netflix: Altered Carbon

Discussion in 'books, films, TV, radio & writing' started by DotCommunist, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank We kill the flame

    I didn't even pick up from the book that [Lachman's character] is Kovacs' sister :facepalm:
  2. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank We kill the flame

    Wait, are those cloves? In ham? Eugh, no :mad:
  3. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    top marks for the virtual torture scene ending. Changed the entire plot bit from him being downloaded into a female virtual body which I'm fine with because that would have been mad rapey. His burned off legs and the wriggling creature things was enough for me thanks. But yes the ending as he strides out to epic music with the place blowing up behind him while his henchman and the baddie turn up late. Good show sirs.
  4. Badgers

    Badgers Mr Big Shrimp!

    So worth watching?
    Rosemary Jest likes this.
  5. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

    Watched the first two, love it so far. Very bladerunner-esque.
    passenger, donkyboy and Badgers like this.
  6. MrSpikey

    MrSpikey Well-Known Member

    I initially misread this as "Wookie Furries".

    I worry about my brain, sometimes.
    J Ed likes this.
  7. xenon

    xenon Radical efficiencies

    Well, four episodes down, I am very much enjoying this. Might have another couple more then save the rest. Yes it is very much like cyberpunk Gibson blade Runner, but so was the novel. It wore it’s influences on its sleeve. Mixed them with a bit of ultraviolence and nwoir .
  8. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Um, I only just got back in practice with watching stuff (and barely hung on to the finish) but I was definitely prepared to make an effort for this. However, almost within minutes, I was despairing and now, at the end of episode 1 I have been wavering but I think you, Artaxerxes, have tipped me over the edge. if you think, after 9 episodes, the acting is a bit iffy, I think I had better not go there cos I was finding the acting stupendously, woefully grim by the end of episode 1 so if that represents some sort of high point which goes down from here on in.... Even Captain's log, William Shatner, has a more nuanced delivery than the slack-jawed loon who is playing Kovacs ...and that smirking Hispanic woman's version of 'feisty' - O dear. Will stick it out for one or 2 more episodes (cos I am a tryer) but yep, heightened expectations from book familiarity...hard to get over.

    And I confess, I was appalled by Miriam Bancroft's character in a silky fucking nightie and the overall 80s strip club aesthetics with neon. Meh.. Barely a step up from chain mail bikinis.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  9. Artaxerxes

    Artaxerxes Well-Known Member

    Sadly "strong independent woman" in todays media means "slightly psychotic and very very angry" so its hard to find good female characters in practically anything you'll get on TV.

    Episode 4 and Ortegas old grandma inserted into the body of a rough and racist ganger gives an idea of the plots we could have had dominate the series, very light in places, philosophical and with dialogue (though Kovacs spends most of it getting tortured, so swings and roundabouts) so that episode is worth a try if you can make it.
    campanula likes this.
  10. trabuquera

    trabuquera Modesty Bag

    Finished it and will be rewatching. Definitely flawed (mumbly dialogue and confusing sound mixing, some less than stellar acting, knotty plotting, dramatic flow is bumpy at best) and it is not quite the awe-inspiring thing that the book was in print. Also some weird gender stuff (see below.) BUT it really is pretty amazing in many ways if you're willing to think about it. The original themes (eternal revolution against the ageless elites) and feel (omnidimensional cynicism, surprisingly gutsy, nasty and noirish sex n' violence) are more or less intact. Some of the visual work is brilliant.

    Been a while since I last read the book (which I loved) but it also made me think. It's very consciously another 1940s noir in futurist dress and plays with all those tropes (femme fatale, twists, neglected elite wife, etc etc). But I'm not sure the premise really explores likely social consequences of resleeving enough. If you can be replanted in whatever bod's available, how would that knock on to race & gender politics on Earth? Would everyone end up like an identical EliteBod (and what would that look like?)? Would cross-gender empathy be more possible? Would gender or race differences become irrelevant? If so, then the gender politics of 1940s noir - in themselves responding to post-WWII anxieties about newly stroppy women - are sort of irrelevant; there simply wouldn't be damsels in distress, or neglected wives, or abused hookers etc etc, no?

    Anyways. Really glad this got made at all and even happier they didn't completely mess it up.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  11. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank We kill the flame

    Split second shot of what was obviously the bridge from William Gibson's Virtual Light in episode 3:


    e2a: And the bit in episode 4 about CCTV invisibility is lifted from Gibson's Zero History.

    Why can't they just do a proper William Gibson TV adaptation :mad:
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
    InfoBurner and Badgers like this.
  12. Mation

    Mation real life adventure worth more than pieces of gold

    I'm so disappointed. I liked the book and was really looking forward to this. Enjoyed the first couple of episodes and then got less and less sure, until I gave up last night half way through the penultimate one. I probably can't be arsed to finish it. Two things in particular got to me. (I have a high tolerance for ropey acting so that was fine. :D)

    The way it was shot makes it seem like Kovacs' sleeve is the protagonist, which then changes the relationship between him and the other characters and my view of the roles they play.

    It's also increasingly a sleeze-fest for straight men (I'm actually selling it to some of you, aren't I? :p ) in addition to portraying a couple of racist/sexist stereotypes.

