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PRISONERS 
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Click here for the review of Prisoners

SPOILERS must be tagged with the "SPOILER" tag!


Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:34 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
I've been highly anticipating this one since I saw the trailer earlier this year. 3.5 that reads like a 4 star review is just what I was hoping for. Looking forward to tomorrow night.

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Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:59 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
Agreed with this review; it certainly kept me guessing throughout, and I was fascinated by the moral conundrum present, but something very disturbing happened at the advance screening I went to. Some people laughed at scenes that are brutal, upsetting, and not the least bit funny. And it wasn't the "nervous laughter" either. It was reminiscent of how a high school bully would laugh at someone's misfortune and pain. I highly recommend this movie, but with one caveat: DO NOT SEE IT WITH A LARGE CROWD. I've been to movies where audiences laughed at scenes they thought to be unintentionally funny, but this is probably the worst such instance I've encountered.

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Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:41 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
This sounds like a film that does not have a very happy ending. Color me interested in seeing it.

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Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:47 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
Meh, nothing i've heard about this film has really peaked my interest, i'm not a really fan of these kinds of nihilistic movies, so i'll pass on this one.


Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:24 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
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Some people laughed at scenes that are brutal, upsetting, and not the least bit funny. And it wasn't the "nervous laughter" either. It was reminiscent of how a high school bully would laugh at someone's misfortune and pain.


Well, I can't say much about Prisoners until I've seen it BUT I'm ashamed to admit I nearly cracked a smile at the twist of Incendies, even while digesting its horror. I couldn't help it. It was just too absurd. It was a really good movie though.


Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:50 am
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Post Re: PRISONERS
MGamesCook wrote:
Well, I can't say much about Prisoners until I've seen it BUT I'm ashamed to admit I nearly cracked a smile at the twist of Incendies, even while digesting its horror. I couldn't help it. It was just too absurd. It was a really good movie though.


Nothing to be ashamed. I've cracked some nervous smiles in a lot of horrifying reveals in films. Some things are just so horrible my first instinct (defense mechanism?) is to greet them with "I can't believe this is really happening" smiles. I think I've done this with Se7en's reveal. For Incendies though, I reacted like one of the characters, shocked to the core and just sitting still. Really soul-crushing (but great) movie.


Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:16 am
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Post Re: PRISONERS
peng wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Well, I can't say much about Prisoners until I've seen it BUT I'm ashamed to admit I nearly cracked a smile at the twist of Incendies, even while digesting its horror. I couldn't help it. It was just too absurd. It was a really good movie though.


Nothing to be ashamed. I've cracked some nervous smiles in a lot of horrifying reveals in films. Some things are just so horrible my first instinct (defense mechanism?) is to greet them with "I can't believe this is really happening" smiles. I think I've done this with Se7en's reveal. For Incendies though, I reacted like one of the characters, shocked to the core and just sitting still. Really soul-crushing (but great) movie.

I couldn't but laugh at one particular "brutal" scene in "Drive", mainly because it came across as too cartoonish to really take seriously. Perhaps the audience was laughing at this film because they found it poorly acted.


Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:34 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
Vexer wrote:
I couldn't but laugh at one particular "brutal" scene in "Drive", mainly because it came across as too cartoonish to really take seriously. Perhaps the audience was laughing at this film because they found it poorly acted.


I suppose I could understand it in DRIVE, but not PRISONERS. This movie, while certainly entertaining as a mystery/police procedural, goes to some very dark, uncomfortable places. I don't care if you (and I mean "you" in a general sense) find the drama unconvincing; when you attend a movie like this, you know what you're getting into. Its not like an action film, comedy, or even horror, where audience participation adds to the fun. In a drama with potentially upsetting subject matter, you better STFU or else come across as incredibly disrespectful at best, and sick-minded at worst.

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Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:27 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
KWRoss wrote:
Vexer wrote:
I couldn't but laugh at one particular "brutal" scene in "Drive", mainly because it came across as too cartoonish to really take seriously. Perhaps the audience was laughing at this film because they found it poorly acted.


I suppose I could understand it in DRIVE, but not PRISONERS. This movie, while certainly entertaining as a mystery/police procedural, goes to some very dark, uncomfortable places. I don't care if you (and I mean "you" in a general sense) find the drama unconvincing; when you attend a movie like this, you know what you're getting into. Its not like an action film, comedy, or even horror, where audience participation adds to the fun. In a drama with potentially upsetting subject matter, you better STFU or else come across as incredibly disrespectful at best, and sick-minded at worst.

Given how dark the subject matter of this film is, I probably wouldn't laugh at it, i'm just trying to imagine why others would is all. For dramas I agree that audiences generally don't add much of anything, which is why I never bother seeing films like this in a theater, I wait until they come out on DVD so I can enjoy them in peace and quiet.


Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:49 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
Quote:
I suppose I could understand it in DRIVE, but not PRISONERS. This movie, while certainly entertaining as a mystery/police procedural, goes to some very dark, uncomfortable places. I don't care if you (and I mean "you" in a general sense) find the drama unconvincing; when you attend a movie like this, you know what you're getting into. Its not like an action film, comedy, or even horror, where audience participation adds to the fun. In a drama with potentially upsetting subject matter, you better STFU or else come across as incredibly disrespectful at best, and sick-minded at worst.


