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OCT 2015 MOVIE DISCUSSION

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Y'all are high.  GdT has cranked out some pretty awesome movies and I totally forgot to put Blade 2 and Pacific Rim on my list of GDT is GUD! list.

 

He has wonderful vision and he is a fairly decent writer.  He just needs someone to tweak the dialogue.

 

The problem I have with his stuff is that even his positive emotion material still ends up being ridiculously bleak.   His happy ending movies somehow manage to crush my soul a little.

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Back to GDT, I had a conversation with a friend about GDT and how disappointed my girlfriend and I were with Crimson Peak. He mentioned not liking GDT's movies, saying Blade 2 was probably his movie he enjoyed the most. I brought up how there seem to be two camps regarding GDT, but did admit that he maybe needs to stop receiving a free pass because he's not efficient at all. It took years for Pacific Rim to get made and the same for Crimson Peak. I think he's a huge drain on studio resources. His movies wind up being these huge gambles that are likely to not pay off more than they do because of how long it takes him to get his shit together. I then added that he needs someone to rein him in because he has an imaginative mind, but it's scattershot and a hindrance.

 

My friend then brought up a good point in response. He said to look at the two obvious extremes. If you're going to take a huge amount of time to make a movie then it needs to be what James Cameron makes. While the stories aren't revolutionary, the technique is top notch, and the storytelling and style are great. On the other end of the spectrum is Clint Eastwood, as he shoots super fast and goes underbudget because he just wants to tell good stories, trusting his directing and actors.

 

It's hilarious considering that GdT said he's moving away from those movies. I don't think this is completely on his part. With George Miller, you can understand why he would want to do a smaller project after spending 10+ years on Fury Road. Who is going to fund all these crazy movies by GdT that might be minor hits at best? He is too fascinated with his own gimmick (well one that other directors had before him) to get over it and do something entirely different. 

 

Guillermo Del Toro is basically turning into the new Tim Burton. More and more, his movies/show feel like he spent five years on the set and creature designs, and a solid hour on the script.

 

I actually liked Big Eyes mainly because Waltz killed it and it was the least Tim Burton movie that Tim Burton will ever put out. 

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After watching American Sniper and J. Edgar, Eastwood needs to hang it up. Terrible films.

 

Eastwood as a director is fucking awesome.

 

Eastwood as a conservative propagandist trying to convince me that If I don't share his views I am un-American, is the drizzling shits.

 

There is a difference. 

 

American Sniper is a wonderful and thoughtfully told story and it is visually arresting.  Bradley Cooper turns in performance for the ages. 

 

I can appreciate all of that and still chose to take or leave the meta-politics surrounding the demagogue canonization of Chris Kyle as the epitome of "True American Values.".

 

I train logistics Soldiers for a living and I love what I do and I support the missions my folks have to undertake, so I would cheerfully welcome Clint Eastwood to come and try to lecture me on what it means to a patriot or a good citizen.

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I respect everyone's right to have opinions that differ from mine. It's unfortunate some of you don't share the appreciation for Guillermo del Toro that I do, but not everyone likes vanilla ice cream, and that's why there's chocolate.

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No, that is why there is Butter Pecan and Hot Fudge sauce!

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After watching American Sniper and J. Edgar, Eastwood needs to hang it up. Terrible films.

Eastwood as a director is fucking awesome.

Eastwood as a conservative propagandist trying to convince me that If I don't share his views I am un-American, is the drizzling shits.

There is a difference.

American Sniper is a wonderful and thoughtfully told story and it is visually arresting. Bradley Cooper turns in performance for the ages.

I can appreciate all of that and still chose to take or leave the meta-politics surrounding the demagogue canonization of Chris Kyle as the epitome of "True American Values.".

I train logistics Soldiers for a living and I love what I do and I support the missions my folks have to undertake, so I would cheerfully welcome Clint Eastwood to come and try to lecture me on what it means to a patriot or a good citizen.

I agree. I think American Sniper is a fantastic movie. You do have to give up on it being a completely true story but the story it tells is REALLY well-done.

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The second sentence is the problem.  Nobody in that film's target audience of slack jawed yokels understood that it was a Hollywoodized dramatization and not a fact-based retelling of this guy's life.  Then again, his book was a collection of lies and tall tales, too, and you're only as good as your source material.  Garbage in, garbage out and all that.

 

Do we celebrate Clint for making a good movie or demonize him for making an irresponsible propaganda piece?  It ain't Leni Riefenstahl but still.

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It would appear that Cronos and Devil's Backbone are not well regarded here.

Never saw Devil's Backbone. As for Cronos: I dunno, I saw it one time almost twenty years ago. Recall it being kinda slow, and not enjoying much of anything besides Ron Perlman's villain.

