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Old 02-12-2008, 07:07 PM   #76
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Originally posted by lazarus
Casino Royale was a great reboot, but I think part of what made Bond so great was the tongue-in-cheek aspect of it. Now that was eventually taken too far, but I think trying to make such a serious film out of the franchise has taken away a bit of what made it great in the first place. The megalomaniacal villains, their henchmen, the gadgets, the puns...these became cliches, but no modern retelling is likely to charm the viewer in the way the first 10 or so did.
I definitely enjoyed some modicum of the tongue-in-cheek element, but, I'm not married to it for the franchise. Casino Royale had a few lines that made me laugh, though. Also, scenes like Bond and Vesper riding on the train was a welcome thing. Just nice by-play, or so I thought.

I guess I do not find On Her Majesty's Secret Service as charming as you did, though, I definitely enjoyed it, especially the end. Fuck you Kojak.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:18 PM   #77
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Fuck you Kojak.




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Old 02-14-2008, 03:20 AM   #78
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Ratatouille

Very close to being a masterpiece. Could have been a bit funnier, but whatever. It's absolutely gorgeous, classy, and clever. I loved it.

9/10
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:35 PM   #79
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Across The Universe

This will be a long review, and I'm sure a few here will not take kindly to it, but what the hell.

Coming into this film, I was not expecting much at all. It sounded like a movie with a thin plot (if any at all) propelled by music. And that's pretty much all it is, unfortunately. The worst part is that not even the music can hold up its end of the bargain at times.

So...the plot. Well, an hour in, I still had no fucking clue what I was watching. All I could guess was that it was a lame retread of the classic 60's tale (ZOMG VIETNAM SUCKS LET'S TAKE DRUGS), held together by a general, vague attempt at a love story that never really hits you at any point during the film. Thankfully, things calmed down a bit in the last 45 minutes, and there were some moments that were bearable amidst the pretentious tripe and painful cheesiness. The loose ends were mostly tied together OK, and it had a happy ending...if you like that sort of thing in films.

But it's still pretentious tripe. For every moment of genuine connection between the characters, there there are two scenes that are just used to show how "brilliant" Julie Taymor is at cramming as many colors and effects onto the screen as possible. Shots of people swimming nude in the water, weird scenes where the background disappears for no apparent reason, and color. Lots of color. They all say the same thing: absolutely nothing.

As for the dialogue, there isn't much to say. The plot was predictable and lazy, and so is the writing. There is little to no humor, and very little drama. And the drama that is there is embarrassing. You just sit there thinking to yourself, "damn, I could've written this on the can". And don't even bother getting your hopes up over actual character interaction; the characters are lazily-written cardboard cutouts that end up being 60's stereotypes and not much more. Some of them are just douchebags. Their names?

Jude (British douchebag)
Lucy (female douchebag)
Jojo (bad Jimi Hendrix rip-off)
Sadie (bad Janis Joplin rip-off)
Max (regular douchebag who gets sent to Vietnam)
Prudence (one of the most pointless characters of all time)

This leads me to another point: PUNS ARE BAD WRITING. This is basic, and you can learn it at any writers workshop. Puns are lazy, generally not that funny, and render this film nearly unwatchable for a Beatles fan. Example:

"Where did you come from?"

"She came in through the bathroom window."

LOLOLOLOLOLOLZOLOZZLZLOZO

I should have counted the facepalms and eyerolls I did during the course of the movie, but I think I would have broken my calculator.

So the effects that were originally supposed to anchor this film were disappointing and added little. What about the music? Well, it's the Beatles, sure, and that's all fine and dandy, but these are covers we're talking about, which means that a good chunk of them are awful. For every fantastic cover like Strawberry Fields Forever, there are embarrassing efforts like Sadie's sad attempt to rock out to Helter Skelter or a spoken word version of Mr. Kite that made me want to hurt somebody. And the timing of many of these covers are absolutely atrocious. It Won't Be Long being sung IN THE MIDDLE OF CLASS is a good example. The teacher doesn't even notice until she hits a really high note. It made me think:

"lalalalalala HEY! WTF, man? This is a classroom! You can sing loudly, but not THAT loudly!"

And why oh why must they lip-synch to everything? There are no places to breathe and just let the songs speak for themselves. No, they have to have the main characters act it out and ruin the pacing of the film. I dreaded every moment that I started to hear music, and I'm one of the biggest Beatles fans you could ever meet.

In conclusion...
  • Decent effects that merely pad the film
  • Weak plot
  • Mediocre acting
  • Uninspired dialogue
  • Music was a mixed bag
GFY, Across The Universe. I want those two hours of my life back.

3/10
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:42 PM   #80
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So, wait, what are you trying to say about Across the Universe?
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:59 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally posted by LemonMelon
Across The Universe

This will be a long review, and I'm sure a few here will not take kindly to it, but what the hell.

Coming into this film, I was not expecting much at all. It sounded like a movie with a thin plot (if any at all) propelled by music. And that's pretty much all it is, unfortunately. The worst part is that not even the music can hold up its end of the bargain at times.

So...the plot. Well, an hour in, I still had no fucking clue what I was watching. All I could guess was that it was a lame retread of the classic 60's tale (ZOMG VIETNAM SUCKS LET'S TAKE DRUGS), held together by a general, vague attempt at a love story that never really hits you at any point during the film. Thankfully, things calmed down a bit in the last 45 minutes, and there were some moments that were bearable amidst the pretentious tripe and painful cheesiness. The loose ends were mostly tied together OK, and it had a happy ending...if you like that sort of thing in films.

