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Oscars: Worst 'Best Picture' 
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Post Re: Oscars: Worst 'Best Picture'
I have to ask, what is the vehemence over Driving Miss Daisy? I love that movie!

Sorry to bring up a sore subject, I guess, but I don't really get it.

I'd rather watch DMD over Do The Right Thing anytime. Yes, I acknowledge that Glory was overlooked that year, but that doesn't take away from DMD.

Anyone feel like rehashing this?


Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:05 pm
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Post Re: Oscars: Worst 'Best Picture'
I found it cloying, unoriginal and uninvolving. The soundtrack was obnoxious, one of my least favorite I've heard this side of The Untouchables. It gave me little reason to care for Tandy's and Freeman's blooming friendship and I was pervaded by the constant feeling that both actors deserved an infinitely better film and screenplay. By the end I couldn't have cared less and, to be frank, Crash had a better take on race relations. There are some films that should be more easily forgiven for following or creating a mainstream template but Daisy does nothing interesting and plays like todays version of cheap Oscar bait.

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Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:32 pm
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Post Re: Oscars: Worst 'Best Picture'
Threeperf35 wrote:
Anyhowz: I think that "Titanic" has more flaws than just the too simplistic story.
-The story is contrived and the pair is definitely not the best match. Rose is a woman and Jack is still a boy.
-The dialog is functional, heavy handed and poorly written.
-The entire movie looks too "pretty". The entire cast looks exactly like people from 1997. Captain Smith looks pathetic (just check photos of the real man). Something which has been done so much better in "Master and Commander". I own the DVD with the director's comment of the latter - the casting went to great lengths to avoid "contemporary faces".
Sure "Titanic" never was intended to be a documentary, but a little less gloss and squeaky clean glamour would have helped to make it look more 1912-ish instead of a Walt Disney version of the Titanic disaster.
And just a couple of minutes dedicated to the "Californian" which was nearby and didn't come to the rescue wouldn't have hurt the credibility either. Cameron really made sure to get facts (which he so thoroughly researched) out of the way of the love story. I am still convinced he did all this research and hired the top experts on the subject just to cover his ass. Now about that "book end" story about old Rose and the deep sea treasure hunter Bill Paxton (getting all misty).... what's that supposed to be? Throw-in a little Jessica Tandy in "Driving Miss Daisy" (sorry I brought that up again)?


Rose is every bit a girl as Jack is a boy. She seriously contemplated throwing herself off the rear of the ship because she felt suffocated by an impending and decidedly arranged marriage she held no passion for. Jack in the meanwhile had traveled, experienced and become self reliant. Enough to take care of her for the rest of their lives? Maybe not yet. But both are as immature as the other.
Image

Cameron's dialogue is not that bad in this film. There are some delightful lines (I like Rose's Freud slam) and if you are to criticize Cameron's dialogue as functional then those claims should be more readily leveled against Aliens, The Abyss and Terminator 2 as opposed to just Titanic and Avatar. Cameron may have never been the best cinematic conversationalist but he makes up for it with his characters.

The cast looks like people from 1997... because the film was shot in 1997. I find this a little hard to swallow as a criticism and fail to see how Peter Weir's avoidance of "contemporary faces" was an aspect that made Master & Commander a better movie. As for the rest of the film looking "pretty", the ship was the most extravagant ocean liner sailing in a time where ocean liners where the only means of travel across the ocean. You say too pretty, but 1912s version of extravagant wasn't our version of Alaska Airlines, bro. I see no Disneyitis here.

And yes, he gave virtually no reference to the Californian... what about it?

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Last edited by JJoshay on Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:56 pm
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Post Re: Oscars: Worst 'Best Picture'
JJoshay wrote:
Threeperf35 wrote:
Anyhowz: I think that "Titanic" has more flaws than just the too simplistic story.
-The story is contrived and the pair is definitely not the best match. Rose is a woman and Jack is still a boy.
-The dialog is functional, heavy handed and poorly written.
-The entire movie looks too "pretty". The entire cast looks exactly like people from 1997. Captain Smith looks pathetic (just check photos of the real man). Something which has been done so much better in "Master and Commander". I own the DVD with the director's comment of the latter - the casting went to great lengths to avoid "contemporary faces".
Sure "Titanic" never was intended to be a documentary, but a little less gloss and squeaky clean glamour would have helped to make it look more 1912-ish instead of a Walt Disney version of the Titanic disaster.
And just a couple of minutes dedicated to the "Californian" which was nearby and didn't come to the rescue wouldn't have hurt the credibility either. Cameron really made sure to get facts (which he so thoroughly researched) out of the way of the love story. I am still convinced he did all this research and hired the top experts on the subject just to cover his ass. Now about that "book end" story about old Rose and the deep sea treasure hunter Bill Paxton (getting all misty).... what's that supposed to be? Throw-in a little Jessica Tandy in "Driving Miss Daisy" (sorry I brought that up again)?


