The Man in the High Castle

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Felstaff
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The Man in the High Castle

Postby Felstaff » Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:27 pm UTC

Those of you who eschew Netflix 'n' Chill for Amazon Prime and Commitment would most likely have watched The Man in the High Castle by now. As a fan of the book, and of Philip K. Dick in general, I feel they have spent their extravagant money wisely on this adaptation, as the obviously stratospheric production values are impressive--almost as impressive as Rufus Sewell's shoe-in for the "Most Complex Evil Villain Ever" award.

And what a Nazi! In any Hollywood film ever, a former concentration camp overseer who admits to being a tyrannical monster, betrayer and racial supremacist who ends every sentence with Heil Hitler would be a stock one-dimensional EvilGuy who would be monster-ised from the word go, yet... the writers (very boldly) gave him a life, a family (who he dearly cares for), an (albeit skewed) moral compass and essentially made him an ugly, repulsive human being, rather than a cartoon boogeyman monster. In other words, Obergruppenführer John Smith could very well have been (or even be) an existing person, rather than a comic book pantomime Nazi. It's like finding out Hannibal Lecter reads to orphaned kittens or discovering there's a Freddy Krueger life-coaching YouTube channel.

I was not a fan of Frank Frink; even in the book. Too dithering. Juliana was the badass, as she is in the show, perfectly understated. Childan, and his fascinatingly loathsome exterior assimilation to Japanese etiquette whilst maintaining an interior racism and hatred for his oppressors, was well-executed by the Guy Who Did the Orange Adverts (in the UK). I appreciate them keeping in some of the most memorable scenes from the book, even though the TV story adds extra layers of dramatisation to the plot, which range from the exciting (Juliana & Joe in Canon City) to the middling (the involvement of the Yakuza in attaining The Grasshopper Lies Heavy). Tagomi, played by the dude who also played both Shang Tsung and Heihachi, is also excellent.

Even though the series is flawed, and the Marshall in Canon City is ridiculously comic, I love the attention to detail. Especially the fact that 1962 Berlin is modelled on Albert Speer's vision of New Berlin. I thought that was a nice touch.
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Re: The Man in the High Castle

Postby Liri » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:30 pm UTC

I finally got around to watching the first episode. The production values are way up there, but the dialogue is not. It was pretty painful, actually. It makes it hard to tell if the acting itself is bad.

Giving the second episode a shot.
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Re: The Man in the High Castle

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:19 pm UTC

For me the most painful part to watch was
Spoiler:
When a bounty hunter shoes up and the movie turns into a terrible horror movie, but when the girl knocks out the bounty hunter she runs away instead of beating him to death.


Almost as bad is the part where
Spoiler:
They use a huge stack of money to bribe the yakuza but it goes south and they murder the yakuza guys but no one grabs the fat stack of cash on the way out when it's made abundantly clear they are having money issues

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Re: The Man in the High Castle

Postby Liri » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:43 pm UTC

I've read the book, but I dunno if I should click those spoiler tags. Is it a first or second episode thing?

(dialogue was better in the second episode, I guess they got real writers once the pilot was approved)
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Re: The Man in the High Castle

Postby cephalopod9 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:29 am UTC

There hasn't been an adaptation of a Philip K Dick work that hasn't felt like it left out substantial chunks of the book in favor of something that would make a good movie. (I haven't seen Through a Scanner Darkly, yet.)
I only made it through the first episode of the show.

The things that stand out to me about the book are all these interesting explorations of identity, and post-war cultural exchange. Like the confusing racial dynamic of the American character calling the Japanese inhuman monsters for taking Americana artifacts, and traditional American food without any regard for American people. ...I'm not sure I understood the plot about making earrings.

What stood out to me about the show was "What if there were swastikas everywhere?"

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Re: The Man in the High Castle

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:45 am UTC

Liri wrote:I've read the book, but I dunno if I should click those spoiler tags. Is it a first or second episode thing?

(dialogue was better in the second episode, I guess they got real writers once the pilot was approved)


It's about stuff that happens in the middle and near the end of season 1, but really I'm railing about characters acting like idiots because the plot demands it, especially since in the first case the plot doesn't actually demand it because they get out of the situation anyway, just wasting an episode.

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Re: The Man in the High Castle

Postby Liri » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:52 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
Liri wrote:I've read the book, but I dunno if I should click those spoiler tags. Is it a first or second episode thing?

(dialogue was better in the second episode, I guess they got real writers once the pilot was approved)


It's about stuff that happens in the middle and near the end of season 1, but really I'm railing about characters acting like idiots because the plot demands it, especially since in the first case the plot doesn't actually demand it because they get out of the situation anyway, just wasting an episode.

Cool cool.

I was taken aback when I saw there were already two seasons. That's not a bad thing, seeing as there's plenty they can do with the reality PKD set up.
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Re: The Man in the High Castle

Postby Liri » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:50 am UTC

Blech. All the SF scenes with Frank and his big-eared bud are painful to watch.

Where do I recognize the actor who plays Frank from?
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Re: The Man in the High Castle

Postby Thesh » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:30 am UTC

Hellboy is the only thing I've seen him in.
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A vast and cold indifferent being. A grey clad mass without a heart.

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Re: The Man in the High Castle

Postby Liri » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:24 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Hellboy is the only thing I've seen him in.

YES
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