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The thread where we air out unpopular opinions 
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
ilovemovies wrote:
You don't think Neeson can act. Have you seen Schindler's List? Michael Collins? The Grey?

Admittedly, Kingsley has done his share of crap, but he's given some pretty amazing performances. I'm not too big on Gandhi. I found the movie to be kind of boring. But I don't see how you can deny how great Kingsley is in it. Also one of his more underrated performances IMO was in Suspect Zero, speaking of unpopular opinions (I loved that movie and think writing it off as just another Se7en ripoff is false and not giving the movie enough credit).


Yep I have seen the movies you mentioned with Liam Neeson and many more for that matter. IMHO he always seems uneasy with himself and his range is very limited. Neeson can do "neutral with a hint of sadness" and "angry" - he sucks for example at "desperate", "funny" and "mean". Ben Kingsley on the other hand always seems very calm and confident, but he always plays the same character over and over again: a wise noble man. In "Schindler's List" both were well casted, since they have the right presence, and are very well directed. Neeson (IMHO) though is unable to truly show Schindler's character arc emotionally, and he is being out-acted by most of the supporting cast not to mention Ralph Fiennes (who has the showier role, yes, but he pulls it off frighteningly well). Even in the somehow infamous last scene it seems as if the supporting cast (and even Kingsley) are saying: "Come on Liam, you can do this! Let go, loosen up, play sad and desperate, you can do it!" - with a better actor in the title role this scene would have torn me apart. As ist is, it is the subject matter which tears me apart, not Neeson's (non-)acting. There is one thing Neeson and Kingsley can never be accused of: over-acting. Not because of being subtle or nuanced, but because this would be out of their respective range. Sorry, just my unpopular opinion.

And of course once again John Williams' score in "Schindler's List" is brilliant. Having Itzhak Perlman playing it on the violin is sublime. It may sound lame, but I have yet to hear one musical phrase by this man which isn't awesome.


Mon May 20, 2013 4:24 am
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
thered47 wrote:
None of the Indiana Jones movies are very good and Temple of Doom was pretty bad. Also, I liked Kingdom of The Crystal Skull and The Last Crusade better than Raiders of the Lost Ark.. Maybe I'm just a sucker for father son bonding or maybe it was the lighter, jokier nature of those films, but the last two just did a moderately better job of engaging me.


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Mon May 20, 2013 6:23 am
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
Threeperf35 wrote:
Even in the somehow infamous last scene it seems as if the supporting cast (and even Kingsley) are saying: "Come on Liam, you can do this! Let go, loosen up, play sad and desperate, you can do it!" - with a better actor in the title role this scene would have torn me apart. As ist is, it is the subject matter which tears me apart, not Neeson's (non-)acting. There is one thing Neeson and Kingsley can never be accused of: over-acting. Not because of being subtle or nuanced, but because this would be out of their respective range. Sorry, just my unpopular opinion.

And of course once again John Williams' score in "Schindler's List" is brilliant. Having Itzhak Perlman playing it on the violin is sublime. It may sound lame, but I have yet to hear one musical phrase by this man which isn't awesome.

I'd say Spielberg is equally responsible for that scene not entirely working, since, as you HAD to have noticed by now, he often applies a rather heavy hand in scenes of extreme pathos. It's almost as of he's trying to wring out the desired emotions from us the viewers instead of letting them come out naturally. The last scene in "Saving Private Ryan" has the same flaw... although there we're being asked to sympathize with a character we're never really allowed to care much about; purely because he's a WWII survivor (granted, I didn't care a whole lot about any of the main characters in that film, either :| ). Once in a while Spielberg's tendencies to go gooey DO work (see the endings of "E.T." and "The Color Purple"), but not on those occasions.

For the record, my favorite Liam Neeson performance is probably in "Kinsey," and my favorite Ben Kingsley performance is in "House of Sand and Fog."


Mon May 20, 2013 7:58 am
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
H.I. McDonough wrote:
I'd say Spielberg is equally responsible for that scene not entirely working, since, as you HAD to have noticed by now, he often applies a rather heavy hand in scenes of extreme pathos. It's almost as of he's trying to wring out the desired emotions from us the viewers instead of letting them come out naturally. The last scene in "Saving Private Ryan" has the same flaw


RIght. If I'd directed Saving Private Ryan, the bookend scenes would have bene the first thing to go.

