The Official Review Thread of 2005

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Postby HarryGoldfarb » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:29 pm

OscarGuy wrote:I, personally, liked Rent well enough. I thought the actors were a bit old, but it was still a thought-provoking film, even if it is a re-tread of the dozens of other similarly-themed films/tv programs/musicals that have come out since and before it.

Wes, recently I found that Spike Lee was going to direct Rent's screen version up until 2001. Apparently, he insisted on a younger/hip/more famous cast. He wanted to include celebrities like Justin Timberlake (Mark? Roger?) and Brittany Murphy (Mimi?) or so I read on Wikipedia... could have been that a better version of the translation? I'm just interested on some opinions...
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Postby OscarGuy » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:53 pm

Harry, what they meant is that it does feel outdated (and I'm not saying I agree with them). AIDS is still killing, but the gay community seems to be effectively curtailing a lot of its extravagance that led to such a quick spread of the disease. And while we're at what people felt about the film, AIDS isn't a survivable disease, but it's become a more tolerable disease, something people can live with for far longer, something the film and musical Rent can't really understand/realize because of its origination year.

I, personally, liked Rent well enough. I thought the actors were a bit old, but it was still a thought-provoking film, even if it is a re-tread of the dozens of other similarly-themed films/tv programs/musicals that have come out since and before it.
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Postby HarryGoldfarb » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:15 pm

OscarGuy wrote:I think most critics complained that it felt too "old". It felt like its message was something best left to the decade in which it was released and didn't translate well to modern concerns/views of AIDS/homophobia. Plus, they said the cast was a bit long in the tooth to still play those roles.

Kinda agree about the cast, but pardon me... What are the "modern" concerns/views of AIDS and Homophobia? Even Rent is a political statement about tolerance... isn't tolerance a Modern issue about AIDS and gay communities right now as much as it was back then...? Of course back then the show had to feel like a groundbreaking thing but its issues are not that dated. Ignorance is still damaging a lot of people right now and this kind of works should be enocouraged, people should see this kind of stuff, that's why films like Mysterious Skin and Brokeback Mountain are necessary, that's why Philadelphia was necessary, no matter if those aren't perfect films, they bring important issues to the screen and allow a lot of people to witness it.

I have a lot, a lot of patients dealing with HIV, and it ain't easy, they don't know nothing about old or modern views/concerns... they just deal with the reality of it and those old stigmas and preconceptions and misinformation are still a big baggage to carry on through. I hope there's another reason why Rent didn't work, based on its quality, and some tecnic aspect of the film, the script, not a good and appealing cast, bad editing, the anochronism mentioned here, anything... not that its view on AIDS is "dated" or "old fashioned". I'm still wondering, what are the modern concerns on AIDS...
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Postby Akash » Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:54 pm

flipp525 wrote:Re: RENT. It bothered me that Columbus decided to set the story in 1989, yet kept the "Thelma and Louise" (1991) line in Angel's rendition of "Today 4 U". It's like, um anachronistic much?

It bothered me that I hated these characters so much that I didn't mind if they all died out.




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Postby flipp525 » Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:14 pm

Re: RENT. It bothered me that Columbus decided to set the story in 1989, yet kept the "Thelma and Louise" (1991) line in Angel's rendition of "Today 4 U". It's like, um anachronistic much?
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Postby Bog » Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:43 pm

Sabin wrote:A good time. I can't believe I'm saying this.

Nor can I

I guess to your credit, I love this type of film possibility, and that is why I find it especially egregious, and I've never expected anything but trash, so tis my own fault for letting my guard down for a Bay film at the premise and its promise, and getting supremo trash

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Postby OscarGuy » Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:30 pm

I think most critics complained that it felt too "old". It felt like its message was something best left to the decade in which it was released and didn't translate well to modern concerns/views of AIDS/homophobia. Plus, they said the cast was a bit long in the tooth to still play those roles.
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Postby HarryGoldfarb » Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:23 pm

anonymous wrote:RENT
Cast: Rosario Dawson, Taye Diggs, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, Tracie Thoms.
Dir: Chris Columbus.

I didn't dislike it as much I expected to but that was inspite of, not because of, Columbus's direction.

I never had interest on watching the film since I'm a big fan of the original cast recording and after hearing Columbus was going to be the director I completely lost all intention to do so. Nonetheless, I finally saw it today; a friend of mine, considering I'm a big fan of the musical, gave me the dvd as a gift and well, as an adaptation it was better than I expected. I think Columbus did it right when trying to preserve the original cast (it proved not to be a wise comercial choice but it was the best for the good of the play). The cast is great, vocally I found it a little bit inferior but nothing to complaint about. Dawson was a good Mimi and Tracie is great as Joanne. Loved most of the new arrangements by Rob Cavallo and I liked the fact that Columbus avoided any extravaganza (quite usual in most musicals) and kept it very low key. In some levels it capture the spirit of the play but as a movie adaptation I can see why it didn't worked well: it's still a broadway musical adapted very rigidly to the screen, it ain't a movie based on the musical. Even with some themes turned into diaolegue it seemed that there was a need for a regular conversation, the relationships were presented as rushed as it could be apparently in my opinion in order to keep the film in a "regular" lenght. I don't know, I like it but it felt as it there was a lack of balance between the intention of making a film and adapting a musical that to the eyes of the director was almost santified and couldn't be altered in any way. There was also a lack of imagination in the shooting but as a whole I still liked it. It's almost like "It's Chris Columbus, it almost doesn't look like it is, but yes he is though".

