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RE: a terrible movie - ignore the hype - 2/2/2011 12:44:14 AM   
swan


Posts: 3226
Joined: 9/10/2005
From: london

quote:

ORIGINAL: hatebox

quote:

ORIGINAL: swan


quote:

ORIGINAL: hatebox

quote:

ORIGINAL: swan

This film was borderline late-night 'erotic thriller' tv movie shite. Such a disappointment.
I think everyone is taking pretencious crazy pills.


Arg, not only have you used one of the most annoying words on this board - you've misspelt it! Double arg!

But really, I think whatever Black Swan is it isn't 'pretentious'. It wears its heart on its sleeve and and relies on its emotional sweep, not its intellectual aspirations.It never pretends to be subtle or even that cerebral. I mean it's Tchaikovsky, for God's sake.


Argh not only are you a dick for picking up on one misspelt letter but you're also intolerant to opinion!
Arghhhh....rage...argh..wah.

To say something like Black Swan wears its heart on its sleeve is hilarious and somewhat naive.
You need to watch more films. Or get out more.


Any recommendations as to where I should go, exactly? I don't have any friends and I'm terrified of the opposite sex, but I really want to understand the failings of Black Swan better...







Maybe see a ballet?

On reflection I was in a fantastically bad mood when I posted my response and I really detest it when people make a fuss about bad spelling, especially when it is one word, struggling with spelling is something I have tried to overcome and do not appreciate it when people try to belittle me (and others for that matter) because of it. Its not like I'm talking text speak now is it m8.
That aside I appreciate that people throw words like 'pretentious' (did I get it right this time?) and 'overrated' around like a bad smell on the tube in the morning so I will go into further detail as to why Black Swan and me didn't get along.

*Spoilers*

First I went into this film expecting to see something spectacular, a film that would grip from beginning to end and that I would fall in love with it. This was obviously not the case. I went in with positive vibes and was excited, but there was something about the tone at the beginning that just didn't grip me. I stuck with it but then I found that the script was a bit cheesy and sometimes really grating. I also didn't like the character development of Nina, I felt it was rushed and that she was overly the white swan for majority of the film and that wasn't very appealing to me and then extremely the black swan in 2 or 3 scenes, I felt it would've been more effective with maybe a bit more of the black swan trying to come through instead of her having a lesbian outburst and wank sesh here and there. I'm not completely against the lesbian overtones but I felt the whole lead up was rushed and it didn't seem to make much sense and I didn't feel connected to the characters enough for me actually really care about Nina or anyone really. I did enjoy the performance of the mother, I felt that was the richest but again it was borderline hammy. I think how they dealt with the breakdown and disfunction of the characters felt like something out of an episode of Sunset Beach, I would know, I've watched it. Then there was literal 'turning into a swan.' I didn't mind the idea behind it but some of it was completely unessecary especially in the end fight when her neck extends (oh lord jesus that was bad!) and all together it just felt somewhat pointless. I didn't connect to it at all, mid-film I stopped caring, I felt like 'yeah ok, I get it, shes uptight and crazy, like most women I know..great!' I was really trying but it just didn't do it the only bit I like is when she got her wings. I'm avoiding using words like 'pretentious' and phrases like 'up its own arse' because it felt like it was made for the oscars and was more style over substance but in a more indie/quirky film way. If that makes sense.


I hope that cleared some things up.

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Post #: 61
RE: a terrible movie - ignore the hype - 2/2/2011 6:34:47 AM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 3971
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
quote:

ORIGINAL: swan


quote:

ORIGINAL: hatebox

quote:

ORIGINAL: swan


quote:

ORIGINAL: hatebox

quote:

ORIGINAL: swan

This film was borderline late-night 'erotic thriller' tv movie shite. Such a disappointment.
I think everyone is taking pretencious crazy pills.


Arg, not only have you used one of the most annoying words on this board - you've misspelt it! Double arg!

But really, I think whatever Black Swan is it isn't 'pretentious'. It wears its heart on its sleeve and and relies on its emotional sweep, not its intellectual aspirations.It never pretends to be subtle or even that cerebral. I mean it's Tchaikovsky, for God's sake.


Argh not only are you a dick for picking up on one misspelt letter but you're also intolerant to opinion!
Arghhhh....rage...argh..wah.

To say something like Black Swan wears its heart on its sleeve is hilarious and somewhat naive.
You need to watch more films. Or get out more.


Any recommendations as to where I should go, exactly? I don't have any friends and I'm terrified of the opposite sex, but I really want to understand the failings of Black Swan better...







Maybe see a ballet?

On reflection I was in a fantastically bad mood when I posted my response and I really detest it when people make a fuss about bad spelling, especially when it is one word, struggling with spelling is something I have tried to overcome and do not appreciate it when people try to belittle me (and others for that matter) because of it. Its not like I'm talking text speak now is it m8.
That aside I appreciate that people throw words like 'pretentious' (did I get it right this time?) and 'overrated' around like a bad smell on the tube in the morning so I will go into further detail as to why Black Swan and me didn't get along.

