R.I.P. Joel Schumacher

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Re: R.I.P. Joel Schumacher

Postby Precious Doll » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:08 am

Joel Schumacher was a journey man director and generally not a good one.

I think his best film by far is Tigerland (2000) and I'm rather found of Cousins (1989) a surprisingly good reworking of Cousin Cousine (1975) and The Client (1994) which is probably of best of all those rather tiresome John Grisham adaptations that were so popular for a decade or so.

I also really enjoyed The Lost Boys (1987) at the time of its release but I recently re-watched it and sadly it hasn't aged well at all. :cry:

But boy he made a number of absolute stinkers: D.C. Cab (1983), Flatliners (1990), Dying Young (1991), A Time to Kill (1996), 8MM (1999) what a loathsome nauseating film that one is, why Joel why?, Veronica Guerin (2003), The Number 23 (2007) & Trespass (2011).

Pretty much everything else was serviceable at best. By all accounts though a very nice man and one could never accuse him of being a boring director. He certainly made is mark on Hollywood.
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Re: R.I.P. Joel Schumacher

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:51 pm

I grew up in the time that Lost Boys aired and it's a seminal film of the late 80s. It's not great, but it's certainly better than anything else of his I saw. I liked Batman Forever well enough, but Batman & Robin was really the worst. The film I will always detest of his, though, is his adaptation of Phantom of the Opera. It was a pale imitation of and that's inexcusable when you have something like that to work with.
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Re: R.I.P. Joel Schumacher

Postby Sonic Youth » Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:40 pm

Mister Tee wrote:
As for Gleiberman/Falling Down: Gleiberman was also, remember, with Jeff Wells in the virulent "Green Book is the best!" camp. His taste was never mine, but it's become way more untrustworthy as time has gone on.


Just to clarify, it wasn't his taste I was questioning when I wrote that. (FWIW, I literally wrote that in my sleep. I considered writing something in this thread, went to sleep, and found it posted. Weird...) It was more his lack of perspective. That someone would urge everyone to see Falling Down without giving any acknowledgement - just a sentence or two, that's all - that an incendiary movie about a white guy who shoots up urban neighborhoods might play just a LITTLE BIT differently in post-Floyd 2020 than it did in the early 90s is short-sighted at best.

That Schumacher was a lovely man is interesting considering I found his movies all had a hint of nastiness to them.
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Re: R.I.P. Joel Schumacher

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:35 pm

I looked at this thread yesterday and contemplated posting, but didn't want to be the skunk at the garden party. Now, however, seeing that others have gladly played the role, I'll chime in.

Schumacher was costume designer for, among other films, Blume in Love, The Last of Sheila, Sleeper, and Play It as It Lays. I'd watch any of those again before I'd watch any movie Schumacher directed. Hell, I'd even watch Car Wash -- a slob movie he only wrote -- over the entirety of his directorial filmography.

I have heard from numerous sources that he was a very nice person who did significant kindnesses for many people. This is obviously commendable, but sort of irrelevant to any evaluation of his talent.

Someone yesterday commented on what a wide variety of genres he worked on. This brought to mind the old phrase "Jack of all trades, master of none." Schumacher's films were distinguished by being so undistinguished, all down the line. They were the film equivalent of Tom Cruise performances: they aped reality without ever once truly capturing it. I'm truly amazed to see people citing A Time to Kill as some kind of memorable movie -- the film seemed to me an effort to reconstruct To Kill a Mockingbird, only leaving out everything that made it genuine or evocative. The same for all his supposed "serious" efforts. (Some of which, admittedly, I've never seen: I was already a grown-up in the 80s, so had no adolescent imperative to see The Lost Boys.) And of course that's not even getting into the debacle of his Batman movies.

As for Gleiberman/Falling Down: Gleiberman was also, remember, with Jeff Wells in the virulent "Green Book is the best!" camp. His taste was never mine, but it's become way more untrustworthy as time has gone on.

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Re: R.I.P. Joel Schumacher

Postby Sonic Youth » Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:58 am

Every filmmaker needs an Armond White to cheerlead him. Looks like Owen Gleiberman was Joel Schumaker's. And recommending Falling Down takes a pair of stones these days.
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Re: R.I.P. Joel Schumacher

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:47 pm

It's not nice to speak ill of the dead, so I won't, but I will not be as kind to the garbage he made.

A few of his films are worth sitting through for the performances - Philip Seymour Hoffman in Flawless, Cate Blanchett in Veronica Guerin, Susan Sarandon and Brad Renfro in The Client, and that's about it. St. Elmo's Fire I couldn't take more than a couple minutes of, and Falling Down was the worst piece of shit that Michael Douglas and the rest of the film's starry cast ever made.

Everything else from Lost Boys, Flatliners and Dying Young to Tigerland and Phone Booth were less interesting than watching paint dry. The Phantom of the Opera was the last one I forced myself to sit through.

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Re: R.I.P. Joel Schumacher

Postby Sabin » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:05 pm

As I've written more than once, the summer of 1995 was my movie awakening. It started with Braveheart, which was my first loved film. My first love was swiftly followed by my first hate: Batman Forever. I was hardly a Batman fanboy (at that point, it would've been X-Men) but I liked the comics, the cartoon, and the movies enough to feel betrayed. I don't think I've ever had more nerd rage at a movie, a sense of righteous indignation that everyone involved with the film was a con artist who didn't understand the source material -- or didn't care. It's clear now that Schumacher was doing was blending the 1960's camp of Batman with a unique gothic, Dick Tracy-like retro-vision that's fairly stunning on the surface. But blended together to my eyes, the gothic made the camp seem low-rent, while the camp made the gothic feel shallow and un-immersive.

That's sort of Schumacher in a nut shell for me. He's going for something. I just don't like it.

Owen Gleiberman does his best Santa Claus for Schumacher's legacy.

https://variety.com/2020/film/columns/j ... 234645492/
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R.I.P. Joel Schumacher

Postby danfrank » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:50 pm



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