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Old 10-15-2006, 11:59 AM   #1681
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Makes perfect sense and a nice little fairy tale, but it's still not very believable that the same woman falls for both men, who just happen to be moles (one for the cops, one for the criminals) hunting for each other, in a city with as many men as Boston to choose from.
If movies could only be interpreted by how well they reflect reality or believability, then what would be the point? It is completely unrealistic, in fact the whole movie is unrealistic, but it isn't really trying to be realistic in the first place, in that way at least. I mean, notice how there's not one "real" person in the movie, all of Boston is either part of the underworld or part of the law enforcement; it never tries to be a slice-of-life. It's still an interesting story/premise.

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Sorry... For me it's precisely the children's movies and action movies where the bad guys are required to "learn their lesson". In movies about real life, bad men don't always see the error of their ways or get punished for it. Nor do they always go on leading a "hollow life" if those other things don't happen. Now, that worked brilliantly in The Godfather Part II where it ended on Michael sitting on the bench, an empty shell of a man who had just ordered the death of his own brother. But while it works in that story, it doesn't work in every story. It doesn't make a villain an incomplete character simply because he outwits everyone else, gets away with it, and possibly doesn't even feel any regret.
In typical action movies, whatever, they die and what-not but what I mean is that they are essentially one-dimensional characters. They do not ever consider their actions and think entirely in terms of power and greed, which I refuse to believe is how real people act. They die, but die without really regretting their horrible actions. Now I haven't seen Infernal Affairs, but what you seemed to say is that the Damon character in it gets away with it and learns nothing from it (you'll have to correct me if that's not the case). In The Departed Damon isn't really like that; he starts acting more out of survival than anything else, trying to keep his life from spinning out of his control, and not out of truly evil/manipulative intentions. If he were perfectly evil I would have expected him to kill the girl because she knew what he was doing, but he doesn't; he might actually love her. Also, I remember that moment when he asks DiCaprio to just kill him in the elevator, which I believe is because he was becoming exhausted from all the lying and guilt. If he were to succeed by the end I would expect him to at least feel like shit for it instead of simply getting away with it and that's that. Killing him at the very end might not have been necessary, but I believe it fit the structure of the rest of the movie, considering how DiCaprio died.

Damon isn't really the "villain," anyway. He's one of the protagonists, both sharing a rather Greek tragic storyline. Costello is the villain if anything, and he doesn't really do much developing throughout, so there you go.
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Old 10-15-2006, 12:49 PM   #1682
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If movies could only be interpreted by how well they reflect reality or believability, then what would be the point? It is completely unrealistic, in fact the whole movie is unrealistic, but it isn't really trying to be realistic in the first place, in that way at least. I mean, notice how there's not one "real" person in the movie, all of Boston is either part of the underworld or part of the law enforcement; it never tries to be a slice-of-life. It's still an interesting story/premise.
It was a more interesting story/premise in the original without the love triangle. That's all I'm saying. The Damon character in the original, played by Andy Lau, had a girlfriend. However, this girl wasn't also sleeping with Tony Leung, the DiCaprio of the original. Much was the same though. The girl heard the tape that Tony Leung sent and she puts it on the speakers for Andy Lau to hear. Then she leaves him.

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In typical action movies, whatever, they die and what-not but what I mean is that they are essentially one-dimensional characters. They do not ever consider their actions and think entirely in terms of power and greed, which I refuse to believe is how real people act. They die, but die without really regretting their horrible actions. Now I haven't seen Infernal Affairs, but what you seemed to say is that the Damon character in it gets away with it and learns nothing from it (you'll have to correct me if that's not the case).
In the original, Lau regrets his actions. He shows this much better than Damon did. Instead of revealing some sort of angle about Costello being an FBI informant so Damon kills him, the original has Lau kill his boss (in the same scene; phone rings and the men are led to each other in a parking garage) simply because he wants to stop being a mole. Plus, at the end of the original, when Lau kills the other mole it has more weight than in the remake. When Damon kills the mole, he appears to just be covering his tracks. In the original, it comes across as almost being revenge for the mole killing Tony Leung.

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Damon isn't really the "villain," anyway. He's one of the protagonists, both sharing a rather Greek tragic storyline. Costello is the villain if anything, and he doesn't really do much developing throughout, so there you go.
Kinda thought the tragic storyline was done a bit better in the original too. Heh. Costello was just too much, as I said before, and toward the end all of the headshots were more comical than effective. My audience laughed, and I hear reports of the same thing happening in theaters across the country.
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Old 10-15-2006, 12:57 PM   #1683
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Haha I hate when that happens! The woes of modern technology...
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:18 AM   #1684
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Is anyone as surprised as I am that Flags of Our Fathers is getting better reviews than The Prestige?

