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Roman J. Israel Esq.

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

Denzel completely towers over everything else in this movie.  Unfortunately I don't think that works in the film's favor, since the story is kind of ho-hum.  And I don't think the ending worked.  But it's the Denzel hour through and through.  Dan Gilroy seems to be able to bring out the best of his lead actors as we saw in Nightcrawler and now this.

post #2 of 42
The ending is really dumb. It’s a decidedly mediocre film.
post #3 of 42

That's consistent with what I've heard: phenomenal performance from Denzel, mediocre-to-bad film otherwise.

post #4 of 42
Thread Starter 

The film was apparently re-cut after screening at the Toronto film festival, I think pretty significantly re-cut.  I wonder if the film was more ambitious, got bad feedback, and they re-cut it for a more safe presentation, because that's what the movie feels like.

post #5 of 42
damn that's too bad

Love Nightcrawler
post #6 of 42

Soon as I saw PG-13 a lot of my interest waned. Maybe a rating shouldn't be that big of a deal but it's my truth.

post #7 of 42
huh I assumed it was an R rated movie
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
 

That's consistent with what I've heard: phenomenal performance from Denzel, mediocre-to-bad film otherwise.

 

That seems to be the Denzel MO now. Wish he'd loosen up and be in a great ensemble film (no Magnificent Denzel and Pratt doesn't count).


Edited by Cylon Baby - 11/29/17 at 4:02pm
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

huh I assumed it was an R rated movie

 

Nope, safe and friendly family entertainment. Take the kids! Fun for all!

post #10 of 42
In fairness, I don’t think it is a movie that would benefit much from a higher rating. Denzel’s character doesn’t feel like one who would use profanity or have much sex, and the thriller elements shoved in towards the end of the film feel so out of place that I am not sure making them more violent would make a difference.
post #11 of 42

The last 20 minutes felt like they were ripped from an entirely different script. 

post #12 of 42
Honestly, I feel like Denzel deserves a run where he's working with nothing but the creme dela creme directors in the buisiness. Someone like Gilroy may have potential to be great, but he's a new-ish director still finding his feet.

It'd be crazy to think what an actor of Denzel's ability could do if he could peel off a run working with Scorsese, Coen brothers, Nolan, Spielberg, Inarritu, PTA and Tarantino (ie the type of directing bucket list, Daniel Day Lewis or Dicaprio have access to when they feel like).

Tarantino aside, most of these directors don't tend to have much in the way of substantial roles for non-white actors, which is a shame.

I think Denzel would take part in a Coen Brothers or Tarantino ensemble if offered, but I've never heard of him being offered. With Quentin, as long as he has Sam Jackson on speedial, I don't think he'll ever cast Denzel (probably due to their awkward run-in on the Crimson Tide set as well).
post #13 of 42

I specifically recall an interview from about a year ago, for Fences, where Denzel said that he'd love to work with Steven Spielberg on something. I think it's true that the only thing Denzel hasn't really got among the many accoutrements throughout his career is a run like you are describing, like DiCaprio's enjoyed since his Spielberg/Scorsese twofer in 2002. Denzel did so many projects with the likes of Spike Lee and Tony Scott, and make no mistake, both men were quite good at delivering what they wanted to with him as their muse, and he's worked repeatedly with the man who directed him to his second Best Actor Oscar, but I too would like to see him pick up where he seemed to start in 2012 when he made Flight with Robert Zemeckis. 

 

Anyway, this movie was all right. As said above, the last act is a tonal mess, and the film never really finds its footing in spite of Washington giving it his all in yet another excellent lead performance. Also thought Colin Farrell was good in a somewhat thankless part. It had some solid pieces working for it but it never coheres, which is a shame.

post #14 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holistic View Post

Honestly, I feel like Denzel deserves a run where he's working with nothing but the creme dela creme directors in the buisiness. Someone like Gilroy may have potential to be great, but he's a new-ish director still finding his feet.

It'd be crazy to think what an actor of Denzel's ability could do if he could peel off a run working with Scorsese, Coen brothers, Nolan, Spielberg, Inarritu, PTA and Tarantino (ie the type of directing bucket list, Daniel Day Lewis or Dicaprio have access to when they feel like).

Tarantino aside, most of these directors don't tend to have much in the way of substantial roles for non-white actors, which is a shame.

