Wednesday, November 13, 2013
F This Movie! - Director Messes
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Also discussed this episode: All is Lost (2013), Escape from Tomorrow (2013), The Lifeguard (2013), Touchy Feely (2013), Stories We Tell (2013)
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Great show guys, I really enjoyed this one.ReplyDelete
I also feel vindicated as JB stated that he prefers Infernal Affairs to The Departed. I have had many friendly though heated debates over those films. While I think The Departed is very good, I just don't think it has the power of the original.
There are people who prefer Departed over Infernal Affairs? People who've seen bother movies?Delete
Their argument usually boils down to The Departed as being "more relatable".Delete
I think the "distance" the characters have from the audience is about the same in both movies. If I remember correctly, I think INFERNAL AFFAIRS takes a few more turns in the narrative than THE DEPARTED, so I don't understand the "more relatable" point.Delete
I like AFFAIRS better, but I like both.
I'm guessing it's because the characters are American and white. You just wouldn't understand. You don't know what it's like for us.Delete
The Departed is amazing. I saw Infernal Affairs only once, and probably need to re-watch it, but I'm shocked by how many people seem to prefer it to The Departed. That never seemed to be the case.Delete
Everyone knows they don't speak English at Hahvahd Yahd.Delete
There's no such thing as an Asian Vera Farmiga which alone makes The Departed better.Delete
Patrick, I'm not sure I agree at all with how AI ends. Those "aliens" are pretty clearly the descendants of the androids who are coming to Earth thousands of years later during a new ice age, conducting archeology on their past and find the kid robot. Now why they give him some weird day with his previous owner, I've no idea. But the robots as far as we know have not done anything to humanity. Is my memory that flawed?ReplyDelete
What I was trying to say came out totally wrong, because I am a mumbling dunce. All I meant is that the end of the movie is often labeled as one of Spielberg's typically saccharine "happy" endings, but the implication is that the very last connection to humanity (an artificial life form who knew and had contact with humans) is extinguished. I didn't mean to suggest that the aliens wiped out humanity, which is exactly how it sounded. Sorry about that.Delete
You're right, Joseph. It is intended that the aliens are actually mechas far in the future, but the feeling one gets while watching is that they are actually aliens discovering our iced over planet.Delete
The third act in the film is precisely why Kubrick always insisted Spielberg direct it because "this film is closer to your sensibilities than mine" he would say.
I remember Ebert saying the structure was practically the same as 2001. Man discovers tool, tool and man now live side by side, tool gets used by other forces in the universe to understand man.
Shoot. Yes. I keep calling them aliens because (as Cameron points out) they are sort of designed to look like them, but they are mechas. I clearly needed to rewatch this movie before we talked about it.Delete
Great episode! I would love to hear more podcasts on the same subject since there are so many more directors that you could go over. Also, I was very sorry to hear that amongst all of Ron Howard's films, JB only likes Apollo 13. Besides the ones that Patrick mentioned, I'd include Willow, Ransom, A Beauitful Mind, Cinderella Man, Frost/Nixon, and Rush all as respectable Howard films.ReplyDelete
I thoroughly enjoy all of the Ron Howard films you listed. But the thing for me about Howard's direction/story telling is that he can come off a little ham-fisted or too Hollywood sometimes.Delete
There were no battle scenes in the Spartacus script at all until Kubrick was hired and took over.ReplyDelete
For Scorsese, I would say a misstep was Casino. Now, I love that movie, but at the time in 1995, everyone walked out of the first screening in my area where I saw it said the same thing, "Why is Scorsese making a new film in the exact style of Goodfellas? It even had many of the same songs!" I think that film is well regarded now, but at the time, that film crashed pretty hard with his fans and critics.ReplyDelete
Yes, Dune was a misstep but Lynch had not made it, we would never have gotten Blue Velvet. Now, I LOVE Lynch films with every bit of my being, but I'll propose this... I know this site has coined the phrase, "Chasing the dragon", so when Lynch hit paydirt with Blue Velvet, with very few exceptions, he has been trying to remake that film ever since to varying degrees.
Same with Woody Allen after Annie Hall.
It's been an interesting "journey", to say the least... LOL.
