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RE: Stoker - 9/3/2013 4:53:26 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54574
Joined: 1/10/2005
But here's another pointlessly random review that disagrees with you

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130227/REVIEWS/130229980/1003/ANSWERMAN

Metacritic suggests there are more agin you than for you, although it's not a slam dunk.

But irrelevant - the important thing is your opinion, and someone else's review doesn't make it any more right or, indeed, any more wrong

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to demoncleaner)
Post #: 31
RE: Stoker - 9/3/2013 6:09:00 PM   
R W

 

Posts: 334
Joined: 23/6/2006
Over the course of this year, three top directors from South Korea have made their debut to the English language, with A Tale of Two Sisters’ Kim Ji-woon helming The Last Stand which was Arnie’s return from “governating”, while The Host’s Bong Joon-ho directing the upcoming sci-fi train thriller Snowpiercer. As of now, the best of the three, Park Chan-wook (director of the ultimate revenge film Oldboy) has made his English-language debut with a seductive and haunting thriller about an evil family.

Following the sudden death of her father (Dermot Mulroney), the unsociable India (Mia Wasikowska) meets for the first time her enigmatic uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who moves in with her and her emotionally unstable mother, Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). Although suspicions about his motives are raised, India and Evelyn soon find themselves drawn to him.

When the film was first announced and given its title, there were suggestions that this was going to be a vampire piece, despite Park Chan-wook’s previous involvement with bloodsuckers from his previous flick Thirst. Although screenwriter Wentworth Miller (star of the TV series Prison Break) was influenced by Bram Stoker’s Dracula, his script is intentionally lacking vampires, but there is a level of vampirism towards the seduction from its characters, particularly the man-child uncle and his strange niece.

If Miller’s script was at the hands of another filmmaker, the film itself would’ve been empty-headed and yet even in the hands of someone as great as Park Chan-wook, there will be some who will see it as exactly that. As the story cleverly unfolds during the course of the film, the storytelling is somewhat secondary to the film’s fairy tale presentation with its lush visuals (such as a transition from hair brushing to a field of long grass) and surreal imagery (like a spider crawling up India’s leg).

Although Stoker lacks the strangeness of the work he did back in South Korea, the director isn’t afraid to show no boundaries, as the most striking sequence involves the use of a belt as a strangling weapon, intercutting with a non-gratuitous but strangely beautiful moment of masturbation in a shower.

As for the three main players playing the eponymous Stoker family, they are at their very best. Years after her breakthrough role in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Mia Wasikowska embraces the dark side as the troubled teenager India who, like every teenage girl is exploring her sexual awakening but in her case, can lead to murderous results. Replacing Colin Firth for the sinister uncle, Matthew Goode as Charlie is seen like India as a troubled kid, but in the age of an adult who manipulates the opposite sex with his charm and that ends up being his deadly weapon. The biggest surprise comes from Nicole Kidman, who has never been more brittle before as there is nothing likable about her role as the uptight and somewhat pathetic mother.

Not for everybody and not quite as strange as Oldboy or indeed I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK, but Stoker is a welcoming debut to a new language for Park Chan-wook as he triumphs with this sophisticated blend of horror, psychological thriller and domestic family drama.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 32
RE: Stoker - 9/3/2013 7:14:10 PM   
jrewing1000


Posts: 486
Joined: 23/11/2005
Yes yes obviously my opinion etc, etc. I merely selected a review that chimed with how I felt.

There is so much at fault with this movie, so much wrong with it on so many levels that I don't know where to start. It tries so hard to be earnest and provocative, yet I actually giggled out loud at various points because it was so damn cheesy, so naively clumsy and obvious. It's 'The Happening' bad.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 33
RE: Stoker - 9/3/2013 7:16:16 PM   
jrewing1000


Posts: 486
Joined: 23/11/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: R W

The biggest surprise comes from Nicole Kidman, who has never been more brittle before as there is nothing likable about her role as the uptight and somewhat pathetic mother.


I actually thought it was one of her worst screen performances to date. Then again, you may have seen from my other posts that I didn't like this movie very much :)

(in reply to R W)
Post #: 34
RE: Stoker - 9/3/2013 7:20:14 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54574
Joined: 1/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000

Yes yes obviously my opinion etc, etc. I merely selected a review that chimed with how I felt.

There is so much at fault with this movie, so much wrong with it on so many levels that I don't know where to start. It tries so hard to be earnest and provocative, yet I actually giggled out loud at various points because it was so damn cheesy, so naively clumsy and obvious. It's 'The Happening' bad.


