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Shannon L.

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Another classic movie UO:

 

I loathe A Place in the Sun. I find the "love story" sickening and about as romantic as measles. I don't think George was a "tortured soul", I think he was murderous, gold-digging parasite who would have surely killed  Angela somewhere down the line. What's even worse is that we're supposed to think that George is justified in wanting to kill Alice. Why? Because she becomes annoying and desperate… oh, why the hell am I mincing words? The movie wants us to root for her death because she's not as pretty as Angela (as if any woman alive could compete with 19-year-old Elizabeth Taylor). Let's get a few things straight:

 

1. George broke company rules by dating his co-worker Alice and getting her pregnant. I don't care if he was lonely, he screwed up by screwing her. Don't shit where you eat, buddy.

 

2. Alice became "whiny, annoying, clingy"? Well, what do you expect? She's a single woman who's pregnant and who is being cruelly lead on by George. She's ruining his fun? Good! He ruined her life, it's only right she return the favor!

 

3. George only likes Angela because she's young, rich, and beautiful. If they'd married, 10 or 20 years down the line, George would have met someone younger, prettier and richer, and would have found ways to rid himself of his inconvenient wife.

 

I mean, we (rightfully) hate Montgomery Clift's Morris Townsend for ditching Catherine in The Heiress, why are we so forgiving towards George in A Place in the Sun?

Edited by Wiendish Fitch
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I mean, we (rightfully) hate Montgomery Clift's Morris Townsend for ditching Catherine in The Heiress, why are we so forgiving towards George in A Place in the Sun?

 

Oh, I'm not, but bless you for letting me know I'm not alone.

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I mean, we (rightfully) hate Montgomery Clift's Morris Townsend for ditching Catherine in The Heiress, why are we so forgiving towards George in A Place in the Sun?

 

I'm not forgiving of George either, but I don't think we are supposed to be.  

 

Based on the novel An American Tragedy, A Place in the Sun is, well, a tragedy -- the earmarks of which include a person's downfall due to bad/immoral/weak choice(s). Even if/when the tragic protagonist realizes the error(s) of his ways, it is too late to recover from them; the damage has been done.  American tragedy differs from Greek tragedy in that the protagonist falls (metaphorically) from so-so heights, not great ones.  Willy Loman is the poster child for this character, but George certainly qualifies.

 

Clift's George is purty on the outside, but I feel no forgiveness or empathy for him -- only scorn, disappointment, and maybe a touch of pity (which is not to be mistaken for any positive feeling).  That's what I get out of the flick, anyway.  

 

(The book/movie is based on a real occurrence, and Chester Gillette, the real-life "George," got the chair.) 

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At this point, I believe Winter's Bone was a fluke.

Jennifer Lawrence isn't the amazing actress most think she is.

 

Jennifer's career reminds me of Scarlett Johannson's.  And in both cases, I've never been bowled over by their acting.

 

Fifty Shades of Grey is getting more spotlight than deserved, but I don't care if it does well at the box office. Crappy films with disturbing messages targeted to male wish fulfillment have never had issues with making money, so I'm unconvinced that the popularity of the film/book is a feminist apocalyptic sign. 

Edited by ribboninthesky1
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I'm not forgiving of George either, but I don't think we are supposed to be.  

 

Based on the novel An American Tragedy, A Place in the Sun is, well, a tragedy -- the earmarks of which include a person's downfall due to bad/immoral/weak choice(s). Even if/when the tragic protagonist realizes the error(s) of his ways, it is too late to recover from them; the damage has been done.  American tragedy differs from Greek tragedy in that the protagonist falls (metaphorically) from so-so heights, not great ones.  Willy Loman is the poster child for this character, but George certainly qualifies.

 

Clift's George is purty on the outside, but I feel no forgiveness or empathy for him -- only scorn, disappointment, and maybe a touch of pity (which is not to be mistaken for any positive feeling).  That's what I get out of the flick, anyway.  

 

(The book/movie is based on a real occurrence, and Chester Gillette, the real-life "George," got the chair.) 