I think Denzel would take part in a Coen Brothers or Tarantino ensemble if offered, but I've never heard of him being offered. With Quentin, as long as he has Sam Jackson on speedial, I don't think he'll ever cast Denzel (probably due to their awkward run-in on the Crimson Tide set as well).

 

Denzel, while a brilliant actor, seems to prefer playing it safe.  Basically studio generated projects, or projects from studio journeymen.  It is very much the Will Smith trajectory, who turned down Django because he thought Django wasn't the lead (which is absurd).  These guys just like playing it safe and keeping their image digestible for a wide audience.  Which is strange, because Lonzo in Training Day was anything but that... it seemed to hint at him taking more chances in terms of movies, but it really was about him becoming more of a flashy presence in relatively safe studio movies.  Training Day is very good, but it's still basically a fairly predictable and safe studio movie.  Sam Jackson seems to have mastered the art of doing both... outlandish movies and safe studio fare. 

post #15 of 42
Even the trailer for this goes through a weird tonal shift 1:30 in. I turned it off because I felt like I was watching the whole damn film.
post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

 

Denzel, while a brilliant actor, seems to prefer playing it safe.  Basically studio generated projects, or projects from studio journeymen.  It is very much the Will Smith trajectory, who turned down Django because he thought Django wasn't the lead (which is absurd).  These guys just like playing it safe and keeping their image digestible for a wide audience.  Which is strange, because Lonzo in Training Day was anything but that... it seemed to hint at him taking more chances in terms of movies, but it really was about him becoming more of a flashy presence in relatively safe studio movies.  Training Day is very good, but it's still basically a fairly predictable and safe studio movie.  Sam Jackson seems to have mastered the art of doing both... outlandish movies and safe studio fare. 

 




I mostly disagree with this. Denzel's career trajectory is in no way similar to Will Smith's, and I don't think he really plays it safe at all (at least not in the context of his whole career). Whether Roman Israel actually worked or not, he's gone completely against type (a dorky, socially awkward savant on the spectrum is not a character anyone would typically associate with Denzel Washington) and worked with an exciting new auteur in Dan Gilroy. It's exactly the type of "risk" people say he should take after he makes some popcorn thriller with a studio journeyman.

His last two movies are low budget "arthouse" films (Fences and Roman Israel), even if they've had studio backing once packaged, and both clearly risky commercial prospects. Both movies were budgeted under 25 million and the only reason they even looked vaguely palatable to the mainstream is because Denzel is such a big star, and we automatically think anything he's in must be some expensve studio thing. They are not safe films. He's incredibly unlikable in Fences and incredibly weird in Roman Israel. Not sure how that's trying to keep himself digestable for general audiences. If anything, it feels obvious (since playing a coke bloated alcoholic liar in Flight) that he no longer particularly gives a shit if audiences find his characters digestable, because he knows he's banked enough audience goodwill over the years for them to usually show up regardless of how unlikable or odd his characters may be. That is not Will Smith.

For me Denzel is almost the anti-Tom Hanks. Hanks works with far more great directors, but rarely subverts his image. Denzel is constantly subverting his image, to the point where I don't think there's much he'd be unwilling to play. He mixes it up a lot.

I like Sam Jackson, but if i was an actor, I'd take Denzel's career approach over Jackson's in a heartbeat. Jackson literally says yes to any project that offers him a check and has a nearby golf course. It's such a haphazrd, hit and hope approach that only a workaholic character actor like Jackson can get away with. I suppose Chris Walken was similar in his day. But if it wasn't for his association with Tarantino (who doesn't allow him to coast in his films), I genuinely think people would forget Jackson was a good/great actor, and would assume he was just a walking caricature in stuff like The Hitman's Bodyguard or Robocop.

I do think Denzel is fully aware that he's a movie star and has a responsibility to make films that make money (and as one of the only long term black A-listers who has seen black leading men come and go after one or two flops, he's probably always known he can't afford as many box office bombs as a George Clooney before being demoted to "character actor" status). But I feel like over his career, he's taken many calculated risks and balanced art and commerce incredibly well. I think things like He Got Game and Fences are deeply challenging and artistic films that barely anyone would have seen if Denzel didn't attach his starpower to them.
Edited by Holistic - 11/30/17 at 12:44pm
post #17 of 42
Also, I don't think it's fair to describe Training Day as a "safe studio movie". It was risky genre filmmaking that could really have faced a horrible backlash for it's depiction of the LAPD as corrupt gangbangers.