Anotehr example is that absolute last scene in Minority Report. Aside from that last scene, the movie is brilliant. But the last scene feels suspiciously tacked on, as if Spielberg, having taken the movie to its logical conclusion, could not end it without a hapy ending. For such a dark movie, a totally happy ending felt like a cheat.

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Mon May 20, 2013 10:02 am
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
JamesKunz wrote:
thered47 wrote:
None of the Indiana Jones movies are very good and Temple of Doom was pretty bad. Also, I liked Kingdom of The Crystal Skull and The Last Crusade better than Raiders of the Lost Ark.. Maybe I'm just a sucker for father son bonding or maybe it was the lighter, jokier nature of those films, but the last two just did a moderately better job of engaging me.


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Mon May 20, 2013 12:22 pm
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
We're just finding out what everyone's unpopular opinions smell like... which seems to be affected by what they had for lunch earlier.

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Mon May 20, 2013 2:15 pm
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
Ken wrote:
We're just finding out what everyone's unpopular opinions smell like... which seems to be affected by what they had for lunch earlier.


Well I might be dead wrong, but some opinions expressed here (by far the smaller part I should mention) seem to be unpopular for the sake of being unpopular. It is easy to get carried away and go with the mood instead of staying focused. I still think most people here are staying focused, but some opinions "smell/reek" a little like: "O.K. I am going against what I believe to be widely accepted - all the way!". I really try to avoid that. I still think Liam Neeson is wooden and of limited range. I still think that Ben Kingsley is mostly "noble" screen presence, theatrical diction but little range. Perhaps my idea about what is good acting needs some work and I definitely will watch movies I haven't seen with either actor.

About the "Indiana Jones" movies: come on, the first one was tremendous fun and it had Harrison Ford still in his great pre - "They killed my wife! Get off my plane!" - whining days.

About Spielberg's gooey, sappy heavy-handed melodramatic moments: I couldn't agree more. That's why I go as far as saying: John Williams' (as usual) brilliant music score is the best thing about "E.T." We have an American suburban home (Spielberg did that rather well before) where daddy has left. There is no drama IMHO which calls for the cosmic forces to "answer Elliot's prayers" and provide a best friend in form of a lost freindly alien. It is all too half assed, too cute and too infantile. The 20th anniversary edition was performed with a full live symphony orchestra and John Williams himself conducting everything spot-on in sync as if it was the easiest thing in the world. I have this on DVD and it is almost painful to witness the fact that the movie is in no way at the same level of artistic brilliance as the music.


Mon May 20, 2013 3:01 pm
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
Threeperf35 wrote:
Ken wrote:
We're just finding out what everyone's unpopular opinions smell like... which seems to be affected by what they had for lunch earlier.


Well I might be dead wrong, but some opinions expressed here (by far the smaller part I should mention) seem to be unpopular for the sake of being unpopular. It is easy to get carried away and go with the mood instead of staying focused. I still think most people here are staying focused, but some opinions "smell/reek" a little like: "O.K. I am going against what I believe to be widely accepted - all the way!". I really try to avoid that. I still think Liam Neeson is wooden and of limited range. I still think that Ben Kingsley is mostly "noble" screen presence, theatrical diction but little range. Perhaps my idea about what is good acting needs some work and I definitely will watch movies I haven't seen with either actor.

About the "Indiana Jones" movies: come on, the first one was tremendous fun and it had Harrison Ford still in his great pre - "They killed my wife! Get off my plane!" - whining days.


Well, I stand by my opinion thatRaiders is really overrated and probably the third best in the series. Although, I'm not sure what exactly constitutes an "unpopular" opinion, saying something is overrated would, by definition be an unpopular opinion, no? Also, everyone seems to think Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was bad with the kindest reviews that I've seen having it be mediocre. Maybe I misunderstand the critical consensus on Raiders of the Lost Ark, but I thought it was on par with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, with The Last Crusade being the best of the series.

Raiders of the Lost Ark was nominated for best picture, listed at number 60 on the AFI's Top 100 Films, and appears to be generally well regarded (95% on RT, #2 on Empire Magazine all time, etc.) Yet for me, it never rose above popcorn entertainment. Very good popcorn entertainment at some points, but never anything more.
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Mon May 20, 2013 3:28 pm
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
thered47 wrote:
Raiders of the Lost Ark was nominated for best picture, listed at number 60 on the AFI's Top 100 Films, and appears to be generally well regarded (95% on RT, #2 on Empire Magazine all time, etc.) Yet for me, it never rose above popcorn entertainment. Very good popcorn entertainment at some points, but never anything more.
-Jeremy


Fair enough. It was never meant to be high art. Very good popcorn entertainment is what "Raiders" intended to be - and it succeeded.


