex, they don't close the door and leave it to your imagination and nobody has sex with all their clothes on every time, so if it's going to be a sex scene, their clothes are coming off.  If you are going to store a clone, why would you store it with clothes on?  If they want to show the dark side of someone who is well respected, they show it as graphically as necessary.  None of this stuff would have been OK to put in TV shows a little over a decade ago, and I'm happy I can watch this stuff today.  But like I said, to each their own.  If you don't like it, the other 98% of movies and tv will keep it all conveniently behind the scenes.

8BitMonk

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Re: Anyone else watch Altered Carbon?
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2018, 04:53:42 pm »
I liked it.  Story did take some turns that took away some of the appeal, got too complicated and stopped making good sense without a lot of working hard to connect the dots after each episode.  I could see where they could have thrown in some small things here and there to make it flow better, make better sense of some of the actions and reactions.
...
I also found myself going back to the start of an episode a few times to either figure out what was going on or pick up on some detail I missed while paying attention to something that didn't matter as much.  I like a deep story, but all too often the depth of the story was lost if you weren't making those connections on the fly.

I agree on the flow and the way information was revealed, it could be confusing at times. I had to go back a couple times as well.

But overall, I was highly entertained, and that is the point.  If I want to experience something introspective with tons of depth, I pick up a book.  If I want to be entertained for an hour, I watch a show. 

Same, overall I found it very entertaining!

As for the sex and violence, I thought it was just right. 

I didn't find it gratuitous or out of place in this world at all either. Sleeves are just commodities in this world to be used as you will, and in the case of the rich they can afford the best sleeves so it only makes sense that they'd use them in F'd up ways.

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