I want to do a couple of things in this thread. First, I don’t know about other people, but if I know a little about a film before seeing it, in addition to getting a sense of what it will be like, I get a sense of how I will react to it. I thought having a place to write down your perceptions of a film—specifically what you think it will be like—before you actually see it might be interesting. It can be a way to test this ability of knowing what a film is like based on impressions and little bits of information about the film. If possible, please explain the reasons for your impressions of the film. Also, after seeing the film, come back and tell us what you thought about the film in relation to your what you thought it was going to be like.
The second thing I want to explore is this question: why see a film if you don’t think you’re going to like it? I do this occasionally, and I usually do so because it’s a type of movie I really enjoy when it’s done well. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen very often.
Can I get odds if it’s a unpopular or poorly reviewed film? ;)
Regarding the question of the second part, sometimes it’s something someone else wants to see (the first Transformers film), sometimes it’s just morbid curiosity (the second and third Transformers films, The Passion of the Christ), sometimes it’s an effort to understand why something is so highly regarded (Birth of a Nation ).
Also, after seeing the film, come back and tell us what you thought about the film in relation to your what you thought it was going to be like.
I was going to describe Drive from what I’ve read here, but I want to avoid seeing it.
As far as seeing a film “if you don’t think you’re going to like it”, I would say Antichrist was one that I really thought effective, but because of what I had read here, I avoided it.
What does any of that mean?
Will War Horse be a heart warming and miraculous story of friendship and survival of a boy and his horse against all odds? Stay tuned.
Sometimes you want to get your suspicions confirmed. Plus people tend to beat you over the head for prejudging things you haven’t seen/experienced even if 9 times out of 10, the impressions are correct.
Ugh !I was going to describe Drive from what I’ve read here, but I want to avoid seeing it.
That’s OK. It might be fun to hear your impressions, while others can say if you’re on the mark or not. (Btw, I would cautiously recommend the film, to you; there’s a chance you could like it.) Btw, it’s not like people follow the wishes of an OP! But I appreciate your gesture!
Oh gawd, my project has been green-lit?
The process is thus then:
I listen to the same hyperbole that was heaped on Valhalla Rising and then ass-u-me it is basically the same approach Refn used for Drive: a faux-grit facade draped over an incoherent structure. Each scene produces and emotional movement that when totaled, sum to nothing comprehensible.
i’d say he’s not far off lol ^ edit: ha! matt beat me to it!
“a faux-grit facade draped over an incoherent structure”
This is off though. You can say what you want about Drive but its structure isn’t incoherent.
that’s reasonable ^
it’s structure isn’t incoherent.
Define coherence in the terms Langer would: form + structure = a totality of feeling
But I think it has this totality of feeling. I think some people feel that the feeling is too much contrived artifice. But you know what they say – you can’t fight the feeling but you can fight the feeling about the feeling.
@ Ari But I think it has this totality of feeling.
And it is…?
The ‘+’ sign is the relationship between art and something like design – which is how I perceived Valhalla Rising, as a design.
Jazz has created a purely conceptual thread, since one hasn’t seen the film in question.
It’s an entertaining story which has totality of theme, emotions that are consistent with my understanding of the character. Judging the film by how well it accomplishes what it sets out to accomplish, it is successful.
Here’s how I think the new Girl With The Dragon Tattoo will be:
It will have the same basic story as I saw in the other version, except with glib dialog and a sharper camera focus on the sensational bits like the torture.
So basically, I expect it to look and feel like Seven.
I wish I remembered Karnak. I would have incorporated that into the title. (Then again, how many people would have gotten that reference?)
I agree with Ari. And here’s my response to your question about the totality of feeling: “manliness.” If manliness can be captured in a feeling or “vibed,” this film does that I think.
Btw, I’ve seen Vahalla Rising and I agree that film seem incoherent. But I don’t think the same thing is true for Drive at all. Certainly, in terms of structure it is not incoherent (not as incoherent as VR). And in terms of the overall feeling of the film—again, manliness. Because it’s less narrative based as Michael Mann’s films, I think the manly vibe is more effective.
I have the same impression. Basically, the film is exactly the same as the Swedish version except with the look and feel of Se7en.
_Will War Horse be a heart warming and miraculous story of friendship and survival of a boy and his horse against all odds? Stay tuned.
You know what this remark reminds me of? Babe. The movie looked awful. Even when critics said they loved it, I didn’t take much stock in that. Ditto when friends kept saying it was good. And when I finally got around to seeing the film, I did so begrudgingly. Yet, I really liked the film. (“I do like green eggs and ham, Sam I am. And I will eat them in a boat,…”) It is the most improbably enjoyable films I’ve ever seen.
I’m surprised you agree that Drive is incoherent.
Two films I don’t expect liking, but I’m going to see:
Descendents. In a word, middling; something like The King’s Speech. Fine acting, competent filmmaking, but the drama, comedy, emotion will all at a ho-hum level. The film will be predictable with no surprises. In this case, a middle-aged man re-examining his life and finding meaning from his relationships with his family (read: daughters). At best, nothing offensive, and mildly entertaining.