*Spoilers*

First I went into this film expecting to see something spectacular, a film that would grip from beginning to end and that I would fall in love with it. This was obviously not the case. I went in with positive vibes and was excited, but there was something about the tone at the beginning that just didn't grip me. I stuck with it but then I found that the script was a bit cheesy and sometimes really grating. I also didn't like the character development of Nina, I felt it was rushed and that she was overly the white swan for majority of the film and that wasn't very appealing to me and then extremely the black swan in 2 or 3 scenes, I felt it would've been more effective with maybe a bit more of the black swan trying to come through instead of her having a lesbian outburst and wank sesh here and there. I'm not completely against the lesbian overtones but I felt the whole lead up was rushed and it didn't seem to make much sense and I didn't feel connected to the characters enough for me actually really care about Nina or anyone really. I did enjoy the performance of the mother, I felt that was the richest but again it was borderline hammy. I think how they dealt with the breakdown and disfunction of the characters felt like something out of an episode of Sunset Beach, I would know, I've watched it. Then there was literal 'turning into a swan.' I didn't mind the idea behind it but some of it was completely unessecary especially in the end fight when her neck extends (oh lord jesus that was bad!) and all together it just felt somewhat pointless. I didn't connect to it at all, mid-film I stopped caring, I felt like 'yeah ok, I get it, shes uptight and crazy, like most women I know..great!' I was really trying but it just didn't do it the only bit I like is when she got her wings. I'm avoiding using words like 'pretentious' and phrases like 'up its own arse' because it felt like it was made for the oscars and was more style over substance but in a more indie/quirky film way. If that makes sense.


I hope that cleared some things up.


Now that's much better....

However, I don't agree with you.


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(in reply to swan)
Post #: 62
RE: Black Swan - 2/2/2011 11:05:14 AM   
undisputed3

 

Posts: 15
Joined: 2/2/2011
nice movie and natalie has played a tremendous role.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 63
Brilliant. - 3/2/2011 8:51:59 AM   
partybee

 

Posts: 172
Joined: 16/12/2009
Highlights how few great lead female roles are out there, and, to put it mildly, Portman nails it.

< Message edited by partybee -- 3/2/2011 8:53:31 AM >

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 64
RE: Black Swan - 3/2/2011 11:49:41 AM   
jackamla

 

Posts: 6
Joined: 3/2/2011
I was wondering how the Black Swan would have been if someone like Brian De Palma had directed. The number of deaths would probably have been increased - mother Barbara Hershey have been targeted, probably the director Vincent Cassel ballet.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 65
Amazing - 3/2/2011 4:12:34 PM   
evildave69

 

Posts: 397
Joined: 12/11/2005
This is simply a stunning movie. As the review says, perhaps some themes are a bit forced but really this film has a little bit of everything. A simple aesthetic really emphathises the horrror in a natural way, as well as making the brilliance of the performances and the writing all the more obvious. Just brilliant.

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Post #: 66
FORGET THE BALLET.... - 3/2/2011 7:03:01 PM   
ROTGUT

 

Posts: 371
Joined: 14/7/2008
and watch the beautiful Ms Portman slowly unravel before your very eyes. What would Brian De Palma have made of this subject matter I wonder? Or Dario Argento? More sex, more violence, more murders, more hysteria. As a psychological piece this film delivers - in spades. It may not say or do anything new considering Aronofsky's previous work......but it sure is a hell of a ride...........was secretly hoping that slimebucket Cassell would come to a sticky end - but that was part of the enjoyment of watching this. Bring on "The Wolverine" .......quick!!! Four stars....

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 67
BEAUTIFUL MOVIE...... - 5/2/2011 3:01:48 PM   
chrisdagnall

 

Posts: 89
Joined: 10/9/2008
QUALITY ALL THE WAY THROUGH, AND NATALIE PORTMAN GIVES A TOP PERFORMANCE......

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 68
- 6/2/2011 9:11:37 PM   
TheGodfather


Posts: 5349
Joined: 21/10/2005
From: Sin City

Black Swan
So far I thought The Fountain was the best film that Darren Aronofsky has made. After seeing his newest work I, probably, have to adjust that opinion: Black Swan is the most intriguing and impressive I`ve seen in cinema in a very long time.

There are very few things here to be found that are wrong with it: the slow build-up of the tension is strong and works perfectly towards a climax, the (mostly) shot at close range scenes really make you a part of the world that ballerina Nina lives in, crossing the line between reality and madness more than once (making you wonder what is real and what isn`t). The classical soundtrack that increases in volume is beautiful and adds to that specific atmosphere.
And then of course we still have Natalie Portman, who gives that much-praised performance. And rightfully so that it gets such hight praise: never before has she given such an intense, perfectly executed performance. If she doesn`t get that golden statuette in 3 weeks time we can better quit with that show...