In fairness, I didn't say it was 'just' your opinion, I said that was the important bit

Even if I completely disagree with it

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to jrewing1000)
Post #: 35
RE: Stoker - 10/3/2013 2:31:37 AM   
demoncleaner


Posts: 2376
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Belfast
Post deleted

< Message edited by demoncleaner -- 10/3/2013 2:35:07 AM >

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 36
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 3:02:39 AM   
demoncleaner


Posts: 2376
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Belfast

quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000

Quite literally one of the worst films I have ever seen. A shining example of style over substance. I am completely amazed at how this received a five star review, and only confirms to me that the Empire review staff have no clue what they are talking about. I'll go even further to say that Empire have embarrassed themselves for allowing this 5 star rating to stand.


I absolutely agree with this. Olly Richards can live his life and tell his family, his friends and his loved ones about films he;s seen. If he;s allowed to type those feelings is a matter of conscience left up to Empire.

This is a moronic film. Beetlejuice and The Karate Kid.

(in reply to jrewing1000)
Post #: 37
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 12:12:45 PM   
jrewing1000


Posts: 486
Joined: 23/11/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: demoncleaner


quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000

Quite literally one of the worst films I have ever seen. A shining example of style over substance. I am completely amazed at how this received a five star review, and only confirms to me that the Empire review staff have no clue what they are talking about. I'll go even further to say that Empire have embarrassed themselves for allowing this 5 star rating to stand.


I absolutely agree with this. Olly Richards can live his life and tell his family, his friends and his loved ones about films he;s seen. If he;s allowed to type those feelings is a matter of conscience left up to Empire.

This is a moronic film. Beetlejuice and The Karate Kid.



Olly Richards got one thing right:
"There are touches that could keep film students deliberating for days".
Yes, they should play this in lecture theatres to show how not to make a film. For that, this film is worth studying.

It's the kind of film made by people who think they understand how films/storytelling works, but actually don't.

(in reply to demoncleaner)
Post #: 38
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 12:17:19 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54574
Joined: 1/10/2005
I think Park Chan-Wook's filmography is sufficient defence against such a sweeping statement.

I'm not sure the trailer is particularly helpful for Stoker. It seems to suggest more a standard jumps and bangs thriller type film, which it clearly isn't (probably something that would be agreed by both those for and against it ).

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to jrewing1000)
Post #: 39
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 12:33:11 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8402
Joined: 13/4/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000


quote:

ORIGINAL: demoncleaner


quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000

Quite literally one of the worst films I have ever seen. A shining example of style over substance. I am completely amazed at how this received a five star review, and only confirms to me that the Empire review staff have no clue what they are talking about. I'll go even further to say that Empire have embarrassed themselves for allowing this 5 star rating to stand.


I absolutely agree with this. Olly Richards can live his life and tell his family, his friends and his loved ones about films he;s seen. If he;s allowed to type those feelings is a matter of conscience left up to Empire.

This is a moronic film. Beetlejuice and The Karate Kid.



Olly Richards got one thing right:
"There are touches that could keep film students deliberating for days".
Yes, they should play this in lecture theatres to show how not to make a film. For that, this film is worth studying.

It's the kind of film made by people who think they understand how films/storytelling works, but actually don't.

How interesting as it was used in our Psychoanalysis class just last week, the 'Male Gaze' and all that

The bad reviews just make me want to see it even more.

And on eleb's point on the trailer, yes but the trailer does make it look very scary indeed, if it is a film trying to work on that basic level and suceeds whats wrong with that?

(in reply to jrewing1000)
Post #: 40
RE: Stoker - 10/3/2013 2:18:07 PM   
jrewing1000


Posts: 486
Joined: 23/11/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: demoncleaner

Up its own arse whilst also being laughably naive, like a psychological thriller from the sixth form.

There's a line in Ozu's Late Spring that goes something like "Your uncle's favourite suit has been eaten by moths", I think the reason why that stayed with me is that I probably thought at the time “what a strange fucking thing to say.” The majority of lines in Stoker are like that. When I say the majority I mean the times when it’s “doing” psychological. The film does psychological the same way the actors in this “do” acting. “Go away I’m acting” says Mia What’s-her-face’s furrowed brow. Nicole Kidman post-stretch surgery, longs for yesteryear when a furrowed brow was an option, and she goes around looking like a kind of startled handbag. Matthew Goode has to keep his hands in his pockets presumably to stop a phantom itch to twirl a six foot long invisible moustache only he can see. His characterisation is possibly the broadest definition of louche possible, a women-love-bastards high gothic creation and he could give you pubic lice just by looking at you. The script also gives his character an arbitrary lunge to Rain Man when the script remembers variance is probably a good thing. When it’s not “doing” psychology the film is mostly doing a kind of failed Donnie Darko that misses an eighties-feel retro chic and plummets into the worse excesses of eighties naivety with Karate Kid grade bullies and would-be rapists. Obviously there wasn’t a near-rape scene in the Karate Kid, but if there had been, this was it.

