go_leafs At the Movies (CLUE- p. 16)

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Post by CluedoKid » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:41 pm

go_leafs_nation wrote: Image
Regarding the poster, doesn't it look like intestines rather than open palms on the chest of that magical negro archetype?
Image

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Post by go_leafs_nation » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:45 pm

I unreasonably love that artwork, but I can see your point. :lol:
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:08 am

For those too lazy to look back:
go_leafs_nation wrote:Image
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Ben Affleck, Judi Dench
Directed by John Madden

Shakespeare in Love purports to be a comedy about Shakespeare suddenly inspired by a love interest (with Paltrow), and the words begin to flow like never before. Watching it, I found it far from funny. Everything that occurs in it is predictable and cliché, and not particularly endearing. It pokes fun at the clergy by having a clergyman protest against the theatre and its morality. Then, the screenwriters decide it will be great fun if the same clergyman reacts enthusiastically at a performance. It does not emerge as such. I’m quite surprised that Tom Stoppard, a fantastic playwright, has his name attached to this.
Shakespeare in Love starts promisingly: a hilarious presentation by a debtor to those he owes money to of an early storyline of Romeo and Juliet. Soon after, however, the constant references to Shakespeare’s oeuvre become stiff and un-amusing. For instance, a clergyman yells “a plague o’ both their houses!� referring to two rival theatres, which becomes a line in Romeo and Juliet. Not too bad? Well consider the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet being inspired by a similar encounter between Will and Gwyneth (alas, foiled by the Nurse, whose persistent calling for Juliet also makes it into the scene). Comic relief is soon provided in limited, spaced-out bursts (between the numerous sex scenes of course).
Perhaps my negative view of Shakespeare in Love is influenced by a vendetta I have against it. The film did not deserve 1999’s Best Picture award, which should have gone to either Saving Private Ryan, Life is Beautiful, or The Thin Red Line. It practically swept the Oscars with 7 wins, which often it did not deserve. Gwyneth Paltrow won the Best Actress award. Apparently, perpetually flashing fleeting smiles and flaunting one’s bre@sts (literally— her bre@sts are probably shown about 13 times) are Best Actress qualifications. Judi Dench won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress— for about 10 minutes of screen time, where she does what the Queen does best (i.e. save the day), but without making the performance particularly memorable or endearing.
And now for the redeeming qualities: Shakespeare in Love undoubtedly had some fine music. The music was purely opulent and made many of the scenes “watch-able�. The film’s strongest scene would have to be when someone (whose name I completely forget, but at the same time, couldn’t care less) goes into the theatre were a rehearsal is taking place and a duel ensues with Shakespeare. Comically, musically, dramatically, and directorially, it is the film’s most solid scene, and I briefly had hopes (which were mercilessly dashed) that the film might become good.
And now for some acting criticism: Joseph Fiennes is one of the most amateur actors I have ever had to endure watching— one of the poorest choices available for Shakespeare. Paltrow was bad enough where fleeting smiles were concerned— Fiennes makes her look like a genius. Ben Affleck plays… well, an Elizabethan Ben Affleck.
The Verdict: A mediocre film at best, Shakespeare in Love was over-hyped, and definitely did not deserve all those Oscars it grabbed. Its Best Picture win is a direct slap in the face to two of the greatest masterpieces ever made (and The Thin Red Line, which should’ve won SOMETHING that year— it’s a very good movie!). Cliché, stale, and uninteresting, I swear I thought my brains melted about 40 minutes into the movie. An agonizing experience for the most part, Shakespeare in Love gets two thumbs down.
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Post by Jane Poirot » Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:22 pm

