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Gatsby's New and Improved Flick Critique

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Then you would have noticed a positive to negative change.

Also, do you know something can replace Microsoft Word?
I use Open Office. It has Excel as well. All free.
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Master of My Domain
Thanks GBG and Sean. I'll try both Open Office and Excel and see what suits me well.



Thanks GBG and Sean. I'll try both Open Office and Excel and see what suits me well.

Excel is a spreadsheet program that's part of Microsoft Office. Open Office has a similar spreadsheet program, but it's free.



Moonrise Kingdom was my first Wes Anderson and, while I didn't hate it, it made me think I didn't like his style. Then I saw Mr. Fox, Grand Budapest, and Rushmore, and now I'd like to see more.

Nice review of The Graduate too, a great flick sure to do quite well on the 60's list.



Great review Gatsby

I love Moonrise Kingdom, in fact I think it's one of the best from the decade I've seen not that that's much. Still I don't find myself disagreeing with any of your negative points, even better I found myself thinking about a few I'd never considered which is always a good sign



Master of My Domain
Moonrise Kingdom was my first Wes Anderson and, while I didn't hate it, it made me think I didn't like his style. Then I saw Mr. Fox, Grand Budapest, and Rushmore, and now I'd like to see more.
I feel ya. Moonrise Kingdom has Wes Anderson use his style the best but also in several worst ways.
Sorry I'm a bit late with this Gats but wanted to say I loved your review of The Graduate.
Thanks Chypmunk. Did you have your tardy slip?



Master of My Domain
The General (1926)





Directed by: Buster Keaton
Starring: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Joe Keaton


Oops.

The General is now the paradigm for silent films, but back when it first released that was not the case. Critics panned it and it failed to generate even decent profit. Like most films gradually gaining reputation upon re-evaluation, the brillance of the film locates high up in cinematic heaven, and so it soared above all initial thoughts and perspectives, thus could not be seen. It merely exisited in a distant future, or to be exact outside of time and trend, oblivious to those who didn’t give a closer look, and those were the original majority. The General is a silent film but the vibrant energy and figurative noise it generates is extraordinary. This film will be regarded as highly essential even when our world becomes dominated by the mechanical buzz of robots and the bustling created by futuristic vechiles. Sherlock Jr. is my favorite Keaton, but only slighty, The General is the crowning achievement.

Characters are of minimal amount and their traits are set up quickly. The hero of the film, Johnny Grey’s (Buster Keaton) sole treasures in life are shown immdieatly, using a text card which has a rustic charm to it. One is the fiery engine of his locomotive, the other is his young and beautiful girfriend, Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack). This makes the two characters and others in the film seem one-dimensional. The correct is pure, energetic fun boiled down to amazing sequences and straightforward no-nonsense. The entire plot is our hero being chased by the Union army, but doing nothing particularly wrong himself at first, then ascends into havoc. Imagine if the chase started from Keaton's character being a typical mean-spirited and lazy comical protagonist, which in reality has more of an antagonist trait. Making the audience laugh at someone's actions and at the same time feel empathy for him/her is not easy to pull off.

Thus, the humor comes from the above reason of why the characters and scenes are not one-dimesional. Cannon misfires and countless falls are plausible due to a proper setup and explanation. Johnny Grey is obviously in a dilema, having to choose how to get out of the mess while saving both his train and girl, while under stress and limited time. Another part of the humor comes from the everyday common things, like most great physical comdies would do. A good example is when Johnny accidentally destroys a water supply tank. The water sprays on the pursuing Union soilders exactly like how water exhaulting from a hose is supposed to spray, and the expression on their faces is priceless, I assume they actually got a strong spray of the high-pressure liquid.