This might have been written by the guy who was in Prison Break (no point naming him, after this he’s still the guy from Prison Break) but it might just as well have been written instead by the spotty oik who works in Blockbusters. It has just the right calibration of cynicism toward the mainstream coupled with it’s own crass cluelessness to qualify for that appraisal. Considered “hot” material only for the conceivable reason that fuddy-duddies like Ridley Scott thought Stoker might be a much needed antidote to Twilight, this may find itself loved by semi-literate emos but it might as well be pretty close to Twilight itself. When you have a coming of age story cunningly evoked by scenes of er…”coming” then you are perhaps drawing similar lines of arrested maturity in fairly half-assed sketches of adolescence.

As a nice, but incredibly superfluous distraction we have Park Chan Wook’s involved direction which can be remarked upon because it is doing much the same thing that we expect from his almost pure visual narrative style. The film’s framing of conspicuous imagery, sparingly repeated throughout then built into a mosaic that tells the entire story in a wordless recap is the kind of trope that may wrongly accrue accusations to the film of its being clever. The direction seems to camouflage an incredibly simplistic, meagre and extremely linear tale, fluffing it up to something akin to a many chambered puzzle box perhaps. But you could film “John Buys a Newspaper” and with a mosaic of isolated images that are gradually brought together you could really plant visual clues throughout that portend all along to the possibility that John really is going to buy a newspaper, the crazy bastard. It never occurred to me before but this really seems like the discipline of an ads director.

***SPOILERS***
At the end of the day this is a film so slight on ideas that its premise and twist collide in the first half hour – Premise:- is the uncle a bad ‘un?; Twist :- yes, yes he is. Cool, can I go home now? Well you might as well cause there’s fuck all else to see. That’s the first half hour and you only have a predictable outcome to limp towards for the remainder. That mostly involves trying to do something interesting with a shadow of the character of the teenager from Beetlejuice. The comparison to Hitchcock, even as homage, is completely laughable. In terms of suspense it’s even inept about basic things, like…oh, I don’t know…knowing that reveal comes after set-up? The main character has seen the guy murder people, she’s read his letters to a five year old on Valentine’s day, but then she’s shocked to find out after this that the letters came from a mental institute. To me, this is like Wendy from The Shining finding the “all work and no play” manuscript but only getting upset about it at the book launch.

Lamentable bilge.

1/5





Genius review. You sir, are spot on.

(in reply to demoncleaner)
Post #: 41
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 2:35:21 PM   
jrewing1000


Posts: 486
Joined: 23/11/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I think Park Chan-Wook's filmography is sufficient defence against such a sweeping statement.


Absolute nonsense. Chan-Wook's filmography could be the greatest ever shot, it makes no difference. It actually makes it even worse because most of his work in this film is entirely irrelevant. And that makes it a failure.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 42
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 2:50:01 PM   
MonsterCat


Posts: 7934
Joined: 24/3/2011
From: St. Albans, Hertfordshire

quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000

I am completely amazed at how this received a five star review, and only confirms to me that the Empire review staff have no clue what they are talking about. I'll go even further to say that Empire have embarrassed themselves for allowing this 5 star rating to stand.




Yes, this post doesn't make you sound entitled or self-absorbed at all.

Seriously, Empire are such twats for posting a review that doesn't align with your reaction to Stoker. Bunch of asshats.

_____________________________

"I am a writer, a doctor, a nuclear physicist and a theoretical philosopher. But above all, I am a man, a hopelessly inquisitive man, just like you."

Films watched in 2013

(in reply to jrewing1000)
Post #: 43
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 3:00:29 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54574
Joined: 1/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000


quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I think Park Chan-Wook's filmography is sufficient defence against such a sweeping statement.


Absolute nonsense. Chan-Wook's filmography could be the greatest ever shot, it makes no difference. It actually makes it even worse because most of his work in this film is entirely irrelevant. And that makes it a failure.



But you made an absolute statement - so I think it's fair to say that does bring in his other work, not just Stoker. I get that you really hate this film and that somehow it also makes you really angry, but if you're going to make very general statements it's only fair that people respond to them.



_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to jrewing1000)
Post #: 44
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 7:36:10 PM   
jrewing1000


Posts: 486
Joined: 23/11/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49


quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000


quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I think Park Chan-Wook's filmography is sufficient defence against such a sweeping statement.


Absolute nonsense. Chan-Wook's filmography could be the greatest ever shot, it makes no difference. It actually makes it even worse because most of his work in this film is entirely irrelevant. And that makes it a failure.



But you made an absolute statement - so I think it's fair to say that does bring in his other work, not just Stoker. I get that you really hate this film and that somehow it also makes you really angry, but if you're going to make very general statements it's only fair that people respond to them.




Oh I seeee. Still. He could have directed The Godfather and it wouldn't change my mind. I judge films on their individual merits not through merits of a filmmaker's back catalogue.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 45
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 7:40:11 PM   
jrewing1000


Posts: 486
Joined: 23/11/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49


quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000


quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I think Park Chan-Wook's filmography is sufficient defence against such a sweeping statement.