In the last act Aronofsky raises the pace of the film to a higher level and brings all those above mentioned strong points together to give his audience and ending that belongs among the best climaxes that we`ve seen over the last year. Drawn to the screen, driven by the ever-growing volume of the music, he gives us an equally sad as satisfying ending.

After the screen goes white, the credits roll across the screen and you`ve recovered somewhat from that brilliant ending you come to realise: Black Swan is as perfect a film as they come, a masterpiece like we sadly haven`t seen them enough over the past years.
All hail Darren Aronofsky!

10/10

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Post #: 69
RE: RE: - 6/2/2011 9:50:13 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009

quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives

quote:

ORIGINAL: muchobenny

Apart from being acted superbly, this film was as subtle as a brick and I felt like I was being beaten to death with it.


Dunno if this is a favourable review or not but that pretty much sums up why I loved it.
Subtlety's over-rated.

This.

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Post #: 70
RE: a terrible movie - ignore the hype - 8/2/2011 11:37:36 PM   
jacques_tourneur

 

Posts: 26
Joined: 8/2/2011

Black Swan




Darren Aronofsky's fifth feature films takes his obsession with bodily mutilation, monomania and the struggle for perfection, and translates the tropes and themes into the world of ballet. Cinematically speaking, this film is perhaps best know from Powell and Pressburger's The Red Shoes. It is perhaps inevitable that comparisons will be made for this reason. However, in both a tonal and a stylistic sense, the films are separated by more than 62 years between them. The Black Swan, touted as by fawning critics, as the director's most 'mature' piece, fails to deliver upon early physiological threads, and instead descends into what can only be described as an absurdist, Giallo, let-down.

The plot centres upom Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) as she strives to secure the lead role in Thomas' (Vincent Cassel) new production of Swan Lake. Nina can perform the White Swan role perfectly, but she struggles with the more challenging and obtuse Black Swan. Cue a rival appearing, in the form of Lily (Mila Kunis.) Throw in a washed up ballerina, played by Winona Ryder, and an interfering mother, and the Black Swan begins to show itself for what it really is.

The film itself starts off in media res, as Clint Mansell's chilling sampling of Tchiavoski's Swan Lake lingers delicately as our eyes are drawn towards the simplest of scenes dominated by the central spot light beaming down upon Natalie Portman. The camera follows her feet slowly, moving from a close up to a long shot of her diminutive frame. The simple black drop stands in stark contrast to the whiteness of her gown. The music and the patter of her feet allow us to absorb the movement without distraction. Yet the charm of this moment is lost as soon as Aronofsky cuts to the awakening eyes of Portman. We move from this dream world to a cliched world of overbearing mothers, precocious rivals and tired has-beens. Aronofsky, and the writers (Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin) seem to rely upon the cultural cache of the audience to create any form of empathy for the characters. Clich←s save the effort of building up believable characters. In fact, they seem to merely exist as archetypes through which the film progresses. Lily is a portrayed as Nina's daker 'other', indicated by the black swan tattoo on her back. If only life were this simple.

The film fails to engage with why Portman's character wants the role of the White/Black Swan so desperately. We see her driven on by an unknown force. Her struggle to transform into the role is masked by the inanities of the script. I lost count of the number of times Thomas urges Nina to uncover her 'inner' black swan. 'The real work will be your metamorphosis into her evil twin' barks Vincent Cassel. The transformation is crucial. Psychologically speaking this is suggested through the use of mirroring and doubling. Within the first ten minutes we can tell that Aronofsky takes this quite painfully literally (and in so doing, the motif become quite laughably reductionist.) Yet these visual symmetries lack any real form of insight. Nina needs to 'let go.' She needs to become that other. Yet the film loses all sense of this concept. Instead we encounter Nina imagine herself turn into a swan. Forgive me for thinking that a subtle, physiological idea, is ignored. In fact the subtext of self-harm is lost amongst the cartoonish violence.

However, the central thematic flaw of the film is the na￯ve Freudian analysis of Portman's psyche. If Aronofsky is correct, and he surely is not, then the only thing that really matters is the sexual awakening of a young, attractive, ballet dancer. Portman only gets the role after biting the lip of Vincent Cassel's sub-Lermontov character. To explore her 'Black swan side' Portman attempts to masturbate (cue a Apatowian shock cut), has a lesbian triste. These moments fail to shed any light on Nina's sexuality, and instead seem to be there to titillate the audience. The film itself is not about dance at all, but instead focuses upon sex far too intently to really engross us.

In fact the slow formalist ethos of ballet is not complemented by the intense close-ups and frenetic cutting of Aronofsky. The camera is too close for us see. The feet move, but we cannot understand what it means. The vertiginous, shallow-focus camera movements show movement, and the body as an object. Yet, it does not show the beauty of ballet as Powell and Pressburger did so magisterially in The Red Shoes. Aronofsky wheels out his Dardennesque following technique out in the street. But when he uses it in dance, it takes away from the whole.

