Creed reviews

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3798
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: Creed reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:51 pm

This is exactly the type of movie that I would have never seen had it not been nominated for a major Oscar. I would have survived even without this experience, I must say. I suppose it's a not bad example of its kind, and you can see that they tried to include what they perceive as a "human side" (this human side doesn't amount to much more than some characters having health problems - the most obvious solution). But, I mean, everything is really very basic. Technically well made maybe if you like this kind of things, but overlong, and at least the first Rocky had a sort of endearing naivete - this one is smarter, less spontaneous (though it steals from THAT movie a crucial final moment).
The actor who plays the leading role has a not-inexpressive face and, with time, could potentially develop into an interesting screen presence and maybe a star, even - but if THIS is one of the performances by black actors that should have been nominated this year, I'd say that frankly it's not an injustice of Paul Giamatti-caliber.
Stallone has the cliched old-trainer role - a bit too benign and kind for my tastes, but age can help and make even traditionally wooden actors look softer, more believable. He didn't even deserve a nomination, of course, but I can understand it as a tribute to a familiar, beloved (and profitable) former idol; needless to say, an Oscar would be absurd.
Anyway - the fact that this movie has got four stars from some young and trendy American would-be critics shows how empty a certain "new" critical approach can be.

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 3816
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Re: Creed reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:05 am

Mister Tee wrote:But in this year, where there are more outstanding supporting performances than there are spots on the ballot, for him to be bidding for one of those spots -- to say nothing of being considered for the win -- is full-on depressing.


Of course we'll see what happens, but I think the idea of Stallone as Supporting Actor front-runner is a bit dubious. Of all the movies in the awards conversation that really needed the more populist precursors (Globe/SAG) to rally for it, Creed is the one whose stock seems to have fallen the most. It scored just the one Globe nomination for Stallone, and he couldn't even make it onto the ballot at SAG, a scenario I think the Academy could very well replicate. I know the common wisdom is that the late-breaking movies have a harder time with the Guilds, and there have obviously been cases where that's true. But wasn't that the argument everyone made about Selma last year? And in that case, the Guild meltdown proved to be pretty prophetic. And I think Mister Tee's earlier doubts were pretty valid -- are that many people in the Academy depressed that Sylvester Stallone doesn't have an acting Oscar?

And the Supporting Actor category right now really reflects Mister Tee's feeling that this year has some major races where it's hard to even pinpoint who is actually contending for the prize. There are a number of potential candidates I could imagine going all the way to win, but until we even find out if they make the nomination list, it seems impossible to figure out who might pull ahead of the others in the final stretch. I think there's truly the possibility that a Marisa Tomei-type situation could happen in this category, where someone who doesn't seem to be in the thick of the race right now surprisingly comes out on top just simply based on who the competition ends up being.

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 5872
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Creed reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:11 am

William Goldman's has a bunch of great catch-phrases in his book The Season; one that's always stuck with me is, "The trouble with washing garbage is, when you're done, it's still garbage".

Creed is clearly made by a filmmaker with not only technical skills but some eye/ear for the human condition. None of the dialogue clangs; every scene rings true enough with small observation. And the entire thing -- not just the fight sequences -- displays visual command.

But it's all in the service of so little. As BJ says, this plot is just a compendium of cliches. They're given as realistic a treatment as possible -- moment-by-moment, the film feels real enough, and the ending even hearkens back to the first Rocky film, settling for making a solid showing as a happy enough outcome. But at heart it's the same underdog-has-his-day storyline that Frances Marion could have cranked up over a weekend back in the MGM 30s. Which the original movie pretty much was, as well, but at least there it was our first time encountering this set of characters, not the -- what, sixth? seventh? That critics -- even ones with generally discerning taste -- have flipped for this as some sort of major achievement is baffling to me. The combination of the reviews for this, Fury Road and the latest Star Wars make it feel as if this is the year the critical mainstream decided to quit fighting the Hollywood industrial complex and just surrender.

As for Stallone...he gives a good performance. It's a very substantial role (if a cliched one), and he has at least one scene -- the "one more day with my wife" monologue -- that reminds one of the actor we thought he was when the original film came along; before he became such a joke. If this were last year, I'd be happier with him in that fifth slot than Duvall. If this were 2006, or 1985, when no one had any enthusiasm for the entire slate, I could see him contending for the win, largely on sentiment but not entirely. But in this year, where there are more outstanding supporting performances than there are spots on the ballot, for him to be bidding for one of those spots -- to say nothing of being considered for the win -- is full-on depressing.

Greg
Tenured
Posts: 2567
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 1:12 pm
Location: Greg
Contact:

Re: Creed reviews

Postby Greg » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:12 pm

Here is a link to Slant Magazine's four-star review of Creed:

http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/creed
"It is hard to think of anything more disempowering of the 0.01% than to recognize that we don't need them to pay for anything."

Stephanie Kelton

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 5872
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Creed reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:12 am

Precisely what I feared.

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 3816
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Creed reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:22 pm

Well, the positive notices got me to the theater to see this one, and I have to admit that I'm completely gobsmacked by the film's enthusiastic reviews. I'm risking going into full-asshole mode here, but I think there is virtually nothing interesting about Creed. The movie's champions have argued that this latest installment dances around tropes, or repackages cliches to make them feel fresh, but all I saw was completely generic formula: the kid with the troubled upbringing whose knack for fighting gets him into hot water even as it brings him fame, the search for the old mentor who grudgingly agrees to come out of retirement, the personality-free girlfriend, the grim diagnosis that shows up right on schedule, the climactic fight where the hero faces steep odds, and so on, and so on. I didn't even think the movie was all that impressive at button-pushing either -- given how much I'd heard about guys leaving the theater weeping, I thought something truly tragic was in store at some point, but when the big fight ended without much in the way of dramatic incident, I just thought, that's it?

It's nice to see Michael B. Jordan's star continuing to rise -- he's charismatic enough here, and a strong anchor for the movie, but I still don't think any of his big-screen performances have had the richness of his work on Friday Night Lights, the first time I took note of him as an actor. And as for Stallone, well, he pretty much does his usual shtick, albeit a more frail version of it -- I don't see any dramatic breakthrough that would merit acting awards.

I'm really trying to figure out why critics have given this movie such a pass. Nostalgia may well be part of it -- when the opening strains of "Gonna Fly Now" started playing during a particularly climactic moment, my audience burst into applause -- but as someone who never especially loved the original Rocky, and hasn't seen a film in the franchise since, none of that really got to me in the same way. And I hate suggesting this, for fear that I sound like a GOP candidate railing against "political correctness," but I also wonder if the presence of a promising black writer-director behind the camera, and black star in front of it, during a time when issues of racial diversity in Hollywood are at the tip of everyone's tongue, have made the film seem more like a progressive cause to champion, when in actuality it's actually pretty retro stuff.

I will be actively rooting against any major awards attention for this one.


Return to “2015”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest