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(Short List)   30 inexplicably damning reviews for awesome movies. More Ebert can be expected   (shortlist.com) divider line 172
    More: Strange, Rotten Tomatoes  
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11437 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 19 Nov 2011 at 7:53 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-11-20 09:06:28 AM  
LoneWolf343how am I supposed to tell how well-directed a movie is? It seems like the very thing that would be invisible to a viewer who is not knowledgeable in the movie making process.

Watch 12 Angry Men1957


......then,watch any film by Michael Bay.

Asking "how well is a film directed?" is like asking "how well did those contractors I hired paint my living room?"

Are the brush strokes even and smoothly uniform?
Did they miss any spots?
Did they spill any paint on the carpet? ......etc.......


The reason I believe Requiem For A Dream sucks the sh*t right out of my ass is that the film is about drug addicts and their descent into calamity but the only thing I can specifically remember about the film is all the annoying fast-edits,cameral filtered shots,and overblown directing technique. This film is so over-directed it smothers the character developement.

Off the top of my head...here are much better films about drug addicts:

Drugstore Cowboy
Panic In Needle Park
Trainspotting
Man With the Golden Arm
Clean And Sober
Christane F
 
2011-11-20 09:49:37 AM  

craigdamage: This film is so over-directed it smothers the character developement.


IMO, the "over direction" is all completely justified by the type of story its telling and enhances rather than detracts from character development. We're supposed to feel as if we're on drugs ourselves, and I did.
 
2011-11-20 12:01:54 PM  
eddiesocketthe "over direction" is all completely justified by the type of story its telling and enhances rather than detracts from character development. We're supposed to feel as if we're on drugs ourselves, and I did.


yeah....but this concept has already been fully exploited,and with much better effect.

The idea of fast edits and various camera tricks to depict "drug effects" was done in the Scorsese film Goodfellas during the 1980 "helicopter montage part" when Henry is doing line after line of coke while being followed by a helicopter. Also note the rapid music edits as well. This is brilliant because up to this point the film is an allegorical biopic. Only this sole scene is done with this style to illustrate the character's descent.

So many bad film makers have been trying to copy this since. Poorly.

The film "Spun" is another example.
 
2011-11-20 12:05:40 PM  

craigdamage: eddiesocketthe "over direction" is all completely justified by the type of story its telling and enhances rather than detracts from character development. We're supposed to feel as if we're on drugs ourselves, and I did.


yeah....but this concept has already been fully exploited,and with much better effect.

The idea of fast edits and various camera tricks to depict "drug effects" was done in the Scorsese film Goodfellas during the 1980 "helicopter montage part" when Henry is doing line after line of coke while being followed by a helicopter. Also note the rapid music edits as well. This is brilliant because up to this point the film is an allegorical biopic. Only this sole scene is done with this style to illustrate the character's descent.

So many bad film makers have been trying to copy this since. Poorly.

The film "Spun" is another example.


I hated Spun. To me, Spun was all the camera tricks you were talking about, but Requiem was organic and unique. It wasn't just "fast editing", anyway.
 
kab
2011-11-20 01:17:49 PM  

Smelly McUgly: Oh, LotR blows a dick, but so do the books unless you're one of those types that likes the Herman Melville-style "Let me drop the plot for a chapter or two so that I can describe to you how the dative case works in this made up language that I created" digression that supposedly "builds up the world" but is really boring as shiat.


So edgy, man. I wanna be just like you when I grow up.
 
2011-11-20 01:35:27 PM  

kab: Smelly McUgly: Oh, LotR blows a dick, but so do the books unless you're one of those types that likes the Herman Melville-style "Let me drop the plot for a chapter or two so that I can describe to you how the dative case works in this made up language that I created" digression that supposedly "builds up the world" but is really boring as shiat.

So edgy, man. I wanna be just like you when I grow up.


It's not about being edgy, it's about having good taste. I hope you're like me when you grow up because right now, you're probably one of the morons responsible for all the shiatty blockbusters in cineplexes.

/Good luck with that!
 
2011-11-20 03:08:36 PM  

craigdamage: LoneWolf343how am I supposed to tell how well-directed a movie is? It seems like the very thing that would be invisible to a viewer who is not knowledgeable in the movie making process.

Watch 12 Angry Men1957


......then,watch any film by Michael Bay.