By the denouement, my patience was tested. The very act of her physical transformation further suggests that the film misses the point. There is an emphasis upon the body, with the physiological left untouched. In fact the emphasis upon the body is indicated by the ways in which Natalie Portman has infamously criticised her director for being too harsh. If we take these statements to be correct, then Aronofsky must be seen to be closer to Vincent Cassel's character than he would like. That this is staggeringly close to the Lermontov mould cannot be lost on anyone who has seen both films. That Aronofsky's unerring search for perfection should lead to such a shallow, meretricious piece of cinema, is then an indication that the struggles (in both the physical and physiological sense) were a failure. Perhaps that is greatest shame of all.

(in reply to swan)
Post #: 71
RE: a terrible movie - ignore the hype - 11/2/2011 11:41:48 AM   
REALLYMAD

 

Posts: 104
Joined: 30/3/2010
quote:

ORIGINAL: Qwerty Norris

quote:

ORIGINAL: swan


quote:

ORIGINAL: hatebox

quote:

ORIGINAL: swan


quote:

ORIGINAL: hatebox

quote:

ORIGINAL: swan

This film was borderline late-night 'erotic thriller' tv movie shite. Such a disappointment.
I think everyone is taking pretencious crazy pills.


Arg, not only have you used one of the most annoying words on this board - you've misspelt it! Double arg!

But really, I think whatever Black Swan is it isn't 'pretentious'. It wears its heart on its sleeve and and relies on its emotional sweep, not its intellectual aspirations.It never pretends to be subtle or even that cerebral. I mean it's Tchaikovsky, for God's sake.


Argh not only are you a dick for picking up on one misspelt letter but you're also intolerant to opinion!
Arghhhh....rage...argh..wah.

To say something like Black Swan wears its heart on its sleeve is hilarious and somewhat naive.
You need to watch more films. Or get out more.


Any recommendations as to where I should go, exactly? I don't have any friends and I'm terrified of the opposite sex, but I really want to understand the failings of Black Swan better...







Maybe see a ballet?

On reflection I was in a fantastically bad mood when I posted my response and I really detest it when people make a fuss about bad spelling, especially when it is one word, struggling with spelling is something I have tried to overcome and do not appreciate it when people try to belittle me (and others for that matter) because of it. Its not like I'm talking text speak now is it m8.
That aside I appreciate that people throw words like 'pretentious' (did I get it right this time?) and 'overrated' around like a bad smell on the tube in the morning so I will go into further detail as to why Black Swan and me didn't get along.

*Spoilers*

First I went into this film expecting to see something spectacular, a film that would grip from beginning to end and that I would fall in love with it. This was obviously not the case. I went in with positive vibes and was excited, but there was something about the tone at the beginning that just didn't grip me. I stuck with it but then I found that the script was a bit cheesy and sometimes really grating. I also didn't like the character development of Nina, I felt it was rushed and that she was overly the white swan for majority of the film and that wasn't very appealing to me and then extremely the black swan in 2 or 3 scenes, I felt it would've been more effective with maybe a bit more of the black swan trying to come through instead of her having a lesbian outburst and wank sesh here and there. I'm not completely against the lesbian overtones but I felt the whole lead up was rushed and it didn't seem to make much sense and I didn't feel connected to the characters enough for me actually really care about Nina or anyone really. I did enjoy the performance of the mother, I felt that was the richest but again it was borderline hammy. I think how they dealt with the breakdown and disfunction of the characters felt like something out of an episode of Sunset Beach, I would know, I've watched it. Then there was literal 'turning into a swan.' I didn't mind the idea behind it but some of it was completely unessecary especially in the end fight when her neck extends (oh lord jesus that was bad!) and all together it just felt somewhat pointless. I didn't connect to it at all, mid-film I stopped caring, I felt like 'yeah ok, I get it, shes uptight and crazy, like most women I know..great!' I was really trying but it just didn't do it the only bit I like is when she got her wings. I'm avoiding using words like 'pretentious' and phrases like 'up its own arse' because it felt like it was made for the oscars and was more style over substance but in a more indie/quirky film way. If that makes sense.


I hope that cleared some things up.


Now that's much better....

However, I don't agree with you.


However, I do.

I posted similar on another thread but it still fits here. Black Swan is classical porn, which could possibly be enjoyed by the kind of people that attended the secret masked balls in Eyes Wide Shut.

Make no mistake, I do not question the commitment and dedication that prima ballerinas have for their craft, or indeed the years of mental and physical pinpoint focus along with abstinance from anything even remotely resembling a healthy nourishing meal, I have first hand accounts of all such things.

What we see portrayed though is almost the world of high echelon ballet set to an atypical elitist dystopia with the realism dial set to somewhere near that of a noir graphic novel. Did Aronofsky attempt to incorporate the juxtaposition of ballet's theatrical sensationalism into the method of storytelling? Were the sex scenes significantly gratuitous for this same reason or was it a cynical trinket to pull in the fringe punters?

