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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
I love both of the first two Before films, with Before Sunset edging the first one out a little tiny bit with its slightly more cynical world view and increasingly desperate urgency. But I can see why people like the first, purer one more; even JB thought the same. And I also like The Hangover II (how could I not when it's shot in my country in both its beauty and its seedier sides, and the story, though derivative, was enjoyable enough), but I really, really wince when I read to the part where it was being compared with Sunset in regards to "the plot is the same" aspect. Does. Not. Comprehend. And ouch.

JamesKunz already said a few things about the differences, so I'm gonna add just one more of my opinion: Whereas with The Hangover II, the framework of the original story dictates what the characters will do and what story beats are going to be next, Before Sunset lets Jesse's and Celine's past in the first film and the years that followed accumulate within their characters, and then they themselves become the story, become their own indication of how the story will go next.


Before Sunrise and Before Sunset still feel extremely similar to me. The Hangover Part II is very similar when compared to the first one. For me, I can't deny that both feel very similar. Here, the main characters meet up, walk and talk, discuss their lives, and we end on an ambiguous note. All of the instances in this film felt very familiar to me.Yes their lives are different, but it certainly doesn't change the framework, it just changes the dialogue. Again, I didn't complain about how these characters have grown.Their new takes on life are interesting, and like you said much more cynical. I just simply don't buy these characters this time around. I wanted to like this film, I really did, I just couldn't like it as much as some of you all do. I guess the best way to describe my feelings towards these films would be similar to tasting sugar packets. The first film is like tasting real sugar. The second is like converting to Splenda. I just like the real sugar more.

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Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:51 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
Before Sunrise and Before Sunset still feel extremely similar to me. The Hangover Part II is very similar when compared to the first one. For me, I can't deny that both feel very similar. Here, he main characters meet up, walk and talk, discuss their lives, and we end on a ambiguous note. All of the instances in this film felt very familiar to me.Yes their lives are different, but it certainly doesn't change the framework, it just changes the dialogue. Again, I didn't complain about how these characters have grown.Their new takes on life are interesting, and like you said much more cynical. I just simply don't buy these characters this time around. I wanted to like this film, I really did, I just couldn't like it as much as some of you all do. I guess the best way to describe my feelings towards these films would be similar to tasting sugar packets. The first film is like tasting real sugar. The second is like converting to Splenda. I just like the real sugar more.


The difference between the first two Before films and the Hangover series is that the Before films are a continuation of the story about these two characters. They're completely dialogue driven, character based films about two people getting to know one another and connect. The Hangover movies certainly have characters in them, but the movies aren't really about those interactions, they're about making people laugh at jokes and situations.

So sure, when it comes to plot and structure the analogy holds true, but the Before films aren't really about plot or structure. When you look at what they are about - character - you see two very different versions of Jesse and Celine in the two movies, which leads to two different movies.

The Hangover movies are all about plot and structure, so it's much more fair to say it's basically the same movie in a different setting. People are obviously free to make up their own mind as to whether or not that's a bad thing.


Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:02 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sorry to derail this fascinating Before vs Hangover comparison, but I've got another movie to add to the pot.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

I'm not sure if I can give this movie a star rating. To say my feelings are mixed would be an understatement. On the one hand, everything critics have said about it is true. It's emotionally challenging, features some brilliant acting, and asks the difficult question of whether there is such a thing as evil from the day a child is born. But therein lies a problem.

Why don't these parents ever get therapy for this kid? When I was in my early teens, my parents could clearly see I had symptoms of depression, and they got me help. They did their job as parents. The warning signs here are so obvious they might as well be blinking neon signs, but aside from one brief scene where a doctor believes nothing is wrong with Kevin (he's a toddler at this point), therapy is never even brought up. For much of the movie, I sympathized with Tilda Swinton's character because she did nothing to deserve the cruel treatment from Kevin. By the end, I can't help but wonder if she and her husband bear as much of the blame as Kevin does for not getting him the help he clearly needs. We bash horror movie characters all the time for doing stupid things. Why not characters in a serious drama? I know, the victims' parents in the movie hate her for the same reason, but still......