There were a few intentional moments of comic relief. Other than that, the subject matter is thrillingly serious. So fresh after the silly, watered down Gone Baby Gone, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and others. This is a movie about evil, and the need to fight it. Like really fight it. Even when it's carefully hidden.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I firmly believe Jackman was in the right for the entirety of the film, though Villeneuve does a nice job of second-guessing that
.

Quote:
I never bother seeing films like this in a theater, I wait until they come out on DVD so I can enjoy them in peace and quiet.


Good call. There were I think four toddlers in my screening, all screaming their heads off intermittently. There was also a 10 year old sitting next to me. That's actually pretty cool. This is the kind of movie I would have loved to take on at age 10 and would have thanked my parents for allowing me to do so. And the one next to me today was fully immersed in this great movie.

This really is a great movie, far superior to Incendies. Probably the best film of the year so far. I'm increasingly surprised at how good a year for movies 2013 has turned out to be. After years of serious filmmaking being largely MIA from theaters, 2013 has delivered one epic challenge after another. A large handful of movies this year have tackled serious subject matter while still being as entertaining as a movie can possibly be. Very exciting.


Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:12 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
MGamesCook wrote:
There were I think four toddlers in my screening, all screaming their heads off intermittently. There was also a 10 year old sitting next to me. That's actually pretty cool. This is the kind of movie I would have loved to take on at age 10 and would have thanked my parents for allowing me to do so. And the one next to me today was fully immersed in this great movie.


I could maybe understand a precocious 10-year-old seeing this movie, but toddlers? Good God. I know I've seen instances like this before, and we've come to expect the worst from our society, but it never ceases to shock and amaze me how any parent with half a brain could think taking a toddler into this movie is a good idea. Hire a babysitter or wait for DVD. Seriously.

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Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:30 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
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I could maybe understand a precocious 10-year-old seeing this movie, but toddlers? Good God. I know I've seen instances like this before, and we've come to expect the worst from our society, but it never ceases to shock and amaze me how any parent with half a brain could think taking a toddler into this movie is a good idea. Hire a babysitter or wait for DVD. Seriously.


Agreed. And I know the parents may think the toddlers are oblivious to the actual movie. But I don't know, I think they're more aware of it than these parents realize.


Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:32 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
MGamesCook wrote:
Well, I can't say much about Prisoners until I've seen it BUT I'm ashamed to admit I nearly cracked a smile at the twist of Incendies, even while digesting its horror. I couldn't help it. It was just too absurd. It was a really good movie though.


I'm assuming you mean just the final (and biggest, certainly) twist? The Famous Mr. Ed the Metal Head and I both really enjoyed it when it came out, although we both had the same issue you did -- doesn't kill the movie or the point, but it is a bit of a stretch, to say the least. The twists up to that point were easier to digest.

MGamesCook wrote:
There were a few intentional moments of comic relief. Other than that, the subject matter is thrillingly serious. So fresh after the silly, watered down Gone Baby Gone, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and others. This is a movie about evil, and the need to fight it. Like really fight it. Even when it's carefully hidden.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I firmly believe Jackman was in the right for the entirety of the film, though Villeneuve does a nice job of second-guessing that


While I would strongly disagree that Gone Baby Gone is watered down (with you Dragon Tattoo, though), I agree that this is a really phenomenal film. #2 of the year at worst, for me. It's very grown-up and ambitious within a very limited scope, but it is massively packed with plot. It felt long in the best way possible and none of the bad ways.

I am completely with you on the necessity of fighting evil...
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Although, as you kinda said, I don't think Villeneuve is necessarily taking a stand on what Jackman does. It's interesting because you (and many others) say he was right even though logically we know he was wrong. I just saw it so I need to let it sink in, but I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that Dano picked them up... I don't think that the film is trying to paint Jackman as a great detective who really knew Dano knew something... if that's the case it takes the morality out of it (additionally, there's some plot problems as to how Dano could convince the girls to get in the van with him).

Few films deal with issues this heavy while still being entertaining, certainly. Ultimately I'd have to disagree with you that Jackman was in the right, but I certainly don't think that that is concretely what the film is trying to say. And I don't think he was wrong because he should of let the law run its course, but because he was morally in the wrong, in my mind -- blaming Jake G. when he thinks his daughter's been killed is a sign of his mental state, I think. The counter-point, of course, is that doing what was wrong -- kidnapping Dano -- was the only think Jackman did that actually helped (because it led Jake to his confrontation with Melissa Leo).

Great stuff, though. And props for ending perfectly, too. If it had ended without the whistle and the implication that Jackman was never found I'd have major issues with it.


All in all, just a wonderfully meaty film with no flab on it, so to speak. I kinda want to watch it again right now.


Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:33 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
Quote:
I'm assuming you mean just the final (and biggest, certainly) twist? The Famous Mr. Ed the Metal Head and I both really enjoyed it when it came out, although we both had the same issue you did -- doesn't kill the movie or the point, but it is a bit of a stretch, to say the least. The twists up to that point were easier to digest.


Yeah that's all I meant. The final twist was almost a little too clever in that movie. Prisoners is just a great mystery all the way through. With Incendies I didn't realize it was supposed to be a mystery film until pretty far into it.

Gone Baby Gone has its moments, I just think the final twist of that one is just much ado about nothing. It takes the focus away from the darker issue of the real sociopaths featured earlier in the movie.

I agree that it's long in the best possible way. The sheer amount of plot in Prisoners is great. It is like reading a good novel. And the acting is outstanding.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I guess the point is that Jackman was wrong on principle but right in this particular case. What Dano says in the parking lot justifies Jackman's 100% certainty. But then, I think the point isn't so much that Jackman becomes a monster. The real bothersome idea is that it was Melissa Leo's primary aim to make him a monster. That's an evil motivation we don't see very often. It's for the sake of the plot that Dano and the "paranoid schizophrenic" from The Dark Knight are slow and uncommunicative. But I can buy the notion that Melissa Leo would have tried to target mentally hindered kids. And I suppose the implication is that Dano and Dastmalchian were her only surviving victims? And did the priest do a pity-murder on her husband or did he kill himself?

It's a great mystery film because it contains the key factor that the basic simplicity of the answers to the riddles is what makes them so hard to figure out. The one part where I thought he was a bit slow on the uptake was not remembering the maze symbol on the corpse's necklace until seeing a picture of it again. I guess Deakins made that early moment clearer for the audience than it was for Gyllenhaal.

But yeah the "you were there" line from Howard's daughter really got me. I thought all along the kids were hidden away somewhere in Jackman's torture house, so I was only slightly wrong. Also the thematic resonance of Leo converting him into a demon.


Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:44 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
KWRoss wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
There were I think four toddlers in my screening, all screaming their heads off intermittently. There was also a 10 year old sitting next to me. That's actually pretty cool. This is the kind of movie I would have loved to take on at age 10 and would have thanked my parents for allowing me to do so. And the one next to me today was fully immersed in this great movie.


I could maybe understand a precocious 10-year-old seeing this movie, but toddlers? Good God. I know I've seen instances like this before, and we've come to expect the worst from our society, but it never ceases to shock and amaze me how any parent with half a brain could think taking a toddler into this movie is a good idea. Hire a babysitter or wait for DVD. Seriously.

I've seen it before too, at a showing of Law Abiding Citizen there was a couple with a young daugher who was about 6 or 7, and predictably she did not react well to the violent scenes, I just wanted to grab and shake them while yelling "why the fuck would you take your little girl to see a violent movie?". I've also seen it at Hostel 2, though at least in that instance the kids were quiet and didn't seem bothered by the film.


Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:00 am
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Post Re: PRISONERS
What a film. Loved every minute of it. I had a couple of things "figured out" before they were revealed, or at least they were my first guess. But the way it all unraveled was so tight, and so dramatic. Hugh Jackman was amazing.

What did you guys think of Jake Gyllenhaal's character? What do you think we were supposed to think of him? I couldn't tell if I liked him or not, and I think that really added to my experience. I feel like I was kind of supporting everyone, even though no one in the film was particularly "good".

Also, now that I've seen the film, could someone please spoiler tag some of the scenes the audience laughed at? Mine didn't laugh out loud at anything so I'm just curious.

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Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:18 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
Just got back from Prisoners and there's two things that immediately come to mind. Number one, I really like how it never took a side. Things happened and it's up to the viewer to figure things out as the movie calmly records the events. Number two, there sure is a whole lot of similarities to this and Heavy Rain. Missing children, red herring on two suspects, stuff that doesn't really make sense when you look back on it and the bad guy just being there...under your nose the whole time. Granted Prisoners is a lot less ridiculous than Heavy Rain...a lot less ridiculous but the acting is amazing and the plot is a nice tightly-woven cogwheel where each piece leads to another piece while the events slowly coalesce into a nice whole. Worth a watch, ASAP.


Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:53 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
Quote:
Also, now that I've seen the film, could someone please spoiler tag some of the scenes the audience laughed at? Mine didn't laugh out loud at anything so I'm just curious.


There were a couple funny lines.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
If he has the mind of a ten year old, how can he drive an RV?


I thought Gyllenhaal's character was a true hero. There were times when he missed the mark very slightly of what he should have done, but a really inspiring police detective.


Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:09 pm
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Post Re: PRISONERS
MGamesCook wrote:

I thought Gyllenhaal's character was a true hero. There were times when he missed the mark very slightly of what he should have done, but a really inspiring police detective.


I agree. You are right, he was a true hero. Because he was fallible. He was imperfect. But that's how humans are, and that is forgotten too often. They didn't overdo his character. He was dedicated and sincere, but the movie kept it realistic. I can only imagine that the true hero's in this world carry themselves a lot like Gyllenhaal's character in Prisoners.

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Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:45 pm
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