The bad urban cop thing may seem predictable now, but at the time, people were utterly shocked that Denzel's character was actually a villiain in the end, and not some tough, but ultimately decent anti-hero. It was not predticable at all. But it was sort of a gamechanger in the cop movie genre, and it's been liberally ripped off so many times since (from The Shield to Harsh Times to Narc to Rampart to Street Kings) that it has become conventional. But I can't really recall a mainstream cop film quite like Training Day before it came out. it was a classic misdirection. People thought they were going to get some buddy cop thing like Lethal Weapon...and got something else entirely/
post #18 of 42
Thread Starter 
Beyond Denzel's showy performance, Training Day is a fairly predictable, by the numbers cop thriller. I dont understand where the risk is, since it did not have a huge budget as far as I can tell.

Also my point was the movies are relatively safe, standard studio fare for those budget levels. Fences is not Hateful Eight. Flight is not Inherent Vice. Training Day is not mother!
post #19 of 42
I think you've stumbled upon a theory and are just sticking to now out of obligation.

Fences (at any budget level) NEVER gets made by a studio without someone like Denzel attaching himself to it. It's basically a filmed stage play with one location, zero action and all stylised August Wilson dialogue. And it might only appeal to some African-Amercans, instead of a wider audience. As a film so specific to the African-American experience, the upside in international box office is almost zero (Fences made almost all it's money at the domestic box office). No studio makes a film like this or thinks it'll make any money, without a big name pushing to get it made. Fences starring Forrest Whitiker would never happen, because the likely box office result would not be worth it to any studio. It's not safe studio fare by any standard.

I can guarantee you that Hateful Eight would have an easier time getting greelighted by studios under most circumstances than Fences. Mother! as well, because you can market it as a horror film, which audiences like and understand.

The only reason Fences wasn't technically an "indie" or made at all was Denzel. He can get difficult material like that budgeted at a studio, mainly because studios want to stay in the Denzel Washington buisness. They don't mind potentially taking a loss on a low budget passion project like Fences, if he gives them The Equalizer or Safe House. And if the "art movie" like Fences happens to make a profit (which it did), even better.

Ironic that you mention Inherent Vice, because I read a couple of reviews comparing Roman Isreal Esq to that movie. Again, if another actor does it, the idea that it's not a risky project would never even be considered.
Edited by Holistic - 11/30/17 at 8:58pm
post #20 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holistic View Post

I can guarantee you that Hateful Eight would have an easier time getting greelighted by studios under most circumstances than Fences. Mother! as well, because you can market it as a horror film, which audiences like and understand.

 

See, now you're just talking crazy.  A 3+ hour violent talkfest in one location with the word nigger thrown around and a woman being mercilessly abused is an easier sell than Fences?  No.  It only got made because of Tarantino... it would never survive the development process.  Mother! is probably an even bigger hard sell.  It got an F cinemascore, something accomplished by only 19 movies in history.  Aronofsky barely got it made himself, with his reputation and box office track record.  It's probably the most divisive movie of the year, and you're telling me it would've been an easy horror movie sell?  Have you even see it?

 

Roman J is nothing like Inherent Vice.  Seriously?  Who have you been talking to?  It's obvious you haven't seen it, because no one in their right mind who's seen both those movies would make that absurd comparison.

 

I just cannot get behind any of this.  

post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

 

See, now you're just talking crazy.  A 3+ hour violent talkfest in one location with the word nigger thrown around and a woman being mercilessly abused is an easier sell than Fences?  No.  It only got made because of Tarantino... it would never survive the development process.  Mother! is probably an even bigger hard sell.  It got an F cinemascore, something accomplished by only 19 movies in history.  Aronofsky barely got it made himself, with his reputation and box office track record.  It's probably the most divisive movie of the year, and you're telling me it would've been an easy horror movie sell?  Have you even see it?

 

Roman J is nothing like Inherent Vice.  Seriously?  Who have you been talking to?  It's obvious you haven't seen it, because no one in their right mind who's seen both those movies would make that absurd comparison.

 

I just cannot get behind any of this.  

