Wednesday, February 20, 2013
F This Movie! - Forrest Gump
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Also discussed this episode: New Year's Eve (2011), Battleship (2012), The Iron Lady (2011), Side Effects (2013), Paranormal Activity 4 (2012), Red (2010), Iron Sky (2012), Warm Bodies (2013)
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I'm still listening to the podcast, but I'm glad you brought up Warm Bodies in the opening segment. I saw it yesterday and though "hmm, I'm really curious what Patrick thought of this." and was considering emailing you to ask your opinion.ReplyDelete
I think I, like you, fall on the side of liking it (although perhaps more so than you?). I enjoyed the performances of the two leads, and I also liked John Malkovich. In addition, I applaud the people who made the movie for creating something unique and different from anything I've seen before.
I thought they balanced the concepts of a love story and a zombie movie pretty well (and I appeciated the tie-ins to a Romeo and Juliet-esque story.) I guess I see your point about establishing a set of rules and following them. However, I suppose it just didn't bother me that much.
Finally, I've never seen anything earlier than 50/50 that he's done, I don't think, but between that movie and this, I think I am becoming a fan of Jonathan Levine.
Overall it was a fresh and mostly enjoyable movie.
It's the kind of movie I'm drawn to and would usually consider an ambitious failure, but it's not all that ambitious (which is one of its charms) and it's not really a failure. I came away from it pretty much only remembering the stuff I liked. Glad I'm not alone!Delete
Yay, more live-tweets during the (expected) crowning of King Affleck. Should be fun.ReplyDelete
Pretty much agree with the general feeling "Forrest Gump" is good but flawed, with Zemeckis' SFX obsession both hurting and lifting the movie according to whether the gag he and Joe Roth concocted works (the meeting with LBJ) or doesn't (the CG tennis balls). Gotta say though, Robin Wright has never come across as more human and likable than her latter scenes with Forrest in this movie (early on her character's disposable). She sells that moment when Jenny throws the rocks into her abandoned house (my favorite scene in "Forrest Gump") really well. I'm not ashamed to say that the manipulative-as-hell Forrest speech over Jenny's grave makes me cry like a little bitch because I actually felt the magnitude of Forrest's loss by how warmth and likable Jenny becomes toward the end of "Forrest Gump."
The one and only time I saw "Forrest Gump" in theaters I was shocked that (a) the entire sold-out theater (and I do mean everyone, children and grown-ups) was crying during the aforementioned Jenny grave scene, plus (b) when the credits started 3/4's of the audience stood up uprompted and gave the movie a minute-long standing ovation (I did applaud but only a little bit and sitting down). And this wasn't a Hollywood premiere or a charity event but a small theater in an Upstate NY town. Say what you will about the movie's imperfections, but it touched a core with worldwide audiences that completely bought into what it was selling. It set-up "Titanic" rather well to clean at the box office three years later.
Forget "Cousins," screw "Dinner for Schmucks." My new-to-me movies are that rare two-way combo, French original and American "remake," where both flicks are masterpieces that shined in mint 35mm prints.
2/19/13: Maurice Pialat's WE WON'T GROW OLD TOGETHER (1972) at Anthology Film Archives. Bonus review: "The Fugitive" (HD-DVD).
2/20/13: Albert Brooks' MODERN ROMANCE (1981) at AFA. Bonus review: "Galaxy Quest" (Cinemax-HD).
TO be fair to Frank Ocean (whose album is quite good) it looked like he couldn't hear himself, hence the off-keyness. The leg thing? Lordy, I have no defense for that.ReplyDelete
(Am I the only person who likes Butterfly Effect?)
So, saw Beautiful Creatures over the weekend. Its a better movie than you'd think while still being exactly the movie you think it is, and it's all on some really nice supporting work by people like Emma Thompson (hamming it up prety delightfully) and Viola Davis (NOT hamming it up). The leads are OK, the story is kind of fun while being fairly by-the numbers but then.... The end completely cheats out on a a major, well-chewed over rule of the movie and just completely pissed me off, possibly all out of proportion to what the movie deserves.
I'm with Patrick in that I hit a dread moment with Iron Sky riiiiiight at the Sarah Palin joke. Didn't even finish the bad thing.
You are not the only person who likes Butterfly Effect.Delete
I see what you did there.Delete
I kind of like Butterfly Effect. Shhhhhhhhhhhh.ReplyDelete
Iron Eagle... 'nuff said. :)ReplyDelete
I like how in "Forrest Gump" we never see Gary Sinise's legs even before he was wounded.ReplyDelete
1994 was just an incredible year in movies, and "Forrest Gump" was just another great movie to appear.
Heck, in my town, we have a Bubba Gump restaurant right on the beach, with bathrooms that say "Forrest" and "Jenny" on the doors.
People just love this movie and it's easy to see why.
Yes, Patrick, I agree with you that there is a real undercurrent of violence and commentary about America during that time... but I always think of that moment towards the end where Forrest and Jenny are walking along the road away from us, holding hands.
These two represent the country in how it split during the chaos of the 1960s and 1970s, and now they're together again, at peace.
This was a moment of healing for many people in this country while watching the film.
The fact that Zemeckis ends the film with Jenny dying and Forrest being left alone with a son has always felt like a sad, yet hopeful ending--something our country has felt for the last hundred years, time and time again.