And Natalie isn't all that convincing as a dancer of that calibre to be honest but ballet, the most demanding dance discipline in the world, simply cannot be imitated at that level. Even as only a vehicle for the story we have to believe in it, it has to be authentic. It was a pretty good attempt but even with the sharp editing the result was a trifle ungraceful and ultimately clumsy.

The problem is, how many A list acting prima ballerinas are there in the world?

I suppose it depends what you go in expecting from it. I expected to be at least entertained and I wasn't, not really.

< Message edited by REALLYMAD -- 11/2/2011 11:43:37 AM >


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Post #: 72
You bit me! - 11/2/2011 1:35:58 PM   
Macavity


Posts: 472
Joined: 14/4/2006
I appear to be in the minorty of folk. I neither adored or hated Black Swan. I enjoyed elements and it's certainly fun but never truly exceptional. I was impressed with how it didn't shy from the injuries dancers inflict upon themselves. The horror elements were not especially effective beyond the body mutilation and plotting was pretty obvious at times. I was never really suprised by any of the story points. Having said all this, my girlfriend absolutely loved it and is seeing it again later this week with friends.

(in reply to REALLYMAD)
Post #: 73
RE: You bit me! - 11/2/2011 10:20:20 PM   
Sumintelligentguy


Posts: 3743
Joined: 31/8/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: Macavity

I appear to be in the minorty of folk. I neither adored or hated Black Swan. I enjoyed elements and it's certainly fun but never truly exceptional. I was impressed with how it didn't shy from the injuries dancers inflict upon themselves. The horror elements were not especially effective beyond the body mutilation and plotting was pretty obvious at times. I was never really suprised by any of the story points. Having said all this, my girlfriend absolutely loved it and is seeing it again later this week with friends.


I'm in the same boat.

The first half was full of clichés and an abundance of obvious symbols.- and then pretty much around the time of the lesbian scene, the film got a lot better.

Portman's performance was good, but Kunis' was just as good - and she's hot, which helps.


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Post #: 74
RE: You bit me! - 13/2/2011 1:11:32 AM   
slickrick

 

Posts: 10
Joined: 13/2/2011
Fantastic neo-sexual psychological thriller. Portman was excellent as Nina. And the supporting actors also added to surreal tropes in the film. Borderline horror, but very well made: 4.5/5

(in reply to Sumintelligentguy)
Post #: 75
RE: Black Swan - 13/2/2011 5:28:26 PM   
Tech_Noir

 

Posts: 20199
Joined: 12/10/2005
I thought it was average after leaving the screening earlier today but thinking back on it it was quite amazing.

And although I find Portman a little smug sometimes she gave a fantastic performance, as well as Mila "Shut up Meg" Kunis.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 76
RE: Black Swan - 13/2/2011 5:53:16 PM   
sanchia


Posts: 18174
Joined: 3/1/2006
From: Norwich
On a personal scale I found it a tad emotionally unengaging in that whilst technically it is a good film I didn't connect with any of the characters as such it left me a little cold.

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Post #: 77
Thank God He Didn't Direct The Fighter! - 14/2/2011 12:07:21 AM   
Nefruaten

 

Posts: 37
Joined: 1/1/2007
I was so looking forward to seeing this movie but I as left feeling so disappointed. If this was a black comedy in the vein of American Psycho it would be superb - but it isn't. It starts out with the good intentions of the Wrestler and then descends into something resembling Carrie vs. Single White Female. The pivotal scene when Nina 'loosens up' is so embarrassingly second rate film-making that I actually laughed out loud in the cinema because it was so pretentious. I like Aronofsky's Wrestler and Requiem for a Dream but this was not good. The redeeming features if this film were Cassel and Kunis who seem to play the roles as if this was a camp black comedy, whereas Portman played it so straight it actually became frustrating watching her. I actually do find her quite frigid as an actress anyway so her role in this film was probably apt. I'm still not sure why the awards have all gone to her, I must live in a parallel universe! This film seemed obsessed with "getting Nina off" and the images of sexuality just seem like the sorts of images a 14 year old boy would think up. As for the dance sequences I think there were not performed without any passion and the handheld camera shots did not help. THis could haev been such an amazing film but towards the end it just became a silly slasher movie with no direction. I know that Aronofsky decided not to direct the Fighter after doing The Wrestler because the subject matter was too similar - all I can say is thank god he didn't mess that film up too. I would have been heartbroken. The 2 stars are merely for Cassel and Kunis and the first 30 minutes - nothing more,

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 78
Shattered Dreams... - 16/2/2011 2:24:57 PM   
neopol


Posts: 126
Joined: 9/11/2006
From: Manchester, Egland
I knew that this was going to be one of those films which I was going to love or hate, and on that note, I was correct. I loved it! This was a dark, sinister tale of a young ballerina�s obsession with being the star of the show, but lacked the ability to break the restrictive mold of perfection.

