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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
But why defend the movie even to this extent if yu don't think it's great anyway?


Shouldn't we turn this question around? Why attack it (and initiate the discussion) if you don't think it's great?

MGamesCook wrote:
It seems to me that it is trying have some resonance in the area of social commentary. Any story with this subject matter does automatically. Ultimately I'm not criticizing Katniss, I'm criticizing Suzanne Collins. I find myself asking, why does this story need to be told? What is the point? In terms of hypothetical situations, potter was more believable to me. As an experience it was sometimes relatable. But now it's like these YA series are just trying to one-up each other in terms of controversy. Everything is either too violent or too watery and there's not enough middle ground.

I found the PG13ness of the violence is what bothered me most. Just makes it feel inconsequential.


That's fair. The second is an improvement in every conceivable way, and gives more appropriate heft to the violence, too.


Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:00 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
But why defend the movie even to this extent if yu don't think it's great anyway? It seems to me that it is trying have some resonance in the area of social commentary. Any story with this subject matter does automatically. Ultimately I'm not criticizing Katniss, I'm criticizing Suzanne Collins. I find myself asking, why does this story need to be told? What is the point? In terms of hypothetical situations, potter was more believable to me. As an experience it was sometimes relatable. But now it's like these YA series are just trying to one-up each other in terms of controversy. Everything is either too violent or too watery and there's not enough middle ground.

I found the PG13ness of the violence is what bothered me most. Just makes it feel inconsequential.


I actually will completely concede to you about the PG-13ness of the violence. That bothered me in the first one too.

BUT

I completely disagree about social commentary, at least in the books. We'll see how well the movie handles Mockingjay's themes, but if you've read her third book, and you've seen the direction Collins takes everything, I don't know how you could say that. I'm frankly astonished how much she managed to put in there. How many young adult books

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Manage to be nuanced about good vs evil? Harry Potter, for all its many virtues, has a rigid dichotomy between the two. But in Mockingjay, Katniss kills the goddamn leader of the resistance rather than President Snow! Gale creates weapons of war that end up killing Prim! How many young adult novels are willing to explore the nature of revolutions and their aftermath? Or what means people are willing to use (and are able to justify) to accomplish a goal they find virtuous?


Again, I salute Collins

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Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:09 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I agree with JamesKunz' spoilered text wholeheartedly, but want to stress that anyone who hasn't read the books, STAY AWAY from that spoiler if you want to enter the third and fourth movies with their impacts intact. You should experience that on the big screen if you've made it halfway through the franchise without reading them.

Also James, regarding the books, the things in your spoiler are the reason I'm very puzzled when it's often said that Mockingjay is the series' weakest book. They often cite the love triangle as one the reasons, but unless I remember it wrong..

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Isn't it kind of fucked up in the end? As you said, Gale became so ruthless in achieving the rebellion that it killed Prim. And with Katniss and Peeta, yes there's some love there too, but the main reason I get out of it is that of two very damaged people who understand and seek comfort in each other because they have gone through similar suffering. That made the ending pretty haunting.


Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:42 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:
Late Spring10/10.


Have you seen Early Summer? It's the second in the Noriko "trilogy" and makes a nice transition between Late Spring and Tokyo Story, but is a happier film. It's my favorite of the Ozus I've seen.

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Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:09 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Syd Henderson wrote:
Blonde Almond wrote:
Late Spring10/10.


Have you seen Early Summer? It's the second in the Noriko "trilogy" and makes a nice transition between Late Spring and Tokyo Story, but is a happier film. It's my favorite of the Ozus I've seen.


I remember early summer being richer than late spring and more of an ensemble piece. Both great though.

It's true potters dichotomy is rigid, and I believe that is a strength and that hunger games' ambiguity is a weakness. I find clear cut morality to often be a sophisticated choice made by the storyteller. It also can make for a more pointed argument, depending. Ambiguous morality is not necessarily more intelligent.


Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:00 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
The Hunger Games

The first installment. Done in a TV style, I don't see anything impressive about this. Actually, it's kinda fucked up. And not believable at all. Harry Potter was never quite believable either, but it had no delusions of grand social commentary. It's scary and depressing that Katniss is actually considered a role model.


Why? She's a resourceful person who tries to keep her family alive.


The Hunger Games' real problem (ethics aside) is that it's just a cheap looking 3rd rate dystopian rip-off with Stanley Tucci in a wig.

Now that's reductive!!

Seriously though, I wasn't impressed. I wasn't expecting great, but I was expecting decent. And even that didn't materialise.

The lead is uninteresting. The backstory ignored (because the producers consider movie-goers too dumb to understand political concepts that could lead to a dystopia), the X-Factor style showboating of the "contestants" just silly. I could go on, but much of the film is just plain uninteresting to boot.

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Last edited by NotHughGrant on Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:10 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
I agree with JamesKunz' spoilered text wholeheartedly, but want to stress that anyone who hasn't read the books, STAY AWAY from that spoiler if you want to enter the third and fourth movies with their impacts intact. You should experience that on the big screen if you've made it halfway through the franchise without reading them.

