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Tyler

Westworld--TV Show

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Tyler   

Link to our thread for the movie Westworld, which is just a 9-year-old stub with one post from PTC.

 

Variety:

 

 

HBO has given a pilot production commitment to Bad Robot and Warner Bros. TV for a series adaptation of the 1973 Yul Brynner cult classic “Westworld,” to be written and helmed by Jonathan Nolan.

 

Nolan and TV scribe Lisa Joy, who are married, are set to co-write the pilot script, with Nolan set to direct the pilot.  Nolan and Joy will serve as exec producers with Bad Robot’s J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk and Jerry Weintraub. The original pic was written and directed by Michael Crichton.

 

The HBO rendition of “Westworld” is described as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.” The pilot production commitment is a big one by HBO’s standards, indicated the depth of the pay cabler’s interest in the project.

 

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Tyler   

Starring Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood.

 

 

Hopkins is set to play Dr. Robert Ford, the brilliant, taciturn and complicated creative director, chief programmer and chairman of the board of Westworld, who has an uncompromising creative vision for the park — and unorthodox methods of achieving it. Wood will portray Dolores Abernathy, the quintessential farm girl of the frontier West — who is about to discover that her entire idyllic existence is an elaborately constructed lie.

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NBooth   

This one starts the same as the previously-posted video, but it has much more going on:

 

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It looks cool, but given the folks involved, I'm expecting it to be underwhelming.

The premise doesn't really lend itself to such a longform presentation.

Edited by Ryan H.

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NBooth   

The trailer is titled "mature version," so--I guess assume NSFW? Though, if that's the case, I must have blinked and missed something.

This trailer, btw, suggests that they're using what might be the most boring possible approach to the material.

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NBooth   

Two episodes in and I'm enjoying this show. The "what is human" chinstroking isn't terribly exciting, but it's handled competently. The metatextual ruminations on the HBO brand (particularly in the last couple of scenes of ep2) are more intriguing. 

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NBooth   

This show has been fine so far, but last night's episode was dangerously close to greatness in spots. 

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NBooth   

So the last couple of episodes confirmed nearly every bit of internet speculation about the show, which is only disheartening in that I really, really hated the bit of speculation that was confirmed tonight. In some ways, I find the distant-backstory more interesting than the story they're telling--but that isn't to say I dislike the show as it stands; the ruminations on narrative etc etc etc are still interesting and it's well-shot and -acted.

One fun bit of worldbuilding was

 

the confirmation that there are or will be other worlds besides Westworld--namely Samurai World. Which, um, doesn't make a whole lot of sense from a logistics standpoint. The three-world structure works in the original movie because the worlds are pretty simple--none of this narrative stuff, much smaller areas, etc. 

Westworld has really pushed the idea that the park is more like a GTA-style amusement, with looping narratives and side-quests, which means that it's much more labor-intensive to keep a single world going, let alone multiple ones. Still--Samurai World.

All in all--well, it ain't Deadwood or Game of Thrones, but Westworld has plenty of charms of its own and I'm glad it's sticking around for another season.

Structurally, the show makes the same mistake as Star Trek Beyond in that it feels the need to keep a key character's identity secret for a "twist" even though the story would be much better-told if his identity had been revealed upfront.

Edited by NBooth

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NBooth   
34 minutes ago, Ryan H. said:

Sounds frustrating.

It is, in some ways, although the moments where the show is great are really great and I don't think there's really a bad performance in the whole show (with perhaps one exception). And when the twists work, as they do in at least two cases, they work in spite of the fact that pretty much everyone on the internet had already figured them out. Tellingly, in both cases, they're twists connected to the distant back-story, which is where the most interesting character-work takes place.

It's a very Nolan type of show: the characters aren't really the centerpiece so much as the opportunity to Perform Big Ideas. Sometimes it falls very flat, as with the whole what-is-human shtick (though, even there, the show is just barely smart enough to occasionally it on something approaching real mystery). Sometimes--and, y'know, it may be because Anthony Hopkins is delivering the lines--the show actually feels like it's doing something interesting with the nature of storytelling itself.

There was one scene in the finale that I absolutely adored, even though it was a cheap trick:

 

Teddy and Dolores--two robot characters, she fatally stabbed--ride a horse along a beach in what 

has to be a reference to Planet of the Apes. They dismount--she slowly dies in his arms. But what's fun here is that the longer they talk the more "writerly" the dialogue gets, until finally Teddy is speaking into the darkness in long, flowery sentences. And the framing is classic overcooked melodrama. And just as the cheese factor starts to get too overbearing--the camera pulls back and we're shown that it was a kind of performance all along, designed for the shareholders of the park.

I'm not even sure it's a good scene, but it certainly brought a smile to my face.

Edited by NBooth

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yank_eh   
On 12/5/2016 at 6:09 AM, NBooth said:

I don't think there's really a bad performance in the whole show (with perhaps one exception).

1) Maybe I was less forgiving because I binged the season in ~3 days, but about halfway through I found almost everyone really annoying. I haven't figured out if it was the acting, the writing, the direction, or something else. I'm leaning toward the direction. Whatever the case, I'm really glad they got Anthony Hopkins (even if it seems a slightly tired role for him); his is the only performance I really admired.

2) That all said, I'm surprised your take was so much more positive, and I'm curious which you think is the one exception! Only one??  Logan? Sylvester? Felix Lutz? Sizemore? Theresa? Charlotte? (I'm only guessing humans because it's harder to disparage someone playing a robot--performances that are "off" seem to fit a little better)

By the end of the season, it felt like all the worst tendencies of J.J. Abrams and M. Night Shyamalan were being indulged hard. Huge disappointment since the premise is solid and there was so much potential. I even agree it veered pretty close to greatness at times, even despite the performances/direction.

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NBooth   

To be honest, I don't remember which performance I didn't care for. I actually remember very little of the season, which should put some perspective on how positive my remarks seem. I liked it and had fun watching, but it was competent, for the most part, rather than great (though there were some great bits here and there, mostly involving Hopkins or Newton).

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