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Carol the Dabbler

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According to Radio Times, Martin Freeman's six-part miniseries A Confession will air "later this year" on ITV.  This presumably means that it will not be broadcast on any of the usual US venues for British programming (which seem to air mostly BBC material), though I suppose a deal might be worked out with some other channel.  I'm just hoping there'll be a DVD, because the show sounds really good.  It's about a police officer (played by Freeman) who goes against regulations to put a serial killer behind bars for life, at the expense of his own career.

Speaking of DVDs, I've (finally) posted my (not particularly spoilery) review of Cargo over on the Cargo thread.

Added:  And here's a review of The Dumb Waiter, the stage play that Freeman is currently in (for only another day or two), just in case anyone can make it to London in time.  (Note:  Freeman and Danny Dyer also co-starred in the 2007 movie The All Together, about which the less said the better.)

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Freeman's spy flick The Operative (in which he plays said operative's handler) premiered a couple of weeks ago at the Berlin International Film Festival.  Here's coverage of a press conference, with interesting quotes from both Freeman and his co-star, Diane Kruger.

Still no release dates for anywhere else.

Has anybody seen Ghost Stories?

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I haven't seen anything, anywhere, and am about to, in fact, cancel my cable subscription. The only channels I watch anymore are the ones I can get for free with an antenna, so I figure why waste the bucks. So yeah, I hope everything's released on DVD too.

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Martin Freeman will be the captain of one team in a Red-Nose Day version of University Challenge (portrayed in Starter for 10, it's the British version of College Bowl), which will air TOMORROW (Friday March 15th) at 10 pm on BBC2, for those of you who can pull that in.  I don't recognize any of the other team members' names, but you can find the full list and more details here.   Sounds fun and interesting -- if anyone happens to find this on YouTube, please post a link in this thread!

Ode to Joy will be the very first film shown at this year's RiverRun film festival in Winston-Salem North Carolina, also coming right up on April 4th; more details (including ticket info) here.

Freeman's sitcom Breeders will, like Fargo, be shown in (I assume) the US on FX.  Info here.  It's also being co-produced by Avalon TV and Sky.  According to IMDb, it's still in post-production at the moment, so it'll presumably be a while before it airs anywhere.

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On 3/14/2019 at 1:17 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Martin Freeman will be the captain of one team in a Red-Nose Day version of University Challenge (portrayed in Starter for 10, it's the British version of College Bowl), which will air TOMORROW (Friday March 15th) at 10 pm on BBC2 [....]  Sounds fun and interesting -- if anyone happens to find this on YouTube, please post a link in this thread!

Yes, Ma'am!

Unfortunately, this video doesn't seem to include the very end of the competition (and the teams were very close at last accounting).  Does anyone happen to know who won?

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On 2/27/2019 at 11:42 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Freeman's spy flick The Operative (in which he plays said operative's handler) premiered a couple of weeks ago at the Berlin International Film Festival.  Here's coverage of a press conference, with interesting quotes from both Freeman and his co-star, Diane Kruger.

Still no release dates for anywhere else.

That seems about to change:

The Operative is heading for U.S. movie screens after Vertical Entertainment acquired North American rights to the spy thriller toplined by Diane Kruger, Martin Freeman and Cas Anvar. A third-quarter 2019 release is being eyed for the pic....

 

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Has it really been six months since we had an updated list of Martin Freeman's works-in-progress?  (Though there's not much new to say, I'm afraid.)

The Operative (spy movie):  IMDb lists a French release date of 17 July 2019, but nothing further.  I wonder if that might be another film festival?

Breeders (comedy series):  IMDb still lists it as in post-production.

Ode to Joy (comedy movie):  Has been shown at a film festival, but still no general release date.

A Confession (6-episode police drama series):  Now in post-production, announced for this year (on British ITV).

A Christmas Carol ("a radical retelling," animation):  IMDb still lists it as in post-production (though the page hasn't been updated since last October).

I'm seeing a number of oddities on IMDb.  For example, on some of the above productions, MF is listed only in "Full Cast" (i.e., not in the part that shows on the production's main page), below people playing such characters as "guard" and "receptionist," even though he's clearly one of the main players.  And as noted, some of the pages haven't been updated for a long time (though that could pf course be because nothing new has been announced).  I do realize that IMDb is user-maintained, but I seem to recall it working better in the past.

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According to this site, Martin Freeman has recently been signed to play the producer in a dramatic film about the behind-the-scenes politics that finally got the 1938 radio play The War of the Worlds on the air.  Another site announced the director last year, but I've found no other internet buzz about the project.  Odd.

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This was an interesting read.  I’ll watch this show if it’s made available to American viewers.

Martin Freeman: ‘Playing this role nearly broke me.’

 

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It's "coming to ITV this September," and the Region 2 DVD can already be pre-ordered from Amazon (UK); they will also deliver to the US (though you'll need a region-free player).  I don't yet see it on Amazon (US).

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Yeah, unfortunately I don't have a region-free player.  I'll probably have to wait and hope it comes to a streaming service.