Absolute nonsense. Chan-Wook's filmography could be the greatest ever shot, it makes no difference. It actually makes it even worse because most of his work in this film is entirely irrelevant. And that makes it a failure.



But you made an absolute statement - so I think it's fair to say that does bring in his other work, not just Stoker. I get that you really hate this film and that somehow it also makes you really angry, but if you're going to make very general statements it's only fair that people respond to them.




You know, it's weird. It doesn't make me angry, but I find it both frustrating and puzzling that people are looking at this film in such a different way. I don't think my instincts are so far off the mark, but in this case, there's such a difference of opinion, and I have to be honest that I'm convinced they are seeing things in this film that simply aren't there, that yes - I feel a little pissed about it. Simply because I value good film, I think it's important. I also think it's important that people recognise good film, and recognise bad film. So when this is out of whack it pissed me off.

Imagine if people slagged off Jaws because they thought it was a crap film. Ok they're entitled to their opinion, but I think it was fair to say they were demonstrating that they knew nothing about what makes a good film. Similarly, if someone came along and said they thought Mrs Doubtfire was the greatest film ever made - fine they are entitled to their opinion, but again, I'd say it was fair to say their knowledge and appreciation of film was limited.

That's what's goin on in my brain with this, anyway...for what it's worth! (I'm bracing myself for a pummelling)

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 46
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 8:21:12 PM   
Rebel scum


Posts: 3483
Joined: 2/1/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000

You know, it's weird. It doesn't make me angry, but I find it both frustrating and puzzling that people are looking at this film in such a different way. I don't think my instincts are so far off the mark, but in this case, there's such a difference of opinion, and I have to be honest that I'm convinced they are seeing things in this film that simply aren't there, that yes - I feel a little pissed about it. Simply because I value good film, I think it's important. I also think it's important that people recognise good film, and recognise bad film. So when this is out of whack it pissed me off.

Imagine if people slagged off Jaws because they thought it was a crap film. Ok they're entitled to their opinion, but I think it was fair to say they were demonstrating that they knew nothing about what makes a good film. Similarly, if someone came along and said they thought Mrs Doubtfire was the greatest film ever made - fine they are entitled to their opinion, but again, I'd say it was fair to say their knowledge and appreciation of film was limited.

That's what's goin on in my brain with this, anyway...for what it's worth! (I'm bracing myself for a pummelling)


Art is, by its nature, subjective. What you may term as a "good film" may be lamentable bilge for someone else. There's just as many people who, for instance, love the last half-hour of Return of the King as there are people found it overindulgent tripe; is that half-hour "good" or "bad" film? Also, some people strongly dislike films based on negative experiences or because the subject matter is too close to home; does that make them incapable of determining whether a film is good or bad and thus have no business discussing it? Saying that people who love Mrs Doubtfire to the extent they consider it their favourite film are somehow inferior to other film fans is elitist at best and condescending otherwise.

To put it another way, I thought Stoker was a tightly directed, very entertaining little thriller - call it a high 4/5. Does that mean I know nothing about film and cannot appreciate good film when I see it?

_____________________________

"We are not safe! A dark menace rises to the east! Duckies go quack! Cows go moo! I want ice cream. Verily, will you two hobbits join my quest?"

(in reply to jrewing1000)
Post #: 47
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 9:04:52 PM   
jrewing1000


Posts: 486
Joined: 23/11/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum


quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000

You know, it's weird. It doesn't make me angry, but I find it both frustrating and puzzling that people are looking at this film in such a different way. I don't think my instincts are so far off the mark, but in this case, there's such a difference of opinion, and I have to be honest that I'm convinced they are seeing things in this film that simply aren't there, that yes - I feel a little pissed about it. Simply because I value good film, I think it's important. I also think it's important that people recognise good film, and recognise bad film. So when this is out of whack it pissed me off.

Imagine if people slagged off Jaws because they thought it was a crap film. Ok they're entitled to their opinion, but I think it was fair to say they were demonstrating that they knew nothing about what makes a good film. Similarly, if someone came along and said they thought Mrs Doubtfire was the greatest film ever made - fine they are entitled to their opinion, but again, I'd say it was fair to say their knowledge and appreciation of film was limited.

That's what's goin on in my brain with this, anyway...for what it's worth! (I'm bracing myself for a pummelling)


Art is, by its nature, subjective. What you may term as a "good film" may be lamentable bilge for someone else. There's just as many people who, for instance, love the last half-hour of Return of the King as there are people found it overindulgent tripe; is that half-hour "good" or "bad" film? Also, some people strongly dislike films based on negative experiences or because the subject matter is too close to home; does that make them incapable of determining whether a film is good or bad and thus have no business discussing it? Saying that people who love Mrs Doubtfire to the extent they consider it their favourite film are somehow inferior to other film fans is elitist at best and condescending otherwise.