Asking "how well is a film directed?" is like asking "how well did those contractors I hired paint my living room?"

Are the brush strokes even and smoothly uniform?
Did they miss any spots?
Did they spill any paint on the carpet? ......etc.......


The reason I believe Requiem For A Dream sucks the sh*t right out of my ass is that the film is about drug addicts and their descent into calamity but the only thing I can specifically remember about the film is all the annoying fast-edits,cameral filtered shots,and overblown directing technique. This film is so over-directed it smothers the character developement.

Off the top of my head...here are much better films about drug addicts:

Drugstore Cowboy
Panic In Needle Park
Trainspotting
Man With the Golden Arm
Clean And Sober
Christane F


So, direction basically is how the film is edited. I can follow that.
 
2011-11-20 05:11:46 PM  
So, direction basically is how the film is edited. I can follow that.

yeah...pretty much.

See the God-awful "Redux" version of Apocalypse Now.
They basically edited out all of the pretentious crap and were left with a masterpiece with the original theatric release.

Sam Peckinpah usually shot some 6-9 hours worth of footage to edit down to 2-3 hours.

....and I will give Requiem For A Dream another look.
I fully admit,I am somewhat of a pretentious prick myself.
(got some drunk honesty going on now)
 
2011-11-20 06:11:48 PM  

Laserteeth: I tried to watch Inception at home while my kids were asleep. I gave up after 15 minutes. This is my summary of the first 15 minutes

*mumble mumble whisper whisper*
*!!!FARK!!!BANG!!!EXPLOSION!!!CRASH!!!!*
*mumble mumble whisper whisper*
*!!!FARK!!!BANG!!!EXPLOSION!!!CRASH!!!!*
*mumble mumble whisper whisper*
*!!!FARK!!!BANG!!!EXPLOSION!!!CRASH!!!!*
*mumble mumble whisper whisper*
*!!!FARK!!!BANG!!!EXPLOSION!!!CRASH!!!!*
*mumble mumble whisper whisper*
*!!!FARK!!!BANG!!!EXPLOSION!!!CRASH!!!!*


If it was the Blu-ray that's DTS (DTS-HD MA) for you. No way to limit the dynamics.
Warner used to use Dolby TrueHD, which has the option of Night Mode for those who want to watch films at a decent without waking up the neighborhood, while retaining the option to bring down the house when full dynamics are wanted.
 
2011-11-20 06:37:15 PM  

craigdamage: See the God-awful "Redux" version of Apocalypse Now.
They basically edited out all of the pretentious crap and were left with a masterpiece with the original theatric release.


Agreed.
 
2011-11-20 07:59:53 PM  

Silverlock: Fano: VoodooHillbilly: Great_Milenko: The companion article of good reviews of bad movies is even better. (new window)

This one for the Clash of the Titans remage is just priceless:

"Leterrier certainly shows a better sense of meaningful, economic narrative than the mess that Peter Jackson made of the interminable, incoherent Lord of the Rings trilogy."

Ebert liked Speed 2 and The Happening, but dissed Fight Club and Die Hard?

I think several of those reviewers were just trolling their readers.

He watches quite a few movies, every once in a while he seems to phone it in. He also likes Nic Cage an inordinate amount and I believe gave a glowing review to "Knowing."

OTOH he also praised Rapa Nui (new window) because he admits he loves lots of big brown breasts.

Ebert's actual review (new window)

Concern for my reputation prevents me from recommending this movie. I wish I had more nerve. I wish I could simply write, "Look, of course it's one of the worst movies ever made. But it has hilarious dialogue, a weirdo action climax, a bizarre explanation for the faces of Easter Island, and dozens if not hundreds of wonderful bare breasts." I am however a responsible film critic and must conclude that "Rapa Nui" is a bad film. If you want to see it anyway, of course, that's strictly your concern. I think I may check it out again myself.

I wouldn't exactly call that a recommendation. It sounds more like "This is a bad film with some good bits (mostly in pairs)."


He claims to have wrestled with his conscience and reputation not to recommend the awful film, then confesses he's going to watch it again for the boobs.

I gotta give a guy of his caliber major points for penning such a review. He essentially calls it MST3K bad, notes awesome breasts, and then winks. Serious reviewers aren't supposed to say things like that.
 