Rose is every bit a girl as Jack is a boy. She seriously contemplated throwing herself off the rear of the ship because she felt suffocated by an impending and decidedly arranged marriage she held no passion for. Jack in the meanwhile had traveled, experienced and become self reliant. Enough to take care of her for the rest of their lives? Maybe not yet. But both are as immature as the other.
Image

Cameron's dialogue is not that bad in this film. There are some delightful lines (I like Rose's Freud slam) and if you are to criticize Cameron's dialogue as functional then those claims should be more readily leveled against Aliens, The Abyss and Terminator 2 as opposed to just Titanic and Avatar. Cameron may have never been the best cinematic conversationalist but he makes up for it with his characters.

The cast looks like people from 1997... because the film was shot in 1997. I find this a little hard to swallow as a criticism and fail to see how Peter Weir's avoidance of "contemporary faces" was an aspect that made Master & Commander a better movie. As for the rest of the film looking "pretty", the ship was the most extravagant ocean liner sailing in a time where ocean liners where the only means of travel across the ocean. You say too pretty, but 1912s version of extravagant wasn't our version of Alaska Airlines, bro. I see no Disneyitis here.

And yes, he gave virtually no reference to the Californian... what about it?


Sorry but I refuse to reply in detail, because we will end up going in circles. Just one thing: please do some more research on the Californian - she could have changed history. I rest my case.
P.S. your image link is broken on my side. Can it be a hot link? If so, I'd appreciate if you could you upload the image. Thanks.


Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:59 pm
Post Re: Oscars: Worst 'Best Picture'
JJoshay wrote:
As for the rest of the film looking "pretty", the ship was the most extravagant ocean liner sailing in a time where ocean liners where the only means of travel across the ocean.


Check this: the Lusitania (sister ship of Mauretania), of the competing Cunard Line (which never lost one single human life until today), built five years earlier, much faster, swifter to respond maneuvers and much more technically advanced - and every single bit as gorgeous (oh, and the fourth funnel wasn't fake, it actually was a working funnel - as opposed to Titanic's fourth fake funnel just serving as air exhaust):


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Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:17 pm
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Post Re: Oscars: Worst 'Best Picture'
Your refusal to reply in detail is disheartening as discussion is supposed to be the heart of this forum, but whatever. Ill fix the picture once I'm home from work. Also, I went through a large Titanic obsession in my younger years and am very aware of how the Californian could have changed history, my question is how would that fifteen minute interlude have altered the movie for the better?

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Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:01 pm
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Post Re: Oscars: Worst 'Best Picture'
JJoshay wrote:
Your refusal to reply in detail is disheartening as discussion is supposed to be the heart of this forum, but whatever.?


The answer to why I won't reply in detail is in your sig. It might be lighthearted in a way, but I got your "no matter what you say, I'll find a way to prove you wrong" approach. It's fine. I'm too old to go through all this. BTW: this is no contest, but you will be surprised how much I know about Titanic and early through mid 20th century ocean liners in general. Back in 2003 I visited the Queen Mary (hotel) in Long Beach, CA and had a great day talking Titanic and ocean liners with Tom Nicolai, one of the model makers for Cameron's movie. But that doesn't mean much, does it....


Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:07 pm
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Post Re: Oscars: Worst 'Best Picture'
Titanic was a miraculous, engaging, tragic triumph of a film... when I first saw it as a 12 year old boy.

I've not seen it since, and given the backlash against it, I don't really have any desire to. I'd rather be left with the impression that I had of it when I was too young to know better.


Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:19 pm
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Post Re: Oscars: Worst 'Best Picture'
Threeperf35 wrote:
JJoshay wrote:
Your refusal to reply in detail is disheartening as discussion is supposed to be the heart of this forum, but whatever.?


The answer to why I won't reply in detail is in your sig. It might be lighthearted in a way, but I got your "no matter what you say, I'll find a way to prove you wrong" approach. It's fine. I'm too old to go through all this. BTW: this is no contest, but you will be surprised how much I know about Titanic and early through mid 20th century ocean liners in general. Back in 2003 I visited the Queen Mary (hotel) in Long Beach, CA and had a great day talking Titanic and ocean liners with Tom Nicolai, one of the model makers for Cameron's movie. But that doesn't mean much, does it....


The signature was lighthearted and intended as a joke, and never once harbored as a prevailing attitude I have attempted to bring to the forum. I have, however, changed it so as to not put off any other forum members from including me in the main purpose of this site, which I've remained very fond of: critical and analytical discussion. I sincerely hope you'll find it in yourself to respond, but I guess I'll bow out of this one for now because fuck it, I'm too old for this as well. I replaced the image and please be sure it is in relation to the paragraph proceeding it, not as a strike against any forum member.

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Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:55 pm
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Post Re: Oscars: Worst 'Best Picture'
JJoshay wrote:
I found it cloying, unoriginal and uninvolving. The soundtrack was obnoxious, one of my least favorite I've heard this side of The Untouchables. It gave me little reason to care for Tandy's and Freeman's blooming friendship and I was pervaded by the constant feeling that both actors deserved an infinitely better film and screenplay. By the end I couldn't have cared less and, to be frank, Crash had a better take on race relations. There are some films that should be more easily forgiven for following or creating a mainstream template but Daisy does nothing interesting and plays like todays version of cheap Oscar bait.