 



I said some reviews compared it to Inherent Vice. From The Hollywood Reporter review:


"Indeed, there’s a kind of psychedelic vibe about the film, a skewy kind of wooziness enhanced by John Gilroy’s percussive editing and Robert Elswit’s dreamy, off-kilter cinematography (an overhead shot of Roman gamboling in the ocean is a particular delight). Elswit’s involvement might also account for the way that the recent film it most feels like is Paul Thomas Anderson’s magnificent mess of an L.A. movie, Inherent Vice. Like the latter, this won’t be to everyone’s taste and may turn out yet to be one of those films that needs multiple viewings to reveal its true nature."

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/roman-j-israel-esq-review-1037525

I personally don't see it either, beyond both films having oddball protagonists and the same DP, but it goes to show that people see films in different ways.

Your F cinemascore for Mother! means very little. Most of the films that got that score, happened to be horror movies (The Wicker Man, Alone In The Dark, FearDotCom, The Devil Inside, Wolf Creek, Silent House etc). Nobody made those films thinking they'd get an F cinemascore. They all thought they were making easily marketable horror flicks with a strong commercial upside if they connected. Aronofsky being an "auteur" probably felt he was making something deeper and more complex than all those other horror filmmakers that got an F, but the fact remains that they knew they could market it as a horror movie starring the biggest female actor in the world right now. It was deliberately marketed, right down to the poster, to invoke Rosemary's Baby, one of the most succesful horror films ever made.

Audiences like horror movies as a general rule of thumb. But when they don't like your horror movie, it's the genre they are most likely to give an F to. Mother! doesn't win any special points for that.

Fences had been in development hell for over 25 years before making it to the screen, despite having the pedigree of being based a Tony winning play. Hollywood was in no rush to make this movie. Aronofsky probably managed to put together financing and distribution for Mother! within 6 months of completing the script. Maybe less time than that. I get what you are saying, but I don't think you can compare the difficulty level involved in getting both projects made.

You are right. Hateful Eight only got made because of Tarantino. Just like Fences only got made because of Denzel. It's not a competition. Both of them leveraged their appeal to get difficult, uncommercial projects made.
Edited by Holistic - 12/1/17 at 12:19am
post #22 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holistic View Post

Your F cinemascore for Mother! means very little. 

 

It means mother! was not an easily marketed horror sell as you claimed.  It's a weird, very un-audience friendly psychological thriller that DA had alot of trouble getting made.  Those other horror movies you mentioned did not have a hard time getting made... so they have almost nothing in common with mother!, in relative terms, they're fairly standard horror flicks, which mother! is not.  They got F scores because they're absolutely terrible movies.  mother! got that score almost exclusively for being completely abstract and un-audience friendly.  It's like lumping in a Kubrick movie with horror schlock from the 80s.

 

But all that's beside the point.  I'm not even sure what we're debating anymore.  It seems we're agreeing to disagree about Denzel's movies, though I'm still scratching my head over how anyone can compare hard sells like H8, Vice and mother! to the feel good drama Fences, the standard cop thriller Training Day and the inspirational legal drama Roman J Israel.  They're cut from entirely different cloths.  One gets sold at specialty stores, the others get sold at The Gap.

post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

 

  I'm not even sure what we're debating anymore.  It seems we're agreeing to disagree about Denzel's movies, though I'm still scratching my head over how anyone can compare hard sells like H8, Vice and mother! to the feel good drama Fences, the standard cop thriller Training Day and the inspirational legal drama Roman J Israel.  They're cut from entirely different cloths.  One gets sold at specialty stores, the others get sold at The Gap.

 




Fences is NOT a feelgood drama. It's a nearly 3 hour claustrophobic chamber piece about an unreedemable asshole who cheats on his wife, forces her to look after a child he had from an affair, mentally and physically abuses his son, then (thankfully) dies. There is a reason it took 25 years to get this movie made. It's depressing as hell. It was easily one of the least commercially minded films I watched last year. It's a feelbad movie, not feel good. You may leave the movie thankful that you never had a father that awful, but that's about it. Maybe you are confusing it with Hidden Figures, which was the feel good African-American drama of last year.

But seriously, calling Fences a feel good drama is like calling a A Streetcar Named Desire or Death Of A Salesman feelgood dramas. They all operate in the same ballpark of dark, profound drama with big themes.