 

I knew A Place in the Sun was based on An American Tragedy. What irks me is how people choose to frame A Place in the Sun: a beautiful love story, that Shelley Winters is an unattractive killjoy messing up Monty Clift's good time, that no one would miss her if she died, and that Clift's character is worthy of our sympathy and that everything would have been better if Winters hadn't been a millstone around his neck. Never mind that he's responsible for all the crap that goes down, that Winters is the victim, not the villain, and that Elizabeth Taylor is better off without him.

 

Still, harrie and Julia, thanks for having my back! I was afraid I was alone in not liking this ugly, overrated "classic"!

Edited by Wiendish Fitch
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At this point, I believe Winter's Bone was a fluke.

Jennifer Lawrence isn't the amazing actress most think she is.

 

I'd agree with that. I've actually seen most of her movies since then, and I've come to the conclusion that she's got two notes as an actress- really loud (as in, I'm just going to shout my lines, which is something David O. Russell loves of all his casts), or stoic. Staring straight ahead, with an ocassional shout. Her utter blankness in the X-Men movies made me realize this.

 

Also, her hosting stint on SNL made me notice that too- she was really, really bad. Not that everyone can host live sketch comedy, I realize that, but being unable to do anything except stare straight at the teleprompter and flounder was surprising to me at the time. With how great Emma Stone had been, suddenly I realized she had more range. Being good at comedy does not mean screaming your dialogue, except in a David Russell movie. But being loud often means you take over the screen and other people notice you more than the others, which is how I think people have been snowed on her.

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Also, her hosting stint on SNL made me notice that too- she was really, really bad. Not that everyone can host live sketch comedy, I realize that, but being unable to do anything except stare straight at the teleprompter and flounder was surprising to me at the time.

 

Considering how notoriously bad Robert De Niro has been on SNL, I think that hosting that show indicates nothing about one's acting ability.

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Jennifer's career reminds me of Scarlett Johannson's.  And in both cases, I've never been bowled over by their acting.

 

Fifty Shades of Grey is getting more spotlight than deserved, but I don't care if it does well at the box office. Crappy films with disturbing messages targeted to male wish fulfillment have never had issues with making money, so I'm unconvinced that the popularity of the film/book is a feminist apocalyptic sign. 

 

It was women which was the book's biggest audience, not men.

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Fifty Shades (I'm sure everyone knows this, I'm just saying) started its (after-) life as Twilight fanfiction, and bluntly from what I've heard about it I don't think the message is all that different. Remember, we're talking about source material where the leading lady spends a fair amount of time lobbying to die before she turns 19 so she won't be too much of a raddled hag for her 150-year-old boyfriend, and she's completely OK with someone she's dated grooming her infant daughter for a sexual relationship down the road. I had to read them because my daughter talked her grandparents into buying them for her. Trust me, a little consensual power transfer would have been a feminist high point in that series.

Personally I suspect that most of the popularity of the book was that it allowed people to buy their porn at Barnes and Noble, but then I feel the same way about Atlas Shrugged.

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It was women which was the book's biggest audience, not men.

I'm not the original poster, but I think ribboninthesky1 was saying that there have been so many movies catering to a man's wish fulfillment, that this one movie catering to a woman's wish fulfillment won't be the end of the world. At least that's how I interpreted it.

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My UO is that, although 50 Shades of Gray is a crap book, the alternative lifestyle that it centers on does not bother me. Many people are judging the movie and book because they don't agree with the consensual adult lifestyle that takes place in it. 

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My UO is that, although 50 Shades of Gray is a crap book, the alternative lifestyle that it centers on does not bother me. Many people are judging the movie and book because they don't agree with the consensual adult lifestyle that takes place in it.

Most of the criticism I've seen of it is from people who think it's not a good portrayal of BDSM.

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My UO is that, although 50 Shades of Gray is a crap book, the alternative lifestyle that it centers on does not bother me. Many people are judging the movie and book because they don't agree with the consensual adult lifestyle that takes place in it.

Most of the criticism I've seen of it is from people who think it's not a good portrayal of BDSM.

 

Same here.  In fact, I've heard some people on the BDSM community say that they were afraid that people were going to try what they read in the book and end up getting hurt.  I've even seen articles that refer to the book as 50 Shades of Rape.  Since I've never read it, I can't say if I agree or disagree with these opinions--it's just what I've read.