    So I thought this interview (which includes spoilers) with Laeta Kalogridis, creator of the Netflix series, is interesting. She seems to think the nudity is equal, which I don't agree with at all. To me the shooting (all of it, not just the nudity) seems very much male-gaze.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
    campanula and Badgers like this.
  13. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

    After watching most of them I have decided I do not like this programme. Fascinating premise, great visuals but a plodding plot interspersed with boring samey action scenes that could be from any one of thousands of similar films and series made in the last decade.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
    yield, Badgers and seventh bullet like this.
  14. Thora

    Thora Differently Ethical

    I'm 3 episodes in and still have no clue what's going on :confused:
    bimble and Badgers like this.
  15. Artaxerxes

    Artaxerxes Well-Known Member

    I think there's maybe 5 or 6 scenes where you see a dangling flaccid cock but it's never the focus of the scene.
  16. DaveCinzano


    Band name thread >>>> :mad:
    Red Sky likes this.
  17. Mation

    Mation real life adventure worth more than pieces of gold

    I noticed one on an inactive (unactivated?) sleeve, but that was about it. Not the same, indeed.
  18. Saul Goodman

    Saul Goodman It's all good, man

    "Dogshit", is, I think, the word you're looking for.

    Because it's dogshit!
    It has all the makings of a great TV series, unfortunately it appears to have been written, produced, directed and financed by a 12 year old millionaire.
  19. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Badgers likes this.
  20. Red Sky

    Red Sky It was like that when I got here.

    Seems pretty derivative.

    He knows too much about the world he's in for someone 250 years old.
    Badgers and SpookyFrank like this.
  21. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    He's an Envoy. It's part of the training.

    But then in the book he'd already worn multiple sleeves and had to fight on strange world's.

    He also wasn't the last envoy, he'd left, but they were still much feared. Also the envoys weren't freedom fighters, they went in to deal with people like Quell, not fight on the same side as her.

    I'm really surprised why they have made these changes. It's means they won't be able to do the following books.
    xenon and SpookyFrank like this.
  22. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank We kill the flame

    Maybe I missed something in the book but as I understand Kovacs was trained as an Envoy by the military, then went freelance. His relationship to the Quellists is ambiguous, it's not clear if he just had some sympathy with their objectives (which are also different in the novel and TV show) or was actively involved in the rebellion. I've only read the first book though tbf.
  23. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank We kill the flame

    This is anther thing they seem to have added for no apparent reason. In the book he has a sentence of multiple lifetimes but is woken and re-sleeved on Earth after a relatively short time on stack.
  24. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    I get the idea they were trying to avoid having to do exposition on both Quell and the Envoys by sort of conflating them.

    Like the way they simplfied the need for exposition in the movie of "LA Confidential" by merging all Ed's various father figures into Dudley.

    Doing it with Quell and the Envoys does rather make a hash of the sequels though.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  25. Red Sky

    Red Sky It was like that when I got here.

    Right. Not read the books. I probably won't bother with the next episode if they can't be bothered with internal coherence.
  26. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    why it wasn't as good as hoped musings:
    Others have mentioned the ropey acting, and how as veterans of the TV sci fi game you get used to it. But I felt it was pretty bad here, to the point where it undermined the ideas it was telling- particularly in the later bits. Kovacs in the frame he wore most consistently, the hulking blond combat adjusted one- well I was ok with it, the noirish blank man, mumbling cynical and truly alive in moments of violence or the prelude to. But it wore thin, the finale between him and his sister (her acting broken by this point- you just didn't believe she had that strange mad jaded sybaritic I-Lived-Too-Long and became something Other, something cruel and old vibe) really did expose the flaws. The Pacing as Trabuequera mentioned did not flow as it should from episode to episode.

    That said it was overall worth my time. I don't see a second series in it though. On Quellcrist Falconer: deffo not where I'd have gone with that.

    One other ting of course, seems simple but it must have had its effect. None of the ideas are new to me now, they were at the time. The aesthetic though, that was so familiar as to be ordinary 'this is what I expect dystopian sci fi to look like'. And wasn't I in this genre for the unfamiliar?

    also, should have found space for this one:
    “The personal, as every one’s so fucking fond of saying, is political. So if some idiot politician, some power player, tries to execute policies that harm you or those you care about, TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Get angry. The Machinery of Justice will not serve you here—it is slow and cold, and it is theirs, hardware and soft. Only the little people suffer at the hands of Justice; the creatures of power slide out from under with a wink and a grin. If you want justice, you will have to claw it from them. Make it PERSONAL. Do as much damage as you can. GET YOUR MESSAGE ACROSS. That way you stand a far better chance of being taken seriously next time. Of being considered dangerous. And make no mistake about this: being taken seriously, being considered dangerous marks the difference, the ONLY difference in their eyes, between players and little people. Players they will make deals with. Little people they liquidate. And time and again they cream your liquidation, your displacement, your torture and brutal execution with the ultimate insult that it’s just business, it’s politics, it’s the way of the world, it’s a tough life and that IT’S NOTHING PERSONAL. Well, fuck them. Make it personal.


    of course 'but quell they have the monopoly on violence' etc etc but I recall enjoying this quote when I were 20

    I'd need to read Woken Furies again but the quell is not the same quell as the books as has been mentioned.
  27. donkyboy

    donkyboy Crazy cat man

    finished the 4th episode. great show. love the blade runner feel and look of it. :thumbs:

    after this going to move onto Counterpart which is also getting good reviews.
    Badgers likes this.
  28. Thora

    Thora Differently Ethical

    I really need someone to fill in the Wikipedia entries for each episode more fully so I can follow what's going on :D I'm on episode 7 and still have questions
    So he was originally recruited by the big fellas in suits after shooting his dad - who are they?
    And who is the black woman who invented stacks? Did he join them because of his sister?
    Who is Lizzy and why doesnt she have a body?
    Also who was that white bloke with all the tattoos? Why was he the police woman's nan?
    Badgers likes this.
  29. donkyboy

    donkyboy Crazy cat man

    finished it this morning. overall, i recommendage it. :thumbs:
    Badgers likes this.
  30. bellaozzydog

    bellaozzydog rolling turds in glitter

    I'm not a sci-fi fan but with a bit of background reading to work out WTF was going on and WTF were all the characters and I really enjoyed it, just finished ep 4

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