To put it another way, I thought Stoker was a tightly directed, very entertaining little thriller - call it a high 4/5. Does that mean I know nothing about film and cannot appreciate good film when I see it?


I have to correct you. I didn't say anything about people who might consider Mrs Doubtfire their favourite film, I discussed people who might claim Mrs Doubtfire was the best film ever made. There is a huge difference there.

I am the first to defend people's opinions on what they like or dislike. I'm a Phil Collins fan for heaven's sake! But personal opinion is not the same as accurate criticism or accurate praise. Of course there's an entire debate on what exactly is 'accurate' in these instances.

Without getting into too much detail, I'd think it was fair to say that there may be a generally agreed opinion of the differences between a well made film and a badly made film. This of course has nothing to do with whether people will enjoy films or not, but it's merely an observation of the craftsmanship, value, effectiveness, functionality and merit that a film has. This is what I am discussing here.

What's more, it bothers me when these judgements are inaccurate, because it leads to inaccurate opinions elsewhere. If people's opinions are influenced by the judgements of others, it's extremely important that judgements are as fair and accurate as possible.

If Simon Cowell considers Susan Boyle the greatest female singer who ever lived, I'd be right in saying he was wrong. I'd also be worried that other people might hold his opinion to be true, and therefore judge others based on this inaccurate 'gold standard'.

The notion of criticism is an extremely interesting one, particularly when it comes to review and appreciation for arts like film and music. Again, I'd be the first to defend personal taste. (you do NOT want to know some of my guilty pleasure films) But I'll also be the first to champion accurate criticism and praise, for the sake of those who may hold such criticism and praise as gold standards with which to judge other work.

And with this in mind, I think Empire have failed badly.

< Message edited by jrewing1000 -- 10/3/2013 9:07:18 PM >

(in reply to Rebel scum)
Post #: 48
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 9:29:16 PM   
Rebel scum


Posts: 3483
Joined: 2/1/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000
quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum
quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000
Snip

Snip again


I have to correct you. I didn't say anything about people who might consider Mrs Doubtfire their favourite film, I discussed people who might claim Mrs Doubtfire was the best film ever made. There is a huge difference there.

I am the first to defend people's opinions on what they like or dislike. I'm a Phil Collins fan for heaven's sake! But personal opinion is not the same as accurate criticism or accurate praise. Of course there's an entire debate on what exactly is 'accurate' in these instances.

Without getting into too much detail, I'd think it was fair to say that there may be a generally agreed opinion of the differences between a well made film and a badly made film. This of course has nothing to do with whether people will enjoy films or not, but it's merely an observation of the craftsmanship, value, effectiveness, functionality and merit that a film has. This is what I am discussing here.

What's more, it bothers me when these judgements are inaccurate, because it leads to inaccurate opinions elsewhere. If people's opinions are influenced by the judgements of others, it's extremely important that judgements are as fair and accurate as possible.

If Simon Cowell considers Susan Boyle the greatest female singer who ever lived, I'd be right in saying he was wrong. I'd also be worried that other people might hold his opinion to be true, and therefore judge others based on this inaccurate 'gold standard'.

The notion of criticism is an extremely interesting one, particularly when it comes to review and appreciation for arts like film and music. Again, I'd be the first to defend personal taste. (you do NOT want to know some of my guilty pleasure films) But I'll also be the first to champion accurate criticism and praise, for the sake of those who may hold such criticism and praise as gold standards with which to judge other work.

And with this in mind, I think Empire have failed badly.


Alright, I misread your Mrs Doubtfire comment, and the take you intended does make a certain degree of sense. The thing is that people can still disagree on the technical, nitty-gritty aspects of a film such as direction, set design, and other things that should be more subjective (Although that opens up a can of worms once aspects such as performance and script are taken into account). For instance, some would argue Thor is an adequately well-directed film, while others argue that it's way too reliant on dutch angles and that the whole thing is a mess. To give another example, Ang Lee recently won Best Director for Life of Pi, and I'm sure there are plenty of people on the forums who feel that's undeserved.

"Good filmmaking", as a neutral technical breakdown of a film, only gives a picture of what the film is like. A film could be the best shot, perfectly crafted masterpiece, but if it does not also have an emotional resonance that can be viewed in completely different ways by different people, then it's merely an interesting array of pictures. Plenty of times a common criticism of a film is that it's "cold", that it's technically brilliant and the performances ring semi-true, but the whole thing never reaches the emotional resonance that the story requires, be that positive or negative. Films should be judged on different merits according to what they are going for, but I'm confident 99% of films strive for the audience to feel something, and if they do not all the "good filmmaking" in the world does not change the fact that they have failed in a core goal. Films require an emotional investment along with technical proficiency, and masterpieces have both those qualities in spades. If you only have "good filmmaking", you only have half a movie.

That's my take on the whole issue anyway.

