Saturday, July 28, 2018

OT: HBO's Westworld (+Movies)

I just finished watching Season 2 of Westworld on HBO.

I don't think I wrote about or made a podcast about Westworld, not even the movie or sequel. Maybe a podcast, I forget. Even if I did, I likely didn't upload it.

So, long explanation as short as possible. I meant to, but not until the last few months, finally watched Westworld the movie and the sequel Futureworld. I enjoyed both, especially the original. Richard Benjamin, James Brolin and Yul Brenner are all really good in it. No resolution really for Dick Van Patten's character, but so be it.

It influenced a ton of stories, namely in Hollywood and Scifi. Terminator especially, among some others (Blade Runner in some ways, Jurassic Park of course being that Michael Crichton directed it).

Futureworld with Peter Fonda and Blythe Danner I then checked out and while I didn't enjoy it as much as Westworld, I still found it good, and an interesting sequel. The use of reporters going to the park and the park having Space shuttle trips. And then people being replaced by robot copies, etc.
It's not a bad sequel, especially as far as sequels go.

I have not, but still mean to even check out the short-lived TV Series in the early 80's Beyond Westworld. Although the only places it seems to be available are on Amazon (and not available with Prime), or by going through like ioffer or ebay I guess. And I've heard it's not great. It has Connie Sellecca in the cast. But it only lasted 5 episodes, and was a bit different than even Futureworld. But I would still like to see it soon. But I may not have a choice but to buy it online.

So then I finally last month checked out the HBO Re-imagining show, Season 1 DVD from the library. And I binged through it in less than a week. Good show! Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Thandie Newton, Jimmi Simpson and among the other cast, Evan Rachel Wood and Tessa Thompson who I have liked their past work for the most part, that I have seen.

And Season 1 I guess I enjoyed overall, even with the budget, stars, and interpretive story from the original. Overall it seemed to work. I really liked Jimi Simpson, as I have liked the stuff I've seen him in the past (Psych namely). Ed Harris and Anthony Hopkins and Jeffrey Wright.

And Thandie Newton's character Maeve maybe stood out as much as anyone. The way her character is empowered and takes over, she was definitely one to care about, and root for, even how in the finale she goes back to save her daughter (written in her code, from a distant past story).

Was it confusing? maybe somewhat, especially when they reveal a few things in the last few episodes about Bernard/Arnold and William/The Man in Black.

So now having seen the 2nd season, they seemed to have the Hosts takeover and confuse us on who may be a host, and who is not.

I can say this though:

I enjoyed the Shogun world episodes and the Ghost Country (Native American) episode quite a lot. I enjoyed the Lee character for comic-relief.

And I stuck on Ed Harris's Man in Black side, and the various versions of Bernard that was portrayed, both in and out of the Cradle.

And I actually kind of liked the introduction of William's daughter, along with that simulation thing/idea of Delos trying to become immortal, and with a glitch.

But here's where the show started to get to me:

The lead (or 1 of the leads) character of Dolores and/or Wyatt played by Evan Rachel Wood, I didn't love in the 1st season, although I suppose she was tolerable. I never felt strongly for her, although I do like how she gains sentience or whatever. But, the way they had her character become so ruthless and combative just lost much if any connection for her.

And even worse, Tessa Thompson's character of Charlotte honestly has been incredibly annoying and cold from the 1st scene she was in. For one, there's no reason to see her as an authority really. She's too young really, and I just don't buy her in that role. And the 2nd season she seems to be even more annoying and full of herself and a control freak.

I honestly was hoping Dolores would have been able to kill her with the electric saw.

But then the way the season ends with Dolores dying and then I guess having her consciousness in a Host version of Charlotte, after Charlotte is shot and no no no!


It's like doubling the poisons, and combining the 2 worst characters on this show into one.

I mean I guess I will watch Season 3 and see if Tessa Thompson can change my mind, but having her act like Evan Rachel Wood's Dolores character best is the lesser of 2 evils.

Plus the confusion is through the roof about timeframes of clips, where and when things happened. Are they in the Cradle? is it in the past or Future? is it in the Hosts minds? Whose a Host?

William cannot be a host at least in many of the stories he is.

I mean do the Hosts age? I assume they don't. Why he can't be, and nor the daughter.

1 theory I read is the extra scene with William with his daughter (who supposedly he shot) it is in the distant future, and it's actually a future Host version of William and presumably, the daughter who is interviewing him.

I mean this show is like Lost or BSG in a lot of ways, I just kind of feel they are raising too many questions and definitely not answering the ones raised and asked frequently.

Or it just feels excessively Self-Indulgent.

Will they base a lot of Season 3 in The Valley Beyond? The Cradle? is this The Matrix? and will there be Soul transferring up the wazoo? lol. That is where it fully loses me. I really don't know if I will buy into having Cast Members portraying other's just excessive and maybe okay for 1 episode, but how many and for how long?

I dunno, it's a big mess in so many ways. And it makes the original film start to seem like it will dwarf the end result with this.

Kind of how I felt about True Blood by jumping ship by the 3rd season. The story and plots just got way too contrived and out of whack, I didn't feel it was worth investing my time with it.

Whereas Breaking Bad or Babylon 5 (or Deep Space 9 of course) were more or less the right length and never got too excessive, self-indulgent or contrived really.

And for one, how many characters were killed off Season 2 of this show?..Lee, Angela, Elsie, Clementine? Hector, even Teddy in some ways. Armistice..a bunch of others. Emily, William's daughter included.

I mean sure, if they are hosts or the virtual/matrix/cradle etc they can all comeback ala Anthony Hopkins did, but at some point it's going to feel almost pointless to care for if they live or die I guess.

I guess I still enjoy this show, and will watch Season 3, but it is frustrating and longing for the show to end sooner than later.

that all being said, I would consider this among the better shows currently on television still, and I am glad I finally have seen it