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Most of the criticism I've seen of it is from people who think it's not a good portrayal of BDSM.

I agree that it is not, and maybe I have been hearing negative thoughts from a vastly different group of folks, but I hear many people who know nothing about the lifestyle who don't like it because it is about the lifestyle.

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I agree that it is not, and maybe I have been hearing negative thoughts from a vastly different group of folks, but I hear many people who know nothing about the lifestyle who don't like it because it is about the lifestyle.

 

Do people need to know much about the lifestyle to decide they don't like it? I don't really see why. There are plenty of fetishes and sexual proclivities I know nothing about, yet I don't feel the need to learn about them to know they're not for me. I wouldn't go and see a movie about BDSM any more than I'd go and see a movie about infantilism or feeding. None of it interests me.

 

As it is, it appears this movie is fucking terrible, just like the books were universally considered terrible. The only thing that annoys me about them is that someone has gotten very rich off the back of them.

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I will not even attempt to guess why people don't like or approve of FSOG; but for myself*, it was a slightly randier Harlequin romance (no offense to the Harlequin books intended).  That is, it was highly improbable (several of the reasons why have been discussed here) in many ways, and one should willingly suspend disbelief in order to get through it.  It wasn't particularly kinky (and I'm about as vanilla as one gets) or well-written, with characters who pretty much lacked dimension. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean the flick won't rake in some dough.

 

*In the interest of full disclosure, I read the first book because, having heard both raves and pans from people whose opinions I (usually) respect,  I wanted to see if it was as good or as awful as advertised. I knew going in I would probably hate it, but I also feel (for myself only) it's kind of disingenuous to trash something without reading it.

Edited by harrie
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Do people need to know much about the lifestyle to decide they don't like it? I don't really see why. There are plenty of fetishes and sexual proclivities I know nothing about, yet I don't feel the need to learn about them to know they're not for me. I wouldn't go and see a movie about BDSM any more than I'd go and see a movie about infantilism or feeding. None of it interests me.

 

As it is, it appears this movie is fucking terrible, just like the books were universally considered terrible. The only thing that annoys me about them is that someone has gotten very rich off the back of them.

 

My point is not that anyone needs to learn anything about any subject in a book or movie to like or dislike it but that the book (although truly horrible from a person who knows about the subject matter) and movie seems to be only called horrible because of the taboo subject matter and not because the book was written poorly or because the script is bad, acting poor, directing hetrocious, etc...

 

I feel like my opinion is unpopular because people dislike the book and (unreleased) movie because it centers on BDSM, even though they are claiming it is because the (truly unrealistic) book was written poorly (which it was) and that the movie will be horrible. At least that is what my original post meant.

 

In the end, do what works for you by all means. 

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I'm not dazzled by special effects anymore.  

Back in the 70's when I saw the first Star Wars and it really was a wow moment when the Imperial star cruiser moved slowly over the screen and it seemed to be so BIG and endless, those moments don't happen anymore.

In fact they bore me now, all the transformer/ pacific rim/ superhero movies all look the same to me now and I rarely can get through one. The CGI is just too cluttered up and yes, fake looking to me. Maybe if I was younger and played video games all the time I could follow what was happening in these films but I can't. They are just a chore to watch.

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Here is another of my UO - I find Leonardo DiCaprio to be just an okay actor. I don't understand his Oscar nominations. He is good but I don't think he has been outstanding in anything. He seems to get overshadowed IMO. I would like to punch him in the face at times. And Jonah Hill. Obviously The Wolf of Wall Street was a bit hard for me.

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Here is another of my UO - I find Leonardo DiCaprio to be just an okay actor. I don't understand his Oscar nominations. He is good but I don't think he has been outstanding in anything. He seems to get overshadowed IMO. I would like to punch him in the face at times. And Jonah Hill. Obviously The Wolf of Wall Street was a bit hard for me

 

I agree. I often hear complaints along the lines of "I can't believe Leo got snubbed by the Oscars AGAIN!" But in my view, Leo's always been a somewhat wooden actor - you can see him working at acting, rather than inhabiting the role. I will say, though, that he's beginning to grow with me - I liked him quite a bit in The Departed (even if Matt Damon outshined him) and especially Wolf of Wall Street (probably the first performance of his that I considered Oscar-worthy). And, even when his acting has only been serviceable, his charisma, which really comes through on-screen, has gone a long way in helping me enjoy his movies.