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Post #: 49
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 9:36:40 PM   
jrewing1000


Posts: 486
Joined: 23/11/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum


quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000
quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum
quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000
Snip

Snip again


I have to correct you. I didn't say anything about people who might consider Mrs Doubtfire their favourite film, I discussed people who might claim Mrs Doubtfire was the best film ever made. There is a huge difference there.

I am the first to defend people's opinions on what they like or dislike. I'm a Phil Collins fan for heaven's sake! But personal opinion is not the same as accurate criticism or accurate praise. Of course there's an entire debate on what exactly is 'accurate' in these instances.

Without getting into too much detail, I'd think it was fair to say that there may be a generally agreed opinion of the differences between a well made film and a badly made film. This of course has nothing to do with whether people will enjoy films or not, but it's merely an observation of the craftsmanship, value, effectiveness, functionality and merit that a film has. This is what I am discussing here.

What's more, it bothers me when these judgements are inaccurate, because it leads to inaccurate opinions elsewhere. If people's opinions are influenced by the judgements of others, it's extremely important that judgements are as fair and accurate as possible.

If Simon Cowell considers Susan Boyle the greatest female singer who ever lived, I'd be right in saying he was wrong. I'd also be worried that other people might hold his opinion to be true, and therefore judge others based on this inaccurate 'gold standard'.

The notion of criticism is an extremely interesting one, particularly when it comes to review and appreciation for arts like film and music. Again, I'd be the first to defend personal taste. (you do NOT want to know some of my guilty pleasure films) But I'll also be the first to champion accurate criticism and praise, for the sake of those who may hold such criticism and praise as gold standards with which to judge other work.

And with this in mind, I think Empire have failed badly.


Alright, I misread your Mrs Doubtfire comment, and the take you intended does make a certain degree of sense. The thing is that people can still disagree on the technical, nitty-gritty aspects of a film such as direction, set design, and other things that should be more subjective (Although that opens up a can of worms once aspects such as performance and script are taken into account). For instance, some would argue Thor is an adequately well-directed film, while others argue that it's way too reliant on dutch angles and that the whole thing is a mess. To give another example, Ang Lee recently won Best Director for Life of Pi, and I'm sure there are plenty of people on the forums who feel that's undeserved.

"Good filmmaking", as a neutral technical breakdown of a film, only gives a picture of what the film is like. A film could be the best shot, perfectly crafted masterpiece, but if it does not also have an emotional resonance that can be viewed in completely different ways by different people, then it's merely an interesting array of pictures. Plenty of times a common criticism of a film is that it's "cold", that it's technically brilliant and the performances ring semi-true, but the whole thing never reaches the emotional resonance that the story requires, be that positive or negative. Films should be judged on different merits according to what they are going for, but I'm confident 99% of films strive for the audience to feel something, and if they do not all the "good filmmaking" in the world does not change the fact that they have failed in a core goal. Films require an emotional investment along with technical proficiency, and masterpieces have both those qualities in spades. If you only have "good filmmaking", you only have half a movie.

That's my take on the whole issue anyway.


Absolutely. But what makes you think I wouldn't count 'emotional resonance' as one of those important attributes with which to judge whether a film is good or bad. Perhaps successful or unsuccessful is a better way of looking at it. Successful in what you may ask? Successful in its goal of a) telling a story and b) making the audience care about that story.

It may not have been clear from my last post that I consider emotion to be extremely important. Perhaps the MOST important attribute of a film. As you say - it could be a highly crafted piece of work, yet contain absolutely no emotional impact whatsoever. And the flip side is equally true. A good example being The Blair Witch project, which did away with most conventional techniques and methods of the majority of commercial films, yet still had an enormous emotional impact, and thus you could say it was a highly successful piece of work.

So yes, I agree. Craft is only half a movie. Emotion is the other half. But in my opinion, the craft of Stoker impedes the emotional success of the film.

And thus we unlock yet another side to the debate - what impedes one person, may not impede another. Perhaps my skillset in filmmaking (editor) has left me more bothered by certain creative decisions than other people. Not to say I am in any way better placed to judge anything. But that I my emotional resonance of a film is potentially more impeded by the film itself because of what I do. I'm happy to concede that. In fact, I distinctly remember being extremely bothered by the editing of Stoker, which I happen to think is appalling.

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Post #: 50
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 9:49:04 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
I really don't believe emotion is that big of a part of the film. Some of the work of the Coen brothers can be quite cold, and I still find them brilliant. Extend this to some of Godard's work or Kubrick's. So I would disagree.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

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Post #: 51
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 9:49:55 PM   
Rebel scum


Posts: 3483
Joined: 2/1/2006
I agree emotion is at the core of most films (It's not a prerequisite by any means though), but it's a tricky thing to define as definitely "successful" or "unsuccessful", since everyone has different emotional reactions to events. It's incredibly subjective since emotional reactions to films can be determined by past experiences, memory, even trivial things like how you're feeling on the day of the film, so to rubber-stamp a film and say "This film is successful at making the audience care about the story" only really means it had the intended effect on you.