The soundtrack evades me at the moment, so I will have to go back and listen.

Tandy as the crotchety old Jewish School Teacher and her attitude towards Hoke was dead on, in my book. Her reactions to things mirrored my grandmother (a crotchety old Jewish School Teacher as well) note for note in many ways. The learning to read angle worked very well for the way their "intimate" relationship started.

I wont deny there were some cloying moments, but overall I thought it was a wonderful movie.


Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:25 am
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Post Re: Oscars: Worst 'Best Picture'
JJoshay wrote:
I sincerely hope you'll find it in yourself to respond, [...]


O.K. you got it. First of all: my overall opinion about "Titanic" is: "Darn, what could have been!", because some aspects of the movie are undeniably great.

- Well as a fan of "Victorian/Edwardian steam, rivets and clockwork" I am easily thrown out of a movie featuring these, when it looks too sweet, too clean and too cute. There is a fine line between what is authentic and what feels authentic in a given movie. Of course this is highly debatable, but I think Titanic suffers from Disney-itis (as you aptly put it).

- If the Californian (and the Carpathia, also receiving the distress signal and responding to it), had been included, there would have been a way to dramatize the movie in more than just one way by using historical facts. I doubt many people knew the story at the time. Anyway: it would have worked both as drama and as a "damn, hundreds of people could have been saved!" element. This would have expanded the scope of the movie tremendously - it would have given the movie relevance and purpose if done right - and the hundreds of drowning people would have been more than just background noise for the love story (pardon, I repeat myself here). This is a very long movie, there would have been time to address this in a few shots and few well written lines (cut out Billy Zane going trigger happy please!). The movie as it is, is not about Titanic and it dosen't have anything to say about destiny, blind faith in technology and severe lack in safety precautions or even the cosmic joke of the "unsinkable titan". There are a few nice touches regarding the three class society and the role of women at the time. But as it is, the movie is an operatic star crossed lover melodrama - nothing more.

Even Molly Brown just utters: "Lord almighty!" in her lifeboat. There would have been one great chance to insert some irony.

- Rose is established early on as educated, observant and with her own opinion (the Picasso bit, her comments on mistresses of the rich and famous on board, and the lifeboat bit), and with a daring sense of humor (the Freud bit). Her wanting to commit suicide is more of a plot contrivance than a character trait, but still: seeing no way out definitely is not a sign of immaturity. Late in the movie she is (through photos) established as quite an achiever, she even made it as an airplane pilot.

- Jack is written as an outdoorsy type with great talent for drawing (also indicating sensitivity of course) experience in dealing with watery near-death situations (the frozen lake bit) and as courageous - but the fact that he knew exactly what to do at all times and especially when sitting on top of the stern of a giant ocean liner which just broke apart ("hold your breath - now!") breaks the suspension of disbelief of anybody but pre-teen girls who couldn't care less about the vessel and its story.

Of course during the sequence when Jack and Rose are escaping to find a spot for that serious "make out session" both are in a happy mood of anticipation. That's not immature, that's being horny as hell.

Add to this one the fact that Leo D.C. didn't look and act the part of a savvy, outspoken/articulate (he confronted Rose's very sarcastic mother with ease and charm), talented, outdoorsy guy - and certainly not very manly. His body looked like that of a 12 year old who couldn't carry a heavy suitcase, not like someone who could "handle" Kate Winslet. I can only talk as a guy, but Kate Winslet looked very much like a woman to me in this movie. Leo had very likely been casted more for his cuteness (well I guess he was cute back then) and not to fit his character as written.

Sorry for the long winded post.


Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:25 pm
Post Re: Oscars: Worst 'Best Picture'
P.S. yes Cameron isn't the greatest when it comes to dialog. Ed Furlong's "you don't just kill people" - talk to Arnie in "T2" was horribly out of place. "Aliens" had some pretty cheezy dialog, but Bill Paxton's great one liners and some snappy remarks here and there more than made up for this. Anyway: "Titanic" isn't a better movie because Cameron's other movies also feature rather heavy-handed, clumsy dialog. 8-)


Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:08 pm
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Post Re: Oscars: Worst 'Best Picture'
Jeff Wilder wrote:
H.I. McDonough wrote:
I don't think there's any doubt that "Titanic" is a very well-made movie; the problem is that its story is incredibly superficial.


Bingo! That's it right there. From a technical standpoint, Titanic was unbeatable at the time. It still is fantastic in that regard. Technically it is very well-made.

In terms fo story and characters is where it doesn't work. Dialogue has never been Cameron's strong point as a writer. But its especially revalent here.

Agreed. In his earlier, more action-oriented movies, it wasn't as big of a problem. But since he changed gears and started trying to more 'serious' movies, it now sticks out like a sore thumb. :?


Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:51 am
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