But it's still pretentious tripe. For every moment of genuine connection between the characters, there there are two scenes that are just used to show how "brilliant" Julie Taymor is at cramming as many colors and effects onto the screen as possible. Shots of people swimming nude in the water, weird scenes where the background disappears for no apparent reason, and color. Lots of color. They all say the same thing: absolutely nothing.

As for the dialogue, there isn't much to say. The plot was predictable and lazy, and so is the writing. There is little to no humor, and very little drama. And the drama that is there is embarrassing. You just sit there thinking to yourself, "damn, I could've written this on the can". And don't even bother getting your hopes up over actual character interaction; the characters are lazily-written cardboard cutouts that end up being 60's stereotypes and not much more. Some of them are just douchebags. Their names?

Jude (British douchebag)
Lucy (female douchebag)
Jojo (bad Jimi Hendrix rip-off)
Sadie (bad Janis Joplin rip-off)
Max (regular douchebag who gets sent to Vietnam)
Prudence (one of the most pointless characters of all time)

This leads me to another point: PUNS ARE BAD WRITING. This is basic, and you can learn it at any writers workshop. Puns are lazy, generally not that funny, and render this film nearly unwatchable for a Beatles fan. Example:

"Where did you come from?"

"She came in through the bathroom window."

LOLOLOLOLOLOLZOLOZZLZLOZO

I should have counted the facepalms and eyerolls I did during the course of the movie, but I think I would have broken my calculator.

So the effects that were originally supposed to anchor this film were disappointing and added little. What about the music? Well, it's the Beatles, sure, and that's all fine and dandy, but these are covers we're talking about, which means that a good chunk of them are awful. For every fantastic cover like Strawberry Fields Forever, there are embarrassing efforts like Sadie's sad attempt to rock out to Helter Skelter or a spoken word version of Mr. Kite that made me want to hurt somebody. And the timing of many of these covers are absolutely atrocious. It Won't Be Long being sung IN THE MIDDLE OF CLASS is a good example. The teacher doesn't even notice until she hits a really high note. It made me think:

"lalalalalala HEY! WTF, man? This is a classroom! You can sing loudly, but not THAT loudly!"

And why oh why must they lip-synch to everything? There are no places to breathe and just let the songs speak for themselves. No, they have to have the main characters act it out and ruin the pacing of the film. I dreaded every moment that I started to hear music, and I'm one of the biggest Beatles fans you could ever meet.

In conclusion...
  • Decent effects that merely pad the film
  • Weak plot
  • Mediocre acting
  • Uninspired dialogue
  • Music was a mixed bag
GFY, Across The Universe. I want those two hours of my life back.

3/10
Do you know as much about Football as you do cinema, LemonMelon?
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:06 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally posted by LemonMelon

GFY, Across The Universe.


Agreed.
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:14 PM   #83
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I really do want to see Across the Universe eventually. Hopefully for free on Encore or something.

It looks stupefyingly bad.
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:17 PM   #84
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That's a pretty good way to describe it, but not as good as "clusterfuck."
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:33 PM   #85
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I'd call it a lazily-written retread with a barrel full of pretentiousness on the side.
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:47 PM   #86
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You mean you didn't like the symbolism in singing Dear Prudence to the lesbian Prudence in the closet???

God, I'm jealous of my friend who snuck into it now. At least she only wasted 2 hours of her time, I wasted that and 6 bucks.
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:06 PM   #87
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Most Brutal Across the Universe Moments:

- Prudence singing "I Want to Hold Your Hand" on the football field.
- Prudence being sang to in the closet.
- Anything else involving Prudence.
- "She came in through the bathroom window." This wouldn't have been so bad if they hadn't stated it out loud.
- The horror that was Mr. Kite
- "It Won't Be Long"
- The bowling alley scene.
- Joe fucking Cocker.
- Oh! Darling... I can't listen to the song without thinking of the stupid exchanges between Jimi and Janis now.


I could probably flesh this out more, but that would only stem from me watching the movie again. That's not going to happen.
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:07 PM   #88
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Add:

- Seeing Prudence in the middle of Mr. Kite for no reason.
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:14 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally posted by LemonMacPhisto
Add:

- Seeing Prudence in the middle of Mr. Kite for no reason.
"ZOMG is that Prudence?!??!?!?"

"IT IS!!!"

"Hai guysz!"





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Old 02-14-2008, 09:30 PM   #90
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You know, I actually liked this a lot. I didn't think it was perfect by any means, and there were many scenes that didn't work for me, but I love Taymor's work, and I don't think this is a waste of her talents.

I saw an interview a while back where she tried to respond to some of the critiques about the film, in terms of the simplicity of the character archetypes and the plot itself. What I didn't realize is how personal much of the story was, in terms of what she brought to it from her own experience growing up through the turbulent 60's.

Personally, there's something really visionary about the I Want You (She's So Heavy) scene, and also what they did with Strawberry Fields Forever. Most films don't even have one sequence that's as artistically ambitious, and this one is full of them. Now that doesn't make it a great film, but I also don't think it deserves all the scorn that's coming its way.

I doubt many of you will be interested in hearing Taymor discuss her film, but David Poland, a film blogger and columnist who does really great interviews with filmmakers, got some insightful comments out of her that gave me more respect for what she did here.

For those who care:

http://www.iklipz.com/MovieDetail.as...a-d9dc2ce61ef2


Sound is very low, so turn it up.
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