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Co-sign on what happened to Linney's character.  I hated that so much. I got the message they were trying to make (that family can be more important than a romance), but it didn't have to be that way for Sarah (Linney).  Her brother called so she was like "Ok, see ya, Karl."  I could see her choosing her brother if Karl had gotten pissed when her brother was calling, but he was basically "Life is complicated.  No big deal."  So he seemed open to understanding her situation, which made Sarah's choice even more absurd.  She ended the relationship before it had a chance to begin, and the only future feelings I could see from her were resentment and regret.

 

I thought the same thing about the true wuv aspect.  I don't mind LA as a typical overstuffed Christmas film, but most of the romantic pairings are flimsy because they're all based on love at first sight, and the movie goes overboard with it.  Sarah and Karl, Jamie (Colin Firth) and Aurelia, The prime minister and Natalie...the list goes on.  That's why I liked John and Judy, the nude body doubles, because you could believe they actually knew each other, since they had nothing else to do in their downtime but talk.

 

But what really pissed me off was the fat shaming in the movie, particularly with Natalie's character.  From her parents, and her coworkers.  Plus a few "subtle" jokes thrown at Aurelia's sister (she's alone 'cuz she's fat, haha!)  Ugh.  Not a good look.

 

I re-watched this movie a few weeks ago and I really swung back and forth on loving and hating it. I wouldn't say that Karl/Sarah and Jamie/Aurelia were love at first sight. Karl and Sarah had apparently crushed on each other for something like two years, and I didn't get an immediate love vibe from J/A; granted, they seemed to bond off-screen which certainly makes it seem like they don't know each other at all.

 

I think Love Actually would have greatly benefited from cutting some of its stories; there were too many and some of them were IMO too complex to do justice in the movie's format (roughly 15 min per story). Linney's story was particularly puzzling. I get that she has a (mentally?) sick brother who dominates her time and thoughts but why didn't she and Karl try to make it work? I mean, they like each other for the better part of two years but their interrupted hook-up means it's over? I feel like there needed to be a scene in which they sit down and Sarah basically acknowledges that she can't be in a relationship; that she'll always jump whenever her brother calls (which is all the fucking time, which I don't even get because he was basically non-verbal during her visits).

 

I also did a 180 on the Keira Knightley/Andrew Lincoln story. I remember thinking it was really sweet but upon rewatch, I kind of felt like he was a bit of a dick. Sure, I felt bad that he was apparently in love with his best friend's girlfriend/fiancee/wife, but him being an ass to her was not cool. And for him to then turn up at their house and do that flashcard thing about how he'll always love her and blah blah annoyed the fuck out of me. Like, what the hell was she supposed to do with that? He couldn't have just written "I've been a dick because I've been in love with you this whole time. I'm gonna need some time to get over that since we're going to be in each others' lives forever now"? I appreciated that when he left (before she ran out to kiss him - ugh) he seemed to have made up his mind that he would move on, and appears to have done so by the end airport scenes in the film, but it's really amazing how my perspective on this story line totally changed over time.

 

And YES on the fat stuff. I had forgotten that. But when Natalie's female coworker and family make mention of her being chubby and having a "sizeable arse" I was all "what in the actual fuck?" That actress is slender!!!! At first I felt mollified when the Prime Minister expressed disbelief that she was considered chubby, but then I realized that having him say that doesn't mean much because it's too easy to discount his opinion since he's infatuated with her. Throw in Aurelia's sister and it just pissed me off.

 

Anyway. I just always found the resolution to Linney's story just really jarring, kind of illogical, and kind of forced so it was just super-tragic (ending on the scene of her brother being violent toward her, and showing that he's so mentally ill that he isn't always aware of her presence or what it takes for her to visit/care for him, etc.).

 

I think the final Sarah scene is her visiting her brother and they've opened xmas gifts, are hugging, and are having a happy moment together.

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I'm not dazzled by special effects anymore.