Wow, this is majorly awkward... :oops:
You'll probably accuse me of having horrible taste in movies (but you would be far too polite for that, I would hope), but I warmed up a bit to Shakespeare In Love the more I watched. I thought, 'oh, this movie is just okay' the first time I saw it and then thought, 'wow this is great' when I had to watch it again for English class last year (the purpose being to introduce us to the idea of Romeo and Juliet). To me, it keeps getting better the more I watch because I kept noticing certain details I had not noticed the first time. (And yes, I freely admit I do indeed love a bit of romance, comical or tragic)
The whole bit with the clergymen is to show how hypocritical some church officials could be back in those days; they would insist such and such a play is sinful because it went against this that and the other thing in the Bible, yet never bothered to actually WATCH the play themselves to see if it really was that bad, hence why that whole bit is hilarious.
I myself thought the references to various bits of R&J were cleverly done (if you weren't so polite, you would probably tell me I also think breathing is cleverly done :lol: ). I personally would have chosen someone far more memorable for the role of Shakespeare, agreed, but I think the actor who played the stuttering character finally overcoming their problem when playing the chorus on stage should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor instead of Ben Affleck (who did an okay job, but as said, the other actor did better).
You should've realized my brains melted a long time ago when I wrote two AUs. :wink:
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:37 pm

Ooh, the stuttering actor. That made me furious. Although, granted, on show night, many problems that seem to plague rehearsals seem to always melt away, a man who has a stutter cannot magically talk normally onstage, but as soon as he gets backstage, continue stuttering. That got me mad instead of laughing.

Your point over the clergyman is valid, but at the same time, the whole thing seems forced. You can see the joke coming a mile away, and it doesn't seem to funny.

The references to R&J were somewhat cleverly intergrated, but to me, it felt more like an instult to Shakespeare than a tribute. Essentially, it felt like Shakespeare was a loser who didn't know how to write and ripped off everything from what he saw around him. True, Shakespeare took existing stories or historical events and made them into plays, but he showed originality and a flair for words. Macbeth, for instance, is inspired by real-life events, yet is heavily altered to make Macbeth the anti-hero struggling with himself.

The parody I shared a while back, George Lucas in Love, I liked because Lucas shows little originality- his dialogue is "cheesy", taken directly from a B-movie without transcending above it (like Raiders of the Lost Ark does). Besides, the governmental struggle in The Phantom Menace is just like the Roman Empire's, if anyone noticed. But Shakespeare was a master with words, and the film felt more like ridicule than homage.

Besides, the ending was oh so obviously coming. And, of course, so much of the play was cut out in the performance. When Juliet wakes up, the Friar is supposed to enter. OK, maybe he forgot. Forgiveable. But if Paltrow, as she claims, knows every word of the play, she'd hardly forget her huge monologue over Romeo's corpse.

Plus I find it very convenient that, without anyone leaving the theatre, soldiers know that Paltrow is in the play, and the Queen appears at the theatre, although it isn't for a lady of a proper upbringing (as the Nurse says at the very beginning).
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Post by fendue » Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:14 pm

CluedoKid wrote:
go_leafs_nation wrote: Image
Regarding the poster, doesn't it look like intestines rather than open palms on the chest of that magical negro archetype?
No.

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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:15 pm

Image
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris
Directed by Ron Howard

A Beautiful Mind tells the story of John Nash (Crowe), a brilliant mathematician. It begins by showing his days as a student at Princeton, where he searches for a completely original idea, something that will earn him widespread recognition. This goes on for about the first 25 minutes, and it is positively brilliant. But then, something happens. The next 20 or so minutes are extremely predictable and dull, as if it came straight out of a spy novel. This is my fault, though, because I find out as little as possible about a movie before seeing it. Had I tried finding out a little more about A Beautiful Mind, I would’ve surely seen the reason for this. Long story short, I wasn’t expecting the major plot twist that came around the hour mark of the film, and that just blew me away. That dull 20 minutes is something I appreciated only when viewing the segment again, this time with the knowledge of why it seemed so dull.

** If you know positively nothing about ABM’s plot, I strongly recommend skipping the following **

The praise for A Beautiful Mind is completely justified. Russell Crowe was positively robbed of an Oscar, as his performance is completely and wholly captivating from beginning to end. It is essentially due to his fantastic acting that Ron Howard brilliantly portrays schizophrenia. Researching the film a little more, I found that the movie takes enormous liberties with the real-life events it is based on, and has been heavily criticized for it. I disagree with such criticism. There is no way for a director to capture on film the mind of a schizophrenic. Nash’s delusions are altered from auditory, but these liberties serve only to make them more powerful, shocking, and disturbing onscreen. This is what makes the film so darn good— it captures the absolute pandemonium of the life of a schizophrenic. I really couldn’t care less if the exact delusions experienced are not shown, so long as the atmosphere of such delusions is portrayed. The horror of Nash’s tumultuous life is brilliantly captured when he “attacks� his wife, thinking he is defending her from a gunman.