When her company�s director, Vincent Cassel, gives Nini, Natalie Portman her dream role as the Swan Queen in Tchaikovsky�s �Swan Lake�, he pushes her to explore and ultimately feel her darker side to perform her dual role as both the perfect White and the darkly seductive Black Swans.

This is a highly visually stimulating film, with a precise and delicate sound design, seeming capturing every foot fall of the dances toes, to the darker more sinister sounds of horror and violence. This is a physiological thriller about the attainment of perfection and the need to let that go and feel the passion of the roles which we all inhabit, but this will obviously not end well for all concerned.

This is a ballet film, but not for the faint hearted nor those expecting a graceful rendition of Swan Lake, but for those who would explore this world, which is often sultry, sleazy and dominated by some of the darkest emotions and motivations, you are in for a treat. Though Portman is more than well deserving for her Globe, BAFTA and Oscar nods, the entire cast and crew deserve praise for collectively presenting a film which fully realises it�s potential and delivered it in the same pristine manner as the film presents it�s balletic performance.

HIGHLY recommended.

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Post #: 79
Brilliant! - 17/2/2011 7:48:20 PM   
flyaninnocentlife

 

Posts: 17
Joined: 4/12/2006
Finally got to see Black Swan today and it was so good! Natalie Portman was fantastic, and must have worked so hard to play a ballerina. The story was great. I could never work out what was real and what was in her head, so I was gripped. I love it when you leave a film in a daze, completely zoned out and wrapped up in thinking about the film you just saw. Everyone left the cinema like that, and I thought about it all day. Fantastic film!

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Post #: 80
Scary Biscuits - 19/2/2011 1:27:55 PM   
VictoC

 

Posts: 15
Joined: 1/6/2008
From: Bristol
Though seeing it is a well made and amazingly acted movie by Natalie Portman I am still quite undecided as to whether i enjoyed it or not. It was clear from early on Nina was an ill girl descending further into madness i felt like a voyeur left questioning what was real and wasnt and that level of ambiguity ruined some of the film for me. I dont agree with the criticism of Natalie Portman's dancing the whole point of her character was that her movements were precise, formal in her attempt at perceived perception if that left her movements stilted wasnt it because they were meant to be? The escalation of horror in the last 30 minutes i did not expect and not being particularly strong stomached I must confess it scared the shit out of me so that i was averting my eyes (the bath scene, the scene in hospital and her apartment afterwards)......wuss i know.

I would recommend the film on the strength of the performances but wont necessarily watch it again.

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Post #: 81
Doesn't matter if you're black or white - 21/2/2011 7:00:37 PM   
oneangryman

 

Posts: 7
Joined: 21/2/2011
Seductive, creepy, mind-boggling, intense, all of these things. And it is definitely not just a ballet movie.
A lot of people were sceptical about Black Swan. �Why would you want to watch a film about ballet?� I�ve been asked. Well I�ve been waiting for this film for months now and not because I like ballet but because I knew it was directed by Darren Aronofsky. The filming is the same as Aronofsky�s pervious film, The Wrestler. He follows around the main character as if he is documenting their life and that type of filming couldn�t work better for Black Swan. Some people don�t like the fact that Aronofsky hasn�t changed his film making styles but I for one think it is one; a good idea because it works perfectly with the two resent films he has done about two completely different arts and two; because it makes Aronofsky�s style stand out from any other directors.
Black Swan starts off with Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) having a dream about dancing The Queen Swan in a production of Swan Lake. When she wakes up her pushy, ballet obsessed mother (Barbra Hershey) gets Nina practicing and sends her off to her ballet company.
When Nina gets to the company it is announced by ballet director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) that the company is going to do a production of Swan Lake. He also announces that in the new season prima ballerina Beth (Winona Ryder) will be replaced by someone to play the part of Swan Queen which entails performing the parts of both the White and Black Swan.
In rehearsals Nina feels as though she has done poorly and asks Thomas for a second chance. When he tells her that Veronica (Ksenia Solo) has the part of Swan Queen he tries to kiss Nina but she bites his lip. She flees the office and low and behold to Nina surprise she has been chosen for the part of Swan Queen. Unfortunately for Nina this happens after Nina congratulates Veronica and is then called a WHORE via lipstick on a mirror

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Post #: 82
RE: Black Swan - 22/2/2011 2:09:33 AM   
CasualLuke

 

Posts: 3
Joined: 22/2/2011
Black Swan is very much one of the films of the moment, it’s got more award nominations than you can shake a tutu at, and it kick’s off what promises to be a very important year for Natalie Portman. I went to see it this Wednesday, and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I didn’t really research into before I went to see it, and to be honest went to keep the missus happy, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Black Swan follows a young, virginal, fragile girl who is desperate to win the lead role in Swan Lake. I know what your thinking, this could quite easily be a film about Barbie but believe me it couldn’t be further from it.

