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Jay

STRANGER THINGS

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I love this show and it seems people on this board are pretty devided between loved it and hated it.  Around my office and with my friend groups its generally loved.

 

We watched the whole first season in about a week and I plan to rewatch it again before Season 2.

 

Speaking of that, a trailer was just released for it:

 

 

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I'm in the midst of watching this now, three episodes left.  Though I think it might be a bit overhyped (Spielberg it's not) I'm enjoying it, but I'm also setting myself up for disappointment. They never know how to tie up the mysteries in shows like this.

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What I liked about it a lot was that it set up mysteries and then paid them off a little while later.

 

I loved LOST, but I do admit it had a big problem with constantly coming up with new mysteries, and then either not paying them off for seasons later, or never at all.

 

But here, something comes up in an episode, and you're like "oooh, what's that all about"? And then you find out the next episode or so.

 

Really the only mysteries left to answer next season, and the ones introduced in the season 1 finale.  That's perfect!

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I enjoyed the performance of David Harbour as Chief Jim Hopper in the show.  Actually, at first he kind of turned me off, but I warmed up to him as the show went on.

 

I took me a while to realize he was one of the CIA guys in Quantum of Solace.

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I would like to watch it, but it would have to be in secret. And I can never discuss it here or on Facebook. 

 

Lee would never let me live it down....apparently 

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1. I absolutely ADORE the show!

 

2. I think the music in it works perfectly.

 

3. However, I'm not that enamoured with the music on album, which is a surprise because it sounded so up my alley when I heard it in the series. On album, it became a little "thin" and directionless. And also too much of it. This could have been an ideal 40-50-minute album. Instead, they went bonkers and released it on not ONE, but TWO CD's.

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Ohhhh - at least by track title, they're using music from all eight episodes on these two discs.  I can't imagine that there's too much music missing from those discs, which are both very long.

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I LOVE the main title music - its awesome, completely appropriate for the show, and gets me pumped about the episode every time.

 

Other than that, the music did nothing for me.  Often times it was "just there", but at others it was a distraction.  There would be some kind of emotional scene, but it was scored by synth plodding.

 

The music was most effective in the scary/suspense scenes, but wildly out of place in a lot of other scenes, imo.

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I wonder how many more kids shows/movies Cremers will watch until he finally tires of telling us he doesn't like kids shows/movies. Nine? Nine hundred and ninety nine?

 

Over the years it's always been very important to him that we all know just how much he doesn't enjoy kids shows/movies. He'll go out of his way to say it until his personal mission is seemingly achieved. I wonder what it's all about? 

 

 

 

Anyway, Stranger Things is currently a 3 out of 5 show, with potential. 

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1 hour ago, Stefancos said:

I would like to watch it, but it would have to be in secret. And I can never discuss it here or on Facebook. 

 

Lee would never let me live it down....apparently 

 

Even though Close Encounters Of The Third Kind isn't really a kids movie, the family scenes* in that movie are way more brilliant than anything in Stranger Things

 

 

 

 

 

* Especially the scene where the parents are having a discussion but the camera is only showing the kids who are having their own quarrel. When the parents' dialogue gets more interesting the focus shifts from the kids to the parents. You have to see it to believe it.

 

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It was pretty good. It reminds me of the show Granite Flats, but stuff actually happens. The music was honestly a little disappointing. I expected something that sounding like it was from the eighties (they did have that song from Pretty in Pink though)

 

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It's well produced and entertaining enough, but there's not much more to it. It's not bad, and it's not great either. Though I'd agree it's definitely overhyped.

 

I'll watch season 2 and see if it rises to its current reputation.

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I watched it a couple of weeks ago. The setting and execution is great, the casting and acting is terrific. But the story was a little underwhelming. It's the kind of story I'd expect to find in a book targeted for 12 year olds. Mysterious and well-paced, but nothing really deep about it.  

 

I agree that the title music is really good, but otherwise the music doesn't always seem to fit well inside the actual episode. Though it is certainly an original approach, and gives the series an identity in a way.  

 

Even so, I found the series enjoyable enough to make me want to watch the next season. :up:

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I enjoyed this quite a bit. As other have pointed out, this isn't anything new at all. It isn't really all that different from Abrams' Super 8 (which felt actually much better upon second viewing). But the perfect casting (kids, especially) and a tasteful remix of nostalgic elements make it stand out. The plot might be a bit repetitive in places but the overall mystery was well handled. I liked how it unfolds slowly and gives you more information without ever explaining itself too much at any point. Your brain is able to fill in some gaps as well. And I also appreciated they didn't try to tone it down too much (because of the kids).

 

Karol

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I liked it a lot, and its sincerity was really admirable. It's really invested in being an 80s thing and doesn't step out of that role to crack nostalgia jokes from today's viewpoint, which is an all too rare thing. Most criticism I've read complains that it doesn't bring anything new to the table - but does it have to? I like 80s films, and I still watch them today, even those I already know, so what's so horrible about a new, well made, but not original 80s thing?

 

Also, it made me finally order Stephen King's It (the book).

2 hours ago, crocodile said:

I enjoyed this quite a bit. As other have pointed out, this isn't anything new at all. It isn't really all that different from Abrams' Super 8 (which felt actually much better upon second viewing).

 

I like Super 8 quite a bit, and it also captures the 80s spirits really well, though perhaps not quite as consistently as Stranger Things, but then it gains a bit more from its score, which seems more in the spirit of the whole thing. I think the Stranger Things music is fine on its own, and it's also 80s appropriate, but it's the one element that feels not as genuine, or involved, in a series that otherwise, despite all the King allusions, very much sets itself up as a Spielberg type thing.

