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Old 06-14-2009, 01:12 AM   #616
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It's also pretty terrible.


We'll just have to disagree.
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:19 AM   #617
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We'll just have to disagree.
Of course.
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:44 AM   #618
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Gran Torino had one of the worst trailers I have ever seen in my life.

I'm still in shock that it became such a huge hit because of that.
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:51 AM   #619
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Grumpy old man shouting at Asians. How could America possibly resist?
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:11 AM   #620
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Grumpy old man shouting at Asians. How could America possibly resist?
That explains Up, too.
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:22 PM   #621
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^^^ Brilliant.
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:17 PM   #622
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well , not exactly


one is about a grumpy old white guy that does not want to leave his home after his wife dies, and move into a retirement home, then some Asian kid shows up

and the other movie is ... about ....

never mind
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:19 PM   #623
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A Clockwork Orange

Time to slaughter a sacred cow.

Let me preface this by saying that today was the very first time I viewed the film, had already known pretty much the entire plot by heart, and seen it parodied numerous times, yet I had also never read the novel. This viewing was a product of years of hype, and my reaction is tinted as such. I love Kubrick, am a bit of an Anglophile, and have a great fondness for films that examine the human psyche. On that alone, I assumed this film would be right up my alley. I also went in with the assumption that I would be viewing something of a character study concerning this Alex DeLarge, and less a rumination on the government, morality, and society as a whole. Nearly all of those assumptions were proven wrong and this, too, colored my first impression.

First off, the good. Malcom McDowell fucking nails his role, providing the charm, charisma, and coercive aggression that makes Alex who he is. The entire film rests in his hands and, for the most part, he's quite capable. While I wasn't especially fond the Russian art aesthetic of the film, I found the overall feel unique and cohesive. Kubrick usually does a good job of putting his individual stamp on whatever film he directs, and this was no exception. Pacing was also very good, and I never felt bored while watching. All of this contributed to the relatively solid rating I gave the film, but I have many complaints that, I personally felt, kept this otherwise competent and watchable film from reaching its potential, or at least connecting with me personally.

From the outset, we're thrown right into the life and times of Alex DeLarge. He's in the milk bar, informing us that what is about to occur is a relatively normal night of "fun" for him and his posse. Cool. Maybe we can get some insight into what makes him tick. Violent scene #1...rape scene #1...violent scene #2...rape scene #2. By the time we get to violent scene #3, it's still almost impossible to tell what sort of personality Alex DeLarge has, or why anyone should care about him personally. Sure, we're privy to a few of his defining characteristics, but there's no back story. No context. But hey, he's a psychopath, right? Why SHOULD we care about him? Let's move on to the moral theme of the film to at least see what part he plays in all of this. It's the least we can do.

If the first third (45 minutes) of the film was dedicated to proving that Alex DeLarge is, in fact, a scumbag, the second third is dedicated to the discussion of freewill, and whether or not said scumbag deserves such a thing. Cool, right? Well, it would have been, had the chaplain not shouted it at us. Would have been nice to pick up on this theme in more subtle ways, and it would have been even nicer to have a better counterargument for his point than "you want THIS guy to have the luxury of choice? Hahahahaha liberals." I could hear the sound of fish being shot in a wooden, cylindrical container at this point.

The final third is when things get ridiculous. DeLarge is freed, and what's the first thing that happens to him? He meets up with the hobo he once abused, all of the "friends" he abused, and the family he raped and pillaged, all in the same day! But this isn't about realism, right? It's an allegory. It becomes obvious that DeLarge is meant to be more of a product than a human being by the end, when (in one of the more astute observations of the film) Alex is used for political gains. By this point, his lack of personality is forgiven. But it also leaves that first 45 minutes feeling more hollow and wasted than ever before. Not that the scenes of rape and violence were ever going to connect or even offend: they were far too cartoonish and overcooked for that. So what are we left with? A rather faceless villain, a spoonfed moral conceit, some interesting political satire, and a 6/10.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:13 PM   #624
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So what are we left with? A rather faceless villain, a spoonfed moral conceit, some interesting political satire, and a 6/10.
I don't think I need to tell you how wrong you are, because I feel like you kind of already know. Or at least will at some point in your life.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:01 PM   #625
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I wasn't a fan of this at first either. It took me quite a while to come around. I'm still not sure if it's a masterpiece, but Kubrick usually presents as many problems as he does things to admire, so that's typical.

Be aware, Lance, the film has quite its share of detractors in the critical community (as does the director), so I think LM's position isn't something so out-of-line. It's not like he trashed something as universally regarded as Vertigo or Citizen Kane.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:27 PM   #626
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There were a number of things I admired about the film. It just didn't connect with me on first viewing, and I tried my best to outline why. Kubrick was maddeningly inconsistent, sometimes even within the same film, but when everything clicks...man, you get a film like Dr. Strangelove that gets nearly everything right. Clockwork was focused and well-paced, but I felt it lacked the emotional gravity it needed to leave an impression beyond shock. Personally, I wasn't even shocked. Apathetic, really.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:33 PM   #627
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My comment was pretty tongue in cheek. I know the film has nearly as many detractors as it does admirers. No biggie. I was even sort of luke-warm to it initially, but after 2 or 3 revisits I really love it. It's kind of a mad joy to watch now.

But yeah, not one of my favorite Kubricks in any case.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:57 PM   #628
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I thought I was the only person alive who hadn't seen Clockwork or Strangelove, and now that LM's see Clockwork maybe I am. The Shining of course is brilliant, and I loved Full Metal Jacket though I know not everyone does.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:31 PM   #629
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I adore The Shining, but I realize its flaws. The acting isn't really up to par, for one thing. But, as Lance puts it, the film is "a mad joy" to watch, for me at least. And I don't really care what relationship it has with the novel, and how much it may or may not deviate from it: I rather like that it has an identity of its own.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:09 PM   #630
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I adore The Shining, but I realize its flaws. The acting isn't really up to par, for one thing. But, as Lance puts it, the film is "a mad joy" to watch, for me at least. And I don't really care what relationship it has with the novel, and how much it may or may not deviate from it: I rather like that it has an identity of its own.
Acting hardly even matters in Kubrick's films though. He's much more interested in just getting his actor's to behave exactly the way he wants within the frame and to be "interesting."

And Kubrick was really one of the few people in the industry who truly understood how to adapt something to the cinema. In most cases a novel or whatever should be altered and creatively build upon/stripped down and reimagined for the screen. Novels and feature length films don't share all that much in common, and are wildly different media. Not to say faithful adaptation haven't been made and resulted in good films, but they're almost inviting fundamental flaws into their form and unfavorable comparisons to their source *coughwatchmengrumble*
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