A Thread to discuss Too Old to Die Young, an Amazon series from Nicolas Winding Refn

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

This looks bonkers!


DJI, Friday, 5 April 2019 17:41 (three years ago) link

apparently the episodes are all 90 mins or some ungodly length?

Simon H., Friday, 5 April 2019 17:46 (three years ago) link

Worked so well for that Romanoffs bollocks

And according to some websites, there were “sexcapades.” (James Morrison), Thursday, 11 April 2019 02:46 (three years ago) link

heard an interview w/ the Brube a couple of months ago where he said he’d been freaked out that Refn was shooting the scripts as 90 min episodes, but then he saw a few & got it

blokes you can't rust (sic), Thursday, 11 April 2019 07:55 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

Watched the first two over the weekend. There's a definite Twin Peaks vibe with the unsettling and drawn out scenes but unsure what to make it of it so far.

First episode was excellent but second was a bit... mundane, despite some of the graphic violence. Looked beautiful though.

groovypanda, Monday, 17 June 2019 07:25 (three years ago) link

Watched the first one (not sure how to interpret yet). Anyone here go the distance?

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 18 June 2019 22:09 (three years ago) link

Ha! I started this thread but didn't even realize it was out yet. Guess I'll have to check it out...

DJI, Tuesday, 18 June 2019 22:39 (three years ago) link

I've watched the third now too and starting to think it's style over substance.

However, I know that the 4th & 5th episodes were the ones he took to Cannes so maybe it will pick up.

groovypanda, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 08:26 (three years ago) link

Finished episode 2 last night and I’m digging it. I had read that Refn’s intent was to make a show where the pace slowly picks up speed, though it’s still extremely slow.

btw William Baldwin wtf

omar little, Friday, 21 June 2019 16:17 (three years ago) link

three months pass...

four episodes in this is....somehow deeply compelling and often hilarious? the longueurs, over the course of the very long episodes, often make it feel like...i dunno...ambient television or something. it's the kinda show where you can look at your phone or go the bathroom and not even need to bother with pausing it. feels like a genuinely novel approach to the medium.

ryan, Saturday, 5 October 2019 19:00 (two years ago) link

yeah I ended up thinking this was one of the best things he's done, and also a hilarious way to piss away Amazon's money

Simon H., Saturday, 5 October 2019 19:25 (two years ago) link

i posted these on the Amazon thread:

I'm five episodes in now and I think it's really strong. the manner in which the five leads are all operating in vv different ways on paths of revenge for those who have been wronged is pretty interesting and the whole series being specifically from the very first scene about the violent effects of broken and/or evil men is pretty timely to say the least.

I saw someone online refer to episode 2 as basically Tarkovsky doing "Narcos" and that seems pretty otm, i mean obv not Tarkovsky-level but miles better than any of the bullshit in Narcos. Points to the show for clearly being super contemptuous of the police dept -- i love the Wolf of Wall Street style of Hart Bochner's homicide squad.

William Baldwin is insane in this. and James Urbaniak's villain in episode 5 was one of the most despicable creations I've seen in a long time. Miles Teller makes for a better blank slate than Ryan Gosling.

― omar little, Thursday, June 27, 2019 12:05 PM (three months ago) bookmarkflaglink

I finished Too Old To Die Young, which for all its promotion may as well have not even existed. I’m still marinating a bit on its themes but as a show that is at least partially devoted to the fascism of the police and features one character whose purpose seems to be visiting unholy vengeance upon men who hurt women, i appreciated it. It was extremely slow in a way that might try the patience of some (I do think the pace was a legitimate artistic choice and it didn’t bother me) and it almost literally lost the plot at the end but it had some incredible moments and I’m amazed that Amazon went anywhere near it. It was very on the nose but also just refreshing in that sense, and another legitimate choice.

― omar little, Friday, August 2, 2019 1:30 PM (two months ago) bookmarkflaglink

you'd imagine it would work well as a bit of prestige for Amazon, too. I recognize that any show being touted as "groundbreaking" needs to prove it, and yet i think it really did some interesting shit. i'm not really a Refn apologist per se but this was the type of programming i would like to see more of on streaming, which should have more room for such experimentation.

I suspect the content was too much for the corporate suits. I mean the extreme anti-cop stuff and the sexual content, i can see some cowards in the board room insisting that they completely ignore its existence. I'm sure they were perfectly cool w/the violence.

― omar little, Friday, August 2, 2019 3:40 PM (two months ago) bookmarkflaglink

i think episodes 5 & 8 were very much peak Refn. i *almost* want to call 5 a masterpiece. it really goes some places.