Regarding the craft impeding the emotional side, I didn't have the same response, and definitely had no issue with the editing, which I thought was pretty damn good. Unlike you, I'm no expert or anything, I just thought the craft of the film worked perfectly fine and complimented the thriller aspects really well. I agree that what you do for a living impacts what bugs you more about a film though - I'm training to teach English as a foreign language and dabble with writing, so a poor script or awkwardly written lines bug the hell out of me.

I'm happy to agree to disagree on whether the film worked or not, but I strongly object to Empire's opinion being in any way incorrect or skewed, any more than either of ours is. The writer loved the film, thought it was well-shot and told an interesting and engaging story. I agree, you don't, neither of us is wrong.

< Message edited by Rebel scum -- 10/3/2013 9:51:11 PM >


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Post #: 52
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 9:55:41 PM   
jrewing1000


Posts: 486
Joined: 23/11/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum

I agree emotion is at the core of most films (It's not a prerequisite by any means though), but it's a tricky thing to define as definitely "successful" or "unsuccessful", since everyone has different emotional reactions to events. It's incredibly subjective since emotional reactions to films can be determined by past experiences, memory, even trivial things like how you're feeling on the day of the film, so to rubber-stamp a film and say "This film is successful at making the audience care about the story" only really means it had the intended effect on you.

Regarding the craft impeding the emotional side, I didn't have the same response, and definitely had no issue with the editing, which I thought was pretty damn good. Unlike you, I'm no expert or anything, I just thought the craft of the film worked perfectly fine and complimented the thriller aspects really well. I agree that what you do for a living impacts what bugs you more about a film though - I'm training to teach English as a foreign language and dabble with writing, so a poor script or awkwardly written lines bug the hell out of me.

I'm happy to agree to disagree on whether the film worked or not, but I strongly object to Empire's opinion being in any way incorrect or skewed, any more than either of ours is. The writer loved the film, thought it was well-shot and told an interesting and engaging story. I agree, you don't, neither of us is wrong.


Yes exactly - what bothers you with badly written lines, bothers me with badly editing scenes! Watching Stoker was an interesting experience for me, because while I'm learning all the time about editing, even though I've been doing it a while now, it was clear as day that the editing was all wrong in this film. It's interesting that it didn't bother you, which backs up your point that it's all subjective, however you look at it. I could break down certain sequences and explain why I think the editing is wrong. But I'd need the film to hand which I don't. I just remember thinking it was all over the place, and never really served the story or the scene from the characters or story point of view. It was very self serving in fact, as if the director and the editor were trying to cram as many great shots in as possible. One criticism I've read was a worthwhile one - it was cut like a commercial.

Let me ask you a question then - if a review was so badly out of whack, would you consider it inaccurate? Can a review ever be inaccurate?

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Post #: 53
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 9:59:09 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
quote:

it was cut like a commercial.


This reminds me of the "looks like a music video" criticism, I can't imagine why this is a bad thing.

Oh and a review cannot be inaccurate, unless per say, it gets some of the technical stuff of the film, or the credits, or some of the scenes that happen wrongly.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to jrewing1000)
Post #: 54
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 10:03:32 PM   
jrewing1000


Posts: 486
Joined: 23/11/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

quote:

it was cut like a commercial.


This reminds me of the "looks like a music video" criticism, I can't imagine why this is a bad thing.

Oh and a review cannot be inaccurate, unless per say, it gets some of the technical stuff of the film, or the credits, or some of the scenes that happen wrongly.


Again, I may not be explaining myself well. 'Cut like a commercial' in itself may not be a bad thing (I thought Tree of Life was cut like a commercial, yet I enjoyed it). What I meant was that commercials are very stylised and self serving in their nature (generally), and so for a narrative piece of drama to be cut like a commercial, I'm generalising that it adopted this agenda of style over substance. Great for 60sec ads, bad for 2 hours of drama.

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Post #: 55
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 10:05:00 PM   
Rebel scum


Posts: 3483
Joined: 2/1/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000

Let me ask you a question then - if a review was so badly out of whack, would you consider it inaccurate? Can a review ever be inaccurate?


Not as far as opinion goes. If the Empire review of Stoker had said "Directed by Tim Burton" that would definitely be inaccurate! Otherwise, it's all subjective. If someone thinks a script's well-written that I think was written in half an hour by a frustrated monkey, fair play to them. The only time I would raise a querying finger would regard things like sets or visual effects. If a review says "The visual effects are seamless and always convincing" and the film features a poor copy/paste of The Rock's head on a giant scorpion, that could be considered inaccurate. But I've never read a review so badly out of whack I'd consider it an untrue representation of how they felt. Even Cool Breeze's Skyfall rant is definitely from the heart .