With the Prestige, coming on the heels of the Illusionist, I thought the former would certainly be the jewel of the magician-themed thrillers. It's Christopher Nolan after all, who reinvented the thriller genre with Memento and reinvigorated a classic movie comic franchise with Batman Begins. However, the film has been panned so far.

I have to say that I was not looking forward to Eastwood's new film, as I'm not a huge fan of Hollywood war movies, particularly ones that purport to be "the way it really was". Coupled with the trailer, which was bad, I thought Eastwood had finally slipped up (apparently he's on a roll with Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby). Yet, it is the movie that is winning the hearts of the critics for the upcoming weekend.

All that being said, the real answer is: who cares about the critics? Let's go out and see these movies and judge them for ourselves.
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:27 AM   #1685
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Seein gas the Grudge 2 is the No1 movie in the states at the moment I doubt people pay much attention to critics.
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:46 PM   #1686
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It was a more interesting story/premise in the original without the love triangle. That's all I'm saying. The Damon character in the original, played by Andy Lau, had a girlfriend. However, this girl wasn't also sleeping with Tony Leung, the DiCaprio of the original. Much was the same though. The girl heard the tape that Tony Leung sent and she puts it on the speakers for Andy Lau to hear. Then she leaves him.

In the original, Lau regrets his actions. He shows this much better than Damon did. Instead of revealing some sort of angle about Costello being an FBI informant so Damon kills him, the original has Lau kill his boss (in the same scene; phone rings and the men are led to each other in a parking garage) simply because he wants to stop being a mole. Plus, at the end of the original, when Lau kills the other mole it has more weight than in the remake. When Damon kills the mole, he appears to just be covering his tracks. In the original, it comes across as almost being revenge for the mole killing Tony Leung.

Kinda thought the tragic storyline was done a bit better in the original too. Heh. Costello was just too much, as I said before, and toward the end all of the headshots were more comical than effective. My audience laughed, and I hear reports of the same thing happening in theaters across the country.
Missed this because I hadn't realized you just edited it into your other post. Anyways, I don't even know what the point of this argument is anymore as I haven't seen the original. I still say one shouldn't grade the merits of this movie based on the original material, which is all you're doing here and I of course can't really respond effectively. But I will say that it was perfectly clear, to me anyways, that Damon killed Costello because he was tired of being the mole, and perhaps the the FBI informant thing just took him over because of all the work he had to do to cover Costello while also searching for the rat, and having to lie to Madilyn, etc. I didn't see the FBI revelation to be the only thign that took Sullivan over. This is why I liked Damon's performance, more understated than DiCaprio's, for me anyways--I thought he perfectly conveyed these attitudes with his stares and whatever without ever actually saying it.

My audience didn't laugh at the headshots. I was perfectly shocked each time because they were all so well edited/placed. It didn't feel like Fatal Attraction where they ruined the movie in the last 20 minutes by turning it into a violent horror movie; the deaths in the Departed felt like they should have happened, or rather they didn't feel out of place.

I guess that's all I can really comment on until I see Infernal Affairs.

Terrabin - I'm not really surprised at all that Flags of Our Fathers is getting better reviews. It's a WWII movie....by Clint Eastwood. Critics are bound to eat it up. I was already kind of wary about The Prestige; if the critics are in fact panning it as you say, I guess that'd only confirm my fears. Christopher Nolan is talented but I can't say I'm a big fan. Memento was pretty cool and I liked Insomnia and Batman Begins, but he hasn't really wowed me yet. Neither has Eastwood (as director) except for Unforgiven. I feel like, while his recent hits are bound to be critical and awards darlings, they will be forgotten pretty quickly. I'll feel pretty sad for Scorsese if Clint Eastwood shuts him out again (I also thought The Aviator, while not being great, was still better than Million Dollar Baby), even if I end up absolutely loving Flags of Our Fathers.
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:45 PM   #1687
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I have recently seen Brick and The Fountain at a filmfestival in Belgium (yes, Brick finally made it over here! ). Both were big time approved! Must say though, that The Fountain is totally different than I expected it to be, much smaller and more intimate than the trailers made me believe it to be. Still, the end result was very good, with Jackman and Weisz on fire and Aronofsky delivering awesome images, in a story about love transcending time and space. Loved every minute of it.
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:49 PM   #1688
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Brick's awesome. Obvious neo-noir, but good all the same considering its low budget and what-not. Gordon-Levitt is an actor to watch (see Mysterious Skin if you haven't yet).