The gags are captured as a whole, and doesn’t zoom in to get close look of characters making overly-comical faces, what modern comedies would do to create a few weak chuckles, so you are being reminded that what you’re seeing is SNL Skit: The Movie, and not an actual film. The General captures the moment like a painting or a picture, today we regard movies as “flicks”, but the true word, despite being unconventional, we should use is “picture”, and only to films that deserve the praiseful word. The word is unconventional today because there are no films deserving enough to be called by the p word. To compare and contrast, saw both Meet the Fockers and The General about exactly an year ago. I forgot most scenes and attempted humor in Meet the Fockers, and for the latter picture I remember every moment of it, and from what I have experienced, true art is not easily forgetable.

The General is silent, but your mind won’t be. Silent films provoke imagination more than usual films, because the conversations, accents and overall tone need to be imagined, as they can not be pointed out by text cards. Speaking of text cards, the cards could have been used every time the characters exchange dialogue, but there are more instances where it is left to your own interpretation. Maybe the reason behind this is text cards being a nusiance if used too often, however I strongly assmue Keaton being abeliever of his audience and wanted those who viewed his work to leave the theatre having their own vision and ideas about the film.

Keaton has infinete confidence about creativity, his most celeberated films have the most limited access to locations, all the fun happenning in an enclosed world that is what we see every day, but to a degree defies common sense, just enough to make a lively atmosphere, and not to cram in bizarre, semi-surreal sights and actions. And again, it is acceptable because the plot is full of basic desire and human emotion. It is different from the cynical actions in recent comedy, where humor is segregated from all elements which build a film, from the plot to the editing. The General is part of a short, golden age when the barrier did not exist.

The barrier does not exist, so the films flows freely, back and forth, and while it does often get lost in its own world, you wish the otherwordly exploration continues, as time flies too fast and jaws automatically drop as Keaton prances and leaps with a subtle grace, then falls flat on his face, another screw up. Absolutely magnificent.

Keaton’s face, The Great Stone, blocked the crashing waves, therefore we are luckily always welcome to view a flawless film crafted hand by hand with non-stop momentum. You might feel the remains of harsh erosion, but the marvel comes from it, The General is perfect piece of ancient, worn-out and tarnsihed art, which rightly are worth more. The only flaw I can think of is that the hero is on the wrong side of the war.






Exceptional review! Filled with fiery passion and love for film. These are always the best reviews to read. I saw The General years ago in a basic film course in college. I liked it quite a bit. And it was my introduction to the Great Stone Face of Buster Keaton. And while I would prefer Chaplin in the Silent Era comedies, Keaton was an excellent filmmaker. Well done sir!



Yea Gunner is right, that is a fantastic review because you just got me pumped to see that movie. I've only seen Keaton's Sherlock Jr. so far; I think I'll watch The General this week.



Master of My Domain
Exceptional review! Filled with fiery passion and love for film. These are always the best reviews to read. I saw The General years ago in a basic film course in college. I liked it quite a bit. And it was my introduction to the Great Stone Face of Buster Keaton. And while I would prefer Chaplin in the Silent Era comedies, Keaton was an excellent filmmaker. Well done sir!
Thanks Slinger.
Yea Gunner is right, that is a fantastic review because you just got me pumped to see that movie. I've only seen Keaton's Sherlock Jr. so far; I think I'll watch The General this week.
I thought you've seen The General, wasn't it nominated for a Hall of Fame, and it won? Anyways, regardless of that, hope you enjoy the film.



I thought you've seen The General, wasn't it nominated for a Hall of Fame, and it won? Anyways, regardless of that, hope you enjoy the film.
It's possible that it was in a HoF, but the 5th was my first.



Master of My Domain
It's possible that it was in a HoF, but the 5th was my first.
I recall The General being in the 3rd or 4th, definitely not in the 5th. For some reason I thought you were in the HoF's since the very beginning.



I told you I wouldn't forget your review of Age of Ultron, which I just read a while ago. A good review, and though you bash it more than me I think we are about on the same page. I just happen to not be a fan of the first one or even superhero movies in general, therefore I think I could "accept" it a bit more. But yes, it's definitely not a perfect film or neither the best or worst superhero movie, but I had fun with it.

