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post #101 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey View Post
The weird thing is that, in my experience, most of the people who say that about Adaptation seem to understand why the third act functions the way it does, yet they seem to not like it for the exact reason they appreciate it doing what it's doing.
My problem is that The Player did the same joke faster and better.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a perfectly acceptable, surprisingly faithful adaptation until the trainwreck that is Wonka's mawkish subplot, which drags out for twenty minutes after the movie is, for all practical intents and purposes, OVER. And I'm sorry, but in Roald Dahl stories parents are not to be tearfully reconciled with. They get eaten by rhinoceroses.

They Might Be Giants has a lovely, unique tone, supported by brilliant acting... until we end up in that supermarket.
post #102 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a perfectly acceptable, surprisingly faithful adaptation until the trainwreck that is Wonka's mawkish subplot, which drags out for twenty minutes after the movie is, for all practical intents and purposes, OVER. And I'm sorry, but in Roald Dahl stories parents are not to be tearfully reconciled with. They get eaten by rhinoceroses.
Oh holy shit, yes. Seriously, what was the point of Charlie and Wonka going to see Wonka's dad? What happens in that scene that isn't already accomplished by the previous one where Charlie tells him that having a family is okay? What was the point of that stupid backstory? It was fucking useless. If you skip all of those flashback scenes and the bit at the end with Lee in the dentist office, it would not significantly impact the film. I understand wanting to add a different spin on the story. If Burton had done a shot-for-shot remake a la Psycho, we'd all have thrown our hands up and said "What was the fucking point?!", so he threw some of his shit in there. Trouble is, this is a kid's movie, and Burton's daddy issues serve no purpose here.
post #103 of 129
Jurassic Park III reaches its high point at the beginning, where we see Sam Neill's exasperation over how the events of the first movie have overshadowed every other thing he has done or will do. The rest is pure Ed Wood.

The dinosaurs are there just to act out the screenwriters' moral indignation. We know that the big game hunters are going to be the first ones eaten, because they're introduced shooting guns. The guy they hired because they couldn't afford Matthew McConaughey can ride pterodactyls like he's riding the zip line at a yuppie tourist trap; as soon as Neill discovers the stolen eggs and castigates the guy for stealing them, NotmcConaughey is immediately eaten by the damn things. Minutes after Neill realizes he was being too hard on the guy and forgives him, the guy emerges like the Birth of Venus on an ambulance stretcher.

I know exactly how bad I sound for complaining that a movie about 21st Century dinosaurs insulted my intelligence. That's right, I'm precisely that kind of nerd. I have tried to get over this, and I have failed. Fuck Jurassic Park III.
post #104 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by therewillbezodiac View Post
The last ten minutes was, in many ways, what elevated No Country For Old Men from being a masterful genre piece to a work of art.
Nah. It's one of NO COUNTRY's numerous problems. The Coens adapted the book--which is one of Cormac McCarthy's most problematic efforts--too literally. What resulted from that never quite works, despite some fine performances and some lovely direction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therewillbezodiac View Post
The whole film is really about the way that Sheriff Tom Bell looks at the world. At the start of the film, he sees life in a relatively black and white manner. Good is good, bad is bad. He's the sheriff and it's his job to stop bad men. There's a sense that he believes the right thing will win out in the end.
That's what is intended, but Tom Bell, as he's rendered in the film, is never a particularly engaging character, and his arc isn't particularly well-handled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therewillbezodiac View Post
Llewelyn doesn't die in an elaborate shootout. It's not even on camera. Because he's not someone worth having the camera on him. He's a nobody who stole some drug money and got knocked off. He's not a hero. His death barely even matters.
I get the philosophical "meaning" behind the decision, but the movie isn't developed or framed in such a way that it works. It comes off like a cheat, since the philosophical weight of this supposedly clever gesture--which really isn't all that weighty or clever--doesn't justify the severe damage it deals to the narrative. NO COUNTRY's philosophical underpinnings wouldn't be significantly harmed if we did see Llewelyn bite the dust, and our engagement in the story would only be stronger for it.
post #105 of 129
Here's my pick for a nosedive film:

THE NINTH GATE.