Back in the 70's when I saw the first Star IWars and it really was a wow moment when the Imperial star cruiser moved slowly over the screen and it seemed to be so BIG and endless, those moments don't happen anymore.

In fact they bore me now, all the transformer/ pacific rim/ superhero movies all look the same to me now and I rarely can get through one. The CGI is just too cluttered up and yes, fake looking to me. Maybe if I was younger and played video games all the time I could follow what was happening in these films but I can't. They are just a chore to watch.

I read an article about this awhile ago. Basically the problem is that there are a ton of cgi special effects firms and a limited number of jobs. Everyone bids on them and the lowest price wins so it is basically a race to the bottom. The only way to be successful is to either be really cheap and cut corners, or lose money on each job until you can hit it big and hopefully become the next ILM (at which point you can get jobs without bidding). Most companies take the first option which is why effects in most movies don't look that great.

Edited by Kel Varnsen

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I read an article about this awhile ago. Basically the problem is that there are a ton of cgi special effects firms and a limited number of jobs. Everyone bids on them and the lowest price wins so it is basically a race to the bottom. The only way to be successful is to either be really cheap and cut corners, or lose money on each job until you can hit it big and hopefully become the next ILM (at which point you can get jobs without bidding). Most companies take the first option which is why effects in most movies don't look that great.

They're just too messy. Avatar did not look even that real to me. Its funny, I can watch a movie from the 50's-60's or an Outer Limits and even with a shoe string budget they are still more effective at telling a story.

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Watching Casablanca (my very fave movie ever) with my Dad. 

 

Dad:  Humphrey Bogart is really not a very good actor. 

Me:  Still in a state of shock.

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And the irony is that, if fannish lore is at all accurate, the author knows as little about it as the wider audience. The popular hit on it at the time was that Twilight and D/s were the big attention magnets, so that's all she wrote.

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As good as Peter O'Toole was in Lawrence of Arabia, I thought his best performance was in The Ruling Class. Honestly one of the most insane and fearless performances I've ever witnessed.

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See, what I find attractive about Channing is his willingness to be goofy and mock himself. So, the fact that I was laughing during the trailer was the appeal. And the redonk quantity of abdominal definition on display. That was also appealing.

I actually don't find six-pack abs that attractive.  Give me a man with a little bit of a tummy, and a fully crammed bookcase, and I'm golden.  (Now a really nice ass?  That's a whole different story.)

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Fifty Shades of Grey is getting more spotlight than deserved, but I don't care if it does well at the box office. Crappy films with disturbing messages targeted to male wish fulfillment have never had issues with making money, so I'm unconvinced that the popularity of the film/book is a feminist apocalyptic sign.

 

I don't see it as some sort of feminist apocalyptic sign (I'm so totally going to steal that line, though).  I just hope it tanks because it looks like it's a crappy movie based on a crappy book, and I still hope to see quality triumph over crap at the box office.  And I fully expect to be disappointed in that regard yet again.

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The CGI is just too cluttered up and yes, fake looking to me.

 

One of the most visually stunning movies I've ever seen is Master & Commander, and I remember thinking at the time: "There, Peter Jackson, THAT'S how you make something look fantastically real and immediate.  By not using so goddamn much CGI."  I was over the moon when M&C beat ROTK for the Best Cinematography Oscar.

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I have the massively unpopular opinion of liking Seth Rogen. I've enjoyed most of the movies of his I've seen (didn't really get into Pineapple Express), and he seems like a nice guy. The hate people seem to have for him, especially during the controversy surrounding The Interview, is astounding to me. I also dig Jonah Hill...I don't know whose dog he shot, but people seem to hate him on a very personal level as well. I completely get folks not being into their movies, the humor (oft referred to as "Dudebro"...guess that makes me a "Chicksis"?) is definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but I don't know what they've done as human beings to piss people off so much.

Edited by spaceytraci1208
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Yeah, I don't mind Seth or Jonah either.  I haven't seen many of their movies, but the few I have seen, I thought ranged from ok to really good.  I actually loved Seth in Zach and Miri.  I, too, can understand not liking their movies (I hated that one about the end of the world with all of the Hollywood actors in it), but they seem like pretty nice guys to me.