I'm jealous you got to see The Fountain already. I can't wait till it gets here.
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Old 10-17-2006, 07:02 PM   #1689
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There have been high hopes for Aronofsky since Requiem for a Dream came out. However, that was 6 years ago, and since then, his latest movie has gone through myriad changes. Somehow this movie has been completed, and I'm wondering whether it is possible for a movie that long in production to be a good movie!

I love the subject matter though. It's hard to come by thoughtful sci-fi movies.
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Old 10-17-2006, 07:24 PM   #1690
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Must say though, that The Fountain is totally different than I expected it to be, much smaller and more intimate than the trailers made me believe it to be. Still, the end result was very good, with Jackman and Weisz on fire and Aronofsky delivering awesome images, in a story about love transcending time and space. Loved every minute of it.
Did it have flashy editing to slick music? That's what I disliked about Pi and Requiem, and I'm worried he just slaps it on everything.
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:45 AM   #1691
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Must say though, that The Fountain is totally different than I expected it to be, much smaller and more intimate than the trailers made me believe it to be. Still, the end result was very good, with Jackman and Weisz on fire and Aronofsky delivering awesome images, in a story about love transcending time and space. Loved every minute of it.
Funny, I didn't feel it was about love stronger than time and space. On the contrary, I thought the main message was that people should concentrate on here and now, because the dreams of eternal life, eternal love, etc. are ultimately un-human. I guess the variety of possible interpretations is a sign of a good movie, though.

I agree about the acting - especially Hugh Jackman, whom I hadn't thought much of until The Fountain, delivered the best performance in his career so far.

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I love the subject matter though. It's hard to come by thoughtful sci-fi movies.
It's definitely good, and thoughtful. But I wouldn't place it in the sci-fi genre at all. Perhaps fantasy (ŗ la Neverending Story), but even that with reservations.

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Did it have flashy editing to slick music? That's what I disliked about Pi and Requiem, and I'm worried he just slaps it on everything.
None that I can think of. That said, I don't think your description fits Pi at all, so maybe our definitions of "flashy editing" differ. I actually think all three Aronofsky's films are very different from each other visually/stylistically, although every one of them is impressive.
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:49 AM   #1692
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I didn't incredibly like either Pi or Requiem. They both seemed a little immaturely focused on style rather than imagery or composition. It was clear at least in Requiem that Aronofsky has talent that I'm sure will be put to better use as he gets older.

I love that one genre that can only be described as philosophical/thought-provoking disguised as sci-fi, a la 2001 and Solaris, or nearly anything by Cronenberg. Which is why I'm looking forward to this and Cuaron's Children of Men.
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Old 10-18-2006, 08:51 AM   #1693
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Funny, I didn't feel it was about love stronger than time and space. On the contrary, I thought the main message was that people should concentrate on here and now, because the dreams of eternal life, eternal love, etc. are ultimately un-human. I guess the variety of possible interpretations is a sign of a good movie, though.
Not exactly stronger, more like, not dependent on time/space. Death cannot touch it. Therefore, yes, I agree that the movie expressed that you should enjoy it here and now, but on the other end also expressed a hopeful message that this love doesn't end where you ends and will find new people to touch in similar ways, here visualised by using the same actors in various time periods. Well, something like that at least, the movie does indeed leave much room for interpretation. Anyway, thoughtprovoking and original it was nevertheless.
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:12 AM   #1694
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I didn't incredibly like either Pi or Requiem. They both seemed a little immaturely focused on style rather than imagery or composition. It was clear at least in Requiem that Aronofsky has talent that I'm sure will be put to better use as he gets older.
I don't exactly see that as a bad thing really, because Requiem was a movie that thrived on rhythm and became a juggernaut punch in the face that resonates for a long time because of its style. Something like that cannot be reached with composition or strong imagery alone, both of which were present in Requiem as well if you ask me. I've heard before though that people say Requiem is style over content, maybe that is what you meant? I'd have to disagree with that as well. Aronofsky's style was what the story and the script were screaming for. The style here was what made this movie so brilliant, thought provoking and emotionally resonating. It's not a 'cool' movie, in the same way some style-over-content blockbusters might be considered, but it's confrontational, disturbing and, well, not very pretty. I like Aronofsky exactly because he doesn't hold back for the audiences sake, afraid to shock someone, but at the same time he never does it just for the sake of style, it's always in function of the story, characters and the effect he wants the film to have. David Fincher is similar in that way, both make movies based on the idea that the most interesting movies are the ones that scar. But then again, that's only my opinion.
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:47 AM   #1695
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Spiwak, what is your favorite Cronenberg that features the genre of which you speak? I haven't seen a lot of Cronenberg, but I loved the Dead Zone (Christopher Walken is a dream).
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:01 AM   #1696
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I know you weren't asking me, but I loved eXistenZ.
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:42 AM   #1697
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Shit man, there's no such thing as a bad Cronenberg (haven't seen Fast Company, which I bet if there is a bad Cronenberg out there that'd be it). He does mostly "horror" and "sci-fi" and sometimes a combination of the two, but his themes typically involve sex and the idea that horror comes from within the body (in his movies, literally). His earlier movies are interesting but probably not as worth watching, so I especially recommend Videodrome, The Dead Zone, The Fly, Naked Lunch, Crash (and jesus, not that Paul Haggis tripe), ExistenZ and A History of Violence. Scanners and Spider come a little below those for me. Shivers (or They Came From Within) is actually pretty sweet, so throw that in.