This was the film though where I finally convinced my family that letterboxing was important. Viewing the video and the laserdisc side by side, it is startling to see how well planned the compositons are.
It may be my stoopid iphone podcast app but im not getting this episode on it/itunes. FYI. Dont know if anyone else is having this issue too.ReplyDelete
Same here, I streamed it from the site. I tried contacting iTunes, but haven't gotten a response.Delete
I think I am completely neutral on Forrest Gump. I dont mind it, but I cant think of anything in particular that I would say that I like. I could also happily go the rest of my life without ever seeing it again, but there isnt anything about that I could say that i dont like about it.ReplyDelete
My review: "Meh" (Brad L, Comments section)
I like that this is catching on.Delete
I haven't finished the podcast yet but i couldn't help but think of your father, Patrick. I had him as a teacher a while back and I think I remember him saying he hates Forest Gump. Is that true?ReplyDelete
Nice podcast guys, I cracked up at whole Forrest Gump meeting MLK jr out on the balcony before he got shot ugh how hilariously tasteless. Although I do have one criticism, all these mentions of Frank Ocean singing Forrest Gump and not one mention of the Weird Al Yankovic classic "Gump" song which encapsulates the entire film in just 3 minutes.ReplyDelete
I think Forrest Gump has been loved and hated by so many because he is impossible not to like. Tom Hanks plays Forrest who basically saves everyone, is loyal to one woman forever and always does the right thing. If you say you don't like him people will say "What come on he's a good person" and if you do like him haters of the movie will say "Oh come on he's not real, what do you want him to do next, save Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now"
Personally I think I fall where Patrick does I like it in spite of a lot of faults. (Although one part I always hated was SPOILER ALERT when Forrest was on the talk show with John Lennon that one felt a bit too on the nose) I am personally hoping there will be a special edition of Forrest Gump released in conjunction with the new X-man movie that involves Forrest running into Magneto and saying "Excuse me sir you forgot your helmet"
I've always had issues with the scenes at the bus stop. First, he tells an African American woman about his ancestors being in the klan. That's not stupid, that's evil. Then the old man decides he doesn't need a bus anymore after finding out Forrest owns the Bubba Gump company. He was so put out that he decided to no longer take a bus?ReplyDelete
How is it "evil" to admit that your family did some pretty shitty things in the past?Delete
@Kathy - I see you point and I pretty much agree with you. 'Evil' is the wrong word. I just think it's completely unnecessary for someone to tell a stranger (especially with the loaded history involved) something like that. If the woman on the bench were not African American it would seem less mean-spirited.ReplyDelete
Adam, I disagree that there is anything mean-spirited about this scene.ReplyDelete
It establishes that Forrest is colour-blind in opening up to the black woman and naïve in not understanding the nature of the KKK. Is the woman offended? I never thought so. The joke is on the KKK by distilling them down to their more ridiculous aspects. I don’t think it’s a brilliant scene or anything but the intentions were in the right place.
@Darren - No problem. You're probably right and your viewpoint is nothing I disagree with. It just rubs me the wrong way.ReplyDelete
Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but Forrest Gump is a bit of a cunt, right?Delete
good god I need to proof read more.ReplyDelete
Just want to weigh in on what you and Doug talked about as far as what this movie is trying to say. Why I like the movie is that it points out the American placement of physical accomplishments over smarts. Every great thing that Forrest does comes down to he was very fast, and good at ping-pong.... sports.ReplyDelete
As far as his relationship to Jenny. While Forrest is good at sports, we can also agree he's very lucky, Jenny on the other hand is very unlucky. The fact that she's a stripper who gets AIDS and pregnant and comes from an abusive family screams how unlucky she is. Jenny is pretty smart, Forrest is not, and no matter how hard she tries terrible shit happens to her.
Step back and look at (spoilers) Jenny getting pregnant. Jenny just wanted to get away and was probably very happy never to be around Forrest again. Forrest on the other hand wanted her to stay around. Getting pregnant isn't easy (despite what you've been told) and after all the sex Jenny has had, the one guy she has sex with... one time.... after all the time they could have, gets her pregnant. Forrest on the other hand has sex only one time, EVER, with only one girl, and it results in a pregnancy.
That is why those two characters work to me, Jenny is unlucky, Forrest is lucky.
Despite all her smarts, Jenny can't win.
Forrest is dumb but really fast and gets everything he ever could have dreamed.
Good post, Adam T.ReplyDelete
I never got the sense that the filmmakers were condemning Jenny's character by portraying her misfortune but I can understand how people looking for that message could read it that way.
I like your take that it is all about luck. I think another read would be that Forrest does well for himself by following simple wisdom of a loving parent while Jenny lives a life of turmoil because she never quite recovers from her childhood abuse at the hands of her parent.
Forrest wears braces on his legs to walk in childhood, eludes the bullies who taunt him, makes friends with Jenny (Robin Wright Penn) who he will pursue his entire life, meets Elvis Presley, meets three Presidents-John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, and receives the Congressional Medal of Honor for service in Vietnam, where he saves Lieutenant Dan (Gary Sinise) and loses his friend, Private Bubba"" (Mykelti Williamson)". Forrest Gump Tom Hanks patterned his accent after young Forrest (Michael Conner Humphreys, who actually talked that way).ReplyDelete