Also James, regarding the books, the things in your spoiler are the reason I'm very puzzled when it's often said that Mockingjay is the series' weakest book. They often cite the love triangle as one the reasons, but unless I remember it wrong..

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Isn't it kind of fucked up in the end? As you said, Gale became so ruthless in achieving the rebellion that it killed Prim. And with Katniss and Peeta, yes there's some love there too, but the main reason I get out of it is that of two very damaged people who understand and seek comfort in each other because they have gone through similar suffering. That made the ending pretty haunting.


Agreed 100%. Collins utterly subverts the usual love triangle. And I agree the ending is completely haunting as a result. Mockingjay is far and away my favorite, and I have a hard time respecting people who find it the worst.

MGamesCook wrote:
It's true potters dichotomy is rigid, and I believe that is a strength and that hunger games' ambiguity is a weakness. I find clear cut morality to often be a sophisticated choice made by the storyteller. It also can make for a more pointed argument, depending. Ambiguous morality is not necessarily more intelligent.


I don't understand how you could feel that way. Clear cut morality is a fable that has no bearing on the real world. There is almost nothing in the world that is just black and white, with no in between. Even black and white, after all, are simply opposing shades of grey. The world is a series of complicated nuances, not rigid dichotomies, and human behavior even more so. Ambiguous morality is, on the face of it, more intelligent, because it is the only kind that has any bearing on the lives we actually lead. To wit:

    -Martin Luther King Jr. was a Great man...who cheated on his wife numerous times and plagiarized his dissertation
    -Lyndon B. Johnson was in many ways our best President. He did more for Civil Rights than almost every other President combined...but he was a crass man who made his underlings talk to him in the bathroom while he was taking a dump
    -Mohandas Gandhi smacked his wife around and slept (not sex, just sleep) with young girls to prove he was above temptation
    -Mustafa Ataturk was one of the few true good dictators I can name, but his actions in the Turkish War of Independence vis a vie the Armenians aren't always lily white
    -Earl Warren the Supreme Court Justice ushered in a new wave of laws built on personal rights. But a decade prior he signed off on the Japanese internment

I could go on and on. The more you read history, the more you discover that there are very few clear cut heroes. Maybe there are more clear cut villains (serial killers rarely have redeeming qualities) but the study of war and revolution is almost NEVER the story of good and evil. Hell even in World War II our biggest ally against Nazi Germany was...Soviet Russia

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Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:15 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
NotHughGrant wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
The Hunger Games

The first installment. Done in a TV style, I don't see anything impressive about this. Actually, it's kinda fucked up. And not believable at all. Harry Potter was never quite believable either, but it had no delusions of grand social commentary. It's scary and depressing that Katniss is actually considered a role model.


Why? She's a resourceful person who tries to keep her family alive.


The Hunger Games' real problem (ethics aside) is that it's just a cheap looking 3rd rate dystopian rip-off with Stanley Tucci in a wig.


The first one did indeed look cheap looking. Thankfully its success led to a bigger budget for Catching Fire and I no longer had that complaint. I will also concede that, yes, it does indeed have Stanley Tucci in a wig. That is true.

But rip off? Hardly

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Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:17 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
It is a rip-off. And an exceedingly dumb one at that. It depresses me that this stuff is considered literature these days.

It should be renamed 50 Shades of Dystopia

At least the Running Man was funny. And self-aware.

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Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:21 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
NotHughGrant wrote:
It is a rip-off. And an exceedingly dumb one at that. It depresses me that this stuff is considered literature these days.

It should be renamed 50 Shades of Dystopia

At least the Running Man was funny. And self-aware.


*furrows brow* Is there a big spanking and light S&M subplot I missed in The Hunger Games? I better read more closely.

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Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:53 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Like someone for their strengths, love them for their weaknesses. Anyway, I was talking about movies and not necessarily life. I think we need true heroes in movies, not brats like katniss. Black Friday this year has me convinced that people are fundamentally scummy nonetheless but that has nothing to do with what kind of movies I prefer to watch.

I agree with grant. It's dystopia for kids. Pure cynicism and pseudo-moralism.


Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:53 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Two watches today...

The Bourne Ultimatum Incredibly addictive film. It doesn't matter how many times I've seen it, whenever it's on TV, I end up watching it. That was the case today. Love the action scenes, the intensity, and how it bookends the whole story of Jason Bourne. Grade: A-

Kon-Tiki Pretty good film about the Kon-Tiki expedition, led by Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl. I really didn't know about this story, but I found myself engaged in it all. Although the film focuses mostly on the first leg of the expedition, which is arguably the toughest, it conveys the hardships of the whole journey well enough. Performances were pretty good, overall, and the film had several edge-of-your-seat moments, most of them involving sharks. Really good film. Grade: Torn between a B+ or an A-

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Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:06 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
Like someone for their strengths, love them for their weaknesses. Anyway, I was talking about movies and not necessarily life. I think we need true heroes in movies, not brats like katniss. Black Friday this year has me convinced that people are fundamentally scummy nonetheless but that has nothing to do with what kind of movies I prefer to watch.