2011-11-21 12:09:01 AM  
I guess I just find Ebert to be entertaining. I rarely fully agree with his take, yet he's the only critic I routinely read. Dunno, maybe just habit.
 
2011-11-21 06:48:18 AM  
Bladerunner is one of my favorites, although it is starting to look very dated now.

As for Old Boy. I own it. It is a well directed movie but I do think it doesn't deserve as much fan base as it gets. The story is so damn disturbing, which is why maybe people like it. More fans of shock I guess. For my money I liked Lady Vengeance (by the same director) a lot better. That movie should be getting most of the press IMO. Theres more a point to it all.
 
2011-11-21 09:25:03 AM  
Requiem for a Dream wasn't horrible, bu it was definitely one film where you feel a sort of suicidal hopelessness after watching it. It's one thing to see what one junkie will do (ass to ass) and how another will let themselves go (seeing them try to inject heroin into a gangrenous arm vein) once they descend to "that" level. Ironic that I felt similarly when I saw House of Fog, which was also a Jennifer Connelly vehicle.

The Matrix was a derivative film for anyone who saw the original Japanese inspirations. I think the goal was the Wachowskis wanted to expose America to the type of stories THEY liked, which happened to be Japanese sci-fi/anime/kung fu action pics.

Airplane, much like another reviewer said, was froma time and a place when you could still get away with insulting races but have it be generally funny. Blazing Saddles could never have been made after 1990, even Mel Brooks admitted that.

Bladerunner was a fillm that insists upon itself. Yes, the original idea was intriguing, but like every other Philip K. Dick adaptation fails to live up to the original story. It became a cult classic which the director found he could exploit to his financial advantage (much like Army of Darkness).

You're always going to find someone who hates a popular film. They stand out from the crowd, and even with pillars like Ebert, he's going to call one wrong from time to time.
 
2011-11-21 10:13:52 AM  
I remember Siskel and Ebert's initial review for Silence of the Lambs. Neither really liked it that much. Now I think it's in Ebert's "Great Movies" database.
 
2011-11-21 10:32:04 AM  

peterthx: Laserteeth: I tried to watch Inception at home while my kids were asleep. I gave up after 15 minutes. This is my summary of the first 15 minutes

*mumble mumble whisper whisper*
*!!!FARK!!!BANG!!!EXPLOSION!!!CRASH!!!!*
*mumble mumble whisper whisper*
*!!!FARK!!!BANG!!!EXPLOSION!!!CRASH!!!!*
*mumble mumble whisper whisper*
*!!!FARK!!!BANG!!!EXPLOSION!!!CRASH!!!!*
*mumble mumble whisper whisper*
*!!!FARK!!!BANG!!!EXPLOSION!!!CRASH!!!!*
*mumble mumble whisper whisper*
*!!!FARK!!!BANG!!!EXPLOSION!!!CRASH!!!!*

If it was the Blu-ray that's DTS (DTS-HD MA) for you. No way to limit the dynamics.
Warner used to use Dolby TrueHD, which has the option of Night Mode for those who want to watch films at a decent without waking up the neighborhood, while retaining the option to bring down the house when full dynamics are wanted.


This technology - can it be applied to television commercials?

/Newsletter etc.
 
2011-11-21 03:57:38 PM  
LOTR - That the quote review was 100% accurate is made up for by the attention to detail, (largely) good directing choices, and the parts that aren't snoozeworthy.
Blade Runner - Movie is largely overrated.
The Warriors - Truth. Love it anyway.
Trainspotting: Truth
GWTW: True - Deadly dull movie.
Jaws: Spot on. Pretty darn good nonetheless.
 
2011-11-21 04:22:25 PM  

Orgasmatron138: I remember Siskel and Ebert's initial review for Silence of the Lambs. Neither really liked it that much. Now I think it's in Ebert's "Great Movies" database.


You really can find damned-near everything on the web. (new window)

Also, they both disliked Eastwood's "Unforgiven" when it came out. They both gave it thumbs down and Ebert gave it 2 stars in his print review. (I never was [or have been] able to find a copy of Siskel's print review)
Then he named it one of that year's best films in his year-end wrap-up and expunged all traces of his original review (replacing it with a 4-star re-review).