Do we celebrate Clint for making a good movie or demonize him for making an irresponsible propaganda piece?

We can't do both? Call it the Mel Gibson Paradox. Braveheart made a ridiculous hash of the real historical events surrounding the real William Wallace (right down to the insane notion that 13th-century people would think they're fighting for personal freedom), but it's still got tremendously kickass action scenes that basically reinvented how modern films portrayed a big battle. Heck, Sergei Eisenstein made his entire career off amazingly-executed pieces of blatant propaganda.

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Not really the same.  The events of Braveheart happened so long ago that it might as well be fiction.  If Braveheart got facts wrong, who cares?  American Sniper sent dangerous messages, like the war can be won if we just kill the right Evil Brown Sniper, to people who actually vote in elections today.

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 If Braveheart got facts wrong, who cares? 

 

Uh, determining how the past bleeds into the future is extremely important.  Get in between the two sides of our wonderful Confederate Flag debate and you will see.

 

There are few things more powerful than being able to control the meaning of something symbolic.

 

I'm sure there are parties out there that don't view Walter Wallace in such a favorable light as Mel does, but those parties have never put out a blockbuster movie to explain their interpretation.

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Definitely, but I'm talking about one specific film that Jingus brought up.  The impact of Braveheart getting facts wrong is far less than Sniper being fictional political propaganda. 

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Definitely, but I'm talking about one specific film that Jingus brought up.  The impact of Braveheart getting facts wrong is far less than Sniper being fictional political propaganda. 

 

Because we're not personally invested in the events or personalities involved. 

 

Now, if I were British I'd might have a lot of issues with William Wallace being portrayed as a heroic figure.

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  If Braveheart got facts wrong, who cares? 

 

People care who respect and care about history?

 

I mean Spike Lee pretty much made multiple real people in one character (Brother Baines) in Malcolm X and made people believe Malcolm X was introduced to Islam in prison by this sole fictional person. That's still a pretty bad message (especially as a notable black director) to send to people even if no one gives a shit about it today (or twenty-three years from 1992). This is coming from someone who loves Braveheart, Malcolm X, and a slew of other movies (I thought American Sniper was good FWIW) that change around history for convenience and personal beliefs. 

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Yes but it has far less impact on us in the states, being that it wasn't "our" history and because it happened over 700 years ago.  Sorry, I should have qualified that better.

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I also by no means took American Sniper as some grand celebration of Kyle and his actions overseas. I thought Eastwood was both fascinated and terrified by Kyle. Some of the moments in that film, especially towards the end of the second-early third act were a little unnerving.

 

I think it's a film that people want to celebrate or dismiss for the politics surrounding it, and I never viewed the film as having an agenda. It honestly reminded me of the backlash given to Zero Dark Thirty or even The Hurt Locker, and both of those were better films than American Sniper.

 

I do think Cooper as Kyle was his best performance to date, and I really liked him in SIlver Linings Playbook, which I have been by and large been not enthused by the few Russell films that I've seen.

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Cooper was great but Eastwood completely took me out of it.  His wife is sitting around watching TV on the morning of 9/11 and she goes "Chris! Chris! Come here!" and he walks in the room, has no idea what's going on but the camera focuses and zooms right in on his warmonger "I'M BACK, BABY" expression.  

 

So terrible. They could have dropped the America, Fuck yeah video right there and it wouldn't have seemed out of place.

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Cooper was great but Eastwood completely took me out of it.  His wife is sitting around watching TV on the morning of 9/11 and she goes "Chris! Chris! Come here!" and he walks in the room, has no idea what's going on but the camera focuses and zooms right in on his warmonger "I'M BACK, BABY" expression.  

 

So terrible. They could have dropped the America, Fuck yeah video right there and it wouldn't have seemed out of place.

 

I didn't take it that way. If this wasn't an adaptation, I would probably see the rationale in your argument.

 

Personally, I didn't make it past one chapter in American Sniper. Chris Kyle doesn't seem like anyone I can relate to. From what little I've read to his appearance on O&A to shill his book (which I believe was one of the main reasons he got sued by Ventura), he just seems like one of those crazy, country super patriotic white boys. However, that isn't anything Eastwood made up for the purpose of the movie. In my opinion, based on my pre-existing knowledge, the portrayal of Chris Kyle in the movie is pretty much right in line with Chris Kyle, the person.