I agree with grant. It's dystopia for kids. Pure cynicism and pseudo-moralism.


Not having clear-cut morality doesn't make you "pseudo-moralistic"

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Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:06 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Not necessarily. But in this particular case I think hunger games is pretty pseudo and rings false for me. It's also downsized for a young audience and feminized what historically has been a masculine concept. In shorter terms I'd say it feels neutered, especially if it's trying to do what you say it is. The second one even moreso, having just now seen it.


Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:21 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
Like someone for their strengths, love them for their weaknesses. Anyway, I was talking about movies and not necessarily life. I think we need true heroes in movies, not brats like katniss. Black Friday this year has me convinced that people are fundamentally scummy nonetheless but that has nothing to do with what kind of movies I prefer to watch.

I agree with grant. It's dystopia for kids. Pure cynicism and pseudo-moralism.


You're pretty much cribbing word-for-word from your boy Armond, dude. Intentionally or not, you're making the same argument.

And that argument is off-base. Obviously no one has to like it or find it a quality film -- we're not talking about 8 & 1/2 here -- but those calling it cynical or pseudo-moralist are missing the point. Kunzie made this point already in his spoilers for the third book, but the entire story is a damn cynical one, quite intentionally. Collins isn't trying to create a franchise, she's trying to tell a relevant story. That there's mass appeal to demographics that miss the heart of the story isn't an outcome she's responsible for. Again, quality can always be debated, but the story aims high in its moral scope.


Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:55 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
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Collins isn't trying to create a franchise, she's trying to tell a relevant story.


Isn't this a contradiction? You said Hunger Games was not trying to be social commentary. Look, I know what the books are all about. Yet I continue to disagree that anything about is deep. I know that it aims high. Not arguing that. But aiming high isn't everything.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Besides, Katniss has selfish reasons for killing the rebel leader. It doesn't make her look any better. All it really does is bring about a definitive...a VERY definitive :shock: , end to the love triangle.


Clear-cut morality may be a false ideal, but I respect much of the fiction that depicts it. And I do believe that some people can be active forces of goodness and decency, warts and all. I believe it.

Still, even leaving that aside. The greatest satirical concepts are all for nothing if the result is watered down.

But ultimately, we're supposed to just be talking about the movies. So I'll limit myself to saying that Katniss, as played by Jennifer Lawrence in the nearly 5 hours we've seen so far...I don't see the cinematic representation of her warranting much merit or defense as either a role model or character. What I remember most about her is that she cries a lot. She's not the first female YA protagonist to do so.


Last edited by MGamesCook on Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:41 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
What a perceptive view of a book one hasn't read, void of story context, tone, or characters' history at all (all those made the "definitive" stuff not as clear-cut as things may look from afar). Preconceived notions of stuff based on outsides factor (in this case, reading the plot points) and others' thoughts/opinions aren't anything new, but I didn't know you extend that from movies to books as well.


Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:10 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Nah, I'm not gonna say anything. Say what you want, I don't think I've ever once made a post that was entirely devoted to railing on another member. Yes, I make statements, but about people (viewers) in general, not one person. The reason I try not to is because I genuinely want to discuss the topics at hand. As such, I find another thing bothering me about Hunger Games (okay the movies, not the books).

Harry Potter, like Katniss, was the "chosen one." The person destined to become a symbol of good guys fighting back against the bad guys. But the key difference, which the Harry Pottter movies captured over and over again, is that Potter was never just a celebrity. I'm not referring to character depth, but to how his peers chose to look at him. There was a nice transition in the books and movies where Potter went from being an untouchable icon to being a regular teenage nerd: bullied, scoffed at by girls. And you got the sense that Harry finally became a person like other people, in the eyes of his classmates. That's one thing that, for me, is missing from Hunger Games. Liam Hemsworth, and I guess her family, are the only ones who seem to view Katniss as a human being. Katniss is less a hero than a celebrity.


Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:20 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
M (1931) 3 1/2 Stars
Directed brilliantly by Fritz Lang and acted masterfully by Peter Lorre (cast previously in comedy roles lol) this black and white suspense film still stands tall after 82 years. Lang's technique obviously well ahead of his time. The narrative is simple to follow but it will leave you thinking after the movie finishes. The police after hitting hard the criminal world to catch a child murderer in Berlin and failing, force the underworld leaders in order to take the heat off their activities to catch the disgusting serial killer themselves.

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Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:57 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Space Jam (1996) **1/2

Somehow I went my whole life without seeing this, despite being 9 when it came out. It's a pretty fun, if ridiculously slight, film and I had fun watching it. Even if Michael Jordan is incredibly wooden.

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