But yes, lets's agree to disagree about how "easy/hard" some of his movies are to sell, because we are going to be going in circles with this. We are getting to the point in this discussion where Denzel might have to do hardcore porn or a snuff movie for a film of his to be constituted as a risk.lol!
Edited by Holistic - 12/1/17 at 5:19pm
post #24 of 42
Thread Starter 
I didnt see Fences, so I was going off what I saw in the trailers. But Training Day? Roman J Israel? Magnificient Seven? All the Bruckheimer movies he's been doing? Out of Time? Etc, etc. Still pretty obvious Denzel gravitates toward standard studio fare like Will Smith, which you basically dismissed as not being similar. They both make studio programmers as a general rule. One exception doesnt really disprove what I was talking about.
post #25 of 42
Thread Starter 
Edited.
post #26 of 42
Thread Starter 

Just to further illustrate that Denzel plays it safe just like Smith, let's take a look at their recent and upcoming filmography, side by side:

 

DENZEL                                 WILL

The Equalizer 2 (filming)       Alladin (filming)

Roman J Israel Esq.              Spies in Disguise (pre-production)

Fences                                 Bright (post-production)

The Magnificent Seven          Bad Boys 4 (announced)

The Equalizer                       Collateral Beauty

2 Guns                                 Suicide Squad

Flight                                   Concussion

Safe House                           Focus

Unstoppable                         Winter's Tale

The Book of Eli                     Anchor Man 2

 

I mean, these guys are pretty much sticking with standard studio fare, with one exception (Fences, which probably is indicative of a long gestating passion project, and not some new desire to suddenly switch gears into risky movies... I mean, his next movie is a sequel to a successful thriller, continuing to play it safe).  While Denzel seems interested in the occasional showy role to stretch his acting muscles, the actual movies themselves remain about as safe as they've always been.

post #27 of 42
Well, we've conceded Fences at least. Small victories.

I was fine with agreeing to disagree to be fair, because i simply can't agree.

You can't cherry pick a particlar stretch of a man with a nearly 40 year film career and say all his movies are "safe" and he's just like Will Smith. No shit, he likes studio entertainments. That's not news to anyone. But I refuse to acknowledge thst the man who starred in He Got Game, Mo Better Blues, Malcolm X, Fences, American Gangster, The Hurricane, Devil In A Blue Dress, Philidelphia, A Soldier's Story, Much Ado About Nothing, Missisipi Masala, Glory, Cry Freedom needs to prove anything to anyone. The fact that Denzel has done so many racially charged films during his career is precisely why he's never been as big a box office draw as Smith, Hanks, Cruise etc. A consistent draw, but never as big.

Smith has deliberately avoided films in his entire career that focus on race, the most hot button subject matter in American life. He's got precisely two movies in his career that cover race in any meaningful way. Six Degrees Of Seperation and Ali. The rest of the time, he avoids films that are about his blackkness or about beiing black in society like the plague. Because those films have had a tendency to aliente alot of audiences (Red Staters and International audiences) and limit that "crossover" appeal which Smith has always craved.

Denzel has spent half his career going in the opposite direction, tackling films about race and what it means to be black in society. He's got fans from many of those films, but also alienated plenty as well. Those films might not signify a risk to you, but they sure do to Will Smith. I suspect even Remember The Titans might be too overtly "black" a project for Smith to jump at appearing in

Denzel made plenty of challenging movies that suit his taste. He doesn't need to do it in a Lars Von Trier or Aronofsky film. It's veering dangerously close to film snobbery. Even things like The Manchurian Candidate and Inside Man were actually trying to say something meaningful, whether it's about politics or racism. I don't even agree about Flight, Roman J and Training Day to be honest.

Yeah, things like 2 Guns, Equalizer, Safe House and Unstoppable aren't really about anything but thrills and entertainment. But I never dismiss any movie that contains serious ideas as "safe" (like Roman J's rumination on the loss of activism in society. You may think it' s standard, but I don't see many films that tackle big ideas like that)

Like I said, you've got your theory. Mine is simple. He's done plenty of so called-safe studio entertainments that aren't about much more than having a good time at the movies. But he's also made an awful lot of films that have seriously challenged people's perceptions about racisim, homophobia, addiction and many more societal ills, and overall I think his body of films is nicely balanced between challenging films that have something to say and entertaining thrillers that you don't have to think too deeply about.

Smith has spent almost all his career making of movies where he doesn't have to think too much about being a black person, because that might upset someone. He just wants to be Tom Cruise with a tan. There's no real political or socially aware strand to his overall body of work like there is with Denzel.
post #28 of 42

Collateral Beauty

 

woof

 

now THAT was a risk!