In the end, my feelings about this movie are similar to Sean's regarding Zero Dark Thirty. It's impossible to turn away because it challenges the emotions and the mind, but it's also morally reprehensible. Maybe I need to watch it again sometime, but I'm not sure I could.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
PeachyPete wrote:
JackBurns wrote:
Before Sunrise and Before Sunset still feel extremely similar to me. The Hangover Part II is very similar when compared to the first one. For me, I can't deny that both feel very similar. Here, he main characters meet up, walk and talk, discuss their lives, and we end on a ambiguous note. All of the instances in this film felt very familiar to me.Yes their lives are different, but it certainly doesn't change the framework, it just changes the dialogue. Again, I didn't complain about how these characters have grown.Their new takes on life are interesting, and like you said much more cynical. I just simply don't buy these characters this time around. I wanted to like this film, I really did, I just couldn't like it as much as some of you all do. I guess the best way to describe my feelings towards these films would be similar to tasting sugar packets. The first film is like tasting real sugar. The second is like converting to Splenda. I just like the real sugar more.


The difference between the first two Before films and the Hangover series is that the Before films are a continuation of the story about these two characters. They're completely dialogue driven, character based films about two people getting to know one another and connect. The Hangover movies certainly have characters in them, but the movies aren't really about those interactions, they're about making people laugh at jokes and situations.

So sure, when it comes to plot and structure the analogy holds true, but the Before films aren't really about plot or structure. When you look at what they are about - character - you see two very different versions of Jesse and Celine in the two movies, which leads to two different movies.

The Hangover movies are all about plot and structure, so it's much more fair to say it's basically the same movie in a different setting. People are obviously free to make up their own mind as to whether or not that's a bad thing.


Agreed 100%.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
PeachyPete wrote:
JackBurns wrote:
Before Sunrise and Before Sunset still feel extremely similar to me. The Hangover Part II is very similar when compared to the first one. For me, I can't deny that both feel very similar. Here, he main characters meet up, walk and talk, discuss their lives, and we end on a ambiguous note. All of the instances in this film felt very familiar to me.Yes their lives are different, but it certainly doesn't change the framework, it just changes the dialogue. Again, I didn't complain about how these characters have grown.Their new takes on life are interesting, and like you said much more cynical. I just simply don't buy these characters this time around. I wanted to like this film, I really did, I just couldn't like it as much as some of you all do. I guess the best way to describe my feelings towards these films would be similar to tasting sugar packets. The first film is like tasting real sugar. The second is like converting to Splenda. I just like the real sugar more.


The difference between the first two Before films and the Hangover series is that the Before films are a continuation of the story about these two characters. They're completely dialogue driven, character based films about two people getting to know one another and connect. The Hangover movies certainly have characters in them, but the movies aren't really about those interactions, they're about making people laugh at jokes and situations.

So sure, when it comes to plot and structure the analogy holds true, but the Before films aren't really about plot or structure. When you look at what they are about - character - you see two very different versions of Jesse and Celine in the two movies, which leads to two different movies.

The Hangover movies are all about plot and structure, so it's much more fair to say it's basically the same movie in a different setting. People are obviously free to make up their own mind as to whether or not that's a bad thing.


Great points Pete, and thanks for the not-as-brutal hounding :D. I get the differences between these films, but I also see similarity. I know I'm being metaphorically castrated for this, but sometimes that happens. Both films are very, very similar to their predecessors, regardless of what drives them along. One is character driven, one is humor, plot driven. I completely understand that. I just don't quite understand why people think this film reinvents some kind of wheel. It feels really similar to the first film, and yet people act like its completely new. Yea, the dialogue is different, the characters are in different places. I love that about the film. I just simply don't see anything particularly great about it. Again, it just feels too similar to me to stand out as "great".

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
KWRoss wrote:
We Need to Talk About Kevin

It's impossible to turn away because it challenges the emotions and the mind


I haven't hated a movie as much as this one in some time. It's a movie that demands to be taken seriously about a very serious subject, and then opts to bask in all kinds of cliches and archetypes. The film doesn't show us real people, it shows us The Sociopath, The Pushover Husband, and The Beleaguered Mother.

