Meatwadsprite's Slow Review Thread

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I just watched Akira the other night in HD. Plenty of plot and character in the version I saw.
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Welcome to the human race...
Ah, go read all six volumes of the original manga then. Hardcore Akira fans are fond of complaining how the adaptation misses out on at least two thirds of the series' plot.
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Watchmen (1 view) 2009 Reviews



A massive undertaking that has scared off the likes of acclaimed directors , fans of the novel could only fear for the worst when it was finally put in the hands of newcomer Zack Snyder. With the translation of book to film , you often lose a lot of sub-plots , characters , and themes - sadly Watchmen follows suit and though it's visual qualities are fully realized the story has lost much significance.

Snyder really doesn't know when and where to place violence and sex - which are abundant here probably more than anything I've seen , instead of overloading us with grotesque killing - I would prefer all the characters be introduced properly instead of being crunched together to make a 3 hour deadline. Many concerns over the length of the movie forcing the numerous cutting of corners , I think the novel could be done in three hours - obviously you can't waste time on numerous slow motion fights and must have at least 2-3 different events occurring at once (like the book).

Lots of my favorite scenes were absent from the film , so you really have to detach yourself from the book and realize that it is not what you are seeing on the screen. I was not able to do that with my first viewing of it , I really wanted all my favorite parts of the book fully uncompromised and animated. Maybe on subsequent viewings I can appreciate this on a film basis , but the sting will always be there that the movie could have had so much more in it - the news vendor , the deeper backgrounds of the characters , all the regular citizen characters which are almost completely absent.

There are so many problems I have with the story , that I'm forgetting to tell you about everything else. The acting was superb for most part , the visuals are so dynamic you stop appreciating them just because there's so many brilliant parts , and the music was appropriate most of the times , unnecessary some times , with the occasional perfect moments ("two riders were approaching"). All of these things are the benefit of the film medium , you don't get them in the book - these are the benefits of making a movie about the novel.

Perhaps it's not a shining adaptation or film , Snyder is often unable to create awe and suspense through dialogue or words - he relies on the violence to do the talking. Alan Moore's Watchmen is certainly not about violence or sex , it contains them and focuses on a much bigger picture. Snyder's Watchmen borrows from Moore's , but has it's priorities all mixed up.

Perhaps it's brilliant and I wasn't able to notice all the small tidbits of information fed throughout the film. Maybe I under-appreciated some of the film only moments and wasn't accepting what I saw , rather what I wanted to see. Maybe the movie was able to tie all these events into a nice knot rather than jam them into a small space , I'll only find out upon my subsequent viewings of it.

It wouldn't be the first movie to become a favorite of mine after an "unfavorable" first viewing.




Will your system be alright, when you dream of home tonight?
What scene was left out?
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Some of the major ones

WARNING: "watchmen" spoilers below

  • The party where Spectre gets drunk and yells at comedian , where he says one of my favorite lines "Just once !"
  • Adrian's dome of plant and animal life was completely absent
  • Hollis Mason completely disappears after his first scene
  • Parts where Manhattan would confuse time were almost all absent
  • Rosasrchs's time with the psychiatrist is severely cut down



I thought the acting was probably the weakest aspect of the film, aside from the clunky narrative. Most of the acting had me wondering if they were reading off cue cards....



8 1/2 (2 viewings)



Fellini's suggested masterwork dives deep into his own life and while it may have inspired many of my favorite movies , it's highly unstructured narrative forces it's individual episodes of scenes to provide the entertainment : aside from the very personal approach to it all - there doesn't seem to be an idea in the background to unite all of these thoughts.

Many scenes throughout work extremely well and some bore me to tears , but without a plot or basic idea to work from - it's not a movie that can keep your attention well. Fellini wants to tell you about himself and hopefully find someone that understands him , without expressing deep human emotion in the actual movie.

Dialogue is what drives the whole thing , characters bend back and forth between their own motivations and the person who's writing their motivations. Sadly , despite all the things that work in this movie (the beautifully surreal visual style , usage of music , and occasional fun scene) it's not a well rounded package.

I don't like to think that my tastes in film are narrow , but I can't be entertained or appreciate a work that wants to just shout it's opinions without form or dual meaning.




Flash of Genius (1 viewing)



The semi-true story of an engineer who's windshield wiper invention was stolen , succeeds because of it's acting performances and great final act.

I've only seen Greg Kinnear in Little Miss Sunshine , which I thought he was outstanding in and Flash of Genius basically belongs to him. It's all about his obsession with getting recognized for his work and how his family slips away from him in this time.

It might seem small in comparison to such sprawling films of similar nature like Zodiac , Goodfellas , and Old Boy - but it's still a fun watch , especially once you get down to the court room finale which is full of top class dialogue.

Short , fun movie that you've probably seen before - but it still has it's own to offer.




The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1 view)



A tale of greed , trust , and appreciating what you have instead of what you could have. Sierra Madre serves as a very entertaining story of gold mining , but it's final act is the worst part.

We find our characters in the midst of post-revolution Mexico , Americans all out of money who stumble upon a veteran gold-miner. They decide to take their chances out in the wild to strike it rick , though even once they find the treasure human uncertainty puts the group through a tough time.

Like many great older films the performances are over exaggerated and don't ever dare to muddle the original story. This was a top notch film for me until you near the final act , which is depleted of the suspense and characterizations that you have when they were out getting the gold. The musical score guides you through the emotions in a very strict manner , while making everything that happens twice as important (and twice as entertaining).

