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The official Black Mirror thread (spoilers!)
Good man.
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The permutations are pretty crazy. Even the cereal choice comes back!

Sugar Puffs has the better ad.

My overall impressions are that this is really, really cool. And the execution and the details are great, really impressive, makes me wonder if Brooker and Slade have some decapitated heads lying on their desks. The moments of meta humor are also quite fun.

I've already burned quite a lot of time on it and it still feels like I haven't found the path that pushes through to a third act. If I've pretty much exhausted the forward possibilities of the story then I guess I'm a little disappointed in that aspect because it does feel cut short--and yet it also feels like the movie/game keeps hinting that there's more and to "try again," so I imagine I will be giving this another run-through very soon from the beginning. Whatever path I was on last time had me in loops. Each with interesting details and endings but yeah, I think doing a new run through might help me avoid whatever knot I tied at the end there. There were a couple options from my first run through that I never got back to on the second go, so I have to wonder if there isn't a longer path in there somewhere.

Very addictive but at a certain point you do weary of watching the same scenes over again, even in there truncated versions. The interface works great but it is hard to skip around too much without losing yourself. Now excuse me while I dump some tea on my TV.

P.S. Not entirely satisfying but the "O Superman" ending is quite beautiful. You'll know it when you see it.
the empire never ended
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I'd be surprised if you didn't explore it all wasp. It is ultimately an unsatisfying story in itself, but the presentation helps a lot.

I've been through it a bunch of times, hoping there was a secret ending (trying different combinations in the... phone section), but some handy redditor broke into the code and pulled out the pathways to the scenes (much like a DVD menu basically). There are five main endings (in which the game is released in some form) and thirteen in total including all the random little traps and dead ends in the narrative (and the O Superman ending).

If you got the post credits scene, you probably played it out as much as you could.
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You have to laugh at the path that leads to the ending with the most successful version of the game.

Brooker, you sick bastard.
the empire never ended
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(12-28-2018, 05:59 PM)wasp Wrote: Brooker, you sick bastard.

"Programmer confesses as dad found in 8 bits."

I also appreciated the latest news bite on former prime minister Michael Callow (love that these updates are becoming a thing). I thought this was very good. Clever, fun, and one hell of a nostalgia trip for the roughly 15% of the audience who will get all the references. Got a kick out of seeing Jetpac, Wanted: Monty Mole, Viz, Crash Magazine, Wimpy burger, etcetc mentioned in such a high profile project. I think I got all the endings in one sitting.

Also, I had the subtitles on and during that scene where the Speccy loading sound plays, the noise was described as "modem connecting to phone line" lol
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Seemingly you can feed the oh so familiar noise (to those of us who had C64's and Spectrums) into a Spectrum Emulator and it spits out a QR code. No idea how true it is of course, but the website it churns out is this one:

https://tuckersoft.net/ealing20541/

(there's a copy of Nohzdyve on there if you click around a bit btw, you'll need a Speccy Emulator)
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If nothing else, "Bandersnatch" is a highly amusing-- if a little fucking maddening-- experiment.

A dozen or so loops aside, I've hit the credits, and what seems like a definite ending, twice. First time round, I handed the control off to my wife, and she managed to find what I'd guess is the fluffiest ending (still a downer) possible and called it a night.

Then I went from the beginning and ended up with the most successful release of the game and the modern-day post-credits sequence... which then gives you a loop back into the story. I guess that's a definite ending? I dunno-- I'm calling it a night too on this.

The whole thing's really well-done though, with a lot of nifty metatextual gags along the way. You basically can't compare it to another episode of this (or any other, for that matter) show. But very entertaining.
Our sanitariums are full of men who think they're Napoleon... Or God.
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It was pretty fun at first. The gf and I initially wanted to try for as many endings and paths as possible but it was getting crazy backing up to a certain point and forgetting what happened before in a that path and why people were acting the way they were. Just had to call it after the meta film crew ending.
"You want a vision of the future?Imagine a boot stomping on a human face.....forever."
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Kick Dad In The Balls ending is my one true ending. Namaste.