It's an extremely simple movie underneath its pretentious presentation that doesn't dare to ask anything other than the age old "nature vs. nuture" question. Which, really, is just another way the film resorts to cliche.

The fact that it gets taken seriously as making some kind of insightul statement is comical to me. Seriously, I despise this movie I recommend that you rate is zero. Zero everything.


Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:45 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
JackBurns wrote:
Before Sunrise and Before Sunset still feel extremely similar to me. The Hangover Part II is very similar when compared to the first one. For me, I can't deny that both feel very similar. Here, he main characters meet up, walk and talk, discuss their lives, and we end on a ambiguous note. All of the instances in this film felt very familiar to me.Yes their lives are different, but it certainly doesn't change the framework, it just changes the dialogue. Again, I didn't complain about how these characters have grown.Their new takes on life are interesting, and like you said much more cynical. I just simply don't buy these characters this time around. I wanted to like this film, I really did, I just couldn't like it as much as some of you all do. I guess the best way to describe my feelings towards these films would be similar to tasting sugar packets. The first film is like tasting real sugar. The second is like converting to Splenda. I just like the real sugar more.


The difference between the first two Before films and the Hangover series is that the Before films are a continuation of the story about these two characters. They're completely dialogue driven, character based films about two people getting to know one another and connect. The Hangover movies certainly have characters in them, but the movies aren't really about those interactions, they're about making people laugh at jokes and situations.

So sure, when it comes to plot and structure the analogy holds true, but the Before films aren't really about plot or structure. When you look at what they are about - character - you see two very different versions of Jesse and Celine in the two movies, which leads to two different movies.

The Hangover movies are all about plot and structure, so it's much more fair to say it's basically the same movie in a different setting. People are obviously free to make up their own mind as to whether or not that's a bad thing.


Great points Pete, and thanks for the not-as-brutal hounding :D. I get the differences between these films, but I also see similarity. I know I'm being metaphorically castrated for this, but sometimes that happens. Both films are very, very similar to their predecessors, regardless of what drives them along. One is character driven, one is humor, plot driven. I completely understand that. I just don't quite understand why people think this film reinvents some kind of wheel. It feels really similar to the first film, and yet people act like its completely new. Yea, the dialogue is different, the characters are in different places. I love that about the film. I just simply don't see anything particularly great about it. Again, it just feels too similar to me to stand out as "great".


Name another sequel that focuses on the same characters, but in different parts of their lives. Color of Money, to a certain degree, but only one character and for all intents and purposes the movie might as well be stand-alone. In Before Sunrise they're sweet and idealistic, in Sunset they're jaded and world-weary, but wiser to a degree. Their conversations reflect this in a wonderfully nuanced manner.

Complaining that it's too similar just seems like you're missing the point. Imagine inviting everyone back to your wedding for the 10th anniversary. The setting and cast are the same, but everything else about it, from the ceremony to the people themselves, is fundamentally different. It would be nothing like your wedding, and it would be fascinating.

That's Before Sunset.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
PeachyPete wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
We Need to Talk About Kevin

It's impossible to turn away because it challenges the emotions and the mind


I haven't hated a movie as much as this one in some time. It's a movie that demands to be taken seriously about a very serious subject, and then opts to bask in all kinds of cliches and archetypes. The film doesn't show us real people, it shows us The Sociopath, The Pushover Husband, and The Beleaguered Mother.

It's an extremely simple movie underneath its pretentious presentation that doesn't dare to ask anything other than the age old "nature vs. nuture" question. Which, really, is just another way the film resorts to cliche.

The fact that it gets taken seriously as making some kind of insightul statement is comical to me. Seriously, I despise this movie I recommend that you rate is zero. Zero everything.

I hated it with a passion as well, Kevin is far too cartoonishly evil to really take seriously as a character, this film is an insult to the victims and families of massacres, it's been a long time since a film has so throughly disgusted me.


Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:35 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
KWRoss wrote:
Sorry to derail this fascinating Before vs Hangover comparison, but I've got another movie to add to the pot.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

I'm not sure if I can give this movie a star rating. To say my feelings are mixed would be an understatement. On the one hand, everything critics have said about it is true. It's emotionally challenging, features some brilliant acting, and asks the difficult question of whether there is such a thing as evil from the day a child is born. But therein lies a problem.

Why don't these parents ever get therapy for this kid? When I was in my early teens, my parents could clearly see I had symptoms of depression, and they got me help. They did their job as parents. The warning signs here are so obvious they might as well be blinking neon signs, but aside from one brief scene where a doctor believes nothing is wrong with Kevin (he's a toddler at this point), therapy is never even brought up. For much of the movie, I sympathized with Tilda Swinton's character because she did nothing to deserve the cruel treatment from Kevin. By the end, I can't help but wonder if she and her husband bear as much of the blame as Kevin does for not getting him the help he clearly needs. We bash horror movie characters all the time for doing stupid things. Why not characters in a serious drama? I know, the victims' parents in the movie hate her for the same reason, but still......

In the end, my feelings about this movie are similar to Sean's regarding Zero Dark Thirty. It's impossible to turn away because it challenges the emotions and the mind, but it's also morally reprehensible. Maybe I need to watch it again sometime, but I'm not sure I could.

Keep in mind that ZDT was still my favorite film of 2012, as well as one of my three four-star movies of that year. That being said, I still stand by what I said about the film's moral ambiguity and irresponsible handling of the facts.

As a work of art, I love it. As a piece of accurate journalism, it is inexcusable. If someone were to insult it, I probably wouldn't even feel like defending it.
Vexer wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
We Need to Talk About Kevin

It's impossible to turn away because it challenges the emotions and the mind


I haven't hated a movie as much as this one in some time. It's a movie that demands to be taken seriously about a very serious subject, and then opts to bask in all kinds of cliches and archetypes. The film doesn't show us real people, it shows us The Sociopath, The Pushover Husband, and The Beleaguered Mother.

It's an extremely simple movie underneath its pretentious presentation that doesn't dare to ask anything other than the age old "nature vs. nuture" question. Which, really, is just another way the film resorts to cliche.

The fact that it gets taken seriously as making some kind of insightul statement is comical to me. Seriously, I despise this movie I recommend that you rate is zero. Zero everything.

I hated it with a passion as well, Kevin is far too cartoonishly evil to really take seriously as a character, this film is an insult to the victims and families of massacres, it's been a long time since a film has so throughly disgusted me.

You often make the (completely valid) argument that movies do not provoke real-life massacres. Why then would they insult victims of such tragedies?


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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Name another sequel that focuses on the same characters, but in different parts of their lives. Color of Money, to a certain degree, but only one character and for all intents and purposes the movie might as well be stand-alone. In Before Sunrise they're sweet and idealistic, in Sunset they're jaded and world-weary, but wiser to a degree. Their conversations reflect this in a wonderfully nuanced manner.

Complaining that it's two similar just seems like you're missing the point. Imagine inviting everyone back to your wedding for the 10th anniversary. The setting and cast are the same, but everything else about it, from the ceremony to the people themselves, is fundamentally different. It would be nothing like your wedding, and it would be fascinating.

That's Before Sunset.


Hmmm lets see The Dark Knight Rises, Terminator 2:Judgement Day, Toy Story 3, The Godfather Part II,.. Usually sequels do focus on the same characters, and are set in a different chapter of their lives. They may not focus entirely on just two characters, but the concept is the same.

I promise I'm not missing the point. I know what this film is doing. I'm not shouting, "This is a bad film!" I just simply do not see the greatness everyone else does. It is very similar to the first film in many regards, its just different from a dialogue and character standpoint. The character's and their new life situations just never felt very important to me. I was invested in these characters in the first film, but in Before Sunset I grew tired of the same set up. Walking and Talking, and some more talking, a little more talking, the "I've gotta go soon", and some more talking. I love films with heavy dialogue, or even little dialogue for that matter. If it works, it works. But for me, in this film, it just didn't. For me the set up is too similar. The characters may be different emotionally, (even though I don't think thats successfully portrayed), but once you get into the the first 15-20 minutes of this film, its on a clear set path very similar to its predecessor.

