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The Counsellor

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The Counsellor - 27/10/2013 1:35:10 PM   
Empire Admin


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Reads like 4 Stars to me - 27/10/2013 1:35:10 PM   


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However, I'm growing tired of Ridley Scott's descent into average. Was Gladiator his last genuinely wickles film?

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Post #: 2
RE: Reads like 4 Stars to me - 29/10/2013 2:46:26 PM   


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I'll be going to see this out of a love of McCarthy's prose than anything else. It seems to illicit strong reactions, love and hate, from everyone I've seen talk about it.

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RE: Reads like 4 Stars to me - 29/10/2013 7:52:54 PM   

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However, I'm growing tired of Ridley Scott's descent into average. Was Gladiator his last genuinely wickles film?



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RE: Reads like 4 Stars to me - 29/10/2013 9:20:44 PM   

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I'd go with Gladiator overall, but a couple of the others have had moments or been decent watches. Nothing in his work for years, sadly. has enthused me for this, no matter the top heavy stars. Odd the specific praise for the writing - other reviews seem to be, sadly, critical of McCarthy's script. Probably DVD for me. The review reads fairly as a 3 IMO though - the reservations are fairly put.

< Message edited by elab49 -- 29/10/2013 9:23:18 PM >


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RE: Reads like 4 Stars to me - 31/10/2013 10:36:42 AM   

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I read the screenplay last week as a fan of McCarthy and yeah there is some great dialogue and descriptions but overall I wasn't too impressed. I found it a little frustrating, It's pretty nasty and some of it seems pointless(maybe that's the point). The point the reviewer made about Diaz being miscast, I definitely wouldn't have thought she'd be suited to this role but I haven't seen it yet so can't say too much just from reading it. I still want to see it, maybe in a perverse way to see how well certain deaths translate to the screen.



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Post #: 6
An Awful Movie - 1/11/2013 5:10:30 PM   


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I'm disappointed with Empires rating of this movie as I really have no idea where they managed to find 3 stars worth of quality in this movie.

As many will discover over the next few weeks, this movie offers very little. The movie is built on a series of one on one conversations which constantly meander around the point, making the audience feel like something is been hidden or perhaps that there will be a reveal of some kind. But alas nothing really happens for the entire picture, with the exception of a bizarre explicit sex act involving a car and Cameron Diaz.

Unfortunately I think Scott, MacCarthy and most of the cast are all caught up in their self absorbed pretentiousness to really worry how an audience might react. I was left wishing I walked out after the dreary opening 15 minutes,

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RE: An Awful Movie - 11/11/2013 6:12:31 PM   


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Unfortunately I think Scott, MacCarthy and most of the cast are all caught up in their self absorbed pretentiousness to really worry how an audience might react

People that find movies Pretentious are usually not able to keep up with heavy dialogue. I'm assuming you are not a Coen brothers fan either?

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Post #: 8
An appalling movie - 12/11/2013 12:15:18 AM   


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This review fails to cover Fassbender's character, which has to be the worst seen in a Hollywood film for some time. Everything he says is a question, pretty much and he exists purely to bring some truly farcical characters into the orbit of the story (Cruz's character is similarly pathetic, while Diaz plays a quite preposterous invention - you should feel embarrassed for McCarthy listening to some of the guff she comes out with).

Given Ridley Scott's run of dreadful storytelling, we probably should have expected how bad this is - it's like a Mercedes ad running for two hours, albeit with less substance.

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Post #: 9
RE: An appalling movie - 16/11/2013 2:17:22 PM   
Qwerty Norris

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From: Edinburgh
Cormac McCarthy might be one of the greatest living writers, but sadly that doesn't guarantee a great screenplay.

The Counsellor is a strange and unsatisfying experience; a film structured by beautifully written monologues, all of which fail on a dramatic level. You can see that McCarthy's interest lies not in the 'deal gone wrong' plot, but in the political subtext of immigration and the concepts of greed, revenge and regret which are covered extensively in the conversational pieces. These subtexts intertwined with a pulpy narrative can work in literature (and do so in a number of his books), but it takes a certain type of director to make this marriage work on the screen. For all his film-making virtues, Scott is not one of them. His direction succeeds best when he uses a variety of shots to tell the story, but this film is compelled to frame its subjects in close up in nearly every moment - a most unusual Ridley concept. Therefore, there's a peculiar situation occurring; the ensemble are up close and personal, yet forever at an alienating distance. It's a juxtaposition that makes it difficult to be interested in and impossible to care about.