Does anyone know why was this so poorly received? was there a lack of campaign, people just simply didn't connect... I mean, this is a very well loved musical... what happened? was it all Columbus fault?
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Postby Sabin » Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:45 pm

I just watched 'The Island' and I must say that this is probably Michael Bay's most all around entertaining film. 'The Rock' is a pretty loathesome film that gets incredible mileage from Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage, two very charismatic actors who pull a mild coup in seizing control of the film and provide just as much drive to the narrative as Michael Bay's fascist approach to Death Knell cinema. 'The Rock' was a fluke but an entertaining one in a way that his 'Bad Boys' movies and 'Armageddon' and 'Pearl Harbor' and even 'Transformers' could not: it made you forget how completely ludicrous the entire spectacle of the thing really is. Almost.

'The Island' does not replicate that success exactly in that I was always aware of how completely stupid the entire film really is, but in a way this is the first Michael Bay movie where that doesn't matter. More so than any of his previous films, this is destruction/disregard-for-human-life taken to such extremes, I was astonished it got made. If a more sensible craftsmanship like McTeirnan, Donner, or Reynolds helmed the thing, it might be a very good film. But in that Michael Bay can command any budgetary excess up front, it feels like a giant playground that he gets to manuever around in. He's nowhere adept enough a thinker to really mine this material for all that it's worth, but it has the most striking visuals of any Michael Bay movie to date. I would argue that this feature, absurd as it is, is the most accomplished film of his ouevre.

I say this because whether he knows this or not, 'The Island' is riddled with undercurrents of morality beneath the destruction. These two clones once divested from their compound wreck havoc throughout America unabated. The damage that they manage to do is somewhere between cartoonish and genuinely appalling until I just started laughing. I think 'The Island' is at least consciously aware of their quest for freedom. People die in 'The Island'. Not with any real gravity, but certainly not in a Ants Killed Off-Screen fashion that we've come too accustomed to in films.

I would also say that this is the first Michael Bay movie to make good use of his obnoxious boner for the military compound. They are the unseeing, uncaring enemy and until the painfully oblivious ending, they make for a fairly exemplary enemy, in a way indicting the Bay films before and after.

I recall Sonic talking about how 'The Day After Tomorrow' is something fun you can turn your brain off to. Like all of Michael Bay's crimes against sensory awareness, I couldn't entirely do this but this was the first time I didn't entirely mind what I was watching, for its purity and and fairly amazing stuntwork. It's a Frankenstein movie of two very different parts, the latter which is far less enjoyable than the previous; neither one are too terribly well done, but they exhibit enough striking visuals and marginal competence to entertain me. Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson are miscast and not terribly interesting, though the former fares much better in the second half.

The ending is complete bullshit and I got the feeling that they just couldn't be bothered to find something plausible and redeeming, so they just made something genuinely dire and half-formed seem redemptive.

A good time. I can't believe I'm saying this.
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Postby OscarGuy » Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:20 am

I just finally got C.R.A.Z.Y. from Netflix and what an amazing movie.

I was wonderng all through the movie why the title was punctuated and find out at the end and realize how stupid I was not to get it earlier, but c'est la vie.

I thought the performances were all quite fine, especially Marc-André Grondin (not to mention adorable) and Danielle Proulx.

They additionally did a great job casting as the familial resemblancecs were uncanny.

Touching, sweet, endearing and authentic.




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Postby Okri » Thu May 10, 2007 7:48 pm

I wish they'd drop the idea of remaking this, and drop the idea of remaking The Loves Of Others while they're at it.


I hear that.

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Postby flipp525 » Thu May 10, 2007 1:35 pm

Greg wrote:If that's the case, I think Howard might actually be daring enough to set the film in New Orleans.

Oooo, that could actually be kind of interesting.
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Postby Greg » Thu May 10, 2007 12:11 pm

dws1982 wrote:My guess is that the US remake of Cache will substitute black/white conflict in place of the French/Algerian conflict.

If that's the case, I think Howard might actually be daring enough to set the film in New Orleans.
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Postby dws1982 » Thu May 10, 2007 9:37 am

My guess is that the US remake of Cache will substitute black/white conflict in place of the French/Algerian conflict.

I wish they'd drop the idea of remaking this, and drop the idea of remaking The Loves Of Others while they're at it.

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Postby ITALIANO » Thu May 10, 2007 4:29 am

But it's true that, while certainly universal, even metaphysical, in its themes, the movie deals with a political and social situation which belongs, if not only to France, definitely to Europe, and with the guilt feelings many Europeans (justly) have about that - not so much the wealthy ones, by the way, but the intellectuals especially (and wealthy intellectuals even more). If it were only about money, or about rich people vs poor people, it would be not only much more banal, but it would lose much of its rightly praised ambiguity. But of course that's the aspect Americans can more easily relate to, so I wouldn't be surprised if the (hopefully never made) American version will focus on that. I'm sure that an intelligent - and daring - American director could find the equivalent of this painful European issue in American society, something equally controversial and lacerating (and recent) - but it wouldn't be easy, and honestly Ron Howard doesn't seem to be the man who could do it. They will turn it into a superficial thriller, with a clear, obvious ending - with probably some slight social issues thrown in. "Cachè" is, of course, much more than that.


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