I don't think the wedding example works. The bride and groom would have seen each other more than likely everyday for the past ten years (give or take a few weeks), Celine and Jesse have not, and there more than likely wouldn't be any similar "Before" talking going on. I guess there could be that sort of talk, but I highly doubt it. You would see emotion through looks, stares, and other non-audible communication. Kinda like the first Before film. This film I didn't buy the emotion displayed. A lot of it felt forced, and simply artificial. Anyways, back on the example-- But if you took this bride and groom, and put them in the same place and setting, even after 10 years, I'm not so sure they would be acting like Jesse and Celine in Before Sunset. But thats me.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sean wrote:
You often make the (completely valid) argument that movies do not provoke real-life massacres. Why then would they insult victims of such tragedies?


Insulting the victims of violence is not the same thing as provoking actual violence. Usually, people who accuse Hollywood of celebrating violence and therefore causing it, are not thinking of films like We Need To Talk About Kevin, regardless. Usually, they'll bring up films like The Matrix or The Dark Knight, even though the MPAA was able to totally stop anyone under the age of 18 from seeing the former.

In any event, making a film about a tragedy or a massacre can very easily be seen as insulting, if such a film trivializes the events or whatever. It does not need to actually cause people to run out and start their own massacre after they see it in order for it be insulting. I have not seen We Need to Talk About Kevin, so I cannot comment on it personally. But I don't see why a film has to cause actual violence in order for it to be insulting.
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
thered47 wrote:
Sean wrote:
You often make the (completely valid) argument that movies do not provoke real-life massacres. Why then would they insult victims of such tragedies?


Insulting the victims of violence is not the same thing as provoking actual violence. Usually, people who accuse Hollywood of celebrating violence and therefore causing it, are not thinking of films like We Need To Talk About Kevin, regardless. Usually, they'll bring up films like The Matrix or The Dark Knight, even though the MPAA was able to totally stop anyone under the age of 18 from seeing the former.

In any event, making a film about a tragedy or a massacre can very easily be seen as insulting, if such a film trivializes the events or whatever. It does not need to actually cause people to run out and start their own massacre after they see it in order for it be insulting. I have not seen We Need to Talk About Kevin, so I cannot comment on it personally. But I don't see why a film has to cause actual violence in order for it to be insulting.
-Jeremy
Right, many people said the film September Dawn was insulting for it's historical inaccuracy, haven't seen it myself but I can understand why people feel that way. "Kevin" ironically seems to unintentionally support the theory that violent video games lead to school shootings and also seems to blame the mother for Kevin's behavior, when in reality there's no clear-cut explanation for why people like Klebold committed atrocities. The film tries to say that Kevin was born evil while at the same time blaming society for his action, at least that's the impression I got.


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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JackBurns wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Name another sequel that focuses on the same characters, but in different parts of their lives. Color of Money, to a certain degree, but only one character and for all intents and purposes the movie might as well be stand-alone. In Before Sunrise they're sweet and idealistic, in Sunset they're jaded and world-weary, but wiser to a degree. Their conversations reflect this in a wonderfully nuanced manner.

Complaining that it's two similar just seems like you're missing the point. Imagine inviting everyone back to your wedding for the 10th anniversary. The setting and cast are the same, but everything else about it, from the ceremony to the people themselves, is fundamentally different. It would be nothing like your wedding, and it would be fascinating.

That's Before Sunset.


Hmmm lets see The Dark Knight Rises, Terminator 2:Judgement Day, Toy Story 3, The Godfather Part II,.. Usually sequels do focus on the same characters, and are set in a different chapter of their lives. They may not focus entirely on just two characters, but the concept is the same.