For the first half, it's a mostly effective slow-paced thriller, something like Indiana Jones-meets-Raymond Chandler. But things begin to lose momentum somewhere around two-thirds of the way through, and we're given a half-assed climax with at least one cringeworthy moment (that final sex scene is laughable, as are most of the mysterious girl's "supernatural" moments), and an ending that's too much of a tease to be truly satisfying.
post #106 of 129
Regarding The Ninth Gate, I'm actually of the opinion that if that sex scene were the final scene in the movie, and the credits start rolling right on a smash cut to black, it would be pretty cool.

It's those last 10 minutes following the sex scene that really sink it for me.
post #107 of 129
This is really nitpickey, but Open Range overstays it's welcome by a good 7 minutes. Costner should've ended the film with the scene in Annette Bening's garden, but instead drags out the epilogue with a terribly forced & pointless final exchange.
post #108 of 129
Another one I thought of: The Eye. Love the first half with all the creepy visions. As soon as the avenge-the-ghost/avoid-the-disaster plot kicked in, the entire movie deflated for me.

Original, not the Alba. Never saw the Alba.
post #109 of 129
I was really loving the first act of "The Island", but as soon as they reached the surface it turned to crap.
post #110 of 129
I like the movie, but Iron Man 2 really starts going downhill after Whip-Lash escapes prison.
post #111 of 129
Something I saw recently:

The Men Who Stare at Goats. Awesome cast, fairly interesting story. No great shakes, but it's watchable fun. Turns to shit once they get to the psy base in Iraq.
post #112 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Decade View Post
This is really nitpickey, but Open Range overstays it's welcome by a good 7 minutes. Costner should've ended the film with the scene in Annette Bening's garden, but instead drags out the epilogue with a terribly forced & pointless final exchange.
Although i absolutely agree that those last few minutes do drag, I wouldn't go so far as to call it a nose dive. It just goes a few minutes longer than need be, but its not as if the end really does much damage to the overall movie. Unessential, sure. A drop in quality, or even a bad ending? I wouldn't say so.
post #113 of 129
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Starting when it goes uh, beyond thunderdome.
post #114 of 129
The Last Exorcism.

Shit that ending was awful.
post #115 of 129
Zack Snyder's Watchmen.

It starts out so well. Haley is great as Rosarch. Patrick Wilson is a great Dan. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is an amazing Comedian. Malin Akerman is...okay. I liked Cruddup as Manhattan. Less said about Carla Gugino and that terrible make-up the better.

But God, Matthew Goode was a terrible Veidt and that sinks it. I don't buy him as the most popular and beloved man in the world, idolized by millions. That silly accent was just icing on the terrible. In the book, there's something a little off about him, and his "I WIN!" at the end is supposed to reveal what a monster he was(Morally ambiguous as he was), but Goode plays him like he's up to something through the whole movie.

I'm not sure how well Moore's ending would have worked, but the one Snyder went with was terrible. Why does Dan suddenly stop fighting? He just...stops. In the book, the way it plays out is much more effective.

It's not a bad movie, but it has too many problems to be good.
post #116 of 129
I'm gonna say this then run, but for all the problems WATCHMEN had Veidt manipulating Dr. Manhattan into being the public face of the global catastrophe was not one of them. I actually kinda prefer it to Moore's ending, which works great in the book but would have died on its arse on the big screen.
post #117 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post
I get the philosophical "meaning" behind the decision, but the movie isn't developed or framed in such a way that it works. It comes off like a cheat, since the philosophical weight of this supposedly clever gesture--which really isn't all that weighty or clever--doesn't justify the severe damage it deals to the narrative. NO COUNTRY's philosophical underpinnings wouldn't be significantly harmed if we did see Llewelyn bite the dust, and our engagement in the story would only be stronger for it.
The Coens - and McCarthy - want you to feel the bewilderment and sadness that Bell feels when faced with the outcome. That's the entire point. The film is not about the audience attaining cheap thrills or anger at Chigurh's killing of Llewelyn. Being present for Llewelyn's death adds very little to the film and would only damage that final ten minutes, as Chigurh comes crashing down to Earth and Bell laments the strange, ugly world that he now finds himself in.
post #118 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron Hughes View Post
Zack Snyder's Watchmen.