My impression is that the film will essentially ignore local people from Hawai’i (and I don’t just mean non-whites) and the local culture. HOWEVER, in an interview with Payne, he spoke about the importance about capturing a sense of place. He also mentioned that he’s been to Hawai’i a lot, and really finds it interesting and unique. So, that’s one of the main reason I’m seeing this film.
Fairly similar impression as Descendents. I’ve read the book, too, so I don’t the stories are exceptionally interesting or fresh. I’ve been disappointed by almost every 3D film I’ve seen or at least not very impressed. However, I’m probably going to see this because DiB raved about it. His comments about how great the 3D is for the film, piqued my interest (although I’ve been burned by those comments about other 3D films on several occasions).
I think it’s going to be less King’s Speech and more Dan In Real Life. Or, Little Miss Sunshine. Or, Up In The Air. One of those sort of depressing suburban malaise films that’s cynical but humanistic with likeably flawed characters and lukewarm progressive humor.
This one I have seen, I can say that the visuals are really awesome but the plot is a bit thematically scattered. It lacks RWP’s favorite word.
Yeah, I agree with you about Babe, Jazz. It was much better than it looked. Its sequel is even better. Hugo is most excellent though. I had low expectations and they were exceeded. It’s also the best 3D film I’ve seen.
Its sequel is even better.
I’ve heard that, too. And even though Babe confounded my expectations, I have a hard time believing the sequel is any good—let alone better than the first film! (I’m probably going to see the sequel at some point, though.)
OK, another vote for Hugo. Y’all will hear from me if it sucks. ;)
I think I’m going to LOVE Hugo.
At least…I sure hope so.
I hope I love Hugo, too, but I don’t think I am. I feel like the critics and fans (on mubi) who loved the film, do so because of the sentiment towards older movies. They might also love the notion that Scorsese, a well-known and avid cinephile, is the one making the film. I like all of those things, too, but I’m not sure it’s going to be enough. In a way, the film sort of reminds me of Goodbye, Dragon Inn—as that film was a love letter to movies and movie theaters. I really liked that film, so maybe I’ll like Hugo.
Interesting idea for a thread Jazz.
I’m going to try to see Melancholia this weekend…..having seen only one other Von Trier film (Dogville, which I loathed because of Von Trier’s misanthropic view of mankind) I expect Melancholia to be some more of the same but with perhaps a little hope thrown in. I expect it to be an interesting examination of people during the last days of mankind……and probably the calmest film of this nature I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I’ll like it much…..I’m going to see it because it’s made a lot of top 10 lists and has generated a considerable amount of buzz amongst film lovers.
“Descendents. In a word, middling; something like The King’s Speech. Fine acting, competent filmmaking, but the drama, comedy, emotion will all at a ho-hum level. The film will be predictable with no surprises. In this case, a middle-aged man re-examining his life and finding meaning from his relationships with his family (read: daughters). At best, nothing offensive, and mildly entertaining.
My impression is that the film will essentially ignore local people from Hawai’i (and I don’t just mean non-whites) and the local culture. HOWEVER, in an interview with Payne, he spoke about the importance about capturing a sense of place. He also mentioned that he’s been to Hawai’i a lot, and really finds it interesting and unique. So, that’s one of the main reason I’m seeing this film."
Jazz, see The Descendants. I think you got it wrong. First, the film is heavier on the drama and light on the comedy. It’s a darker but more human work than Payne’s other films. It’s also more emotionally resonant since Payne takes less of a critical/satirical distance from the characters like he has in the past. You are right about one part of your prediction- the narrative surrounding Clooney’s character’s “big deal” turns out exactly as expected and way too easy. But the family character dynamics are handed extremely well and aren’t so patly resolved – I’d say they are more left open. Also, I’ve never been to Hawai’i but the film appears fairly attuned to local history and in culture and it seems to capture the place quite well but obviously I can’t say for sure.
I wish Dragon Tattoo was like Seven. If it was, it would be better than it is.
Unfortunately, it’s more Benjamin Button than Seven.
>>Unfortunately, it’s more Benjamin Button than Seven.<<
Regarding War Horse, I agree with Ari that sometimes you just go see a film to get your suspicions confirmed. I really don’t like knocking a film I haven’t seen because while the majority of the time those suspicions are confirmed, there have been occasions where I think a film is one thing, then go see it and it’s something different.
Although I can’t imagine seeing War Horse under any circumstances. Even if it wins the Nobel Peace Prize, it’s probably a film I will never see.
To get back to the OP, there are times when I go see a movie that I’ve already prejudged in the positive. Months ago I joked that I didn’t even need to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – I already knew it would be my favorite film of the year. lol. And when I finally saw it, I did indeed love it. But is that because I was expecting to love it or because I genuinely responded positively to it? I’m inclined to say that it’s because I genuinely liked it. There have been films where I went it really thinking I would love it only to be disappointed (The Descendents comes to mind). Then of course there are films that meet my predictions, like Dragon Tattoo, which was almost exactly how I imagined it would be.