 

 

Something a friend of mine has said about Denzel... 

 

Denzel was an electrifying actor early in his career, playing characters with such passion and vulnerability.  Now, putting aside the choice in films that he makes now... my friend's criticism of Denzel's performances over the past decade or so is that he's coasting on being Denzel: strong, righteous badass.  The emotional vulnerability has taken a back seat to Denzel performing Denzel.

 

I don't know if I necessarily agree, but I wanted to toss that in there.

 

To be fair, audiences generally seem cool with Denzel delivering the Denzelishness they've come to expect... similar to how they're cool with Liam Neeson coasting on old man action thrillers or Jeff Goldblum being Jeff Goldblum.

 

Essentially, the meme-ifcation of a beloved actor's greatest hits in terms of delivery and mannerisms. 

 

Doesn't mean that the performances aren't fun or still rousing.  Doesn't even mean that they're not capable of it anymore.  But that original fire in discovering their talent isn't quite there anymore and we give these beloved performers the leeway to go through their motions.  As Holistic suggested... Denzel really doesn't need to prove anything to anyone except himself.

post #29 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holistic View Post

Like I said, you've got your theory. Mine is simple. He's done plenty of so called-safe studio entertainments that aren't about much more than having a good time at the movies. But he's also made an awful lot of films that have seriously challenged people's perceptions about racisim, homophobia, addiction and many more societal ills, and overall I think his body of films is nicely balanced between challenging films that have something to say and entertaining thrillers that you don't have to think too deeply about.

Smith has spent almost all his career making of movies where he doesn't have to think too much about being a black person, because that might upset someone. He just wants to be Tom Cruise with a tan. There's no real political or socially aware strand to his overall body of work like there is with Denzel.

 

Well, now this is a different theory entirely.  Now you're talking about race when I thought we were talking about safe audience friendly movies.  Denzel's racially conscious movies are still studio programmers, just with a different "message" attached to them (and even complex ideas like in Roman J are still wrapped in a commercial package to be easily digested, unlike say mother! or Vice, which are actual risks, movies with no desire to hold the audience's hand).  Also, I don't remember comparing Denzel to Smith on a star-meter level, just the types of studio sanctioned audience friendly films he makes.  And before you dedicate another huge wall of text to Fences, yes, I realize that's an exception.

 

I mean, if you want to take my original point and spin it off into other areas, that's fine, but I want to make it clear I'm not disagreeing with these other ideas (yes, Denzel makes racially conscious movies, that's wholly obvious), just that they have nothing to do with the point I was making.


Edited by Ambler - 12/2/17 at 9:15am
post #30 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

As Holistic suggested... Denzel really doesn't need to prove anything to anyone except himself.

 

Yeah, and I never argued that or anything close to it.  My point was Denzel's flashy performances of late don't mean the movies are risky.  That's all.  Holistic seems to have dedicated walls of text to flipping the script in a number of ways that I can barely keep up with (and really have no desire to).


Edited by Ambler - 12/2/17 at 9:16am
post #31 of 42
You are too invested in "winning" this argument to concede much in the way of anything. Arguing Fences was a "feel good drama" just to suit your specific theory, without having even seen the movie, pretty much says all it needs to say.

I strongly, vehemently disagree on your conciet of what a "safe/risky" movie is. Your definition is too narrow and didactic for me. Let's just leave it at that, and I'll save you reading through another wall of text.
Edited by Holistic - 12/2/17 at 9:42am
post #32 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holistic View Post

You are too invested in "winning" this argument to concede much in the way of anything. Arguing Fences was a "feelgood drama" just to suit your specific theory, without having even seen the movie, pretty much says all it needs to say.

I strongly disagree on what your conciet of what a "safe" movie is. Let's just leave it at that, and I'll save you reading through another wall of text.

 

It's not about winning, it's about keeping my original point intact, when you seemed hellbent on spinning it off into other areas I never intended.  That's why I stayed in the octagon and was annoyingly persistent.

 

I made one gaff with Fences, but apparently, somehow, one exception disproves my entire point.  I'm at a loss of how to approach a person who can't seem to let go of that and who insists on taking basic ideas that can be summed up in a couple sentences and stretching them out into walls of text that are super annoying to navigate.  I don't mean to harp on this, but I really suggest learning brevity when conveying your points, or rather making them "audience friendly", hardy har.