Mon May 20, 2013 3:51 pm
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
Threeperf35 wrote:
Ken wrote:
We're just finding out what everyone's unpopular opinions smell like... which seems to be affected by what they had for lunch earlier.


Well I might be dead wrong, but some opinions expressed here (by far the smaller part I should mention) seem to be unpopular for the sake of being unpopular. It is easy to get carried away and go with the mood instead of staying focused. I still think most people here are staying focused, but some opinions "smell/reek" a little like: "O.K. I am going against what I believe to be widely accepted - all the way!". I really try to avoid that. I still think Liam Neeson is wooden and of limited range. I still think that Ben Kingsley is mostly "noble" screen presence, theatrical diction but little range. Perhaps my idea about what is good acting needs some work and I definitely will watch movies I haven't seen with either actor.

About the "Indiana Jones" movies: come on, the first one was tremendous fun and it had Harrison Ford still in his great pre - "They killed my wife! Get off my plane!" - whining days.

About Spielberg's gooey, sappy heavy-handed melodramatic moments: I couldn't agree more. That's why I go as far as saying: John Williams' (as usual) brilliant music score is the best thing about "E.T." We have an American suburban home (Spielberg did that rather well before) where daddy has left. There is no drama IMHO which calls for the cosmic forces to "answer Elliot's prayers" and provide a best friend in form of a lost freindly alien. It is all too half assed, too cute and too infantile. The 20th anniversary edition was performed with a full live symphony orchestra and John Williams himself conducting everything spot-on in sync as if it was the easiest thing in the world. I have this on DVD and it is almost painful to witness the fact that the movie is in no way at the same level of artistic brilliance as the music.

Well as everyone on here knows, my opinions have been this way since I first joined the forum, i'm not just being unpopular for the sake of going against what is "widely accepted" there just happens to be quite a bit of widely accepted things that I do not agree with.

Some Neeson films I would recommend:
Darkman
The Next Three Days
Unknown
The Big Man
Gun Shy
Next Of Kin
Suspect
Ruby Cairo(AKA Deception)
Chloe
After.Life

Some Kingsley films I would recommend:
Rules Of Engagement
The Fifth Monkey
The Assignment
A Sound Of Thunder
Lucky Number Slevin
Suspect Zero
War Inc
You Kill Me
Fifty Dead Men Walking


Mon May 20, 2013 4:05 pm
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
As long as we're still on Spielberg, "A.I." is among his very best films, IMO -- even in spite of its coda, which most people cite as its biggest problem. Yes, it's a time for Spielberg to get all mushy again, but, in this instant, there's also an air of bleakness to it (there is no heaven; the only 'afterlife' humans get is to live an additional 24 hours in an ultra-dreamlike state... that is, IF you're 'resurrected' by the robots, who are now the planets only remaining inhabitants; the very robots we once built to aid our lives) and even perversity (the film ends with David going to sleep with his mother -- and Teddy getting on the bed to watch them -- for all eternity :| ).

The biggest issue is that the robots at the end looked too alien-like (which both my parents immediately thought they were... even I did initially).


Mon May 20, 2013 9:21 pm
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
Fight Club sucks. Once Brad Pitt appears, any good stuff gets tossed out the window. It takes a special talent to negate Edward Norton in a film. If it weren't for The Sixth Sense (which was terrible and boring), Fight Club would have been the most overrated film of '99. Related thoughts: David Fincher is highly overrated, the only film I've seen of his that I really liked was The Social Network. Brad Pitt's best performance was in Ocean's Eleven, otherwise I don't find him that impressive of an actor.

Star Trek: First Contact is the best Trek film. Related: Picard > Kirk

The Lord of the Rings films are better than the books. Related: I still love Jackson's King Kong.

The Hudsucker Proxy is a genuinely great film.

The Fountain is a misunderstood masterpiece. I think it's better than Requiem for a Dream.


Tue May 21, 2013 2:58 am
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
Shade2 wrote:
Jack Nicholson hasn't given a worthwhile performance in 30 years.


