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Danny Boyle 
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Post Danny Boyle
I tend to sometimes dismiss him with the kind of 'meh' i might reserve for bland reel peddlers like Soderberg and Howard, but having looked over his bio, that might be unfair.

Shallow Grave and Trainspotting - very good. The Beach, not deserving the scorn it got. And yeah, Slumdog Millionaire is very good indeed. Hype aside.

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Sun May 11, 2014 3:03 pm
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
I think The Beach is a very fascinating and underrated, Slumdog Millionaire was pretty eh, definitely didn't deserve to win best picture if you ask me.

Have you seen Trance? I quite enjoyed that one and it was one of Dustin Putman's favorite films of 2013.


Sun May 11, 2014 4:36 pm
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
I like a lot of his movies although I while I thought 127 Hours was good, it could have been better. I think Boyle's style got in the way. It became a distraction. Compare it to something like Buried, and you'll see what kind of movie it could have been.


Sun May 11, 2014 5:23 pm
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
I dig him. He's not someone I turn out for every time or follow with an avid interest or anything, but his movies tend to be good.

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Sun May 11, 2014 8:58 pm
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
Trainspotting is pretty decent. 28 Days Later is just lame and largely inept. Slumdog Millionaire is okay. It can work well enough as a crowd pleaser, but I think the blinding the children scene is bit gratuitous and doesn't really mesh with the rest of the movie. The tone of the film is a little condescending though, and I have a friend from India who was a bit offended by it.


Sun May 11, 2014 9:55 pm
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
I pretty much hated The Beach, although that was more than 10 years ago.

I liked 28 Days Later and Sunshine, although I'm one of those that's not a huge fan of their last acts.

127 Hours is probably my favorite of his.

I haven't seen the rest.

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Sun May 11, 2014 11:13 pm
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
I like him overall. I always saw him as the British David Fincher in terms of uncompromising subject matter and in terms of genre diversity.

To me, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later and 127 Hours are among his best. Shallow Grave was interesting at the time although I really should give it a re-watch. Millions was pretty good family fare, Sunshine interesting sci-fi although the third act twist didn't really work that well and Slumdog was done pretty well if a tad overpraised. The Beach was something of a noble failure. Haven't seen Trance yet. A Life Less Ordinary is his one that just totally didn't work.

NotHughGrant wrote:
bland reel peddlers like Soderberg and Howard


A few years ago I might have argued with lumping Soderbergh in with Ron Howard. But at this point, I'd say its accurate, Soderbergh (pre-retirement anyway) had more or less turned into the thinking man's Ron Howard. I tend to contrast him with Richard Linklater, who also helped kickstart the indie movement and managed to move between both genres and small and large films. Is he an auteur? I'd say yes although that can be debated legitimately. I'd argue that on the whole his work has remained more thoughtful and genuinely challenging than Soderbergh's whereas, since the late 2000s, Soderbergh seemed to be going through the motions.

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Mon May 12, 2014 12:02 pm
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
Trainspotting - very good, energetic, and interesting, although I don't love it like my friends do.
28 Days Later - it's solid and a little cleverer than most of its genre, though not really memorable.
Millions - Seen it first of his films when it came out and can't recall the plot that well, but I remember being impressed by, for a kid's film, how dark and emotionally messy it can get.
Sunshine - Kinda loved it, even with the third act. Can't fault anyone taking issue with it, but personally I feel the tone isn't change much for me to feel jarred.
Slumdog Millionaire - this one comes with special memory, because my host mom took me to a small theater just right when it came out, before any hype and award, and we fell completely in love with it. I was surprised when it gained steam and finally won Best Picture, not because I feel it doesn't deserve it, but because to my mind then it was a "foreign" film (English-speaking aside), and I thought it would not have a chance with that. My favorite Boyle.
Trance - This one he fell too deep down the rabbit hole of camera trickery and stylistic choices to build any connection to the story or characters. The first outright bad film of his I've seen from him.


Mon May 12, 2014 12:32 pm
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
I've only seen Millions and Slumdog Millionaire and really like both of them, Millions a bit better. Slumdog's an amazingly dark movie despite the ending. Boyle really puts his characters through hell.

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Mon May 12, 2014 1:44 pm
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
Ron Howard's visual style essentially boils down to 100% functionality with 0% panache. Whatever faults Boyle or Soderberg might have, they're not that.

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Mon May 12, 2014 7:30 pm
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
Oh, I don't know. I'd say Apollo 13 and Cinderella Man and even A Beautiful Mind have plenty of panache.

I'll never get the flack Ron Howard gets. I think he's underrated and has made some incredible movies.


