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"The Director We Deserve..." - The Christopher Nolan Thread


Chaos
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Dear god, Amazing Spider-Man might as well have been called "Spider-Man Begins" so obvious was it's desire to be a Dark Knight trilogy for Spidey and Sony.

 

 

(The action scenes in ASM2 are pretty great, but the tone of the movie is bleak bordering on nihilistic.)

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The other problem with ASM 2 was that it was one of the more blatant Jamie Foxx "I am just collecting a paycheck" performances of all time.

 

Foxx has steadily been doing that since he had his banner year with Ray and Collateral.

The only performance of his that maybe didn't fall under that category was The Soloist.

 

I also am not sure that Mark Webb is the guy you want filming a big tent movie with big action set pieces. His stronger films are not ones that hint him displaying that gift.

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The other problem with ASM 2 was that it was one of the more blatant Jamie Foxx "I am just collecting a paycheck" performances of all time.

 

 

Fair enough, but that character was just dreadfully conceived and written anyway - no amount of good acting could have rescued it. That role got just as much effort out of Foxx as it deserved.

 

I totally agree with Fowler that the ASM movies were needlessly dark and anti-fun, almost certainly in attempt to rip off the Nolan-Batman formula. But I will say this: if Christopher Nolan actually directed those movies, they would still be needlessly dark and anti-fun, but they also would have been a hell of a lot better.

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I left out V for Vendetta because I didn't consider it to be "big" enough to include.  YMMV.  I did include Watchmen.  I didn't include the Ghost Rider movies, which I imagine were dark (I never saw them).  Also didn't include Elektra, Punisher: War Zone, Spirit, Jonah Hex, Dredd, or the latest TMNT. 

 

I don't consider Sin City or From Hell to be superhero movies.  Also, they were both released before Batman Begins.

 

ASM had some teenage Peter stuff that seemed pretty light, but I can see the point.  Not so sure about ASM2.  I mean, I guess upon further reflection you can put it wherever you want, given that the tone was all over the map.  The bits that left the biggest impression on me were the fun action sequences and the stupid Revenge of the Nerds pre-Electro Jamie Foxx, both of which are on the light side.  I think both ASMs were trying for a good bit of fun; they just failed.

 

Anyway, my main point was that there have been plenty of non-darkgritty superhero movies since BB, and that post-Avengers and Guardians, I would expect more.

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ASM had some teenage Peter stuff that seemed pretty light, but I can see the point.  Not so sure about ASM2.  I mean, I guess upon further reflection you can put it wherever you want, given that the tone was all over the map.  The bits that left the biggest impression on me were the fun action sequences and the stupid Revenge of the Nerds pre-Electro Jamie Foxx, both of which are on the light side.  I think both ASMs were trying for a good bit of fun; they just failed.

 

This pretty much sums up my thoughts. The last thing I would associate with the Amazing Spider-Man movies is The Dark Knight trilogy. Foxx's character was more Joel Schumacher than Nolan.

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ASM had some teenage Peter stuff that seemed pretty light, but I can see the point.  Not so sure about ASM2.  I mean, I guess upon further reflection you can put it wherever you want, given that the tone was all over the map.  The bits that left the biggest impression on me were the fun action sequences and the stupid Revenge of the Nerds pre-Electro Jamie Foxx, both of which are on the light side.  I think both ASMs were trying for a good bit of fun; they just failed.

 

This pretty much sums up my thoughts. The last thing I would associate with the Amazing Spider-Man movies is The Dark Knight trilogy. Foxx's character was more Joel Schumacher than Nolan.

 

 

I'm still in disbelief that version of Max Dillon got past the script stage.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Saw Interstellar in IMAX last night. Definitely enjoyed it. Visually it was spectacular. It definitely felt long though (probably didn't help that I went to an 11:15 showtime and the older I get, the less often I stay up that late).

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I saw it last night. Unfortunately, the only IMAX in town only shows educational type shit, so I felt like I was missing out on something. Still, thought it was great. It had some flaws that I think mainly stemmed from Nolan trying to answer some of the criticisms about his style, but the stuff that's in his wheelhouse, he knocks out of the park. I'm consistently amazed at the scale of visuals he's able to pull off without it looking like a big CGI wank.

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To me, Nolan is like the Banksy of film directors. His stuff is generally fun, enjoyable, and clearly made by a talented person who has skills. That does not mean that it holds up when his fans continue to ascribe subtext and meaning that isn't necessarily there. 

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Watched Interstellar this afternoon. It's written by the same guy who write Contact, who is apparently a proper science guy who never really had anything to do with science fiction. For some reason, his work puts me in mind of this (from Marilyn Manson's autobiography):

 

(Daisy Berkowitz) spent most of his time in the lobby of the studio with his headphones on, playing hackneyed hard-rock licks into his four-track recorder. He had never listened to heavy metal as a teenager, so he constsantly mistook his cliches for originality.

 

You know how people criticised early Tarantino for making a Frankenstein's monster of a movie, stitching together bits of other better movies that were already made? That's what Interstellar is like. Also, on the way home Xavier asked me why every space movie has a bit at the end where they get back to Earth. I haven't let him watch Alien movies yet.

 

Did anyone not clock Matt Damon as a heel immediately? Because whilst I was engaged with the movie up until he died, and I could get behind McConaughey being good enough of a pilot to still dock with the station, if it had ended with him sacrificing himself to save Dr Brand and the human race, that would have been better than him realising that falling into a black hole turns you into God

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I like Nolan well enough but the way he ended Inception will forever piss me off.

Im totally ok wih the ambiguity. I understand that Cobb no longer cares about the top. That he is just happy to be with his kids. But the focus for us as an audience is put right back on the top before the cut to black.

Fuck. That.

From a story telling stand point there are much better ways to get the same 'talking points' that he was after.

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He wields a lot of power in Hollywood. And with great power, comes greatly enhanced running time.

 

It was bloody long though. Nearly three hours, and with a slow pace that made it feel longer. We both took bathroom breaks without missing anything. Couldn't do that during Crank 2: High Voltage, could you?

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Most of the criticisms of Nolan in this thread seem like things that were written about the Wachowski brothers and pasted into this thread as a rib.

 

Although Nolan has never made a "brave political film" full of absolute rubbish that he wasn't even brave enough to set in his own country, so at least he'll always have that as a very clear advantage.

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C'mon, there is nothing brave about how The Dark Knight Rises addresses politics.  I get the references to Occupy, 99%'ers and all that, but it's really all just superficial details to the actual story.  It's not major subtext.  I guess unless you think Nolan hates Occupiers and Bane and the League of Shadows are a proxy for the Occupy movement or something.

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