Things are also not helped by the presence of Diaz. She's supposed to be a master schemer, a puller of strings who manipulates everyone and everything to her own end. A manifestation of evil in the same vein as No Country's Anton Chigurh or Blood Meridian's Judge. In Diaz's hands, she's a preposterous creation; never selling the menace or suspending the disbelief, only achieving pantomiming villainy and a cringe-worthy simulated sex scene on a windscreen.

Everything looked to be in place for an intriguing screenwriting debut and an interesting new film from Scott. It's a real disappointment then to bare witness to neither hopeful outcome being achieved.


< Message edited by Qwerty Norris -- 16/11/2013 2:30:01 PM >


Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

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Post #: 10
Failing to control an accent in a built-up area... - 16/11/2013 4:13:57 PM   

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Joined: 28/4/2012
From: Oxford, UK
There's a tense, sexy, violent, darkly funny film in here somewhere, but this isn't the team to uncover it. The Counselor never becomes outright dissatisfying, but its enjoyable moments are few and far between.


More reviews and rambling like that ^^^ at: >>> <<<

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Post #: 11
RE: Failing to control an accent in a built-up area... - 21/11/2013 11:35:43 AM   
Dr Lenera


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So once again Ridley Scott proves that since Thelma And Louise, his sadly deceased brother became the better filmmaker, in another film that falls extremely flat, though this one is even weaker than normal. Cormac McCarthy’s books have been made into one good film [All The Pretty Horses] and two very good films [No Country For Old Men, The Road], but The Counsellor makes it clear that he’s a dreadful screenwriter. It seems like he wrote a very really simple story, then cut out most of the details to make it seem complex. I lost track of what was going on a couple of times, but then I also lost interest. The characters spout monologues to each other, generally either offering pearls of wisdom or saying stuff about women [I couldn’t work out whether the vaguely Sam Peckinpah-like views about the female of the species are McCarthy’s or just the character’s], usually with drink in hand, while Michael Fassbender rushes around getting involved in dangerous stuff which is none to clear but probably the same shady deals and double-crosses with seem a million times before.

A good cast [Javier Barden fares best] gamely attempts to make their characters seem like believable people, while the odd bit of violence tries to wake you up. A major character has a particularly memorable death scene on a busy street. Meanwhile the central theme of there being always a price to pay for getting involved in Bad Things is over-emphasised over and over again. As usual now with a [Ridley] Scott film, it’s visually dull too. No doubt McCarthy and Scot think this tedious crap is Deep. Actually, you’ll find more depth in Thor: The Dark World. Pathetic. Scott, please stop before you ruin the story of Moses, and certainly don’t go anywhere near tarnishing Blade Runner.


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Post #: 12
haha, terrible but not unenjoyable - 11/12/2013 10:28:57 PM   


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there are moments in this film that make this a strong contender for worst film of the year. But. But. But. There are SOME scenes (usually when Pitt is around) that I rather enjoyed. It's completely overcooked. Diaz is awful in every respect. But the score has moments that work. A couple of nice visuals. A few laughs.

So in the end I enjoyed the trip far more than I did for the hunger games.

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Post #: 13
STYLISH..... - 7/10/2014 5:23:06 PM   


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Joined: 14/7/2008
Granted - this film isn't one of Scotts best efforts , but hell - it's still drop dead gorgeous to look at and the star spangled cast are at least up to playing along in all the gruesome shenanigans. The script has a unique style all of it's own and not all of it is comprehensible - and you have to pay real close attention to what's physically going on otherwise you'll soon be lost amid all the veiled threats, the double crossing and the realistically staged and extremely gory violence. Fassbender makes the most of what is clearly an under written part and Pitt's easy going charm made his villain less shady and more jet setting, laid back, globe trotting Lothario. And I liked Cameron Diaz's Lady Macbeth styled muse who seemed to be pulling a few more strings than she was letting on with her striking hair style and her bizarre taste in chrome fittings and four wheeled fetishism. if you're expecting to be spoon-fed and have everything explained to you, you'll be disappointed - but if you don't mind wading through the dreamy visuals, the poetic dialogue and the murky plot you might actually enjoy it…..THREE STARS.

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Post #: 14
Well!..I liked it! that ok? - 28/11/2014 6:37:57 PM   
Mike Jenkins


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Some of the explanations of this film and Ridley Scott border on stupidity!..and the character who wrote that it's obvious Ridley Scott is not a better director than his brother was should be ashamed of himself, for bringing that up in the first place!..what's that got to do with this movie!..I think it's brilliant, and the way Michael Fassbender portrays his grief when Penelope Cruz gets murdered is just masterful!..Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt are probably the weakest link in this whole thing, they just seem to swan around looking A-List-pretty, like they do in every film they make, but the whole feel of the movie is tremendous..the heat, the sweat, the intimidating atmosphere in the last hour of the movie is perfect...I loved it !

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