I greatly enjoyed that, it pressed all my 80s childhood buttons. Bought so many CYOAs from my local WH Smiths. And I completely lost it at the options you get when poor Stefan asks who’s doing this.
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Well, apparently there are 5 hours of footage contained with this thing, millions of possible path permutations, 5 main endings but 13 different variations depending on which paths you took, and Netflix had to develop a couple new programs just in order to make the thing work the way it does. I mean, it sounds like a logistical nightmare that might have threatened to drive its creators as mad as Stefan in his darkest timeline, ha. Thinking about what every stage of production must have been like--to plan this, and to make sure you got all the necessary footage, and then the editing, dear Lord...

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-f...ie-1171496

It's certainly true that--despite the ways in which it tries to tie its own unsatisfying nature into a sort of meta commentary on the illusion of free will--it does feel a tad disappointing and abrupt in terms of the sort of massive wall of choice loops you hit at about 30 minutes in with about 3 of the main 5 endings essentially just being variations on each other. I did really appreciate the "O Superman" ending and the Pearl ending, though, and I'm glad I spent enough time with it to find those (and the Netflix endings, while atom-bombing the 4th wall, are fun). However, yeah, it would have been great if they could have given you at least one path through that wall to have another 10 minutes or so of forward narrative, even if they could only give you a couple closed loop choices and maybe, like, one split ending in that final thread. Just feels like there was some build up to a last act that never comes, no matter how you try to get to it--and the script built in a thematic excuse for that but it doesn't change that it feels like there's a good bit of unrealized potential here.

But now that Netflix/Brooker have the foundation in place, maybe they'll do a "patch" version or a Bandersnatch 2 sometime in the future that can kind of go those lengths to give a more fleshed-out and complete narrative. That Hollywood Reporter article states that Netflix has already started talking to some other creators about whether they'd be interested in doing this sort of interactive film thing. Feels like something where you're almost going to need a creator like Brooker to even half pull it off, but who knows, maybe Brooker's pioneering of some of this stuff with Netflix will help ease other creators into the process and start them with some of the tools necessary to make it work.

I had a lot of fun with it so I hope we get more content that builds on this foundation. There were moments where I was truly entranced by this intersection of film with algorithm (my goodness, the path-specific "return to movie" montages) and I probably watched the aftermath of Tangerine Dream vs. Tomita eight times just to pick up on the very subtle differences in the following scenes (I mentioned this earlier but pick Tangerine Dream and he says "thank you" to the store clerk in a shot that looks virtually identical to the shot in the Tomita path). When you realize how these changes continue and coalesce as you loop your paths in different ways, man, yeah. I'd love to see more like this.
the empire never ended
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I read that hollywoodreporter article earlier, it's quite a bit of promotional nonsense. You can crawl the pathways via JavaScript on the Netflix website and extract all 250 video segments quite easily. Millions of pathways is a bit of an exagerration there. I've seen a Python script output that shows the entire map between segments and it's a complete mess, but there can't be more than a thousand interconnections. I mean, if every segment was linked to every other segment, that would still only be 62,500 pathways.

I suppose you could argue that there are a million ways to see the story, but it loops around on itself so much, that's also kinda daft. That would strictly only be 20 yes/no decisions, but to truly claim that, each decision would have to link to a completely new video segment that could only be accessed via that route.

Still, I can see why Netflix would be interested in this. At the moment, the pirated versions of Bandersnatch just follow the default 'no decision' route (which hits every major plot point). Something more complex would be quite difficult and fiddly to pirate.
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(12-30-2018, 11:46 PM)flint Wrote: I read that hollywoodreporter article earlier, it's quite a bit of promotional nonsense. You can crawl the pathways via JavaScript on the Netflix website and extract all 250 video segments quite easily. Millions of pathways is a bit of an exagerration there. I've seen a Python script output that shows the entire map between segments and it's a complete mess, but there can't be more than a thousand interconnections. I mean, if every segment was linked to every other segment, that would still only be 62,500 pathways.

I suppose you could argue that there are a million ways to see the story, but it loops around on itself so much, that's also kinda daft. That would strictly only be 20 yes/no decisions, but to truly claim that, each decision would have to link to a completely new video segment that could only be accessed via that route.

Still, I can see why Netflix would be interested in this. At the moment, the pirated versions of Bandersnatch just follow the default 'no decision' route (which hits every major plot point). Something more complex would be quite difficult and fiddly to pirate.

Yeah, for some people reading that they might think the "permutations" thing is something a lot more than what it is. I think, as you said, maybe it would only relate to play-throughs where you constantly re-loop through the different decisions.