It starts out so well. Haley is great as Rosarch. Patrick Wilson is a great Dan. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is an amazing Comedian. Malin Akerman is...okay. I liked Cruddup as Manhattan. Less said about Carla Gugino and that terrible make-up the better.

But God, Matthew Goode was a terrible Veidt and that sinks it. I don't buy him as the most popular and beloved man in the world, idolized by millions. That silly accent was just icing on the terrible. In the book, there's something a little off about him, and his "I WIN!" at the end is supposed to reveal what a monster he was(Morally ambiguous as he was), but Goode plays him like he's up to something through the whole movie.

I'm not sure how well Moore's ending would have worked, but the one Snyder went with was terrible. Why does Dan suddenly stop fighting? He just...stops. In the book, the way it plays out is much more effective.

It's not a bad movie, but it has too many problems to be good.
I almost totally agree with this. So much of the film is great, but Goode is so, so wrong for Veidt. Once they get to Karnak, the film dies. The only worthwhile things after their arrival are Rorshach's final moment - not that it fits, particularly, but Haley really sells it - and the booming, gigantic Manhattan telling Veidt how disappointed in him he is.

I'm not sure how you could have ended the film, but the combination of Veidt being so absent from most of the film that he's the only logical villain, Goode's performance/casting and the complete lack of impact the final scene in the newspaper office carries pretty much kill the film dead.
post #119 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post
The Coens - and McCarthy - want you to feel the bewilderment and sadness that Bell feels when faced with the outcome.
That's the intention, but neither McCarthy or the Coens pull it off. It doesn't work in the novel, and it works even less in the film.
post #120 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post
That's the intention, but neither McCarthy or the Coens pull it off. It doesn't work in the novel, and it works even less in the film.
No.
post #121 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post
That's the intention, but neither McCarthy or the Coens pull it off. It doesn't work in the novel, and it works even less in the film.
It works.
post #122 of 129
I always get suckered in by how much I really like the first forty five minutes of SUPERMAN RETURNS. Love the look of the film, love the tone, love Spacey as Luthor, and the Airplane rescue is amazing. Then at almost exactly 42 minutes in the tedium sets in, at almost the exact time Lois Lane's kid shows up.

I like individual moments in the rest of the film (Superman getting shivved and brutally beaten down, Luthor and Kitty's interactions, Superman's 'The fuck you gonna do now' look when he gets shot in the eye) but it's just kind of dull.
post #123 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post
It works.
Not for me, it doesn't. Bell isn't enough of an engaging presence to justify the switch of perspective (it's better in the book, where Bell's voice has a stronger presence throughout, and our sense of him is much more intimate, but the change still feels awkward). For that switcheroo to work, the Coens needed to employ a different narrative structure. As it stands, it seems like they're giving us one thing and then they're giving us something entirely different. Bell does not seem like a major presence up until that point--indeed, we're far more invested in the clash of Moss and Chigurh, and for all intents and purposes, the film's structure suggests that this narrative the focus of the story, not Bell's reaction to it--and as such, it comes across like a cheat.

Andrew Merriweather says "The Coens - and McCarthy - want you to feel the bewilderment and sadness that Bell feels when faced with the outcome." That's all very well, but, in my experience, and the experience of many others I know, that's not how it actually plays. We don't really feel bewildered or sad. We feel a little cheated, because now we're being asked to take the perspective of a character who we don't really care about.

