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Old 05-09-2013, 06:45 PM  
Count Zarth Count Zarth is online now
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The Great Gatsby sucks

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The trailers for this made it seem like the greatest thing EVER.

Now topping out at 42%

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_great_gatsby_2012/


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Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" is a tale told idiotically, full of noise and furor, signifying next to nothing.

The production is not insipid, let's give it that. An exercise in absurdist excess, this fourth screen adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role, means to dramatize the excesses of the Jazz Age, with hints of Weimar decadence thrown in for bad measure.

But that's a banality by this late date, and it's as far as Mr. Luhrmann goes in making sense of the book. The film's only governing principle is maximalism—everything has been made as big as possible, apart from conversational interludes, when big feelings are displayed, like bullet points, by actors striking static poses.
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What's intractably wrong with the film is that there's no reality to heighten; it's a spectacle in search of a soul. For all of its glittery fragmentation, "Moulin Rouge!" came around to moments of genuine passion. None of these new trappings means a thing because the people who populate them are stylish sticks, unsinged by the spark of life.

That's almost surely not the fault of the actors, for the director turns them into lifelike props. Mr. DiCaprio, who's no more comfortable with the phrase "old sport" than Robert Redford was in the previous version, is elaborately sincere when he isn't frowning like Jack Nicholson; being charming like, well, Leonardo DiCaprio, or being mysterious, except that people who are genuinely mysterious don't look mysterious. Carey Mulligan's Daisy is either languorous or amorous, not a lot in between. Mr. Maguire's Nick is cheerlessly impressionable. Joel Edgerton's Tom is charmlessly brutish. Elizabeth Debicki's Jordan Baker is a flouncing cipher. And Mr. Luhrmann uses Amitabh Bachchan, a legendary star in his native India, to make the Jewish gangster Meyer Wolfshiem a leering pillowbiterin.

Given the lifelessness of the enterprise, there's little point in belaboring its failure to convey the novel's themes, let alone the emotional and social resonance of what has come to be considered a masterpiece of world literature. Although the hero created himself out of the whole cloth of romantic yearning, we see almost nothing of that self-creation, only the conflicted result. Although the Nick of the novel arrives at a new and tragic understanding of the American Dream, the Nick on screen can't be more than an earnest observer, since any vestige of the story's tragic sense has been replaced by melodramatic sadness.

This dreadful film even derogates the artistry of Fitzgerald, who wrote "The Great Gatsby" while living on Long Island and in Europe. In a deviation from the book that amounts to a calumny against literary history, Nick, the author's surrogate, is discovered in a psychiatric hospital where, as an aging alcoholic, he struggles to comprehend the vanished figure at the center of the long-ago story, and finally completes his treatment by writing the novel. It's literature as therapy, and Gatsby as Rosebud.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:14 PM   #61
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I haven't seen Frost/Nixon but it's on the list. It was on one of the premium channels recently and I forgot to record it.
Found that really good. The performances by Sheen and Langella made the movie.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:17 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by KC_Connection View Post
Found that really good. The performances by Sheen and Langella made the movie.
While they are both excellent actors, I'm particularly interested in seeing Langella as Nixon. I don't "see" Nixon when I think of Langella but I'm sure that he "disappears" into the part, as excellent actors often do
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:19 PM   #63
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You may laugh but Fight Club and American Psycho were both excellent adaptations. Palahniuk said he preferred the film's ending to the book's.
Yeah, those are great. I guess I'm thinking about how often people take classics like Shakespeare or Dickens and botch it or try to modernize it which often butchers it.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:20 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by DoucheMcCloud View Post
While they are both excellent actors, I'm particularly interested in seeing Langella as Nixon. I don't "see" Nixon when I think of Langella but I'm sure that he "disappears" into the part, as excellent actors often do
Oh yeah, he truly becomes Nixon. The interview scenes between the two are just phenomenal (particularly the last one) and really make the movie.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:21 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by KC_Connection View Post
Found that really good. The performances by Sheen and Langella made the movie.
Yeah, I'll never forget Nixon giving him those ugly shoes at the end. It was just like National Lampoons Vacation!
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:29 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by KChiefer View Post
Yeah, I'll never forget Nixon giving him those ugly shoes at the end. It was just like National Lampoons Vacation!
Haha, yeah. I can see why you would say it was slow. Really did take a while to get rolling at the beginning.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:38 PM   #67
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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I can't watch Langella without thinking of his old tuna can flopping around whilst dodging Jeremy Irons' inaccurate gunfire in Lolita.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:47 PM   #68
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
I can't watch Langella without thinking of his old tuna can flopping around whilst dodging Jeremy Irons' inaccurate gunfire in Lolita.
He's amazing. I'd love to see him as an evil Sith or Jedi in one of the new Star Wars movies. I think he'd own, big time.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:51 PM   #69
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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He's amazing. I'd love to see him as an evil Sith or Jedi in one of the new Star Wars movies. I think he'd own, big time.
Speaking of space operas, have you heard any scuttlebutt about the possibility of a Mass Effect movie actually getting made? I know that WB optioned it at one point, but I've never heard anything about a script actually getting hammered out.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:53 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
Speaking of space operas, have you heard any scuttlebutt about the possibility of a Mass Effect movie actually getting made? I know that WB optioned it at one point, but I've never heard anything about a script actually getting hammered out.
All I've heard is that it's still in development and they've gone through several screenwriters and versions to get it "right".

I'll be sure to relay if I hear anything further.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:57 PM   #71
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There hadn't been a word about it for a while, but Casey Hudson did make a couple of comments about it in March at PAX east. http://www.vg247.com/2013/03/25/mass...l-says-hudson/

That's the last thing I heard. I don't think it's in development hell or anything though.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:02 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by DoucheMcCloud View Post
All I've heard is that it's still in development and they've gone through several screenwriters and versions to get it "right".

I'll be sure to relay if I hear anything further.
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Originally Posted by keg in kc View Post
There hadn't been a word about it for a while, but Casey Hudson did make a couple of comments about it in March at PAX east. http://www.vg247.com/2013/03/25/mass...l-says-hudson/

That's the last thing I heard. I don't think it's in development hell or anything though.
Gracias.

I still think it'd be the quintessential Cable Boutique TV series, but I'd settle for a film adaptation.

I remember when they tossed around Matthew Fox's name as Shepard, but I'd think his star has faded a touch since then.

2002 Matt Damon would have been a great fit. Can't think of a good fit now.

Edit: More conventional choices may be Sam Worthington or Tom Hardy.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:45 AM   #73
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It's theoretically impossible for you to hate that movie as much as me, and I've never even seen it.
I'd beat you. I've never seen it either and my hate for it is absolute.
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:04 AM   #74
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I was just disappointed with it after seeing it. Expected more, but it just came off as generic action fare at times to me.
Really? I thought it was fairly original and despite it being a film centered on the CIA, distanced itself from the Bourne style action that so many have grown accustomed to.

Additionally, Mark Strong was awesome (as usual) so, there's that as well.
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:09 AM   #75
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VARSITY
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Wha?
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