That said, I was still impressed by what they were able to pull off with this thing given that it is, in some ways, a bit of a prototype. While it does get very repetitive (inevitably, given how it is constructed) and its limitations quickly become apparent, I was still impressed by the relative smoothness and pace of the experience and there were legitimately several moments where I was kind of blown away by the subtle differences between certain paths and then the way the experience recognizes its own variations (those path-sensitive "last time, in Bandersnatch" montages, man). And while it's a pretty short path, I have to say that I did like the core narrative that ends up at "O Superman"--kind of wish that had been one of the longest paths as opposed to one of the shortest.

The Pearl ending follows through more on the different story threads and the meta nature of the whole thing, so I thought that was the second most satisfying ending out of a bunch of endings that are sort of intentionally unsatisfying and meant to loop you back through this sort of Sisyphean maze that Brooker set up to taunt you--but, partly as a a result of its own extremely meta nature, the Pearl ending lacks in any sort of emotional resonance. Through just a few key aesthetic choices that "O Superman" ending manages to make something moving and bittersweet out of a pretty brief and minimal plot and an ending that could have been really bleak. It feels like the one time that Brooker allows some sort of "out," and there is a kind of beautiful peace about it. Again, if "O Superman" had been set up at the end of one of the longer story paths (if you can look at it that way--it could take you a long time to get to "O Superman" depending on what choices you make), it might have done a lot for my final estimation of this as a narrative experience.
the empire never ended
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This article gets it:

SPOILER WARNING

https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-hidden-beaut...1831369911
the empire never ended
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(12-31-2018, 05:42 PM)wasp Wrote: This article gets it:

SPOILER WARNING

https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-hidden-beaut...1831369911

My mom passed away almost 10 years ago.  As she was fighting cancer and it kept getting worse and worse, I remember wishing that something like a meteor would hit our house when we were there so that my mom, dad, and I could "go" together and no one would be left with the pain of losing the others.  This ending really clicked for me because I can see myself making the same choice.
I think these screen captures and giant (Dildi? Is there a plural?) are just the next step in the JJ Abrams online adventure series. Very slyly played, Bitches Leave.-Tom Fuchs
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Whoa, man. Thanks for sharing. And sorry you had to go through that.
the empire never ended
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Thanks Wasp.  It's something that's always with you and there are certain moments that bring it back.  I certainly wasn't expecting it from a choose your own adventure tv show but I guess that's what makes the episode so powerful.  At least for me.
I think these screen captures and giant (Dildi? Is there a plural?) are just the next step in the JJ Abrams online adventure series. Very slyly played, Bitches Leave.-Tom Fuchs
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This is coming back on June 5th! That's good.

It's only three episodes. That's bad. 

Holy shit, that cast. That's good!

Could we get three movie-length episodes instead of six hour longs? We'll see



home taping is killing music
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The smart phone hater spoke to me--I still roll with a flip phone, yes, I am that guy--but otherwise I wasn't exactly thrilled by this trailer (cool song, doe).

I don't really care if it's only three episodes as long as they are well-developed and good. If it's a quality control move, then I heartily approve of "less content but good content" over "so-so filler." It's not like we don't already have too much stuff to watch, and too many mediocre episodes of good shows to wade through.

But if it's just cuz they were too lazy to give us more than 3, boo.
the empire never ended
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I mean, sure, I'm here for Miley Cyrus as evil Siri.
home taping is killing music
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Okay... just finished up the three from the new season. Initial non-spoilery thoughts:

Striking Vipers:

This does do some interesting things, but it's really all over the place with regards to what it's interested in talking about. Falcon handles himself well enough, but I felt the core theme of the story is pretty current and yet they didn't quite know what they wanted to say about it. Worth a watch.

Smithereens:

Low budget, British episode. WAYYYYY too long. Andrew Scott gives a great performance, but honestly, he's the only one actually doing anything anyway. Nothing it says is exceptionally groundbreaking or shocking. It's all rather... obvious. The very final thing it does... ALMOST saves it, got a smirk out of me... but it takes way too long to get there... the story is really really slight.

Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too:

This is the Miley Cyrus one.