Well its rare but Uwe Boll has had one or two slight missteps over the years... J/K as to the arguments on A.I. I have to agree that the ending with the advanced mechas just goes on too long, I always felt like SPOILERS FOR A.I. that David reaching out for the blue fairy felt like the end of the movie, having them continue on kind of feels like if after Star Wars Lucas decided to follow the medal ceremony with 20 minutes of the cocktail party afterwards, we dont need it.ReplyDelete
As for directors I really like with missteps how about Richard Donner, a director I really like (first 2 lethal weapons, Superman and Superman II Directors Cut) who just dropped the ball completely on Lethal Weapon 4. This movie is just a godawful mess with no laughs, competent action at best and by far the worst overacting in any of the films of the series. To be fair it wasn't completely his fault (script issues and rushed shooting schedule) but its hard to believe the same guy who directed this made us believe that goonies never say die-I mean that a man could fly.
Here's another random thought for a podcast how about the Cusack chat, the tops and bottoms of John Cusack's career. I feel like he's been around forever and has worked in nearly every genre and by all accounts he's not THAT old, just a thought.
One of the main reasons everyone thinks A.I. is going to end at the 2/3 mark is because Spielberg has his camera slowly pulling away from David's ship as he prays to the Blue Fairy, bringing in the narration. It's a hat grabber moment, so it surprises almost everyone the first time when seeing it that the film keeps going.Delete
I wish the film did stop at that 2/3 mark, rolling the credits... but then after the credits the 20 minute epilogue would begin. In the words of J.B. "That would have been something."
Spielberg sometimes has his films go a beat or two longer than they should.ReplyDelete
Almost everyone agrees that Lincoln should have ended as he walked down the hallway, turning the corner on the staircase.
It's a great shot and the film would go out proud. Everything after that is common, and since we didn't see Lincoln grow up as a boy in it, I see no point in detailing his death. The film should have been a snapshot in time and then ended. We know what happens next... I hope. (Spoilers).
This is one of favourite episodes you guys have ever done. I’d love to hear more with this format.ReplyDelete
Marnie is a film that I was hugely disappointed with. The poster describes it as a “suspenseful sex mystery”, but I found it incredibly dull for long stretches and by the end I really couldn’t give a toss about the reveal of what caused marnie to be the way she is.
I have no idea why but Eyes Wide Shut fascinates me. When it was on TV pretty regularly, a couple of years ago, I must have watched it five times in a month once. All in all I’d say I’ve seen it a dozen times, I’ve listened to several podcasts dissecting it, including one that went into huge detail about the conspiracies and occult theories that some have about it, and yet I couldn’t honesty tell you what is about it that keeps drawing me back. It’s hugely flawed but it just has a spell over me.
Really enjoyed the podcast. Very creative question, and it led to some interesting places.ReplyDelete
Would have liked to hear your opinions on Coen Brothers and Wes Anderson too.
I second that, although I imagine that the conversation would have revolved around 2 Coen flicks that everyone agrees are sub par, and of those 2 you'd have to admit that one is actually a bunch of fun and just not AS good as the usual Coen output, while the other is the only true stinker in their resume.Delete
And while we're talking the Coens, is there not an argument for them being the greatest living American directors? I know Marty is the popular choice, but the Coens have nearly 20 flicks under their belts, are total auteurs, have showed mastery of all kinds of styles both written and filmed, etc, etc. And while their one really bad turn is bad, it's not Gangs Of New York!
As for Wes Anderson, well, has he made a bad film? Darjeeling may be repeating previous preoccupations, but it's not a bad film.
Lots of great picks for a future installment. Thanks, everyone.Delete
After we recorded, I had the same thought about naming the Coens as the best living directors. A case could be made. I know exactly which two of their movies you're talking about, but I'm curious if we see eye to eye on which one is the fun one and which one is the stinker...
Great show, although I wish you guys had done an 'F Marry Kill'-type short game at the end to get in more directors than the usual gang of 10 or so (Spielberg, Tarantino, Kubrick, Hitchcock, Scorsese, etc.) you keep bringing up over and over in a lot of podcasts. My 'Gangs of New York' BD (the good one, not the smeared-to-hell-with-DNR original release) is still shrink-wrapped, and knowing it was the genesis for this podcast has me slightly more interested to check it out. Especially since, at a recent movie talk with co-workers, someone nicknamed me 'the Daniel Day Lewis of weirdos.' I knew I shouldn't have drank that guy's milkshake. :-(ReplyDelete
Good episode chaps.ReplyDelete
Plenty of material for a good debate.
I would have liked to have heard opinions about Tarantino as people seem to feel very strongly about his work. For my money, Kill Bill is the low point, but that's all I'm saying for fear of reprisals :-)
Also, Cronenberg would be worth discussing. Has he made a film that has nothing going for it?
And what about Robert Rodriguez, Sam Peckinpah, Ridley Scott (what a yummy discussion that could be), and James Cameron?
Bring on Volume Two of this discussion.
Re: Gangs of New York podcast: yes, please! :)ReplyDelete