Nina (Portman) lands the role of the Swan Queen which involves playing the “perfect ballerina” as the white swan, but also the darker, sexier evil twin of the white swan, the (you guessed it!) Black Swan. However, the role becomes too much for Nina and the inner demons it unleashes within her, and suddenly what the audience is dealing with is an intense psychological thriller. I loved how the film crosses the boundaries of realism and presents the world from Nina’s point of view, and using metaphorical imagery it conveys the inner feelings of Nina. The White Swan and The Black Swan parts of the role start to act as a release of her almost schizophrenic sub-conscious. It reminded me of American Psycho in that respect, how the audience sees and hears what the protagonist feels.

The film is truly superbly made. I particularly liked how the sound was edited to sound incredibly harsh in places, for example when she trimmed her finger nails it sounded like they were being ripped from her fingertips. This worked really well, contrasting itself with Nina and presenting her as the delicate young woman she is. This leads me on nicely to Natalie Portman’s performance which was faultless throughout. I’m not sure if she’s a trained ballet dancer, but she certainly looks the part as far as this untrained eye could tell. In my opinion she was proof that casting can make or break a film, and she certainly made it.

Black Swan may be set around the graceful world of ballet, but this film is not for the faint-hearted. In places it’s genuinely disturbing, and I honestly wonder how it didn’t get passed with an 18 certificate. But don’t let that put you off, if you enjoy psychological thrillers with twists and turns and climatic endings which will leave your heart racing then you can’t go wrong here, just be prepared to really engross yourself. As a film-fan I really enjoyed myself, and my girlfriend seemed to really enjoy it and she doesn’t often stray much further than The Notebook when having a film night in.

To conclude, by all means go and see this film in the cinema for the full immersive experience, just be prepared to have to use your noggin in places!
And if that doesn’t convince you… Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. Underwear. Together. Enough said.

If you liked this review then check out my blog for similar articles and reviews
http://filmviewsandreviews.blogspot.com/

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Post #: 83
Seduced by the Dark Side - 24/2/2011 5:58:58 AM   
The Whisper

 

Posts: 17
Joined: 7/11/2008
I thought this was going to be pretentious bolshoit, instead it was Carrie meets The Fly - can't go wrong with that. Maybe Cronenberg will get a nomination next year for A Dangerous Method!

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Post #: 84
RE: Black Swan - 25/2/2011 11:37:06 PM   
JohnChard

 

Posts: 178
Joined: 22/10/2009
From: Birmingham
I just want to be perfect. Black Swan is directed by Darren Aronofsky and co-written by Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz & John McLaughlin. It stars Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey & Winona Ryder. Clint Mansell scores the music and Matthew Libatique is the cinematographer. Nina Sayers (Portman) is committed to her art as a ballet dancer, she lives a secular life with her over protective mother (Hershey), herself a one time dancer. When Nina`s ballet company announce that a production of Tchaikovsky`s Swan Lake is seeking a new prima to play the Swan Queen, Nina pushes herself still further to land the role. But with the role comes more pressures. Her instructor, Thomas (Cassell) urges her to explore darker passions within so as to nail the Black Swan part of the role, her mother becomes even more over-bearing and a new arrival to the production, Lily (Kunis), pushes her fragile state of mind to the limit. Perhaps more worrying is that Nina appears to have a doppelgänger lurking within her enclosed world…. Black Swan, once the dust has settled, will prove to be a most divisive film. More so when under the scrutiny of a repeat viewing. How it holds up after the exhilaration of that first viewing has faded will be most interesting to observe. For Black Swan "is" at times "exhilarating", brilliantly performed by its cast principals, and in Aronofsky`s hands it`s directed with a hand-held panache befitting one of America`s most talented directors: but is it the sum of its parts? Aronofsky has been quick to let people know that he views Black Swan as the sibling to The Wrestler, and fact is is that he reworks a lot of that film`s particular aspects into this Swan Lake skin itcher; only now he`s cloaking his subject in the darker side of the human mental condition.  So if it isn`t broke, don`t fix it then. Be it the back drops (dim and raw), specialist entertainment professions or the suffering for their art central characters, Aronofsky clearly isn`t pushing for a career reinvention here. However, he ups his ante visually and shows himself to be a dab hand at psychological horror. Other critics have name checked the likes of Polanski, De Palma and Cronenberg, those are all fair comparisons, and in the grand scheme of things, enormous pats on the back for Aronofsky.  He is also a director able to get career defining performances out of his charges, many have been quick to remember Mickey Rourke`s much lauded turn as The Wrestler, lets not forget the performance he garnered out of Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream, too. Portman, tho, tops both considerably, pushing herself, like her character, to the limit for the role; with her director now on record after Portman`s win for Best Actress at the BAFTA`s as saying she`s the best actress he has worked with thus far. Both Portman and Kunis undertook months of ballet training to put some reality into the film, with Portman gaining praise for her dancing in ballet circles. But from here is where the problems in the film begin to unravel. Ballet dancers we know are driven, it`s a tough form of the arts, but in some quarters of the medium the film has been criticised for portraying the dancers negatively, and for over exaggerating their lives. It`s a good point, because my lady partner who I first watched the film with felt that Nina comes across as a whiney whinger, and she is right. Nina as a character is hard to feel any sympathy for. This is more evidently annoying upon a second viewing, so much so it`s debatable if  you will even care about Nina once the applause has died down at the finale. Great performance, but written as unsympathetic or otherwise? Eh?  Another issue is the matter of sense, or the not making of to be exact. Many greats behind the camera have thrived on producing head scratchers, complex pieces designed to nag away at you as you try to sleep. The narrative here doesn`t suggest anything complex, yet incidents don`t add up, with one critical incident rendering the finale as questionable. It`s also awash with clichés, but the crafty Aronofsky is able to mask such issues with smoke and mirror tactics, calling on his skills to avert the eyes with enjoyable visual flourishes that are essential to the tonal flow of his film. Technically all is wonderful and at times rawly lurid, sweeping cameras getting up close and personal, the music, the choreography and the grandiose sets, all impact hard on the viewing experience. While the film`s blending of themes opens it up to a wider demographic audience, even if ultimately it`s caught in the void between camp horror and serious psychological drama. Away from Portman the support is also crowd pleasing, Kunis is sly and slinky, Cassell is Mephistophelian and Hershey reminds us all that she can act. It`s sure to be a the top of many critics best of lists for 2010/2011, partly for being not of the norm and asking for use of the cranium: and partly because director and lead actors make it compulsive viewing. While it`s sure to engage fans of dance and classical music. But after taking off the tutu and slippers, and unwinding with a glass of wine, it shows itself to be a film that`s far from flawless, and certainly not the masterpiece that already some insist the film to be. Maybe it should be watched just once and not pored over to truly get the benefit? Maybe?  7.5/10