 

Where Super 8 loses out is the story, which isn't totally off for what it is, but is also much less convincing than Stranger Things's.

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The announcement video seems to contain the episode titles for season 2. Pretty crazy if so. It would imply that they already have much of the story mapped out. 

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9 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

I liked it a lot, and its sincerity was really admirable. It's really invested in being an 80s thing and doesn't step out of that role to crack nostalgia jokes from today's viewpoint, which is an all too rare thing. Most criticism I've read complains that it doesn't bring anything new to the table - but does it have to? I like 80s films, and I still watch them today, even those I already know, so what's so horrible about a new, well made, but not original 80s thing?

 

I agree, but then I also think it DOES bring something new to the table -- i.e. the mixing of pastiche and more contemporary horror stuff. No way you would see this kind of realistic, gruelling, intense horror of the creature sequences in something like GOONIES or EXPLORERS or E.T. In those films, the suspense was always more tongue-in-cheek and 'kiddie scary'. That aspect of the series has more in common with stuff like THE CONJURING, INSIDIOUS or the TV series WAYWARD PINES.

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51 minutes ago, crocodile said:

I always thought the 1980's films were much bolder in showing violence and horror. The mainstream ones anyway.

 

Karol

 

Depends on what you mean with 'bolder'. There wasn't much in terms of 'torture porn' etc. at the time, and realistic horror was also few and far between. Perhaps stuff like RAMBO, but in either case not the type of "Kid Hero" films we're talking about here.

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5 hours ago, Lonnegan said:

Hang on I thought Barb was Ryder's character earlier. Just remembered it's the young girl with powers, my bad. She was pretty good, considering she had few lines. 

 

Wrong on both counts. 

 

Wynona Ryder's character was named Joyce Byers. 

 

The girl with the powers was named Eleven. 

 

Barb is Nancy Wheeler's glasses-wearing friend who attends the party with her then hangs out by the pool alone. 

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The issue isn't really if the horror was more 'scary' or 'potent' in the 80s in general (I don't think it was), but if you could find any similar 'adult intensity' in the type of sub genre it tries to emulate. I certainly can't think of any.

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I appreciated the show's blend of (relatively light) horror with 80s family movie tropes. Perhaps overhyped a bit, but it's a solidly enjoyable show.

 

Like Jay, I came to really enjoy the main title music, but the score as a whole is nothing I'd ever listen to on its own.

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17 hours ago, crocodile said:

I enjoyed this quite a bit. As other have pointed out, this isn't anything new at all. It isn't really all that different from Abrams' Super 8 (which felt actually much better upon second viewing). 

 

The trailers instantly made me think of Super 8, but watching the actual show I didn't get too much of a Super 8 vibe; In actually, its riffing off the same original 80s material that Super 8 was (ie The Goonies and ET) rather than being influenced directly by anything in Super 8.  Another way of saying it is: If Super 8 never existed, Stranger Things would be exactly the same as it is now.

 

Quote

But the perfect casting (kids, especially) and a tasteful remix of nostalgic elements make it stand out.

 

Totally agreed.

 

Quote

The plot might be a bit repetitive in places but the overall mystery was well handled. I liked how it unfolds slowly and gives you more information without ever explaining itself too much at any point. Your brain is able to fill in some gaps as well. And I also appreciated they didn't try to tone it down too much (because of the kids).

 

All well-stated points I totally agree with.  The mystery unfolds in a nice slow, deliberate pace, but unlike LOST which would bring up a mystery and then go seasons before mentioning it again, or bringing up some mysteries but then never solving them, or making some minor mysteries seem like big ones, everything in Stranger Things is given equal weight, and everything is resolved shortly after bring brought up, except for the new mysteries introduced in the season 1 finale.  Which I feel was the perfect way to go about it.

 

And yea, there is some slight repetition in Season 1, as well as one too-over-the-top-moment (the murderous bullies), but I feel like this kind of kinks will be ironed out for season 2 - hopefully.

 

 

15 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

I liked it a lot, and its sincerity was really admirable. It's really invested in being an 80s thing and doesn't step out of that role to crack nostalgia jokes from today's viewpoint, which is an all too rare thing.

 

Great point.  A lot of "criticisms", or maybe appropriately apprehension, from people who hadn't even seen it were like "ugh, more 80s nostalgia", etc... but like you said, the show doesn't wink at the audience about 80s stuff, its just simply set in the 80s.  I was frankly far more invested in the characters and story than anything to do with the setting.  To put it another way, my wife was born in 1986 as has zero nostalgia for anything 80s, and loved the show as much as I did.

 

Quote

Most criticism I've read complains that it doesn't bring anything new to the table - but does it have to? I like 80s films, and I still watch them today, even those I already know, so what's so horrible about a new, well made, but not original 80s thing?

 

The show was never advertised or hyped as bringing anything new, it was always marketed as exactly what it is, so I dunno who would complain about that.  You know what you're getting into as soon as the main titles roll in episode 1.

 

Quote

I like Super 8 quite a bit, and it also captures the 80s spirits really well, though perhaps not quite as consistently as Stranger Things, but then it gains a bit more from its score, which seems more in the spirit of the whole thing. I think the Stranger Things music is fine on its own, and it's also 80s appropriate, but it's the one element that feels not as genuine, or involved, in a series that otherwise, despite all the King allusions, very much sets itself up as a Spielberg type thing.

 

Agreed, yea.  The music works very well in certain scenes (the more Stephen King esque ones), but overall, I do feel a more classic 80s, orchestral score would have been more appropriate.  Just think of how the van flip COULD have been scored!

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