I repped your review of The General but didn't get around to it before now... It's fun to see how much you've already evolved as a reviewer, when reading these two reviews back-to-back, and the latter is definitely more well-written. Love how you write passionately about film and art in general, which definitely helps bring this review up to a higher level. It's certainly also a good place to have such a discussion, thinking about the overall impact and such of which this film has had. But I definitely noticed that your overall writing has become better lately, sometimes I even feel like I read one of my own reviews. You shouldn't take this the wrong way because I mean it as a compliment, but I somehow noticed similarities to my writing style a few places while your own voice definitely shines through more. I don't know why exactly, that it felt familiar, I guess some of the sentence constructions made me think of it. But whatever, main thing here is that this is another well-written review and you're doing awesome lately, Gats! Keep up the good pace, these are great and a pleasure to read!



I recall The General being in the 3rd or 4th, definitely not in the 5th. For some reason I thought you were in the HoF's since the very beginning.
Sherlock Jr. was in one of them. Not The General.



The General is of course cinema of the highest order. Glad you loved it as much as you did.

As for Moonrise Kingdom... I get what you mean, because I kind of had the same thoughts about Wes Anderson in the past (perhaps a bit more to the positive side compared to you, though). Right now, I fully consider him one of the greatest filmmakers of our time, though. I've grown a significant amount of new respect for his films and now see (most of) them as the great (and unique) works of cinematic art that (I believe) they are.
I realise that it's very tempting to simply categorize his films as "quirky" (which is a term that probably should be used less often in film criticism today), but I think those people are simply not "able" yet to watch through the stylistic elements of Anderson's work. It's understandable in his case (I've been there myself), because he has a very demanding visual language, but therefore that doesn't mean that's all there is.

I very much recommend watching Matt Zoller Seitz's video essays about Wes Anderson:

http://www.rogerebert.com/mzs/the-we...e-chapters-1-5

If you look a little further on vimeo, you'll also find a video for The Grand Budapest Hotel. He makes a marvelous case in favor of Wes Anderson as a great overall artist, both stylistically and substantially. I think you'll at least enjoy the essays and maybe they even "enrich" your view on him as a director...



Master of My Domain
I repped your review of The General but didn't get around to it before now... It's fun to see how much you've already evolved as a reviewer, when reading these two reviews back-to-back, and the latter is definitely more well-written. Love how you write passionately about film and art in general, which definitely helps bring this review up to a higher level. It's certainly also a good place to have such a discussion, thinking about the overall impact and such of which this film has had.
Thanks MM. First I want to clarify that from what I see, the ability that has risen is my ability to write film reviews, and not just writing ability in general. Then how do you think I got into a decent college.

At first when I started my film criticism on this site as a hobby, my first reviews on this site were... one of my first "full-length" reviews ever. I struggled to articulate my thoughts and connect them to create several paragraphs. It was different from writing an essay based on facts and research, which I usually do. Moreover, I wasn't writing in my native language, and I didn't have the translation process like you do. But you guys kept encouraging me with your positive replies (and rep), and a better Gatsby was born.
I don't know why exactly, that it felt familiar, I guess some of the sentence constructions made me think of it. But whatever, main thing here is that this is another well-written review and you're doing awesome lately, Gats! Keep up the good pace, these are great and a pleasure to read!
It can be two things:

1) I'm trying to be a great reviewer like you.
2) You're trying to be a great reviewer like me.

You can probably guess which one I prefer.
As for Moonrise Kingdom... I get what you mean, because I kind of had the same thoughts about Wes Anderson in the past (perhaps a bit more to the positive side compared to you, though). Right now, I fully consider him one of the greatest filmmakers of our time, though. I've grown a significant amount of new respect for his films and now see (most of) them as the great (and unique) works of cinematic art that (I believe) they are.
I realise that it's very tempting to simply categorize his films as "quirky" (which is a term that probably should be used less often in film criticism today), but I think those people are simply not "able" yet to watch through the stylistic elements of Anderson's work. It's understandable in his case (I've been there myself), because he has a very demanding visual language, but therefore that doesn't mean that's all there is.
Well, first off, thanks for reading my reviews. I thought I had lost you since The Graduate.