*** Safe to read from here on***

The Verdict: A Beautiful Mind might not be faithful to the source material it is based on, but it transfers the atmosphere of the source material perfectly onscreen. Russell Crowe’s brilliant acting proves to be the film’s foundations, along with Ron Howard’s brilliant direction. (By the way, a special mention goes out to Vivien Cardone for a straightforward, yet bone-chilling, performance.) Truly a great movie, A Beautiful Mind is quite an achievement— undoubtedly the Best Picture of 2001.
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:52 am

I do believe The Green Mile may have usurped The Dark Knight as my favourite movie...
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:48 pm

Image
American Gangster (2007)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe
Directed by Ridley Scott

American Gangster is a brilliant crime film, and that’s all there is to it. Not only does it deliver pure, escapist entertainment, but it is also more thoughtful and thought-provoking than the average “organized crime� film.
The first thing I will comment on is the direction. I love Ridley Scott’s direction. For one thing, he has an excellent grasp on building suspense, which in American Gangster plays a major role in keeping the audience involved. His direction is first-rate, and I noticed that he used the imagery of coffee very often in the film. A shot near the end of the film, where coffee is spilt all over a bed, is particularly effective (not to mention aesthetically pleasing). However, there is one aspect of American Gangster’s direction I highly disliked, and that is the over, explicit sexuality, in particular the numerous naked bodies of women. I’m not a fan of these kinds of images in film (particularly when used in excess), but other than this problem, American Gangster’s direction is pure gold.
Another thing I particularly like about AG is that the characters do not feel like archetypes or stereotypes, which is a huge danger for any crime film to fall into. A particularly interesting move is that Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington’s characters are practically the same because they’re exact opposites. Crowe’s detective finds $1 million in unmarked bills in the trunk of a car and returns it. Yet he cheats on his wife—he’s an honest cop, yet dishonest in family life. Washington’s character, meanwhile, is a criminal. But he truly loves his wife and his family— he’s honest in family matters but dishonest where the law is concerned. The two are shadowy reflections of each other, and this only helps the story even more.
Another fascinating thing about American Gangster is that it doesn’t end in the conventional, blockbuster-style shootout. As for the music— it’s effective, but forgettable— nothing to write home about.
Here we get to the themes of American Gangster. One of them is family, and how it really does matter. Frank Lucas is sure to take care of his family. For instance, when he shows his mother her new room, it is revealed that he had a dresser built for it, built from his memory of a dresser she had when he was a child, one that was taken away. Frank, as is pointed out, also stands for progress. He is a successful black gangster, even more successful than the Mafia crime families. This is pointed out late in the movie, that he doesn’t just “represent himself�, he is a symbol of progress, and not a crude caricature of the ruthless drug dealer.
The Verdict: Other than the excessive numbers of nude women walking around on camera, American Gangster is pretty much flawless. A great movie, it is both entertaining and thought-provoking, a rare mix.
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:22 pm

A review I've meant to post for a while:
Image
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Starring: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Laurence Fishburne, Harrison Ford
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