 

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A brand-new interview with Martin Freeman has a good bit on his experience filming Ode to Joy (and by the way, his character is from Brooklyn, so that's presumably another accent added to his repertoire), then touches briefly on the Black Panther series (he assumes he'll be in the next one, whenever that is) and Sherlock (more or less ditto), and ends with a discussion of Breeders.

And naturally all the sites that quote that interview seem to be focusing on those two little bits in the middle.   :P

By the way, if you're looking for The Operative in theaters, be aware that there's another movie with exactly the same title, and that's the one currently coming up on Fandango and such sites.  The one you're presumably looking for is, however, available for streaming on Amazon.  Oh, darn -- according to IMDb, MF's Operative opened in the US (and a few other countries) on August 2 for a limited run.  *sigh*  Waiting for the DVD, I guess.

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The Operative now has some Amazon reviews, decidedly mixed.  Nearly half love it , but an equal number hate it.  Several people in each camp comment on the ending being unusual, but again, some find it riveting while others find it disappointing.

*******

Ode to Joy is also available for Amazon streaming, and its reviews are considerably more positive.

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Looks pretty interesting to me. I find most reviews aren't very helpful anyway. The only reviewer I remember trusting was Gary Arnold, simply because his taste in movies matched mine. :rolleyes: 

 

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On 9/25/2019 at 6:29 PM, Arcadia said:

I find most reviews aren't very helpful anyway.

If you mean professional reviews, I agree.  I used to like the ones in the New Yorker, but that was ages ago, and there's surely someone else doing them by now -- plus my tastes have changed.

But what I linked to was the Amazon reviews, which I often find helpful.  Sometimes there'll be an individual review that points out something I find very relevant (pro or con), but more often I find it helpful to see why some people really, really DON'T like it and also why some people really, really DO like it, and then decide which reviews sound more like something I might have written about some hypothetical movie.

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Oh, I've gotten even more cynical about "the people's" reviews. Seems like most of them have an axe to grind and that's about it. I was recently glancing through some reviews of a recording I like … oh, the bile being spewed by people who didn't like it! And even the ones who did … I have no reason to believe they had any clue what they're talking about. So I'd rather read a professional reviewer, to be honest … that is, if they give any indication they've actually got some knowledge of the subject. I read a couple of reviews of the same recording in Rolling Stone, and although their opinions didn't match mine, at least they demonstrated they actually knew more than I did about the topic. (Although I usually find Rolling Stone reviewers too puffed up for their own good.)

What I liked about Gary Arnold was, he made it clear what his standards were, and which technical/artistic/etc. aspects of the movie matched (or didn't) his tastes. The guy who replaced him seemed to think his only job was to see how many complaints and/or clever put downs he could come up with, and it seems to me that's the style more popularly followed on Amazon, etc.

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I generally read a *lot* of the Amazon reviews before deciding what to gather from them.  (Obviously one cannot simply check the star rating!)  But I usually find them helpful in aggregate, perhaps because I'm not as concerned about the artistic/technical aspects as I am about the simple question "Am I likely to enjoy watching this movie?"  And that's more likely to hinge on how well it's written/directed/acted, how relatable the characters are, and how judicious the blend of drama and humor is.

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13 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I'm not as concerned about the artistic/technical aspects as I am about the simple question "Am I likely to enjoy watching this movie?"  And that's more likely to hinge on how well it's written/directed/acted, how relatable the characters are, and how judicious the blend of drama and humor is.

I suspect we're talking about basically the same thing … writing/acting/directing/etc. is, to me, pretty much the whole of the artistic aspect. And we all perceive art so differently, it's really hard to define, I think, which elements are going to appeal to whom. Which is as it should be, perhaps. I've often wondered what's the point of critics anyway, particularly when they heap praise on things I positively can't abide. :smile: But of course, when they praise something I like, I think they're brilliant. :D 

I think on the whole I mostly rely on my previous experience with the makers/performers/whoever. E.g., I'm far more likely to see a film directed by Steven Spielberg than I am to see one directed by Roland Emmerich, regardless of how well or poorly they're reviewed.

I don't operate in a complete information vacuum, though; I remember I became aware of Sherlock, for example, because of all the online "buzz" about it. But I only decided to give it a try when I learned Martin Freeman was in it, and I knew I liked his performance in "Hitchhikers". (Although I rather hated the movie itself.) But I suppose I would have never gotten that far if there hadn't been so much critical acclaim (mostly from fans, in this case) in the first place.

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On 9/27/2019 at 5:37 PM, Arcadia said:

... he made it clear what his standards were, and which technical/artistic/etc. aspects of the movie matched (or didn't) his tastes.

 

8 hours ago, Arcadia said:

... writing/acting/directing/etc. is, to me, pretty much the whole of the artistic aspect.

 

Oh, OK.  Judging by that first quote and by some things you've said in the past, I thought you might be talking about stuff like set decoration and cinematography.  I can certainly appreciate both of those, but (as with the musical score) I don't tend to notice them unless either they're pretty bad or else I've already seen the movie seventeen times.

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On 9/28/2019 at 9:33 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

stuff like set decoration and cinematography.

That too, but I sort of lump that in with the directing, I think. I think it's the director's responsibility to make sure the set decorator is reflecting the director's vision for the movie, for instance. But none of it is really cut and dried.

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