All that said, NO COUNTRY is hardly a bad film. Even at its worst, it's still impressive.
post #124 of 129
Kind of raises the question of the audience's culpabiity in things, though. We supposedly care about a murderous sociopath and a lowlife thief, and when it ends how shit like that would actually end - in ugly, undramatic death - we're pissed off that we're denied being witness to it.

And the film is absolutely, unequivocably from Bell's perspective. He narrates the opening, and he's there the whole way through, a step or two behind the ongoing chase. I think you need to watch it again.

Honestly, I think you're faulting the film for not conforming to your expectations. That swerve is exactly the point - the Coens want it to play like a standard action thriller, so that they can then kick you in the junk and say "hey, you know that amazing supercool gunfight all this seems to building to? Life ain't like that."
post #125 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post
We supposedly care about a murderous sociopath and a lowlife thief, and when it ends how shit like that would actually end - in ugly, undramatic death - we're pissed off that we're denied being witness to it.
Well, yes. Because when you're invested in a story, you want to be there for the climax.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post
And the film is absolutely, unequivocably from Bell's perspective. He narrates the opening, and he's there the whole way through, a step or two behind the ongoing chase. I think you need to watch it again.
I've seen the film many times now. Yes, Bell narrates the opening. And, yes, he's on the trail of Moss/Chigurh. But he never, ever seems like the focal point of the film. He seems like a supporting character, and a none-too-compelling one, at that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post
That swerve is exactly the point - the Coens want it to play like a standard action thriller, so that they can then kick you in the junk and say "hey, you know that amazing supercool gunfight all this seems to building to? Life ain't like that."
As I've said, I'm aware of why the film does what it does. But you can still understand why an artistic choice has been made and dislike it. While the Coens often like to toy with audience expectations--BURN AFTER READING's ending is one giant middle finger to the audience--I think NO COUNTRY is one instance where pranking the audience doesn't pay off.
post #126 of 129
I'd like to know why, artistically, you feel that seeing Llewelyn's end would be a better choice. It would make the film a better cookie-cutter action thriller, perhaps. But, sticking with the themes the Coens and McCarthy pursued, how would showing that death improve the overall package?
post #127 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Marshall View Post
I always get suckered in by how much I really like the first forty five minutes of SUPERMAN RETURNS. Love the look of the film, love the tone, love Spacey as Luthor, and the Airplane rescue is amazing. Then at almost exactly 42 minutes in the tedium sets in, at almost the exact time Lois Lane's kid shows up.

I like individual moments in the rest of the film (Superman getting shivved and brutally beaten down, Luthor and Kitty's interactions, Superman's 'The fuck you gonna do now' look when he gets shot in the eye) but it's just kind of dull.
YES! It really looses traction once Superkid shows up. And what a waste of James Mardsen.
post #128 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post
It would make the film a better cookie-cutter action thriller, perhaps.
There wouldn't be much "cookie-cutter" about the film even if we saw Llewellyn die.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post
But, sticking with the themes the Coens and McCarthy pursued, how would showing that death improve the overall package?
If you're going to play a trick on the audience, you had better have a damn good reason for it. You (and others) have pointed out why NO COUNTRY makes that move. But despite all those reasons, it's really not worth the jarring interruption of the narrative. There are better ways to develop themes and ideas than to pull an "in your face" narrative stunt like that.

However, I'm suggesting the film should Llewellyn's death as a "quick fix" to the film as it was already structured. Taking the rest of the film as it is, showing Moss' death would allow his story to bridge into Bell's story more organically, without robbing the film of any sincere thematic depth. The themes would still remain, they just wouldn't as loudly proclaimed; indeed, they would have a more elegant and subtle development.

Ideally, though, the film would be fundamentally re-built from the ground up. I would rather have seen the Coens' completely re-imagine the structure of the story, instead of following McCarthy's novel like a blueprint.
post #129 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin S View Post
YES! It really looses traction once Superkid shows up. And what a waste of James Mardsen.
What a waste of Superman too.
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