 

Also "safe" vs. "risky" is fairly easy to figure out.  It is not really "my" conceit as much as it is a fairly standard concept most anyone at a studio would agree with.  A safe movie is one which communicates its ideas (no matter how complex) in an easily digestible way for a large audience, making it "safe" for consumption.  A risky movie is one that does not.  That is the entire basis for Hollywood's predictable three act structure, it's rote character arcs, it's typecasting tactics, it's over reliance on sentimentality, it's bland musical scores, etc, etc.  And that is the basis I was using for my "Denzel plays it safe argument", but I guess I was wrong in assuming the definition didn't need to be spelled out.

 

So at this point, I think we should acknowledge we're not even arguing the same things anymore and leave it at that.

post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post
 

 

It's not about winning, it's about keeping my original point intact, when you seemed hellbent on spinning it off into other areas I never intended.  That's why I stayed in the octagon and was annoyingly persistent.

 

I made one gaff with Fences, but apparently, somehow, one exception disproves my entire point.  I'm at a loss of how to approach a person who can't seem to let go of that and who insists on taking basic ideas that can be summed up in a couple sentences and stretching them out into walls of text that are super annoying to navigate.  I don't mean to harp on this, but I really suggest learning brevity when conveying your points, or rather making them "audience friendly", hardy har.

 

 

 

This is called "Arguing with Princess Kate/Dr. Harford Syndrome".

post #34 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post
 

 

This is called "Arguing with Princess Kate/Dr. Harford Syndrome".

 

I never engaged with them for that very reason, but now I know why everyone was so annoyed by it.

post #35 of 42
If you had an issue with the length of my responses, you could probably have said something much earlier in our discussion and I'd have abrreviated them for your comfort. I'm pretty flexible.

I was getting frustrated by what I found to be your Devin Faraci style conviction that your own argument was well nigh faultless, when there are so many obvious holes in it. No retreat, no surrender stuff. Your way or the highway. Frankly, I was trying to find a polite way out of this discussion without getting my head bitten off, because I could see how agitated you were getting at being counter-argued. So maybe we both have things we can work on. I'll work on brevity and you can try to be less strident.
Edited by Holistic - 12/2/17 at 6:08pm
post #36 of 42
I think Ambler is generally right that Denzel, a few exceptions aside, has gotten comfortable making mid-budget dramas/action flicks/thrillers over the past few years. Of course, those choices feel more risky simply because Hollywood largely stopped making those films in order to chase mega-bucks with bloated super block-busters. Denzel is a 90s star still making the types of movies that were pretty standard for a star then; the system has just moved past that paradigm to the point that his choices seems more interesting than they generally are.
Edited by COULD432 - 12/2/17 at 2:38pm
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by COULD432 View Post

I think Ambler is generally right that Denzel, a few exceptions aside, has gotten comfortable making mid-budget dramas/action flicks/thrillers over the past few years. Of course, those choices feel more risky simply because Hollywood largely stopped making those films in order to chase mega-bucks with bloated super block-busters. Denzel is a 90s star still making the types of movies that were pretty standard for a star then; the system has just moved past that paradigm to the point that hia choices seems more interesting than they generally are.

 



Trust me, this is a more nuanced argument than Ambler constructed. I'd probably have gone along with this one instead of the whole Denzel's entire career is exactly like Will Smith's malarky, which I just found intellectually lazy on several levels. Denzel has got so many movies of substance in his catalogue that Smith's basic self would never make because they are too challenging or too risky. I'm still waiting on Will Smith's 4 risk free Spike Lee movies.
Edited by Holistic - 12/2/17 at 6:15pm
post #38 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holistic View Post

If you had an issue with the length of my responses, you could probably have said something much earlier in our discussion and I'd have abrreviated them for your comfort. I'm pretty flexible.

I was getting frustrated by what I found to be your Devin Faraci style conviction that your own argument was well nigh faultless, when there are so many obvious holes in it. No retreat, no surrender stuff. Your way or the highway. Frankly, I was trying to find a polite way out of this discussion without getting my head bitten off, because I could see how agitated you were getting at being counter-argued. So maybe we both have things we can work on. I'll work on brevity and you can try to be less strident.

 

I mean, whatever you need to tell yourself to fall asleep tonight.

post #39 of 42
meow!
post #40 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

meow!

 

woof!

post #41 of 42
'haw!
post #42 of 42
Thread Starter 

caw caw!

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