 

I would be more offended if Eastwood or whoever wrote the screenplay made him into this unbiased, free thinking figure who was actually opposed to the war. I don't see why Eastwood would feel obligated to show a fair and equal representation of the other side. That's not the source material. This isn't like when Oliver Stone did his Vietnam War trilogy where Chris from Platoon is basically modeled after Stone's time as a soldier in Vietnam. I wouldn't expect the second half of American Sniper to resemble Heaven and Earth to balance it all out. I think you're just misconstruing your hate for Chris Kyle, the person and his beliefs, with Eastwood's direction and Cooper's ability to bring Chris Kyle onscreen. If I didn't have the knowledge of Kyle beforehand, I would most likely feel the same way.

 

With all that being said, you probably need to watch something like Four Lions to get you out of that mood to feel movies like American Sniper are only made for propaganda purposes. So what if people from Fox News and their audience gravitate to Chris Kyle? Who gives a shit? If you're taking your political cues from movies, that's on you (left or right leaning).

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I knew quite a bit about some of Eastwood's views going into the film and maybe that is also what made me feel it was straight propaganda.  I'll be honest, when I go on social media or overhear discussions at the office and certain people are touting this as the best movie ever made that does not help things. And I live in CT.  I can only imagine what was going on elsewhere.

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I knew quite a bit about some of Eastwood's views going into the film and maybe that is also what made me feel it was straight propaganda.  I'll be honest, when I go on social media or overhear discussions at the office and certain people are touting this as the best movie ever made that does not help things. And I live in CT.  I can only imagine what was going on elsewhere.

 

I think it's time to re-evaluate who you follow on social media and hang around with at work. It's probably not even the best war movie of the year (just saw Beasts of No Nation and it was extraordinary). As far as political views go, I am not a super liberal like George Clooney but I can still appreciate his movies. Even though Monuments Men stunk, I thought Good Night, and Good Luck was really good.
 
Speaking of Clooney, I saw Chaos brought up David O'Russell again. I thought about the time Clooney beat him up for being an asshole. Then, I thought about the time Lily Tomlin and O'Russell got into it on the set of I Heart Huckabees. That's a valid enough reason to post it.
 
Very NSFW
 
 
 
I lose it everytime when he re-enters through the prop door. That and his dig at her one woman shows. 
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Now that a lot of time has passed, even though he still goes off on the deep end, I think Tomlin had that coming.

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Now that a lot of time has passed, even though he still goes off on the deep end, I think Tomlin had that coming.

 

Well, yeah. Her spazzing out on Hoffman is totally unwarranted.

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I also by no means took American Sniper as some grand celebration of Kyle and his actions overseas. I thought Eastwood was both fascinated and terrified by Kyle. Some of the moments in that film, especially towards the end of the second-early third act were a little unnerving.

 

I think it's a film that people want to celebrate or dismiss for the politics surrounding it, and I never viewed the film as having an agenda. It honestly reminded me of the backlash given to Zero Dark Thirty or even The Hurt Locker, and both of those were better films than American Sniper.

 

I do think Cooper as Kyle was his best performance to date, and I really liked him in SIlver Linings Playbook, which I have been by and large been not enthused by the few Russell films that I've seen.

I felt this way, too.  Like I think because Clint Eastwood is a Republican and because of the way the Republican/mid-west folks embraced it, people see things into that movie that aren't there.  The way Kyle kept going back for more tours of duty and putting his fellow soldiers in danger so he could defeat that (fictional) other sniper were things I didn't feel like Eastwood thought were honourable, but just rather showed how insanely focused Kyle was on his "mission" that he almost discarded his family, his whole life, to reach this objective, then when he did, he was left aimless until he found a purpose in helping veterans back in American.  The only major theme I took from the film that I felt Eastwood really wanted to get across, was the apalling nature of post-wartime treatment for soldiers.  And I think it's a shame so many people got wrapped up in feeling like it was or wasn't a pro-war propaganda piece that the really important message went often unheard.

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Hey now. The Midwest is full of assholes, but there are huge enclaves of people here that could give less of a shit for anything Clint Eastwood sympathizes with politically. While still being bright enough to understand that High Plains Drifter, Unforgiven, and Gran Torino are great yet incredibly fucked-up movies. 

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Anyway, back in the forgotten days of Crimson Peak discussion, here's this. http://deadline.com/2015/10/crimson-peak-guillermo-del-toro-donald-trump-mexican-immigrants-1201585629/ I'm consistently impressed by the eloquence and brain behind Guillermo's films (and you should really see the Director's Chair from El Rey of him speaking and then you'll read the whole damn thing in his voice). I STILL haven't seen Cronos, and STILL haven't seen Pan's Labyrinth, but the man as a person is someone I deeply admire. He had a quote in an issue of Deep Red (RIP Chas. Balun) that I read that always stays with me but I haven't read it in quite awhile but I'll dig it up tomorrow. It's perfect.

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