― omar little, Tuesday, August 6, 2019 1:29 PM (one month ago) bookmarkflaglink

omar little, Saturday, 5 October 2019 20:08 (two years ago) link

thanks for posting that. I can't really find any good writing about this online...though I did manage to spoil a few things for myself.

ryan, Saturday, 5 October 2019 22:29 (two years ago) link

I’ve watched 5 of these today in a row and I’m not sure it’s good for my mental state, but wow, this is something.

I’m surprised this came and went without almost any notice at all, this is definitely Twin Peaks S3 level “auteur given the keys to the car” bold and uncompromising. And good. I think. Still a lot to go and I haven’t fully digested, but it’s utterly hypnotic.

circa1916, Sunday, 6 October 2019 04:14 (two years ago) link

Thanks ilx, did not know this existed but it seems very good

calstars, Sunday, 6 October 2019 04:44 (two years ago) link

I mean same, I remember seeing tepid reviews for it months ago (but I think those were mostly based on two episodes from the middle of the season released as stand-alones for festival stuff) and that kept me off of it. Seeing this thread today and noticing ilxors whose taste I appreciate saying good things is what made me check it out.

Got mixed feelings on Refn but this seems like an achievement of some kind. Only halfway through though.

circa1916, Sunday, 6 October 2019 05:07 (two years ago) link

the scene at the very end of episode 4, i think, in the diner, with teller and and hawkes...i can't remember how it goes but it's something like "you got time?" long pause..."no i got nowhere to be"...long pause..."I got time too" and then loooong pause before ending credits. it made me laugh out loud. I think the slowness probably reads as pretentious to most but it really feels like it's doing something interesting with tension and release--a kind of slack-jawed dread-horror at things...the constant apocalypticism on the radio...end of empire type stuff.

ryan, Sunday, 6 October 2019 06:28 (two years ago) link

something about the light and space and emptiness of LA and the southwest is captured in a way that perhaps only a european aesthete could capture, but it rings true to me.

ryan, Sunday, 6 October 2019 06:29 (two years ago) link

There’s pitch black absurdist comedy underlying a lot of this, yeah. Easily missed.

I’m really fascinated by the pacing of this thing. I think episode two would bolt most people straight out. Read up thread that Refn intentionally built it in a way to pick up steam as it progressed, but have to think that one episode might’ve shed half the audience who would’ve been into this as a whole.

circa1916, Sunday, 6 October 2019 07:11 (two years ago) link

I loved the scene with the 17 yr old in the bar outside of her mother’s memorial. The bleeding shift in perspective and focus. One of the things that’s so impressive about this is the consistent aesthetic hold maintained throughout.

circa1916, Sunday, 6 October 2019 07:15 (two years ago) link

holy smokes that car chase in ep 5

i’d love to see the script for this just to see how much Refn is fucking with it.

ryan, Sunday, 6 October 2019 19:20 (two years ago) link

this show leads you to have thoughts like "miles teller is good at standing still"

ryan, Sunday, 6 October 2019 19:38 (two years ago) link

I paused this for a bathroom break and came back and unpaused it and thought my connection froze up, but nope, just people standing real still in silence.

circa1916, Sunday, 6 October 2019 20:13 (two years ago) link

There really aren’t too many good pieces on this. Most of the reviews I’ve read have been snarky negative pieces from sub-A.V. club types who don’t seem willing to engage with it on its own terms; lots of “LOL nothing happens, style over substance” opinions which I guess just tells me even more than before the very specific pace at which streaming-era TV is supposed to move allows no room for negotiation and that when a show arrives with some actual fervent opinions about America and violence they don’t even register (not that this hasn’t always been somewhat the case with film and TV, cf ppl taking Starship Troopers at face value etc etc). Anyway this is a very admirable bit of filmmaking, imperfect as it is.

omar little, Sunday, 6 October 2019 20:40 (two years ago) link

So this kinda crapped out in the end. I don’t know. I feel like if it was cut slightly differently it would’ve worked beautifully as a self contained thing. As it is it feels like “Just wait for Season 2!”

circa1916, Saturday, 12 October 2019 08:23 (two years ago) link

Still gotta watch 8-10, but won’t be able to until later next week. Very curious how it’s gonna end.

ryan, Saturday, 12 October 2019 15:12 (two years ago) link

I am so down for this


Simon H., Saturday, 12 October 2019 16:20 (two years ago) link

Aw shit, yeah. That is perfect material for him.

circa1916, Saturday, 12 October 2019 23:50 (two years ago) link

don’t sleep on John Hyams being involved (Universal Soldier films Regeneration and Day of Reckoning)

omar little, Saturday, 12 October 2019 23:57 (two years ago) link

Are they... actually good?

circa1916, Sunday, 13 October 2019 00:01 (two years ago) link

oh yes

omar little, Sunday, 13 October 2019 00:04 (two years ago) link


Simon H., Sunday, 13 October 2019 00:08 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

First episode was riveting. The second took me several tries to get through; but I'm glad I stuck with it, because it starts to get really good immediately after that. I'm six episodes in now, and really digging the pacing.