If there has ever been an overrated director, Francis Ford Coppola is the one. Apocalypse Now is nearly universally praised as one of the greatest war films of all time. I consider it to be one of the most overrated movies of all time; far from a masterpiece, it merely cashes in on the American anti-war sentiment of the time.
Let’s begin with the film’s story itself, shall we? Well, although adapted from fantastic source material (Conrad’s Heart of Darkness), Apocalypse Now has a very vague plot joining the film. As I have learned, the film was plagued with production problems, which may be why this is so. Either way, the film is comprised of a few interesting scenarios (I particularly liked the boat massacre) tied together in an extremely convoluted way. The story makes no sense, because it’s practically irrelevant— too much side material takes away from a promising plot.
I’ve said time and time again that Coppola has a very feeble grasp of suspense. During the duration of Apocalypse Now, what does the hero, Willard, do? He watches. What does the audience, therefore, do? We watch Willard watching. The increasing chaos downriver is not a magnificent suspense builder. To be honest, it’s sheer boredom.
And what of the characters? Willard is a character made out of cardboard. All he does is frown and think about his mission. I couldn’t empathize with him at all, and frankly didn’t care whether he was successful in his mission or not. His crew is a ragtag bunch of sketched-in, half realized, uninteresting characters. Robert Duvall’s character has fantastic potential, but emerges as uninteresting: he appears, demonstrates Coppola’s point that the military is a bunch of hypocrites, and disappears, all without contributing much to the plot
Another thing: a novelist’s approach does not work in films. The drama should be performed, and not narrated. Although voice-over proves effective at times, Apocalypse Now is one great big, long voiceover that quickly becomes stale, boring and ineffective.
Another thing: the film supposedly “truly captures� the insanity of war. No. What it does is “subtly� point out the hypocrisy of the American army. They eat meals that the guys in the field would die for. They were planning to punish Kurtz for his murder of four civilians, but praised him once the press got a hold of the story. They send Willard out to kill Kurtz because he’s half insane already. There’s no leadership at the bridge. The soldiers go absolutely insane over the Playboy “playmates� instead of concentrating on the war (that was one of the film's most disturbing scenes-- not in a good way). A man indiscriminately shoots down innocent Vietnamese peasants. Robert Duvall’s character attacks a village because the beach has “the best waves� for surfing. Far from subtle, it points out exactly what Apocalypse Now is: a cash cow for Hollywood after the anti-war movement.
And now for the good bits: After over two hours of insane boredom, Marlon Brando appears AT LAST. After two hours of watching Willard watching the “insanity� of the war, I was glad for a character of interest. Most of Brando’s dialogue was, apparently, ad-libbed, and you can tell. His dialogue does not reek of Coppola’s mediocre (or just plain bad) screenwriting. That is the film’s one redeeming quality: only due to Brando (whom I, ironically, consider the most overrated actor ever) is the last 20 minutes of any interest whatsoever. There is one other redeeming quality, and that is the boat massacre. Truly the film’s strongest scene, it is sadly followed by a trail of disappointments that all but drown it out.
The Verdict: Far from a masterpiece, Apocalypse Now is barely coherent. Coppola apparently described the film as “not about Vietnam, it is Vietnam�. Incorrect. It is Hollywood raking in profits after Vietnam. It’s no use accusing me of simply not understanding the movie’s point, or of having to watch it again. (I’ll live quite comfortably if I never hear of the film again.) As a matter of fact, I’ve seen it three times: the first in my film class, where I despised it, and had to study it and its “messages�; the second on my own, where I appreciated it a little more, but not by much; the third prior to writing this review, where I returned to my original position. To be blunt, I don’t like Apocalypse Now at all.
Francis Ford Coppola, you have been found guilty of making overrated movies. You have been sentenced to get no rating on Apocalypse Now. May God have mercy on your soul…
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:41 pm

The 1998 update of Great Expectations is overall a weak film, but its first 30 minutes is spellbindingly brilliant. Here's one of the final scenes of that section which I really think captures the relationship D i c k e n s wrote about well (in a modern setting, to boot!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mfYK6SpAWs
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:38 am

Image
Apollo 13 (1995)
Starring: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise
Directed by Ron Howard

