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THE COUNSELOR 
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Post THE COUNSELOR
Click here for the review of The Counselor

SPOILERS must be tagged with the "SPOILER" tag!


Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:16 pm
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Post Re: THE COUNSELOR
Maybe you should've reviewed Bad Grandpa instead? ;)

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Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:53 pm
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Post Re: THE COUNSELOR
I definitely agree with much of James said in his review. This part in particular I nodded in agreement:

Quote:
The Counselor ends abruptly, making us wonder if director Ridley Scott lost the final few pages of the screenplay. Walking out of the theater, I was assailed by a sense of "Is that it?"



That said, I didn't have an issue with the pacing of the movie, I didn't really have a problem with the dialog and despite it's many flaws, I still found the movie to be fairly compelling and gripping.


Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:20 pm
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Post Re: THE COUNSELOR
I'm definitely going to wait for DVD to see this, at the very least I can't see it being any more dissapointing then Prometheus was.


Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:12 am
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Post Re: THE COUNSELOR
I'm confused - what's the plot synopsis O_O


Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:32 pm
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Post Re: THE COUNSELOR
So I saw The Counselor. It is better than I thought it was going to be given the reviews and whatnot but wow...Cormac McCarthy must hate the audience so, so much. You want an actual plot, too bad here's a speech! You want a cohesion so the audience can figure out what's happening without inferring from second-hand evidence, too bad here's more talking! Want an ending, fuck you!

It's a miracle that Ridley Scott was able to salvage that script to make it somewhat watchable. It is well-made and well-acted. It's kinda entertaining in an episodic sense, since no scenes really relate to one another. It seems that Ridley was unwilling or unable to take McCarthy's script and make it better, shorter and coherent. And to be fair, the ending really isn't that abrupt. It's more complete than No Country for Old Men.

Rent it.


Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:05 pm
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Post Re: THE COUNSELOR
IMO, Blade Runner is the only thing that prevents Ridley Scott from being the dullest, driest Hollywood filmmaker of all time.


Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:58 am
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Post Re: THE COUNSELOR
MGamesCook wrote:
IMO, Blade Runner is the only thing that prevents Ridley Scott from being the dullest, driest Hollywood filmmaker of all time.


No love for Alien eh?

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Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:38 pm
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Post Re: THE COUNSELOR
My favorite Ridley Scott flick will forever be Gladiator. IMO, he did his best work from 2000-2005 (Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Matchstick Men, Kingdom of Heaven). I left out Hannibal because that movie always felt a bit disjointed to me.


Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:43 pm
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Post Re: THE COUNSELOR
Quote:
No love for Alien eh?


Alien always felt a bit dry to me. Of course I prefer it to American Gangster, Body of Lies, etc.

Matchstick Men had its moments, but none of them seemed to come strictly from Scott's direction. I think that when you strip away a director's material, there should still be something left to identify him as the director. With Scott, there's nothing. And there's never any sense of showmanship in his movies like there is with the best Hollywood genre directors.

I found Hannibal to be just weird and unpleasant.


Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:59 pm
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Post Re: THE COUNSELOR
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
No love for Alien eh?


Alien always felt a bit dry to me. Of course I prefer it to American Gangster, Body of Lies, etc.

Matchstick Men had its moments, but none of them seemed to come strictly from Scott's direction. I think that when you strip away a director's material, there should still be something left to identify him as the director. With Scott, there's nothing. And there's never any sense of showmanship in his movies like there is with the best Hollywood genre directors.

I found Hannibal to be just weird and unpleasant.

I found Hannibal to one of his best films actually. What were your thoughts on Black Rain? I thought it was pretty overlong and dull, didn't care for White Squall either.


Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:19 am
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Post Re: THE COUNSELOR
This is one of those frustrating movies that, on balance, could be described as mediocre--except that it's anything but, because it simultaneously dares you to like it and lets you down as soon as you start to.

First off, I want to wonder what Ridley Scott was thinking. Clearly he's still got plenty of filmmaking muscle memory left. The shooting, the cutting, the general "eye" through which the film is observed are generally excellent. But then there are the weird choices. We can dig into them point by point if anyone cares, but I'll just say that it's a writer's job to come up with something that works on the page, then the director's job to come up with something that works on the screen. Scott's muscles are working fine, but his higher choice-making faculties aren't quite so sharp as they once were.

On the writing, I'm not the world's greatest expert on Cormac McCarthy, but I've read a few of his books and had a pretty good idea what I was getting into here. His fingerprints are all over the movie, especially in the dialogue. That includes places where those fingerprints perhaps shouldn't be. Like I said before, it's his job to come up with stuff that works on the page, so it isn't entirely his fault that some of his trademark apocalyptic rhetoric sounds bizarre coming out of the mouths of pretty Hollywood actors in a contemporary setting. Still, one wonders whether or not McCarthy had a particular structure in mind when he wrote his screenplay. The experience of reading a novel is not bound by time; each portion takes as much or as little time as it deserves. Movies are a different ballgame. A movie's pace is strictly fastened to the clock. It takes so long for all the threads in The Counselor to be pulled tightly that the movie doesn't really feel like it's gotten started until over an hour in.

I was very charmed by the performances, particularly by Michael Fassbender and the somewhat sidelined Penelope Cruz. They're believable as lovely ordinary people whose lives are put at hazard by one bad choice and a series of unfortunate associations. That said, I do have one very strong objection. (Mind you, I consider myself to be both habitually forgiving of actors and skeptical of the weight that their job plays in the quality of the movie.) Cameron Diaz's performance is stilted to a fault and never once authentic. I cannot let it pass that she damn near ruined every scene she was in. I won't call her a bad actor, but she was not the right choice here.

So I guess there were things I liked and things I disliked. I didn't outright hate much of anything about The Counselor--I just know this team of creative people can do better. Every name in the credits is highly capable, and never mind that they had a writer in their pocket who's capable of real genius when he's fully in control of his craft.

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Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:33 am
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Post Re: THE COUNSELOR
Quote:
I found Hannibal to one of his best films actually. What were your thoughts on Black Rain? I thought it was pretty overlong and dull, didn't care for White Squall either.


I haven't seen either of those. Hannibal felt very direct-to-video and scrappy to me. Couldn't even get Jodie Foster back. For me, Jonathan Demme's Hannibal was genuinely frightening. Under Scott, he's barely the same character. And the deformed guy just didn't belong in the movie; and the hogs...seriously bizarre. And the brain feeding scene at the end just feels gratuitous, like Scott wants it to be Re-Animator all of a sudden.


Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:28 am
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Post Re: THE COUNSELOR
Andrew O'Hehir, apparently being serious, drops some harsh superlatives on The Counselor.

Warning: spoilers.

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Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:23 am
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Post Re: THE COUNSELOR
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
I found Hannibal to one of his best films actually. What were your thoughts on Black Rain? I thought it was pretty overlong and dull, didn't care for White Squall either.


I haven't seen either of those. Hannibal felt very direct-to-video and scrappy to me. Couldn't even get Jodie Foster back. For me, Jonathan Demme's Hannibal was genuinely frightening. Under Scott, he's barely the same character. And the deformed guy just didn't belong in the movie; and the hogs...seriously bizarre. And the brain feeding scene at the end just feels gratuitous, like Scott wants it to be Re-Animator all of a sudden.

Well I never really found Hannibal particularly frightening, and I thought Julianne Moore was a more then adequate replacemen for Foster, so I didn't really find myself missing her. I really dug the the "brain" scene, didn't feel too out of place to me.


Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:27 pm
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