In a failed attempt to widen it's scope enormously near the end , it's much more focused and refined while it's telling the story of three instead of a hundred.




Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
When I first watched 8 1/2, I agreed with everything you said. I thought the film was an incomprehensible mess. It was only after I thought about it and I rewatched it that I realized that it was anything but "without form or unstructured". 8 1/2 is basically Fellini laying out all his insecurities on film and showing you EXACTLY why he's having a difficult time making his next film. Fellini had already made seven-and-one-half films, and his previous film, La Dolce Vita was his biggest hit and made him an even bigger cause celebre. 8 1/2 is certainly a personal film for Fellini, where he not only bears his soul as a human and a filmmaker, but where he gleefully accepts surrealism as a new road to travel down. If you cannot get into 8 1/2, I recommend that you just write off all his subsequent films and try to "understand" his earlier, more straightforward ones.

Reading your review of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, I can't fully understand why you think the final act is a letdown. You say it is but I cannot figure out why. I also cannot understand your final sentence where you imply that it tries to expand its story from three to a hundred.
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Ah, go read all six volumes of the original manga then. Hardcore Akira fans are fond of complaining how the adaptation misses out on at least two thirds of the series' plot.
The movie is better.



Welcome to the human race...
Good thing you told me that before I blew my hard-earned birthday money on it.



I also cannot understand your final sentence where you imply that it tries to expand its story from three to a hundred.
In the last act alone it introduces tons of different characters and barely even focuses on the ones we've been following the whole while. It follows the bandits for awhile and then comes the ending scene which is just a foul twist.



I'm glad you gave it a chance, and you're rating of it indicates you liked it.
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Watchmen - Second Review (3 viewings) 2009 Reviews



After seeing the whole thing a couple times , I can state my full view on the visual spectacle Watchmen.

Snyder really wanted to be faithful to the novel , but capturing most of the large events in the book isn't exactly what I had in mind. Many smaller events in the book that were unrelated to each other are tied together to get through the material quicker - I really don't care for how they did this , it only takes away from the scope of the film.

The threat of nuclear war is incredibly over prioritized , along with Veidts overly menacing performance - the conclusion is much less a surprise than an only way out. It seems everything is rushed in the novel to meet a time deadline and Snyder continues to waste what is given to him. Not enough time is spent in the most important areas (characters , dialogue) and too much is spent on the over the top fight/sex scenes.

Everyone hates Akerman in this role , I didn't think she was that bad given she had some pretty rough dialogue and close to none of her background story revealed. Jackie Earle Haley and Jeffery Dean Morgan are spot on perfectly cast , even if Rosarsch also receives a very small background. Billy Crudup's distant emotionless performance is actually called for by his character. Carla Gugino has no business playing an old woman , but did surprisingly well even with her poor make-up limitations.

The main advantage a Watchmen film should have over the novel , are the overwhelming moments of emotion between the characters and the ability to have multiple things happening at once (unlike a novel where it's very linear). I regret to say these are the things Watchmen the film does worst. There aren't a lot of moments where I'm ever in awe of what's happening , what it does right though are the visuals.

Right from the first beautiful scene of the Comedian's death , to the arctic finale , it definitely looks different than any other high budgeted blockbuster. You have scenes set in Vietnam and Mars - how many movies can say that. Even for the non-stop display of amazing lighting , computer generated effects , and composition - there are some foolish transitions thrown in that often ruin the ride (white flashes for flashbacks and the abrupt transition to Nixon after the blast). However , if your looking to criticize the movie - you should probably not try the sights department.

If movies did not have the blessing of audio , Watchmen might be one of the forerunners of all of them - but it's lack of realisticly human moments and over emphasis on violence and sex , make this one of the biggest letdowns in film history. The graphic novel expanded what could be done with the medium , the film is a complete reversal.

Even though it's a disapointment , it is still an enjoyable one.




The Shining (2 views)



Kubrick has designed one of the most essential and engrossing horror films I've seen , maybe so terrifying to a fault. Like the much more recent Dark Knight , it's two and a half hours of non-stop tension - although I wouldn't want to watch this one alone at night.

Jack Nicholson's powerhouse performance sets the tone for this bleak , black painting of isolation. It is most certainly a picture at that , what I mean is it's less of a moving story - rather it's standing perfectly still. In time you will get to know the family of three and what you don't learn is portrayed through their acting performances. Before they even enter the hotel there is a lot wrong with this family , but as you will see - an evil super-natural Outlook Hotel is not the ideal place to iron out their problems.



Shelley Duvall is a terrific thought-some counter to Jack's emotionally confused madness , she's overly cute and kind - the flip side of her husband who's good is lost within his own cerebral labyrinth. This is a complete package of acting , premise , and vision. Huge wide shots of the hotel dominate the screen time , it's look fits the theme and provides the too comfortable fourth wall that will haunt you throughout.

The Shining is the only movie that I acknowledge as original and engaging art , but it's still not one of my favorites to watch. Even if it is the ultimate horror film , it's so intense to the point where it's hard to enjoy it. I wouldn't put it on par with the fictional Wendy's experience , but it's pretty close.

A powerful horrible experience.




Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I noticed that you revised your "new" Watchman rating from
to
. The reason?

Now that you seem to warming a bit to Kubrick, are you going to watch Paths of Glory?




I suppose I better add it to my queue , as for the Watchmen rating - I never intended to give it a 3 : just a mistake (at midnight I switch it to a 5 out of 5 to see who will find me out - and then I change it back).