Many would argue that, because it is based on true events, history ruins the ending of Apollo 13, and thus, its thriller aspect is worthless. I will confess to ignorance here: I knew next to nothing about the real-life mission, and thus, I was able to really enjoy the movie’s thriller aspect.
The first half hour of Apollo 13 basically introduces the main characters. Its slow pace actually helps it in the long run; it plods along and finds its own, comfortable pace. Some mightn’t like this, but I did. As soon as a little complication is introduced involving Gary Sinise’s character, the movie skyrockets forward and doesn’t stop. Characters that we’ve gotten to know and care for are then involved in one scary series of events, making the film that much more thrilling.
Ron Howard really knows how to direct. The suspense sequences of Apollo 13 work out fantastically. He doesn’t add unnecessary material to the film to make it more popular to the masses. There is no “asteroid field� sequence that a superficial teen audience would go crazy over. As a result, the film really feels like it is taking place in outer space. This adds a layer of realism to the (fantastic) special effects, and the film is that much better.
An added bonus is Tom Hanks in the lead role as Jim Lovell. He is one of the few popular actors who really deserve all the praise. Hanks adds a touch of humanity to his role; he doesn’t feel like an unerring, invincible protagonist, and he doesn’t feel like a “Gary Sue� who will mess up at all the appropriate times. As the ship’s crew begins to argue, Hanks joins in the shouting, trying to “break it up�. But it isn’t his voice that stops the arguing. Hanks makes his character and the danger he is in feel real. That takes real talent.
But Hanks is not the only one who deserves praise. Every single actor in the film, from Gary Sinise to Ed Harris, does a fantastic job. Their characters are not imitations of real-life personages; they are their own. Everyone seems to fit their character perfectly, even Jim Lovell’s elderly mother (who is introduced lamenting that her son’s broadcast is not on TV).
Arguably, Apollo 13’s most pleasant surprise is found in its gentle inclusion of comic relief. It doesn’t seem intrusive or inappropriate. The best way to describe it is “gentle�. For instance, two world-famous astronauts are introduced to Jim’s mother as regular, ordinary young men. It’s funny and doesn’t seem forced into the plot.
The Verdict: Apollo 13 is a splendid little film, thrilling when it has to be, comic at times, and carried all the way by splendid performances from all the actors. Solid direction and superb visual effects just add to make it the great movie it is.
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Post by Jane Poirot » Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:18 pm

About the opening paragraph, couldn't it be argued that just about any movie based on a true story already has the ending ruined if it is widely-known what is going to happen? Like, for instance...
* Any movie about the Titanic: The ship sinks and over half of the people on-board die
* Pick a well-known President movie, any well-known President movie and right off the bat it can be told that John F. Kennedy is assasinated (except in real life, no one knows for sure if it actually was a conspiracy or not), Richard Nixon resigns in total disgrace, and George Bush is a moron.
* Watching just about any war movie about the opposition where, for instance, Germany is so sure they are going to win, you can't help but think, Awkward...
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:04 pm

That was actually the main failure of Valkyrie. A decently-done movie, but not very thrilling, because everyone knows the only assassin who killed Hitler was... well, Hitler.
Personally, I stand by the belief that a well-done historical film will still be intriguing (at least), even if the ending is known. Schindler's List, for instance.
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Post by Green » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:04 pm

This is a response to parts of your response to Shakespeare in Love. I just wanted to clarify, since other reviews have been posted since. :)
go_leafs_nation wrote:Essentially, it felt like Shakespeare was a loser who didn't know how to write and ripped off everything from what he saw around him. True, Shakespeare took existing stories or historical events and made them into plays, but he showed originality and a flair for words. Macbeth, for instance, is inspired by real-life events, yet is heavily altered to make Macbeth the anti-hero struggling with himself.
All authors and playwrights write about the world around them. That doesn't make them bad or unoriginal. J. M. Barrie (author of Peter Pan) and L. Frank Baum (author of The Wizard of Oz) told their stories to children, based on the people and events that were around them, and look where those stories are now. One of the oldest versions of Cinderella comes from ancient Egypt and is based on a real slave who married a real pharoah. All fiction has roots in reality.

You're speaking in contradictions. You say, "Shakespeare in Love makes Shakespeare look foolish by saying he altered real-life situations to create his version of Romeo and Juliet." But you also say, "Shakespeare was brilliant because he altered real-life situations to create his version of Macbeth." Also, Shakespeare isn't always praised for his use of creative license in history (as in Macbeth). He is sometimes criticized for changing history (as many authors and playwrights are). Is it creative genius or lazy research (or lack of information, for that matter)?

Besides all of that, I think you were speaking to the idea that Shakespeare takes quotes directly from what other people say in the movie? It's a plot device. It makes it fun for the audience. They can sit there and bounce in their seat, saying, "Ohhhh, I know that line! Ohhh, that's funny, he's going to write that in the play now! How creative!" And all writers write what they've heard, whether they intend to or not.
go_leafs_nation wrote:And, of course, so much of the play was cut out in the performance. When Juliet wakes up, the Friar is supposed to enter. OK, maybe he forgot. Forgiveable. But if Paltrow, as she claims, knows every word of the play, she'd hardly forget her huge monologue over Romeo's corpse.
They just used the parts that would serve the film well and it happened that the Friar's role in that scene wouldn't serve any purpose. Very little of this movie is based in fact, creative licenses with the source materiel are bound to be taken. And I don't know if you're an actor, but anyone can forget lines. I've seen Broadway performers drop lines before.