I promise I'm not missing the point. I know what this film is doing. I'm not shouting, "This is a bad film!" I just simply do not see the greatness everyone else does. It is very similar to the first film in many regards, its just different from a dialogue and character standpoint. The character's and their new life situations just never felt very important to me. I was invested in these characters in the first film, but in Before Sunset I grew tired of the same set up. Walking and Talking, and some more talking, a little more talking, the "I've gotta go soon", and some more talking. I love films with heavy dialogue, or even little dialogue for that matter. If it works, it works. But for me, in this film, it just didn't. For me the set up is too similar. The characters may be different emotionally, (even though I don't think thats successfully portrayed), but once you get into the the first 15-20 minutes of this film, its on a clear set path very similar to its predecessor.

I don't think the wedding example works. The bride and groom would have seen each other more than likely everyday for the past ten years (give or take a few weeks), Celine and Jesse have not, and there more than likely wouldn't be any similar "Before" talking going on. I guess there could be that sort of talk, but I highly doubt it. You would see emotion through looks, stares, and other non-audible communication. Kinda like the first Before film. This film I didn't buy the emotion displayed. A lot of it felt forced, and simply artificial. Anyways, back on the example-- But if you took this bride and groom, and put them in the same place and setting, even after 10 years, I'm not so sure they would be acting like Jesse and Celine in Before Sunset. But thats me.


Alright fair enough. I still like my wedding analogy though

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
PeachyPete wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
We Need to Talk About Kevin

It's impossible to turn away because it challenges the emotions and the mind


I haven't hated a movie as much as this one in some time. It's a movie that demands to be taken seriously about a very serious subject, and then opts to bask in all kinds of cliches and archetypes. The film doesn't show us real people, it shows us The Sociopath, The Pushover Husband, and The Beleaguered Mother.

It's an extremely simple movie underneath its pretentious presentation that doesn't dare to ask anything other than the age old "nature vs. nuture" question. Which, really, is just another way the film resorts to cliche.

The fact that it gets taken seriously as making some kind of insightul statement is comical to me. Seriously, I despise this movie I recommend that you rate is zero. Zero everything.


Thank you!!

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JJoshay wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
We Need to Talk About Kevin

It's impossible to turn away because it challenges the emotions and the mind


I haven't hated a movie as much as this one in some time. It's a movie that demands to be taken seriously about a very serious subject, and then opts to bask in all kinds of cliches and archetypes. The film doesn't show us real people, it shows us The Sociopath, The Pushover Husband, and The Beleaguered Mother.

It's an extremely simple movie underneath its pretentious presentation that doesn't dare to ask anything other than the age old "nature vs. nuture" question. Which, really, is just another way the film resorts to cliche.

The fact that it gets taken seriously as making some kind of insightul statement is comical to me. Seriously, I despise this movie I recommend that you rate is zero. Zero everything.


Thank you!!


I’m sure I’ve entered a discussion about ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ on these pages before (with PeachyPete as well, I believe), so pardon me for probably repeating myself: You didn’t get the movie.

Now that I have shamelessly grabbed your attention by a borderline insulting remark (apologies for the grandstanding), please allow me to explain: Everything you see in ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ is either a) happening to Tilda Swinton’s character just now or b) a flashback of her memories of Kevin growing up. (There is one exception: The brief scene showing the actual massacre. However, I believe that to be an imaginary sequence.) In other words: The movie is about Tilda Swinton’s character trying to cope with being Kevin’s mother, trying to think where it all went wrong, doubting her parenting at times and at other times absolving herself from any blame by thinking that Kevin was born evil. Her perspective is unreliable and we never get the full picture of Kevin’s upbringing. If the movie depicts Kevin as a demonic spawn of evil, that’s because it’s what his mother thinks of him ... or indeed would like to think of him rather than facing her own inadequacies. When the movie shows Kevin enjoying playing violent computer games, it isn’t saying that violent videogames turned him into a sociopath. It is saying that Kevin’s mother (mis?)remembers him enjoying playing violent computer games and now making a connection to his violent acts. When the movie is omitting any psychotherapy initiated by his parents, it does so because Kevin’s mother doesn’t (want to?) remember it.