As for Requiem, sure sure I heard all that same stuff and used to believe it too, about the style being used as slave to substance, so to say. I just think filmmakers today are perhaps too preoccupied with style instead of using composition to thematically enhance their pictures. These movies look good and all, sure, but for whatever reason I don't tend to notice interesting compositions or whatever in all this style. Perhaps I am actually too preoccupied by it to notice the other visual elements, which would be an interesting twist and could very well be true. I guess it could also just be part of the recent trend in movies I've noticed, where they are trying to become experiences in and of themselves and extract a certain mood from the audience instead of intellectuality. I'm probably talking out my ass by now.
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:31 PM   #1698
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Shit man, there's no such thing as a bad Cronenberg (haven't seen Fast Company, which I bet if there is a bad Cronenberg out there that'd be it). He does mostly "horror" and "sci-fi" and sometimes a combination of the two, but his themes typically involve sex and the idea that horror comes from within the body (in his movies, literally). His earlier movies are interesting but probably not as worth watching, so I especially recommend Videodrome, The Dead Zone, The Fly, Naked Lunch, Crash (and jesus, not that Paul Haggis tripe), ExistenZ and A History of Violence. Scanners and Spider come a little below those for me. Shivers (or They Came From Within) is actually pretty sweet, so throw that in.
Ah, Cronenberg, now we're talking! He's one of my favourites as well (though I was disappointed with History of Violence). I loved Videodrome, Naked Lunch, Crash, ExistenZ and The Fly. I have Shivers around here as well. I should look at it one of these days. It's together on a disc with Rabid. Have you seen that one?

Quote:
As for Requiem, sure sure I heard all that same stuff and used to believe it too, about the style being used as slave to substance, so to say. I just think filmmakers today are perhaps too preoccupied with style instead of using composition to thematically enhance their pictures. These movies look good and all, sure, but for whatever reason I don't tend to notice interesting compositions or whatever in all this style. Perhaps I am actually too preoccupied by it to notice the other visual elements, which would be an interesting twist and could very well be true. I guess it could also just be part of the recent trend in movies I've noticed, where they are trying to become experiences in and of themselves and extract a certain mood from the audience instead of intellectuality. I'm probably talking out my ass by now.
No, no, no ass-talking yet. It's true that there's a trend in movies to appeal more to the senses. Actually, it's pretty big in postmodern film. I don't like all of it either, but so far Aronofsky seems to be on the good side of things (for me at least). Others take it way further than him, directors like David Lynch, Peter Greenaway, and yes Cronenberg. It's not to everyone's liking, but their approach to film is slipping more and more into mainstream film. Eastern cinema is much more pointed towards emotions and the senses as well.
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Old 10-18-2006, 02:11 PM   #1699
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Well I dunno about Lynch but I guess I can see Cronenberg (can't think of any Greenaway off the top of my head, which probably means I haven't seen any). And fair enough, I'm sure Aronofsky will become a major force in the years to come (at which point I'm sure everyone will agree, no matter how much they like them, that Pi and Requiem are his immature works. Hopefully The Fountain will be the start of that (for me, anyways).

And yea I've seen Rabid, it's pretty good...for a low-budget horror flick. The premise is fantastic though. I mean, a woman undergoes skin replacement but the cells start doing funky things that create a carnivorous phallus on her armpit that also makes zombies of the people it feeds on. Wow - only in a Cronenberg movie.
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:34 PM   #1700
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King Kong

That's the Peter Jackson version. I'm not quite sure how I've managed to avoid seeing this until now (just like I've managed to avoid two of the Lord of the Rings films).

It's good fun, but way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way too long. I certainly won't be buying the Extended Edition DVD when they release it.
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