He says he had his mind on his wedding (which was like a week or two away) when he originally reviewed the film but my (completely unprovable) theory is that he saw all of his colleagues in the critical field going (deservedly, IMO) ape over the film and didn't want to be left out. Only Siskel had the guts to stand by his original pan.

For some masochistic reason I like to read Ebert but I don't put ANY faith in his reviews (or at least any more than the zero amount of faith I put into the reviews of any any other critic)
 
2011-11-21 07:17:20 PM  

Pandora's Litterbox: Orgasmatron138: I remember Siskel and Ebert's initial review for Silence of the Lambs. Neither really liked it that much. Now I think it's in Ebert's "Great Movies" database.

You really can find damned-near everything on the web. (new window)

Also, they both disliked Eastwood's "Unforgiven" when it came out. They both gave it thumbs down and Ebert gave it 2 stars in his print review. (I never was [or have been] able to find a copy of Siskel's print review)
Then he named it one of that year's best films in his year-end wrap-up and expunged all traces of his original review (replacing it with a 4-star re-review).

He says he had his mind on his wedding (which was like a week or two away) when he originally reviewed the film but my (completely unprovable) theory is that he saw all of his colleagues in the critical field going (deservedly, IMO) ape over the film and didn't want to be left out. Only Siskel had the guts to stand by his original pan.

For some masochistic reason I like to read Ebert but I don't put ANY faith in his reviews (or at least any more than the zero amount of faith I put into the reviews of any any other critic)


How dare a man change his mind after considering the opinion of others!
 
2011-11-22 12:20:46 AM  

LoneWolf343: Pandora's Litterbox: Orgasmatron138: I remember Siskel and Ebert's initial review for Silence of the Lambs. Neither really liked it that much. Now I think it's in Ebert's "Great Movies" database.

You really can find damned-near everything on the web. (new window)

Also, they both disliked Eastwood's "Unforgiven" when it came out. They both gave it thumbs down and Ebert gave it 2 stars in his print review. (I never was [or have been] able to find a copy of Siskel's print review)
Then he named it one of that year's best films in his year-end wrap-up and expunged all traces of his original review (replacing it with a 4-star re-review).

He says he had his mind on his wedding (which was like a week or two away) when he originally reviewed the film but my (completely unprovable) theory is that he saw all of his colleagues in the critical field going (deservedly, IMO) ape over the film and didn't want to be left out. Only Siskel had the guts to stand by his original pan.

For some masochistic reason I like to read Ebert but I don't put ANY faith in his reviews (or at least any more than the zero amount of faith I put into the reviews of any any other critic)

How dare a man change his mind after considering the opinion of others!


With the rapidity of Ebert in this instance? Doesn't pass my smell test. Or Siskel's.
Yes, viewpoints can (and, very often enough, should) evolve, will evolve, and have evolved with the passage of enough time and the intake of new information. That's healthy and natural. Ebert flipped on a dime. He went from "the flick is alright but nothing special" to "Oh My God! This is the one of the greatest films since the advent of cinema" in the space of a month. Besides, he must have reviewed 30 films in the month leading up to his marriage. Why was this the only one he instantly re-evalutated? No. Even Siskel gave him sh*t about his suspiciously instantaneous change of heart re: Unforgiven in an interview they granted about a year following Unforgiven's release. Siskel pretty much flat-out stated that Ebert had no backbone and wavered because S+E's critical establishment colleagues couldn't believe that they both panned it. Ebert's always been insecure as all Hell. He wants people to love him.
 
2011-11-22 11:53:32 AM  

Jamdug!: If it was the Blu-ray that's DTS (DTS-HD MA) for you. No way to limit the dynamics.
Warner used to use Dolby TrueHD, which has the option of Night Mode for those who want to watch films at a decent without waking up the neighborhood, while retaining the option to bring down the house when full dynamics are wanted.

This technology - can it be applied to television commercials?

/Newsletter etc.


Usually only Dolby coded material. However there are external Dolby Volume devices that work with any input signal.

Article (Link) (new window)

www.audioholics.com

Newer receivers like the Onkyo TX-NR709 have it built in and can be used with any source.
 
2011-11-22 02:30:21 PM  

spman: If I have to watch your film four times while taking extensive notes just to follow your story and have it make sense, then you've failed as a filmmaker.


I think you think you are smarter than you are.
 
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