There was a time when I thought it would be kind of cool if Jesus's and Martin's stories turned out to have zero interaction after the first episode. I like that the show has the confidence to stop following important characters entirely for several episodes at a time, where a conventional television drama would be checking in with them regularly to remind the audience exactly how many balls are in the air. And then, because the show's not constantly dangling the prospect of converging storylines in front of my face, it's incredibly arresting when something happens like ***!!!WARNING!!! MAJOR EP. 5 & 6 SPOILERS AHEAD* ** *** **** ***** ****** ********* Yaritza meeting Janey at the house party ******* ********END SPOILERS***

I get why people would want to compare it with Twin Peaks -- there is a family resemblance in some of the jarring tonal shifts -- but Refn (and Brubaker, I guess?) have none of Lynch's interest in populating the world with dream symbols. (I had this thought during the aforementioned house party sequence, when a shot tracking down a hallway with a statue posed at the far end reminded me of Agent Cooper's exploring the Black Lodge in the finale; and I thought of all the associations and the mystique which the series had built, up to that point, around both the name and the image of that place.)

handsome boy modelling software (bernard snowy), Monday, 25 November 2019 00:01 (two years ago) link

four months pass...

So this kinda crapped out in the end. I don’t know. I feel like if it was cut slightly differently it would’ve worked beautifully as a self contained thing. As it is it feels like “Just wait for Season 2!”

― circa1916, Saturday, October 12, 2019 4:23 AM (six months ago) bookmarkflaglink

there will be no season 2; amazon announced as much a while back. the end is the end.

which is probably good but also madly infuriating to many, i'm sure. i suppose if you view it not as martin's or jesus's story, but as yaritza's - which i think it definitely is - the ending makes somewhat more sense, because you know based on her final scenes that she's probably going to take over the cartel and repurpose it for her own priestessly purposes.

started rewatching it recently, and, well, it rules

blame it on the modelo (slothroprhymes), Wednesday, 22 April 2020 17:36 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

been in a john hawkes mood having just watched small town crime and started this. finished ep 3 last night. skipped some spoilery stuff above, but the "good at standing still" has me chuckling in agreement. i couldn't decide if miles was super wooden or maybe the most sinister guy ever. leaning hard on sinister now. plus the spitting. really enjoying the pacing, the colors, everything really. and billy baldwin. hoo boy. his introductory scene. one recap i read called it a "vocal tic." it's surely straight up coke drip for days. doesn't unnerve miles at all of course.

in ep 3 the lady fell asleep watching night tide so i went "hey! night tide!" cuz i'd watched and loved it within the last year. i looked at the imdb trivia for it and here's this bit:

"The film's original negative is owned by Nicolas Winding Refn."

andrew m., Tuesday, 8 June 2021 14:54 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

I'm taking the plunge now, three episodes in. It's really beautiful and for as many scenes that I think go on a bit too long I think it's amazingly well controlled to create an atmosphere. I wonder how the actors were directed to have the right length of pauses and stillness because I doubt that was all in the script. There's been brief moments where things look similar to cgi, but I think it's something about the cameras.

That guy asking Teller to take a picture for his daughter and then doing that really nice smile was funny. Jena Malone has an anime face (in a good way).

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 22 September 2022 19:12 (one week ago) link

Finished it.

I've never felt myself sink into slow extended scenes quite like this, it didn't always work for me but it mostly did. So many immersive beautiful scenes.

Even the idea of further seasons (how many were planned?) is pretty daunting but I'm sad we aren't getting more. I'd like to know how much further that supernatural stuff with the purple angels would have went. I wasn't sure the mexican couple would have carried further episodes that well, a few of their scenes are the ones that tested my patience the most but the one where he's watching her while hiding half his body was great. Seems like of all the lead characters he is the biggest monster.

Mona Lisa has nothing on Teller's almost smile.

More Jena Malone in everything.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 23 September 2022 20:08 (six days ago) link

Also: so many scenes resemble the guys staring and drinking milk in A Clockwork Orange, even the music

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 24 September 2022 12:26 (five days ago) link

There should’ve never been a Season 2, really no reason to continue. Statement made.

Despite Bezos money, still kinda amazed he got the “no notes” reign he did. Closest you’ll get to Tarkovsky in the TV format.

circa1916, Saturday, 24 September 2022 13:08 (five days ago) link

There's way to tell how similar or different it would have been. I think it was going in the direction of Jena Malone vs Cristina Rodlo but increasing supernatural elements but who know?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 24 September 2022 13:58 (five days ago) link

I meant there's no way to tell

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 24 September 2022 13:59 (five days ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.