I think you picked the wrong film to rant on me, because the Wes Anderson film I have ever criticised for "quirkiness" is Moonrise Kingdom. While in other films Anderson's unique style simmers into the film and blends in perfectly with the plot and characters, in Moonrise Kingdom the quirkiness felt like it was there for the sake of quirkiness, and to fill in blank spots in the frame.

On the other hand, Wes Anderson's next film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is one I consider to be a modern masterpiece and a completion of Anderson's maturity as a filmmaker. If he keeps going on his current path, he will receive a lot of respect from me, quite possibly as much as you.


I very much recommend watching Matt Zoller Seitz's video essays about Wes Anderson:

http://www.rogerebert.com/mzs/the-we...e-chapters-1-5

If you look a little further on vimeo, you'll also find a video for The Grand Budapest Hotel. He makes a marvelous case in favor of Wes Anderson as a great overall artist, both stylistically and substantially. I think you'll at least enjoy the essays and maybe they even "enrich" your view on him as a director...
Thanks for the video. I've seen many Wes Anderson interviews, and think he is a very interesting guy, but never have I watched a video essay/commentary on him. I like Matt Zoller Saitz (IMO one of the best critics working today) so I'm looking forward to the essay.



Thanks MM. First I want to clarify that from what I see, the ability that has risen is my ability to write film reviews, and not just writing ability in general. Then how do you think I got into a decent college.

At first when I started my film criticism on this site as a hobby, my first reviews on this site were... one of my first "full-length" reviews ever. I struggled to articulate my thoughts and connect them to create several paragraphs. It was different from writing an essay based on facts and research, which I usually do. Moreover, I wasn't writing in my native language, and I didn't have the translation process like you do. But you guys kept encouraging me with your positive replies (and rep), and a better Gatsby was born.
I don't know why exactly, that it felt familiar, I guess some of the sentence constructions made me think of it. But whatever, main thing here is that this is another well-written review and you're doing awesome lately, Gats! Keep up the good pace, these are great and a pleasure to read!
It can be two things:

1) I'm trying to be a great reviewer like you.
2) You're trying to be a great reviewer like me.

You can probably guess which one I prefer.
Firstly I, too, want to clarify something.

I don't do the "translation progress" on the regular or as a helping tool for me to form full and well-working sentences in english. All my reviews in my diary thread are done in english from the get-go. It's only the reviews in my Cinema Reviews thread, which I translate and rewrite and rearrange sentence for sentence. I do this because I don't feel like talking in great lengths about the same film twice with little space in between. That said, the process of rewriting my danish reviews are definitely not an easy task, since I do it all sentence by setence, word for word, using only google translate as a base (you know how bad that can be) and have a split screen writing process with the two langauge versions, and go through them like that. It's hard but effective, and very well worth it imo. I get to have more fun with the language and sentences that way, though I mostly prefer the free-handed style of just doing it, like in my diary thread... Long but precise answer, sorry.

And yes, it's obviously your ability to write reviews for movies, which has gone up, but still I seem to spot a higher level of writing expertise in terms of adjectives and general sentence contruction. I guess that may be because you feel more in control and good at writing reviews. so now when the thoughts come cleaner you'll have more time to focus on how it looks and sounds. Anyways, point is whatever you do now - keep doing it, because they're great and fun to read!

Oh no you didn't Fatsby! I'm "trying to be a great reviewer" like you? Psssssst, what a load of rubbish you overly confident ol' sport. Difference is, I'm not "trying", I am. Second, you are great, Gats, but not that great!

Hahaha, but anyways, please keep doing your reviews, I enjoy reading them on occassion when I'm not busy reading and re-reading my own that is.

You have changed a lot in terms of delivering solid reviews, and definitely have become one of the greatest reviewers on the forum as of now, in my opinion. #GatsForPrez