So when I write “you didn’t get it” I’m not trying to say that you’re to stupid to understand the movie but that you haven’t taken into account which perspective it shows. I concede that the movie probably doesn’t do a very good job in making this clear, as I appear to be the only person on this forum to interpret ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ as the account of an unreliable narrator who struggles to cope with her own role in the events. I never saw it in a different light, though. For me, ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ was one of the best movies of the year.


Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:45 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Unke wrote:
Everything you see in ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ is either a) happening to Tilda Swinton’s character just now or b) a flashback of her memories of Kevin growing up.


Here's my problem with the first-person POV line of thinking when it comes to this movie:

If this is to be the case, then why have Kevin's murder of the husband and daughter shown as the climax, or big reveal, of the film? If the movie truly is Eva dealing with her guilt and attempting to place blame, it makes no sense for her guilt to culminate in...seeing Kevin kill the husband and daughter. She already knew that! It's not a culmination and should never be handled as some sort of climax. It's a blatantly cheap, exploitative trick that makes absolutely no sense given how the story had been told to that point. It exists solely to give the audience some kind of misery to revel in, and for their to be some kind shoehorned in narrative structure in the form of an "event" that the film has been building towards.

All of that brings me to this: Who fucking cares about Eva's guilt!?!? That's the statement Lynne Ramsay wanted to make? That it's rough being a mother who has to deal with the aftermath of your kid shooting up a school and killing your family? I mean, I'm sure it is, but that's just trite bullshit that borders on insulting (intellectually to me, and literally to people that have had to actually deal with such horrors) and exploitative.

I still maintain that the movie doesn't aspire to ask anything other than the nature vs. nuture question. Eva sorting through her memories and trying to figure out whether Kevin was born evil or was corrupted by something she did is essentially nothing but asking that question over and over again. Again, that's a trite, insulting way to look at something like a school shooting.


Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:31 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
PeachyPete wrote:


All of that brings me to this: Who fucking cares about Eva's guilt!?!? That's the statement Lynne Ramsay wanted to make? That it's rough being a mother who has to deal with the aftermath of your kid shooting up a school and killing your family? I mean, I'm sure it is, but that's just trite bullshit that borders on insulting (intellectually to me, and literally to people that have had to actually deal with such horrors) and exploitative.


Really? This is something you feel?

First of all, it's not "trite." Trite means stale and hackneyed. There have not been many (if any) movies that focus on this subject, nor is it something much discussed in other realms. And why on earth is it insulting? I, for one, would be very interested in what Jeffrey Dahmer's mother feels like. How does she get through her days? That's the type of subject that art is based around, and I have no idea why it would be insulting. It's not as if the movie suggests that the kids had it coming or something awful like that.

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Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:46 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:


All of that brings me to this: Who fucking cares about Eva's guilt!?!? That's the statement Lynne Ramsay wanted to make? That it's rough being a mother who has to deal with the aftermath of your kid shooting up a school and killing your family? I mean, I'm sure it is, but that's just trite bullshit that borders on insulting (intellectually to me, and literally to people that have had to actually deal with such horrors) and exploitative.


Really? This is something you feel?

First of all, it's not "trite." Trite means stale and hackneyed. There have not been many (if any) movies that focus on this subject, nor is it something much discussed in other realms. And why on earth is it insulting? I, for one, would be very interested in what Jeffrey Dahmer's mother feels like. How does she get through her days? That's the type of subject that art is based around, and I have no idea why it would be insulting. It's not as if the movie suggests that the kids had it coming or something awful like that.


It's insulting when placed in the context of school shootings, where the pain of the parent of the shooter pales in comparison to the horror that shooter inflicted. To take the point of view that "wow, it's rough" shows a gross lack of insight, and yes, is trite. There may not be many movies that take that POV, but I've seen and read countless news stories about the parents of school shooters. At this point I'm completely comfortable saying it's a trite line of thinking.