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Post #: 56
RE: Utterly awful. - 10/3/2013 10:10:01 PM   
jrewing1000


Posts: 486
Joined: 23/11/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum


quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000

Let me ask you a question then - if a review was so badly out of whack, would you consider it inaccurate? Can a review ever be inaccurate?


Not as far as opinion goes. If the Empire review of Stoker had said "Directed by Tim Burton" that would definitely be inaccurate! Otherwise, it's all subjective. If someone thinks a script's well-written that I think was written in half an hour by a frustrated monkey, fair play to them. The only time I would raise a querying finger would regard things like sets or visual effects. If a review says "The visual effects are seamless and always convincing" and the film features a poor copy/paste of The Rock's head on a giant scorpion, that could be considered inaccurate. But I've never read a review so badly out of whack I'd consider it an untrue representation of how they felt. Even Cool Breeze's Skyfall rant is definitely from the heart .


Then perhaps I've been taking reviews far too seriously. Even so, for Empire to have given this film 5 stars, and for me to think it's only 1, makes me think Empire reviews are no longer reliable for my own tastes. Pass the Sight and Sound..

< Message edited by jrewing1000 -- 11/3/2013 9:07:48 AM >

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Post #: 57
RE: Utterly awful. - 11/3/2013 11:21:09 AM   
shool


Posts: 10055
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
demoncleaner

The below comments are unwarranted and are far too personal about the reviewer. The general rule is definitely applicable to "Criticise the persons work, but not the person themselves."

Please desist from doing this in the future. It also makes you sound more petulant that objective, but thats probably another matter.


quote:

And Olly Richards! Olly Richards said in his review (as a sort of Beatitude) that there is a certain type of performance that doesn't win awards but is quietly functioning. If there is any justice in the world I wish Olly a long life of unemployment where he may revel in many an afternoon watching Doctors and Waterloo Roadon catch-up. Meanwhile, we all know what a fucking character actor looks and behaves like.


quote:

absolutely agree with this. Olly Richards can live his life and tell his family, his friends and his loved ones about films he;s seen. If he;s allowed to type those feelings is a matter of conscience left up to Empire.

This is a moronic film. Beetlejuice and The Karate Kid.


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Post #: 58
A Sublime Film, Lacking Something... - 11/3/2013 1:42:48 PM   
blaud


Posts: 721
Joined: 13/12/2007
Stoker is a fine film. There's no other way to put it. Park Chan-wook, respected auteur of Oldboy has crafted a subversive and highly original cinematic feel to his first English language film. The production is innovative and fresh, and despite the fact that the Scott brothers fingerprints are present throughout, at no point does the film feel like something seen before. The performances are also excellent, with Goode a notable standout. There's more than a touch of indulgence about the plot however, which may appear underwritten, but is still involving. It's a story-driven film that relies heavily on character, and the nods to Shadow Of A Doubt are plain to see, but it all works in the film's favour. There are some parts throughout that feel a little shoehorned in, and those expecting something as deliriously entertaining as Chan-wook's previous films may be disappointed, but Stoker is his most thematically complete work to date: a startling vision that screams dark fairy tale, but is also relevant and compulsive viewing.

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Post #: 59
RE: Utterly awful. - 11/3/2013 2:30:27 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5057
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North

quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000


quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49


quote:

ORIGINAL: jrewing1000


quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I think Park Chan-Wook's filmography is sufficient defence against such a sweeping statement.


Absolute nonsense. Chan-Wook's filmography could be the greatest ever shot, it makes no difference. It actually makes it even worse because most of his work in this film is entirely irrelevant. And that makes it a failure.



But you made an absolute statement - so I think it's fair to say that does bring in his other work, not just Stoker. I get that you really hate this film and that somehow it also makes you really angry, but if you're going to make very general statements it's only fair that people respond to them.




You know, it's weird. It doesn't make me angry, but I find it both frustrating and puzzling that people are looking at this film in such a different way. I don't think my instincts are so far off the mark, but in this case, there's such a difference of opinion, and I have to be honest that I'm convinced they are seeing things in this film that simply aren't there, that yes - I feel a little pissed about it. Simply because I value good film, I think it's important. I also think it's important that people recognise good film, and recognise bad film. So when this is out of whack it pissed me off.

Imagine if people slagged off Jaws because they thought it was a crap film. Ok they're entitled to their opinion, but I think it was fair to say they were demonstrating that they knew nothing about what makes a good film. Similarly, if someone came along and said they thought Mrs Doubtfire was the greatest film ever made - fine they are entitled to their opinion, but again, I'd say it was fair to say their knowledge and appreciation of film was limited.

That's what's goin on in my brain with this, anyway...for what it's worth! (I'm bracing myself for a pummelling)


Perhaps you're not seeing things that simply are there?

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Post #: 60
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