Mon May 12, 2014 7:35 pm
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
ilovemovies wrote:
Oh, I don't know. I'd say Apollo 13 and Cinderella Man and even A Beautiful Mind have plenty of panache.

I'll never get the flack Ron Howard gets. I think he's underrated and has made some incredible movies.

Apollo 13 maybe, the other two not so much. Beautiful Mind was not deserving of it's best-picture win, it took a few too many liberties with the real-life story for my tastes, same with Cinderella Man. The latter was particularly glaring because of how Max Baer being demonized into a cartoonish super-villain who bragged about how he killed his opponents in the ring, when in real life Baer was the complete opposite of that.


Mon May 12, 2014 7:38 pm
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
Ken wrote:
Ron Howard's visual style essentially boils down to 100% functionality with 0% panache. Whatever faults Boyle or Soderberg might have, they're not that.


Agreed. In addition to that, there's no personality behind the way Howard chooses scripts and casts actors. Da Vinci Code is no better than any middling YA lit adaptation.


Mon May 12, 2014 10:07 pm
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
Da Vinci's Code sucked. I agree with that. So does Angels & Demons. And I now a lot of people liked it, but I wasn't big on Rush either. But other than those movies, I think Howard is great. I really don't care if he isn't an auteur. That he doesn't have his own recognizable style. To me, that doesn't mean he's any less a filmmaker than many of the other greats working today.


Mon May 12, 2014 11:50 pm
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
ilovemovies wrote:
Oh, I don't know. I'd say Apollo 13 and Cinderella Man and even A Beautiful Mind have plenty of panache.

I'll never get the flack Ron Howard gets. I think he's underrated and has made some incredible movies.

Were it not for big stars and special effects, his style would be little more complex and subtle than a Lifetime movie of the week. Apollo 13's watchability is almost entirely in the story, rather than the telling. And Howard can't exactly take credit for the story.

It isn't that he doesn't have a recognizable style, but that he doesn't have any style at all.

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Tue May 13, 2014 1:37 am
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
I liked Rush. But I agree that Howard has no style other than that of a soppy TV movie on a Tuesday afternoon director

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Tue May 13, 2014 3:19 am
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
Ken wrote:
ilovemovies wrote:
Oh, I don't know. I'd say Apollo 13 and Cinderella Man and even A Beautiful Mind have plenty of panache.

I'll never get the flack Ron Howard gets. I think he's underrated and has made some incredible movies.

Were it not for big stars and special effects, his style would be little more complex and subtle than a Lifetime movie of the week. Apollo 13's watchability is almost entirely in the story, rather than the telling. And Howard can't exactly take credit for the story.

It isn't that he doesn't have a recognizable style, but that he doesn't have any style at all.


True, the bold especially hits the nail on the head. His movies hang by a very thin thread. Take away Howard's production value (which includes actors) and you're left with very little. Most of my favorite directors don't have Howard's production value, but that's not a crutch I particularly care about.


Tue May 13, 2014 3:52 am
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
They guy will always be an auteur in my book, but only for his work on Trainspotting. That film is an absolute masterpiece, always in the best twenty films I've ever seen category. When it was released in 1995, it was harrowing and hilarious in equal measures. When viewed again today, it has the same impact. It's aged better than Pulp Fiction, which is saying something in itself. The Doors, Fargo and Boogie Nights might be the only other films of the 90's to have aged as well?

I tried watching Shallow Grave again before 127 Hours came out, to get back into Danny Boyle mode. Only then did I realize he doesn’t have a mode. Shallow Grave has aged dismally, the last half hour is tedious viewing, and 127 Hours was watchable, but we all just wanted it to end. Same with: The Beach, 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Slumdog blah, blah blah.

Having said that Larry, if he ever ends up ever making Porno, the follow up to Trainspotting, it will be mandatory viewing. If someone has one genuine masterpiece in them, they should always be taken seriously.

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Tue May 13, 2014 8:54 am
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
Trainspotting is good, but I definitely wouldn't go so far as to call it better then Pulp Fiction.

Shallow Grave was good, 127 Hours was kind of eh.


Tue May 13, 2014 1:50 pm
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Post Re: Danny Boyle
wisey wrote:
They guy will always be an auteur in my book, but only for his work on Trainspotting. That film is an absolute masterpiece,


I pretty much agree with this, although swap out Trainspotting with 127 Hours and there you have my take.

I also think Shallow Grave is pretty terrific. It's the Boyle equivalent to Blood Simple - you can see the style that will become his hallmark, and he tries to infuse a pretty worn story with some heft. I...dig it.


Tue May 13, 2014 2:32 pm
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