Even in About Schmidt? I would agree with that assessment otherwise, though I thought his Joker was good. OK, change it to 20 years for me. I liked his performance in The Departed, but it wasn't great acting. All of the other principals were much better. Thinking of that film reminds me that Leonardo DiCaprio sucks at accents.


Tue May 21, 2013 3:36 am
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
Gwaihir wrote:
Shade2 wrote:
Jack Nicholson hasn't given a worthwhile performance in 30 years.


Even in About Schmidt? I would agree with that assessment otherwise, though I thought his Joker was good. OK, change it to 20 years for me. I liked his performance in The Departed, but it wasn't great acting. All of the other principals were much better. Thinking of that film reminds me that Leonardo DiCaprio sucks at accents.

Speaking of The Departed, I thought Wahlberg's performance in that film was pretty lousy, and this is coming from someone who liked him as Max Payne.


Tue May 21, 2013 3:41 am
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
Forgot one: Terminator 2 is nothing more than a bloated, flashier rehash of The Terminator with a much more annoying male lead and less effective villain (performance-wise). Arnold Schwarzenegger should never have become a good guy in this series.


Tue May 21, 2013 3:45 am
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
Gwaihir wrote:
Forgot one: Terminator 2 is nothing more than a bloated, flashier rehash of The Terminator with a much more annoying male lead and less effective villain (performance-wise). Arnold Schwarzenegger should never have become a good guy in this series.

I have a friend on the IMDB forums who said the exact same thing, he also despises parts 3 and 4(both of which I enjoyed, not sure how unpopular that is)


Tue May 21, 2013 3:48 am
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
Vexer wrote:
Gwaihir wrote:
Forgot one: Terminator 2 is nothing more than a bloated, flashier rehash of The Terminator with a much more annoying male lead and less effective villain (performance-wise). Arnold Schwarzenegger should never have become a good guy in this series.

I have a friend on the IMDB forums who said the exact same thing, he also despises parts 3 and 4(both of which I enjoyed, not sure how unpopular that is)


Haven't seen the 4th, but I thought the 3rd was okay. It was formulaic too, but the Terminators' fight was fantastic, and had the best ending of the trilogy.


Tue May 21, 2013 3:59 am
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
Gwaihir wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Gwaihir wrote:
Forgot one: Terminator 2 is nothing more than a bloated, flashier rehash of The Terminator with a much more annoying male lead and less effective villain (performance-wise). Arnold Schwarzenegger should never have become a good guy in this series.

I have a friend on the IMDB forums who said the exact same thing, he also despises parts 3 and 4(both of which I enjoyed, not sure how unpopular that is)


Haven't seen the 4th, but I thought the 3rd was okay. It was formulaic too, but the Terminators' fight was fantastic, and had the best ending of the trilogy.


I liked part 3 at the time and still do, even as it started the series descent into being just another franchise. Salvation I didn't care for.

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Tue May 21, 2013 10:10 am
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
JamesKunz wrote:
NotHughGrant wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:


Goodfellas has no exotic otherness. It just, like City of God, is a tremendous crime movie with vivid characterization and amazing direction.


This isn't an opinion. You're just repeating what's said on the DVD cover of City of God.

It's like the adverts that said American Psycho was "this year's Fight Club"


Um, okay? That's not a very good way to respond to a point. In no way have you disagreed with me or disproved me, you've just said that, what, it's not my own opinion? Good one there, NotHugh.

Characterization.

-Lil Ze is one of my favorite nuanced villains. He's not evil, in the Voldemort sense of the word, he's just raging id -- a child who was never taught right from wrong, and whose body has grown but without his childish impulses fading. He's a terrible person, but an interesting one

Direction.

I've never seen a movie like City of God. The opening chase with the chicken sets a standard for kineticness that's impressive, but not other necessarily unique. However, the way the film chooses to tell its story, with individual chapters flashing back to previous decades or the interlude explaining the history of a particular apartment, is singular and masterful.

Neither of these two things have anything to do with the film's exotic otherness, and if they show up on the DVD case, it's because they're true. Please stop telling me why I feel the way I do about a film, and please stop condescending to me so outrageously.


"The Brazillian Goodfellas" is what it says on my copy of City of God.

I didn't mean to condescend, but this is a slogan not an arguement.

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Tue May 21, 2013 10:35 am
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Post Re: The thread where we air out unpopular opinions
Threeperf35 wrote:


Leam Neeson can't act.



I disagree. He can act, he just has classically limited range. A bit like Paul Newman, but with an even norrower remit.

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