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I have the massively unpopular opinion of liking Seth Rogen. I've enjoyed most of the movies of his I've seen (didn't really get into Pineapple Express), and he seems like a nice guy. The hate people seem to have for him, especially during the controversy surrounding The Interview, is astounding to me. I also dig Jonah Hill...I don't know whose dog he shot, but people seem to hate him on a very personal level as well. I completely get folks not being into their movies, the humor (oft referred to as "Dudebro"...guess that makes me a "Chicksis"?) is definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but I don't know what they've done as human beings to piss people off so much.

I like Jonah and Seth also, but I don't dislike any actor/actress because I don't watch any award shows, read any interviews or care about them beyond being able to entertain me.

The closest I have come to disliking a actor/actress was the Twilight actors and actresses because the hype and live was annoying and I found that KS annoyed me but I don't dislike any of them cause I dont know them enough to care.

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I don't feel one way or the other about Seth Rogen, except that he knocked my socks off in Take This Waltz.  The flick itself is pretty depressing, but I really bought and enjoyed his straight performance.  I think Seth Rogen can probably do just about anything he wants, "lowbrow" or not. 

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I don't feel one way or the other about Seth Rogen, except that he knocked my socks off in Take This Waltz.  The flick itself is pretty depressing, but I really bought and enjoyed his straight performance.  I think Seth Rogen can probably do just about anything he wants, "lowbrow" or not. 

 

I thought he was great in 50/50 with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Edited by NoWillToResist
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I'm just not the target audience for the dudebro genre. I wasn't the target when Keanu Reeves did it, or Sean Penn, or John Belushi or Frankie Avalon or Bob Hope or the Three Stooges. I didn't become the target when Melissa McCarthy started to get the distaff version made. I'm sure it takes a great deal of talent to pull off effectively, but I'm immune to the outcome.

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I have the massively unpopular opinion of liking Seth Rogen. I've enjoyed most of the movies of his I've seen (didn't really get into Pineapple Express), and he seems like a nice guy. The hate people seem to have for him, especially during the controversy surrounding The Interview, is astounding to me. I also dig Jonah Hill...I don't know whose dog he shot, but people seem to hate him on a very personal level as well. I completely get folks not being into their movies, the humor (oft referred to as "Dudebro"...guess that makes me a "Chicksis"?) is definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but I don't know what they've done as human beings to piss people off so much.

I actually really like Seth Rogan, and I guess I also hold the UO of liking his laugh.  I mean, it's his genuine laugh and he can't change it, and I really don't mind that if something strikes him as funny, that he just lets his laugh fly.

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The hate people seem to have for him, especially during the controversy surrounding The Interview, is astounding to me. I also dig Jonah Hill...I don't know whose dog he shot, but people seem to hate him on a very personal level as well

 

I don't hate either one of them; I just don't care much one way or the other for either.  I thought Seth Rogen was good in Freaks and Geeks, but haven't seen him in much else.  I thought Jonah Hill was funny in Get Him to the Greek, but felt his Oscar nomination for Wolf of Wall Street should've gone instead to Daniel Bruhl for Rush.  That's about it for them as far as I'm concerned.  I wouldn't rush out to see a movie because Seth or Jonah was in it, but I wouldn't avoid it for that reason either.

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I thought he was great in 50/50 with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

 

I agree, I'd forgotten about that one.

 

And Jonah Hill was good in his serious role in Moneyball, too. 

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I also did a 180 on the Keira Knightley/Andrew Lincoln story. I remember thinking it was really sweet but upon rewatch, I kind of felt like he was a bit of a dick. Sure, I felt bad that he was apparently in love with his best friend's girlfriend/fiancee/wife, but him being an ass to her was not cool. And for him to then turn up at their house and do that flashcard thing about how he'll always love her and blah blah annoyed the fuck out of me. Like, what the hell was she supposed to do with that? He couldn't have just written "I've been a dick because I've been in love with you this whole time. I'm gonna need some time to get over that since we're going to be in each others' lives forever now"? I appreciated that when he left (before she ran out to kiss him - ugh) he seemed to have made up his mind that he would move on, and appears to have done so by the end airport scenes in the film, but it's really amazing how my perspective on this story line totally changed over time.