< Message edited by JohnChard -- 26/2/2011 12:28:54 AM >


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Post #: 85
RE: a terrible movie - ignore the hype - 25/2/2011 11:42:27 PM   
JohnChard

 

Posts: 178
Joined: 22/10/2009
From: Birmingham
quote:

ORIGINAL: Scruff

I'm with you on this. Actually a big fan of The Fountain was this was B-movie horror fare. Massively over-hyped and in need of some subtlety.


That`s a fair point, it`s about as subtle as a sledgehammer.

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Post #: 86
RE: Awlful, awful movie - 25/2/2011 11:47:46 PM   
JohnChard

 

Posts: 178
Joined: 22/10/2009
From: Birmingham
quote:

ORIGINAL: demoncleaner

quote:

ORIGINAL: Qwerty Norris

It's an extraordinary example of directorial ability and whilst David Fincher will walk away with the golden statue for the Social Network – it is the work here that is far more deserving.

 

Perhaps you're crediting Aronofsky with choreographing either the dancing or the stage production, because I'm pretty sure he hadn't a lot to do with it.  


But it`s the way he filmed said dance sequences, there`s a bit more to it than just following actors around when it`s that close.

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Post #: 87
RE: a terrible movie - ignore the hype - 26/2/2011 12:12:22 AM   
JohnChard

 

Posts: 178
Joined: 22/10/2009
From: Birmingham
quote:

ORIGINAL: Jason Abbey

I spent a good deal of time wondering when Barbara Hershey had turned into Mickey Rourke. I kept expecting her to bring on the Ram Jam.





ROFLMAO

< Message edited by JohnChard -- 26/2/2011 12:30:51 AM >


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Post #: 88
RE: a terrible movie - ignore the hype - 27/2/2011 8:46:40 PM   
galaxy584

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 27/2/2011
Found it a bit confusing but good overall, I actually thought there was too much dancing, seemed like some of it was filler. Guess it can't be blamed since its a ballet film lol. If you found the movie confusing here is some clarification of some of the themes in the film, but mega spoiler warning, don't read unless you've seen actually seen it.

Link: http://cinemaroll.com/cinemarolling/black-swan-destruction-in-perfection/

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Post #: 89
RE: a terrible movie - ignore the hype - 3/3/2011 8:38:48 PM   
film man aidy

 

Posts: 333
Joined: 8/3/2007
Saw this last night. For me, this was unfortunately a film that the awards frenzy has left very overhyped. Natalie Portman was fantastic in it, but on the whole it was a lesser movie than say The Wrestler.

SPOILER TO FOLLOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After Vicent Cassel's earlier speech detailing the production's story, I also felt the ending was a bit too predictable. Yes, it obviously fitted well, and it was never going to be 'hearts and flowers', but even so. I did enjoy it, but maybe I should keep my expectations a bit lower next time.
****

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Post #: 90
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