This is also going up there as one my favourite Black Mirrors. It's quite light and caper-ish, but there are some interesting and current themes being explored, some funny moments and just, well wow. Really enjoyed this one! And Miley Cyrus is not just tolerable, she's actually pretty good in her dual role. Loved the music choices as well, to say more spoils the fun.
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The original two seasons prior to the move to Netflix were only three episodes each. Could be a good thing, really.
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Reviews of Season 5 are pretty rough.

https://www.indiewire.com/2019/06/miley-...202147521/

The trailers have been pretty underwhelming so I can't say I'm surprised.
the empire never ended
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Well I enjoyed at least one of the episodes! Though my review/comments have been lost to the ravages of time and the previous page. And I thought the Cyrus episode was the best, and actually one of the best they've done full stop. Fifth worst? Fuck that.

I've read positive reviews as well, here:

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio...iley-cyrus
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Crikey! Someone else watch this already and tell me how wrong I am. The suspense of waiting for my opinions to be inevitably crushed and ridiculed is killing me!
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Holy shit have the first two episodes been bad.

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I've only seen the first episode which I like, though I don't think you're the only one whose commented on the current quality of BM episodes.

I get that people like how mean and cruel earlier episodes are, but I think it was simply inevitable that the series would become more softer and more introspective about technology than another episode in which everyone dies because TECHNOLOGY BAD!
"Why did she do it?"
"Why are you the fucking Police?"

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(06-17-2019, 08:53 AM)ska oreo Wrote: I've only seen the first episode which I like, though I don't think you're the only one whose commented on the current quality of BM episodes.  

I get that people like how mean and cruel earlier episodes are, but I think it was simply inevitable that the series would become more softer and more introspective about technology than another episode in which everyone dies because TECHNOLOGY BAD!

Episode One:  Kind of intriguing, I guess.  The story could have been told in 25-30 minutes. Interesting premise that went nowhere.  I thought things would spiral out of control or we'd explore the tech in some unexpected way, but nope.  Didn't happen.  The hour plus running time was absolutely unwarranted.  One of the hallmarks of Black Mirror is that what you're watching is a twisted vision of what seems plausible; nothing about the episode seemed particularly plausible.  If that tech existed, very few people would want a fighting game where you get hurt, it would be 99% sex simulations.  I was curious to see where the characters would go after the first encounter, but it became boring and repetitive super-fast.  

Episode Two:  Zzzzzzzzz..............I turned it off 30-40 minutes in.  Maybe it got better.  I predicted the ending roughly 30 minutes in, was so bored after a while I looked up to confirm if my guess was correct, and yup: it's the trite, boomer-esque moralizing about new technology that I also hated in Incredibles 2.  Turned it off at that point.  

Episode Three:  Haven't watched yet.  Kind of dreading it.  Maybe I'll check out Twilight Zone first, instead.

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So, episode 3 (despite it being 15-25 minutes too long) was far and away the best of this season. But, it still wasn't all that great.

I thought it had some pretty interesting things to say about the music industry and music production in general, but nothing particularly earth-shattering or fresh. Just cool to see a sci-fi twist on the "exploitation of the artist" phenomenon that's been an epidemic in the modern world for many decades now.

Miley was fine. Not sure why she's getting so much hate.

I thought it was a major, major misstep for the Miley-bot to not have ANY indication of body horror or existential terror once the "brain limiter" was removed. I mean, she's stuck in this eight inch tall plastic widget ... can she spare a few moments to be terrified? The shot of it on the bar at the end all punk-decked-out was hysterical.

I had no idea that the blonde from Far From Home (the one that we're supposed to believe falls for Parker's buddy ... a plot event I find more unbelievable than anything else that has ever happened in the MCU) was the lead. She was great! I said it in the Far From Home thread, she's going to be a star. The dancing sequence, even though I think it was needless and should have been cut, was excruciating to watch ... great job by the actress.

Only one episode that I mildly enjoyed out of three ... If this had been the first season I doubt I would have continued watching. Bloating, often-boring, premises that generally went nowhere ... ugh.

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That girl is terrific in The Nice Guys, playing Ryan Gosling's daughter. It's the kind of kid performance you watch several years later and think, oh, no wonder she became a huge star.
Brigadier Cousins on PSN
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(07-23-2019, 05:03 AM)arjen rudd Wrote: That girl is terrific in The Nice Guys, playing Ryan Gosling's daughter. It's the kind of kid performance you watch several years later and think, oh, no wonder she became a huge star.

100% agree.

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