 

I have always hated this part of the movie.  Whenever I've mentioned it, whether in forums or offline, the common response is confusion or someone taking offense.  Glad I'm not alone on this one.  

 

I'm not the original poster, but I think ribboninthesky1 was saying that there have been so many movies catering to a man's wish fulfillment, that this one movie catering to a woman's wish fulfillment won't be the end of the world. At least that's how I interpreted it.

 

Thank you, that's exactly what I was stating.  There's a lot of analysis and discussion on how women/girls will receive this movie, and what it means.  I have no plans to see it, but if women/girls enjoy it, so be it.  I don't think it's necessarily a reflection of general female character or empowerment.  I feel there are just as many or more complaints about the subject matter than the writing itself.  Frankly, I suspect that if it was just about being poorly written, there wouldn't be as much discussion.  It's not the first poorly written book to be adapted to a potentially crappy film, and it won't be the last.  Sometimes it feels like if women and girls support or enjoy anything that's not "acceptably" feminist, there's a lot of navel-gazing or psychoanalysis about it.  We have fantasies and wish fulfillment too, it's part of being human.   

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I think James Dean's acting has dated badly. He seems to incorporate the worst of Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift without their strengths (to compare him with his rival contemporaries). Even today, their best performances have a pop missing from Dean.

Watching "East of Eden" , I thought Julie Harris blew him away in all their scenes together. His "Giant" scenes seem so mannered to me. I know his persona of the lonely outsider is his signature , but it's grating.

"Rebel without a Cause" is slightly better, but I find his character a bit too "Woe is me" for my taste.

Which brings me to that I don't find that movie has aged well at all.

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I think James Dean's acting has dated badly. He seems to incorporate the worst of Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift without their strengths (to compare him with his rival contemporaries). Even today, their best performances have a pop missing from Dean.

 

I remember reading (or maybe it was seeing on a special on tv) that Elia Kazan thought James Dean's career would've sputtered out quickly had he lived, since he wasn't well trained.  He made the same comparison you did to Brando - that Brando had been well-trained, so his emotional acting came from his techniques he'd been taught, whereas James Dean relied on instinct, and imitated what he thought Brando did to get into character.  So, you're not alone in your thought : )

 

My Rebel Without a Cause UO is that I like the movie, but I think the clear standout from the film is Sal Mineo.  I sympathized with him a hell of a lot more than I did with the other characters in the film. 

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"Rebel without a Cause" is slightly better, but I find his character a bit too "Woe is me" for my taste.

Which brings me to that I don't find that movie has aged well at all.

 

I think Rebel Without a Cause is like a caricature - I laugh in a lot of wrong places and feel like the movie doesn't mean much to people today. So I agree that it hasn't aged well.  A way back, I read some analysis of RWaC that cited the scene of Jim Backus wearing an apron as an example of how James Dean couldn't look up to his father, etc. - it must have been a really dated analysis.  But I find that I just can't take all the angst and scenery chewing. 

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I think Rebel Without a Cause is like a caricature - I laugh in a lot of wrong places and feel like the movie doesn't mean much to people today. So I agree that it hasn't aged well.  A way back, I read some analysis of RWaC that cited the scene of Jim Backus wearing an apron as an example of how James Dean couldn't look up to his father, etc. - it must have been a really dated analysis.  But I find that I just can't take all the angst and scenery chewing. 

 

I'm glad others agree that Dean's acting hasn't aged well. I think Rebel Without a Cause is overwrought, overrated, and kind of goofy. Splendor in the Grass is a much better film about teen angst and parental friction.

 

Furthermore, we all like to say "better to burn out than fade away", but I think that's a little unfair and not even entirely true. John Wayne, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn, and Paul Newman are just a handful of actors (I can think of a bunch more) who died after aged 60 and are still considered legends. I'm sure if you'd asked them, certain celebrities who died young would have said they'd like a few more years on this earth. 

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I'm glad others agree that Dean's acting hasn't aged well. I think Rebel Without a Cause is overwrought, overrated, and kind of goofy. Splendor in the Grass is a much better film about teen angst and parental friction.

I think that Marlon Brando ( or some other legend) once worked with James Dean and commented that he didn't think James had much range and if he didn't die when he did, it would have come more and more apparent.

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