I didn't intend to write so much... but there it is, I guess.

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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:09 pm

You bring up fantastic points. What I meant was Shakespeare's INSPIRATION was often from real-life events, but he didn't limit himself to them. The events in the film are often transcribed completely into the play (such as the Nurse calling Paltrow back-- practically word-for-word the same), and it's not too funny.

I didn't expect the entire show, but please, cut to somewhere else- the soldiers advancing or something. Instead of staying in the theatre to see the entire speech skipped, make it skipped but not quite-- time passes, and although it's just a second or two onscreen, it's far more in the world of the film.

I am an actor, and I have had the experience of having to improvise because X has forgotten to come onstage or Y has skipped a lot of lines that are vital, and we have to get back to them. But still, that final speech of Juliet's is beautiful. Plus, I was the Friar, so I'm bound to notice my parts that were cut out. :wink:
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Post by Green » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:21 pm

It's been a year since I've seen the movie, so my memory might be flawed, but I'm pretty sure there are parts of Romeo and Juliet that are left to have been inspired by Shakespeare's own mind. The deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt come to mind, not to mention the fact that Shakespeare and Paltrow's character remain alive (the deaths of their characters being a pretty significant event in the play and not taken from a real-life situation).

Hmmm, I suppose they could have cut away, but it would have ruined the tension. And it seems to me that she didn't forget the speech so much as they just cut it. It's a nice speech, yes, but again, it wouldn't serve much purpose to film.

Ah, I didn't realize you were the Friar. That's a good reason to think the part should have remained, I guess! But still, I think it was a justified cut for the movie's sake.

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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:27 pm

Certainly, some events remain original, but really good scenes such as the balcony scene or Tybalt's passionate "A plague o' both your houses!" are somewhat ruined for me.

Your point about tension and such is valid, but I can't help feeling a tinge of regret.

Either way, with or without this film being made, Shakespeare's inimitable talent for words is just amazing.
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Post by Green » Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:04 pm

go_leafs_nation wrote:Either way, with or without this film being made, Shakespeare's inimitable talent for words is just amazing.
Agreed. And I do think the line "A plague on both your houses!" was an unfortunate addition to the movie.

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go_leafs_nation
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Post by go_leafs_nation » Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:47 pm

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Lola Rennt (Germany)
1998
Directed by Tom Tykwer

Lola Rennt is a German thriller about a young girl, Lola, whose boyfriend has lost 100,000 marks. She has 20 minutes to find the money or else he will rob a supermarket. It sounds like a fantastic premise for a thriller, but it is put in the entirely wrong hands.
Let me state right now that I never have and never will be a fan of the MTV generation of directors (the only exceptions to date are Ridley Scott and David Fincher). As a result, I just couldn’t stand Tom Tykwer’s direction. In particular, the endless, long shots of Lola running everywhere become extremely boring.
Here is the strangest bit of Lola Rennt for me: something goes wrong and the situation does not end happily. Suddenly, the film cuts back to the beginning of Lola’s run, and the entire thing repeats itself, but with a twist. I enjoyed the second run far more (mainly because this had the least amount of running in it, and actually delivered a few thrills), but there is positively no logic to this move. It takes away from the film, because the viewer is left wondering “WHAT is going on?� The question is never answered.
When it comes to acting, I couldn’t stand Lola (played by Franka Potente). Her sole existence in the film is to run, find money, and scream (in an extremely high-pitched way which hurt my ears). The viewer never gets any background information on Lola or her boyfriend or anyone else for that matter: we are left with a film about strangers. The result? No sympathy, no hope for Lola to emerge victorious, no thrills…
The Verdict: Currently with 8/10 stars on IMDb, I am quite surprised at this film’s high ranking. It is technically well-done, I guess, but can only be appreciated by those open to the MTV generation of filmmaking— which I am not. In the end, Lola Rennt is nothing more than a boring run. A good premise for a thriller, but the direction ruins it.
The two women exchanged the kind of glance women use when no knife is handy.
~Ellery Queen
At the Scene of the Crime

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