And, let's be honest, the movie doesn't really "explore" Eva as much as show her and relay her memories to us. It resorts to cliches and archetypes to ham-fistedly make the point that, yes, it sucks to deal with the aftermath of your child being a sociopath. If you like your art to make the most obvious points possible in the most obvious way possible, then you can have it.


Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:09 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
PeachyPete wrote:
Unke wrote:
Everything you see in ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ is either a) happening to Tilda Swinton’s character just now or b) a flashback of her memories of Kevin growing up.


Here's my problem with the first-person POV line of thinking when it comes to this movie:

If this is to be the case, then why have Kevin's murder of the husband and daughter shown as the climax, or big reveal, of the film? If the movie truly is Eva dealing with her guilt and attempting to place blame, it makes no sense for her guilt to culminate in...seeing Kevin kill the husband and daughter. She already knew that! It's not a culmination and should never be handled as some sort of climax. It's a blatantly cheap, exploitative trick that makes absolutely no sense given how the story had been told to that point. It exists solely to give the audience some kind of misery to revel in, and for their to be some kind shoehorned in narrative structure in the form of an "event" that the film has been building towards.

All of that brings me to this: Who fucking cares about Eva's guilt!?!? That's the statement Lynne Ramsay wanted to make? That it's rough being a mother who has to deal with the aftermath of your kid shooting up a school and killing your family? I mean, I'm sure it is, but that's just trite bullshit that borders on insulting (intellectually to me, and literally to people that have had to actually deal with such horrors) and exploitative.

I still maintain that the movie doesn't aspire to ask anything other than the nature vs. nuture question. Eva sorting through her memories and trying to figure out whether Kevin was born evil or was corrupted by something she did is essentially nothing but asking that question over and over again. Again, that's a trite, insulting way to look at something like a school shooting.


First, your memory of the film isn't correct. Unless I'm hugely mistaken, Kevin's mother doesn't witness the murder of her husband and daughter. She finds their corpses. It makes sense in the narrative context of the movie. Kevin kills his family, but notably not his mother. She suffers from survivor's guilt, asking herself not only "why did he do it" but "why did he spare me".

I also don't understand how the subject of the movie should be insulting to anybody.The movie is neither exploitative about its subject, nor does it degrade or deny the feelings of the victims' relatives (or rather, the relatives of victims of similar incidents). If you think that any movie, which doesn't focus on the plight of innocent victims of violence, is insulting, than you can throw all your U.S. made Vietnam War movies out of the window (name one which focusses on the suffering of the Vietnamese people, cartainly not Apocalypse Now or Platoon), most Westerns (the protagonist in Unforgiven isn't even a wholly reformed murderer, nevermind the absence of the genocide of Native Americans in most Westerns), all Gangster movies (The Godfather doesn't show much about the small businessmen who suffer from the Corleone's protection rackets) etc. How did you like Inglourious Basted, by the way?

You know, I have no problem with your dislike of the movie, although I don't agree with your reasoning. I'm just wondering whether we may have different personal perspectives. As a parent, I am worried how my children will turned out one day and it is an uneasy feeling when, say, the Kindergarten teacher wants to have a word with you because your little lovely one has been pushing and biting for no good reason. This feeling of "what did I do wrong" is something I can relate to very well. Perhaps you can't, in this instance, but the school massacre situation may strike a chord with you (perhaps just for geographical reasons).


Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:57 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Unke wrote:
I also don't understand how the subject of the movie should be insulting to anybody.The movie is neither exploitative about its subject, nor does it degrade or deny the feelings of the victims' relatives (or rather, the relatives of victims of similar incidents). If you think that any movie, which doesn't focus on the plight of innocent victims of violence, is insulting, than you can throw all your U.S. made Vietnam War movies out of the window (name one which focusses on the suffering of the Vietnamese people, cartainly not Apocalypse Now or Platoon), most Westerns (the protagonist in Unforgiven isn't even a wholly reformed murderer, nevermind the absence of the genocide of Native Americans in most Westerns), all Gangster movies (The Godfather doesn't show much about the small businessmen who suffer from the Corleone's protection rackets) etc. How did you like Inglourious Basted, by the way?


Boom.

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Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:33 am
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